With so many dog toys on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right toys for your Yorkie! This article can help you narrow down your choices and find toys that your Yorkie will enjoy.
Pick a shopping strategy
There are two schools of thought when shopping for dog toys, which I will discuss in detail below. Whichever you choose, I recommend buying at least five toys to give your Yorkie plenty of appropriate toy options. This is to avoid the potential for non-toy items becoming a target when he or she searches for something to play with.
Buy a few high quality toys
The first option is to focus on buying a few higher quality dog toys. This strategy is best for dogs who are not prone to destroying toys quickly.
The thought behind this strategy is that the toys will be a little more expensive, but they have the potential to last longer.
This shopping strategy means you will need to be more a discerning and selective shopper. You should research at home first before going to a store, or you can order toys online due to the larger selection available.
Buy lots of lower quality toys
The second strategy is to buy a larger assortment of toys, but all at lower price points. This strategy is best for dogs who destroy everything.
The thought behind this strategy is that your dog destroys toys, so you do not want to spend money on an expensive toy and they need more toys since they go through them quickly.
Look for good deals
Remember that dog toys are not meant to last forever, even toys that are advertised as durable. This means that shopping for dog toys is best done with a frugal mentality. Here are some tips to find good deals:
- If you have a favorite pet store to shop at, watch their ads for dog toy sales.
- Ask dog owning friends and neighbors about any good deals they come across.
- Stores like Homegoods, At Home and Ross are good places to look for dog toys; they are not specialty pet stores so sometimes they have better prices. However, you must use caution shopping at dollar stores and other discount outlets, as some of the toys sold can be dangerous due to low quality construction. An expensive vet bill will not be worth the bargain paid for a toy.
- Members of Petsmart’s pet perks program receive a coupon the month of their pet’s birthday each year, which could get a dog as small as a yorkie a toy for free.
- Attending dog events, such as the Super Pet Expo, is a good place to get free or discounted toys.
Narrow down the choices
Once you have chosen your strategy and you have considered where to find good deals, it is time to narrow down the toy choices. Here are some ways to accomplish this:
Consider your yorkie’s preferences
Does your yorkie love plush toys, or does he or she prefer chew bones or squeaky balls? Focus on the types of toys that your fur baby has most enjoyed in the past. Has there ever been a toy that your dog refused to play with? If so, you know what types of toys to avoid buying.
Consider mental stimulation
While most dogs love plush toys, chew bones and squeaky balls, there are now many toys on the market that can offer so much more mental stimulation. Consider a hide and seek plush which offers a bit of a challenge, or a food puzzle toy which you could put your yorkie’s favorite snack into to offer him or her motivation to complete a challenge that will keep their brain tickled. Also, a food dispensing ball can hold a yorkie’s entire dinner, which makes meal time more interesting than just eating out of a bowl.
Consider your Yorkie’s safety
Some dog toys can pose hazards to our furry friends, so it is our job as pet parents to select toys that are safe for them to play with. For example:
You must be mindful of choking hazards; always pick a toy that is not so big that your yorkie cannot carry it or play with it, but not so small that they could swallow it. Check over your yorkie’s favorite toys regularly and cut off any loose pieces that could cause a choking hazard, or dispose of the toy if necessary.
Be mindful of dental hazards; hard plastic Nylabones and deer antlers have the potential to break a small dog’s teeth. One of my readers, Lindsay of Virginia, shared with me that her Chihuahua, Riley, fractured a molar when chewing an antler, making a $15 toy a $775 toy after the molar extraction surgery.
If your yorkie likes to chew, look for rubber Flexichew Nylabones instead of the hard plastic variety, and bully sticks which soften as they are chewed instead of antlers which are very hard.
Keep in mind no matter how safe a toy seems, all dogs always need supervision when playing with toys. The only type of toy that is safe to leave a dog unsupervised with is a classic Kong.
Consider the return policy
While you should not expect a store to replace every toy that your dog chews through after weeks or months of play, if your yorkie demolishes a toy within five minutes of playing with it, will the store or manufacturer exchange the toy for another?
Consider a subscription box
If shopping for dog toys just is not your favorite thing to do; or if you feel like your dog has every toy on your local pet store’s shelf and you want to add something new and fun to the mix; or you want to have an exact number for your monthly budget; a dog toy subscription box is a great idea.
Each month enriching new toys and tasty treats can be delivered to your door step for your yorkie to enjoy. Bonus, due to their small size, their subscription boxes will be the least expensive!
Here are some of the most popular dog toy subscription services to consider:
Providing your yorkie with toys is a great way to offer enrichment and fun into his or her daily life. Shopping with a strategy can help you find the best toys for your yorkie and get the most bang for your buck, which means maximizing the toys in your yorkie’s toy box. While the right toy is fun for your yorkie, toys cannot replace quality time with you; be sure to play with your yorkie with their toys and offer lots of affection daily.
What are your yorkie’s favorite toys? Share in the comments below.
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