What Do We Do with All These Toys? Two Words: Toy Rotation

    Many dog parents fondly refer to their dogs as their fur babies. It’s easy for a doting parent or family members to go above and beyond in providing quality toys for their kiddos. This well-intended gesture of love, however, can sometimes have unintended effects. Like children, dogs can benefit from a variety of parenting methods that lead to a happy, more fulfilled pup.

    While it is true that high-quality toys are excellent for your dog, having too many to choose from can be overwhelming. One way to keep your dog entertained and engaged is by using a common parenting technique called toy rotation.

    What is Toy Rotation?

    First thing’s first. What exactly is toy rotation? Toy rotation is a system of limiting your dog’s playthings to a small number of diverse toys and cycling out those toys every 1-3 weeks. By doing this, your dog will be excited to see his old toys that he may have forgotten he had.

    There are many reasons why you will love toy rotation:

    • Less clutter
    • More engaged pup
    • Increased independent play
    • Encourages toy maintenance
    • No more over-stimulation
    • Easier clean-up

    Rotating toys serves as a great reminder to routinely clean and check them for wear and tear. It leads to a cleaner household while also promoting more focused, independent play. Who doesn’t love that?

    How to Rotate Dog Toys

    If you’re new to cycling out dog toys, then you might be wondering where to begin the process of rotating them. Below are 5 simple steps for rotating dog toys that can help you get started.

    1. Collect Toys When Your Dog is Away

    The first time you pack up your dog’s favorite toys can be an upsetting experience for your pup. Even if he doesn’t regularly play with some of them, he might grow anxious when he sees his beloved toys are being taken away. That’s why it’s a good idea to wait until your dog is sleeping, outside, or at doggy daycare before embarking on a toy-collecting journey.

    In addition, gathering the toys is a great time to inspect and throw out broken ones that could be hazardous to your dog.

    2. Give Them a Good Wash

    After collecting and removing damaged toys, it’s time to sanitize them. Toys can easily become soiled with unwanted bits of dried food, dirt, and germs from your furry friend’s playtime fun. As most toys go right to your pup’s mouth, it’s important to his oral health to keep toys clean.

    Be sure to read cleaning instructions before cleaning dog toys. For example, hard toys like our new Honey Dripper Bone chew toy can be cleaned by simply hand washing in warm, non-toxic soapy water and letting air dry.

    For softer toys, such as our adorable Duraplush Elephant, you might opt for tossing them into a wash sack and giving them a good wash in the washing machine with dirty dog towels and blankets to fill. Depending on the instructions, air dry or tumble dry on low settings.

    Additional tips on how to wash dog toys can be found in our toy cleaning how-to.

    3. Choosing the Perfect Dog Toys

    Once the remaining toys are completely dry, it’s time to decide which ones to put in storage and which ones to keep out for the first rotation. Aim for 3-5 toys at a time to give your dog options without overwhelming him. Key features to look for in selecting a variety of rotation items are as followed:

    If you’re having a hard time choosing, our playful dogs bundle has the perfect combination of toys that makes rotating your dog toys easy.

    4. Dog Toy Storage

    Store unused dog toys on a shelf that’s out of reach of curious pups, in clean and protected containers. Boxes will do, but plastic storage containers are even better, as they make sure that dust or insects don’t find a way in.

    There are two ways to go about storing toys. One way is to divide them up in preparation for the next few rotations and place them in individual containers or between dividers. Another way, of course, is to just toss them in a box and decide which toys to choose as the time comes to switch them out.

    Remember to put the lid on the box before storing so that toys remain fresh and ready when it’s time to take them out.

    5. Rotating the Toys

    To keep your dog entertained by his toys, swap them out after 1-2 weeks. Then, simply repeat the steps listed above. It’s that simple!

    Gifts that Keep on Giving

    Sometimes your dog isn’t interested in a rotated toy, no matter how hard you try to make it seem fun and engaging. Like people, dogs have particular interests. What one dog dislikes, another might love. Having no luck getting your dog to play with certain toys means it might be a great time to have a toy swap or toy donation.

    Be sure to wash all toys before giving them away. Local shelters or animal rescues only take gently used items, so remember to toss out any worn-down toys prior to donating. Giving toys to dogs in need helps make their lives more fulfilled while also making sure your own dog is supplied with toys he truly loves.

    If you’ve found that you’re running low on toys that your dog really enjoys, or maybe you want to contribute more to dogs in need, we have a clearance collection that has high-quality toys that won’t break your budget.

    Here at Chopper & Otis, we want to keep our furry friends happy and healthy.

    Now that you’ve learned how to master the art of dog toy rotation, why not increase the variety of your rotational dog toys by checking out our new arrival collection?

    Until next time--