Tag: Dog Toy

Bring on the Fun – Dog Toys

With their captivating colors and shapes, dog toys can make for easy add-on sales—if marketed properly.

Look down the aisles of a pet store and you might see hundreds of different dog toys. It’s a big category, and retailers need to keep up with the latest advancements and trends to ensure that they maximize the sales potential of dog toys.

Mentally stimulating toys, and those that can be used to train dogs and correct behavioral problems, are some of the most important trends in the dog toy category today, according to industry observers.

“More and more people are now aware of the fact that mental stimulation of the dog is just as important as physical exercise,” said Lars Lund, sales director for Kruuse, based in Langeskov, Denmark. “In addition to being an important part of interactive play and, thereby, the bonding between dog and owner, toys are now used to solve several behavioral problems like separation anxiety, boredom, crate training, as well as digging and barking.”

Bryan Williams, general manager of Wag N’ Wash Natural Food & Bakery’s corporate stores, which are located throughout the U.S., said shoppers ask for dog toys that are durable and provide mental stimulation.

“Customers, particularly those with puppies, want something that will hold up to their dog’s physical demands as well as challenge them mentally,” he said. “For any breed of dog, puzzle toys are a great way to promote brain development in puppies, keep up mental stimulation in older dogs, regulate calorie intake when used as a feeder for overweight dogs, or help entertain a dog stuck inside on a rainy or snowy day. Our customers are also interested in locally sourced products and supporting small business.”

The quality of plush toys has increased dramatically over the past few years as a result of consumer demand for well-constructed items that are more durable, said Bonnie Bao, vice president of PETWONE.

“Consumers are looking for products that last as opposed to ones that are cheaply made,” Cao said.

Mindy Montney, owner of Dog & Co. in New York, said food-shaped toys have become popular at her store.

“We are currently carrying a variety of plush, hand-knit and durable canvas toys in a variety of food shapes—and they are a huge hit,” she said. “Who doesn’t love a burger and fries, right?”

Matt Brazelton, co-owner of Four Muddy Paws, which has stores in St. Louis and Edwardsville, Ill., has seen an uptick in more-durable plush toys.

Still, he added, “We tell our customers that if you want the toy to last, don’t just throw it on the floor and leave it for the dog to totally destroy. Play with your dog and the toy. When not playing with him or her, pick it up. We also suggest rotating toys to bring in new fun for your dog.”

Eco-friendly toys are continuing to grow in popularity, as well.

“Consumers want to feel good about the purchases they are making and know that they aren’t contributing to harmful practices,” said Sarah Johnson, sales coordinator for P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle And You) in San Francisco. “Interactive toys are also very popular as people continue to focus on the significance of bonding with their dogs through activity.”

New Ways to Play

While plush remains popular, Stephanie Morsello, account manager for Fluff & Tuff in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., has seen a rising interest in toys that are silent.

“Customers want toys that are fun and made of the same high-quality construction and materials, but a quieter option,” she said.

In keeping with this trend, Fluff & Tuff launched Squeakerless toys this year, including a large Squirrel, small and medium-sized Zebra Balls, and a mini Guppy Fish.​

One of Kruuse’s most recent introductions is the mentally stimulating Buster ActivityMat, designed to allow dogs to complete varying tasks with different levels of difficulty, said Lars Lund, sales director for the Langeskov, Denmark-based company.

This year, PETWONE expanded its Z-Stitch durable plush toy line with Z-Stitch Grunterz, four prehistoric characters that grunt when squeezed, said vice president Bonnie Bao.

“Consumers are also drawn to trendy toys that are great photo props for social media,” she said. “Earlier this year, we launched the NomNomz, a line of six food-inspired plush toys that people love to buy for their dogs. Just a few months, after NomNomz were launched, the NomNomz were found all over social media.”

This spring, P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle And You) debuted its Safari Toy Collection. The toys’ size and unique-sounding supersized squeakers make them perfect for bigger dogs, said Sarah Johnson, sales coordinator for the San Francisco-based company.

“And we didn’t forget the little pups,” she added. “Each Safari toy has sliding hind limbs that even the little guys can use to grab, tug or carry. And with 2 percent of proceeds going back to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, it’s a feel-good item for everyone.”

P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle And You) also added to its food-themed collection of toys.

“Our International Classic toys offer a squeaky pretzel, tug-worthy sushi, and a pull-part crinkle taco for hours of fun and great photo opportunities as pups ‘chow down’ on these tasty-looking toys,” Johnson said.

Maximizing Playtime

Lars Lund, sales director for Kruuse, based in Langeskov, Denmark, noted that instructional videos and easy-to-understand descriptions and manuals are provided both on the company’s website and as printed material that can be handed out in stores.

“Instructional videos placed in connection with the products are almost essential for dog owners to understand the use of mentally stimulating dog toys,” he said.

At New York-based Dog & Co., the most frequent question employees get about toys concerns durability.

“We never have anyone coming in and saying that their dog never destroys a toy—but many come in asking what we stock for their doggie destroyer,” said owner Mindy Montney. “As a team, we share information on any new brands as they come in [and] information that’s important to customers, whether it’s fabrication, benefits or country of manufacture.”

At Four Muddy Paws, which has stores in St. Louis and Edwardsville, Ill., co-owner Matt Brazelton said that employees are trained to make sure customers know there is no dog toy that is indestructible but that there might be some that take longer to destroy.

“We also educate them on how to best play with the toys,” he said. “Not every dog owner knows how to best get use out of a toy for their pet.”

Stephanie Morsello, account manager for Fluff & Tuff in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., said the company works to provide guidance on monitoring playtime so pet owners can maximize not only the life of the toys, but also the fun.​

Make Displays Stand Out

Any store can put up a wall of toys, but savvy retailers will create special displays to call attention to these products.

“Create fun, themed displays and utilize endcap space to promote new toys or bring attention back to old favorites,” said Sarah Johnson, sales coordinator for P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle And You) in San Francisco. “It’s important to make them stand out and show the product’s personality.”

Bonnie Bao, vice president of PETWONE agreed, noting that retailers should look for toys that are eye-catching and colorful.

“Since most customers visit stores for necessities such as food, treats and medicine, attention-grabbing toys and accessories are perfect add-on purchases that increase each customer’s shopping cart value,” Cao said. “Look for products that customers can’t wait to share with their friends and social media following.”

As a small, city-sized shop (just 400 square feet), Dog & Co. in New York has to be creative with merchandising and displays, said owner Mindy Montney.

“We don’t use any vendor-provided POP displays, but prefer to keep our shop looking more special and curated by using various baskets and bins,” Montney said. “We love to mix our toys in with other categories to create themed merchandising stories.”

Inside Four Muddy Paws, which has stores in St. Louis and Edwardsville, Ill., toys are displayed in bins and on slat walls, said co-owner Matt Brazelton.

Regardless of how a store displays toys, it’s important that everything isn’t just lumped together so customers can easily find the products and features they seek.

​”There are so many toys on the market, so defining your selection with branding will help reduce confusion for your shopper,” said Stephanie Morsello, account manager for Fluff & Tuff in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Visual aids are a huge help, and we’ve found that sharing our customers’ photos and videos has been a great way to market our products.​”

Bryan Williams, general manager of Wag N’ Wash Natural Food & Bakery’s corporate stores, which are located throughout the country, said soft plush toys are displayed together so that it’s easier for customers to find the type of toy they are looking for.

“We also display products nearby that may complement a certain toy,” he said. “Toys that are hollow get coupled with things like dog-safe peanut butter or small treats to increase the sales of both items.”

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Homemade Dog Toys: Drinking Bottle Toy

The recycled drinking bottle toy is one of the simplest toys to make due to the fact all it requires is an old drinking bottle along with a little bit of effort. This style of toy is a favorite among almost all dog species because of the cracking and crinkly sound that it produced when chewed on by a dog. Just before handing the recycled drinking bottle to the dog, always make sure that the lid, and the ring, which is usually attached to the lid have all been carefully removed.

recycled-drinking-bottle

On top of that, if your pet is a serious chewer, you can consider giving him or her a different homemade toy as an alternative to the recycled drinking bottle. The careful approach is essential because plastics tend to form very sharp corners that can cause some serious damage to any dogs’ delicate gums and occasionally some the sharp pieces may be swallowed by your dog, there are three recycled drinking bottle ideas that it is possible to use when brainstorming for an ideal do-it-yourself toy.

You can possibly choose to remove the lid from the bottle, and then fill it with dry food such as biscuits. The main concept behind this particular design is that your dog would have to roll the bottle so as to get treats out it. One more dry bottle concept that you can opt to use is the pierced recycled bottle, you will be required to get an old dry plastic bottle then pierce several holes continuously on its side.

homemade-eco-dog-toy

Compared with the first recycled bottle concept that has the food coming out of the lid, the pierced recycled bottle concept has the food coming out of the piercings on its side. On the other hand, you can decide to take the plastic bottle and fill it with water about the half mark. Right after you complete the first step, you will then freeze the bottle on its side. This unique toy is ideal during the hot months when your dog will be in urgent need of some cooling effect.

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How to Clean Pet Dog Toys

How to Clean Dog Toys
How to Clean Dog Toys

Every now and then, most dog toys should be cleaned. After days of being chewed plus carried around the home and outdoors, they get dirty. Washing off germs and bacteria will keep your pet dog healthy, the dog toys looking better and also your home cleaner.

Part 1
Gather all of your dog’s toys from all-around the house as well as soft plush toys, vinyl, plastic as well as bones. Look under sofas, tables and furniture. Go outside and collect toys that are hidden under decks, trees and bushes.

Part 1
Part 1

Part 2
Sort the pet toys into groups. Put all plush, fabric along with cloth toys into a washing basket. Put all vinyl, plastic, rubber along with nylon toys in a mop bucket. Put all natural bones in the kitchen sink. Throw away any toys which are busted, torn or have small parts hanging loose. They may pose a choking hazard.

Part 2
Part 2

Part 3
Fill up the mop bucket using warm water. Add 0.5 cup of chlorine bleach to the bucket and also let the toys soak in the bleach water solution. Soon after they have soaked for at least Half an hour, use the scrub brush for you to loosen any dirt. Dump the bucket of bleach water, and replenish with clean, clear hot water. Now let the toys soak one more Thirty minutes. Take out the toys from the bucket, as well as hand-rinse each toy under a faucet. Make sure no smell of bleach is remaining on the toys. Let the dog toys to dry on a towel ahead of giving them back to your furry friend.

Part 3
Part 3

Part 4
Employ the scrub brush plus hot water to help clean the natural bones in the bowl. Loosen any mud or dirt from outdoor play. Never use any chemical cleaners on natural bones. Let the bones to dry on a towel previous to giving them to your pet.

Part 4
Part 4

Part 5
Start up a load of laundry for your plush together with fabric dog toys. Select the hot water wash, and a partial load if perhaps you do not have lots of dog toys. Add your laundry detergent before the toys so they do not absorb all the soap. Put a small amount of bleach to the water. Right after the wash cycle is complete, place the dog toys into the dryer on the hottest drying cycle. This may help kill any germs and also bacteria on the pet toys.

Part 5
Part 5

Items That’s required

  • Washer
  • Scrub brush
  • Dryer
  • Kitchen sink
  • Laundry basket
  • Warm water
  • Bleach Towels
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How to Make a Rubber Dog Toy

I really like useless mountain bike inner tubes, and so does my pet dog Kingbo.

The following toy is made of rubber- that feels nice on his teeth any time he bites it.

Rubber Dog Toy
Rubber Dog Toy

It has raggy bits at either end, which the web tells me pet dogs like as it reminds them (in an ancestral memory or genetic urge kind of way) of hunting plus killing prey. (My dog is a tiny Jack Russell/ Chihuahua- rat/rabbit hunter, but has never seen a rat and also rabbit in his life, so maybe this rubber toy is the next best thing. )

It’s stretchy like a tug toy, which is fantastic for human against dog tug-o-war games.

For making this toy you will require:

Just one dead bicycle inner tube. Simply wait until the one you have has died from your bicycle, or simply ask your nearby bike retail outlet – or on top of that – find your nearest community bike project and ask them for several old inner tubes.

Step one: Collect your Materials and also Cut Into Short Tubes.

Gather your Materials
Gather your Materials

Get one used inner tube.

Cut the valve out, you don’t need it to make the toy.

Cut the tube into short same lengths.

Cut Into Short Tubes
Cut Into Short Tubes

The white material inside the tubes is talc, it is non-toxic, nevertheless you can certainly wash it out with water if perhaps you choose. To tell the truth you can sterilize the rubber with hot water and tea tree oil or a branded sterilizer of your choice, in the event that your dog is hypersensitive somehow. These are used inner tubes after all, so will have road dirt and possibly bicycle grease on them. (My pet is used to being around piles of dead bikes and dirty old tires and tubes as well as will not have any problem playing with these toys! )

Step two: Seize Your Short Tubes Round the Middle and also Bind with Inner Tube Thread.

Try to make a bow shape by way of grabbing the bunch of tubes with your hand.

Grab Your Short Tubes Round the Middle and Bind with Inner Tube Thread
Grab Your Short Tubes Round the Middle and Bind with Inner Tube Thread

Towel wrap the middle area using inner tube thread.

Wrap the middle piece round and round and round by using the thread. Picture you are a tiny jack- Chihuahua hungry to sink your tiny teeth into your fake rat thingy, as well as that should give you a concept on how big to make the wrapped piece.

Step three: Tie Off the Rubber Thread and Tuck in the Strands from the Knot.

This is your own rubber dog toy!

Here is your rubber dog toy

You are now prepared to play the best game of human vs dog tug-o-war with your dog chum…

… and you will have saved one more piece of shitty rubber from going in the land fill, and made something yourself for your dog which usually costs about ix quid at a pet store!

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Related Articles:

How To Make A Dog Spring Toy

Basic Dog Obedience Training

How To Make A Dog Spring Toy

My Pet Dog
My Pet Dog

That is my Poodle puppy, Wangcai. Once he is a bored puppy dog, he is a really terrible puppy dog! I wished to make him some type of spring gadget to ensure that he could burn off a few energy. The only issue is the fact that we have a yard that has no trees from which to hang anything off of. Right after a little bit of brainstorming, I came up with this nice small toy!

In case you have got trees in your yard just where your canine can play safely and securely, you are able to skip the hangar as well as just tie the spring to a branch.

Step 1: Tools plus Materials

You will need a storm door chain kit, an over the fence planter holder, 10 feet of heavy rope, some kind of twine or similar string, a 1″ split ring (ie. key chain ring), jingle bells, a 3 or 4 foot strip of polar fleece, scissors, cutting pliers and a measuring tape.

The project supplies cost me $15 to purchase as well as around Half an hour to make. You can find every little thing you need at The Home Despot as well as the Dollar Store.

Tools and Supplies
Tools and Supplies

Step 2: Taking away The Chain

One end of the spring has a chain, that we don’t need. Use the cutting pliers to remove it. In case you have got a hack saw, you can cut the mounting bracket off. I’m not worried about keeping it on, considering that the doggy only plays with the rope.

Removing The Chain
Removing The Chain

Step 3: Placing The Split Ring

Place the ring on the spring on the end from which you just cut the chain off of.

Adding The Split Ring
Adding The Split Ring

Step 4: Adding The Rope

Place the rope through the end of the spring without the split ring, get the center of the rope and then make a knot.

Adding The Rope
Adding The Rope

Step 5: Attaching The Bells

String as many bells as you would like, onto the twine. Tie up the bells onto the rope, above the knot on the rope. Cut the unneeded string.

You are able to skip adding bells to the toy, if you want. I find that the bells make noises that encourage and excite the dog to play with the toy.

Adding The Bells
Adding The Bells

Step 6: Knotting The Rope

Take the hanger along with rope outdoors to the fence wherever you desire to hang the spring
toy. Put the ring onto the hanger and let the rope hang. Cut the rope to ensure that the end will hang a foot or so off the ground. Try to make random knots on the rope, using one of the knots close to the end of the rope. The knots serve two reasons – Trying to keep the two strands together as well as to give your dog places to grab the rope.

Knotting The Rope
Knotting The Rope

Step 7: Adding The Strip Of Polar Fleece

Take your strip of polar fleece as well as tie it to the rope over the last knot. At the time I hung the toy on the fence, I took the fleece in the picture off, it was too short. I choose to use polar fleece for the reason that it is strong when wet, is stretchy and quite resistant to doggy teeth.

Adding The Strip O Polar Fleece
Adding The Strip O Polar Fleece

Step 8: Enjoy Your project!

Have a look at what you constructed! The best dog toy ever before! As with any dog toy, please supervise playtime for safety purposes.

Enjoy Your project
Enjoy Your project

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