Hi hoomans! It’s Mozart again, and today I want to talk about one of my very, very favorite things: toys! Oh, my gosh, do I love my toys. Almost as much as I love my treats. There’s a good chance your dog loves toys, too. Of course, you love your pup—I can tell. You probably want to get the very best toy for your dog. If you’re looking for some help making good choices that your best furry friend will like, may I make a few suggestions?

A Toy to Chew

Oh, boy, do I love to chew on toys! Fuzzy toys, rubber toys, squeaky toys—I don’t mind one bit. I want to chew them all the time. Some dogs make a point of liberating the squeaker from a squeaky toy as soon as possible. It’s their mission, their reason for being. They can’t help it, and that means you could end up with fuzz and fluff all over the house about ten seconds after introducing a new toy.

If this is the case with your dog, you might want to lean toward the rubber chew toys. They’re bound to last longer than the stuffed ones. Kong makes a great line of toys perfect for super chewers, too. These are more likely to hold up under even the most dedicated chewer. You can also fill them with treats, which, I don’t have to tell you is your dog’s favorite thing ever.

Antlers are also great for chewers, as they’re less likely to break apart like bones. You’ll never have to worry that your dog might splinter the antler or swallow something he shouldn’t. Nylabone also makes great chew toys that hold up under the strongest of bites.

One word of warning: Pay attention to the size of your toy. Big dogs should get big toys so they won’t accidentally choke. Little dogs should get smaller toys, or they’ll never be able to actually chew—and chewing is important for your pup’s health.

A Toy to Learn

Hey, we have brains, and we like using them. Don’t be afraid to give us busy toys to keep our thinking skills sharp. The Kong I mentioned earlier is a good starter toy, because we’ll work forever to get the treat out of the middle of it.

We’re smart enough for puzzles, too. The Outward Hound puzzle toy could help us eventually outsmart you! Just fill it with treats and let us work away solving the puzzle. The Trixie Flip Board is another that will help us sharpen our brains. We’ll do anything for a treat, right?

Puzzle toys are great for dogs that have a tendency to eat too quickly, too. When they have to work for each treat, they’re less likely to choke or experience bloat—which affects us big dogs a lot more often than the little pups.

Quick tip for safety: If you use peanut butter as a treat, be sure to check for Xylitol. It’s a sweetener you hoomans can eat, but it’s toxic for dogs. Natural is best, all the way.

A Toy to Cuddle

As much as we like puzzle toys and chew toys, sometimes we just want a little bit of comfort after a long day of playing fetch and protecting the house from squirrels and falling leaves. We also like to have someone to cuddle with when you’re not around. That’s why a stuffed toy is a great idea, even if we’re chewers.

You can find some tough stuffed toys that won’t get shredded from the moment we get our mouths on them. Kong, again, makes very hardy toys that stand up against the hardest of play. P.L.A.Y. also has durable toys that are also soft and squishy.

I promise, once we shake it and chew it and put it to the test, we’ll settle down for a nice long snoozle with our new toy.

Expect big things!