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Published: Dec 30, 2011

Most dogs get in the necessary amount of exercise each day by going for walks, playing with their owners or enjoying the company of other animals. Although this can keep them busy and fulfilled for a short while, finding toys to entertain dogs during the day is crucial to their overall happiness, VCA Animal Hospitals reports.

Some dogs will play with any toy given to them, however, more finicky canines may be harder to please. According to AnnArbor.com, there is a toy out there for every dog, though some are quite unconventional.

For a hunter and chaser, one option might be products that resemble real game found in the woods, such as squirrels, skunks or beavers. Many now come with squeaker inserts as well, so that an owner can squeak the toy, then hide it. True hunting dogs won't give in until they find the object.  VCA reports close supervision with toys that contain inserts is critical.  Owners should put a stop to a dog aggressively chewing or destroying a toy with a squeaker insert as the these inserts can be choking or intestinal obstruction hazards.

Since most dogs work best when in pursuit of food, brain puzzles such as cubes that hide snacks may work for any dog. Owners fill the cubes or balls with bits of a dog's nutritious kibble, then the pup must roll the toy around in order to dispense the food. Not only do these keep dogs occupied for hours, they also supply it with nutrients.  VCA reports it is important to avoid over-feeding a pet with this sort of toy.  Know how much food you put in the toy and deduct the amount from the dog’s daily food ration to avoid problems with weight gain and obesity.

Other four-legged favorites include chuck-it wands that help owners throw balls further, creating more challenge for a dog. Classics like tennis balls, and sturdy rope toys for playing tug-of-war may also get a dog up for some play.

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