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Every dog deserves the best dog toys, but what’s considered “the best” may be different for every canine. Dogs of all ages, shapes, and sizes love toys, and the market is flooded with options. To make shopping for dog toys a little easier on you, the dog parent, the following list names the 16 best dog toys for all types of dogs and behaviors.
Buyer’s Guide: Best Dog Toys
The toys your dog prefers depend largely on their breed, age, and personality. When you’re shopping for your dog’s potential new favorite toy, here are a few things you should consider.
If your dog is the type to destroy everything, you might want to invest in a toy made of sturdy materials. Certain brands are known for this type of design, such as KONG. Strong chewers will likely need a toy with strong rubber as opposed to fabric. If you still want to get them a plush squeaky toy, look for one with minimal stuffing so it will be easier to clean up.
Dogs use toys for different reasons. Some toys are great for mental stimulation, some are made purely to comfort your dog, and others are intended to keep your dog active. Most dogs benefit from having a variety of toy types, but pay attention to what your dog prefers too.
As a general rule, dog toys should be small enough to fit in your dog’s mouth but too large to be swallowed. Most toys will come in different sizes, so you should select one that’s ideal for your dog’s weight and breed. That way, you can reduce the risk of choking hazards. Also, consider your dog’s age because puppies and seniors will need softer materials than adult dogs.
When choosing a toy, make sure all the materials used are safe for dogs. The toy should be made with non-toxic, BPA-free materials. You should also avoid toys that have small pieces or pieces that could break easily because they could accidentally choke your dog. However, the best way to ensure your pup stays safe is to always monitor them during playtime.
Before you buy a product, always look at the ratings and reviews. Ratings from other pet parents can help you determine if the toy will last long for your dog and if it’ll be worth the price. Ideally, expensive toys should last the longest.
With any toy, it’s important to remember that supervision is always necessary. There’s no such thing as an indestructible toy, and just about anything could become a choking hazard if not cleaned up in time.
Best Dog Toys by Category
Best Chew Toys for Dogs
With its durability and unpredictable bouncing movement, the AgriChew™ is just the toy for aggressive chewers. Funny enough, the toy was created by accident when the inventor’s dog started playing with a shock-absorbing piece used in irrigation equipment. It turned out to be a great material for a tough chew toy.
For added excitement, you can fill the toy with peanut butter. Then, it’s dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. Plus, when you purchase this toy, you’re providing a dog toy to a shelter in need.
The Nylabone Power Chew is built with tough nylon, so your dog can spend hours gnawing on it. As your dog chews, it can benefit their dental health without damaging their teeth. For picky pups, there are flavored versions of this bone available, including bacon, chicken, and peanut butter. There are also five sizes to cater to dogs of all breeds who love to chew.
The Chuckit! Ultra Rubber Ball Tough Dog Toy is a great fetch toy, perfect for both dry land bouncing and fetching at the lake. It’s built tough for chasers who like to chew hard as well. It comes in a variety of sizes so all pups can play fetch, and it’s compatible with Chuckit’s ball launcher so dog parents don’t have to pick up slobbery balls with their hands.
Best Interactive Dog Toys
The Sniff Diggy™ Fun Mental Stimulation Nose Work Mat develops your dog’s most vital sensory skill: their sense of smell. The activity mimics the foraging and hunting activities of their wolf ancestors.
To use the Sniff Diggy mat, you can hide some of your dog’s favorite treats among the colorful fabric pieces. Then, your pup will need to sniff out the snacks. As a bonus, your purchase provides 1 dog toy to a shelter in need.
The IQ Treat Ball is an excellent mental stimulation toy for entertaining a pup while rewarding them at the same time. Fill the toy with treats or dry food, and then let your dog figure out how to get them out by rolling it around. Once your dog gets the hang of it, you can also use the toy as a way to slow down your dog’s meals to promote healthier digestion. You can also adjust the difficulty level to match your dog’s abilities.
The OurPets Sushi Treat Dispensing Puzzle not only looks adorable, but it’s also an entertaining activity for your dog. To keep your pup’s mind busy, you can hide treats in the compartments and then slide the sushi pieces over them. Your dog will need to sniff out the treats and figure out how to move the sushi to get to their snacks. It can be a great way to turn treats into a fun game or slow down your dog’s meals.
If you want to give your dog a mental stimulation toy without needing treats, the Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Squeaky Puzzle Toy is a popular choice. It’s a plush tree trunk filled with squeaky squirrel toys. So, your dog will need to figure out how to get the squirrels out of the log. Once your pup pulls the squirrels out, they work as standalone toys, or you can put them back in the tree to start the game over. The toy even comes in four sizes so dogs of all breeds can enjoy it.
If you’re a tech-lover and you miss your dog all day long, the SKYMEE Owl Robot: Mobile Full HD Pet Camera with Treat Dispenser lets you interact with them from afar. You can throw your dog a treat by pushing a button or move the robot around for your dog to chase. You can even talk to your furry friend with audio capabilities. It may be more expensive than the average dog toy, but it’s an excellent way to keep your dog content even when you’re not home.
Best Toys For Large Breed Dogs
The MIGHTY- Massive-Farm-Piglet is a remarkable toy tailored specifically for the needs of larger dogs. With its robust construction, it’s built to withstand the vigorous play that big canines are known for. The Piglet design is not just adorable, but it also offers multiple grip points, ensuring an engaging play session. Made with durability in mind, this toy can endure prolonged tugging and chewing without losing its shape. For parents of large dogs, the MIGHTY- Massive-Farm-Piglet is a wise investment, guaranteeing both fun and longevity. Also available in Rabbit option.
You can’t go wrong with the classic KONG Extreme Dog Toy. It bounces in unpredictable patterns, and you can stuff it with treats to keep your dog engaged. This KONG toy is especially beneficial for large dogs because it comes in XL and XXL sizes, and it uses extra-tough rubber to withstand heavy chewers. Even the largest dogs can have hours of fun with this product.
Tuffy’s No Stuff Ultimate Ring Plush Dog Toy is a durable, ring-shaped toy for tug-of-war and tossing/catching. It’s the perfect size for large dogs, especially those who love to play fetch outside. Plus, it floats in water, and it’s machine-washable. However, it’s recommended for interactive play only, not as a chew toy since it’s plush.
Best Toys For Small Breed Dogs
The MIGHTY- Microfiber Ball Junior Duck is an impressive toy constructed in three layers: soft Microfiber Plush on the outside. soft non woven fleece on the inside, and hollow plastic squeaking core balls. Crafted with meticulous detail, this duck-themed micro ball is not only entertaining but also durable enough to withstand the usual wear and tear. Its compact size makes it perfect for younger or smaller breeds, ensuring they can play without any hindrance. The vibrant colors and design, coupled with its tough construction and multiple layers of stitching, make it a must-have for any pet parent seeking a combination of fun and longevity in their dog’s toys. This durable dog toy for small breeds is also available in Jr Micro Ball Penguin and Jr Micro Ball Monster options.
The KONG Plush Duck Dog Toy is so cute, and it will look even cuter with your dog cuddled next to it. It’s the perfect size for small dogs to play with, especially if they’re fascinated by toys that squeak. This toy also contains less stuffing so it won’t cause a big mess if your dog rips it apart.
The goDog Gator with Chew Guard is another adorable design that small dogs adore. It’s built to last with chew-resistant lining, and the squeaker appeals to your dog’s natural hunting instincts. It’s also great for dogs who are gentle with their toys because it can make a great cuddle buddy during your pup’s nap time.
The Haute Diggity Dog Muttini Collection is both classy and silly. From “Barkweiser” to “Lick Croix” to “White Paw Hound Selzer,” the funny yet recognizable parody labels will make every hour happy hour for you and your dog. The durable plush toys come in two sizes, but they’re best for smaller dogs because large dogs will likely rip through them easier.
Best Toys for Puppies
The MIGHTY- Safari Junior Orange Elephant is an absolute delight for puppies and stands out as an ideal cuddle and chew companion. The soft yet durable texture ensures that it remains intact even after hours of gnawing, making it perfect for teething pups. Its vibrant orange hue and appealing elephant design captivate a puppy’s curiosity, while its gentle material provides warmth and comfort during nap times. The two-layer build quality ensures it doubles up as both a soothing snuggle buddy and a resilient chew toy. Also available in Jr. Monkey Brown option.
Nylabone makes reliable chew toys, and the Nylabone Teething Pacifier is specifically designed for teething puppies. It has a softer material that won’t damage your puppy’s delicate teeth, and the texture of the toy can clean teeth and massage your pup’s gums. It also includes a bacon flavor that most canines won’t be able to resist.
Even though it means your dog is having fun, sometimes hearing squeaking over and over again can get pretty old. Puppies are especially notorious for squeaking their toys nonstop. This HEAR DOGGY! toy’s squeaking can only be heard by your dog, so they get the same benefits of squeaker toys without bugging you. Plus it comes in multiple animal designs, all of which have soft fur.
For a rope-loving puppy, you can’t go wrong with the Mammoth Flossy Chews Rope Tug. It’s colorful, durable, and comes in a variety of sizes for different breeds. It’s a fun toy to introduce your puppy to games like tug-of-war. Yet, you should monitor your puppy closely when playing with their toy as pulling on it for too long may hurt their teeth.
Best Toys for Playtime Together
The TUFFY Junior 3WayTug is a game-changer for interactive playtime with your canine companion. Its unique design encourages tug-of-war sessions, allowing for both solo and multi-dog fun. Built to last, the TUFFY Junior ensures hours of rough play without showing signs of wear, making it an ideal toy for active dogs. The versatile design also aids in stimulating your dog’s mental and physical faculties. For those seeking to elevate playtime and strengthen their bond with their pup, this toy is an excellent addition to the toy chest. And for more toss and tug fun, Tuffy offers the Jr. Boomerang, Jr Pig, and Jr Toucan.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Best Dog Toys for Chewers?
For aggressive chewers, durability and safety are paramount, making toys such as the KONG Extreme Dog Toy and the iHeartDogs AgriChew some of the best dog chew toys. These toys are constructed from ultra-strong materials like durable rubber to withstand rigorous chewing.
Why Do Dog Toys Squeak?
Dog toys squeak to stimulate a dog’s natural hunting instincts and keep them engaged in play. The high-pitched noise can mimic the sound of prey, sparking curiosity and excitement, and the surprise factor of the noise when the toy is bitten or squeezed provides additional entertainment for the dog.
Why Do Dogs Destroy Their Toys?
Dogs often destroy their toys due to their instinct to hunt and chew, behaviors that are amplified in breeds with strong prey drives. The act of dismantling a toy can also be a source of mental stimulation and stress relief for dogs, providing them with a satisfying sense of accomplishment.
How Often Should I Replace Dog Toys?
There isn’t a strict timeline for replacing dog toys, as it greatly depends on your dog’s chewing habits and the toy’s quality and durability. However, you should replace any toys immediately if they become severely damaged, have loose parts, or if small pieces are breaking off, as these can pose a choking hazard or risk of ingestion.
Can Dog Toys Make Dogs Sick?
While most dog toys are safe, they can potentially make dogs sick if they contain harmful substances or if small pieces are swallowed. For instance, toys made with toxic materials or dye, or those that break into small, ingestible parts can lead to digestive blockages or poisoning. Thus, it’s important to choose non-toxic, durable toys and supervise playtime.
How Do You Clean Dog Toys?
Cleaning dog toys depends on their material: for hard rubber or plastic toys, use warm soapy water, scrubbing any dirt off and then thoroughly rinsing and drying; for plush or fabric toys, check the label—most can be machine washed and air-dried. Regular cleaning not only helps extend the toy’s lifespan but also ensures your dog’s health by removing bacteria and dirt.
Where Should You Donate Dog Toys?
Dog toys can be donated to local animal shelters, rescue organizations, or pet foster homes, where they will provide entertainment and comfort to animals waiting for their forever homes. Some veterinary clinics also accept toy donations for their boarding or hospitalized pets, but always call ahead to ensure they can accept your items.
Can Dog Toys Help with Dental Health?
Yes, certain types of dog toys can promote dental health. Chew toys, especially those designed with textures or nubs, can help reduce plaque and tartar buildup by scraping the teeth as your dog chews, contributing to healthier gums and fresher breath.
Can Dog Toys Help with Separation Anxiety?
Yes, dog toys, especially interactive ones or those that can be filled with treats, can help alleviate separation anxiety. They provide mental stimulation and a focus for your dog while you’re away, helping reduce stress and destructive behaviors associated with anxiety.
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