Dog Toys & Supplies
As dog owners and people who care deeply for animals and
wildlife, we wanted our Dog Encyclopedia to be a website that could
empower pet owners to create the most positive, loving
environment for their dogs. Dog Encyclopedia realizes that owning a
dog is like adding a new member to your family.
If you are starting off with a new dog, there are certain things you
will need to get for your dog. There are so many kinds of dog
supplies available that we may wonder what is really necessary and
what is extravagant. Realistically, there are multiple factors that
contribute to a happy, healthy life for your dog. There are very few
dogs that do not enjoy their toys. Some prefer a nice loud squeaky
toy, while others want to play fetch or tug-of-war. Toys are an
important part of your dog’s development – they often mimic
activities dogs would perform in the wild, such as chewing or
retrieving. Plus, they help keep your dog active and stimulated
Every dog should have a collar or harness, period. This collar or
harness should ALWAYS be equipped with your dog’s current
identification tags. Microchips are a great way to supplement
identification tags, but they are not acceptable replacements.
Beyond identification, collars or harnesses are used with leashes in
order to walk and restrain your dog. Plus, they are a great way to
show off your dog’s personal style (and your own, too)!
Every dog needs a leash, and each should be trained to walk on it.
Chances are your dog will be subject to leash laws at one time or
another, even if there are no leash laws in your area. You may even
want to keep multiple types of leashes around the house for multiple
Dog kennels, or crates, can be a wonderful thing for most dogs.
Similar to a dog bed, having a kennel can give your dog a place to
retreat and feel secure. Kennels are an integral part of
housebreaking and can also play a role in other types of training.
Additionally, kennels can really come in handy for travel.
Dog Grooming Equipment
All dogs need some degree of grooming, a task that requires some
equipment. You will need to find grooming tools that suit your dog’s
overall grooming requirements. Choose brushes, combs and shampoos
based on your dog’s coat type. For some types, you will need hair
clippers and scissors. All dogs need nail trims, but the size of
your dog will determine the type of nail trimmers needed. Other
miscellaneous grooming tools may be helpful depending on your dog’s
Obviously, food and water are necessary for your dog to survive and
remain healthy. Your choice of bowls or dishes is important as well.
Plastic bowls may not be ideal for some dogs, while stainless steel
bowls are economical and durable. Ceramic bowls come in various
designs, adding a little personality to mealtime.
For dogs and other animal companions, toys are not a luxury, but a
necessity. Toys help fight boredom in dogs left alone, and toys can
even help prevent some problem behaviors from developing. There are
three different types of toys for your dog.
Very hard rubber toys, such as Nylabone®-type products and
Kong®-type products, are available in a variety of shapes and sizes
and are fun for chewing and for carrying around.
"Rope" toys are usually available in a "bone" shape with knotted
Tennis balls make great dog toys, but keep an eye out for any that
could be chewed through, and discard them.
Kong®-type toys, especially when filled with broken-up treats, or,
even better, a mixture of broken-up treats and peanut butter—can
keep a puppy or dog busy for hours. Only by chewing diligently can
your dog get to the treats, and then only in small bits.
Double-check with your veterinarian about whether or not you should
give peanut butter to your dog. Be sure to choose a Kong®-type toy
of appropriate size for your dog. Busy-box toys are large rubber
cubes with hiding places for treats. Only by moving the cube around
with his nose, mouth, and paws can your dog get to the goodies.
Soft stuffed toys are good for several purposes, but aren't
appropriate for all dogs. For some dogs, the stuffed toy should be
small enough to carry around. For dogs who want to shake or "kill"
the toy, the toy should be the size that "prey" would be for that
size dog (mouse-size, rabbit-size, or duck-size).
Rotate your dog's toys weekly by making only a few toys available at
a time. Keep a variety of types easily accessible. If your dog has a
favorite, like a soft "baby," you may want to leave it out all the
time. Provide toys that offer variety—at least one toy to carry,
one to "kill," one to roll, and one to "baby." "Hide and Seek" is a
fun game for dogs to play. "Found" toys are often much more
attractive than a toy which is obviously introduced. Making an
interactive game out of finding toys or treats is a good "rainy-day"
activity for your dog, using up energy without the need for a lot of
space. Many of your dog's toys should be interactive. Interactive
play is very important for your dog because he needs active "people
time"—and such play also enhances the bond between you and your pet.
By focusing on a specific task—such as repeatedly returning a ball,
Kong, or Frisbee®, or playing "hide-and-seek" with treats or
toys—your dog can expel pent-up mental and physical energy in a
limited amount of time and space. This greatly reduces stress due to
confinement, isolation, and boredom. For young, high-energy, and
untrained dogs, interactive play also offers an opportunity for
socialization and helps them learn about appropriate and
inappropriate behavior, such as jumping up or being mouthy.