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When people think of getting a dog or taking care of their dog, they often think of not only the dog but also the dog toys. As dog owners, part of the responsibility of owning a dog is providing for it, and that means giving your dog enough dog toys to play with and be entertained and mentally enriched.
As loving dog owners, we love to show our dogs affection, and an easy way to do that is to give them toys! Even large box stores that aren’t pet specific carry at least a small dog toy selection, which shows how much we love our dogs.
So, the question is – how many toys should a dog have?
While there’s no set number on how many toys your dog should have, dogs should have at least 10-15 toys to rotate through to play with. These toys should each be a different type of toy, so your dog has options and won’t get bored quickly. However, you can leave their soft comfort toy out.
In this article, we’ll discuss how many toys a dog should have and the different types of toys to ensure your dog has a well-rounded toy selection.
How Many Toys Should A Puppy Have?
As much as dog owners may wish puppies came with a manual, they don’t. Raising a puppy involves a lot of research and trial and error. Just like humans, puppies are also individuals, and what works for one puppy may or may not work for another puppy.
When you get a new puppy, one of the questions you may ask yourself is if your puppy should have a certain number of toys. After all, if you walk into any pet store, you’ll see aisles upon aisles that are nothing but dog toys. You may be overwhelmed and just want to ensure you give your puppy everything he needs without being excessive.
While there’s no set specific number on how many toys a puppy should have, the consensus among pet professionals seems to be somewhere in the realm of having 10-15 toys for your puppy.
This number isn’t set in stone and can depend on your puppy’s preferences. Some puppies love to play with toys more than others. If you have a puppy that absolutely loves toys, you may find yourself buying more.
On the other hand, if your puppy doesn’t seem interested in many toys, you may choose to make sure you have backups of his favorite toys instead of buying a wide variety of toys.
Giving your puppy 10-15 toys provides a good range of toys that allows your puppy to be entertained, but it’s not so many toys that your puppy will be overwhelmed. This mix of 10-15 toys should involve a variety of toys to ensure your puppy has different types of toys depending on what kind of playing mood they’re in.
The types of toys in your puppy’s toy box could include teething chews, outdoor toys, toys for fetch and tug, plush and soft comfort toys, and puzzle or enrichment toys.
Can Too Many Toys Overstimulate Dogs?
As a dedicated dog owner who just wants to provide the best for your dog, you may wonder if you could give your dog too many toys.
While you may mean to spoil your dog in the best way by giving him any toy that looks interesting, giving your dog too many toys at once can actually overstimulate them. If dogs are given many toys at one time, they may become a bit frantic since it’s impossible for them to play with them all at once, despite how much they want to.
One way to prevent your dog from getting overstimulated is to rotate your dog’s toys. Rotating your dog’s toys means keeping all of their toys out of sight except for 4-5 at a time. This will help your dog focus on playing with those 4-5 toys while not being overwhelmed or overstimulated by the toys.
Plus, rotating your dog’s toys offers other benefits! This rotation helps keep the toys new and exciting for your dog. When your dog seems bored with his toys, you can just rotate them for a new batch from the closet instead of going to the store and spending more money buying new toys.
How Many Toys Do Most Dogs Have?
As we mentioned above, every dog is different. Some dogs love toys, while others aren’t really interested in toys, so it’s impossible to get a good average of how many toys most dogs have.
That being said, if you’re following the basic principles that we’ve outlined in this article about providing different types of toys to your dog and rotating the toys to keep them interesting, the good news is – you can’t really give your dog too many toys!
Starting with 10-15 dog toys is a good number to aim for because that’s just enough to provide different types of toys and to rotate 4-5 toys at a time to keep your dog interested in his toys.
Of course, it’s natural that they become less interested in dog toys as a dog ages. Puppies are full of energy and need to say busy playing and chewing on things, or they can get into trouble.
Older dogs that are more settled and comfortable and not full of so much of that puppy energy anymore may not be as interested in toys, so they may not require having nearly as many toys.
As your dog ages, it’s essential to buy toys based on your dog’s preferences. If your dog enjoys toys, then continue to buy toys and rotate through toys to keep your dog happy and entertained.
If your dog gets less interested in toys as he ages, perhaps try puzzles or enrichment toys that incorporate finding food since most dogs love to find treats!
You may notice that your dog prefers only a few specific toys as he ages. If that’s the case, consider buying backups of those toys to keep them out of sight and bring them out only when the original toy is destroyed and no longer safe.
While it’s important to provide a variety of toys to keep your dog entertained, remember that every dog is different, and not all dogs have the same love of toys! As long as you’re purchasing dog toys based on your dog’s preferences and rotating the toys out, there’s no need to worry that you’re giving your dog too few or too many toys.
What Toys Should A Dog Have?
As mentioned above, if you’ve ever stepped inside a pet store, you know there are aisles and aisles of different dog toys. The truth is that sometimes the simple task of buying a new toy for your dog can be overwhelming!
While many different types of dog toys are available on the market, it’s important to offer your dog some different kinds of toys to ensure that they can find a favorite type to play with and stay entertained with it.
Plush Or Comfort Toys
Some people consider these toys the soft “baby” types of toys. These soft, stuffed animal-looking toys often have a squeaker in them to keep them extra interesting to your dog. Some dogs will try to destroy that squeaker, but others will just carry these toys in their mouth as comfort items.
This is often the type of dog toy that is the most well-liked. Most dogs, even those who aren’t interested in different types of toys, are interested in these types of toys. Supervising your dog with these types of toys is important because they can usually be destroyed quickly.
Chew Or Teething Toys
If you have a puppy, you know how important it is to entertain them. In addition to getting bored quickly, puppies also need to chew on things constantly. If you don’t direct your puppy’s chewing to something appropriate, like a toy, then there’s a possibility that your puppy could chew on something he shouldn’t, like your door frame!
Teething toys are specifically designed to be used when your puppy is teething. Some are even meant to go into the freezer to provide a cooling sensation to a teething puppy’s sensitive gums.
As your puppy ages and grows into the adult phase, some adult dogs still have the desire to chew more than others. If you have a dog that is a big chewer, you’ll want to look for durable toys that are designed to be chewed on by heavy chewers with powerful chews. These toys are made specifically for adult dogs and are much stronger than puppy teething toys.
Enrichment Or Puzzle Toys
If your dog is one of those dogs that doesn’t seem super interested in many toys, then you may want to try an enrichment or puzzle toy. These toys often combine treats or kibble into the toy, so your dog becomes interested in the toy because he’s searching for the food and trying to get it out.
Just check out these various enrichment toys and this excited doggy!
These toys are great since most dogs love searching for food, plus they can occupy your dog for a longer period of time. Since these toys are interactive, they also give your dog a mental workout and encourage him to problem-solve.
These toys aren’t usually built to withstand any power chewers or dogs that tend to be very rough or destructive, so make sure you supervise your dog when offering these.
Fetch Or Tug Toys
Fetch and tug toys are a great option for toys that allow you and your dog to play together. Plus, these toys usually involve more physical exertion from your dog, so a simple play session could actually tire your dog out.
Since fetch and tug toys are meant to be played with together, they aren’t durable, so it’s important to keep them out of your dog’s sight unless you’re actively playing together.
As much as we want to give our dogs as many toys as possible to keep them happy and entertained, it’s important to ensure your dog is playing with his toys safely.
If you have a large dog, make sure you’re buying appropriately sized toys because toys that are too small could be a choking hazard or cause bowel obstruction.
If you have a dog that is a power chewer, make sure you’re buying toys specifically built to be more durable. You should also only give your dog toys when you can directly supervise him to ensure he isn’t eating any small pieces that may come off.
Some dogs are pickers and will nibble at any little bits of a toy that may stick out, like eyes or a tail. When purchasing toys, keep all of this in mind and maybe opt for toys that are one solid shape and don’t have additional sewn objects, like eyes.
It’s also important to regularly inspect your dog’s toys. If you notice any signs of wear and tear, damage, or pieces coming off, it’s best to throw them away and buy a new toy. No toy, no matter how much your dog loves it, is worth risking a medical issue!
While every dog has different preferences for toys, offering your dog a selection of at least 10-15 toys is important to keep them entertained and happy. Rotating your dog’s toys by keeping 4-5 toys out all the time and keeping the others out of sight can help your dog stay interested in his toys and prevent you from buying new toys so frequently.