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Dog toys are a must when you have a growing puppy that loves to play. And while we love playing with our four-legged friends for hours, it’s wise to put a few extra toys in your rotation. These fun-filled options can keep them busy for hours and help promote good dental habits, too. So whether you’re looking for dog toys for small breeds, large dogs or chewers who seem to tear everything up, we’ve got a good mix of options for you to try. Scroll through to see some of our favorite picks!
The Best Dog Toy Ever
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After consulting with our staff and their dogs, we’ve added two great toys that are durable enough to withstand hours of play.
The Best Dog Toys, According To A Musher
Giving your dog a new toy is an exercise in natural selection. No matter how cute or expensive it is, there is some chance that your dog will ignore the new toy or quickly tear it to pieces, either way leaving it for dead. Here, we present the survivors: toys that our little ones have proven are good for hours, or even years, of play that’s engaging, wild, and fun.
Since dogs have their preferences—and enjoy variety—take this list as a starting point. Whether you’re getting ready for a new dog or putting together a gift, we suggest introducing the dogs in your life to a few to test them out for yourself.
Bones (pit bull, 40 pounds, 6 years old) loves to pick up and chew on tennis balls, but tears them up within minutes. The Chuckit Ultra ball on average is the same size as a standard tennis ball, but made entirely of rubber. It is much harder to chew, so she is able to cut it for a while (with supervision); balls have lasted up to a year. Plus, the Ultra Ball is firmer on the ground than most tennis balls, which makes for more stimulating draw games. The bright orange color makes it easy to spot – even in tall grass. And the Ultra Ball floats on water, so she can even retrieve it from a lake.
Some days Sutton (Chihuahua mix, 8 pounds, 1 year) has so much puppy energy left from playing at the dog park that she just runs around the apartment, pulls all her toys out of the toy bin, and crunches anything she can. find for hours. I may be the worst pet parent ever, but all that squeaking can get annoying. So I was happy to discover the Hear Doggy ultrasonic squeaker toys because they use squeakers tuned to an ultrasonic frequency between 24 and 28 KHz that is quiet to humans but still makes a fun noise for dogs. To humans it sounds like the squeaker has died and there is just some trapped air being expelled, but apparently to a dog it still sounds like their favorite toy. Sutton gets just as excited to call this thing as her traditional one – fun times for her and a lifesaver for my ears.
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OurPets IQ Treat Food Dispenser Ball has been a favorite in our house for years and keeps our dog Pinky (pit mix, 60 lbs, 9 years) mentally and physically active as well as entertained for half an hour or more in it the same time. To get them out, she has to spin the ball or pick it up in her mouth and throw it. We can easily adjust the opening of the inner partition to spread out less if she’s up for the challenge (or go the other way if she’s not). She loves this toy so much that she prefers to eat her meals out of it rather than her bowl. This ball is also one of the longest lasting dog toys we’ve owned; it takes a beating but has held up to more than four years of almost daily use.
Shortly after we adopted Ada (beagle mix, 16 pounds, 1 year), we learned we had a serious scratch on our hands. Of all the elaborate toys we’ve bought on impulse to keep him from eating our stuff, the Nylabone Dura Chew is one of the few that has lasted more than a week on his teeth. While the toy looks rough around the edges these days, none of the plastic is coming off like most things she puts in her mouth (RIP to all animal-shaped toys). Nylabone’s slim form fits easily into its travel carrier when we go to visit family and keeps the peace while we’re there. The classic design also makes for some pretty adorable moments. It comes in several flavors, but of the two we bought, the original flavor is the one in heavy rotation. Don’t overdo it.
My Lab/Whippet mix puppy Nora (45 pounds, 8 years old) rarely cares for any kind of traditional dog toys. She is scared of toys that squeak and toys that fall to the floor with a thud. She doesn’t play with herself unless there are other dogs around. However, she takes treats meant for chewing. After trying teasing sticks (they hurt his gums), horns (made a terrible noise against his teeth), and others, I came across Himalayan Dog Chew: a softer chew made from yak and cow’s milk. It’s still hard enough that it lasts him a few days of non-stop chewing, but soft enough that I don’t worry about it hurting his mouth. Once the chew is down to the last pin – which you don’t want your dog to swallow whole – you can briefly pop it in the microwave to soften it into a sweet treat.
The Sprong feels soft, bounces and squeaks, and is one of the only toys that has consistently held the attention of my dogs (Ziggy and Lily, Chihuahua mixes, 11 and 12 pounds, 2 and 7 years, respectively). Other toys fall apart or cause only a slight movement after a few weeks, but because the Sprong has no chewy stuffing to tear and bounces erratically, it keeps little pups on their toes. My toddler also steals the Sprong-all dog toys are children’s toys. But big dogs, beware: individual Sprong teats are resistant to Chihuahuas (our puppies have had the same Sprong for five years now), but they may not hold up to the stronger jaws of larger dogs.
Of The Best Dog Toys For Small Breeds
Gus was adopted in the Caribbean, where he pursued coconuts. Here in NYC, it’s the stuffed squirrels. Photo: Amy Roberts
I was skeptical that we really needed another stuffed toy, but since Gus (Chihuahua Poodle mix, 18 pounds, 18 months) loved playing with the Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel at a friend’s house, I had to get one. such. He usually has trouble paying attention to squeaky toys for more than a few minutes at a time, but the more challenging placement of three squeaky squirrels in a tree trunk-shaped bag will keep him occupied for hours. He fishes the squirrels out, then runs like crazy with the last one left in his mouth. I can send the other sailing the moment he returns with the first, making it easy to tire him out. He also likes to chew and shake the tree trunk. The parts are also relatively tough: After three months of playing almost every day, I’ve yet to make any repairs to sew up the holes (your mileage may vary – it’s still a plush toy).
Parmesan goes on Lamby, which is sold in three different sizes that will bring joy to pups of all shapes and sizes. Photo: Haley Sprankle
The multi-layered plush dog toy is a staple for my French Bulldogs. First given to my oldest dog Winston, Lamby is a simple and soft squeaky dog toy. Soon after we brought him home, my youngest dog (a Parmesan) claimed him as his own. For the past two years, Lamby has endured countless bouts of snuggling, cuddling and trips to the washing machine. Parmesan loves her toy so much that when Lamby finally bit the dust (this fluff isn’t meant to last forever), we rushed to buy a new one before Parmy knew it was gone.
Of The Best Puzzle Toys For Dogs
This is a plush, Frisbee-like ring that comes in various sizes and colors, with some heavy stitching around
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