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The 15 Best Dog Toys

Toys are popular among most dogs. They shake them, catch them, roll them, chew on them, and cuddle with them. Toys also stimulate a dog's intellect, keep them entertained, help them burn energy, and provide comfort when they are nervous.

However, not every dog like every type of toy, and not every toy can last even a single play session with a determined companion. So we tested various sorts of toys on a variety of dogs, asking their owners to remark the dog's involvement, the durability of the toys, the overall value, and how easy they were for the dogs (and their people) to play with.

During our testing, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) paid close attention to how dogs loved toys in comparison to their other favorites, as well as how frequently a dog returned to play with the same item.

Our canine team developed the best dog toys as a result of their collaborative testing efforts. Here's what they chose.

Reviews

Best Overall: West Paw Zogoflex Qwizl Dog Treat Puzzle Toy

What We Enjoy

  • It can be used as a chew, fetch, or treat toy.
  • Durable
  • Dishwasher-friendly

What We Dislike

  • A little heavy for fetch (keep your toes crossed!)

The twisted Qwizl can be used in a variety of ways. Dogs who like mobility enjoyed pushing it around, and when thrown, they would fetch and nibble on it. Puppies with teeth chewed on it and rolled it across the floor. If you want to carry toys to the beach or pool, this toy is particularly resilient for aggressive chewers and even floats.

The Zogoflex Qwizl, on the other hand, is designed for long-lasting treats. There is a central entrance with smaller openings along the centre and edges. It is ideal for bully sticks, dental chews, carrots, or biscuits. Dogs that weren’t usually interested in this toy became enamored with it when it was packed with treats.

We discovered that putting peanut butter in the nooks and pushing in some treats or kibble, then freezing the whole thing, was one of the finest methods to keep dogs happy and amused. If anything gets stuck, the Qwizl is simple to clean in the dishwasher.

 

Best Plush: Marvin the Moose Kong Cozie Plush Dog Toy

What We Enjoy

  • There are numerous designs.
  • Soft but tough
  • Squeaker that lasts

What We Dislike

  • aggressive chewers are capable of de-stuffing

Some dogs are so attached to their plush toys that they will carry them about, snuggle them, and sleep with them. Others see them as a challenge, working hard to remove the stuffing and squeaker. Kong Cozies are incredibly resilient and entertaining for stuffed animal enthusiasts. They are made of a relatively robust material, are really soft, and have a hardworking squeaker.

All of our dog testers adored this plush toy and tried hard to locate the squeaker. Some puppies even carried it around like a pacifier, while others curled up and fell asleep with it. If you have a dog who enjoys dismembering plush animals, they will most likely find a way to ruin this one as well. However, this is an excellent pick for cuddlers and squeakers.

Cozies are available in two sizes and a variety of ten different animals and colors, including a moose, elephant, and sheep. They make an excellent security blanket for any size dog and are simple to wash should they become too slobbery.

 

Best Big Ball: Tug-n-Toss Dog Toy by Jolly Pets

What We Enjoy

  • There are four sizes available.
  • Carrying or flinging handle
  • Will not pop

What We Dislike

  • The handle is easily eaten off.

The Jolly Pets balls are modeled after similar toys intended to keep horses entertained. They’re hollow plastic balls with handles that bounce, float, and roll in unpredictable ways, keeping your dog entertained. Border collies and Australian shepherds are two breeds of herding dogs that like chasing and carrying a Tug-n-Toss ball.

During testing, several of our ball-obsessed dogs herded these toys around a yard. Some of our testers were overly attached to them, carrying their Jolly Pets ball by the handle and following them down whenever it was tossed. The handle is useful for carrying and throwing, although some dogs may chew it off. Even without the handle, the ball performs admirably.

Jolly Pets Tug-n-Toss toys come in four sizes, from little to extra-large, and they never pop, even when pierced by a rambunctious dog.

 

Best for Fetch: Classic Launcher Dog Toy by Chuckit!

What We Enjoy

  • Hands-free ball retrieval
  • Allows dog owners to throw their dogs further.
  • There are numerous sizes available.
  • Works with standard tennis balls.

What We Dislike

  • The included ball is not very long-lasting.

The Chuckit! Classic Launcher is an essential toy for dogs who enjoy fetching. The extended handle allows you to scoop the ball off the ground without having to bend down and repeatedly pick up a sticky ball.

When you whip the launcher forward over your shoulder, it releases the ball, hurling it up to three times farther than a standard toss. The technique is simple to learn and has been described as a lifesaver by owners whose dogs can’t get enough of fetch. One owner of numerous test dogs mentioned that the Chuckit! would spare them from shoulder and rotator cuff wear and tear. Their pets also enjoyed it.

The Chuckit!, on the other hand, isn’t suitable for all pet owner scenarios because it demands a lot of area to get the most out of the launcher. If you don’t have a large backyard or frequently take your dog to the park, this launcher may be a little too much for playing fetch in close quarters. The included ball is incredibly easy to hurl over a fence or into the street.

Each rocket includes a Chuckit! orange ball. It’s not very robust, but the launcher also works with regular tennis balls (and other hard rubber dog balls), so if you lose the provided ball, it won’t be rendered useless.

The Chuckit! Classic Launcher is available in a variety of sizes, including a folding model.

 

Best Silent Toy: Silent Squeaker Dog Toy Hear Doggy

What We Enjoy

  • Exceptionally quiet
  • Seam reinforcement
  • The sound piqued the dogs’ interest.

What We Dislike

  • It does not appear to be as durable as some soft toys.

This plush giraffe toy is a touch creepy. You press the squeaker and receive no response, but your dog is ecstatic. The silent squeaker is an excellent option for pets who squeak when you’re on calls or trying to sleep.

The Hear Doggy Silent Squeaker boasts “chew guard technology,” which translates to stronger seams and a long-lasting lining. However, some of our testers were unimpressed with its construction. Having said that, no one on our canine testing team ripped one up. We expect it to withstand somewhat rough play, though a determined chewer may be able to get through it.

The major draw of the Hear Doggy Silent Squeaker is its silent squeaker, which entertained both our human and dog testers. When the toy was squeaking out of sight, the tester dogs went insane trying to find it. They were less interested in the Hear Doggy Quiet Squeaker as a chew toy; the novelty of the silent squeaker captivated every dog who heard it.

An alligator, cow, chicken, pig, giraffe, and elephant are among the six Hear Doggy Silent Squeaker Dog Toy animals offered.

 

Best for Chewers: Wishbone Benebone Bacon Flavor Chew Toy for Dogs

What We Enjoy

  • Various shapes and sizes
  • Puppy-friendly version

What We Dislike

  • Aggressive chewers can easily wear them down.

These thick nylon chew bones are ideal for dogs who enjoy using their jaws. The wishbone shape allows dogs to comfortably grab them with their paws. The bite marks left by our tests indicate that several dogs chewed on the knobby ends so extensively that they likely used their rear back teeth as well. The Benebone chew toys were so good for chewing that they captivated two dog testers who didn’t usually like chew toys.

While all of our dog testers enjoyed the Benebone Wishbone chew toys, some sizes were challenging for small dogs to navigate. However, there are four sizes available (a fifth “Tiny” size is created but not available from the retailers we checked), and the smaller versions felt slightly softer. These were ideal for puppy testing.

While tiny particles of the nylon bone are normal, larger chunks are a strong indication that you should try a larger version or a different toy entirely.

Benebone’s Wishbone Tough Dog Chew Toy is available in three flavors: bacon, chicken, and peanut butter.

 

Best Budget: Spot Skinneeez Forest Series Fox Squeaky Plush Dog Toy with No Stuffing

What We Like

  • No stuffing
  • Floppy and ideal for fetch

What We Don’t Like

  • Determined dogs have a limited lifespan.

Every dog who tried out the Skinneeez stuffing-free toy became obsessed with it. They tossed it around, flung it, shook it violently, and carried the crushed fox wherever they went. While the squeaker in the Skinneeez is adequate, dogs seemed to prefer its limp form because it is easy to carry and shake. Our testers handled it like a prize catch (even if it does look a lot like roadkill).

Spot’s Forest Series plush toys come in 14-inch and 23-inch sizes, including foxes, squirrels, and raccoon variations. Our testers enjoyed playing with the smaller-sized fox, which was ideal for smaller canines. If your dog weighs more than 20 pounds, get the larger size.

Of course, all that enthusiasm means that the tested Skinneeez was always slobbery, and it didn’t appear particularly durable to our testers. However, because the toy lacks stuffing, there is no interior fill to worry about, and you only risk having to buy a new one if your dog pulls it apart. Because their dogs enjoyed it so much, our testers thought it was a worthwhile trade-off.

 

Best for Smart Dogs: Outward Hound Squeaky Puzzle Plush Dog Toy Hide A Squirrel

What We Enjoy

  • Squeakies and a brain game
  • There are four sizes available.

What We Dislike

  • It is not chewable.

This toy mixes the puzzle game difficulty with a plethora of squeaky stuffed animals. Your dog must pull the squirrels out of the holes in a stuffed tree in order to reach them. This combines the excitement of a jigsaw toy with an abundance of plush creatures for continuous squeaking and chewing.

Our dogs interacted with the Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel in a variety of ways, displaying its adaptability. One of our testers became preoccupied with removing each squirrel from its hiding place, only playing with the plush animals once all of them had been removed from the stump. Another dog simply carried the entire tree with them. Instead of dealing with the entire bunch, a third tester was pleased to bite on a single squirrel plush.

These squirrels aren’t the most durable plush chew toys on the market. However, most dogs liked interactions other than chewing, such as playing with the toy’s “puzzle game.”

The Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel comes in four sizes, each with a unique play setup. The “Junior” size, for example, is a short stump with three plush squirrels, whereas the “Ginormous” size is 17 inches tall and comes with six squirrels.

What to Look for When Buying a Dog Toy

Engagement

Even a dog who enjoys noisy toys or balls isn’t impressed by all of them. Some toys will only capture your dog’s attention for a brief period of time, whilst others will rapidly become a favorite. It’s difficult to forecast what your dog will appreciate, but one strategy is to change toys to keep your dog from becoming bored. Place a favorite toy or two in the toy box as a surprise for your dog to discover.

Durability

No matter how much your dog enjoys a toy, it is useless if it is rapidly torn, chewed up, or damaged. That makes it unpleasant and potentially dangerous. Look for strengthened seams and sturdy material in plush toys. Toys should be examined and any strings, ribbons, eyes, or other pieces that could be chewed off and ingested removed, according to the Humane Society of the United States1. Toys that tear or break should be repaired or discarded.

Size

Choose toys that are appropriate for your dog’s size. Small toys might become stuck in your dog’s throat or even swallowed. Toys that are too large for pups might be frustrating.

Usability

Most toys are rather simple to understand. Dogs squeak squeaky toys, chase balls, and gnaw on tough toy bones. There are, however, more intricate toys that demand your dog to work a little harder, such as treat dispensers. Many dogs like the challenge, but some may become frustrated. Toys should be chosen depending on your dog’s personality and interests.

Conclusion

Sincerely, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) are grateful that you have chosen to read reviews on our website. We hope this post will assist you in locating the best dog toys.

FAQs

Is it necessary to clean dog toys?

Certainly, according to Jessica Ek, a spokesman for the American Cleaning Institute. “Dogs, like humans, can get sick, so it’s vital to clean their toys every few weeks,” Ek explains. “This kills harmful bacteria and germs that flourish in damp conditions, such as on drool-covered toys, and keeps the entire family healthy.”

How do you clean your dog’s toys?

Before cleaning fabric pet toys, inspect for any holes or frayed seams and mend them. Check the care instructions first if there is one.

“If the tag is missing or illegible, your best chance is to wash by hand or on a gentle cycle in cold water,” Ek advises.
“Squeeze any extra water out before drying on low heat or air drying (away from your pet until it’s dry).”

Ek recommends washing plastic toys in soapy water first. Then, in a plastic dish pan, combine 2 teaspoons of bleach with 1 gallon of water. To combine, stir everything together. Allow the pre-washed toys to soak in the bleach solution for two minutes. Then drain, rinse thoroughly, and air dry.

What is it about noisy toys that dogs find appealing?

Although the steady repeating noise may irritate you, many dogs enjoy squeaky toys. Experts in dog behavior relate this to a mix of hunting instincts, aversion to sounds resembling startled prey, and the stimulant provided by chewing. Many of the toys are fluffy and designed like animals that dogs naturally want to chase.

Their prey-like characteristics may appeal to dog breeds with strong hunting instincts, such as terriers. As your dog associates the sound it makes with the enjoyment that comes from playing with the toy, a squeaker toy quickly becomes its own stimulus.

When using any toy, keep an eye on your dog and patch any seams or holes as squeakers can be removed and swallowed.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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