For many of us with canine companions, spoiling them is second nature. As the market abounds with dog toys, resisting the temptation to buy that fifth squeaky chicken for Rover is sometimes too strong to resist, leading to a house covered in chews, toy balls, Frisbees, and puzzle toys. To keep things tidy, and prevent you from tripping over a plethora of tennis balls, there are toy storage solutions.
All jokes aside, toys are really important to a dog’s wellbeing. Dogs are intelligent animals who can become bored and restless without proper stimulation – especially if their owners are often out of the house for work – and playing with toys can help keep them mentally active. On top of this, playing with your dog yourself is one of the best ways to bond with them, improving your relationship not to mention your furry friend’s life! Finally, certain toys are also designed to be chewed, providing a non-destructive outlet for dogs’ need to gnaw.
With all these benefits, it’s clearly important to store your dog’s toys safely and effectively. We’ve scoured the pet care scene for the best storage solutions around, and answered some common questions about how toys and storage boxes should be used.
Best Dog Toy Storage Buying Guide & FAQ
That concludes our list of the top ten dog toy storage solutions on the market right now, and we hope our guide has helped you to decide which handy box, basket, or bin to choose for your pet.
Despite being such a simple product, there’s plenty to bear in mind when choosing your dog’s toy box, and taking care of the toys themselves can be a tricky affair. That’s why we’re here to answer some common questions about which toy storage is best, how to properly maintain your dog’s toys, and even how to get your beloved pet to tidy away toys themselves.
What to Consider When Buying Dog Toy Storage
If all of these dog toy storage options are a little overwhelming, considering the following can help you determine which option is best for your pet.
Wood, plastic, fabric, and more – dog toy boxes are commonly made from all sorts of materials, and which one is right for you will depend mostly on what toys you have, and what breed of dog. Wooden crates and boxes are typically the strongest and most durable – if you’re reasonably adept at DIY, you could even fix it yourself if any screws come undone! These boxes are best suited to large, strong dogs, who might crumple their fabric counterparts. Fabric storage baskets have the advantage of being lighter, and easier to transport and store than wooden crates. Plus, tough fabrics such as jute tend to stand up well to a little chewing. A good quality plastic box should do this too, with a little more structural integrity. Just be sure to purchase a toy box made from plastic that’s non-toxic for pets.
Simple as it is, it’s worth pointing out: if your pet has a lot of toys, or particularly large ones, you’ll need a larger box. If you plan on moving the toys around a lot, portability will also be a concern, so be sure to choose a box with carry handles. Similarly, if you think the box will spend a lot of time in storage, it could be a good idea to select one which can be collapsed to a smaller size. If you plan on storing treats (such as chews) and toys together, choose a box which is food safe. Fabric baskets should be avoided in this instance.
- Your Dog
Larger, heavier dogs can easily cause the sides of many toy baskets to crumple under their weight as they root through them, so choosing a wooden or plastic box is generally a better idea than choosing a fabric basket. Conversely, these baskets can be more suitable for small breeds and puppies, since the slight give in their sides makes toys easier to access.
Benefits of Using Dog Toy Storage
Toys are an important part of any dog’s life, so storing them effectively is vital. Below are some of the main benefits of using dog toy storage.
- Toy bins keep dog toys safely away from any children in the house
- Tidying toys into a bin prevents household members from tripping over them, and potentially hurting themselves
- Dog toys are protected from damage in a toy bin, so last for longer
- Toy bins are an easy way to keep your house tidier
- Dogs can be trained to deposit their own toys back into their bin
- Keeping toys in one place helps prevent them from going missing
- Toy bins are versatile, and can also be used to store other pet care items
- Both outdoor and indoor dog toy storage solutions are available
Dog Toy Storage Maintenance
Dog toys are important. Much like humans, they feel the need for something to do, and toys can help fulfill this role by providing mental stimulation that’s fun. Chew toys are also an important outlet for dogs’ natural urge to chew, which also protects your shoes and furniture from becoming chew toys themselves. Clearly, then, looking after them is important!
- New Toys
Firstly, when introducing your dog to a new toy for the first time, always supervise them to ensure they’re playing safely. Remember that toys which were safe for your dog as pup won’t necessarily be safe in adulthood, and vice versa. Always look for the manufacturer’s recommendations, and keep an eye on your dog with new products.
- Cleaning Toys
Dog toys should be cleaned every now and then, especially those such as the Kong which are filled with food. Many soft toys are machine washable, and their rubber or plastic counterparts can be soaked for 30 minutes in a mixture that’s equal parts distilled white vinegar and warm water. This is a safe and effective way to disinfect the toys. If the toy can’t be salvaged, don’t be afraid to get rid of it. Broken toys can pose a choking hazard to dogs.
Storing toys together keeps them away from potential damage. It’s a good idea to clean your storage solution every now and then – they can usually just be wiped down, and white vinegar and water can be used as a natural solution. If you find yourself in possession of multiple storage bins, boxes, or baskets, you could consider investing in a toy bin organizer. These are shelving units specifically designed to store the boxes, and keep them tidy and all in one place.
Q: How can I train my dog to use a toy box?
A: With the help of some tasty treats, it’s actually quite simple to get your dog to use their new toy box. Start by placing some treats in the box, and giving your dog a toy. Next, guide your dog to the box – they should hopefully drop the toy to pick up the treats inside, causing it to fall inside the box. When this happens, give them lots of praise. Use a command, such as ‘tidy’ when the toy goes into the box, cementing a connection in your dog’s mind. Repeat these steps until your dog can tidy up without the help of the treats.
To help your dog learn more quickly, it’s a good idea to always keep their toy box in the same spot. This helps your dog to form a behavior pattern, and avoid confusing them. Using ‘high value’ treats – something that your dog really goes crazy for – is also a great way to keep them motivated during the training.
Q: Would these be suitable for outdoor use?
A: Some toy storage solutions are indeed suitable for outdoor use – it depends on the material they’re made from. Fabric based toy boxes aren’t likely to hold up well to the elements, but plastic and wooden ones are equally suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
From this list, entries five (Our Pets’ plastic bone-shaped box) and nine (Woodlore’s Cedar storage crate) would be most suitable for outdoor use.
Our Top Pick
We think the prize for best dog toy storage should go to Gimars. Their Easy Carrying toy basket is an economical and effective solution for dog toys that go walkabout – and it looks great too!
We love its inner waterproof coating, carry handles, and the fact that it can be collapsed for convenient storage. We also think the plastic inserts which make the basket stand securely on its own are a great feature. Since the basket can be used with or without these inserts, it’s incredibly versatile. Its two convenient sizes also give you the options you need when choosing a toy storage solution for your dog. Strong enough to withstand chewing and scratchy paws, but suave enough for use in your home, Gimars certainly offer a great and attractive solution when it comes to dog toy storage.
- Why Dogs need Toys, Paws in Training
- Dog Toys and how to use them, Paws
- 8 Simple, Cost-Efficient Ways to Keep Your Dog Mentally Stimulated, Pet MD