Anyone who has ever bought a dog toy knows its fate is never certain. Will this be their new favorite toy? Will it be buried right away and lost forever? Or will our dogs play more with the box the toy came in instead of the toy itself?
When looking for dog toys, you need to keep in mind that they are made to be destroyed by your dog. With that in mind, make sure any toy you buy is durable and well made. If it looks cheap, then your dog will probably tear it to shreds the minute your dog has a chance to sink their teeth into it.
With tough toys in mind, you also want your toy to be made safe. There are many harmful chemicals and other ingredients that can be unhealthy for a dog to ingest. For whatever reason, some dogs are super good at swallowing things we wish they wouldn’t (hello, vet bills). Luckily, there are a bunch of awesome safe toys out there that every dog will love.
What Is the Best Toy for My Dog?
You may be a new dog owner and aren’t sure what the best toy is—finding a suitable toy consists of being aware of a few critical factors. First and foremost, if you have a puppy, be very aware of his or her size. For example, if you buy a ball, you want something big enough so that the dog can carry it, but not so small, the dog could easily swallow it.
As your dog grows, so can the size of their toys. If your dog is already full-grown, it’s the perfect time to figure out what toy is their ultimate favorite. It might be a trial and error situation for a while, but you will eventually learn what your dog likes best. This is an experiment for you both, but it’s a super fun process that leads to plenty of bonding time.
The Twist Toss
The Twist Toss is one of the best toys to play fetch with. Its shape is great because when it lands, it bounces unpredictably, so your dog will get plenty of mental and physical exercises trying to chase it down. It is also designed to hold treats so you can sweeten up that last throw of the day. In addition, it’s made from one hundred percent natural rubber and is free of any unsafe materials like BPA. Best of all, when it gets dirty, it’s dishwasher safe.
The Bolt Bite
The Bolt Bite is the mother of all chew toys. Its unique angled design allows your dog to hold it down with their paws as they try to tear it apart. It will challenge even those most mouthy of dogs with its reinforced center. Whether you have a Pitbull or a teething puppy, it will leave all needs met. With a hollow body for inserting treats, you can always change up the play style. It’s also dishwasher safe.
The Triangle Tug
The Triangle Tug is here, so get ready for the ultimate game of tug of war. One side is a BPA-free 100% rubber handle, while the other side is a cotton woven reinforced circle perfect. Not only do humans love playing with their dog with the triangle tug, but it’s also ideal for houses with multiple playful dogs. It has been tested to meet food safety standards, so you know your pooch can play safely.
The four Tennis Ball Set is a must for any dog. Playtime does not get any more classic than a tennis ball. They have been a fan favorite for dogs ever since the invention of the wheel. These tennis balls are made specifically for your dog and have a specially made core to make them extra bouncy. Made from 100% safe material; this set will ensure your dog has a ball.
The Toy Kit
The Toy Kit is the best of it all. If you are still unsure of what your dog will love, why not buy the bundle? The toy kit includes the Triangle Tug, the Twist Toss, and the Bolt Bite! This combo pack is sure to inspire hours of fun. You can’t miss this trio of the ultimate dog toys.
Again, all three are guaranteed to be made from rigid materials that can withstand the hardest of chewers and soft enough for those whose teeth aren’t exactly razor blades. Everything is food safe and guaranteed to be BPA-free.
IQ Food-Dispensing Toys
Food Dispensing toys or IQ toys are an excellent option for dogs of all sizes and breeds. Even dogs that seem perfectly content being couch potatoes need some mental stimulation. Puzzle toys are all the rage with dog owners (and their pets). These simple to complex toys can engage even the smartest of Border Collies. Mental challenges help pets avoid boredom which is easily one of the most common triggers of destructive habits.
The smell of the food or treats should keep your dog’s attention. Because the food only comes out a few pieces at a time, there’s no worry of overfeeding. This will help promote easier digestion. This will give you a calmer, less rambunctious companion come bedtime.
You can’t forget the only toy as famous as the tennis ball, the frisbee. A toy so popular people ask, “is this a frisbee-catching dog.” Don’t let its simple nature fool you: this is guaranteed fun. The Frisbee is made to be chased down or caught gracefully out of the air.
Make sure you buy a tough enough thick enough frisbee for your dog. This is another toy you don’t want to skimp on when purchasing. You have to consider that your dog will be snapping its jaw down hard with every catch, so you want quality plastic or fabric. No one wants a rambunctious playtime cut short by a visit to their veterinarian.
Say hello to the easiest solution to the most complained about problem in dog history, a slimy, wet, dirty tennis ball. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Ball Launcher. This toy is part ball picker-upper and part launcher. This helps save your shoulders from strain and hands from a mess. This Lacrosse stick for dogs is the cleanest dog toy there is.
Playing fetch is one of the most enjoyable activities to do with your dog, but after a few throws, eh, that ball. The Ball Launcher is designed to do the dirty work for you. You hold on to a clean handle and pick up the ball with a specially designed end. The end cradles the ball tight enough not to drop it but loose enough that the ball goes sailing an impressive distance.
Care & Cleaning of Your Dog's Toys
Sometimes it may not be obvious when it is time to clean or toss your dog’s toys. Every so often, you should take the time to inspect and wash the toys if needed. You should be able to find care instructions on the label of the toy. If not, use your best judgment.
Rubber, Plastic, or Nylon Chew Toys
Some of these materials will be dishwasher safe. This can make it easier for you to clean them. NEVER put a toy into the dishwasher without being sure it is ok. If you don’t know for sure, use basic soap and water to soak the toy. Rinse and dry. Often, dog toys are safe for the top rack only, so be sure to put them in the correct section of your dishwasher.
The biggest issue with rope toys is the likelihood of mold and bacteria living in them. When it comes to rope toys, the washing machine is an excellent way to clean them.
These will also be prone to bacteria and mold. Once they are torn open, they should be disposed of. If they are more heavy-duty, they can go into the washing machine. Just make sure you select a cycle that won’t destroy the toy.
At the end of the day, there is no need to let finding a suitable toy be a stressful situation. Like anything else, knowing your dog and doing a little bit of research is your best bet. Picking out your dog’s favorite toy can sometimes be a guessing game.
In the meantime, let the trial and error process continue. Just make sure the toy is never too small to be swallowed and not so large that the dog would hurt itself trying to play with it. Lastly, make sure your dog’s toys are made from safe materials and are nontoxic. Having a dog is a wonderful experience, and play is undoubtedly part of that.
How to Choose the Right Toys for Your Dog | thesprucepets.com
Dog toys: How to pick the best and safest | The Humane Society of the United States
Ultimate Guide to the Care & Cleaning of Your Dog’s Toys | The Dogington Post