It is important to get outside with your dog and help them to live a healthy, active lifestyle. This is where some great toys and games for your dog will come in handy. Dogs can get bored easily and you need to make sure you are giving them enough mental stimulation.
Dogs love to chew things and they are not particularly picky about it. They chew brand-new things, expensive things, irreplaceable things, your favorite things. Some of the reasons for your dog’s destructive behavior may be:
- Attention seeking. Chewing on your stuff may be a bid for your attention. “Look at me. I helped you clean up your stuff. I put that one here, and this one over there. Did I do good? Did I? Huh? Huh?”
- Boredom. Dogs are highly intelligent animals who need to be mentally stimulated. When left to their own devices they will create their own fun with whatever they can find.
- Lack of exercise. Dogs often have a lot of energy they need to work off. If you don’t help them with this they will likely work off that energy on your things.
- Loneliness and separation anxiety. When left alone dogs can chew things as a means of self-soothing. Destructive behavior can result from the distress of being separated from you.
- Youth. A puppy at least up to the age of six months needs to chew things. It helps them learn about things in their world and is good for their teeth and gums as they are growing.
You can prevent some of these issues and control your dog’s destructive chewing with some interactive dog toys. The best interactive dog toys will provide a great challenge for your dog, physically and mentally. They are designed to keep your dog’s attention, keep them moving and stimulate their brains.
Some useful features to look for in a good dog toy are:
- Sounds, toys that squeak are a great way to keep your dog interested, particularly when chasing or fetching.
- Movement, toys that move on their own or with a little nudge from your pooch allow them to play when they are on their own.
- Puzzle features, toys with hiding spots for treats are a great way to keep your dog’s mind active.
- Durability, toys that can withstand biting, chewing and some heavy throwing around are good to look for.
Keep in mind that dogs play with their mouths and sharp teeth. There is no such thing as an indestructible dog toy. They will wear out and fall apart. You will need to keep buying them. Just like with kids, their toys will break and get old. And they will get bored with them after a while. Always have a few on hand, rotate them regularly and add new ones.
Here are some of our recommendations. As always, read the product descriptions and reviews and make your own decision. You know your dog and whether they are a heavy chewer or are hard on their stuff (or your stuff). If your dog is small or a puppy, don’t buy a big toy that they can’t get their mouth around. If you are not sure where to start, try a few of the cheaper ones first and go from there. Try not to leave your dog unsupervised with a new toy. This is just to make sure that it is safe for your dog and that they won’t be hurt or eat any parts of the toy.
Best Chew Toys for Dogs
This is a wishbone-shaped, bacon-flavored chew toy for dogs. It is made of super-strong nylon and food-grade bacon, with no chemicals or artificial flavors. The bacon flavor is infused throughout the entire bone. What dog doesn’t like bacon, right?
Benebone toys are designed in Brooklyn and manufactured in Long Island, New York. What I like about this company is that a percentage of each sale goes to support animal welfare, especially dog shelters and rescue centers.
Note that this is a non-edible toy. It may fall apart over time so make sure to keep an eye out for bits falling off so your dog doesn’t eat them.
The extra large chew bone is ideal for large dogs over 50-pounds and it comes in a variety of flavors that dogs love. These types of chew toys are a great way to promote clean teeth and help control plaque and tartar buildup for your dog. They will satisfy your dog’s natural urge to chew and help to encourage positive chewing habits.
Best Puzzle Toys for Dogs
This is a great interactive hide-and-seek puzzle toy for your dog to play with. It is a durable plush hive with 3 squeaky bees to hide inside. You just have to put the squeaky bees in the beehive and watch as your dog sniffs them out. There is a range of these types of toys with an engaging array of shapes, sounds, and textures so you can have some interactive fun with your pup for hours.
Another great puzzle toy for dogs is this activity flip board by Trixie. It is designed to keep your dog busy flipping lids using knobs and sliding disks to the side. There are also some cones to be lifted up to reveal treats for your pup. Make sure to vary the number and placement of your treats to increase the level of difficulty and keep things interesting.
Best Food Dispensing Toys for Dogs
Fill this interactive toy with your dog’s favorite treats or kibble to keep them active and healthy during feeding. It has adjustable feeding difficulty levels that help continue to challenge your dog as they learn. As your dog plays and rolls the ball, the treats will fall out to reward them for being active. This ball twists apart for easy cleaning, comes in a variety of colors, and is available in 3” and 5” sizes. Keep in mind that this might not be suitable for puppies or small dogs.
The Kong Wobbler is a favorite in our house. It dispenses food and treats for hours of fun and helps to prevent your dog eating too fast. The wobble action keeps the toy sitting upright until your dog pushes it down. This is when it dispenses the treats. The unpredictable movement keeps the toy challenging and keeps your dog’s mind active. The twist off dispenser makes it easy to fill and clean. It is made in the USA of FDA food-approved high strength plastic polymer. It is dishwasher safe and comes in two sizes – small (fits ½ cup of food) and large (fits 1 cup of food).
Best Fetch Toys for Dogs
Fetch is a great challenging game to play with your dog. It keeps them active and teaches them discipline. This fetch ball is similar in size to a soccer ball (7 1/2 inches in diameter) with deep ridges which make it easier for your dog to retrieve. The durable canvas, rubber and EVA foam construction make it a great ball for outside games of fetch with your dog. The vibrant, high-visibility orange color makes this toy easy to track in large open spaces. It is made from natural high-bounce rubber and has a puncture-resistant foam core for durability.
The Kong Jumbler ball is a great interactive toy for your dog. The squeaker and tumbling interior tennis ball will entice your pup to want to play for hours. The handles make picking up and shaking it around easy for dogs. It is made from durable, tough thermoplastic which is ideal for rough play. It is available in two sizes to accommodate most size dogs.
Best Tug Toys for Dogs
This is a pack of four durable rope toys that make great chewing and playing for your dog. Great for throwing, fetch and tug games. The cotton fibers help to clean your dog’s teeth while playing. Made with beautiful and vibrant colors to attract your dog’s attention.
This is a floatable tug and fetch toy that stretches to twice its length so makes tug of war games with your dog more fun. The interactive shape makes it perfect for play between two dogs or you and your dog. It’s innovative ‘S’ design make it perfect for fetching and tugging while its bright colors make it easy to find. Bumi’s tough and durable design make it perfect for heavy-duty tug sessions, yet easy on dogs’ mouths and gums. It is made in America, is BPA-and-Phthalate-free, non-toxic and FDA compliant. It is recyclable and dishwasher safe. All Zogoflex dog toys are available for recycling through the manufacturer’s closed-loop recycling program, Join the Loop. West Paw Design recycles all Zogoflex. This toy is also 100% guaranteed against dog damage by the manufacturer.
Best Fun Toys for Dogs
These Kong dog toys are cute, soft and cuddly plush toys that are made with an extra layer of material to make them extra tough and durable for dogs. They have minimal filling for minimal mess and have a squeaker inside to help entice play. Choose from 10 fun characters for your pup to play with. Keep in mind these are not chew toys. They are ideal for games of fetch or for your dog to squeeze out the sound.
What dog doesn’t love chasing bubbles? This is a great dog toy that dispenses bacon-scented bubbles. Even better right? It includes an 8oz bottle of bacon scented bubble solution which is non-toxic and tear-free. Your dog will be able to spend hours popping, chasing, and pouncing on the bubbles. Fun and exercise all in one. This toy requires 4 AA batteries that are not included.
P.S. Help a friend to choose the best interactive toy for their dog by pinning this!