The Paw Print Blog

Pet Parenting Articles

What Toy Is Right for Your Pet?

By Natalie Lester, Brand Communications Specialist

People have all sorts of preferences from clothes to food and beyond. Why do we expect dogs to be any different? After all, each pet has a unique personality of their own. Emma has two speeds: go and stop. It makes me giggle to watch her spring around the house, bouncing from toy to toy. However, the second she’s had enough, she’ll trot over to me on the couch, curl up and go to sleep.

I’m sure you’re pets have different habits that make you laugh too. Just like their personalities are different, so are their play styles. Some pets like stuffed toys, others like hard bones, and still others prefer one with a squeaker. But, how can you know which toy is for your dog?  Read thru these categories and leave a comment telling us which one you think your pet would enjoy most and why. On Monday, February 25, we’ll pick a random comment to win the toy they listed!  We can’t wait to hear about your pets. stuffed toys

Plush toys are great for puppies or senior dogs who need a gentler toy.

Plush toys:

Soft plush toys are usually filled with some sort of stuffing, and often have squeakers inside. They can be great for puppies or senior dogs who need a more gentle toy.

Some dogs like to carry them in their mouth and bite them to make the squeaker squeak. Others, like Emma, feel the immediate instinctual behavior to destroy the toy as quickly as possible.  If your dog loves to dig your socks out of the dirty clothes or migrates towards your pillows at playtime, plush toys are perfect for your pet!

Plastic food dispenser toys:

For more exercise, some dogs like to “work” for their food and this gives them the perfect to feed my pet

Plastic food dispensing toys are a great pet weight loss tool, because it makes them work for their food.

manipulate the toy to get the food out. This is just as much of a mental exercise as it is a physical one. It’s perfect for dogs in small homes as it gives them the opportunity to engage in more activity.

It is also great for pets who are trying to get rid of a few extra pounds. Some dogs push it with their nose or paws, while others pick them up and throw them (this is usually Emma’s technique).If your dog needs more fun at mealtime, this is the perfect toy for them.

Rubber toys:

Strong durable rubber gives pets the opportunity to chew something they are actually allowed to chew. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.

Our Busy Buddy® line has treat dispensers to hold kibble or something more lickable – like peanut butter. Yum! If your pet likes to chew, this is the perfect toy for them. For really determined chewers, nylon toys are the best!

For really determined chewers, nylon toys are the best!

Nylon toys:

For really durable chewers, the nylon toys are made of hard nylon to satisfy their chewing urges. Some come with rawhide rings to keep your pet engaged.

These toys also let your pet chew on something that is appropriate and still get the same satisfaction of destroying it.

If you frequently find tennis shoes, corners of furniture and other household items with bite marks or completely destroyed, you pet needs a rubber chew toy ASAP! Now, it’s your turn.!

Tell us which of the toys your pet would enjoy most and why in the comment section below. On Monday, February 25, we’ll pick one winner in each category to win the toy they selected.


ABOUT NATALIE As the PetSafe Brand Communications Specialist, Natalie manages the PetSafe brand across multiple social and content sites, including The Paw Print blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

She also generates other brand related content including product information for retailers, video scripts, and public relations. Before PetSafe, Natalie worked in the local media covering politics, education, and religion. Natalie’s puppy, Emma, spends almost as much time in the office as she does.    

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my chihuahua needs a new squirlly

I have 2 cats so I think a plastic food dispenser toy would keep them active and trigger their natural hunting instincts.

I think dogs would love the Nylon toy best.

would love for my girls to have the plastic food dispense toys… I know they would love them…

The New Toy my Pet needs is The Busy Buddy Barnacle; I Love Alliterations!

The nylon toy cause. Dogs really love to chew.

The Busy Buddy Barnacle allows your pet to play while treating themselves to treats; it promotes exercise and thinking skills!

My dogs loved the plush toys, because they like to tear them apart. I, however, am tired of picking up stuffing, so I like the hard rubber toys - the ones with nylon sound great!

I think a plastic food dispenser toy would work great for my cocker spaniel puppy. He is very high energy and a toy that makes him work for his food would help him exercise while working for his food as well as cut back on boredom.

Plush toys because he likes the squeaker in the toy, but he does like to distroy it..He will take it to bed with him and try to hide it.

I would love for my boston terrier to have a new nylon toy. For some reason he annihilates anything with a squeaker, I’ve come home from work and it looks like it has snowed in my house from all the stuffing. Tennis balls are no match for him either, by the time he is done they look like they have been run over by the lawn mower! I even tried him on a training decoy and it was 2 weeks before he tore it up. I would like to find a toy that lasts longer than the time i spent looking for it in the store!

plush toy

I’m thinking the nylon. He takes all the stuffin out of the plush toys. LOL

Oh yeah, the sacrificial plush toy!

Toss up between the rubber and nylon. Sam is a young adult boxer and has been endowed with “a very exuberant disposition”. He gets bored easily and will play and chew on anything.  I have watched him run and actually “throw” things in the air to catch them when he is by himself. He loves to chew things to shreds, so probably the nylon would be a good choice for him!

The plush toys are fun, however, the treat dispensing toys are the favorite.

Hudson loves the plush toys—loves to destroy them, fetch, play all day with them, and even cuddle to one at night(Ducky)! Has been his favorite toys since the day I got him at 5 weeks old—always having to buy new ones though because he has a thing for the stuffing inside and make it look like a snowstorm. lol

My dog would love the nylon toys. He is quite the chewer.

Rex likes them all!  His favorite, though, is the food dispenser toys because for all the play and work he does with one, he is rewarded with treats!

My dog love the plush toys best, she likes to tear the stuffing out of them

my dog loves the plush toys

I would try the rip-n-tug hammerhead shark both my dogs(labs) like to rip and tug on toys and are hard on toys I’s hope this toy’d last them quite a while.

My black lab, Bo, loves to destroy all stuffed toys we give so we’re always in need of replacements.  Her goal is to remove the squeaker and all the stuffing and then show me she’s accomplished this goal which she thinks I set for her.  Thanks so much for the opportunity for a free doggie toy!  Joanne (and Bo) <3

My Shiloh likes plush toys the best- especially if they make a different noise, and most especially if he can shake/flap them around his head. Treat dispensing toys are also great for him, as he’s high energy and very intelligent, and needs interactive toys like this to burn (mental!) energy faster (and to give me a few minutes of rest!)  The PetSame/Premier toys I’d **really** like to get him are the Manners Minder and the Rip & Tug/Lotus Ball line of toys. I’ve heard *so* many wonderful applications for the Manners Minder from basic training, addressing problem behaviors, and agility applications. I would really love to have one, but unfortuantely just can’t afford it. I was also introduced recently to the Rip & tug toys by some agility friends. I hadn’t thought about the agility applications of these toys- but they’re great for getting the dog to go in the direction you want them to go, and great for teaching dogs who aren’t normally toy motivated to like toys. I love the products from this company!

My dog, Holly, loves plush toys, though she must immediately kill the squeaker.  Then she proceeds to “operate” and take the squeaker out.  When really bored, she will unstuff the toy!

Without a doubt, my four dogs enjoy the “Plastic food dispenser toys” the best.  They love to learn…and it’s so fun to watch them learn.  Their tags wag the whole time we’re playing a “game” for food.  It’s so fun to watch how differently they each learn (our little girl gets frustrated before she starts to really think)!  Plus this makes treat time & dinner time more interactive and rewarding for both of us!

My pup enjoys plush toys. She loves to hear the squeak of the toy and also enjoys when when we throw it (fetch).

my furry friend likes stuffed babys to play with

of my 3 rescues, I have 2 heavy chewers for nylon products and 1 that loves plush toys to attack

Rubber toys

Mine really like the rubber toys - those seem to last the longest with them!

Trace LOVES plush toys. She will instantly destroy anything plastic, but not if it is soft and has a squeaker. She treats them as her babies and always has one in her mouth. Trace only has 3 good legs and has recently tried turning all of her toys into “Traces.” She has been ripping off one leg of each of her toys. It is creepy and adorable at the same time.

I own a Lab and he would love the food dispenser toys the best, cause will they dispense food. I prefer nylon toys cause they last longer and allow him to chew on something besides our furniture.

My dog needs lots of toys

Hello, I would love to find a toy that my (shih tzus) can’t tear up in minutes or a couple hours! We have purchased many different kind of toys and somehow they always work that toy to death!

If we could win one of your durable toys, our fur-babies (and us) would greatly appreciate it!!

Thank you, Maria Alvarado

Our golden retriever, Penny, loves to hunt for little training treats.  We don’t have a toy for that, but I bet she would love one.

Penny loves her soft toys to carry around, but when it comes to the evening, she wants to “hunt” for little training treats.

I think the Plastic food dispenser toys are best because this is just as much of a mental exercise as it is a physical one & they get more exercise while playing with it.

The plastic food dispenser toy would be perfect.  My baby boy is smart and likes toys that keep him interested.

My dog Rowdy loves all toys his favorite right now is one that looks like a long flat fox with a squeaker in the head and tail. He brings it to everyone who comes to visit. He shakes it back and forth and back and forth all the while giving it a squeak here and there. He then lets it go while he’s shaking it which make it fly just like he’s throwing it for himself. Then he runs to get it and squeaks it a few times shakes it some more and drops it at the feet of whoever he wants to play with.

Mine would really like the plastic food dispenser toy. They love toys that reward them. Plush toys are enjoyed, but often destroyed. Rubber toys don’t entertain them long, unless treats can be stuffed inside them. Nylon toys are ignored by one, and hidden/buried by the other (dog).

I have three dogs, and the the oldest (5 years), likes plush toys (probably she thinks of them as friends as she was an only child until a few months ago); The mom dog likes rubber toys with the treat and plush (she is always hungry so the rubber toys make her work for a snack and she collects the soft toys like a litter of puppies); The puppy will play with anything and I find the rubber and game toys best for him. 
If you can tire them out at play, you win some quiet time and they win needed exercise and quality interaction with me and the other dogs.

I have 6 dogs-
all rescues. They all love anything they can chew on. They are not picky!

Somer,my service dog, would love a nylon toy.  She is very rough on her toys but likes to chew on her nylon bone.

a rubber chew toy

My dogs love toys that squeak.

I’m at a loss for the perfect dog toy. My dogs will shred a toy that has a squeaker in about 10 minutes. Yet they don’t like rubber or nylon chews. They will chew on rawhides but I know they aren’t so good for them. My other choice is small smoked beef bones from my butcher but that either makes them throw up or have diarrhea. So they mostly get treats…any suggestions?

My dogs would love the plastic food dispensing toy!

Definetly the plastic food dispenser.  We have a lab and she is very inquistive and looves trying to get things out !!!

My chewing corgis would love a squirrel buddy or the plastic food dispensing toys!

my chi is 5 yrs and don’t really play with toys,but loves to hide behind pillows and loves to dig for peanut butter in a rubber thingy so a food dispenser toy would probably be best to interest him

With a small house and a high energy golden retriever, I’d love the food dispenser to use up some of his mental and physical energy!

Have you tried antlers for them to chew on?  My dog loves his!

My dogs love plush toys. They love the squeakers and snuggling with them.

I think my kitty Moco would love the food despencer toy she loves to get things out of her box!

My pitbull, Chevy, would LOVE the rubber toys because he loves chewing and ”nibbling”! He also would love the food dispensing ones because he loves a challange and needs to channel his energy productively!

My Boston Terrier Scrapper loves the sft toys with the squeakers in them.  He will come running from the other room if he hears a squeak, and will jump and search me for the toy!

My 35 lb puppy loves his plush toy with a rope through the middle.  It has about 10 squeakies in it.  We hear the squeakies in the middle of the night.

My dog charlie likes the plush toys-the squeakier the better

Paula, thank you for commenting to enter our contest. Your message has been randomly selected to win a plush toy! Please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to claim your prize.

Karen, thank you for commenting to enter our contest. Your message has been randomly selected to win a plastic food dispensing toy! Please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to claim your prize.

Catherine, thank you for commenting to enter our contest. Your message has been randomly selected to win a rubber toy! Please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to claim your prize.

Christine, thank you for commenting to enter our contest. Your message has been randomly selected to win a nylon toy! Please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to claim your prize.

My dog is in the camp that destroys all toys - especially plush ones. Then I’m afraid she’ll eat the stuffing. I try to stick with hard rubber and sticks. Yes, sticks from outside. She loves them and the choking hazard is much less!

Play with your pet each day. Try different types of toys that allow your pet to stalk, chase, pounce, and kick. When you’ve tired out your pet, store toys that could harm it (such as toys with strings attached) out of reach. Leave out toys such as paper bags, balls,toys with the handles removed, or cardboard boxes when you cannot supervise. Be sure to switch the toys from time to time so that they seem new and more interesting to your pet.

All great advice, Terry. Thanks for reading and taking the time to share!

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