In the world of dog toys, there are literally thousands to choose from. Plush, rubber, rope, firehose, rawhide, hooves, (and other less classy animal body parts!) . . . and the list goes on. It can be a little overwhelming to think about narrowing it down to the type of toy that will provide the most benefit for your dog.
The toy with the most benefit is not always the same thing as the toy with the most fun. My dog has TONS of fun with plush toys . . . and by TONS, I mean about 30 seconds no matter what the starting size of the toy. But this brief and frenzied shredding of toy guts is not providing my crazy pup with any longer lasting benefits, such as the relaxation that comes after the stimulation of a mental challenge. Like my pup Roo, many dogs thrive most with play that gives them an outlet for both their mental and physical energy.
For that end goal, my favorite category of toys is food puzzles! These toys provide an outlet for both parts of your dog that need attention - for the physical side, chasing a food puzzle around the floor is a great indoor outlet; for the mental component, figuring out how to get the food reward hidden or stuck inside the puzzle is much more challenging than ripping up a flimsy plush toy!