From the first time a caveman threw a stick and his dog brought it back, ‘fetch toys’ have been an important link in human/dog interaction. And…They’re just plain fun. They also provide your dog with a good outlet for exercise and play.
Fetch toys come in all sizes, colors, designs and materials. Some float, some squeak, and some glide through the air. Some have a long throwing range. The fetch toy, or fetch toys, you choose depends on the type of dog you have, and the level of activity you and your dog enjoy.
Features to Consider in Dog Fetch Toys
Desirable Features of Dog Fetch Toys
Fetch toys should be small enough that your dog can carry them easily, but large enough that your dog can’t choke on them. Take care with fetch toys that feature loose or dangling parts that can be chewed off and swallowed separately. There isn’t much in the way of federal or state regulations governing fetch toys, so use common sense and care when choosing for your dog.
A key factor in your choice should be durability. Running down fetch toys appeals to your dog’s feral side, and, frankly, brings out the ‘animal’ in your animal. They may shake, chew and pull violently on fetch toys, so anything short of ‘sturdy’ is definitely going to be a short-term proposition.
And, because your dog will wallow, drag, chew, spit out, and paw his fetch toys, easy cleaning is a must.
Some dogs like to sleep with their fetch toys, and others primarily carry them, or gently chew them, without breaking the stitching. Others prefer the ‘open heart surgery’ method–especially when it comes to toys with a squeaker inside. If you’re a dog lover, you probably already know which of these descriptions fits your dog. Choose fetch toys accordingly.
Ideal Fetch Toys
The fetch toys you choose will depend on you, and your dog, and how you interact. Overall, they’re safe, size-appropriate, and easy to clean.
If you are the active, outdoor type, the ideal fetch toys are those made for throwing, often with a piece of rope or a strap attached to facilitate a long-distance toss. Many of these fetch toys also float. Check the packaging to be sure. These fetch toys are long-lasting, durable, ruggedly constructed and built to take a beating. They are easy for your dog to carry and return to you, and soft enough not to cause trauma to your dog’s mouth. Kong® makes one that is very good.
If your pursuits are more sedentary, nearly any kind of fetch toys will serve your dog’s needs. But if your dog likes to lay on the floor next to your chair, or on your lap, and chew his fetch toys for long periods, be sure you’ve chosen toys that are tough enough to take it. Best of all, like that stick thrown long ago, the ideal fetch toys are fun for both of you. So enjoy!
Fetch Toys Safety Tips
In addition to too-small toys and easy to remove parts, avoid fetch toys that could break or splinter, causing injury to your dog’s mouth, or to you, as you and your dog play with the toy. If your dog is a swimmer, avoid fetch toys that sink. This may seem like common sense, but to be safe, buy fetch toys designed for use in the water, or test them in a sink or basin before heaving them into a lake. To minimize the risk of ingestion, dogs shouldn’t play with fetch toys when unattended.