Does your tiny dog struggle to play with most toys?
Very few of the dog toys available in pet stores are easy for Chihuahuas to carry.
While Matilda sometimes likes big toys that she can wrap her arms around, wrestle and kick, she also needs tiny toys that fit in her mouth. She loves playing fetch, too!
Over her nearly five years, I’ve found a few reliable sources of tiny, Matilda-approved toys that she goes nuts over.
Kong Toy Collection
One of Matilda’s very first toys was a Kong duck, and now we have a beaver and… some other creature that must be around here somewhere!
I love that many of their tiny plush toys come with an extra squeaker that you can replace by opening a velcro slit on the back.
To this day, I still use their Puppy Kong, though I may actually upgrade to a small Kong to fit an entire meal.
The Puppy Kong fits about a tablespoon of food, and it’s easy for a tiny dog to pick up and play with.
Cat Toys For Chihuahuas
Did you know that most cat toys are perfectly suitable for Chihuahuas?
It’s okay if they are stuffed with catnip – catnip does not have any effect on dogs.
The only downside is that cat toys do not have squeakers inside. I’ve noticed, however, that Matilda does not really respond to the squeaker. The crinkly filling or bell inside are fine, too.
One of Matilda’s newest, favorite toys is this flying squirrel cat toy. It’s soft, but has tough edges that are fun to chew on. She loves tossing it around to make it “fly,” I really don’t know where she gets her imagination from!
Matilda’s squirrel perfectly sized for her mouth, and lightweight enough for her to fully enjoy fetching, tossing and pouncing on it.
Are Baby Toys Safe For Dogs?
You might find tiny stuffed animals in vending machines, baby and children’s toy stores, at thrift stores, in fast food kids’ meals, etc.
Some children’s stuffed animals contain filling or coating that is treated with flame retardants and mite control chemicals. These chemicals may be harmful for dogs, especially if your dog tears open the toy and eats the stuffing.
If you are going to let your dog play with stuffed animals, make sure that they do not have hard, plastic parts like eyes and noses that your dog can rip off and possibly choke on.
I personally used to give my dogs dollar store and thrift shop toys to save money, but since I found out that so many children’s toys are potentially toxic, I’ve stopped doing that, and I advise against it.
Making Your Own Chihuahua Toys
This is an avenue I have not yet explored, but it would be easy to do, even without a sewing machine.
Here are some free stuffed animal sewing patterns to get you started.
Some tips to help you make lots of fun toys for your Chi:
- Keep it simple, with no decorations that can be pulled out and swallowed.
- Double sew every seam. Use a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine, backstitch a few times, or even use a serger, if you can access one. If sewing by hand, just go over every seam multiple times with tiny, tight stitches.
- Sew in a squeaker. If your dog likes to rip them out, secure the squeaker in an additional layer of fabric. You can buy bulk squeakers on Amazon.
- You can also add crinkle paper!
- Use hook and loop tape to create pockets that you can fill with treats.
- Use polyfill stuffing, or for a safer alternative, use scraps of fabric that are too large to swallow… or forgo stuffing entirely.
- Try different shapes, long legs, different fabrics, to find your Chi’s perfect toy design.
- Use fabric from old, well-loved t-shirts and other garments for a comforting toy that’s embedded with your scent.