Best dog toys: 7 buys for playtime with your furry friend

Discover the best dog toys available for your canine companions

the best dog toys revealed
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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

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 Ultra Ball, Durable High Bounce Rubber Dog Ball, Launcher Compatible, 2 Pack,

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1. Chuckit Ultra Ball, Durable High Bounce Rubber Dog Ball, Launcher Compatible, 2 Pack

Best dog toy: it's a natural and durable, easy to clean, high-bouncing ball machine

Specifications
Best for: An outdoor game of fetch
Pet life stage: Adult (10 years and up)
Weight: 186g
Material: Natural high-bounce rubber
Dimensions: 6.4 x 6.4 x 6.4 cm
Colour: high-vis blue & orange
Bouncy?: Oh yes
Easy cleaning?: yep
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight+Durable+Made of natural rubber+Floats on water+Easy visible bright colours
Reasons to avoid
-May be easily chewed by strong jaws

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. 

Trixie Dog Activity Flip Board, 23 cm, Assorted color

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2. Trixie Dog Activity Flip Board, 23 cm, Assorted color

Best mental stimulation dog toy: ideal to keep dogs focused, entertained and active for longer

Specifications
Best for: Challenging your pampered pooch
Pet life stage: 1 month and up
Weight: 4.54g
Material: Plastic
Dimensions: 22.9 x 22.9 x 2.5 cm
Colour: assorted
Bouncy?: no
Easy cleaning?: dishwasher safe
Reasons to buy
+Keeps dogs’ minds active and helps concentration+Suitable for all dogs+Strengthens your bond+Easy once shown how to use (a training booklet is included)+Made of robust plastic, dishwasher safe and has non-slip rubber feet
Reasons to avoid
-Supervision is required, especially for larger dogs, to ensure that all parts stay put

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.

Entertain them

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. 

Training game 

The game includes a booklet with tips and tricks for designing optimal training. 

KONG - Wobbler™ - Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy, Dishwasher Safe - For Large Dogs

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3. KONG - Wobbler™ - Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy, Dishwasher Safe - For Large Dogs

Best treat dispensing dog toy: hugely entertaining, packed with food, action and mental stimulation

Specifications
Best for: Greedy pooches and/or those that need a little more exercise
Pet life stage: Adult
Weight: 812g
Material: Plastic
Dimensions: 19 x 13 x 13 cm
Colour: red
Bouncy?: built to wobble
Easy cleaning?: dishwasher safe + unscrews for easy cleaning (And refilling)
Reasons to buy
+Dishwasher Safe+Prevents rapid eating+Available in 2 sizes – S and L+Provides exercise and mental stimulation
Reasons to avoid
-Make sure you choose the correct size of toy for your dog

Challenge your dog

The Kong Wobbler 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. 

 Nylabone Dura Bacon Chew, X-Large

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4. Nylabone Dura Bacon Chew, X-Large

Best chew dog toy: helps to keep gnashers and chewing habits healthy, plus, hours of entertainment

Specifications
Best for: Dogs with destructive chewing habits
Pet life stage: Adult
Weight: 22.7g
Material: durable nylon
Dimensions: 19.4 x 3.2 x 5.4 cm
Colour: Bacon
Bouncy?: no
Easy cleaning?: it does the cleaning (of teeth) for you
Reasons to buy
+Made from tough, durable nylon+Cleans dogs teeth+Flavour stays intact throughout+Keeps dogs entertained for hours+Encourages healthy chewing habits
Reasons to avoid
-May not be suitable for all powerful chewers so always make sure you keep an eye on your dog when in use

For healthy gums and teeth 

With a delicious bacon flavour, the Nylabone Dura Chew 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. 

Happypet® Tough Toys Frame Ball for Dogs

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5. Happypet® Tough Toys Frame Ball for Dogs

Best tough dog toy: solid, made from natural rubber for the feistiest of rough and tumbles

Specifications
Best for: tough dogs
Pet life stage: Adult
Weight: 422g
Material: natural rubber
Dimensions: 16.6 x 13.2 x 10.2 cm
Colour: various
Bouncy?: not especially
Easy cleaning?: wipe clean
Reasons to buy
+Solid, durable rubber dog toy+Safe and soft on gums and teeth+Eliminates boredom+Long-lasting toy
Reasons to avoid
-Not totally indestructible, especially in combination with big, powerful jaws

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.

 ALL FOR PAWS AFP Snuggle Sheep Pet Behavioral Aid Toy Warm Plush Toy Heart Beat Sheep …

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6. ALL FOR PAWS AFP Snuggle Sheep Pet Behavioural Aid Toy Warm Plush Toy Heart Beat Sheep …

Best plush puppy toy: helps ease anxiety and negative behaviours from separation with real-life snuggles

Specifications
Best for: Puppies missing their mums
Pet life stage: Pup
Weight: 231g
Material: soft plush toy
Dimensions: 13.9 x 5.9 x 21.9 cm
Colour: white
Special feature?: warm pack to mimic heart beat
Easy cleaning?: machine wash with warm pack removed
Reasons to buy
+Soft plush toy providing warmth and comfort+Reduces separation anxiety and negative behaviours+Realistic heartbeat sound+Great for puppies+Machine washable+Removable warming pack that can be turned on and off
Reasons to avoid
-Heartbeat sound feature may not last forever

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. 

DogDirect London, DOG TUG TOY Tugger Tug Chase Rope

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7. DogDirect London, DOG TUG TOY Tugger Tug Chase Rope

Best rope tug dog toy: soft plaited, flexible fleece toy makes for fantastic tug of war sessions

Specifications
Best for: playing tug with your canine companion
Pet life stage: puppies and adults
Weight: 132g
Material: strong and lightweight fleece/polar
Dimensions: 14.6 x 14.3 x 7.4 cm
Colour: ocean
Special feature?: flexible and tug-resistant
Easy cleaning?: machine washable
Reasons to buy
+Suitable for tough dogs+Available in various lengths and colours+Ideal for training+Machine washable
Reasons to avoid
-Not totally indestructible and the manufacturer always recommends supervision

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

Gum friendly

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.

Age

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. 

Balls

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. 

Tug toys

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. 

Plush toys

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.