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Finding the Right Toys for a Beagle


Are you a bit frustrated in trying to find the best toys for your Beagle? If so, you're not alone. Having toys for a Beagle goes way beyond just having a pile available. Toys are meant to serve specific purposes and if you take the time to obtain the right ones for the right times, life for both you and your Beagle will be a lot easier! Many owners fall into the trap of buying toys left and right, only to find that not only are they not helping or their Beagle is ignoring them, but the few that are useful are getting lost in the mix.

In this section we’ll go over:
  • The 4 types of toys that are needed
  • How to select the best ones for each category
  • Helpful toy tips
The Four Types of Toys Every Beagle Needs

Do note that many toys serve more than one purpose, so as we go through what may meet your Beagle’s toy needs, having a small collection of the best ones is often easier than you might think.

1) Teething toys – The urge to chew while teething can be exceedingly strong. In fact, some puppies become downright frantic. As teeth are coming in, both discomfort and intense itching set the chewing urge into motion and most puppies will mouth and gnaw on anything that they can reach. It’s important to puppy-proof the house, as nothing is off limits, with electrical cords and shoes being the two non-toy items most commonly chewed. The former will leave you steaming that your favorite footwear has been ruined and the latter is dangerous and sometimes deadly. 

One of the most important elements about finding the right teething toys for a Beagle, is that if you do obtain good ones, it establishes a lifetime of healthy chewing habits. When a dog learns that going to a toy meets his needs and it is indeed beneficial, he is much more prone to continue doing so, as opposed to looking for other objects in the house. 

What to look for – All of the odd and irritating oral sensations that a puppy feels waxes and wanes with varying intensities and pops up in different areas of the mouth. So, what aBeagle puppy really needs in a teething toy is one that A) has different textures, so that the pup can choose which one feels good at any one particular time and B) has various sizes and shapes to those textures, so that the Beagle can work them into areas in his mouth and on his gums to find relief.  

Tips - If a Beagle puppy finds a teething toy to meet his needs, he will go to it quite often, so durability is a must. Once you find one or two that are making him happy and keeping him from any sort of destructive chewing, you’ll want doubles or triples, to easily swap out old ones for new ones without any interruption. 
Our Recommendations

KONGS – Invented in the 70’s and released to the public in 1976, these toys made of a patented natural rubber compound come to the rescue for every major toy need. In the case of looking for the best teething toys for Beagles, you’ll want to look to the pink and blue ones, as these are designated for puppies and therefore are not only sized to fit in a pup’s mouth but as have the correct density and tension for chewing due to teething. (KONGS are color coded: pink and blue for puppies, red for ‘normal’ chewers, purple for seniors and black for strong chewers).  

The soft rubber helps to alleviate teething pain and are intended for puppies up until the age of 9 months. At that point, you will want to move onto the red or black ones. 

Cool Teething Sticks- Aside from chewing on toys, which is essentially the pup being able to apply pressure to the areas in his mouth that are itchy or painful, another important element that helps is for the Beagle pup to be able to apply a cooling sensation where needed (similar to a human using an ice pack). And this is where toys meant to be frozen come into play. The cold reduces swelling and can offer soothing relief. While you can give ice cubes (plain or safely flavored with fruit juice – 100% real apple juice is a good choice), they do lack the various textures that the right toy can offer. For these, you’ll want to look for soft, stuffed toys in which the outer shell freezes when placed in your freezer and offers a crunchy texture that allows a pup to work the toy into just the right spot. 

Knotted Rope Toys – While these may look simple enough, properly sized knotted rope toys offer two things that teething pups are looking for: The right consistency and a nice ‘rough’ texture that works well to scratch an itch. Imagine this: you have a terrible itch and you have two choices to scratch it, a piece of paper or a piece of fine grain sandpaper, which would work better? So, having a couple of rope toys will always come in handy when a pup really just needs something to properly scratch his gums while doing so in a safe way. 

Nylabones – Nylabone makes both non-edible and edible chews; for teething Beagles, you’ll want to opt for the non-edible teething toys that come with small bristle-like projects (about the size of grains of rice) which are meant to rub against gums to provide relief. The ‘key chain’ toy works particularly well, as there are helpful angled shapes that a pup can fit into nooks and crannies of his mouth. These, like many toys, are not indestructible (more ahead for toys for strong chewers), so you’ll want to keep an eye on these to throw away and replace as needed. These are made of a soft material that flexes in and out rather effectively for young pups and also, come in a variety of color, which does play a role since dogs see color (rather how humans perceive technicolor time). 
2) Stay Busy Toys – While all dogs will chew on toys, when it comes to finding the best toys to actually keep a Beagle’s interest, you have to look far beyond just what is safe or durable to chew. You’ll want A) a toy that is tempting enough for a Beagle to want it in the first place. While color can do this to some effect, those that either make noise when played with or those that actually call out for a dog to engage with it are best as well as those that tempt a Beagle with scent; since this breed’s scenting abilities are incredible. And B) After a Beagle is attracted to the toy, that it is able to hold his interest for a good amount of time. If a Beagle is home alone, this is paramount. 

What to look for  For times that you are there to supervise your Beagle but wish for him to have a fun way to stay busy, you’ll want to look for dog toys that either let out an interesting noise (squeaks and/or rattles) or speak to your Beagle. There’s some great toys that call out phrases to keep a dog engaged. If you can find these in bright colors, all the better. For when your Beagle is home alone, the best toys are those that are puncture-resistant, made of a non-toxic rubber and not only release treats, but does so in a challenging way. Those that are shaped irregularly, can provide a fun ‘bounce-back’ element that keeps a dog engaged. This alone can provide hours of entertainment.   
Best Toys for Beagles That Are Strong Chewers – With the number of dogs that rip apart toys as if they were constructed of wet cardboard, you’d imagine that the market for super strong dog toys for rough chewers would be robust. However, there are only a few choices. That said, the options available are overall effective. Do note that there are always exceptions. For every ‘tough’ toy, there’ll always be a dog here and there that is still able to rip the thing apart. How the toy holds up depends not just on the quality of the toy, but how often a dog chews on it (is it his only ‘go to’ toy or does he rotate? Is his day filled with other activities or does chewing on toys occupy most of his time? Etc.).

So, if your Beagle needs a chew toys that really stands up to chewing, the two best options are:

KONGS – As mentioned earlier, these are one of the most popular, effective chewing toys and for Beagles that are very strong chewers, you’ll want to opt for the black KONGS, as these are the most durable. Do note that no toy is completely indestructible, but these are just about as close as you can get. Note that KONGS are made in the USA. 

GoughNuts – Also made in the USA, these are great toys for Beagles that tend to rip apart other toys. They are made of a safe, thick and bouncy rubber of 2 layers. The inner layer is a bright red; should your Beagle chew through to that, you know that you have an exceptionally strong chewer… But, guess what? If your Beagle actually is able to do that, replacement is free! (minus shipping). At the time of this writing, shipping is just $5.25, so this is really a fantastic deal. Though the donut shape is the most popular one (and the most durable), they also offer sticks and one great trick is to place a stick Goughnut through the hole in the ring Goughnut (use a bit of olive oil to help it slide in) and then you have a toy that will bounce as your dog plays with it. 
3) Comfort and Companion Toys – Separation anxiety is one of the most difficult issues that owners struggle with and there are many elements that must all come together for a dog to learn how to cope with the isolation when his owners are not at home. Such things as having the right amount of space, a window vs a non-window view, leaving on a pleasant radio station or having the TV on, leaving on lights and more will all come into play. And with that, also comes the element of what, exactly, will keep a Beagle company when he’s actually alone. And this is where companion dog toys come into play.

While technically companion toys can be chewed, they are not intended for this purpose. Their function is to provide a sense of companionship to help make a puppy or dog feel as if he has someone (or something) with him. How can this be done? Via what sets aside most inanimate objects from living ones: a heartbeat and body heat. 

What to look for – You’ll want a durable, soft toy that is sized well enough for a pup or dog to snuggle up to and feel that he has a friend. Most important, is the element of the heartbeat which needs to be strong enough for a dog to hear and feel. In addition to that, the #1 toy for this purpose has an optional heat pack that can provide warmth; this is particularly helpful for young Beagle puppies that could do with some soothing at night to help them sleep. 

Our Recommendations

There’s only one brand that we very highly recommend: The Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy. These are good sized (about 15 x 10 inches), the soothing pulsing heartbeat lasts for 2 weeks with straight 24/7 use (AAA batteries and has an on/off switch), they have an optional warm pack and are very durable (both in how long they last and in that they are machine washable). These have come to the aid of so many Beagles that either needed a toy for comfort at night or needed friendship during the day when home alone.
4) Interactional, 'Stay Active' Toys – One of the many benefits of having a dog, and especially a Beagle, is that he or she will just about always be eager to play with you. This is a high energy, active breed that does best with lots of daily exercise. Aside from daily walks (two are recommended), you’ll find that taking 30 to 45 minutes a day to be active with your Beagle has many benefits. Not only does it help him release pent-up energy, running around will help a Beagle stay at a healthy weight and maintain muscle mass. In addition, it’s great for the heart! While you can certainly play a game of fetch with a tennis ball, there’s all sorts of other toys that can make this time more interesting and fun. 

What to look for – You’ll want something that you enjoy throwing and your Beagle is eager to run after, while sized and/or shaped in such a way that mouthing the toy to retrieve it is easy and fun. 

Our Recommendations

The Chuckit Kick Fetch Toy Ball is sized like a soccer ball so that you can kick it, but has neat grooves for a dog to easily mouth it and return it to you. The ChuckIt Flying Squirrel has a really great spinning effect when thrown and the Tri-Bumper toy is really easy to throw. If you don’t want to tire out throwing at all, you can always opt for a cool tennis ball launcher gun, which is essentially a bazooka that shoots out balls; and with the Beagle being a quick, high-endurance breed, this can be lots of fun and a great way for an owner to last outdoors as long as a Beagle!
Toy Tips

Here’s the 4 most important tips when it comes to your Beagle’s toys:

1. More is not necessarily better. It’s best to have 8 to 10 toys that your Beagle enjoys and that are effective than 40 that go untouched. In addition, if you have too many toys for your Beagle, the good ones can get lost in the mix. 

2. Routinely check the toys for wear and tear. Even guaranteed toys can be ripped apart, but you won’t be able to receive a replacement if you don’t check them! You may find that setting aside a specific day, like the 14th or the 21st of each month, to check toys helps you stay on track. Any toys that are ripped or torn at all should be thrown out; even a tiny tear can turn into a potential choking hazard in the blink of an eye. 

3. Clean the toys. The buildup of saliva, tiny food particles and debris that latches onto toys can result in quite smelly, slimy toys rather quickly. Every so often, dump them all into the kitchen sink (minus stuffed animals, of course) and wash them with hot water and soap. With treat release toys, be sure that you have a bottle brush, to scrub out old food from the inside.

4. As you Beagle matures from puppy to adult and then from adult to senior, his needs will change and so should his toys in regard to both size and texture. Many seniors love to chew, but ignore current toys because they are too tough to chew down onto; transitioning to senior dog toys can help an older Beagle whose jaw is weaker and whose teeth are softer. 
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