1) Be sure to choose toys that are sized appropriately for your Pug.
While they will vary, most puppies
need a size small and adults will need a small or medium. Sizing is important; if it is too small it can present a choking hazard and if it is too large it will be too difficult for a Pug to chew it, carry it or otherwise engage with it. Keep in mind that as your dog grows, he will need larger toys.
2) Double up on favorites.
It can be really disheartening for both a dog and an owner when a favorite toy is so worn out that it's not safe anymore, but it can't be replaced since it's either out of stock or no longer manufactured. Pet supply companies are always coming out with new ideas, so if your Pug has a favorite toy, even if it's super durable you may want to get 2 or even 3; keep the extras hidden away and that way, if the original one ever needs replacing, you'll have it right at hand.
3) Go for quality over quantity.
You don't need to spend a fortune to have a great toy collection; most recommended Pug dog toys are in the $5 to $12 range; however try to keep away from super cheap ones that you can grab at dollar stores and other discount places. Not only will these be too generic to really do much or satisfy any needs, many are made with unsafe dyes and have pieces that can break off.
4) Routinely clean your Pug's toys.
Due to small food
particles, drool and slobber that makes everything wet and having been on floor surfaces, toys need to be cleaned on a regular basis. It's a good idea to keep the packaging since that is where the cleaning instructions will be placed. Many can be simply cleaned with hot water and dish soap in the kitchen sink. For stuffed animals (or those with batteries such as speaking or heartbeat toys) be sure to read the directions as many can be washed but must then be air dried.
5) Inspect toys for rips and signs of wear.
A Pug will keep on playing with a toy until it is a pile of crumpled bits, so it will be up to you to regularly check them for signs of damage and a wearing down that tell you it's time to replace them. Look for any small pieces that may have become loosened and any rips since these can often become much larger when you're not there to supervise. As mentioned above, if you have a second one stashed away, you won't have to worry about hunting down a favorite that is no longer found in stores or online.
Toys for Both of You
Simply toys such as those used for playing fetch are also important since doing activities like this is a great way to bond with your Pug. It's gets an otherwise sedentary dog moving around (even in the winter when this is done indoors with a soft toy thrown down a hallway) and most Pug dogs really look forward to this one-on-one time when an owner is focused on them.
In addition, there are other toys that are made for owner/dog interaction. These are toys that are mazes of some sort, in which the owner teaches the dog which levers to push on with his nose and/or which buttons to press with his paws in order to receive treats that are hidden inside. These can be tremendously fun and rewarding for both owner and dog. When you take the time to teach your Pug something new, this can give him a tremendous feeling of accomplishment that can make the dog more self-assured and confident.
How Many Toys a Pug Needs
When you have the right ones, most Pugs do okay with 6 to 8 toys. This usually consists of 5 to 6 chewing toys and 1 or 2 companion toys if the dog has separation anxiety
Many owners find it helpful to have a second collection that is tucked away somewhere and these collections are switched out every so often to make a Pug feel as if he is getting new toys. Do be sure, however, to let a Pug keep favorites since taking those away can cause a lot of stress.
The right toys are an essential part of caring for a Pug and keeping him happy; please take the time to choose fun, interesting and helpful ones for your Pug that will meet his needs. With this said, while toys have their place and can help with everything from chewing needs to loneliness, do not depend too much on toys. These cannot be a replacement for quality time spent with your puppy or dog. Pugs thrive on human companionship and simply love being included in things. A Pug would much rather be by your side as you wash your car or go along with you to the hardware store then be inside with a toy.
Finding the right balance of time spent doing things together, times of simply relaxing side-by-side and times of your Pug having independent play are crucial to giving a Pug a rewarding, happy life.