What are the best dog rope toys?
Playing with your dog isn’t just fun. It’s essential. During playtime, your dog can get exercise, learn boundaries and develop a bond with you. A dog rope toy allows you to accomplish all three of these goals and more.
A quality rope toy is durable and rugged enough for vigorous play and not treated with any hazardous chemicals or dyes. However, it is crucial to understand that even the best dog rope toy should never be used as a chew toy because it can pose a choking hazard.
Benefits of playing with a dog rope toy
While you can throw a dog rope toy for fetching games, you often use it for playing tug-of-war. When your dog is engaged in this latter activity, it benefits their chest, shoulders, forearms and core muscles, delivering a thorough upper body workout. Playing tug-of-war can also help your dog develop better eye-mouth coordination, build confidence and learn self-control.
As far as other areas, having a robust play session can provide a much-needed release that reduces negative behaviors. For instance, teaching your dog how to play with a pull toy can help reduce nipping at hands and strengthen the bond between human and dog. Some more recent studies have concluded that playtime does not promote aggressive behavior in dogs that were not already prone to such behavior. Additionally, a dog that enjoys its time with its owner is more likely to listen.
When not to play tug-of-war with your dog
As beneficial as playtime can be for your dog, there are a few instances where rougher activities such as tug-of-war are not encouraged.
- If your dog has already displayed any type of dominance-related aggression towards people, playing tug-of-war and similar games are not recommended.
- If your dog has medical issues such as arthritis or you have a breed that is prone to developing musculoskeletal problems, playing tug-of-war may exacerbate or accelerate your dog’s condition.
- If your dog has any dental issues, playing any type of pulling game is not advisable.
- Puppies should not engage in vigorous tug-of-war games because too much tugging can create jaw or bite problems. If you use a rope toy with a puppy, keep the pulling gentle and the game short.
Rules of playing with your dog
Whenever you play with your dog, there are a few rules to keep in mind.
Teach your dog to “release”
Before beginning any game with your dog, the most important thing you need to do is teach them to stop. Your dog must learn that when you give the release command, the game stops immediately. You can test a dog’s ability to do this during a game. If they do not listen, stop playing.
Always tug from side to side
It is very easy to become carried away while playing tug-of-war. To keep your dog safe, only tug from side to side as lifting the rope toy can damage your dog’s spine.
Know when to take breaks
While a little growling will inevitably happen, you must pay attention to aggressive behavior. If your dog’s tail stops wagging or the growling intensifies, these are signs that you need to take a break.
Don’t be afraid to let your dog win
Contrary to some individual’s beliefs, letting a dog win at a game of tug-of-war will not create behavior issues. Think of it like playing any game. If you never win, the game will cease being fun and you may not want to play anymore.
What to look for in dog rope toys
There are a few key features to consider when purchasing a rope toy for your dog.
- Durable: A well-made rope toy has tightly braided fibers that are unlikely to unravel.
- No hazardous materials used: The best rope toys for dogs are made from durable cotton fibers and contain no chemicals, oils or harsh dyes.
- Knotted: The knots on a rope toy are not only designed to give you and your dog something to grip at the ends, the smaller knots located throughout the rope help keep fibers short if the toy does begin to deteriorate.
- Safe length: The rope must be long enough to ensure safe play, so there is zero chance of accidental biting when trying to get a more secure hold.
- Other design elements: Some ropes have incorporated features such as a plush toy, a threaded ball, or a figure 8 design that can offer an added dimension when playing.
Are rope toys safe for dogs?
Up until this point, we’ve shared the benefits of purchasing a rope toy for your dog. However, it is essential to understand that there are some genuine dangers associated with these toys.
A rope toy’s design uses numerous intertwined fibers. If your dog swallows these fibers, it can get caught up in the digestive tract like hair in plumbing and create a blockage.
Additionally, rope toys can cause a choking hazard or even lacerate your dog’s digestive tract. While you shouldn’t take these risks lightly, they are only dangerous if you let your dog chew on and swallow parts of a rope toy. For this reason, whenever you are not playing, you should put the rope toy in a location where your dog cannot get to it and never allow your pet to use the rope toy as a chew toy.
Top five dog rope toys
If you have a larger-sized dog, this large rope is for you. It is made from a poly-cotton blend and features five knots for added gripping.
Where to buy: Sold by Chewy
This set of five rope toys offers a wide variety of options for playtime. It includes a 22.5-inch knotted rope, a 6-inch ring, a 20-inch knotted and looped rope, a figure eight rope with a rubber ball and a monkey fist rope ball.
If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 dog toy, this combination plush-and-rope toy will suit your needs. The plush monkey has a built-in squeaker for added fun, while the durable rope allows you to play tug-of-war.
Where to buy: Sold by Chewy
This budget option comes in various sizes and uses 100% natural cotton for durability. This dog rope toy is perfect for teething puppies as well as aggressive chewers.
Where to buy: Sold by Chewy
This set of six twisted rope toys is manufactured for small to medium-sized dogs. All the toys in this offering provide a thick, durable surface that can withstand repeated biting.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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