Dogs are our best friends and vice versa but as with any friendship, sometimes the friendship alone isn’t enough.

We have to make sure we are cultivating our friendships and that we are interesting and stimulating our friends in order for those friendships to thrive.

While you might think this is only for people, it’s no different for our canine friends.

I am a first-time dog owner. I had a dog when I was a child, but that was from ages 2 until 7 years old and I was pretty clueless.

Twelve years ago, I became a proud doggy Mama for the first time! I am currently a doggy Mama to a Shetland Sheepdog named Dakota.

When Dakota arrived, I knew it was important for him to have toys. Lots and lots of toys!

But why are dog toys important? Read on and discover my 5 Reasons why Dog Toys Are Important!

1. Mental Stimulation

I happen to have an extremely bright dog. Shetland Sheepdogs are right up there on the intelligence list.

Having a super bright dog means that he needs mental stimulation.

(Even dogs that aren’t in the top 20-something on the intelligence scale need mental stimulation).


If a dog isn’t mentally stimulated, they will find other activities such as eating your shoes, tearing up your couch, etc., to keep them “engaged.”

In our home, puzzle games are one of our top choices that help keep Dakota mentally stimulated.

2. Something Appropriate to Chew On

As I mentioned above, you don’t want your shoes or your couch to be shredded.

Dogs have a natural instinct to chew, meaning they need toys that are appropriate for them to chew on.

Some of my favorites are: Kong toys and various dental chew toys.

3. Exercise

Some breeds (such as mine, a Shetland Sheepdog) are naturally high energy dogs.

Still, even if your dog is a couch potato they need exercise!

I happen to have the only dog on the planet who doesn’t like to take walks so we had to come up with creative solutions.

Some of those are playing chase in the house, taking a ball outside and playing fetch, using tug toys (yep! Tugging is exercise!).

Exercising your dog can help with unwanted barking and will tire them out and keep them out of mischief.

4. Comfort

If you have a new puppy, a cozy, cuddly, fluffy toy can bring lots of comfort.

Even older dogs enjoy sleeping with their “stuffies.” If you have a chewer, you may want to get one of the flat toys that are not stuffed.


Who needs a reason to play? Just having plain, old fun can be reason enough!

Having fun and playing with your dog helps you understand each other and facilitates bonding.

Just because we are dog lovers, that doesn’t mean that we can (or should) relate to each dog the same way.


So there you have it, I hope you enjoyed my 5 reasons why dog toys are important. Now, go play with your dog!

What are your reasons for playing with your dog (or dogs)? Warm our hearts or surprise us in a comment!

Further Reading

Suggested: For all the best dog toys and accessories, check out our Things to Play With category!