As a dog owner, it is important to understand the physical benefits of exercise for your pet and the intellectual benefits of your interaction with them. Toys are a great way to provide this mental stimulation while also spending time with your dog and strengthening the bond you have with them.
- Top 10 Dog Toys (Plus A Bonus For Puppies)
- Brain Games For Dogs
- Why Dogs Need Toys
- What Is The Best Toy For My Dog?
There are thousands of dog toys on the market to choose from, and here are 10 of our favorites.
Note: Please inspect your dog’s toys regularly to ensure they are in good condition and are safe for play. Your dog should not ingest stuffing, plastic, or other harmful materials. Read the toy’s packaging to identify any precautions.
This Benebone chew toy has real bacon flavor, so dogs love the taste. The curve of the wishbone makes it easy for dogs to grab and bite. This product is made in the USA and meant for dogs under 70 pounds.
Made in a facility where nuts may be present, if someone in your household has a nut allergy, do not purchase this product.
- Price (Medium):
These unique squeaky plush toys are a great gift idea for that friend who has a favorite beverage. From vodka and beer to La Croix, dogs can join their owner for a “dogmestic” or “impawted” drink.
- Lick Croix:
- Red Bulldog:
- View all options here
The Chuckit! Ultra Ball encourages exercise and playtime. These balls add an element of fun with high-bounce and buoyant material.
These rubber balls are easy to clean and find in the snow and are available in 5 sizes. They are compatible with Chuckit! Launchers (but be sure to match up the ball and launcher sizes).
- Small 2-pack:
- Medium 2-pack:
- Large 2-pack:
- X-Large 2-pack:
- XX-Large 1-pack:
The KONG Rubber Dog Chew Toy has consistently been a best-seller since its introduction. This toy is most commonly referred to as “the KONG” and provides an excellent jaw workout for chewers. You can toss the KONG, and it will bounce all over, making it great for fetch.
Another way to use it is to fill it with peanut butter and freeze it. Your dog can enjoy chewing and licking it for hours. Read our reviews of other Kong dog toys.
I have one of these for my dog, and I fill it with small training treats. She likes to push the KONG around with her nose until all the treats are dispensed.
The KONG Rubber Flyer Frisbee Dog Toy is made from all-natural rubber and is durable and flexible. Unlike plastic flyers that can crack and splinter and hurt your dog’s mouth, this soft rubber toy is gentle on your dog’s mouth.
You can also sign up to get a monthly Kong Box filled with Kong toys and treats for your dog.
If your dog loves rope toys, this is a great pick that’s also inexpensive. Your dog can play tug-of-war, fetch, or chew on it. It’s available in various sizes too, so your dog can have the right size toy. The fibers in the rope also help floss your dog’s teeth.
This is my dog’s favorite toy. She loves playing tug-of-war and fetch with it. It was the first toy we purchased for her, and it lasted more than 2 years. We recently repurchased it because she loves it that much.
BarkBox is known for its fun and unique toys for dogs in its subscription boxes, including one for super chewers. This 2-in-1 interactive toy is durable and great for more destructive dogs. It has a squeaker to entice play, and if/when the dog destroys the first toy, there’s a second toy underneath. It’s a pretty novel way to make a toy last longer.
The Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Dog Toy is every dog’s dream come true. This toy includes three squeaky squirrels and a plush tree trunk. You can play hide-and-seek with your dog, and the two of you will have a blast. The toy comes in various sizes so you can choose the best size for your dog’s breed.
This interactive food dispensing toy will stimulate your dog to continue to play. The toy is available in 3 and 4-inch sizes, and you can adjust the level of difficulty as your dog learns how to obtain treats faster.
Just insert your dog’s favorite dry treats (these Zuke’s Minis are a great option) or kibble, and your dog is bound to be intrigued by it. The hard plastic can get loud on tile and hardwood floors, but carpeted areas are a great place for dogs to play with this toy. See more toys that are great for mental stimulation.
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- 4 inches:
This toy keeps our 9-month-old puppy occupied for hours. And, when Barley stops playing with it, he falls asleep!! It is also impossible for him to chew it up, which means this toy will thankfully last much longer than most in our home. – Michelle S., Co-Founder of Canine Journal
Watch Michelle’s pup play with the IQ Treat Ball.
This toy can help with crate training and reduce whining and barking. These toys can help transition a newly adopted pet to their new home and reduce anxiety caused by fireworks and thunderstorms. It has a pulsing heartbeat, is available in multiple colors, and it’s machine washable.
Puppies are known for being destructive with their constant chewing. This 6-piece teething chew set is a must for anyone with a puppy as it helps distract them from destructive behaviors. Made from durable, non-toxic cotton and rubber, this set includes squeaky, plush, rope, chew, and ball toys.
Not only are these some of the best, all-natural dog chew toys, but they also help clean your dog’s teeth, controlling plaque and tartar buildup. Be sure to keep a close eye on your puppy while they’re chewing to make sure the toys are still intact and safe.
Another option to keep your dog intellectually stimulated is to try puzzles, obstacle courses, or other brain training activities. We discuss many fun and popular choices in our brain games review.
Exercise is the primary reason why many dog owners invest in toys. Throwing a ball helps keep activity rigorous and fun for both you and your dog. Exercise is a crucial part of having a healthy dog because, without adequate activity, a dog can become obese and fall prey to many illnesses.
2. Intellectual Stimulation
Despite being “domesticated,” dogs can quickly become bored. There is a saying that a “tired dog is a good dog,” and this is particularly true for working breeds such as border collies.
Without adequate intellectual stimulation, dogs can become destructive, disobedient, and downright impossible to handle. However, with a combination of exercise and mental stimulation, even the most high energy dog can relax.
A great way to bond with your dog is to engage in playtime with their favorite toys. Toys also promote bonding in multiple-dog households by helping dogs bond with each other and understand their place in your home’s hierarchy.
4. Dental Health
A fun way to improve dental health and reduce the need for surgical cleanings is to invest in toys designed to clean teeth as your dog plays. These toys encourage chewing, which stimulates saliva and diminishes plaque, reduces its recurrence, and helps prevent a tooth infection.
While your dog would likely choose every one of these toys as their favorite, selecting the right one is up to you. Only you know your dog’s likes and dislikes as well as their destructive tendencies.
For example, if you have a dog who loves to play ball, then a Nylabone will not do the trick. If, however, you have a dog that adores plush toys but can get a little carried away, then the Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Dog Toy might be the right choice for you.
If you keep your dog’s preferences in mind, you won’t go wrong with any of these dog toy options. If you’re looking for another idea to gift your dog (or pet parent), check out our dog gift guide. You can also consider a dog subscription box to regularly receive toys in the mail, so you never run out.
What’s your dog’s favorite toy, and why?