Best Toys for a Chihuahua
Animal file: Chihuahua
The best toys for Chihuahuas are similar to the toys all dogs need, but they have some specific considerations we need to make when caring for them. Chihuahuas are one of the most popular breeds in the world. The fact they are the smallest may be one of the reasons for this, but it is their uniquely charming personality which is of the greatest importance. Rarely exceeding 9 lb in weight, they are energetic, playful and highly intelligent dogs. Due to their size and morphology, they do not need as much daily exercise as some dogs. This leads to many guardians believing Chihuahuas don't need as many toys for mental and physical stimulation. This concept is wrong.
At AnimalWised, we bring you the best toys for a Chihuahua. We explain what we need to consider when purchasing toys for these small dogs, as well as how certain toys can provide the specific benefits a Chihuahua needs to stay physically and mentally healthy.
Some dog toys are deigned solely for fun or for the dog to release some pent up energy. While these toys have their place, some will be specifically designed to enrich and prolong their entertainment. Sometimes known as intelligence games for dogs, interactive toys and games have designs which require the dog to think more actively. Often this is through the use of food or other rewards.
The advantages of interactive toys for Chihuahuas include:
- Promotion of the dog's autonomy
- Improvement of self-esteem and self-confidence
- Increase of tolerance for frustration
- Enhancement of learning and decision-making capacity
Too many guardians see the petite size and playful personality of Chihuahuas as meaning they are unintelligent. They may not rank as high as certain more intelligent dog breeds, but Chihuahuas need training and education just like any dog.
For this reason, we need to ensure we choose the right intelligence game for Chihuahuas. This is one which is adapted to their specific morphology and cognitive abilities. For example, if there is a toy which requires a larger dog to carry out its function, then it will not be suitable for a Chihuahua. Similarly, more advanced toys may not be ideal, although it will depend on the individual dog. Some good examples for Chihuahuas are:
- KONG for small dogs: it is one of the most ideal dispenser toys for small breeds. As its name suggests, this Chihuahua dog toy is perfect for dogs of their size. In addition, it provides benefits for the dog's dental health.
- Outward Hound Puzzle: 15 minutes of mental exercise in dogs is equivalent to 30 minutes of physical exercise so, showing the importance of keeping your Chihuahua cognitively active.
Purchase these items using the affiliate links we share below:
Wind-up toys and stuffed animals
Stuffed animals and toys made with soft material can be very fun for your Chihuahua. Not only with they serve as teethers when the animal wants something to bite, but they are also great for play together. By tussling with a soft toy, you can improve your bond with the Chihuahua.
Braided ropes are a common option for these soft toys. They are great if you want to play tug of war with your Chihuahua, a game this breed particularly enjoys. However, we need to ensure it is the right size for the dog's small mouth and is not so robust that the dog will sustain an injury when pulling on them. In addition, it is also very important to ensure you let the dog win from time to time and they get to keep the toy after.
In the case of stuffed animals, it is advisable to avoid those stuffed with cotton or similar materials. This is because the dog may try to ingest them if the toy breaks, a common occurrence in dog toys for Chihuahuas. We should also not choose ones which are excessively small or made with inferior materials. Some good examples are:
- Scrunch Knots plush from KONG: it is a toy recommended for small dogs that has internal anti-break ropes. It is perfect for pulling and biting.
- SunGrow cotton rope toy: t is composed of a braided rope that provides a good chew design for Chihuahua dogs.
Check out the affiliate links below to purchase these toys for Chihuahuas:
Smell is the main sense that dogs use to relate to their environment. Surprising as it may be, your Chihuahua smells thousands of times better than you do. For this reason, it should not be surprising there are toys dedicated to enhancing this ability. Olfactory toys and scent games also reduce the dog's stress and have a relaxing effect.
A great option for your Chihuahua is scent rugs or snuffle mats. These are a kind of cloth mat with spaces and hiding places where you can hide bits of food. Once out of sight, the dog has no choice but to rely exclusively on their nose to locate each prize. By obtaining the prize, it is self-reinforcing this search.
You can also use homemade material to create your own snuffle mat with materials you have at home. This includes cardboard, towels and various objects in which you can hide the food. You can even go out into the garden or park and use the grassy areas as a great olfactory carpet.
Learn how to make your own snuffle mat with our article on DIY dog toys to make at home.
As their name suggests, natural teethers for dogs are made exclusively with materials of natural origin. This often includes animal products such as bones, tendons, antlers, etc.
The advantages of offering your Chihuahua natural teethers is that you can achieve the normal benefits of chew toys without the risks of synthetic products which can cause them damage. This is the case with plastic chew toys which can have small parts that break off or which are made of materials which a dog should not keep in their mouth.
Chew toys are particularly important for Chihuahua puppies. As the dog's baby teeth fall out, the process can be quite painful. Chew toys help relieve their discomfort. They also help to relax them, keep their teeth healthy and provide general entertainment.
Not all teethers are equally appropriate for each dog. In the case of the Chihuahua, we have to consider the small size of their mouth and their relatively weak bite force. You should avoid giving them any type of teether that is small enough for them to swallow, very hard teethers, heavy chew toys or those that can break or splinter.
Although some bones can be suitable, in general they should be avoided. Better natural chew toys for Chihuahuas include:
- Rabbit ears
- Chicken feet
- Some types of dehydrated fish
Balls and fetch toys
Dogs have an innate love for chasing balls and other fetch toys. It is related both to their desire to play and their prey drive. These toys often simulate their wild prey. For example, frisbees can look like a chicken flying lower to the ground. This is no different for the different types of Chihuahuas.
As with the other toys on this list, the balls and fetch toys which are best for Chihuahuas need to be adapted to their size, strength and morphology. However, we need to be especially careful with these types of dog toy. This is because these dogs can become obsessed with chasing balls. It can get to the point they become very agitated and anxious around these toys. For this reason, we should use this game sparingly and alternate it with others.
If you want to buy a ball for your Chihuahua, avoid tennis balls. The yellow fibers that cover them are abrasive to the teeth and, with continued use, end up damaging them.
If you want to buy a ball for your Chihuahua, check out the link below for some suitable options:
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