Toys are important for a dog’s mental and physical well-being. It brings us joy to see how happy our dog’s react once they get a new toy. Not every dog is toy driven, but there are some toys that I would recommend for every dog owner, especially when they are puppies! Some dogs have a high fetch drive, and the only toy they’ll need in life is a ball. Others love plush toys with crinkle or squeakers! Here is a list of my favorite toys. You may need to take time learning what your new pup likes best!
There is a huge market for interactive feeding toys! They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are a great way to challenge your dog mentally, as well as slowing down fast eaters!
Chew and Treat Holders - some popular options include West Paw and Kong.
Puzzle Toys - Nina Ottosson puzzle toys have been wildly popular, and she has been designing since 1990.
Snuffle Mats - similar to a puzzle toy, snuffle mats challenge your pup to seek out their food or treat rewards. The best part is you can make your own at home!
2. Chuckit! Fetch Games
The signature orange and blue ball is widely recognized by dog owners everywhere. The Launcher is probably their most iconic and popular product, because it makes fetch easy! The rubber ball is preferable to a tennis ball because it is easy to clean, doesn’t trap odor, and is safer for your dog's teeth. The fuzz on a tennis ball can wear down on enamel and cause harm. They also include some amazing water toys, and a safer frisbee line that is soft of the dog’s mouth. My personal favorite is the flying squirrel!
3. Zippypaws Plush and Skinny Peltz
These are a high quality and affordable option for the pup that loves plush! They have an awesome collection of toys including their signature Donutz, Happy Hour Crusherz, and Burrow toys. Burrow tows, like interactive feeding toys, will provide mental stimulation for your pup. My dog’s personal favorite is the Crusherz. It comes with a water bottle with a squeaker inside, but if your dog destroys the original, you can easily replace it with any plastic water bottle!
They also create seasonal toys that make fun gifts for Back to School, Halloween, Christmas, Hanukkah, and more!
Zippypaws also has a popular line of toys called Skinny Peltz. These do not have stuffing, so you do not have to worry about your pup de-fluffing the plush toy.
4. Flirt Poles and Spring Poles
Flirt Poles are a great way to promote physical and mental exercise. The best part about the flirt pole is it is another toy that you can DIY at home! They are most commonly used with terriers, like pit bulls, and other breeds with a high prey drive. They can help build impulse control. Spring poles are another popular option that you can DIY. Both of these are a popular toy (and tool) because they are sure to tire out your pup. With all of that exercise, you can build muscle and improve balance.
5. Kong and Wubba Tug Toys
Another timeless dog toy, the Kong Wubba is a favorite for dogs that love squeakers, and love to tug! It is not indestructible, but it will provide a couple of hours of play for your pup! It can be a solo play toy, or you can play with your pup. It comes in several sizes, colors, and strengths. As well as a Wubba Wet, that is waterproof, does not have a squeaker, and will float! These are another great option for dogs that live to de-fluff plush toys.
Toys are beneficial for your pup’s mental stimulation. Some dogs will grow out of their interest in toys, while other senior dogs still love to have a toy!
Squeakers are intriguing to dog’s because they sound similar to injured prey! If your pup has a high prey drive, they will want to play with the toy until they destroy it and eventually break the squeaker. If you don’t enjoy the sound of a squeaker, there are plush toys that have “silent” squeakers!
The stuffing in plush toys, and the act of de-fluffing also mimics killing their prey. It can be tiresome to clean up all of that fluff, or you may be afraid your dog will eat some. Fluff and Tuff makes stronger, more durable plush toys that may last your pup longer. There are many options to explore, and it is fun to experiment and learn what your dog likes best!