Keeping your dog happily occupied often means providing them with a variety of interactive dog toys. The best dog toy for you may depend on whether your dog is a puppy or older and what their play style is.
Lots of dogs enjoy burrow toys, also called a ‘hide-a-toy’, where they get to use their hunting instincts to dig squeaky plush toys out of a larger plush burrow that sometimes makes enticing crinkle sounds too. One of the most popular burrow toys is the Outward Hound Hide-a-Squirrel featuring three stuffed squirrel dog toys and a log burrow. This type of dog toy set comes in all kinds of designs from brands like Zippy Paws, from wolves to foxes and bears to unicorns. If your dog loves plush toys, you’ve got to check out the toys from P.L.A.Y. This brand makes adorable and themed toys dogs love! They also make great dog birthday gifts (hint hint).
If you like to bond with your dog by playing fetch, you can’t go wrong with a classic frisbee. A ball launcher like the Chuck It is another popular choice for fetch because it helps you throw balls farther with less effort. If your dog likes to swim, look into floating toys too! When it comes to tug-of-war, rope toys are a classic, but for large dogs especially we love the Outward Hound Squeaker Matz Gator Dog Toy. It has tons of squeakers and a long floppy alligator body that’s fun to tug!
Some dogs are affectionately referred to as toy destroyers or power chewers, and for this lot you’ll want chew toys that are extra tough. Check out toys made from nylon, like the long-lasting bones from Nylabone—they even have a cute dog pacifier toy for teething puppies! Or try the KONG Extreme—it’s made from super strong rubber and some say it’s nearly indestructible. The Petstages Orka Tire Treat Dispensing Dog Chew Toy is another great option in this category, and both of these toys are treat dispensing for extra enrichment as they chew.
A lot of dogs experience separation anxiety when left alone or just plain boredom, and toys can help with that too. Anti-anxiety dog toys include things like lick mats from brands like Lickimat and Cosmic Pet that release endorphins as dogs lick treats like peanut butter off a ridged surface. Some even have suction cups on the back to make bath time less stressful too. Another way to distract your dog is with a puzzle toy, like the OurPets Sushi Treat Puzzle Toy or designs from Nina Ottosson. But if you want to keep things simple, you can’t go wrong with a KONG Classic or treat dispensing toy from West Paw like the Toppl, Rumbl, and Qwizl toys. SodaPup also makes toys in this category in familiar shapes like soda cans.
But if these toys aren’t cutting it for your anxious pup, you may want to try a realistic toy dog companion like the Smartpetlove Snuggle Puppy Anti-Anxiety Dog Toy. It features a real-feeling heartbeat and is warming to calm and comfort your dog, which can be especially helpful for young puppies.