Every dog is unique and this means that finding the perfect toy to keep your dog out of chewing trouble can be a challenge. Thankfully, it doesn't have to be impossible. While there are some key factors to take into account such as the age of your dog (puppy, adult, and senior,) most toys can be broken down into three categories: Tough, Soft, Puzzle.
Tough toys are the toys that are ideal for puppies as well as adult dogs who are aggressive chewers. These toys are ones that are industrial strength made to stand up to the intense chewing that dogs love (and need) to do. West Paw Designs here in the USA create a brand of toys out of their Zogoflex material that is labeled for just such a dog. These toys have different durability ratings but are dishwasher-safe, floatable, and have a one-time replacement guarantee.
Planet dog and Kong also have some durable toys that are great for keeping your little chomper happy.
Soft toys (often called plush toys) are great for the cuddlers and non-destructive players. These toys are usually stuffing-filled and have a squeaker to entice play. Perfect for a game of fetch for a dog who knows the "Drop" command, these toys can provide a lot of comforts too for dogs who have that "special toy" during storms.
For high-energy dogs or dogs who spend a lot of time by themselves, puzzle toys provide entertainment to keep them from figuring out how to get into your shoe closet. There are plenty of options depending on how advanced your dog is at solving different treat-motivated puzzle toys. While some of these toys do encourage supervision you can combine the strength-durability of a West Paw toy with a treat-seeking puzzle toy.
One of our personal favorite ways to use the West Paw Zogoflex Tux is to combine treats and water and then put it into the freezer. Once the treats are encased in ice, our dogs spend a lot of time licking and chewing the ice in an effort to get to the delicious treats.
These three categories, Tough, Soft, and Puzzle are great for trying to figure out where to start on your adventure of finding a perfect toy for your pup. For an in-depth look at your dog's play style and other factors that will help in determining the perfect toy, visit our easy toy selector quiz here!