10 Best Dog Toys For A Stimulating Playtime

Dogs love to play, and we love playtime with our best friends! There’s nothing better than seeing your pup’s tail wagging and their mind working during an engaging play session. There are so many dog toys on the market, giving you endless choices. We’ll look at 10 of the best dog toys, comparing toy type, mental and physical stimulation, and breed suitability.

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Best Dog Toys

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Comparing the Best Dog Toys

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
  • Best treat dispensing toy
  • Fill with spreadable or solid treats
  • Suitable for all breeds
  • Best plush puzzle toy
  • Mentally and physically stimulating
  • Available in a range of sizes
  • Best chew toy
  • Choice of flavours
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Best plush toy
  • Durable and soft
  • Inner ropes for stimulation
  • Best ball toy
  • Durable and strong
  • Highly stimulating
  • Best puppy toy
  • Soft and cuddly
  • Squeaks for stimulation
  • Best puzzle toy
  • Intermediate level puzzle
  • Very mentally stimulating
  • Best tug toy
  • Easy to grip
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Best no-stuffing toy
  • 5 in a pack
  • Squeakers for stimulation
  • Best rope toy
  • For medium to large breeds
  • Strong and durable

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In Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Toys

The KONG – Classic Dog Toy review

Features

  • Best treat dispensing toy
  • Fill with spreadable or solid treats
  • Suitable for all breeds

The KONG – Classic Dog Toy is well known among dog owners and professionals alike, and with good reason! This toy is durable, well-made, and multi-functional. If you’re looking for the best treat dispensing dog toy, the KONG is an excellent choice: you can fill it with spreadable treats or small solid treats for hours of fun.

Used as a treat dispenser, this toy provides plenty of mental stimulation. It can even be used as a chew toy for average chewers, or to play fetch with to provide physical stimulation. A range of sizes are available to suit all breeds. 

The KONG is a staple in our house and is loved by all of us. I find it keeps my dogs busy for long periods and really gets their mind working. I love that you can put it in the freezer filled with a spreadable treat (our dogs love dog-safe peanut butter) to make playtime last even longer.

Pros

  • Most owners found this toy was exceptionally durable, even standing up to dogs who had previously destroyed other toys
  • Owners generally found this toy kept their dog occupied for long periods when filled with treats and liked the option to freeze it
  • Many owners said the KONG was their dog’s favourite toy and they would choose it over other options
  • Many said they loved the range of sizes, stating they could find a toy suitable for their dog’s breed, even owners of toy breeds who had previously struggled to find a chew toy small enough
  • Owners generally felt this toy was great value for money given its quality
  • Owners found this toy provided a very stimulating playtime for dogs and developing puppies

Cons

  • The shape of the KONG can sometimes make it hard to clean, particularly with spreadable treats
  • Some found this toy wasn’t strong or durable enough for their dogs, stating their dog could chew through the toy when left unsupervised
  • Some felt the sizing was confusing and ended up with a toy of the wrong size for their dog
  • Some found this toy didn’t keep their dog busy for as long as they would have liked
  • Some owners didn’t like the rubber smell of the toy when it first arrived

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Outward-Hound-Hide-A-Squirrel Dog Puzzle review

Features

  • Best plush puzzle toy
  • Mentally and physically stimulating
  • Available in a range of sizes

The Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel Plush Dog Toy Puzzle is 1 of the best plush puzzle dog toys on the market, designed to really get your pooch’s mind working. Plush squirrels hide inside a plush tree trunk, encouraging your dog to use their natural hunting and digging instincts to get the squirrels out. Playtime doesn’t end once they free the squirrels: the squirrels are squeaky to stimulate your dog even further mentally and physically.

This puzzle is available in a wide range of sizes to suit all breeds. I found that it was mentally engaging for my dogs, especially for my small breeds who love a plush toy. I liked that we could play fetch with the squirrels or even hide them around the house for my dogs to find.

Pros

  • Owners found both the puzzle aspect of this toy and the squeaky squirrels were very stimulating for their dog
  • Many said their dog absolutely loved this toy and it was a favourite in their home
  • Owners felt this toy was generally sturdy and fairly durable for a plush toy
  • Many said they added extra toys and treats to make the puzzle more challenging
  • Engages dog’s natural instincts, with some owners saying it helped to redirect destructive behaviour 
  • Some said this toy kept their dog occupied for long periods, which was handy when they were busy

Cons

  • Not designed to be chewed or for rough play, with some owners finding their dogs could destroy this toy when left unsupervised
  • Some felt this toy wasn’t high-quality or well made, experiencing breakage or wear after a period of use
  • Some owners found the sizing confusing and bought the wrong sized toy for their dog
  • Some felt this toy wasn’t good value and were disappointed with their purchase

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Benebone Wishbone Dog Chew Toy review

Features

  • Best chew toy
  • Choice of flavours
  • Durable and long-lasting

If your dog loves a chew toy, look no further than the Benebone Durable Wishbone Dog Chew Toy for Aggressive Chewers. This chew is highly durable, designed to stand up to tough chewers, and be long-lasting. The unique wishbone shape makes it easier for your dog to hold and chew. 

These bones come in a range of sizes to suit all breeds, and I loved that they even had a choice of flavours. My spaniel loves her benebone, it keeps her busy for hours and it’s lasted months so far. This toy provides plenty of mental and physical stimulation, and can even help to redirect destructive chewing. 

Pros

  • Many owners said their dogs loved this chew toy, even those who have not enjoyed other chew toys in the past
  • Owners liked the choice of flavours and felt the flavour they chose was appealing to their dogs, keeping them coming back for more
  • Shape of the toy makes it easy for their dogs to carry, hold, and chew, with some saying it allowed their dog to chew with their back teeth properly
  • Safer and stronger than real bones, while still providing the stimulation and chewing pleasure
  • Many felt the toy was good value, stating it was great quality especially when compared to other similar toys
  • Many owners found these bones highly durable and long-lasting, even with large breeds who are strong chewers

Cons

  • Some found the toy wasn’t as durable as they had hoped for their power chewers
  • Small plastic shards may come off during chewing, which owners found concerning (supervision is required)
  • Can become rough after a period of chewing, although some owners mentioned you could cut or sand the edges down to make the toy last longer
  • Some felt this toy wasn’t as high-quality as they expected, and therefore felt it wasn’t good value
  • Some felt the bone didn’t have enough flavour for their dog or found their dog simply wasn’t interested in this chew toy

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KONG – Wild Knots Bear review

Features

  • Best plush toy
  • Durable and soft
  • Inner ropes for stimulation

If your dog loves a plush toy, the KONG – Wild Knots Bear is an excellent choice. This cute teddy is plush and soft, yet also durable. It has minimal stuffing, so if your dog does chew through it, you have less mess to clean up. 

It even has knotted ropes inside the teddy to engage your dog further. I found this toy was cute and durable for my dogs. It was great for fetch, tug, and snuggle time.

I loved that it was very stimulating and kept all 3 of my dogs engaged in playtime. This teddy is available in 4 sizes to suit most breeds.

Pros

  • Most said their dog absolutely loved this toy and would carry it around, as well as choose it over other toys
  • Many said this toy was high-quality and very durable for a plush toy, standing up to rough play and some light chewing
  • Owners generally found this toy very stimulating for their dog, mentioning it was great for tug of war and comfort at naptime 
  • Many stated they felt this toy was great value for money and they would repurchase it in the future when needed
  • Some felt the inner rope made the teddy stronger and more durable, as well as more fun for their dog to play with

Cons

  • Since the toy is plush, it’s not designed to stand up to lots of chewing, with some owners finding their dog destroyed the toy 
  • Some found the toy didn’t wear well after a period of rough play
  • Some felt it wasn’t good value, especially those who experienced breakage or wear
  • Some owners found the size guide confusing and purchased the wrong size for their dog

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Chuckit Ultra Rubber Dog Ball review

Features

  • Best ball toy
  • Durable and strong
  • Highly stimulating

If you’re on the hunt for the best dog ball, the Chuckit Ultra Ball should be at the top of your list. It’s made from natural rubber, designed to be highly durable and extra bouncy for a stimulating game of fetch. These balls even float in water so you can enjoy playtime in any environment.

My springer spaniel truly loves these balls, she will play fetch for long periods and carry her ball around with pride. We got a pack of 2 which was great value, although the first 1 is still going strong. I loved that they are bright colours which are easy to find if she gets distracted and doesn’t bring it back. 

These balls bounce much higher than others we’ve tried and get her jumping and leaping during playtime. These balls are available in 3 sizes to suit most breeds and can be bought in packs of 1 or 2.

Pros

  • Most owners found these balls highly durable and long-lasting, even with large breeds like Staffordshire Bull Terriers, who usually destroy other balls
  • Many said these balls were their dogs favourite toy and they would choose them over other available toys
  • Owners loved that the balls float, allowing them to play fetch with their dogs in rivers, lakes, and even the sea
  • High bounce, which owners found made games of fetch more exciting for their dog and encouraged more exercise
  • Bright colours make them highly visible, which owners stated made them easier to find than other balls and was very convenient 
  • Some stated these balls were gentler on their dog’s teeth than other balls they’d tried 
  • Smooth sides don’t pick up dirt like tennis balls with a fuzzy exterior, making them easy to clean and more pleasant to play with

Cons

  • Some owners felt that the balls were too small for the size stated on the pack
  • Some owners of power chewers found their dog could chew through these balls
  • Some stated the balls aren’t well-made, in particular mentioning the seams as a weak point
  • Some felt the balls weren’t worth the money, stating they were more expensive than other balls and they weren’t happy with the quality

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Petface Puppy Dog Toy review

Features

  • Best puppy toy
  • Soft and cuddly
  • Squeaks for stimulation

The Petface (Little Petface) Puppy Dog Toy is 1 of the best puppy toys available, providing a snuggly, soft friend for your pup. This toy is gentle on your puppy’s mouth and a perfect naptime buddy. It also squeaks to provide an engaging playtime. 

This toy is available in 1 size, perfect for growing puppies or even for toy or small breed dogs. My chihuahua loved this toy because it was soft enough to fit in her mouth. This toy even comes in a choice of animal shapes, allowing you to choose what will suit your puppy best.

Pros

  • Many owners said their puppy loved this toy and found it very comforting
  • Owners generally found this toy high-quality and were happy with their purchase
  • Many said this toy was fairly durable for a plush toy, standing up to rough puppy play and light chewing
  • Squeaker makes playtime stimulating for puppies and keeps them engaged
  • Some said their puppy slept with this toy and wouldn’t sleep without it

Cons

  • Not designed to stand up to lots of chewing, with some owners finding their puppy could chew through this toy when left unsupervised
  • Some felt this toy wasn’t as durable or high-quality as they expected
  • Stitching can pose a weak point for puppies to rip the toy when left unsupervised
  • Some felt this toy wasn’t good value for money, especially those who experienced breakage

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Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog – Puzzle Toy review

Features

  • Best puzzle toy
  • Intermediate level puzzle
  • Very mentally stimulating

If you’re looking for something mentally stimulating for your dog, the Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Tornado Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy is an excellent choice. Hide treats inside and this puzzle will keep your dog engaged for long periods. This puzzle is intermediate (level 2) in difficulty, with 12 hidden compartments and 3 dog bone covers to allow you to vary the challenge and keep your dog interested. 

This puzzle is available in 1 size but is suitable for most breeds. I found this puzzle was very engaging for my dogs and I enjoyed really seeing their minds working while they tried to figure it out.

Pros

  • Most owners said this puzzle was fairly durable when used during supervised play
  • Many stated their dogs loved this puzzle and found it very engaging, even when used regularly after they had first solved the puzzle
  • Owners found this puzzle made meals or treat-time more interesting and stimulating for their dog
  • Some stated this kept their dog occupied and tackled boredom, given their dog a healthy outlet for their energy 
  • Many found this was great for puppies, helping them develop problem-solving skills, keeping them entertained, redirecting destructive behaviour, and even slowing down their eating for better digestion
  • Owners liked that the difficulty level could be adjusted to keep their dogs interested 

Cons

  • Not suitable for unsupervised play, with small removable parts which can cause a safety hazard
  • Some owners stated their dog found this puzzle too complicated and got frustrated when they couldn’t solve it
  • Some dogs were able to solve this puzzle quickly, with owners feeling it wasn’t complicated enough for their pup
  • Can topple over and move around when your dog is trying to solve the puzzle, with some owners finding they needed to hold it steady during use 
  • Some felt the toy was too small for their large breed dog to play with properly

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The KONG – Tugga Wubba – Tug of War Dog Toy review

Features

  • Best tug toy
  • Easy to grip
  • Durable and sturdy

The KONG – Tugga Wubba – Durable Cotton Rope Tug of War Dog Toy is 1 of the best tug of war dog toys, made from woven rope and strong nylon for durability. 2 easy-grip ends allow both you and your dog to get a good hold, making for a great game of tug. This toy encourages interactive play and is very engaging.

3 sizes are available to suit most breeds, although this listing features a large size, suitable for medium to large breeds. I found this toy sturdy, easy to grip, and fun to play with. My spaniel loved this toy, enjoying both games of tug and throwing the toy around during solo play.

Pros

  • Most owners said their dogs found this toy very stimulating, in particular mentioning the tassels which are easy to grip and catch the dog’s attention
  • Many said this toy was fairly durable, even when playing tug with large breeds like German Shepherds and Malamutes 
  • Many said this was their dog’s favourite toy and they were pleased with their purchase
  • Owners generally felt this toy was good quality and well-made
  • Great for interactive play, solo play, and play with other dogs

Cons

  • Tassels can pose a weak point on the toy, being easier to chew through or rip during play than the middle rope section
  • Some found the toy smaller than they expected, feeling it was too small for their large breed to play with
  • Some stated their dog simply didn’t like this toy and wouldn’t play with it 
  • Not suitable for unsupervised play, with some owners finding their dog could chew through this toy easily 

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Newthinking Squeaky Dog Toys review

Features

  • Best no-stuffing toy
  • 5 in a pack
  • Squeakers for stimulation

The Newthinking Squeaky Dog Toys is an excellent choice if your dog loves a plush toy but tends to chew their toys up (supervised play is still recommended). You get 5 toys in 1 pack, making them fantastic value for money. They contain no stuffing, so there’s less clean-up for you!

Each toy contains 2 squeakers for a stimulating playtime, getting your dog’s mind working and their body moving. They come in 1 size but are suitable for most breeds. I loved that there were 5 different cute, plush characters in this pack and my dogs loved these toys.

Pros

  • Owners of dogs who tend to rip up toys found these toys excellent as they reduced mess and still allowed their dog to have a plush toy
  • Owners liked the squeakers in the toys, feeling they made playtime more stimulating for their dog
  • Some stated these toys were fairly durable and long-lasting, especially for a plush toy
  • Many said their dogs loved these toys, stating they were great for solo play, snuggle time, tug, and fetch
  • Owners generally felt these toys were great value, especially given how many you get in a pack

Cons

  • Plush toys so not designed to stand up to chewing or rough play, with some owners finding their dog could destroy this toy when left unsupervised
  • Some owners felt these toys weren’t good value or well-made
  • Some found the squeakers in the toys stopped working after a period of use

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XL Dog Rope (For Strong Dogs) review

Features

  • Best rope toy
  • For medium to large breeds
  • Strong and durable

If you’re on the hunt for the best rope dog toy, the XL Dog Rope Toys for Strong Large Dogs could be the 1 for you. This rope is very strong and durable, designed to last during rough games of tug and stand up to average chewing. 4 knots throughout the rope provide great grip points for tug and strengthen the rope.

This toy is available in 1 size, designed for medium and large breeds. I found this rope long-lasting and entertaining for my spaniel. I liked the bright colours and felt the rope was more durable than others I’d tried.

Pros

  • Most owners found this toy very durable, standing up to rough play and chewing from large breeds such as Rottweilers 
  • Some said this rope kept their dog busy and helped to redirect destructive chewing
  • Some felt this toy helped to clean their dog’s teeth while they were chewing
  • Given how strong this rope is, many said they felt it was great value for money
  • Great for games of tug with owners and other dogs, with the knots allowing both parties to get a firm grip

Cons

  • Some found their dog could chew off pieces of rope and swallow them when left unsupervised, which posed a safety hazard
  • Some found the toy wasn’t as durable as they expected, stating their dog could destroy the toy or that they experienced fraying after a period of use
  • Some owners expected the rope to be thicker and bigger than it was, leaving them disappointed
  • Some felt this toy wasn’t good value and weren’t happy with the quality of the rope

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Dog Toy Buyer’s Guide

Things to Look for in a Dog Toy

With so many dog toys on the market, it can be hard to know which toy to choose. To help you make the best choice for your needs, keep the following in mind:

Correct Size for Your Dog

You need a toy that’s the correct size for your dog so they can pick it up, carry it around, and play with it comfortably. A toy that’s too big may be too heavy and difficult to play with, while a toy that’s too small may pose a safety hazard. Look at the size guide and reviews for guidance. 

Correct Strength for Your Dog

As well as size, you need to choose a toy that’s the right strength for your dog, in particular when it comes to chew strength. If you have a power chewer, ensure you choose a highly durable toy, for example, 1 made from rope or strong rubber. If you have a light chewer, a plush or plastic toy may be more suitable. 

Fit for Purpose

There are lots of types of toys, for example, treat dispensers, puzzle toys, and balls. Think about your dog’s play style and what gets them excited. Choose a toy that you feel will interest them most and get them engaged in playtime. 

Physical and Mental Stimulation 

Ensuring a toy provides plenty of physical and mental stimulation will make for the best playtime. Think about whether the toy you’re considering has features that will get your dog moving or get their mind working. 

High-Quality Materials

Choosing a toy made from high-quality materials will mean it’s more likely to be durable and last longer. It also ensures the toy is safe for your pup and not made from harmful materials. 

Ease of Cleaning

Whatever type of play your dog enjoys, all dog owners know their dogs are likely to make a mess during play. Choosing a toy that’s easy to clean makes life easier for you. Look for a toy that can be wiped clean, popped in the dishwasher, or if it’s plush, put in the washing machine. 

Additional Benefits 

Some toys have additional health benefits for your dog, for example, rope toys and chew toys might help to improve your dog’s dental hygiene by cleaning their teeth as they chew. Puzzle toys help to improve their cognitive abilities and build confidence. 

The Benefits of Play for Your Dog

Some people wonder whether dogs need toys, and the answer is yes! Play is crucial for your pup. Aside from being fun, play has so many benefits for your dog including:

  • Improving physical health by encouraging more exercise. Benefits include keeping their heart healthy, helping to maintain a healthy weight, strengthening bones and joints, and reducing the risk of health problems later in life.
  • Improving balance and co-ordination
  • Improving cognitive skills by engaging their mind
  • Preventing boredom and redirecting destructive behaviours
  • Reducing stress and anxiety, and instead promoting happiness and satisfaction
  • Giving your dog a health outlet for their natural instincts
  • Developing social skills and building bonds with other dogs, with you, and with other people

Playing with your pup is even good for you too: it gets you physically active and even helps to reduce stress and bring joy!

Dog Toy Safety Advice 

Always choose a toy that’s the correct size and strength for your dog to ensure their safety. It’s always best to supervise play to make sure your dog is safe. If a toy becomes broken, it’s time to end play and take it away. 

Dog Toy FAQ

What toys do dogs love the most?

Fetch and tug toys tend to be the most popular, but just like people, dogs have individual preferences. Which toys your dog loves the most will depend on many factors, so take your time to try a few and see what they like!

At what age do dogs stop playing?

This depends on so many factors, including your dog’s health, personality, and more. In general, older dogs need less exercise so may slow down slightly. Many older dogs still love a play session, but it may need to be a bit less intense. 

Is there an indestructible dog toy?

While there are more durable, robust toys on the market, no dog toy is completely indestructible. If your dog is prone to destroying toys, supervised play is always best to ensure their safety. 

Conclusion

With so many dog toys to choose from, you’re bound to find something that excites your dog and gets their tail wagging. Don’t forget to relax and enjoy lots of playtime together! 

 

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