Best Dog Toys For Dogs & Puppies In 2021/2022

 

In this guide, we list some of the best dog toys for dogs and puppies.

We’ve also provided some ‘Best Of’ guides for some of the top dog toys across different categories and types.

Let’s jump into it!

 

(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)

 

Best Dog Toys For Dogs & Puppies: Top Rated

In the reviews section below – we’ve linked you to ‘Best Guides’ for each major category of dog toys. So, you can view a specific guide if you’re interested in a specific type of toy.

But, a selection of some of the top dog toys overall, from some of the main categories might be:

Ball Toys

 

Ball Thrower Toys

 

Chew Toys

You can read more about chew resistant dog toys in this guide.

 

Plush/Soft Toys

 

Treat Dispensing, & Stuffable Toys

 

Eco Friendly & Sustainable Toys

Wooden Sticks (made from safe wood, with sharp edges rounded off, and big enough that your dog won’t swallow it or choke on it)

Second hand or used toys from other dog owners, garage sales, and thrift/charity stores

 

Homemade Toys

Used Plastic Soda Bottles (unfilled, or filled with with food and treats. And, BPA, PVC & Phthalate free)

Used & Second Hand Balls (Tennis Balls, & Other Balls Like Soccer Balls and Footballs)

 

Toys Specifically For Large Dogs

In the guide below, we outline some of the best dog toys for large dogs.

 

Toys Specifically For Small Dogs, & Puppies

In the guide below, we outline some of the best dog toys for small dogs.

 

Best Dog Toys For Dogs & Puppies: Reviews

You can click through to these guides to get summaries on the above listed dog toys:

Best Indestructible Chew Toys For Dogs (That Are Heavy & Aggressive Chewers)

Best Dog Ball Toys & Ball Launchers For Dogs

Best Flirt Poles & Lure Toys For Dogs

Best Treat Dispensing Dog Toys & Toys You Can Put Food In

Best Plush, Soft & Cuddly Dog Toys

Best Dog Frisbee Toys & Discs

Best Fetch Toys, & Toys That Dogs Can Chase

Best Squeaky Dog Toys

Best Rope Toys & Tug Toys For Dogs

Best Puzzle Dog Toys

Best Interactive Dog Toys

Best Bone Toys For Dogs

Best Eco Friendly, Sustainable & Organic Dog Toys

Best Homemade & DIY Dog Toy Ideas

Best Toys For Small Dogs & Puppies

Best Toys For Large Dogs

Best Toys For Teething Puppies

Best Toys For Older/Senior Dogs

Best Dog Toys For Lazy Owners, Or Owners With Limited Movement

Best Dog Toys To Beat Boredom, & Keep Dogs Entertained/Occupied

Dog Toys That Look Like Food

Dog Toys That Look Like Shoes

Alcohol Themed Dog Toys

 

Best Dog Toys For Dogs & Puppies: Buyer’s Guide

General Information & FAQs About Dog Toys

We put together this buyer’s and FAQ guide for dog toys where we outline information on:

The substitution of interaction, attention and exercise for dog toys

Different types and styles of dog toys

Different materials commonly used in dog toys

New, secondhand, homemade and DIY, and sustainable/eco friendly and natural dog toys

What size dog toy to get

How you might maintain your dog’s interest in it’s toys

Safety considerations for dog toys

How you might find safe dog toys (and some further information on dog toy safety)

Other potential problems with some dog toys

Dog toys specifically for puppies

What to do with used dog toys

How to wash/clean dog toys safely

 

Best Dog Toys For Small Dogs

Below are just a selection of toys that might be suitable for small dogs and puppies. 

Plush/Soft Toys

 

Balls

 

Chew Toys

 

Rope Toys

 

Flirt Poles & Lure Toys

 

Some Specific Considerations For Dog Toys For Small Dogs & Puppies

Some of the more specific considerations for dog toys for small dogs and puppies are:

You have to make sure the toy is small enough that the dog can handle it in their mouth

You have to make sure the toy isn’t small enough that your dog will swallow it. You also have to make sure it won’t break into smaller pieces that could be swallowed by your dog

You have to make sure it isn’t so hard that it will damage a puppy’s teeth 

 

Check the sizing details in the product description for the dog toy – it should tell you what size dog it is designed for.

 

Best Dog Toys For Large Dogs

You might like to specifically read this guide about some of the best dog chew toys, as larger dogs might be more aggressive chewers:

 

Apart from chew toys, large dogs might like some of these toys:

Ball Toys & Ball Launchers

Balls

 

Ball Launchers

 

Rope Toys (For Medium & Large Dogs)

 

Rope Toys For Aggressive Chewers

For more aggressive chewers, there’s some likelihood that most standard dog rope toys won’t be suitable, and will break down too easily once your dog starts chewing on it So, there’s two options you might explore instead:

Buying a tougher natural rope from a home/outdoors/hardware store (as long as it doesn’t have any toxic or hazardous chemicals on it, and as long as the rope isn’t too hard that it will damage your dog’s teeth – check these things yourself first)

 

Other Toys

Large dogs may also like wooden sticks and branches, as well as home made toys like plastic soda bottles

 

Some Specific Considerations For Dog Toys For Large Dogs

Some of the more specific considerations for dog toys for large dogs are:

You have to make sure the toy isn’t small enough that your dog will swallow it. You also have to make sure it won’t break into smaller pieces that could be swallowed by your dog

You have to make sure it’s strong and durable enough for power chewers if your dog is an aggressive chewer

 

Check the sizing details in the product description for the dog toy – it should tell you what size dog it is designed for.

 

Best Plush, Cuddly & Soft Dog Toys

Some of the top plush/soft dog toys are:

 

*Note – be careful with small plush toys, squeakers, stuffing, and other materials and objects that can be swallowed by some dogs when playing with plush toys.

Supervision may be required with some toys, or you may look at alternative safer toys for your dog. Also – plush toys are usually not suitable for dogs that like to chew on their toys.

 

Plush/Soft Dog Toys And Chewers

Plush toys are better for dogs that aren’t chewers.

Plush toys aren’t the best toys for dogs that like to chew a lot because they aren’t very durable, and also, dogs can pull out the stuffing inside and swallow it. They can also tear the toy open and swallow any squeaker that might be inside. So, we aware of these things.

Also be aware that some plush toys come with smaller plush figures which can be swallowed by bigger dogs.

You might look at dog toys more suited to chewers instead.

 

Best Squeaky Dog Toys

Plush, Soft & Cuddly Toys

 

Balls

 

Safety Reminder About Squeaky Dog Toys

Squeaker toys usually come with small plastic squeakers inside.

Be vigilant when your dog is playing with a squeaky toy to make sure they don’t swallow the squeaker if they end up tearing up their toy from their chewing.

 

Noise Reminder About Squeaky Dog Toys

Squeaky toys may sound great to some, but they can get very annoying to both you and your neighbors if your dog is playing with the toy for an extended period of time.

You can look at non squeaker toys instead if you think noise will be an issue.

 

Best Bone Toys For Dogs

Some of the top bone type toys for dogs might include:

 

Other options/alternatives to bone dog toys might include:

  • Real raw bones from the local butcher/meat seller – get them vet approved first 
  • A wooden stick (these are a cheap and eco friendly option if your dog enjoys chewing on wood). 

 

Toy Dog Bones vs Real Bones vs Wooden Sticks

These are 3 common options for owners who want to get their dog something to chew on. 

Which one is best depends on your dog’s individual preference, and based on any health/safety considerations.

Other options to bones and sticks are other dog chew toys – check out this guide which list some of the best dog chew toys.

 

Best Nylabone Dog Toys

Bone Chew Toys

 

Stuffable Chew Toys

 

Types Of Nylabone Chew Toys

There’s 4 types of chew toys:

Teething Puppy Chew – softest material designed for teething puppies

Flexi Chew Moderate Chew – flexible material for gentle or senior chewers

Tough Strong Chew – for the average chewer

Dura Chew Power Chew – toughest nylon material for powerful and aggressive chewers

 

Best Nylabone For Puppies

Nylabone specify on the product description of each dog toy what size of dog the toy is for.

For example, the Wishbone is for dogs up to 35lbs, and might suit some puppies.

Nylabone also has the puppy teething toys, such as the Nylabone Keys toy. These toys have the ‘Puppy teething chew’ label on them.

 

Best Nylabone For Small Dogs (French Bulldogs, Beagles, Malteses, Etc.)

Nylabone specify what size of dog each toy is for.

For example, the Wishbone is for dogs up to 35lbs, and might suit some small dogs.

 

Best Nylabone For Large Dogs (German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Pitbulls, Etc.)

Nylabone specify what size of dog each toy is for.

For example, the Original Dura Chew is for dogs over 50lbs, and might suit some large dogs.

 

Best Nylabone For Aggressive Chewers

The Dura Chew Power Chew toys might be best for the most powerful and aggressive chewers.

 

Best Dog Toys For Night Time (Dog Toys That Glow)

Some of the best dog toys that glow at night time might include:

 

Best KONG Dog Toys

Some of the most popular and best KONG dog toys are:

 

Types of KONG Toys

KONG makes different types of toys.

Chew toys and ball toys are just a few of them, but they also make soft/plush toys, tug toys, wubba toys, etc.

 

Different Types Of KONG Chew Toy Rubber

Blue and pink rubber formula for puppies

Purple rubber formula for senior dogs

Red rubber formula for average chewers

Black rubber formula for power chewers

 

Best KONG Toy For Puppies

The blue and pink rubber formula toys are for puppies.

In addition, KONG provides sizing details and specifies if their toys are for puppies or not in the product description.

 

Best KONG Toy For Small Dogs (Beagles, Malteses, Etc.)

KONG specifies the size of the dog each toy is for in their product description.

You also have to consider if your dog is an average chewer, or a powerful chewer.

For more aggressive chewers, you might want to try the black rubber toys.

 

Best KONG Toy For Large Dogs (Golden Retrievers, Labradors, German Shepherds, Etc.) 

KONG specifies the size of the dog each toy is for in their product description.

You also have to consider if your dog is an average chewer, or a powerful chewer.

For more aggressive chewers, you might want to try the black rubber toys.

 

Best KONG Toy For Heavy Chewers

The black rubber formula toys are for heavier chewers.

 

Best Rope Toys & Tug Dog Toys

Some of the top choices for dog rope toys might be:

Rope Toys For Small Dogs & Puppies

 

Rope Toys For Medium & Large Dogs

 

Rope Toys For Aggressive Chewers

For more aggressive chewers, there’s some likelihood that most standard dog rope toys won’t be suitable, and will break down too easily once your dog starts chewing on it So, there’s two options you might explore instead:

Buying a tougher natural rope from a home/outdoors/hardware store (as long as it doesn’t have any toxic or hazardous chemicals on it, and as long as the rope isn’t too hard that it will damage your dog’s teeth – check these things yourself first)

Looking at some of the more heavy duty dog chew toys for dogs, such as rubber chew toys

 

Rope Toys For Aggressive Chewers

Aggressive chewers might not be suited for standard dog rope toys, because these toys tend to break down easily.

You might try heavy duty rope products from hardware stores (as long as they are safe and won’t harm the teeth or health of your dog), or toys built specifically for chewers.

 

Safety & Dog Rope Toys

Leading on from the above point, some rope toys, especially rope toys with weak rope fibres (or weak recycled fibres), can present a swallowing/choking hazard to dogs playing with rope toys.

So, make sure you supervise your dog with rope toys to make sure they won’t fray and present a hazard to your dog.

 

Chew Toys For Senior Dogs

 

Best Frisbee & Disc Dog Toys

 

Dog Frisbee Toys vs Dog Ball Toys

Some owners find that their dogs can chew on or destroy some frisbees too easily. If this is the case, you may want to try dog ball toys and a ball launcher instead.

 

Best Fetch Dog Toys, & Toys For Dogs To Chase

Ball Toys vs Frisbees & Discs vs Flirt Poles & Lure Toys

Balls are probably the most versatile and durable. You can throw them for your dog, but you can also pick them up and launch them with a ball launcher. The good balls usually last a while.

Frisbees and discs need to be thrown by you as the owners – there’s hard, nylon and polyester frisbees and discs available.

Flirt poles and lure toys are great for getting your dog to chase over the distance of a metre or two. You can simply handle the lure rod, and move the lure toy back and forth and get your dog to chase it.

So – pick a toy/device that suits your needs and preferences.

 

Best Dog Ball Toys & Ball Launchers For Dogs

Some of the top rated dog ball toys and ball launchers are:

Balls

 

Ball Launchers

 

What Dog Ball Size To Get, & Safety Considerations When Using Dog Ball Toys

Make sure you get a ball that your dog can handle in it’s mouth, but make sure the ball isn’t small enough for your dog to swallow and choke on.

Generally, manufacturers should have sizing charts for you so you know what size ball to buy for your breed.

It also helps if the ball is free of synthetic and toxic materials, chemicals and glues.

 

Best Flirt Poles & Lure Toys For Dogs

Some of the best flirt poles and lure toys for dogs are:

 

Who Would Get A Flirt Pole Or A Lure Toy … and, What Are They Used For?

Flirt poles and lure toys are used to get your dog to chase and try to catch the tail toy/object on the end of the lure cord.

They can be used for:

Owners with limited mobility

Indoor and outdoor exercise

To tire dogs out without you having to move yourself (apart from some light walking and arm/hand movements)

Training and obedience commands (such as release)

To distract dogs out in public

Dogs with a natural prey drive – can address it in a safe way

 

They may not be suitable though for very powerful dogs – they could catch the tail teaser object and tear it off the cord/rod.

 

Best Treat Dispensing Dog Toys, & Dog Toys You Can Put Food In

Some of the top choices for treat dispensing toys, and toys you can put food in are:

Treat Dispensing Toys

 

Toys You Can Put Food In

 

A Note On Treats & Dog Food Used With Dog Toys

Obviously, if you are using dog treats and food with dog toys – make sure you are negatively impacting your dog’s health and eating schedule by overfeeding them or feeding them unhealthy foods.

Check with your vet if you are unsure.

 

Best Interactive Dog Toys

Some of the top interactive dog toys are:

Treat Dispensing Toys

 

Toys You Can Put Food In

 

Puzzle Toys

 

Plush, Soft & Cuddly Toys (+ Squeaky Toys)

 

Lure Toys & Flirt Poles 

 

Homemade & DIY Toys

You can make a toy at home whereby you put spinnable plastic soda bottles with treats in them on a wooden frame. Read the ‘Homemade Dog Toys’ guide below for more info

Regular plastic soda bottles can be good too – put some food inside that your dog will find difficult to get out, and watch to see how long they play with the bottle

 

Which Interactive Dog Toy To Buy?

It really depends.

If your dog is a chewer – stay away from plush toys and toys your dog can destroy relatively quickly.

Otherwise, most of the toys listed above should be worth looking at.

For dogs that are chewers, this guide might be worth checking out:

Best Indestructible Chew Toys For Dogs (That Are Heavy & Aggressive Chewers)

 

Best Puzzle Toys For Dogs

Some of the top puzzle dog toys are:

 

Homemade & DIY Toys

  • You can also make a toy at home whereby you put spinnable plastic soda bottles with treats in them on a wooden frame. Read the ‘Homemade Dog Toys’ guide below for more info
  • Regular plastic soda bottles can be good too – if you put some food inside that is going to be difficult for your dog to get out

 

Are Dog Puzzle Toys Worth It?

At the moment, it really only seems like there is a limited range of dog puzzle toys on the market which might be worth buying, and these puzzle games are fairly basic too.

As an alternative, you may look at some interactive dog toys.

For dogs that like to chew, check out this guide:

 

Best Toys For Teething Puppies

Some of the best toys for teething puppies might be:

Homemade

  • A damp hand towel or clean rag, that has been twisted up, and placed in the freezer to firm up
  • Ice cubes
  • Baby carrots or green beans that have been placed in the freezer

Chew Toys

Rope Toys

*Note – for some people, they can find that wetting/dampening their ropes and putting them in the freezer first (when washed and clean), can be beneficial or puppies that want to chew too.

 

Best Toys For Teething Puppies

These toys might include:

  • Rope toys and tug toys
  • Heavy duty chew toys
  • Homemade and DIY toys

 

Some Specific Considerations For Dog Toys For Puppies

Some of the more specific considerations for dog toys for small dogs and puppies might be:

  • You have to make sure the toy is small enough that the dog can handle it in their mouth
  • You have to make sure the toy isn’t small enough that your dog will swallow it. You also have to make sure it won’t break into smaller pieces that could be swallowed by your dog
  • You have to make sure it isn’t so hard that it will damage a puppy’s teeth 

Check the sizing details in the product description for the dog toy – it should tell you what size dog it is designed for.

Also – obtain your vet’s approval before giving toys and objects to your puppy to ensure they are safe.

You may want to supervise your puppy with the dog toy as well.

 

Best Dog Toys To Beat Boredom, & Keep Dogs Occupied/Entertained

Dog toys that can help dogs beat boredom and keep them entertained might be toys that force dogs to think in some way, or toys that keep them entertained for longer periods than just a few minutes.

Some of the top toys that might match this criteria might be:

  • Chew toys
  • Treat dispensing toys
  • Interactive toys
  • Bone toys
  • Home made toys (such as plastic soda bottles)

You can read about these toys in the review guides provided below.

 

Dog Toys Aren’t A Substitute For Exercise & Attention

Some people think that dog toys can replace physical exercise or interaction between the dog and an owner.

This is not the case.

Dogs should be getting daily exercise (such as a walk), and daily attention from their owner.

Owners who can’t commit to this may want to consider whether their lifestyle is suitable to bring a dog into.

 

Leaving Your Dog Alone Playing With Toys

Some toys might be suitable to leave with your dog without supervision, whilst others might not be.

Read the toy product description and any warnings, along with making your own judgement after examining a toy as to whether it is safe to leave your dog to play with it alone.

If you are unsure or you have doubts – it’s safer to only let a dog play with a toy while you can watch them.

 

Top Ideas For Homemade & DIY Dog Toys

One of the benefits of homemade dog toys is that you are often making them from already used materials – so, they can be more sustainable.

Another benefit is that they can be much cheaper than buying new toys all the time.

So, they are at least worth consideration.

 

  • Used Plastic Soda Bottles

Some dogs like to play with and chew on plastic soda bottles when you are finished drinking from them. 

Another option is to put some food inside the bottle that won’t come out of the top (such as pasta – as long as your dog isn’t allergic or intollerant), and watch your dog spend time trying to get the food out of the bottle. If you make it hard enough to get the food out, your dog can be there for hours playing with the bottle.

A bonus is that they are cheap and recyclable in most places.

Be warned though – soda bottles can be noisy when your dog is playing with them.

 

  • Plastic Bottle Spinning Game (With Treats/Food Inside Them) On A Wood Frame

Google ‘soda bottle dog toy game’ to see images and videos of what this toy is, and how to make it.

It’s essentially a game you can make for your dog, where they learn to spin plastic soda bottles that sit on a wooden support, and treats of food you place inside the bottles intermittently fall out of the bottles. It can entertain dogs for hours.

A description …

Put together a basic wood frame yourself with a plank base, and two upright pieces of wood.

Drill a hole in each upright, and make sure you can thread a wooden or metal pole or bar through each end, and get the bar/pole to sit tightly whilst running the length of plank to each upright.

Next, get three plastic bottles and cut holes just slightly bigger than the diameter of the bar/pole in each of them so they are able to spin freely on the pole/bar whilst suspended above the ground.

Thread the bar/pole through one upright, and then put the bottles on the bar/pole, and then thread the bar/pole through the second upright.

Put a few treats in each bottle.

What then happens is that your dog can spin the bottles with their paw or nose to try get the treats out of the bottles. 

 

  • Used Tennis Balls

Some dogs like playing with tennis balls and chewing on them as they are.

But, another option is make a small cut in them with a knife or sharp object, and place some treats or other food inside the inner rubber of the ball and watch your dog try to get it out.

 

  • Old Shoes

Some dogs love chewing on used shoes – especially the laces.

 

  • A Used Basketball, Soccer Ball Or Football

Some dogs love playing with bigger balls like sports balls, as opposed to small tennis balls and dog fetch balls.

They can be inflated, or semi deflated. Roll it towards your dog and see if they take to it.

It can be a good second hand use after your kids are done with an old sports ball.

 

  • Creating Tug Toys & Ropes From Used Fabric Or Material

You can create ropes and threaded tug toys from old fabric – from t shirts, denim jackets and jeans, towels, rags and so on.

You can cut them up, braid/weave them, knot them at each end, and use them like a homemade rope/tug toy.

 

  • Tough Natural Rope From A Hardware Store

Another option for a tug toy is to buy a tougher natural rope from a hardware store instead of buying as standard dog toy rope (which can be flimsy and break off easily). But, make sure the rope material is safe, and make sure it isn’t so hard that it will damage your dog’s teeth when it chews on it.

 

Safety & DIY Dog Toys

The obvious disclaimer with making DIY dog toys is to make sure you pay attention to safety, and don’t give any toys to your dog that could injure or harm them.

Make sure the materials are safe for contact with your dog, and make sure they won’t break down and be a choking hazard for your dog.

 

Best Dog Toys For Dog Owners With Limited Movement, & Owners That Are Lazy

Balls, ball launchers, flirt poles, and lure toys can be good.

But, also, any toy that allows your dog to stay in the one place and entertain themselves is good. Chew toys for example fit this category.

 

Miscellaneous Dog Toys

Star Wars Dog Toys

 

Designer Themed Dog Toys

 

Outrageous Presidential Dog Toys

 

 

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