Buying fun toys and accessories are one of the most rewarding aspects of dog ownership. Toys help keep our dogs happy throughout the day and become great bonding tools when it’s time to play. From the soft and squeaky to the rubber and rugged, there is a wide world of toys to explore, and choosing the right dog toys is important for the overall health of our dogs. Whether you've got a new dog joining the family or just looking to surprise your furry friend, check out these tips on choosing the right toys for your dog.

What Dogs Really Want

Since we can’t just ask what our dogs really want (at least not yet), we’ll need to make some observations to choose the right dog toy. Every dog is unique but rest assured, there are plenty of toys that will fit your furry friend’s play needs.

First, it helps to understand some basic dog instincts. Dogs are naturally packed animals. It is important for them to feel like part of a group with companions to play and snuggle. Interactive toys, for play between pet and pet parent, support the need to be included socially while solo toys help occupy the restless dog and even stand in as a friend while we’re away. On the other hand, dogs can become destructive when bored.

Many dogs also possess the natural instinct to “hunt”. Yes, even the cutest Chihuahua is said to have descended from an ancient breed of wolf. Toys that squeak and raddle nurture this idea of captured “prey”. Once they have retrieved their prey during a game of fetch, some dogs will destroy their catch.

Chew Toys

It is important to have confidence in a chew toy. The best chew toys are versatile, challenging, and long-lasting. Though it can be daunting to choose from the wide variety of chew toys, there are some key factors to help narrow down the choices. Is your dog an aggressive chewer, trying to destroy any toy in its path, or does it have soft chew habits? Will your dog need a toy to keep him busy while you’re away or will he be supervised during play?

The JW Cuz combines the durability of rubber with a stimulating shape and smooth feel. It is equipped with the patented JW Squeaker making it safe for solo play, but can double as a fetch ball. If your pup would like something else, we've got plenty of dog chew toys on hand fit for even the toughest of chewers.

Fetch Toys

Whether you roll a ball or toss a flyer, the game of fetch never seems to get old. Fetch toys are great for high-energy dogs who need lots of exercise. ChuckIt! elevates playing with your dog to a new level through ergonomic design and performance enhanced design. The little annoyances of fetch are obsolete with the iconic ChuckIt! Launcher; no more repeatedly bending over and handling a slimy ball only to toss it a few yards. Both you and your dog will be amazed at how far the ball will fly!

Tug Toys

It’s dog vs. pet parent in a classic match of tug-o-war. Who will win? Everyone! Rope tugs are ultra-versatile toys made from braided rope. Perfect for dogs that love a 1-on-1 tug contest or those who prefer a soft toy to carry around. Rope toys are also an effective way to keep your dog’s teeth healthy. As your dog chews, the fibers work as a type of doggy floss to help prevent dental disease.

Treat Toys

Treat toys are the ultimate boredom-busters for dogs that thrive on a challenge. Dog treat toys come in lots of fun varieties to pique your pup's interest and keep them engaged. Fill them up with treats and watch your dog work for the reward stashed inside. Treat toys keep trouble-makers busy, by giving dogs a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Put your dog’s favorite treats inside the iconic JW Hol-ee Roller for hours of mental stimulation. Dog treat toys also come in the forms of puzzles, mazes, and more. This multipurpose toy is a great treat toy for solo play time, but is built tough for fetch or tug when you’re ready to join in the action.

Plush Toys

Plush toys offer more than just play; they can offer company and companionship for dogs. Many dogs enjoy cuddling with their plush toys, proudly carrying them around the house. Plush toys with squeaks and other noise making features engage dogs on an innate level to hold their interest. Best for light chewers, plush toys are usually filled with a soft stuffing and aren’t designed for long chew sessions. Because no one likes cleaning up the scattered remains of a plush toy, right, Fido?

Check out more plush toys and other dog accessories on Petmate. There's sure to be one that your dog will love.

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