How Many Toys Should a Dog Have? Should They Be Limited?

dog playing with a lot of toys

There is no limit to how many toys a dog should have. However, to prevent boredom and get the most out of the toys, it would be wise to rotate the toys each week. For example, if your dog has 15 toys, only make 3-5 of them available each week.

When it comes to owning a dog, there are quite a few necessities. Your dog needs a safe and secure crate, plenty of food and water bowls, a collar and leash, and lots of attention!

Dogs also need toys! Toys play a significant role in your dog development, but you might be wondering how many toys you should get for your dog. On the one hand, you don’t want them to get bored with only a few toys. On the other hand, you don’t want to spoil them.

In this guide, we will show you why it’s not about how many toys your dog has in total, but how many they have at any given time.

For the average dog, a good rule of thumb is to only make 5 toys available at a time.

Getting The Most Out of Dog Toys

Rotating Toys

Instead of having all of your dog’s toys available at any given time, limit what they have access to. After a few days, rotate those toys out for a few of their other favorites.

By providing a rotation, you’ll prevent your dog from getting bored with the same toys and will also increase the lifespan of each toy. This also keeps your pup mentally engaged since each toy provides a different stimulus.

Variety

Speaking of stimulus, ensure your dog has different types of toys available for their different moods.

If they have a toy that comforts them, make sure it’s available when they’re resting, or their energy is low.

If their energy is high, provide them with a Kong Toy to burn energy to get the reward.

With various toys, you can match your dog’s needs and energy as they fluctuate throughout the day.

In the next section, we will go over the different types of dog toys. Make sure you have at least one of each category.

Types of Toys

Dog toys come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and functions. Dogs may want different toys for different reasons, such as their activity, their needs, or what they enjoy. With the amount of toys to choose from, finding at least one your dog loves shouldn’t be a problem.

Below are the five main types of toys you should consider getting for your dog.

Treat Toys

Not only are treat toys rewarding, but they provide an excellent distraction for your dog. Kong toys are a great example of a treat toy.

They are typically rubber cones, cubes, or spheres that allow you to insert a treat into the toy. Your dog must work to gain access to the treat inside. This is great for when your dog has a lot of energy or when they’ll be home alone for a few hours.

Chew Toys

If you have a puppy that’s teething, chew toys are a must! But they aren’t just for puppies. Some dogs just need to chew. If you have a dog that’s constantly chewing up household items, it would be wise to get them a chew toy.

This type of toy gives your dog an appropriate outlet for their chewing. Some of them will even help clean your dog’s teeth.

Fetch Toys

Fetch toys are great for outdoor playtime. These consist of tennis balls, flying discs (frisbees), or rubber toys that your dog can easily retrieve.

If your dog loves to play fetch, you can invest in a device that launches the ball for you. Playing fetch with your dog is one of the best ways to bond with them.

Rope Toys

Rope toys also make for great chew toys, but your dog can do a lot more with it than just chewing. One of the best things you can do with a rope toy is play tug-of-war with your pup. This is a fantastic game for bonding.

Comfort Toys

Comfort toys are the items your dog snuggles up with when they’re done playing with it. Some may have a squeaker on the inside to entice your dog.

They’re typically soft (like stuffed animals). If your dog has a comfort toy that they love, feel free to always leave it in the rotation.

Toys to Avoid

Stuffed Toys

Not all dogs should avoid stuffed toys, but if your dog has a habit of removing the stuffing from their toys, it would be wise to avoid stuffed toys. Not only does it create a mess, but it can be a major choking hazard.

Poly-fil is a common filler that serves as a choking hazard. To make matters worse, it also causes internal health issues if ingested.

If removing the stuffing is typical behavior for your dog, rubber toys are your best option.

Decorative Toys

Toys with strings, streamers, bells, buttons, or other small items attached should be avoided.

Your dog can easily pull these off the toy, which could result in choking or an intestinal blockage.

Pig Ears

You can find pig ears in just about any pet store. However, they are known to break into small pieces, which could cause a choking hazard.

Rawhide bones are similar as they can easily break into small pieces. If your dog is more aggressive with their toys, these can easily break and become lodged in the throat.

Choosing The Toys

When choosing a toy for your dog, you may find yourself overwhelmed with all the options. Consider the size, energy level, and personal preferences when selecting a toy. Does your dog tear toys apart? Or do they use them for comfort?

If you have a larger dog, avoid toys that have smaller pieces that can be easily swallowed. If you have a smaller dog, make sure the toy is small enough for them to chew on and carry around.

Toy Safety

Above all else, you should consider toy safety before making a purchase. Again, if you have a large dog, small toys may be a choking hazard.

If your dog chews through his toys, they may end up choking on the squeaker inside. That doesn’t mean your dog can’t play with this type of toy, but they should only be allowed to use it under supervision.

Inspect your dog’s toys regularly and remove any loose pieces that may end up getting lodged in their throat.

Consider Your Involvement

When purchasing toys, make sure you have a role in the game. Though distraction toys can be great when you need a moment alone or have to run an errand, your dog needs your attention as well (this is why rope and fetch toys are great).

Be engaged with your dog during playtime. This is a great way to ensure your dog gets enough exercise while bonding with them at the same time.

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