You’ve probably got a basket full of chews, balls and rubber chickens already, but wouldn't you agree that the best doggo in the world (your dog obviously) deserves a brand-new toy to get his gnashers around when playing fetch or frisbee?
We've all grasped that playing with a dog is fun, but there are plenty more cognitive, social and physical benefits to a good old tug o’ war; including strengthening your bond, providing much-needed mental stimulation, and crucially, it relieves boredom and its associated undesirable behaviours, such as excessive chewing.
We’ve rounded up the best toys for your furry best friend, whether they’re little, large or just downright picky. And for more information surrounding furry (or not so furry) companions you can check out our pet hub.
The best dog toy
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- The best dog toy is: Chuckit! Ultra Ball, Durable High Bounce Rubber Dog Ball, Launcher Compatible, 2 Pack, Medium.
- The best mental stimulation dog toy: Trixie Dog Activity Flip Board (opens in new tab)
- Best treat dispensing dog toy: KONG Wobbler Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy
- Best chew dog toy: Nylabone Dura Bacon Chew, X-Large
- The best tough dog toy: Happypet Tough Toys Frame Ball for Dogs (opens in new tab)
- Best plush puppy toy: ALL FOR PAWS Snuggle Sheep Pet Behavioral Aid Toy
- The best rope tug dog toy: DogDirect London,DOG TUG TOY Tugger Tug Chase Rope
Chuckit’s Ultra dog toy ball is designed to bounce higher, float better, last longer and stand out. Made from natural rubber, the ball encourages your doggo to leap and jump for the ultimate game of fetch.
Available in a variety of high visibility colours and sizes, the ball is extra buoyant on water, and durable, to withstand biting and slobbers. The balls can be used most effectively with the Chuckit! Ultra Grip ball launcher.
Natural and durable
With an extra-thick natural rubber core, Ultra dog toy balls are durable for long-term use.
High bouncing and floats
For engaging time at the pool, beach or lake, the lightweight ball floats, while the high-bounce rubber encourages your dog to leap and jump.
High visibility colours
The bright blue and orange colourways mean that pets and pet parents can avoid disappointment by easily spotting the ball during outdoor play.
Designed for our pooches’ inquisitive and active minds, Trixie’s Dog Activity Flip Board keeps them entertained for longer than standard toys might.
This strategy game is suitable for small to medium dogs and involves them receiving hidden treats by using various opening techniques.
You’ll be able to challenge your doggo again and again, helping to strengthen the bond between you with Trixie’s strategy game. By using various opening techniques, your dog will discover hidden treats or their own favourite dry food if you prefer.
The game includes a booklet with tips and tricks for designing optimal training.
Challenge your dog
The Kong Wobbler (opens in new tab) sits upright until pushed by a paw or nose to dispense hidden treats while it spins and rolls. Its unpredictable movement stimulates your pooch’s natural instincts and keeps them challenged year-round.
Dog bowl alternative for chubby pooches
The wobbler is a great alternative to a dog bowl for canine companions who need to lose a few pounds or who could afford to exercise a little more when you’re out and about.
For healthy gums and teeth
With a delicious bacon flavour, the Nylabone Dura Chew (opens in new tab) is designed for powerful chewers, with tiny bristles to help clean teeth, controlling plaque and tartar. Encouraging non-destructive chewing habits, it will also keep your dog entertained, and engaged for hours.
Tough and safe material
The Nylabone chew is made from durable nylon which is as tough as bone, but it doesn’t come with the same dangers, such as splintering.
Happy Pet’s tough frame ball will keep both your dog entertained and their teeth and gums in tip-top condition, with its ridged edges and durable rubber material.
Great for teeth and gums
Great for encouraging natural chewing and play, the rubber material is safe and gentle on teeth and gums.
Tough and durable
The easy to clean rubber material is both hard-wearing and perfect for outdoor play.
It can be really quite distressing to witness a puppy’s first night away from its mother and therein lies the importance of plush toys that your new little pupper can snuggle up to. The Snuggle Sheep Pet Behavioral aid toy reduces negative behaviours resulting from anxiety and loneliness as it provides a warming pack which comforts and eases crying.
Reduces anxiety naturally
This sweet toy reduces negative behaviours resulting from loneliness through natural instinct and recreates the intimacy of mother and pup with physical warmth to ease separation anxiety with a realistic heartbeat sound.
Disposable warming pack
Includes a disposable odourless warming pack for an extra source of comfort, which is easy to use with no microwaving or electricity needed. The pack can also be removed for machine washing.
Ideal for agility and obedience, DogDirect London’s rope tug toy is a great toy for getting your doggo interested in owner-dog interaction. Lightweight, yet strong and durable, theses tuggies are suitable for tough jaws and will not irritate your dog’s gums.
Great for Behavioural Training
Tugger toys are multi-functional and this one is ideal for agility, obedience, flyball and HTM training
Made from soft plaited fleece, the tug toy is designed to not irritate your dog's gums.
How to buy the best dog toy
Whether you’re playing a game of fetch or watching your pooch roll around, entertaining himself, toys are an important part of your doggo’s well-being, so it’s vital that you know what to look out for when you're choosing the best ones.
Always keep your pooch’s age in mind when shopping for a great toy. A 4-week old pup still has baby teeth, so toys with plush fabrics and super soft rubber would be a good fit; and when your puppy gets bigger, he’ll be teething, so hard rubber is still a no-no. Once your dog is no longer teething, they’ll have a strong enough jaw for hard rubber toys and have boundless energy to play ball in the park. Once your canine companion enters his senior years, it’s important to look at softer toys to chew on and encourage him to keep active.
Toy size and texture
Adult dogs come in all shapes and sizes and for that reason it’s important to get the right size and material of toy for your pooch, in relation to their jaw size; large dogs can manage tougher toys, whereas smaller breeds may find tough toys too hard to clench. For large dogs, if a toy is too soft it can break into pieces making it a choking and ingestion hazard.
Types of toy
Navigating the toy aisle can be a bit of minefield so consider the top four varieties of toy with respect to your pooch’s individual needs and preferences.
Rubber, plush, tennis, foam, squeaky – the list goes on. Strengthening your bond over time, Balls encourage you, as the pet parent, to get involved in play because dogs love a game of fetch or catch. Each bounce and float differently and come in different sizes. Always take into consideration the right size and durability for your doggo’s jaw – making sure it won’t be easily swallow-able and chewed to bits.
Most pooches enjoy playing tug-of-war with their owners and other furry friends. And although some may warn against this game to discourage aggression, there’s nothing to worry about if your doggo’s well trained. You also never want to be able to rip the toy out of your dog's mouth as this could cause health – namely gum - problems for him. Top tip: make sure you replace your dog’s toy as soon as it shows any signs of wear and tear.
Treats and chews
Generally made from long-lasting nylon or hard rubber materials, some toys are made specifically to be chewed on, and it's best to use them for that purpose. Some are stuffed with treats for training, while others are enjoyable as entertainment for hours at a time. The best chew toys are soft enough to chew on and durable so they don't easily break down into small pieces. It’s important to consider the size of chew toy in relation to the size and age of your dog.
A favourite for many dogs, plush toys can unfortunately they’re relatively unsafe, more often than not, as they can be ripped apart and the filling ingested. With supervision, though they can still be a lot of fun. Before puppies start teething, they are great options for them to snuggle up to at night and can ease anxiety.
- Looking to go pedigree with your pet gadgets? Check out our favourite 5.