The benefits of dog toys for enrichment

Puppy Dog Puppy Training & Behaviour

Toys can greatly enhance a dog’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. The best type of dog toys is entertaining, engaging, safe, durable and appealing to the individual dog.

Benefits of dog toys

  • Relieve boredom and separation anxiety
  • Provide mental stimulation
  • Discourage destructive behaviour
  • Provide an outlet for physical energy & teething
  • Encourage socialisation with other dogs
  • Help exercise jaw muscles and promote dental health
  • Increase the bond between owner and dog during interactive play


Tips for selecting the right toy Safety

  • Read product labels and watch your dog at play with the toy to determine if it is safe
  • Ensure the toy is sturdy enough for your dog’s chewing strength and level of play
  • Avoid toys with small parts that can break off and be ingested
  • Remove any toy that becomes broken, torn, chipped or damaged
  • Dog-proof your home from everyday items that your dog may consider a toy that could be ingested (like socks, rubber bands, children’s toys)


Purpose and preference

Consider the individual needs of your dog and the purpose of the toy, for example:

  • Rubber toys are great for teething puppies and aggressive chewers
  • Activity toys (e.g. Frisbee, ball or a floating toy) are suitable for dogs with high energy levels and are great for bonding
  • Squeaker toys may not be appropriate for dogs that are frightened of unfamiliar noises or dogs with a strong chew (as the squeaker or large parts of the toy can potentially cause blockages)
  • Educational toys that require puzzle solving (e.g. find the flavoured treat inside) are good to provide dogs needing mental stimulation
  • Toys are available for dogs with special needs (e.g. a toy that requires the use of scent and hearing is suitable for a vision impaired dog)
  • Comforting toys can assist dogs that have separation anxiety Variety and rotation
  • Consider a variety of toys that offer a range of mental and physical stimulation for your dog
  • Rotate your dog’s toys to alleviate the potential for boredom

A Best Friends team member can give you expert advice on the most appropriate toy for your dog’s individual requirements