Toys are more than just a bit of fun for your dog. They stop them from getting bored and causing trouble around your home, such as scratching at furniture or digging up the garden. Having suitable objects for your dog to chew and play with helps keep them stimulated, entertained, happy and healthy.
There's a huge selection of dog toys on the market, but safe, non-toxic dog toys that provide physical exercise, mental stimulation, social interaction and other health advantages are usually best for pets. Here's more on dog toys and why they're so good for your four-legged friend.
The benefits of dog toys
Exercise - dogs need to get enough exercise to keep them physically and mentally well. Toys such as balls that can be thrown and caught are great for keeping dogs active, and also for making exercise fun for both you and your pet.
Intellectual stimulation - all dogs need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise, and without it, they can become destructive and disobedient.
Bonding - playtime is a positive way to bond with your pet. Games such as tug of war are interactive ways to spend quality time together, and if you have more than one dog, toys can also be great for your pets to bond with each other.
Dental health - dental hygiene is extremely important to a dog's health, and with toys that clean their teeth during playtime, you're keeping your pet stimulated and healthy.
How to clean dog toys
Start by cleaning dried, hardened debris and dirt from hard toys with a brush. Then wash your dog's toys with warm, soapy water and thoroughly rinse. You can also sanitise the toys with water-diluted bleach. Make sure that your dog's toys are fully dry before allowing your dog to play with them.
Plush and rope toys
Soft toys can easily house mould and bacteria. To keep them clean, first brush away any dry dirt before sanitising them in the dishwasher, if you have one. Place the toys in the top rack and run the machine on a hot cycle to clean using very hot water and strong water pressure. If you don't have a dishwasher, clean them in your washing machine using a hot cycle. Allow soft toys to air dry afterwards.