Best Dog Toys 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

Best dog toys

For dog owners, finding the best dog toys is quite a challenge. See, there are so many options available, and some of these toys companies aren’t making the best quality products.  

After all, you don’t want to get swindled into buying a low-quality dog toy for your dog. Nothing is worse than spending money on a toy and having your dog rip it apart in the first ten minutes.

This article will make sure you avoid this awful experience by giving you a list of high–quality toys. This list will help you find the perfect toy or toys for your dog’s specific needs. No longer will you have to worry about the quality of the toys you’re purchasing.

Comparison of Dog Toys

Best Dog Toys 2018

In this section, we’ll go over some of the best dog toys on the market to give you a sense of what you should be looking for in one. For convenience purposes, this section will have four parts: chew and indestructible dog toys, interactive and puzzle toys, comfort toys, and other toys.

Chew and Indestructible Toys

Chew-and-Indestructible-dog-toys

The toys in this section are the best dog toys for puppies, small, medium, large; heavy and aggressive chewers like: Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, etc.)

1. Nylabone DuraChew Ring Dog Toy 

The Nylabone DuraChew Ring Dog Toy has the capabilities to keep even the world’s toughest chewer at bay. With my dog’s tremendous chewing power, this toy’s capacity to withstand the most powerful dog jaws is a feature I need in any dog toy I purchase.

The durable, nylon bone is something I love about this toy. See, my dog is obsessed with bones making this toy right up his alley. The added benefit of the nubs/ridges helping fight against plaque build-up is another plus. Brushing my dog’s teeth is an absolute nightmare; therefore, I need all the help I can get.

Also, I love that this product is from a US-based company, so, I don’t have to worry about being tricked into buying a low-quality product. Sadly, products made outside the USA have swindled me a couple of times before.

Although there’s plenty to love about this product, there are a couple of things I don’t. I worry the texture of the bone will damage my dog’s teeth and mouth. He’s a very aggressive chewer, and I don’t want fragments of the bone cutting up his gums.

I have bought bone-line products before, and this was the result. It’s not a pleasant sight finding your dog’s toy covered in blood. However, this doesn’t mean I wouldn’t consider buying this particular product because it does seem high-quality.

  • Can withstand the most powerful jaws
  • Good price
  • Made in the USA
  • Meaty flavor
  • Ridges help clean your dog’s teeth
  • Pieces of the bone could break off

Overall, the Nylabone DuraChew Ring Dog Toy seems like a high-quality toy for dog owners who are tired of consistently spending money on toys that get destroyed in ten minutes.

But given my dog’s tendency to aggressively chew, I worry about its effect on his gums and teeth. I don’t want to walk into the living room again and find him bleeding from his mouth. Therefore, I’d stay away from this product for my particular dog.

2. Benebone Real Flavor Wishbone Dog Chew Toy

Benebone’s Real Flavor Wishbone Dog Chew Toy has a unique design made for numerous chewing sessions. This design is vital for my particular dog’s needs because he loves to chew the same toy over and over again.

Another benefit is the bacon flavor comes from real bacon fused inside the toy. My dog would love this considering every time I make bacon he’s right behind me drooling on the kitchen floor. 

Unlike the Nylabone product mentioned above, this bone won’t have pieces breaking off and making my dog’s gums bleed. I don’t have to tell why that’s a positive.

Additionally, it’s from a US-based company, which is a must for any dog toy product I buy. It tells me there’s nothing fishy about this product and I’m going to get what I expect. When it comes to my dog well-being, you can probably tell I don’t enjoy surprises.

But something I don’t like is the price. It’s a little expensive compared to other similar toys. And there’s nothing unique about this product that I would expect out of a higher priced item.

Also, the product description mentions you eventually have to get rid of the bone. I don’t want to buy a toy with an expiration date. I want a long-lasting toy I don’t have to worry about replacing.

  • Unique design to promote your dog’s comfort while chewing
  • Made in the USA
  • Bacon flavored
  • Pieces won’t break off the bone
  • Price
  • Have to replace eventually

In the end, this Benebone product has a few great positives, but the fact I would have to replace it and pay a higher price makes this product a no buy item for me.

As I said before, I want something that will be able to stay in my dog’s life for a long time. I don’t want a dog toy I’d have to replace every couple months. I’m not saying this is a bad product by any means; however, for my particular circumstances, it’s not ideal.

3. Nylabone Dura Chew Combo Packs

This toy is another Nylabone product with a lot of the same features as the previous one. However, this product doesn’t feature the bone texture that made me worry about how it would affect my dog’s gums.  

Just like the previous Nylabone product, it has the nubs to help clean my dog’s teeth. A critical factor in any bone type product I consider purchasing. It’s something my dog does need as he hates the toothbrush.

Most importantly, it comes in a chicken/bacon flavor for my dog’s enjoyment. Any bone I get has to have some taste, or my dog won’t go near it. Also, it’s long lasting, therefore, will curb my dog’s tendency to over-chew.

Plus, it’s made in the USA. Another box checked on my preferred list of features for a dog toy. Don’t have to worry about some malfunction or dangerous hidden feature with this toy.

Another thing is this product comes in a package of two. So, I could get two of this toy for the price of one Benebone Wishbone. I’ll take that bargain anytime I can get it.

But there is a drawback. The bones themselves are a little heavy and will hurt when they’re dropped on your foot. My dog loves dropping toys on my feet; so, this weight issue would be a nuisance.

  • Cleans your dog’s teeth
  • Chicken/Bacon flavoring
  • Long-lasting, for heavy chewers 
  • Combo package
  • Price
  • Heavy
  • Some dogs don’t like the taste

The Nylabone Dura Chew Combo Pack is a bargain for any dog owner. I love almost everything about this safe chew toy, and so far it’s my favorite on this list.

But personally, the weight issue would cause some problem for me. However, if my dog loves these bones, I can deal with a little bump on my foot now and then.

4. oneisall Durable Dog Chew Toys Bone

The oneisall Durable Dog Chew Toys Bone is explicitly for aggressive chewers. With its durable, sturdy design, this toy fits a lot of my dog’s needs: flavored, won’t break into little pieces, cleans his teeth, and bone shaped.

If I purchase this product, I’m confident dog would be thrilled with me. After all, the bacon flavoring would have him drooling all over my house. More importantly, it would effectively get rid of his boredom and help with his separation anxiety.

In my absence, he’d have something to turn his attention toward rather than focusing on me not being there. I do need something to help curb his separation anxiety. I feel terrible every time I leave the house.

Anyway, the weight being less than ten pounds is a plus. I won’t have to worry about it causing my foot to bruise when my dog ultimately drops it on my foot. As I said before, this will eventually happen.

The thing I don’t like is the price. It’s one of the most expensive items on this list, and it doesn’t feel like it worth it. In fact, there’s nothing unique about this toy other than its green highlighter color.

  • Bacon flavored
  • Cleans teeth
  • Bone-shaped
  • Curbs separation anxiety
  • Less than ten pounds
  • Price
  • No unique features

If the oneisall Durable Dog Chew Toys Bone didn’t have one of highest price tags on this list, it’d be my favorite. It’s efficient, well-designed, and solves most of my dog’s issues.

But I feel like I wouldn’t be satisfied with this product for the price I paid. Therefore, It’s not something I would purchase, but I’d still heavily consider it.

5. KONG Rubber Ball Extreme

The first Kong product on this list, but it won’t be the last. The Kong Rubber Ball Extreme is a great dog toy for many different reasons. The main one being the fact you can stuff treats inside the hole drilled throughout the middle of this toy.

My dog would love to snack on some frozen unsweetened peanut butter stuffed inside this convenient toy. This feature would also help with his little separation anxiety problem by keeping him occupied in those times I’m gone.

As you would expect from any Kong product, this toy is meant to last a long time. See, it has a tough, durable exterior thanks to the specialized rubber it’s made with: this specialized rubber‘s sole purpose is withstanding the jaws of the toughest chewers. 

Also, I enjoy the extreme bounce the rubber gives the ball. It makes my games of fetch a lot more interesting for both my dog and me. In fact, I never know how far or where this ball will bounce once it hits the ground.

However, this indestructible dog toy isn’t flavored. For my dog, being unflavored represents a huge problem because he won’t get near anything that doesn’t have a strong odor. Thankfully, you can stuff inside this toy to compensate for this lack of smell.

More problematic is the weight of this toy. Due to the specialized rubber, the weight is substantially heavier than you expect out of a ball of this size. It’s rather unpleasant getting this product dropped on your foot.

  • Durable
  • Made in the USA
  • Puncture resistance
  • Hole drilled in the center
  • Great price
  • Specialized rubber
  • Rubbery Taste
  • Heavy

As with any Kong product, the Kong Rubber Ball Extreme is an incredible purchase for any dog owner looking to spice up their dog’s lives. In fact, the two issues I have with this product don’t make me question that it’s worth of a purchase.

Honestly, I’m going to buy one right now. I can’t wait for the first game of fetch that my dog and me play with this excellent product.

Interactive and Puzzle Toys

Interactive-and-puzzle-toys

In this section, we’ll go over the best dog toys that challenge your dog mentally. In other words, they will provide your dog with some much-needed mental stimulation.

6. Kong Classic - The Best Dog Toy

Our first interactive dog toy is another product from Kong. The Kong Classic Dog Toy has a lot of the same features as the Kong Rubber Ball Extreme. However, the difference comes from the shape: this has a beehive-esque design.

This shape makes playing fetch a little bit unpredictable because you can never be sure where the ball is going to land. My dog loves to fetch, and this would add another dimension to our favorite game.

More importantly, this toy has the same hole drilled in the middle for stuffing treats inside. Again, this feature is terrific for many different reasons. The ability to stuff treats inside this toy is one of best features you’ll ever see within a dog toy.

Additionally, every Kong product seems to get recommended by dog experts to help certain conditions and issues. For example, this toy can help deal with a dog’s separation anxiety by shifting their focus away from your absence.

However, there are certain aspects to this toy that make it undesirable to certain dogs. For example, the rubbery taste makes some dogs avoid this toy altogether.

Of course, you can compensate for this by stuffing treats inside the toy.

Also, this dog toy doesn’t do well in water. In fact, this toy will sink towards the bottom of wherever your dog is swimming. This aspect is a bummer for any dog who loves to play fetch in the water.

  • Perfect for stuffing treats inside
  • Perfect for stuffing treats inside
  • Recommend by dog experts
  • Made in the USA
  • Great price
  • Some dogs don’t enjoy the rubbery taste
  • Doesn’t float
  • Hard to clean

As with all Kong products, the Kong Classic Dog Toy doesn’t diminish the reputation Kong has cultivated. This product does live up to name Kong has created inside the dog toy community.

However, the negatives do bring it toward the bottom of my list. See, my dog loves to fetch and swim. And this toy doesn’t allow him to do what he likes to enjoy.

7. OurPets IQ Treat Ball Interactive Food Dispensing Dog Toy

The OurPets IQ Treat Ball Interactive Food Dispensing Dog Toy lets you fill this toy with all of your dog’s favorite treats. However, this toy doesn’t give your dog all the treats at once.

Instead, this toy makes your dog work for their treats. And once they figure out how to get the treats, you can adjust the difficulty to keep challenging your pup. My dog tends to figure out treat puzzles very quickly; therefore, this would benefit me greatly.

Unlike the Kong products, twisting the toy apart and separating both sides allows you to clean this toy quickly.  Since my dog is a messy eater, this is imperative in any toy I plan on purchasing.

But even with all the positives, I do have some issues with this toy. For example, I’d categorize my dog as a large dog, and this product clearly states this product is ideal for small to medium dogs.

Does this mean large dogs hurt themselves when using this product? Why isn’t this toy ideal for large dogs? When a company makes a point to highlight a detail like this, it’s concerning.

Also, the design seems quite flimsy. I’m sure my dog could bite right through this toy with relative ease, especially, when motivated by the treats inside. Maybe that’s why it’s ideal for only small or medium dogs. 

  • Easy to clean
  • Provides mental stimulation
  • Adjustable difficulty
  • Rewards activity
  • Meant only for small to medium dogs
  • Durability concerns

The OurPets IQ Treat Ball is a clever idea with rather poor execution in its design quality. It’s a shame this toy wasn’t built to withstand the chewing capacity of a dog like mine. I could have used a way to make my dog actually think instead of acting purely on instinct.

But with the flawed design and durability issues,  this product has don’t mesh well with my particular dog’s needs.

8. TRIXIE Activity Flip Board

The TRIXIE Activity Flip Board is a unique product for the simple fact it makes your dog almost enter the world of playing a board game. See, you hid treats under these lids, and your dog has to find the treats by flipping the lids.

I think this is a refreshing and excellent idea. It makes your dog have to use their brains. In other words, it stimulates their minds by appealing to their natural instinct of loving treats.

Even with its unique design, the price falls right in line with the rest of the toys on this list. It seems TRIXIE wanted to give our dogs a brainteaser at an affordable price.

I love when dog toy companies get creative with their products rather than sticking to the standard ball, bone, and plush toy models. Honestly, my dog would love this product. He would spend all day trying to find the treats hid under these lids.

However, my dog won’t ever get a chance to play with it because it’s made for small dogs. In light of this, I worry parts of the toy would be small enough for my larger dog to swallow.

And since I don’t want any unscheduled vet visits, the smallness of this toy’s pieces scares me.  I, even, looked for a bigger model, but there wasn’t any other size option.

  • Challenges your dog’s intelligence
  • Unique idea
  • Slows down eating speed
  • Great price
  • Is a puppy toy
  • Parts of the toy might be small enough to eat

Although I love the idea of the TRIXIE Activity Board, I can’t justify purchasing it due to the smallness of the pieces. I can’t afford to jeopardize my dog’s safety for any reason.

9. Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel

First off, my dog loves squirrels. He chases them every time he sees one in the backyard. Due to this, the Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel is the perfect toy for him. It uses his love for squirrels to help keep his mind fresh.

The squeakers inside the squirrels make sure your dog can’t resist this toy’s allure. This feature is something I love because it entices your dog to play along in trying to find the hidden squirrels.

I could, even, remove the squirrels and play fetch with him in the backyard. Again, using his instinct for chase squirrels to keep him in shape.

This toy doesn’t only tap into your dog’s natural instincts, but it can withstand the immense pressure of your dog’s chewing. In my dog’s case, he needs a toy that can absorb his pit bull jaws.

In other words, this product is extremely durable and will last a long time.

However, this product high-quality comes at a steep price compared to the other toys in this article. But given its multiple uses, I can wrap my head around paying this price.

Also, while I love the squirrel feature, it does encourage the chasing of actual squirrels, which could be a problem in specific environments. If you live in the woods, this product could give you some trouble.

  • Squirrels
  • Provides mentally stimulation
  • Durable
  • Multiple uses
  • Full of squeakers
  • Expensive
  • Encourages the chasing of squirrels

I love everything about the Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel besides the price tag. However, I don’t mind spoiling my dog sometimes: he deserves it. So, this product is going to be the next dog toy I bring inside my home.

Comfort Toys

Comfort-dog-toys

The following toys are the best dog toys for giving your dog a sense of comfort. Their single purpose is to make your dog more comfortable. In this section, you’ll find your dog’s next sleeping companion.

10. KONG Wild Knots Bear Dog Toy

What a surprise, another Kong product made this list. The Kong Wild Knots Bear Dog Toy is a soft, cuddly dog toy made to help your dog sleep at night. If your dog is anything like mine, then he’s known to bring toys into bed with him.

In this case, there’s no better sleeping companion than the Kong Wild Knots Bear. It, even, has a rope inside to allow for a little chewing. Depending on your dog’s jaw strength, this chewing is either a good or bad thing.

As you would expect, this chewing is a bad thing for my dog because this product is known to rip easily. Thankfully, there’s minimal stuffing, so, it won’t make a giant mess with fuzz everywhere.

Honestly, I’m disappointed with this product’s lack of durability because of the brand behind the dog toy. Kong is known for its toys ability to withstand any chewing. However, this product isn’t up to the same quality as the rubber ball or the classic toy.

It’s a shame because dogs tend to love sleeping with this toy. If you have a smaller dog, maybe this would still be a good option. But for me, there’s no way this dog toy’s going to last an hour with my dog’s powerful jaws.

  • Soft and cuddly
  • Minimal stuffing
  • Rope inside to entice chewing
  • Great price
  • Made in the USA
  • Rips easily

I wish I could buy this product because my dog loves sleeping with his toys. But with its proneness to quickly rip open, it isn’t a realistic or cost-efficient option for me.  Now, if you have a dog on the smaller side and doesn’t chew on toys, I’d recommend this product to you.

11. goDog Checkers with Chew Guard Technology Tough Plush Dog Toy

The goDog Checkers with Chew Guard Technology Tough Plush Dog Toy is a sleeping companion that encourages a lot of play time. This dog toy’s infused with two squeakers, one grunter, and crinkle Mylar to satisfy your dog’s playtime needs.

I know, my dog would go crazy for that many play enticing features. He’s always looking for a new way to play with his favorite toys: this toy would give him a variety of different options.

Also, this toy has a chew guard to protect itself from getting torn apart. This chew guard feature is a must for any plush toy I buy. If they don’t have one, the toy doesn’t last more than an hour with my dog chomping down on it.

Plus, it doesn’t cater to a specific sized dog: there are sizes for all types of dogs from a Chihuahua to a German Shepard. Concerning the size, goDog covers all the bases with this product. No dog gets left out of the fun.

It, even, comes in six different animal shapes to entice your dog’s particular preference. The shapes are brown rooster, white rooster, kangaroo, flying pig, elephant, and donkey. Sadly, there’s no squirrel for my crazy dog.

If only the price weren’t above what I consider reasonable for a plush toy, but it’s a little too steep for my taste. I, guess, my dog will have to enjoy ripping apart a kangaroo another day.

  • Squeakers, crinkle Mylar, and grunter
  • Chew guard
  • Comes in two sizes
  • Six different animal shapes
  • Price is expensive for a plush toy

Everything about this product is what I seek in a plush toy. However, no plush toy is going to last very long in the hands of my dog. So, I can’t afford to spend this much on a toy I don’t envision lasting more than a week.

12. KONG Cozies Dog Squeaky Toy

The Kong medium cozie dog squeaky toy comes in ten different fun characters to make sure they have a particular variation that’s your preference:  Marvin the Moose would be the choice for me.

In terms of the actual product, Kong didn’t tap into their patented ability to create chew resistant toys. However, it doesn’t mean this dog toy isn’t fun. I think Kong realized creating a chew resistant plush toy/comfort toy took away from the whole idea of something being comfortable.

In this toy, Kong sought to create an incredible sleeping buddy for your dog, and that’s precisely what they did. They, even, made the toy squeak to entice your dog’s engagement.

Kong seemed to even plan for the toy’s eventual destruction by making it minimally filled with fuzz. This minimal filling means the clean up won’t be too extensive. Moreover, they added the layer of protection to delay this inevitable destruction as long as possible.

But its inability to last long makes this toy unworthy the price for my particular circumstances. It’s not worth the one-time sleeping session it would provide my dog. See, there’s no way I can monitor my dog every time he starts to engage with this toy.

  • Ten different fun characters
  • Squeaks to entice your into play with the toy
  • Minimal filling
  • An added layer of material for protection
  • Doesn’t hold up in chewing sessions

If you’re looking for a short-term sleeping buddy for your dog, this is the toy for you. But I’m looking for a dog toy that’s going to last longer than a day under the pressure of my dog’s jaws.

This product doesn’t fit that description. Although it would be a fun one time only toy for my dog given it comes in ten fun characters. I can’t imagine how cute my dog would look cuddling up next to Marvin the Moose.

Other Toys

Other-toys

In this section, we’re going to go over some toys that don’t quite fit the other sections. However, given their quality, they deserved to be considered.

13. Mammoth Flossy Chews Cottonblend Color 3-Knot Rope Tug

If you’re looking for a rope-like dog toy, the Mammoth Flossy Chews Cottonblend Color 3-Knot Rope Tug is the product for you. As an owner of a puller myself, this toy represents everything I could want in a rope-like dog toy.

Besides the rope pulling, it has the added benefit of having the rope fibers floss and clean your dog’s teeth as they play. This tooth cleaning benefit is something dog owners like me who have trouble brushing their dog’s teeth appreciate.

Most importantly, this rope’s built to hold up for an extremely long time. You should expect to have this toy in your dog’s life for many years. It’ll be the source of many tug-o-war games between you and your dog.

However, the ends of the ropes tend to shed. This shedding makes the rope shavings go everywhere and anywhere. It’s kind of mess to deal with, especially, when playing inside.

Additionally, these shavings can get inside your dog’s teeth. These shavings won’t cause any health issues, but it’s a nuisance for your dog. Think about like this, do you enjoy having stuff stuck in your teeth, yeah, neither does your dog.

  • Cleans your dog’s teeth
  • Made from cotton blend materials
  • Comes in a variety of sizes
  • Durable
  • Great price
  • Can be messy

Overall, the Mammoth Flossy Chews Cottonblend  Color 3-Knot Rope Tug is an excellent option for any dog owner that’s looking to play a lot of tug-o-war. Its durability makes sure it can withstand round after round. You’ll never have to rebuy another rope like toy.

But the constant clean up is annoying. Therefore, I’m going to make sure I take my tug-o-war games outside. You should too.

14. HDP Kong Flyer

The HDP Kong Flyer is a product I know my dog would love. He enjoys catching frisbees more than any dog I’ve ever seen. However, the rough exterior and durability issues have kept me from purchasing a frisbee bee for him.

See, most frisbees are made with a rough material that could chip one of your dog’s teeth. Due to this, I have avoided them entirely. Thankfully, this product is made from a material that is soft on a dog’s teeth. I wouldn’t have to worry about my dog chipping his teeth with this Kong product.

More importantly, this material doesn’t seem to wear down. If I do buy this product, it’s safe to say it will last a long time. I’ll be playing fetch for years to come.

Nonetheless, I’d have to make sure my dog doesn’t use it as a chew toy. The material may last a long time, but, this gets shorten quickly when your dog starts chewing it apart. This fault is a problem for me because my dog has a habit of chewing everything in his vicinity.

It makes me wonder whether or not this product is worth the hassle of trying to keep him from chewing this toy. I’d probably end up chasing him around for a good chunk of time to get the toy out of the clutches of his mouth.

  • Durable
  • Soft on your dog’s teeth
  • Great price
  • USA made
  • Not a chew toy whatsoever

Besides it not being a chew toy, this product is all you could ask for in a frisbee-like toy. In fact, I’d consider it a bargain in terms of what you’re getting for how you’re paying.

But for my dog, buying this product would mean a lot of running for me. And I’m not going to lie; I have no interest in chasing my dog around the backyard in an effort to keep this toy from being destroyed.

15. Chuckit! Launcher

The Chuckit! Launcher is the answer to one problem all dog owners hate dealing with: picking up a nasty, slobber filled ball off the ground. I know I sure hate doing it every time I play fetch with my dog.

Besides saving your from picking up that nasty ball, this toy throws the ball further than you could with the lightweight plastic that grasps the ball and releases it as you swing. Now, all I would have to do is swing the handle and watch my dog run after the ball.

As someone who is always looking for new ways to get my dog exercise, this product sure does this well. But it will get me exercise too because my dog doesn’t exactly always bring the ball back.

Also, it comes in different sizes to make sure you find the right one for your dog’s needs. For example, if you want to slam the ball down and make your dog jump for the ball, the 12m launcher is the right one for you.

However, I do have one a real problem with this toy; you have to use the ball that comes with the product. The handle doesn’t fit standard tennis balls or any other ball besides the one provided with the toy.

This is a bummer because if something happens to the ball, it means you have to buy this toy all over again.  And with my dog’s jaw strength, I’m quite confident he will eventually chew through the provided ball.

  • Slobber free pick up
  • Has a variety of options that come in different sizes
  • Throws the ball further
  • Made from lightweight plastic
  • The launcher only works with the balls that come with it.

This product is a high-quality one, but it will never enter my home. I don’t like the fact I’d have to keep repurchasing the toy over and over again once my dog inevitable chews threw the ball.

However, for someone else, this toy could be a great addition to their dog’ toys. I could see a dog owner with a Golden Retriever or a smaller dog like a Jack Russell Terrier loving this toy.

Type of Dog Toys

Type-of-dog-toys

There are five different types of dog toys: training toys, interactive toys, comfort toys, treat-dispenser/enrichment toys, and self-amusement. Each type has its purpose and benefits that they give your dog.

Training toys

As the name suggests, these toys help speed up your dog’s training. They’re specially designed to make sure your dog knows what they can chew and what they can’t.

For example, any Kong dog toys would fall under this category because it helps your dog through their teething stage. They’re made to withstand the dog world’s toughest chewers. Therefore, can act as a capable substitute to whatever item your dog found chewable.

Interactive toys

For dog owners, interactive toys are the most fun because these help build the bond between an owner and their dog. See, these toys allow the owner to play with their dog through games like fetch or tug-o-war.

A couple of examples of interactive toys are tennis balls or any rope-like product. Both of these toys allow you to “interact” with your dog by playing with them.

Comfort toys

A comfort toy is solely for your dog’s enjoyment. Their purpose is to create an atmosphere where your dog can feel comfortable sleeping. Often, our dog will have a bond with this sort of toy.

Plush toys are the most straightforward example of a comfort toy. They’re something your dog lays their head on at night or takes into their crate to sleep with; these toys are all about cultivating a sense of comfort within your dog.

Treat-dispenser/enrichment toys

Treat-dispenser/enrichment toys get rid of your dog’s boredom by providing a sort of mental stimulation. As we know, a bored dog is a ticking time bomb. It’s a must to avoid having it go off until it’s necessary.

Any puzzle dog toy would fall under this category. For example, a toy such as the Hide-A-Squirrel would keep your dog from entering the frightening stage of boredom.

Self-amusement toys

Most likely, the most critical type of toy on this list, self-amusement toys, are created to keep your dog entertained in your absence. With this purpose in mind, these toys are more durable, stronger than your average toy.

A toy like a plastic bone would be a perfect example of a self-amusement toy. It provides your dog with something to do when you aren’t around to entertain them. In other words, these toys are made to become distractions.

Benefits of Dog Toys

Benefits-(importance)-of-dog-toys

The use of diy dog toys is a crucial factor in building a healthy, productive relationship with your favorite pup. The following benefits are the essential reasons you should invest some time finding the best toys for dog.

Intellectual Stimulation

You need to keep your dog’s mind busy. If you don’t, your furniture could pay the price. One way of doing this is getting mentally stimulation toys. These toys will keep their minds active and focused on the appropriate things to chew.

Without these toys, your dog’s mind will become bored. A bored dog isn’t something any dog owner wants to experience. They’ll start to act disobedient, destructive and become absolute nightmares to handle.

In fact, keeping your dog active and mentally stimulated is the best way to create a healthy dog owner/dog relationship. Let them take their excess energy out on their toys rather than using it in destructive ways.    

Bonding

Looking to develop a stronger bond with your dog? Engage with them in a playing manner to grow your relationship. Playing with them on a consistent basis will establish a routine of shared enjoyment between you and your dog.

The more and more you play; the stronger the bond will grow. After all, dogs need to seek out their owner’s attention, which leads them to act out. Use this to your advantage and play with them on a consistent basis. It will lessen the risk your dog will become destructive to get your attention.

Additionally, this sense of bonding can extend past the owner/dog relationship. See, if you have multiple dogs, you can use toys to cultivate a bond between your dogs. Also, it can help you establish an alpha like status among your dogs.

Exercise

The most significant benefit a dog toy can provide your dog is exercise. Dogs need a consistent, rigorous exercise regime to keep them in good shape. A fun way to give them this exercise is by using toys.

Instead of letting your dog sit on the couch all day, throw a ball around your home and get them some exercise. It will help dislodge all your dog’s excess energy. 

Most importantly, exercise helps make sure your dog doesn’t become obese. Obesity will cause severe health problems and has a serious impact on your dog’s lifespan. See, it makes more susceptible to get diseases such as diabetes. Also, the extra weight will put more pressure on their joints.

Dental Health

One of the most overlooked areas of dog care is a dog’s dental health. Many owners push their dog’s dental health to the background for a simple reason: brushing a dog’s teeth is a nightmare.

However, if you don’t take your dog’s dental health seriously, they can develop a number of issues: infections, malnutrition, and bad breath.

Fortunately, dog toy companies have taken this into account and have made products that help your pup’s teeth. These products fight against these issues by encouraging chewing to get rid of plaque.

Best Dog Toy Brands

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Now, that we’ve covered the reasons why you should take some time to find the best dog toys to keep them busy, it’s time to list some of the best dog toy companies.

Kong

A US-based company known for their dedication to making sure their “toys are the best of the best in quality, originality, variety, safety, and value.”

Nylabone

Founded in 1955, this company prides itself on being able to make a “wide variety of chewing solutions in flavors, shapes, sizes, and textures for every kind of dog and chewing strength.”

Benebone

This dog toy company is driven by a “commitment to quality and intelligently designed products that simultaneously support our passion for helping dogs in need.”

Petmate

This company has been around for 50 years. In those 50 years, they’ve had one goal: make quality products that have “your furry (or feathered) friends' best interest at heart.”

Multipet

Created in 1995, this company is relativity young compared to the others mentioned in this section. However, they’ve made a name for themselves by priding their company “on the basic principals of putting unique design, superior quality and fun into the world of pet products.

Each one of these brands provides its customers with high-quality, durable products that can stand up to the most powerful chewers. If you see a dog toy made by one these brands, you know you’re getting an item made with extreme care and consideration.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Dog Toy

Factors-to-consider-when-buying-a-dog-toy

When looking to buy any product, there are always things worth considering. This doesn’t change when looking for a dog toy. The following questions are things you should be asking yourself every time you stumble upon a dog toy on Amazon.

What age & activity level?

Before buying a dog toy, you need to consider the age/ activity level of your dog. Let’s say you have an older dog with bad hips; it makes no sense to buy him a tennis ball or another fetch oriented product.

Instead, look for something that requires a little less exercise such as a plush toy or interactive toy.  Work to keep the mind fresh rather than making his joints get weaker through overextending himself during a game of fetch.

What kind of toy do you want? Where it will be played?

When searching for a dog toy, one of the first things you have to do is decide what kind of toy do you want? As seen above, there are five different types of toys: training, self-amusement, comfort, treat-dispenser/enrichment, and interactive.

Each type has their uses and benefits. Each of them has a situation where they would provide your dog with the best possible playing experience. Therefore, it’s essential you know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish by buying a dog toy.

Equally important is establishing where you want your dog to play with the toy. After all, you don’t want him getting too rowdy around a breakable fixture such as a lamp and knocking it over. Decide where playing is appropriate, and keep it contained.

What is your dog like?

Does your dog enjoy running around the backyard? Does your dog enjoy pulling on things? Answering questions like this is crucial in finding the perfect toy for your dog.

For example, if your dog likes pulling on things, a rope-like dog toy is most likely the perfect option for them. These are the type of logical conclusions you need to make in your search for the best dog toys.

What size?

Some dog toys are made for specifically sized dogs. Understanding this is essential in finding the perfect toys (puppy toys) for your dog. If you get the wrong size, you could face severe health risks.

Let’s say you get a small tennis ball for a large dog; the large dog could end up swallowing the tennis ball and have become a choking hazard. Due to this, it’s important you know the size you’re looking for and look at the size charts provided by the manufacturer.

How strong is it?

Among dog owners, one of the main concerns about buying dog toys is the durability. Dog owners want a long-lasting product, so, they don’t have to keep spending money on toy after toy.

Therefore, it’s essential you understand the strength of your dog’s jaws. In doing so, you can prioritize your search according to your dog’s particular toy destroying capabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Best-toys-for-dog

When surfing around sites like Amazon for cool dog toys, there’s bound to be a couple of questions that keep popping up in your head. Most likely, a few of the following ones are some of those questions, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Where are these toys made? 

It’s essential to know where a dog toy is made. It’s a critical factor in determining whether or not the toy you’re buying is high-quality or low-quality. See, safety guidelines vary from country to country.

For example, a country like the USA has strict guidelines each dog toy company has to follow. If you buy a dog toy made in the USA, you can feel comfortable knowing it stood up to these rigorous guidelines.

In comparison, countries like Mexico or China don’t have the strictest regulations; therefore, it’s a gamble buying a toy made in one of these countries.

Are dog toys made in China safe?

As mentioned above, China doesn’t have the strictest production guidelines. However, this doesn’t mean all the dog toys made there aren’t safe. But I wouldn’t feel comfortable buying one.

Honestly, I’d recommend sticking to the US made dog toy products. In doing so, you’re making sure your dog gets the best quality toy. After all, you want to gamble with your dog’s overall to save a little money.

How many toys should a dog have?

When it comes to how many toys a dog needs, there’s no definite number of toys a dog owner should buy. But a reasonable figure would be around ten toys. This amount of toys will make sure your dog has a variety to choose from and keep them from getting bored.

It might sound expensive, but having this many toys will keep your pup from doing damage to valuable things around the house. Due to this, it could save you money in the long run.

How to clean and wash dog toys?

It depends on the type of dog toy you’re trying to wash. However, this article does a great job of laying out all the information you need regarding this subject.

Additionally, most dog toy companies will put washing directions right on the toy itself or in the product description. Before placing a toy inside the washing machine, do yourself a favor and read the instructions.

How to get your dog to play with toys?

Buying a dog toy is the easy part. Getting your dog to play with the toy is a different story. You never know whether or not your dog will take a shine towards the toy you’ve purchased.

However, there are certain things you can do to increase the likelihood they’ll play with the toy. For example, you can try putting something tasty on the treat such as peanut butter. The peanut butter will give your dog an incentive to play with the toy.

Also, you can try moving the toy around while making excitable, happy sounds to entice your dog toward the toy. They’ll see you having fun with the toy and want to experience the same feeling.

What dog toys are indestructible?

No dog toy is indestructible. In fact, dog toy companies use this term as a marketing ploy to make you consider buying their products. However, hard rubber or hard plastic toys can withstand the power of most dogs’ jaws.

Due to this, it’s essential you find one of these toys that your dog likes. If you don’t, you’ll have to keep spending money on toys that will get destroyed in a matter of minutes.

Conclusion

As dog owners, we all to find the best dog toys for our favorite furry friends. But with how over-saturated the dog toy market is, this ends up being difficult. And the result is you end up with a toy that gets destroyed in five seconds.

However, you should have no problem navigating these flooded waters with all the information you’ve received throughout this article. It shouldn’t be too complicated to find the best dog toy reviews. In fact, I’m quite confident you’ll find the best toys very quickly with all this new knowledge.

Now, it’s time to go out and find them!

Best Dog Toys 2018 – Buyer’s Guide
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