Larger dogs have a whole new set of considerations when it comes to toys. Just like smaller dogs, safety will be the number one concern and let’s face it, larger dogs are likely to have a more aggressive relationship with their toys. This doesn’t mean your dog is aggressive, but just through their sheer power and strength, particularly in their jaws, the toys are likely to come off second best. So what’s best when thinking about dog toys for large dogs?
Ultimately it will be safety, durability and functionality that will lead your decision and these will all be different depending on you as an owner, and your individual dog (or dogs, if you are lucky enough to have more than one).
So, here are my suggestions:
- Primarily, any toy for a large dog needs to be big enough that it doesn’t pose a choking hazard if they catch it in their mouth.
- If it’s not tough enough, don’t expect it to last for any length of time – and remember for any dog toy, if it starts to fall apart, it’s time for it to go in the trash. Many of the toys on the market will have undesirables on the inside – synthetic stuffing, plastic parts etc – nothing that is good for your dog’s stomach!
- What do you want the toy for? If it’s a large dog you have, it’s possible that you want to take some of the onus off your own legs without sacrificing your dog’s level of exercise. There are lots of fantastic toys available for this purpose:
- Throwing & retrieving toys
- Floating toys for swimming
- Tug toys – for example rope toys, although your own arms may suffer a bit here!
One last point to note…
Beware of the squeaky toy. Apart from the noise wearing on your nerves if your dog is hellbent on destroying the squeaker, it may not be enough for your large dog to silence it – it’s also likely they will keep “worrying” at it until they get the squeaker out, which then in turn becomes a choking or swallowing hazard. My advice would be to steer clear for very large dogs, as it’s just not worth the risk.
Sorry, this truly is the last one for now…
Remember that just because you have a puppy of a large dog breed, they may not be at a developmental stage that warrants large dog toys. So please take extra care to think about what your puppy might need at different stages, and leave the large dog toys for when they are grown up.
As always, your comments and feedback are very welcome below.