There is a plethora of dog toys available, and which to choose largely depends on the dog. Some dogs tear through everything but the most chew-resistant in minutes, and others carry the same soft squeaky duck around for years.
Most dogs like a good thinking game. Many dogs are alone while their humans spend time at work or school. We’re tired when we come home after a full day, but the dog is bored and has been napping most of the day. Handing out a “thinking” toy can be a great solution – you need to be around to make sure nothing happens, but it will keep your friend occupied for a while.
Examples of thinking games include “boxes” with hiding spots for treats. The dog must move parts around with the nose, or remove them, to get to the treats. Others are shaped as balls or cubes that must roll a certain way to dispense treats.
Kong-type toys frozen with a mix of broken-up treats or kibble along with some peanut butter or soft food can keep dogs occupied for hours.
Many dogs love toys meant for chewing or carrying, like Nylabones, Kong Wubbas, and similar. Rope toys are great as long as your dog doesn’t manage to untie the knots and eat the threads, and many dogs love tennis balls. Make sure you use balls of an appropriate size, so the dog can’t choke on them.
Some dogs love soft, stuffed toys. Make sure you get one with pet-safe stuffing. If your dog likes to carry the toy around it needs to be small enough to carry, yet large enough to prevent accidental swallowing. If your dog wants to shake and “kill” the toy, it needs to be sturdy enough to survive the attacks.
Many dogs who spend many hours alone love to have a piece of dirty laundry, like an old T-shirt, towel, or blanket. Something that smells like you can be very comforting to a dog. Pick something that doesn’t break easily, and that you won’t mourn if it’s destroyed by carrying, bedding, and nosing.