OK, today we're going to talk about our favorite toys and why we like them from both a canine and a human point of view. We're going to talk about where to buy them. I have even done some homework and have found some places to shop in Europe and Australia. I have found which US stores ship internationally.
Most dogs like plush toys or stuffies. Mine like the sound of the squeakers. Why then do they almost immediately set about removing the squeakers? Four of my dogs Morgan, Tsar, Sky and Bailey play with a stuffie for a few minutes, then start to destroy it. All but Bailey will play with the unstuffed skin of the toy for a long time. Bailey either shreds it or tries to eat it. My other dogs enjoy playing with stuffies and will carry them forever.
This is an average stuffie. They come in all sizes, shapes and colors. They almost always have a squeaker or some sound maker inside and they are filled with cotton fiberfill. It's always amazing to me how much fill they can squeeze into one of these. The dogs can cover a good size room with the filling from just one of these toys.
This is a great toy for sharing if you have multiple dogs. It has a squeaker in each arm and my dogs really enjoyed playing a concert for me with this.
If you are absolutely sick and tired of picking up the stuffing from their toys, here's an option for you. These are flat, unstuffed plush toys. They do have squeakers, but you won't have to pick up a mountain of fiberfill. They're called Skinneeez.
There are toys for chewers that can't be bothered with stuffies. The one above has a number of discs held together by the rounded end pieces. My pups loved these when they were young. They are great for teething puppies and small dogs. Beware if you have a power chewer. Morgan and Bailey were able to get the end caps off and take the toys apart. You then have small pieces that you don't want your dog swallowing.
These are fun for small dogs, too. Again these are not for power chewers. The little 'foot balls' are of light rubber, easily chewed and the woven ball is great until someone chews thru one of the links. Then the whole thing comes apart.
The clamshell worked for us with most of the pups and it kept them quiet for a long time. Put small treats or pieces of dog food inside and screw it closed. There are two small opening thru which the dog can work the treat out. It takes them a while to get all the food out unless Morgan lives with you. She just ate part of the shell away and got all the food.
Kongs are great toys. They're good for just playing with, throwing, or fill them with either peanut butter or canned dog food, stick them in the freezer and serve to keep the tongue in action for a long time. The only one of my dogs that has misused a kong is Bailey who ate the kong along with the peanut butter. My dogs like them stuffed, but get bored with a plain old kong to play with.
This is a toy I've heard a lot about, but haven't tried yet. Several of my friends say their dogs love it. Fill it with treats, put the top on and let them tug and work the treats out.
Most dogs love balls. My dogs are very active and love to chase balls. Some of them carry balls around with them or always have one nearby. Sky is almost never without a ball in his mouth. Every evening someone brings a ball over and puts it in my lap, a gentle hint.
A tennis ball is a universal favorite. Do, however, watch for anything growing on the fuzzy surface. Dogs can pick up nasty bacteria that like to grow on the surface of tennis balls. If your dog leaves his ball outside, you might want to inspect it and either wash it or replace it.This is called a 'holee roller'. It's what I use to teach my dogs to catch. Most pups up to about six months of age don't have the eye to mouth coordination to catch. If you toss a ball at them it will probably hit them in the nose and bounce away. Around six months I start gently tossing this to the pup and he can snag one of the holes. With a lot of praise, he gradually gets the concept of catching and can move on to regular balls.
If you follow my blog, you know that these are our absolute favorites. These are glow balls. They soak up light and reflect it back in the dark. My dogs love these things and they can chase them after dark because of the glow. The bright colors gradually fade, but they continue to glow forever. The large size fits my dogs perfectly, but they also come in a smaller size for you petite pups.
Does your dog love to retrieve?
This is the flying squirrel. This was one of our first throw toys. It flies great and the dogs all loved chasing it. Morgan ended it's life by chewing it's legs so that it no longer flew. Again, if your dog is not an aggressive chewer, this could be a great toy for you.
This is a great toy. It's called a 'Wubba' and it does everything. It is made by Kong and it is covered with tough canvas. It also squeaks. My dogs like to carry it around, Morgan can chew on the tails and it's wonderful for throwing. It flies well and you don't get your hands all slimed the way you do with a ball. Just grab the tails and fling it. All my dogs like playing with the wubba. It comes in several sizes for small, medium, large and extra-large dogs and there is also a floating variety for dogs who like to do water retrieving.
Speaking of water retrieving, H2O makes a variety of toys to play with in the water. We have this disc that my dogs enjoy and I just ordered a dumbell and a training dummy. These are my favorite water toys. I like the colors that are easy to spot in the water and the fabric dries quickly
This is probably our very favorite toy, both mine and the dogs. I keep this on a shelf and when I reach for it, they all start barking and jumping around. We have three of them because they are so popular that there would be fights if they all had to compete for just one. This is the 'Flying Cow' by Bamboo. Bamboo toys are made of tough fabric and are simple in construction. This frisbee is soft enough that Sky can catch it without fear of damaging his dental work and yet will stand up to a lot of chewing.
Morgan did manage to chew our first one and because Bamboo guarantees all it's toys, I sent it back to the company. They sent me two brand new one as replacements. That made them my favorite company. They actually live up to their guarantee.
This is another Bamboo toy that we own. We've had it for about four years and it only has a few minor chew marks.
Here are some of the places where you can buy these and other wonderful toys for dogs, cats, birds, ferrets and just about any other animal.
SitStay sells all sorts of pet supplies. It's where I buy our glowballs. They always include a sample of a treat in each order which makes them popular with my canine box inspectors. They ship worldwide.
Dog.com sells pet supplies for all types of animals. They also have some terrific sales if you get on their e-mail list. They ship to the US and Canada.
JeffersPet carries supplies for dogs, cats, birds and horses. They have very reasonable prices and some super sales. I got a set of agility equipment including weave poles, two jumps, a tunnel and a chute for around $200 from them during one of their sales. They ship to the US, Canada, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. They have some of the best customer service I've dealt with. Morgan was having surgery and I contacted them the day before the surgery. They overnighted me a special collar for her at no additional cost so she would have it after the surgery.
Pet Edge sells to groomers, breeders,kennels and other retailers. You can buy in large quantities. They have some of the lowest prices, but unless you buy a certain amount, there is a surcharge. What we do is get together with a couple of friends and place an order together. They ship worldwide. They carry lots of toys and clothes as well as grooming supplies.
CentralBark is in Australia and sells internationally as far as I can see. I have not dealt with them and so can't endorse them. If you have shopped with them and can tell us about them, please leave a comment.Here is one for our friends in Great Britain. If you have shopped with Dog-Toy, please let us know what you think.
Another online place to shop for toys is PetPlanet. It's located in the UK, so if you know anything about them, please share.
Alpha Dog Toys sells worldwide. Please let us know if you're familiar with them.
Two of the best places to check out, no matter where you live, are Amazon.com and E-bay.
I'm sure your dogs have some favorites and that you have a store that you enjoy doing business with. Leave a comment and let us know. I'll post them so we can all share and make playtime even more fun.