- The Best Dog Toys
- 1. Kong Classic
- 2. Chuckit! Ultra Ball
- 3. Jalousie 5 Pack Dog Squeaky Toys
- 4. Chuckit! Dog Ball Launcher
- 5. Kong Wild Knots Bear Dog Toy
- 6. Wobble Wag Giggle
- 7. Trixie Dog Activity Flip Board
- 8. West Paw Bumi with Zogoflex
- 9. Kong Flyer
- 10. OurPets IQ Treat Ball
- 11. Mammoth Flossy
- 12. Chuckit! Paraflight
- 13. Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel
- 14. Benebone Medium Wishbone
- 15. West Paw Jive with Zogoflex
- 16. JW Hol-ee Roller
- 17. Multipet Plush Dog Toy
- 18. Chuckit! Indoor Ball
- 19. Nylabone Dura Chew Power Chew
- 20. StarMark Bob-A-Lot
Like us, our canine companions can easily get bored, especially if they’re left home alone on a regular basis. To keep them entertained and both mentally and physically engaged, dog toys are a must-have. But finding the right toy is a tricky business: choose something overly complicated and your pupper is likely to lose interest fast; choose something fun but not durable enough and they’ll shred it to pieces in a day or two.
Luckily, you’re in the right place! In this blog post, we give you our honest reviews of some of the best dog toys on the market, plus a comprehensive buying guide to help point you in the right direction. From durable rubber toys, to plush and squeaky stuffed animals, all the way to interactive puzzles, here are some of our favorites that are bound to make your pooch busy and entertained for hours!
The Best Dog Toys
1. Kong Classic
Great for games of fetch
Fillable with treats
Cleans teeth and soothes gums
Available in three sizes depending on your pooch
Simple yet effective, this is a classic dog toy that pups of all ages and sizes will appreciate. It’s great for chewing and soothing the gums and growing teeth, and its unusual shape and bounciness ensure that there are all sorts of games that you can enjoy together, including the all-time favorite in the dogdom – fetch.
Inside, you can put your pooch’s favorite treats including peanut butter or even kibble to enhance their enjoyment even further. And don’t worry, the toy is pretty easy to clean as well as it’s made from rubber and is washing machine safe.
Durable core for long-lasting fun
Bounces high and floats in water
Easy to wipe clean
Fits ball launchers
A highly popular durable dog toy, this ball has a thick rubber core which means it’s perfect if you’re looking for something for long-term use. The colors are bright blue and orange to make it easy to spot whenever you are out playing. You can bounce the ball high to encourage your dog to jump up, and it will even float in water if your dog would like a dip!
The smooth surface makes the ball easy to wipe clean when it gets covered in dirt and slobber, which is a always a plus. Five sizes are available depending on how big a pooch you own.
Provides interactive play
Combination of squeaky and plush toys
Suitable for a range of games
A set of squeaky toys for dogs of all ages, three come with a squeaker and no stuffing inside, while the other two are plush toys. You can give your pup the choice of which animal is their favorite!
While these are quite durable and marketed as suitable for all dogs, we wouldn’t recommend them to large breeds who are very aggressive chewers as they can bite off and swallow pieces of the toy. For small and medium breeds who are gentle and medium chewers, these are a great choice.
Increases the range and speed of throw
Lightweight and portable
Convenient ball pick-up – your hands stay clean
Comfortable ergonomic handle
This convenient set comes with a Chuckit tennis ball and launcher, giving you the ability to throw the ball farther and faster for some fun doggo exercise. It is lightweight and portable, so you can easily bring it with you on your next walk or camping trip. It is also compatible with other standard size tennis balls, so you’re not limited to the Chuckitt brand.
This is a great choice if you find throwing the ball or bending down to pick it up painful or uncomfortable, as the plastic launcher both throws the ball and grasps it with minimal effort on your part.
Soft, plush body and durable rope skeleton
Minimal stuffing inside
Great for playing tug of war
Available in four sizes and three colors
While soft and cozy on the outside, the Kong Bear Toy is strong and incredibly durable on the inside thanks to its tough knotted rope body. Since there is little stuffing inside, there is also not a great chance of mess – super-important for tenacious chewers!
Thanks to its tough skeleton and reinforced plush body, this toy is perfect not only for chewing but also for pet-owner bonding games such as tug of war. Still, we recommend it for medium chewers, not super-aggressive puppers.
Suitable for dogs of all ages and sizes
Six clutch pockets for easy pick-up
Emits sounds when shaken or rolled
Encourages dog’s natural curiosity and promotes exercise
An interactive dog toy that is perfect for playing with your pooch both indoors and outdoors. With six clutch pockets, it’s designed to be easy for your pup to pick it up from all different angles during playtime. Inside, there is a tube noisemaker that gives out a giggle sound whenever your dog rolls it or shakes it, keeping your pup entertained while providing some healthy exercise.
While it emits sounds and giggles, the ball requires no batteries, so it’s a great economical dog toy that is sure to last a long while. Importantly, it’s also perfectly safe as it’s made from phthalate-free vinyl.
Stimulating interactive dog toy
Non-slip and stable
Keeps your dog engaged with puzzles
Adjustable difficulty levels
Looking for something more challenging for your clever pup? Check out this flip board strategy game that provides proper mental stimulation for small and easily bored dogs. Consisting of lids that you can flip using the knobs, and disks that your dog can slide across to reveal hidden treats, this is a perfect toy for puppers who like a bit of a challenge.
And if your dog starts to get the hang of this intermediate-level toy? Simply vary the number and placement of the treats to increase the difficulty level and watch them get excited all over again!
Bouncy, floatable toy made from zogoflex
Stretches to twice its length
Suitable for gentle chewers
Recyclable and dishwasher-safe
Motivate your dog to run and play with this durable and flexible chew toy that stretches to twice its length. Made from zogoflex, it’s lightweight yet tough and long-lasting – perfect for gentle chewers!
Thanks to its unique design, the Bumi toy is suitable for a variety of games, including fetch and tug of war, and of course, it’s good for chewing as well. Because it’s lightweight and floatable, it flings far into the air, so we highly recommend it for fun water games with your pup. Another thing we like about this toy is that is recyclable and dishwasher-safe.
9. Kong Flyer
Made from durable and natural rubber
Soft on teeth and gums
Enhances your games of fetch
Supports healthy play and exercise
A dog frisbee should be in every dog owner’s toy collection, and this one from KONG is a high-quality toy that is guaranteed to last for years. Made of durable rubber, it makes for a softer and safer catching and fetching experience – perfect for pooches with sensitive teeth and gums!
This is probably the best toy you can get if your pup is in need of exercise but is not particularly active, as the frisbee supports healthy physical activity disguised in the form of play. Available in two sizes, it’s suitable for both small and large breed dogs.
Promotes slower, healthier eating
Adjustable difficulty levels
Mentally and physically stimulating
Twists apart for easy cleaning
If your dog could use some mental stimulation as well as healthier eating habits, we highly recommend this IQ treat ball. Made from durable plastic, with a hole in the middle specifically made for treats or kibble, this toy forces your pup to work for their food by knocking the ball around. It’s a great toy for prolonging play!
And if your furry bud figures out how to get to the kibble quickly? Simply change the difficulty level using the adjustable interior disc. When it is time to clean the toy, just twist it apart and rinse it with warm soapy water.
11. Mammoth Flossy
Made from natural cotton rope
Helps clean teeth and stimulate gums
Great for interactive play
Suitable for light and medium chewers
True to its name, the Mammoth Flossy Chew is a two-in-one dog toy: great for chewing as well as taking care of your dog’s dental health. Made from natural cotton rope, this toy is does a good job at massaging your pup’s gums and cleaning their teeth, however, it’s still not a replacement for proper brushing.
Durable and engaging, this rope chew toy is perfect for interactive play with your dog in games like tug o’ war and fetch. While fun and great for chewing, we don’t recommend leaving your dog alone with this or any other rope toy as aggressive chewers can shred it and swallow the strings. However, if you can monitor your dog while they’re playing, this is a great addition to their toy box.
Aerodynamically designed to fly over long distances
Floats in water
Durable design for outdoor use
Raised sides and smooth edge for comfortable pickup
Another toy from popular brand Chuckit, this one comes in an aerodynamic shape which keeps it flying over longer distances. Since it is buoyant, your dog can also enjoy playtime in the water as well. As you would expect from such a popular brand, its construction is durable enough to stand the test of time.
Featuring raised sides and a smooth rubber edge for easy and comfortable pick up, the design is perfectly dog-friendly. There is also a glow-in-the-dark version available for after-hours playtime!
Interactive dog toy for individual or joint play
Toys loaded with large squeakers
Various styles and sizes available
A fantastic way of keeping your dog occupied and eliminating boredom, your dog will spend hours playing hide and seek with the woodland critters that hide within this Outward Hound hide-and-seek toy. Once your pup manages to dig out the toys, they will find each one loaded with a large squeaker, further enticing play!
As well as leaving your dog to interact with the toys on their own, you can also play games of fetch together. And with four different sizes and four types of animals and dens available for purchase, finding the perfect set for your pup should be a piece of cake.
Tempting flavor and aroma from real food ingredients
Ergonomic design for comfortable chewing
Made and sourced in the USA
Dog chew toys are always loved by both puppies and adult dogs, and this one has been designed in a way to ensure that your pet can really get their teeth stuck in. Real food ingredients are used to give a tasty flavor and scent to the chew, ensuring that it is a bone your dog will want to come back to time and time again.
Made and sourced in the USA, this is one top-quality toy that is sure to last a long time. Still, as with any chew, it’s a good idea to supervise your dog closely while playing to ensure that they don’t bite pieces off, as they present a choking risk.
Bouncy ball made from zogoflex
Extremly durable yet soft and lightweight
Suitable for aggressive chewers
Dishwsher safe and recyclable
If your pup is an aggressive or destructive chewer, you’ll want to check out the Jive Ball. Made from zogoflex, it’s super-durable yet soft, lightweight and bouncy, making it ideal not only for chewing but all kinds of fun games.
Shaped like a tennis ball but unpredictably bouncy, this is the toy to get for those extremely energetic dogs. Another huge plus for this chew toy is that it’s dishwasher safe – just pop it in the top rack of your machine to remove that slobber easily and quickly.
16. JW Hol-ee Roller
Soft, open rubber design
Provides mental stimulation
Made of pet-safe rubber
Fillable with a wide range of dog treats
Fill up this ball with your dog’s favorite treats and watch them have a time of their life trying to roll the treats out! Made from sturdy, pet-safe rubber, the toy is seamless throughout for added strength, so even aggressive chewers won’t be able to destroy it.
Designed with several hexagonal cut-outs, this toy is also great for games of fetch or a tug-of-war. With several sizes and colors available, finding the perfect option for your furry companion should be easy.
Another plush dog toy for your furry friend to cuddle and play with, the Multipet contains a squeaker on the inside to encourage your pooch to keep coming back to it time and time again. Several different designs are available depending on your and your dog’s preferences.
This is quite a versatile little toy as aside from solo play, can also be used for playing fetch and tug of wars with your pup. However, it’s not ideal for aggressive chewers as they can easily rip it apart.
Soft to protect household surfaces
Rolls and bounces for extra stimulation
Bright orange and blue colors for visibility
Textured for easy pick-up
Bad weather? No problem, you can still play fetch indoors with this soft indoor ball! Specifically designed to be lightweight but durable, this unique ball toy won’t damage your surfaces at home.
Its durable, multilayer construction makes sure that it will withstand many play sessions with your pet, whether they’re small and gentle or large and powerful. The colors are bright and easy-to-spot, while the bouncy design encourages your pup to jump higher – perfect for some healthy indoor exercise!
Flavored chew toy promotes good dental hygiene
Long-lasting, specifically designed for aggressive chewers
Made in the USA
If your dog is a powerful chewer who typically shreds their new toys to pieces in a day or two, this long-lasting Nylabone Chew is a fantastic choice. Durable, with raised bristles for teeth cleaning, this toy will not only satisfy your pooch’s chewing needs, but also stimulate their gums and promote oral health.
This particular chew is designed for larger dogs weighing more than 50 pounds and has a bacon flavor, but if you have a smaller pup who prefers a different taste, there’s plenty of other Nylabone chews to choose from.
Treat or kibble dispensing toy
Weighted bottom creates a wobbling effect
Adjustable openings to increase difficulty level
Supports slower, healthier eating
Mental stimulation is one of the hallmarks of a good dog toy, and this one encourages your dog to work to find the treats hidden within. The chamber is big enough to fit whole meals, so your dog will be kept busy for a long time!
The weighted bottom is designed to wobble all over the place, enticing your pup to play. And when they start to get the hang of it, you can increase the difficulty level by adjusting the size of the openings to give them a more challenging task.
Best Dog Toys Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Consider When Buying Dog Toys
One of the best ways of ensuring that you own a happy and healthy pooch is by having a whole range of dog toys at your disposal for a variety of games. However, this doesn’t mean that you should buy toys without a second thought. Here are a few of the most important factors to consider when shopping for quality pet toys.
- What Type of Toy Do You Need?
Dog toys come in all shapes and sizes, so you need to think about what your dog needs and likes most. Are you looking for a toy that provides mental stimulation, or one that offers simple outdoor fun? What rewards and benefits will your dog get from playing with the toy? We will go into more detail about the different types of dog toys available as well as their benefits later in the blog post, so scroll down the page for more information about this.
- Is the Toy Safe?
The safest dog toys are appropriately-sized and don’t contain parts that can easily break off and present a choking hazard. So, make sure that you buy a toy that is the right size for your furry friend, and also ensure that it comes from a reputable brand which is more likely to be manufactured to high standards. Always read the product descriptions beforehand to make sure that they are suitable for your pup (their age, breed and needs). Also, supervise your dog during playtime to ensure that they don’t cause themselves any harm or put their health at risk. If your dog quickly starts destroying the toy or tearing bits off, you should take it off them and choose a different, more durable option.
- What Size?
Dog toys come in all shapes and sizes, but you need to choose one which is specifically suitable for your pup. A large number of toys come labeled with what size dogs they are suitable for, so always check the product description before spending your money. Since dogs vary so much in size, something that is suitable for a little Pug could easily be swallowed by a big German Shepherd. And little dogs could end up hurting themselves by trying to play with a toy which is simply too big for them. If you are unsure and the description doesn’t give you any more information, check the product reviews to see if they give you anything to go on.
- What Type of Personality Does Your Dog Have?
Just like when you are buying a gift for a friend, you need to consider your dog’s individual personality, likes and dislikes. For example, if you have a hound who loves to chew and chomp, a soft plush toy could end up getting destroyed in a matter of minutes. And if you have a dog who is nervous and anxious, a loud squeaky toy is likely to startle them. Think about what sort of activities your dog enjoys and try to match your choice of toy with these. It is always worth experimenting with your dog to find out new games and activities which they may enjoy.
- How Old is Your Dog?
Age is another factor that should impact your decision of which toy to buy for your dog. So, if you have a puppy whose teeth are only just developing, you should avoid giving them very hard chew toys as these could negatively affect their pearly whites. Instead, softer items that are made from natural rubber may be the better option. On the other hand, older dogs are likely to need something more durable that will help to improve their dental hygiene by removing tartar and plaque. And while young dogs are full of energy and need plenty of toys to keep them occupied and entertained, older dogs tend to play less and don’t require as much exercise.
- How Strong is the Toy?
Some dogs are particularly rough when playing, so you should look for toys that are going to stand the test of time. Check for features that point toward the toy’s durability credentials such as extra layers and tough materials. However, this is somewhat of a balancing act as you don’t want to buy a toy that will damage your pooch's teeth, especially if they are sensitive. Again, online reviews may give you a bit more information about how hard or soft each toy is. You could also look out for indestructible dog toys which are usually made of nylon or hard rubber. However, bear in mind that even indestructible dog toys can be potentially dangerous as they can develop sharp or rough edges over time, while rope toys can also unravel after use. If the toy shows excessive signs of wear and tear, it is time to replace it.
Importance of Dog Toys
Dog toys come with numerous benefits, including:
- Reducing Canine Boredom
Just as humans get bored when they don’t have anything to do, the same goes for dogs as well. The best toys provide plenty of mental stimulation and offer endless entertainment for your furry friend. The negative side of canine boredom is that it can lead your dog to find their own forms of entertainment, which often take the form of destructive and general bad behavior. It's best to have several different types of dog toys available so you can always have something to hand and ready to entertain your four-legged friend when it seems like they are becoming bored. This way, your home, and possessions are less likely to get destroyed, and your dog won’t bark and cause a nuisance!
- Providing Health Benefits
There are all sorts of health benefits that different toys can provide. For example, balls and frisbees will get your pooch running outdoors for the physical exercise they need. On the other hand, chew toys will satisfy your dog’s innate desire to chew on something. In turn, this helps to strengthen their teeth, as well as removing plaque and tartar. Some interactive toys contain treats and your dog needs to work to get them. These can be used to control portions and stop your pooch from overeating and becoming overweight.
Check out our guide on Dog Chews.
- Alleviating Separation Anxiety
As you will already be well aware, dogs are social creatures who love to be close to their owners as much as possible. However, most people have a whole host of other responsibilities so staying at home is simply not a possibility for the majority of pet owners. But good dog toys can work to relieve separation anxiety, which, if not controlled, can lead to destructive behavior and excessive barking. Many of the animal chew toys which we have discussed offer some much-needed companionship to your furry friend while they wait for you to get home again!
- Creates Stronger Owner-Pet Bond
One of the great joys of owning a dog is forming a strong bond with them. While most pups tend to love their owners regardless, you can help improve your relationship by playing with them on a regular basis. And if you have a range of great toys, the games that you can play become endless. After all, who doesn’t want their dog to love them just a little bit more?
- Useful in Crate Training
Sometimes, it is necessary to get your dog in a crate to take them on a trip to the vet. However, this is never going to be their favorite activity in the world, and it can present a major challenge. But if you put a beloved toy in with your pup in the crate, they often feel more secure and comfortable while inside. And if you can reduce your dog’s feelings of stress and anxiety, this is something which is always worth doing. Find out more about the best dog crates.
How to Make the Dog Toys Last Longer
When you buy a dog toy, you obviously want it to last as long as possible. As well as being more expensive to continually replace toys, your dog may also form an emotional attachment to one and can become sad when it is no longer usable. With this in mind, here are a few tips to help dog toys last longer.
- Supervise Your Dog
Not only is supervising your dog important from a safety point of view, but it will also help to stop them from causing damage to their favorite toy. If you think that your dog is getting overly excitable and aggressive when chewing a plush toy, you can take it away from them and keep it out of reach until they have calmed down. This is especially important if your dog is a tough and determined chewer, as they are much more likely to bite through soft and even plastic toys.
- Don’t Give Your Dog Continual Access to Toys
If you have several dog toys, it is easier to rotate them to distribute the wear and tear evenly. As well as helping to protect the toys physically, this also aids in stopping them from becoming boring to your pup. Once you get an older toy back out again, your dog is likely to react like it is brand new - if they haven't seen their plush toy duck in a few days, they are likely to be extremely excited when it reappears again!
- Play Different Games
Rather than just playing fetch all the time, why not try out some different games with your dog? Interactive play improves the quality of your dog’s life, their behavior, and forges a strong pet-owner bond. By varying the type of games, you play with your hound, you help the toys to last longer rather than allowing them to become boring and stale.
- Choose the Toys Wisely
Some toys are naturally bound to last longer than others as they are made with higher-quality materials and better manufacturing standards. So, before you choose one, you should look closely at the product description, the reliability of the brand, and the product reviews. These three factors combined give you a clearer picture of whether or not a toy is likely to last for a long time to come.
Types of Dog Toys
As you will already know, there are several different types of dog toys on the market. Here is an overview of some of the main options available.
- Chew Toys
As it says in the name, chew toys are designed for your dog to bite and gnaw on. Often they come in the form of flavored bones and can be made of rubber or plastic. They are designed to satisfy your canine companion’s natural desire to chew. As a bonus, many are also great at massaging the gums and removing soft plaque, so they're good for your pup's oral health.
- Interactive Toys
Interactive toys have developed significantly over the past few years. They come in different forms, but all are designed to fulfill the main purpose of keeping your dog mentally engaged and stimulated, as well as fighting off boredom. Often, they come in a treat-dispensing format to encourage your dog to keep coming back to them time and time again. In fact, there are many toys that can become more interactive by introducing your dog to games such as hide-and-seek with them.
- Comfort Toys
There is some crossover with chew toys, but comfort toys usually come in the form of plush, soft animals that your dog can form a bond with. They're a great choice for anxious dogs, as well as puppies, although any pupper - old or young - can benefit from a plush companion.
- Exercise Toys
Finally, there are toys that are primarily designed to encourage physical exercise in your four-legged friend. These are the classic fetch toys such as balls and frisbees which your dog can run after. There are also the ‘tug-of-war’ toys such as ropes which are an excellent way of tiring your dog out; and, as a nice little bonus, they will probably give you a good workout as well!
Our Top Pick
At the top of our list of must-have dog toys is Kong, the classic dog toy. Durable and bouncy, your dog will love chasing after it, and you can rest assured that it will survive their chewing habits. It also has the natural advantages of helping to clean your pooch's teeth and soothe their gums. Fill it up with their favorite treats and they will be even more interested in playing!
We talked earlier about how important it is that you choose a toy that is the appropriate size for your dog, and this one comes in several different sizes to suit your four-legged friend. While it is a seemingly simple design, it is one that thousands of dog owners have tried, tested, and loved. Vets and trainers the world also recommend it, and we think it’s simply fantastic too!
Q: How do I wash dog toys?
Your dog’s toys are likely to end up covered in dirt and slobber, so it is important that you clean them on a regular basis. The cleaning process depends on the type of toy. Many hard rubber and plastic toys are suitable to go in the dishwasher, but you should always double-check to make sure that you aren’t risking damage. Generally, they need to be put on the top rack on a full cycle. However, if you find that the toy is not dishwasher-proof, you could wash them by hand using mild detergent or soap and warm water.
As for soft dog toys, you can often simply throw them in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. You could use a natural laundry detergent or else sprinkle in some baking soda and white vinegar. If possible, you should do this on a warm and sunny day when the toys can naturally air dry. Before throwing them in the dryer, you should double-check to ensure that this is a suitable option. If it is, you should put them in on a low setting.
If you can’t or would prefer not to use the washing machine and dishwasher, you could make your own DIY cleaner and soak the toys in the sink or tub. A solution of equal parts water and white vinegar will usually do the job, but you can add a sprinkle of baking soda for extra-tough stains. Alternatively, you could mix these things up in a spray bottle and simply wipe down the toys with a cloth.
Q: What can I put in a Kong for a puppy?
A Kong toy is a very popular way of feeding or treating your furry friend as some models allow you to put inside entire meals. One option is to simply stuff the toy with your puppy’s regular kibble or wet dog food. Alternatively, you can fill it up with other tasty soft foods like yogurt, mashed banana, and everyone's favorite - peanut butter. As your dog gets the hang of using the toy and they grow into an adult, you can start to come up with some more complicated recipe combinations. And if you just want to slow down their feeding time? Stuff their regular kibble inside the Kong, and they'll actually have to work for their food!
Q: How do I choose the best size for my dog?
Many dog toys have been created with specifically sized dogs in mind. To start off with, you should check the product description for a recommended size range. At best, toys that are the wrong size are off-putting for your dog to play with; at worst, they can be hazardous. Ideally, the toy should fit comfortably inside your dog’s jaw without seeming too large or small. And if you own a puppy, it is best that you replace their toy as they grow and develop to ensure that they don’t get too big to use them.
- Dog Toys: How To Pick The Best And Safest, The Humane Society
- Dr. Krista Williams, BSc, DVM, Teeth, Teething and Chewing in Puppies, VCA
- Dr. Leslie Gillette, DVM, How to Pick the Best Chew Toys for Puppies, PetMD
- Dr. Christine Arhant, Chewing Behaviour In Dogs – A Survey-Based Exploratory Study, ScienceDirect
- Mark Stickney, Tips for Buying Dog Toys, Texas A&M University
- At-Home Tips for Keeping Your Pets Busy and Engaged, ASPCA