The Benefits of Interactive Dog Toys

Photo by Jesper Brouwers on Unsplash

Furparents, let’s face it. The world wouldn’t be as joyous and colourful as it is if dogs weren’t around! These pets are bundles of joy and deserve the best we can offer. 

One great way to show appreciation to our beloved furry friends is by giving them interactive dog toys. These toys don’t only provide pleasure and fun for your little ones, they also offer a plethora of benefits that can help both their mental and physical health. 

From dog balls to squeaky toys, there are many interactive dog toys that you can utilise to give your furry buddy a good time. This article will venture into the wonderful world of interactive dog toys and provide insights into their benefits. 

Let’s jump right into it!
 

1. Provides a Bonding Experience 

Many dog toys like rope toys and squeaky balls can be used to facilitate bond formation between you and your pet.  These toys are used in playtime. 

Playtime doesn’t have to be a structured session that revolves around commands and reward systems, but it does have to be active and cooperative. 

For instance, you can pull onto one end of a rope toy and have your dog pull the opposite way. Alternatively, you can play fetch with your dog and have them return the ball that you’ve thrown. 

Engaging in playtime using these dog toys can help tighten the bond between you and your pet. Just 15 minutes of playtime with them every day is enough to get results.  

In doing so, they’ll be more willing to trust you and see you as a pack leader, which can help reinforce your relationship and make you both enjoy and respect each other’s company. 

That said, it’s important to know your dog’s preferred play style. Just like how people have different personalities and preferences, so do dogs. Experiment with multiple dog toys and see what your pet gravitates towards.  

Once you’ve sifted through these options, choose the toy that they’re more likely to play with. You can find multiple toy options in specialty pet retail stores like Zach’s Pet Shop 

By getting a toy they like, you can make them more motivated to play and help them reap the benefits of playtime. 

 

2. Gets The Heart Pumping

Many types of pet toys help promote physical activity in dogs. Building on the previous example, a squeaky ball can be tossed by the owner and retrieved by the dog. If done at least once a day, this can serve as a form of exercise that can be healthy for the creature. 

Specifically, playing with these toys can get a dog’s heart and blood vessels pumping, which can keep their cardiovascular system active and healthy. 

You can also improve their stamina by building their heart health, which can make it easier for them to do strenuous tasks like going on hikes or long walks.  

If you engage in these activities yourself, training and building your dog’s cardiovascular health increases the number of physical activities you can do with them, enriching the bonding experience even further.

 

3. Strengthens Muscles

Besides the heart health benefits of using interactive dog toys, dogs can also attain better health from play by working out various core muscle groups. 

When a dog constantly moves around, they exert effort and build strength in their muscles, notably in their limbs and jaw. For example, tugging, chasing, and fetching are common activities that dogs do during playtime that help work these muscle groups.  

Over time, this physical activity—facilitated through dog toys—can improve their level of fitness and make them more energetic even as they grow older.

 

4. Improves Weight 

In Australia, about 41% of pet dogs are classified as overweight or obese. This is an alarming fact, as being over the normal mass index can leave these dogs more vulnerable to a plethora of health risks. 

The right toys can also help dogs maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a real problem for dogs (as it is for humans), accelerating and increasing the risk of chronic health problems like arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease. 

Furthermore, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, having an obese dog can lower the lifespan of your furry pal by up to two years. With the average lifespan of a dog being just about 15 years, a normal-weight dog can live up to 10% longer than an overweight one. 

So if you want your pet to stick around longer, then it’s important that you get them to normal weight levels and exercise them regularly. 

 

5. Stimulates The Mind 

Another benefit of interactive dog toys lies in their mentally stimulating properties. Just like humans, dogs can get bored when they don’t get stimulated. This can lead to destructive and irritable behaviour, which can lead to messes around the house.  

Conversely, when a dog is engaged with a dog toy, they focus their mental efforts on that specific object. Concentrating their brainpower on that object can reduce their external aggression towards other people, objects, and animals.  

Chew toys are among the best interactive dog toys for stimulating a dog’s mind. They stimulate the jaw and mouth, which can calm down their aggressive tendencies. A squeaky chew toy also satisfies their predator instinct and makes them more at ease. 

By facilitating play with them using interactive dog toys, you can help lower these health risks and improve the life outcomes of your furry friends. This not only increases their lifespan, but also can help them feel more content and less agitated during their non-play periods.
 

6. Improves Dental Health

Certain interactive toys like chew toys can benefit a dog’s dental health. Chewing on these toys can gradually chip away plaque and tartar. These conditions, if left untreated, can lead to diseases like periodontal disease and gingivitis. 

The reason for this effect is that a large fraction of these chew toys have grooves and textures that clean your canine’s teeth as they chew. This acts as a toothbrush—helping remove little bits of food stuck in your dog’s gums. 

While chew toys aren’t effective replacements for dental cleaning appointments, they can help you maintain your dog’s oral hygiene and freshen their breath. 

 

7. Boosts Critical Thinking Skills

Dogs have the potential to be intelligent creatures, but you have to be proactive in harnessing their abilities. 

Some forms of dog toys can help train and boost your canine’s critical thinking skills. For instance, you can get puzzles or rolling treat dispensers to challenge your dog’s ability to think strategically to access a reward. 

Besides the reward, playing with these toys can stimulate the dog’s cognitive functions—which can serve as motivation in itself. This can keep your dog’s mind sharp and agile, which are traits they can carry with them throughout their life.

 

8. Reduces Separation Anxiety

Some dogs exhibit anxious behaviour when left alone by their owner. This can cause a great deal of stress and agitation—which can ultimately lead to destructive behaviour. 

Of course, it’s common and expected for you to separate from your dog every once in a while. 

To combat their distress, an interactive dog toy can help keep your dog mentally occupied and engaged. The right toys can distract them from feelings of loneliness and anxiety. It can also provide comfort for them whenever you’re not around. 

Over time, they can learn how to calm themselves despite your absence with the help of this toy. This can grant peace of mind to both you and the dog.

 

9. Makes Them Sleepy

If your dog is a bundle of energy, some toys can help tire them out and promote better rest. Unsurprisingly, playtime can take quite a bit of mental and physical effort on your dog’s part. This applies no matter if your dog is playing with a puzzle toy or running around catching a tennis ball. 

When you have had enough play time, your dog will feel worn out and enter a more relaxed state. This, in turn, can promote better restorative health for them while also helping you focus on more pressing matters. 

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