Dogs need activity. Whether that comes through physical exercise or mental stimulation with toys, our canine friends need to be occupied. Dogs that are bored can become destructive, and dogs that will be crated long hours need something to do if behavior issues are to be avoided. When owners are away, dog crate toys will keep a kenneled dog engaged in activity and, therefore, less bored and more mentally healthy.
Types of dog crate toys
A variety of dog crate toys are available. From plush stuffed animals to chew bones and other edible treats, crated dogs can be engaged in activity. Be careful, however, of the types of toys you provide in your dog’s crate. Experts recommend using toys and other products that won’t fragment, dogs might choke on small, sharp fragments.
The main classifications of dog toys include:
- Those designed for chewing or “chewies”
- Cubes, often filled with food that is released when the cube is rolled around, are great at keeping dogs occupied.
- Edible toys
- Toys that squeak when squeezed
- While they cannot be used while crated, toys that are used for fetching are very popular.
One of the most popular brands is KONG®. This company creates a wide variety of toys, many of which are excellent for crated dogs. Known for their durability, KONG® toys are available in plush toys, squeaker toys, and rubber toys. KONG® also makes treats. Several of the rubber toys are created to contain treats, such as biscuits, peanut butter or cheese. These “scent-filled” toys entice a dog and are particularly effective for the hunting breeds. These toys can also be frozen to keep a dog occupied for longer periods of time. KONG® includes a puppy line made from a special teething rubber formula.
Other good dog crate toys for chewing include specialty bones and edible treats. Nylabone®, for example, makes chew toys for powerful and moderate chewers as well as for puppies. The company’s mission is to promote canine dental hygiene and mental stimulation. The hard nylon bone-shaped chew toys and edible dog treats are very appropriate as dog crate toys, providing the oral hygiene dogs need as well as engaging a dog that’s crated.
Appropriate toys don’t have to be expensive. An old family shoe, worn out stuffed animals, and tennis balls make excellent and inexpensive dog toys, and many can be used in your dog’s crate. Always make sure, however, that small plastic parts are removed so that your dog doesn’t swallow them.
Hazards to consider
Also ensure the toy size is appropriate for your dog – make sure it’s large enough that your dog can’t swallow it. Additionally, durability is important: a durable toy lasts longer and is also is usually safer for your pet. Be sure to regularly clean your dog’s toys, just like you wash your children’s. Clean toys make for healthier pets!
Rope toys are not recommended if you are not at home because loose string and fabric can be easily ingested. These items can choke a dog or even cause life-threatening intestinal blockage. Use these toys only when you are with your dog to supervise how much he rips the rope and stuffing apart.
In addition, keep in mind there is no such thing as an indestructible dog toy. A very determined dog can destroy what many consider sturdy. Therefore, when getting a dog crate toy for the first time, supervise your dog’s activity with it.
Summary – dog crate toys
Dog behaviorists believe that our furry friends have the mental age of children between three and five years old. Like such children, dogs need mental and physical stimulation – they thrive on fun and games. If your dog is crated, provide him with activity like toys and bones that will occupy and enrich his time in the crate. There’s a plethora of suitable dog crate toys, but many experts recommend KONG® and NylaBone® for durability, safety, and engaging activity.