What are the best dog toys?

LAST UPDATED 19 April 2022

This article is written by our veterinarian, Dr Teagan Lever BVSc (Hons)

Dog toys, you've got to buy them, but there's nothing worse to coming home to a backyard full of stuffing or spending a fortune on toys that hold no interest for your pooch. So how do you choose the best dog toy? Never fear, we've sniffed out the perfect toys for everyone's canine companion, from dainty dachshunds to super strong staffies.

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Factors to consider when choosing a dog toy:

  • Type of play - do you have a young puppy in need of a snuggly companion or perhaps a super active fetch fanatic?
  • Durability - does your power chewing pup need a heavy duty toy?
  • Price - is cheaper always better?

Dog Play Styles

When you're looking to add to your pooch's toy box, consider the way they best like to play to help you choose toys that they are more likely to engage with. For instance, ball mad border collies are likely to be keen on more fetch toys while your brand new cavoodle puppy would probably prefer and soft and fluffy snuggle companion. Make sure that your dog has a variety of toys from a few different categories (e.g. rope toys, fetch toys, interactive toys) and rotate through them regularly to prevent boredom. Avoid the temptation to leave that all time favourite out in the yard for weeks on end as your dog will likely begin to lose interest.

Durable Dog Toys

Shop durable dog toys

Nobody wants to see their hard earned pay go towards toys that are demolished within mere minutes, so it pays to consider your pup's rating on the chew scale when choosing toys to suit. Gentle small breed dogs and tiny puppies may be fine to play with soft or cuddly toys, however stronger chewing and larger breeds (yes Staffies I'm talking about you...) need something with a little more durability.

As a general rule when aiming for durability look for dog toys that are specifically designed to go the distance. Thick rope toys, toys with reinforced seams, dense rubber chew toys and nylon bones are all pretty safe bets.

Cost of Dog Toys

Although on the face of it cheaper might seem better, more expensive dog toys often offer heaps of additional value such as durable construction and extra appealing features. It often pays in the long to invest a little more money if the toy lasts significantly longer or can be played with in multiple different ways.

Our top picks

Dr Teagan

Tasty Bone

"My two staffies absolutely LOVE Tasty Bones, we always have 2 or 3 on the go at one time in different flavours. They last for months and the dogs never seem to tire of chewing on them. Much less stinky than real bones too!"

Dr Kim

KONG Wet Wubba

"My dog Lou loves the Kong Wubbas because she loves a game of tug of war. This one in particular is great because it can be used in the water, which is one of her favourite activities in summer! "

Ultimately when choosing toys for your dog it pays to take the time to consider your dog's own individual preferences and play style. Making sure that your dog always has a great selection of suitable toys will not only help keep him happy and active but can also help to prevent problem behaviours stemming from boredom such as barking or escaping from the yard.

Further Reading

How To Stop Your Dog From Chewing Things

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Helping Pandemic Pets Adjust to Changing Routines

Managing Storm and Fireworks Phobia in Dogs

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