Playing, running, and chewing is a big part of being a dog. All dogs like to play in one form or another, whether it is chasing other dogs, fetching flying objects, chewing on your shoes, or tugging on a stick. But what are the best dog toys for your dog?
If a dog doesn’t play regularly, it can result in behavior problems like separation anxiety, digging, and excessive barking. In most cases, buying a few toys can solve these problems. There are many toys to choose from, and your dog will not be interested in all of them.
When shopping for a dog toy, you have to take your dog’s personality, size, and breed into account. In this review guide, we will be taking a look at some of the most popular dog toys that are available. We will also discuss choosing the right toy for your dog and the different types of dog toys.
The 10 Best Dog Toys Reviewed
1. Benebone Real Flavor Wishbone Chew Toy
The Benebone is a wishbone-shaped chew toy that is made of nylon and real food ingredients to provide your dog with enjoyable flavors. One of the food ingredients is real bacon that was sourced in the United States.
The Benebone chew toy has an ergonomic design that makes it easier for your dog to handle. There are also deep grooves in the wishbone (with added flavors) that provides your dog with a better grip. This toy is ideal if your dog likes chewing on objects and if he weighs less than 60 lbs.
- Chew toy that is shaped like a wishbone
- Ergonomic design and made from nylon and real bacon
- Made in the United States
If your dog is allergic to nylon or pork, however, this toy is not suitable, and you may have to consider some of the other toys on this list.
2. Outward Hound Interactive Puzzle Toy
The Outward Hound Interactive Puzzle Toy consists of chambers with six treat hiding cups. To use this puzzle toy, hide different treats in the cups, and show them to your dog. If your dog knows there are treats inside the cups, she will use her paws and nose to lift the cups and access the treats.
Dogs like spending time figuring out the puzzle toy, especially since they are rewarded with a treat afterward. This toy is BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free, and it has multiple scent guides. The tray with treat chambers is also highly durable and can withstand the most enthusiastic dogs.
- Consists of six treat chambers and cups
- Chambers are big enough for sizable treats
- Suitable for dogs of all sizes
- Great way to occupy and stimulate active dogs
The treat chambers are quite big, and most dogs will have no problem removing their treats from the bowls.
3. Kong Classic Dog Toy
Kong toys are popular treat-dispensing toys that are made of durable rubber. This toy has a cone-shape with a hollow center that you can stuff with treats your dog is sure to love.
Despite this toy’s relatively simple design, it has several functions. A Kong toy accommodates your dog’s need for chewing, and figuring out how to remove the treat provides your dog with much-needed mental stimulation, which alleviates boredom and stress.
- Designed to solve a wide range of behavioral issues
- Made from durable rubber
- You can stuff the Kong with kibble, peanut butter, or other treats
You can put any treat inside the Kong toy that you want, which means your dog has to figure out a variety of methods to get her treat out of the Kong. Your dog is highly unlikely to destroy this toy. Because it is made from durable rubber, it can withstand strong and big jaws.
4. Mammoth Flossy 5-Knot Rope Tug
The Mammoth Flossy Chews 5-knot rope tug is a braided rope and chew toy that allows for interactive play and games like tug-of-war or fetch.
One of the benefits of this toy is that it promotes dental hygiene. When your dog bites the rope, the flossy rope rubs plaque and tartar off its teeth, much like dental floss for humans. Because of this toy’s prominent dental benefits, it is often recommended for dogs that are older or dogs with dental issues.
- Colorful and durable chew toy
- The flossy rope scrapes plaque and tartar from a dog’s teeth
- Suitable for dogs of all sizes
- Ideal for chewing and interactive games like fetch
5. Chuckit! Ultra Ball
If your dog loves playing with a ball, you don’t have to spend a fortune on tennis balls that only last a day. The Chuckit! Ultra Ball is a colorful ball that is specially designed for active dogs and owners. This ball has a high bounce and is made of durable rubber.
- Durable rubber ball that is clearly visible to dogs
- The ball has a high bounce and is buoyant
- Easy to clean, and suitable for outdoor use
- Compatible with the Chuckit! Ball Launchers (among other launchers)
The Chuckit! Ultra Ball can float on water, it is easy to clean, and it can last for years. The colors of the ball are specially selected so that dogs can see it clearly, even in poor visibility. This ball is suitable for indoor and outdoor use, and it is compatible with the Chuckit! Ball Launcher.
6. Multipet Lamb Dog Toy
Lamb Chop is a plush dog toy from Multipet for dogs that like to cuddle or play fetch. This Lamb Chop Toy is much more durable than he looks, and he offers several benefits, including an internal squeaker and a super soft plush cover.
- Soft plush toy with inner squeaker
- Heavy enough to throw and play fetch
- The soft exterior makes this toy great for cuddling
You can also attach Lamb Chop to other objects like your dog’s rope or a chew toy for added interest. This plush toy’s mini-version is ideal for small breeds and puppies. If you have a large breed or a dog that likes to chew, chances are this toy won’t last long.
7. KONG – Rubber Flying Disc Toy
The rubber flying disc toy from KONG is ideal for active dogs that like to run and catch objects. The KONG flying disc is made of durable and robust rubber that can withstand sharp teeth, excessive chewing, and strong jaws.
With little effort, the rubber disc can fly over long distances, giving your dog the exercise she needs. Another benefit of the flying disc is that it is specially developed to enhance the dental health of your dog.
- Durable rubber disc, similar to a frisbee
- Ideal for playing catch and using as a chew toy
- The rubber helps to maintain your dog’s dental health
- Unlike plastic products, the KONG flying disc is safe for your dog to catch
When playtime is over, the flying disc is the perfect chew toy to keep your dog occupied and stimulated. Unfortunately, the frisbee is not buoyant, and you will not be able to use it on water.
8. Petstages Dogwood Wooden Chew Toy
The Petstages Dogwood is a durable chew toy that has the same texture and taste as real wooden sticks. The difference between this toy and a real stick is that the Dogwood will not splinter and injure your dog’s mouth. Your dog can chew the toy inside your house without making a mess.
This toy is ideal for your dog if he likes chewing on wooden sticks and if he is always bringing foreign objects into your home and chewing on them. The stick is perfect for playing fetch or tug-of-war, and it is made from durable, long-lasting rubber.
- Designed to mimic the textures and taste of a real stick
- Safe for your dog to chew
- The Dogwood is a chew toy that you can use for interactive games
- Made from durable rubber that can withstand aggressive chewing
9. ZippyPaws – Plush Dog Toy
The ZippyPaws plush dog toy kit includes three characters, a fox, raccoon, and squirrel. Each toy is fitted with three round squeakers to entertain your dog while he interacts with them.
These toys don’t have any stuffing, which means they last longer than most other plush toys. When your dog tears them, it will not result in stuffing lying all over your house.
- Plush toy set consists of three toys
- Each toy has three round squeakers
- The toys are not stuffed, which means no mess
- Suitable for all dogs
Each toy is eighteen inches long and suitable for dogs of all breeds and sizes. Since there are three toys in each set, it will divide your dog’s attention and prolong the lifespan of each little critter.
10. Nylabone Dura Bacon Flavored Bone
This chew toy from Nylabone is a highly durable bacon-flavored faux bone that serves to solve behavioral problems like chewing, separation anxiety, and digging. While your dog chews on this toy, the bristles will help to keep your dog’s teeth clean and free from plaque and tartar.
- Large and durable faux bone with nylon chew ends
- Bacon flavor for added enjoyment
- Maintains your dog’s dental hygiene
The nylon chewing ends of this faux bone are incredibly durable, and it has a long lifespan, even if you have a large breed with strong jaws and sharp teeth. In addition to chewing, you can give this bone to your dog as a toy to play catch.
How to Choose the Right Dog Toy
When it comes to dog toys, you have unlimited options, and you may be forgiven for feeling somewhat overwhelmed. Many owners buy toys for their dogs, and when the dog doesn’t want to play with them, the owner concludes that the dog doesn’t like toys. In most cases, however, the toy is not right for the dog, or it doesn’t provide an outlet for the dog’s instincts.
Every dog has a unique style of playing, and you may have to purchase a few toys to find one or two that your dog really likes. When you know what your dog enjoys, you can start exploring different toys in this subcategory.
When choosing a toy for your dog, take his personality and breed into account. For example, if you have a pug that has difficulty breathing or if your dog has an inactive lifestyle, a plush toy or treat puzzle may be a better option than, say, a flying disc.
If your dog likes to play fetch, there are an unlimited range of toys that you can buy, but you have to take things like the size of their mouth and height into account. If your dog runs with a toy stick that is too long, he can injure himself.
Types of Dog Toys
Food-Dispensing Toys – This type of toy is ideal if you want to keep your dog busy while you are at work, gardening, or having dinner. Food dispensing toys provide dogs with mental stimulation and burn a lot of energy.
Puzzles – These toys are specially designed to challenge and reward your dog. In most cases, these toys involve the giving of treats, and they can also stimulate your dog cognitively. Puzzles or interactive games are ideal if you have a hyperactive or under-stimulated dog that requires a lot of attention.
Ropes and Tug Toys – Rope toys can be made from rubber, plastic, or braided rope. In most cases, these ropes have knots for added interest and chewability. Some dogs love tugging and fetching ropes, and it is one of the best toys if you want to play with your dog. Ropes are often made to benefit dogs’ dental hygiene.
If a rope is starting to disintegrate, it is sometimes best to take it away and give your dog a new rope. When your dog swallows rope fragments, it can result in a gastrointestinal obstruction.
Other tug toys that are made of rubber or plastic can also be stimulating and fun, especially if you have more than one dog. Select a tug toy that is durable and comfortable in your hand. If you have a large dog, you will need a good grip to hold on to the toy.
Plush Toys – Many dogs, even large and aggressive ones, like plush toys. Unfortunately, these toys typically don’t last long and, if they are filled with stuffing, they can lead to a mess in your house. Many plush toys have squeakers that make a sound when a dog bites them or shakes them around.
When a plush toy is nearing the end of its lifespan, supervise your dog when he plays with it to ensure that he doesn’t swallow the squeaker.
Retrieving Toys and Discs – If your dog likes fetching stuff that you throw, almost any portable object can become a retrieving toy. Most retrieving toys have additional benefits, however, and it is worth spending some money on these products.
Some flying discs, for example, are made of rubber that cleans your dog’s teeth, and that doubles as a chew toy when playtime is over. Specially designed retrieving toys are also safe for dogs to catch, and they have the appropriate weights and shapes for throwing.
When shopping for a retrieving toy, consider the typical circumstances in which you play fetch. For example, if you play fetch near a body of water, the toy should be able to float so your dog can find it easily.
Balls – A ball is the original dog toy, and for a good reason. When you throw a ball, most dogs will instinctively chase it. When there is no one around, a ball becomes a chew toy.
Today, balls for dogs come in many different shapes and forms. Some have flashing light or the glow in the dark for added visual interest and so that dogs can find them in poor visibility conditions.
The ball you choose should be the right size for your dog’s mouth. If the ball is too small, your dog may accidentally swallow it and, if the ball is too big, your dog will not be able to fit it comfortably in his mouth.
Contrary to popular belief, tennis balls are not suitable for dogs. The material in the tennis ball wears a dog’s teeth down and can cause tooth decay over time. Large breeds can also swallow a tennis ball which can cause a gastrointestinal obstruction.
Balls that are specially designed for dogs can scrape plaque and tartar from their teeth and promote dental health. They are also more rigid than tennis balls, and dogs are unlikely to ingest them.
Combination Toys – Some dog toys have multiple functions. For example, some balls have squeakers, or you can use them as food dispensers. Some tug toys also have squeakers to peak a dog’s interest.
These toys are ideal if you are not sure what your dog likes. If you buy a rubber flying disc, and your dog ends up chewing it or using it to play tug with your other dogs, consider sticking to rubber sticks or other tugging toys.
Toys that combine different features are often also more stimulating to dogs and provide you with more bang for your buck.
Why Do Dogs Like Dog Toys ?
Dogs don’t play with toys just to pass the time. Toys aid in developing a dog’s mental and physical capabilities while modifying their behavior.
The reasons why dogs like playing with toys depend on the specific type of toy. Dog breeds that traditionally relied on hunting typically like fetching toys, as it stimulates their inherent desire to retrieve objects.
Some people believe that dogs like squeaker toys for the same reason, which is that they instinctively associate the squeak with the sound a poor hunted animal makes. Others argue that dogs like the squeaky toys because it gets their owner’s attention.
Dogs love puzzle toys because they are inherently inquisitive, and they like challenges that are followed by rewards, which is why dogs are so trainable. A dog that doesn’t like puzzle games or fun challenges may simply want to eat a treat, and he will be willing to lift a cup with his nose to get it.
Tugging, chewing, and tearing up plush toys may all be contributed to predation instincts, but the love of toys may also be because of a pleasant association that your dog has with you.
How to Wash Dog Toys
According to the National Safety Federation, dog toys are magnets for germs, dog slobber, and grime. Some dog toys may even contain coliform bacteria, yeast, and mold. To maintain your household’s hygiene, you may have to wash your dog’s toys regularly.
Many people don’t wash their dogs’ toys because they don’t know how. The method you should follow to wash toys depends on the type of toy you have. Most rubber toys can be adequately cleaned by rinsing them under a running tap.
Food dispensary toys are the most challenging to clean, especially if you placed peanut butter inside them. The best way to clean a treat dispensary toy like a Kong is to rinse it with warm water and dish soap before using a toothbrush to scrub the inside.
Some plush toys are machine washable if you remove the squeakers. To get rid of dust mites, place your dog’s plush toys in the washing machine for a quick run, and use natural laundry detergent. You can also sprinkle the toys with baking soda and add white vinegar during the rinse cycle.