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Dog toys come in all different shapes and sizes as well as price tags. Some toys you can get from the dollar store while others might cost $30-50. What’s the real difference between cheap and expensive toys? Can more expensive dog toys really be worth the higher price tag?
Why Are Dog Toys So Expensive:
Some dog toys are more expensive because the company goes through additional measures to ensure the toys they’re producing are high quality and safe. This means using top of the line, non-toxic and durable materials as well as extensive research and development.
In this post we’re going to break down why some dog toys come with such a high price tag, how much people spend on dog toys on average per year, and whether expensive toys are worth it or not.
Let’s jump right in!
Table of Contents
Why Are Some Dog Toys So Expensive?
Have you ever walked into a pet store or been shopping online and seen similar toys that differ greatly in price?
You might look at two different toys and think they could both easily be enjoyed by your pup, why would someone buy the more expensive one?
Well, it all boils down to quality.
The reason why some dog toys are much more expensive than others is the quality. Some manufacturers, especially those from countries like China, use low-quality, sometimes even toxic, materials to make dog toys.
These toys are cheap, yes, but won’t last long. You’ll likely find the more expensive toys are longer-lasting, but you have to pay the extra cost of quality materials.
*But this isn’t always the case! Some toys will be more expensive and your dog will still rip through them. If this happens, what you’re paying for is a non-toxic toy.*
Some toy brands, like Goughnuts, make high quality toys and also come with a life-time guarantee. While more expensive up front, you’ll have a toy that is designed to last forever and is made with natural materials. Which will end up saving you money in the long run.
Basically manufacturers spend time and money coming up with innovative ways to make toys safe and durable for your dog.
It’s different from the company’s who make inexpensive toys. They don’t take the additional care and effort to make the toys the best. They’re aiming to be the cheapest, not the longest lasting/highest quality.
So, for your furry friend to have some toys they can use and cherish for years, you’ll need to spend a little more money up front. But you’re likely to save money in the long run.
Here is a summary of the main reasons why dog toys can be so expensive:
- Higher durability
- Made with higher quality material
- Extensive dog toy testing and research
- Innovative designs
Are Expensive Dog Toys Worth It?
Expensive dog toys are definitely worth it when it comes to the health and well-being of your doggo. Dogs love chewing on toys and other things. If they chew on cheap toys made with substandard materials, it can affect their long-term health.
You might start to notice your dog developing health issues like vomiting, nausea, or seizures. The worst case scenario would be them swallowing broken pieces of the toy and dying because of it.
Yes, it’s better and absolutely worth it to spend more on expensive dog toys if it means having the best chance at keeping your dog safe.
Unfortunately, there’s no regulatory body around that keeps dog toys in check. That’s why you find toys made in China with low-quality materials in stores today. This means it’s up to you to be diligent and find out more about a toy before you buy it for your pup.
How Much Do People Spend On Dog Toys Per Year?
According to Spruce Pets a person will spend anywhere between $25 and $50 on dog toys each year.
I think these numbers are on the low end based on my toy buying experiences as well as people who I know who buy toys for their dog. I believe this number is pretty constant over the years because people buy toys that get destroyed and need replacing.
As mentioned earlier, when you purchase more expensive dog toys your dog will get more uses out of them which will help them last months or years instead of days.
Some brands, like Goughnuts, even offer life-time guarantees if your dog is able to destroy the toy. Which means your average spend on toys will become less over time.
It’s no wonder that people continue to buy their dog’s new toys each time they destroy an old one. The joy their dog gets from the toy simply makes your heart happy.
Are Cheap Dog Toys Ever a Better Alternative To Expensive Toys?
Cheap dog toys are never a better alternative to expensive ones. It’s a much better decision to spend a few extra dollars to buy a high-quality toy that lasts more than a few weeks or a month. Low-quality toys can be appealing at first since they don’t cost that much.
However, you’ll find yourself replacing them often when your dog tears them apart with ease. Not to mention, cheap toys are made using low-quality materials that can harm your furry friend. These materials contain chemicals like lead that cause your dog to fall ill.
So, apart from the added expense of buying toys often, you might end up with piling vet bills. It’s best not to view cheap toys as an alternative to expensive ones.
If you find it hard to buy many expensive toys, purchase the ones you can stomach to buy then find other ways to play with your dog. There are numerous alternative ways to entertain your pup without dozens of toys.
How Long Do Expensive Dog Toys Last?
While expensive dog toys are made using high-quality materials, the duration they last isn’t certain. Gentler dogs tend to have their costly toys for a longer time than aggressive chewers.
For example, chew toys made with durable materials can still end up in pieces if your dog is a determined chewer.
Good quality dog toys can last longer. But, this doesn’t mean your dog can’t find ways to destroy them. Hyper dogs tend to be rough with toys, so you find yourself replacing them often. Check the reviews of the toy and see which one suits your dog’s personality.
Are There Ways To Entertain a Dog Without Toys?
If you’re not interested in buying expensive toys for your pup, there are other ways to entertain your doggo at home. Here are a few ways to keep your pup entertained without the use of toys:
When you don’t have many toys for your dog at home, you can still enjoy playing with them. Train them to find treats that you’ve hidden all over the space. You can teach them to be patient and wait in another area as you hide the treats before starting.
Another way to hide treats is using three cups, with one having a treat underneath. You move the treats around and ask your dog to find which cup has the treats.
Head to the backyard or sit on the carpet and playfully wrestle with your doggo. It’s such a fun bonding experience that can bring you closer.
It’s also an excellent way to gauge their obedience to commands. You can see if they know how to stop and keep going depending on the commands you give.
Head out to the park and race with your dog around the area. Racing is such a great way to get some physical exercise for you and your dog. Both of you get to spend time outside the house and training.
Have you ever played tug-of-war with your dog? Grab some tough old cloth and try to pry them away from your dog. A playful game of tug-of-war can be entertaining for both you and your pup.
Be sure not to create any bad habits with this game though! They need to understand when you’re playing and when they have something they shouldn’t.
Hide And Go Seek
Picture this: teaching your dog to wait patiently as you hide and they come and find you. Hide and go seek is a wonderful game that even dogs can play with their parents at home.
Dogs tend to flourish as seekers, so you might need to take on the role of hiding many times.
Do Dogs Really Need Toys?
Dogs really do get a lot of enjoyment out of playing with toys.
They get to learn so much by having safe and durable toys around. A quality chew toy can help your pup as they teethe.
Or they can be a great way for dogs to simply pass time, ease anxiety and distract them from boredom/destruction while you’re away.
Another importance of toys is bonding. As you play with your dog, the toys help you bond with one another. Play sessions can be great experiences that both you and your pup cherish.
Also, dog toys can help teach cognitive and developmental skills to your dog as they get older.
Dogs love toys, but the best ones can be quite pricey. The real benefits are that they’re made with safe, high-quality materials and increase the chances of the toy lasting more than a day or two.
It takes a lot more money for a company to produce a toy that is made with safe, natural materials as well as design one that won’t be ripped to shreds in mere minutes. This is why some toys are more expensive.
But, in the long run, these more expensive toys will likely save you money rather than continuously buying cheap toy after cheap toy.
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