When hearing the word ‘toy’ people that have never owned a dog (or a cat) might think it’s something of a luxury, a form of play and fun for your pets. But me and you know that toys for dogs are not (just) for playing, they’re as important and useful as they are fun.
Why Dog Toys are Important:
First of all, toys are an amazing way to ‘kill’ boredom, regardless if you had to leave your dog alone for some time, or you have some guests over and you need some relaxed time to hang out with them. Also some dog toys are also designed in such a way to prevent your pet from developing certain problematic forms of behavior.
There are different types of toys you’d want to get for your dog: active, destruction and comfort toys. Active ones are made of hard rubber and are great for carrying around or chewing, but also tennis balls and rope toys are considered as active toys. On the other hand, destruction toys are meant for chewing and comfort ones are meant for snuggling.
But one basic rule applies to them all – toys should be soft, easily manipulated and it’s good if they make some noise.
The very first thing you should be careful about when choosing toys for your dog is size, keep your dog’s size on mind and don’t choose toys that are too small and can be swallowed. Some other good tips are choosing toys labeled safe for children, machine washable and have no strings that can be chewed or swallowed.
Don’t forget that dogs (just like kids) get bored if they play with the same toy for too long, so you’ll want to get some more toys to keep your dog satisfied.
7 Dog Toys For Labradors
This rubber toy has been rated top product of the year by numerous magazines. It’s buoyant, bouncy and great for extreme chewers like labradors, since it’s super tough.
Why It’s So Popular:– Great for extreme chewers like labradors- Lasts long- Comes in three different sizes- 100% recyclable- Completely non-toxic
Keep In Mind:– Some parts of the ball could come off and can be a choking hazard
This version is the most durable one of the KONG toy. It’s ultra-strong and ultra-durable which makes it great for labradors. It’s also bouncy and made out of natural rubber.
Why It’s So Popular:– Comes in 5 different sizes- Ultra-strong, ultra-durable, suitable for powerful chewers- Can be used for games of fetch- Made in the USA- Good for training purposes
Keep In Mind:– Has a rubbery-chemicalish odor.- Sometimes difficult to clean
Great toy for toss and fetch, but not suitable for chewing. So make sure you don’t leave your dog chewing on it for too long, since it can ruin the toy. It’s easily stored (since it’s foldable) and easily washed.
Why It’s So Popular:– Good for toss and fetch- Easy to store, can be folded to fit your pocket- Easy to wash- Can be turned over and used as water containers- Comes in different colors
Keep In Mind:– Not suitable for chewing- Can be easily ruined by chewing
This toy, manufactured in the US, is a ball suitable for heavy chewers (60 lbs +), including labradors. It’s designed to be kicked, tugged, thrown, carried and launched.
Why It’s So Popular:– Comes with an easy grip rope attached- Suitable for big dogs and heavy chewers- Comes in 3 sizes
Keep In Mind:– Rope may not last for very long
Your labrador will love this toy. It’s highly durable and has a funky bounce that guarantees hours of fun for your dog. Comes in different sizes, but the Large one is usually the most suitable one for labradors.
Why It’s So Popular:– While playing kibble randomly falls out, encouraging hours of interactive fun.- Dishwasher safe- Easy loading- Great for powerful chewers
Keep In Mind:– Not easy to clean- Some dogs don’t like the smell of it
This toy is an extremely durable dog ball with an unpredictable bounce. It fits in a standard ball thrower and is designed in a way that maintains your Lab’s mental and physical health.
Why It’s So Popular:– Fits in a standard ball thrower- Made in the USA- FDA-compliant- Available in bright, easy-to-spot colors making them perfect for play in snow, grass and water- Great for heavy chewers
Keep In Mind:– Really big and heavy- The ball is of dense enough rubber that it does not float high in the water
These chew toys are designed knowing that safety and fun go hand in hand. Each GoughNuts toy has included in it’s design the GoughNuts patented safety indicator where yellow means “GoughNuts” and red means “Stop”. This one comes with a yellow dot which means It’s super durable and amazing for labradors and all powerful chewers out there.
Why It’s So Popular:– Great for very powerful chewers- Comes in 4 different shapes- Designed by mechanical and polymer engineers- Floats and makes for an excellent fetching toy- Made in the USA
Keep In Mind:– Doesn’t smell nice- Some dogs simply don’t like it
Toys To Avoid For Your Labrador:
Just as I noted earlier, not all toys are suitable for every dog breed. As a labrador owner, you already know how labradors are vigorous chewers, this means that easily destructed toys sometimes survive only seconds in the ‘hands’ of your dog. So there are basically two types of toys you should avoid getting for your dog:
- Plush and stuffed toys – They might be very affordable, but not so much after your dog ruins them minutes after getting them. They’re soft and gentle, which makes them suitable for smaller dog breeds. And not only are they easily destructed, but can be dangerous, since your dog can swallow the stuffing.
- Vinyl and latex toys – Might look more durable than the plush ones, but also those won’t last for very long. Also, be careful that (those, as well as the plush ones) if they come with a squeaker inside, it can be a real choking hazard.
Contrary to what you believed in until now, there are toys that your labrador won’t destroy immediately, you just have to recognise the good and high-quality ones. But don’t forget, it’s not only toughness and good looks that matter, but the toy has to be safe for your dog!