With human children, parents naturally buy lots of toys. Babies get soothers and bouncers, toddlers get stuffed animals, and older kids enjoy anything from crafts to technology.
But what about educational toys for puppies? Just like people, dogs require toys too. That’s because the canine brain also needs stimulation in order to be happy and healthy. Educational toys for dogs are a great way to entertain your pup! For young puppies especially, there are tons of benefits associated with offering an educational and enrichment dog toy.
Let’s find out why educational toys for puppies are so in demand nowadays, and also look at which ones are “paw-sitively” perfect for your wiggly little puppy!
4 Amazing Benefits of Educational Puppy Toys
1. These toys help with learning
Did you know? A puppy’s brain is fully developed at the age of 6 months, according to The Pet Journey. With so much growth happening in such a short period of time, it’s important to provide plenty of opportunities for your dog to learn new things, like patience and motor skills.
2. Promotes Natural Behavior
Puppies might be known for their wet kisses and cuteness. However, even though they are your fur baby, you still need to be mindful of canine behavior. Educational puppy toys allow dogs to explore, sniff, forage, and play…all essential parts of being a young pup.
3. Stops Destructive Chewing
Third, puppy toys act as a preventative measure against chewing. The American Kennel Club (AKC) points out that puppies chew and mouth with their teeth as a way to learn about the world – after all, they don’t have hands! Additionally, at the age of four months old, all puppies will begin teething. This can be an uncomfortable time. Baby teeth are pushed out and replaced by adult teeth.
So, how do puppies sooth themselves and get to know what’s edible and what is not? By chewing, of course! Obviously, you don’t want Fido destroying the couch or your shoes. Stop destructive chewing right away by offering an educational puppy toy instead.
4. Tires a Puppy Out
Lastly, that rambunctious fluffball has lots of energy. Educational toys for puppies are wonderful because they are safe and self-paced ways for puppies to spend all that extra energy. In fact, educational toys like puzzles, snuffle mats, and treat dispensers can actually burn more mental energy than a walk around the block or game of fetch.
The Role Of Toys When Dog Sitting
Toys can help your dog settle in at the Gudog sitter’s house, as they will keep your pup busy and help them get used to the surroundings while playing. Remember that bringing along a familiar object can have a positive impact on your dog while you are away. However, we always recommend speaking to your sitter about it in advance to avoid possible unpleasant situations, especially if other dogs are at home at the same time.
The Best Educational Toys for Puppies
Now you know all about the great benefits educational and enrichment toys can provide. But how do you figure out which to purchase? Are some better than others? How can you be sure that your sweet pup will like his/her new toy?
We have compiled a list of 3 must-haves:
First up is the classic Kong. For more than 30 years, dogs of all shapes and sizes have loved to lick out the delicious treats hidden inside. However, many pet parents are unaware that Kongs exist specifically for puppies too. These red rubber toys are a fantastic way to keep a puppy’s mind (and mouth) engaged.
Nina Ottoson Puzzle
Next are Nina Ottoson Puzzles. According to canine psychologists, the legendary Nina Ottoson is hands down the best designer of puzzle toys for dogs. The cool thing about these puzzles is that they truly challenge your puppy to think “outside the box.” Food and treats are hidden inside moveable parts. Each toy has different levels, so once your puppy figures out how to use their nose and paws to retrieve their yummy goodie, you can switch it up for an even more mentally engaging challenge. There are dozens of puzzles available, so you’ll never run out of fun ideas!
Have you ever heard of a snuffle mat?
These affordable and easy to DIY educational puppy toys are popular right now. Essentially, a snuffle mat is a flat toy made of fabric tied to a plastic base. Puppy parents scatter kibble or treats in the mat. Since a dog’s sense of smell is 40x greater than that of a human, your puppy will love sniffing and foraging in the tightly woven fabric strips.
Not only does this teach them how to hunt for food, it also alleviates stress, provides mental stimulation, encourages slower eating habits, and gives your puppy a “job” to do…which is especially important for working breeds, like Dobermans, Huskies, and Mastiffs.
Ready to Get Your First Educational Puppy Toy?
With so much to offer, it’s no wonder why millions of puppies enjoy educational toys. Before rushing out to buy one, be sure to consider the following:
- Your puppy’s size
- What the toy is made of
- Any safety considerations / choking hazards
Remember, never leave your puppy alone with an educational toy! By following these easy tips, all puppies can benefit from having an educational toy to play with.