10 Best Toys for Dogs in 2017

One of the essential requirements of dogs is that they need to have plenty of play time. Pretty much like kids, our canine friends thrive on our interaction with them, often through play. For some dogs, this already serves as their form of exercise to help them stay healthy. Just like kids’ playtime, it is important that we have tools to help our dogs grow and develop optimally. Here’s where our 10 best toys for dogs can help.

10 Best Dog Toys

1Squeakair Tennis Ball with Rope Dog Toy by KONG

One of the best games we can ever play with our mutts is playing fetch. And there’s no better way to do it than to use our tennis balls. We all love to watch our mutts run after the ball that we have just thrown and then come running back to us waggling their tails. Unfortunately, using actual tennis balls might not be a good idea since the felt surface might contain certain chemicals that can affect our pooch’s health. Additionally, we simply cannot control the tennis ball from rolling. And if it rolls in an area where we don’t want our 4-legged friends to venture into, then it will be another concern for us. This is effectively addressed by the Squeakair Tennis Ball with Rope. The rope serves as your handle so you can actually throw it a lot farther. It’s also a lot easier for teaching your mutt to release it with a gentle tug on the rope. The tennis ball is made of high quality materials wrapped in nontoxic and non-abrasive felt. This helps protect your mutt’s oral and dental health. To add to the excitement, the Squeakair is also integrated with a squeaker so when you throw it, it makes a squeaking sound which helps focus your mutt’s attention.

What We Like about It – The Squeakair is the perfect plaything for our favorite mutt. The combination of safe materials plus the simple design makes it one of the most effective playthings to give.

2Cozies Dog Squeaky Toy by KONG

We love the products made by KONG. They are truly remarkable especially when it comes to their durability and sturdiness. The same can be said of their Cozies Dog Squeaky Toy as it is designed to be just right for your doggie’s playtime. There is just the right amount of filling materials so you will not be hitting your head because of the mess your 4-legged pals will be creating. It should be understood, however, that the Cozies is not supposed to be used for chewing as it really is not designed to withstand constant biting and grinding pressure from our canine’s teeth. This squeaky plaything is what your doggie will love as the sound it makes can truly stimulate their interest as well as curiosity. Additionally, while doing so is akin to stimulating their predatory instincts, it should be safe as they will be focusing much of their attention on the Cozies and not on your hands or those of your kid.

What We Like about It – The durable construction of the Cozies is superb. Add this to its minimalist yet effective design and you’ve got for your doggie one of the best plaything it will enjoy.

3Air Dog Squeakair Birthday Balls Dog Toy by KONG

If you like the KONG Squeakair with Rope but wished you could do away with the rope thingy, now you have the Air Dog Squeakair Birthday Ball. This should be the perfect gift for your pooch’s birthday as the face of the non-abrasive ball felt is emblazoned with a Happy Birthday greeting. The colorful designs should help stir curiosity and unleash the predatory instincts in Fido. It will be like having a field day as Fido will be running after these KONG creations. The surface of the colorful tennis ball is made of very safe materials that are guaranteed never to wear down Fido’s teeth; lest, you’ll be faced with another health issue. The good thing about these tennis balls is that they don’t actually act like one. Instead of bouncing several times upon hitting the ground, you can be assured that playing fetch with your favorite pooch will not turn into a game of hide and seek with the ball hiding and you seeking it. Like the Squeakair, the Air Dog also comes with a built-in squeaker which can really ignite the fiery passion in your canine friend.

What We Like about It – It’s from KONG so this alone is already an assurance of excellent quality. At least, you’re not going to worry about your tennis balls getting damaged by your pet.

4Classic Dog Toy by KONG

Another KONG creation that is clearly the favorite of thousands of animal lovers is the Classic Dog Toy or simply, the KONG Classic. This is one tasty plaything for our favorite 4-legged friend. Just imagine a snowman without the face and the limbs made of sticks and you now have the KONG Classic. It has a head, a torso, and a lower section which provides the base. The idea is to fill the KONG with any of your mutt’s favorite treats. As it chews down on the KONG Classic, the treats get squeezed out and your mutt is treated to one really tasty plaything. Some of the most common treats placed inside the KONG is peanut butter but it’s actually up to you and your pet’s preferences. The KONG Classic is built to withstand repeated chewing that even the most aggressive chewers are no match for the strength of the Classic. Throw it around and let your furry pal fetch and bring it back to you. Or, you can fill it up with food and Fido will have a really great playtime.

What We Like about It ­– This KONG product is one of the most celebrated and most acclaimed dog chew toys because of its sturdiness even against the most aggressive of chewers. Plus, the addition of treats inside can really surprise your dog and keep it happy while playing.

5BazooK-9 Tennis Ball Launcher Gun with 2 Squeaky Balls by OxGord

If you’re training your dog as a retriever, then you’d need the BazooK9 Tennis Ball Launcher Gun. This is something that your pet will not really use but it’s designed specifically for you so you will not be straining to throw your dog’s tennis balls. The design of the BazooK-9 Launcher is quite superb as it already incorporates two tennis ball holders under its barrel. There’s no need for a separate bag to carry these balls around. Just pop the ball into the front end of the launcher and fire away. It’s great for teaching your pet how to retrieve its favorite plaything. The BazooK-9 comes with a sling so you can pet and praise your dog every time it is able to retrieve the tennis balls. Now, you can shoot standard sized tennis balls as far away as you possibly can then simply watch your canine pal retrieve it for you.

What We Like about It – The BazooK-9 Launcher has quite an interesting design concept. Now, playing a game of fetch has just been revolutionized.

6Chuckit! Indoor Ball by Canine Hardware

If you already have a ball launcher like the Chuckit! Indoor Launcher, then you need the Chuckit! Indoor Ball. You can look at the Chuckit! as a modified tennis ball with softer and more fuzzier ball surface. The reason for this is that the Chuckit! is primarily intended for indoor use. Because of its soft construction, there is no danger of damaging or breaking anything inside your home. No scratches. No marks. Best of all, the Chuckit! is designed to be safe for our furry pals.

What We Like about It – The Chuckit! may have a simple design. However, the intention of the designers is very noble indeed. At least, you can still have a great time playing fetch with your beloved dog.

7Bacon Flavored Wishbone Chew Toy by Benebone

We don’t really know why many dogs love the scent and the taste of bacon compared to other flavors. That’s why, if you’re going to give Fido a Bacon Flavored Wishbone Chew Toy, we can guarantee that it will feel very satisfied and happy just nibbling at it. The deep grooves on this Benebone product allows for an excellent bite so Fido will be able to latch onto it with gusto. This can be a great way to treat your dog for good behavior or even after obedience training. The super-strong nylon material has been integrated with real bacon flavors to entice your pooch.

What We Like about It – Personally, we know how dogs love a Benebone chew toy. Add the bacon flavor and your pet will be begging you for more.

8Wobble Wag Giggle Dog by Wobble Wag Giggle

Want a highly unusual ball for your furry friend? How about the Wobble Wag Giggle? It’s technically a ball but with flattened sections in addition to clutch pockets that allow any pooch to pick it up with relative ease. Because of the flat sections, the Wobble Wag Giggle will not be rolling very far. Instead, its design is intended primarily for absolute fun carrying it in your dog’s mouth and playing with it like some toss toy. The Wobble Wag Giggle also emits giggles and other sounds when it is shaken or rolled. This can be an excellent plaything for Fido.

What We Like about It – The Wobble Wag Giggle’s unusual design and style is something that pooches will love. Its flattened surface minimizes rolling distance while its pockets make it super convenient to be carried around by your mutt.

9Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy by StarMark

Designed like the KONG Classic, the Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy is actually a treat dispenser. You fill the chamber with your pet’s favorite food or treats, close it, and then just leave it in your dog’s favorite play area. Because of a very sturdy and heavy base, the Bob-A-Lot will be bobbing from side to side as your pooch decides to retrieve the treats inside. The Bob-A-Lot will never be tumbling on its side because of the weighted bottom. This also gives it the wobbly mechanism which dogs love.

What We Like about It – It’s a unique take on the KONG Classic. The colors and the wobbling effect can help dogs really become more active in retrieving their treats.

10Lobeve Dog Toys 10 Pack Gift Set by Lobeve 

Instead of buying just a single toy for your furry friend, why not get it 10 toys at the same time? The Lobeve Dog Toys is a collection of 10 canine playthings that have been proven to be well-loved by our furry pals. There’s chew rope, squeaky toys, puncture resistant balls, and even flying disks as well as many others. At the very least, Fido will not be bored with playing the same toy over and over. You pooch now has quite an extensive collection so it will be a much happier pet from now on. Playtime will be something Fido will anticipate because it knows it will be so much fun playing with its Lobeve toys.

What We Like about It – The variety of doggie playthings contained in one packaging is what we like about this product. It gives you the freedom to choose which plaything to use at any given time.

How We Chose the Top Dogs’ Toys in Our List

Choosing the best toy for our canine friends should not really be any different from choosing a plaything for our kids. There are certain things that we have to look for. And while we cannot readily say that we should consider our canine friend’s developmental milestones in our selection process, we simply need to make sure that these products are appropriate for fundamental canine behavior particularly those related to their predatory nature, curiosity, playfulness, and biting and chewing behaviors. As such, these were carefully considered in our choices.

One additional parameter we considered is the safety of these toys. Since dogs will be chewing on them, exposing them to chemicals that may leach off the product, it is imperative that we include only those that have passed rigorous testing. If there are small parts that can be ingested by our furry friends, we wanted to make sure that nothing dangerous will happen to them. It is unavoidable that dogs will eat almost anything. However, they also tend to pass it naturally and often with minimal gastric symptoms. If the swallowing of an object will require surgery, then it’s clearly not a good sign.

Once we have made a list of our top 10, we then compared our individual assessment with the feedback and comments of other dog owners. This somehow provided us the assurance that what we have in our list is a reflection of consumer sentiment and the level of acceptance for these products. We know you would want that, too.

Dogs and Kids: Making Playtime Safer for Them

Kids love dogs and vice versa. Both depend on our care and affection for them to grow to their utmost potential. Both depend on us for their nutrition and hydration including shelter. Both also require developmental activities in the form of play. As such, it is not really uncommon for children to love playing with their mutts. Running around, playing catch, and playing fetch, or even swimming together, not only is playtime beneficial for your kids, it’s also great for our canine pets. This is because we are very social animals. We thrive on the relationships that we build with our fellow beings. The same is true with canines. They are highly social. And this is what really makes them great playmates with our kids.

Unfortunately, there are always safety issues when we let our kids play with their pets around. No matter how tame a pet can be, it can easily snap if hurt. Children, on the other hand, still are not familiar with the dos and don’ts of playing with our furry pals. They don’t know that pulling on their friend’s ears can actually hurt their pet. Fido, too, cannot really differentiate you and your little child so it might throw its full weight over your kid. Because there are plenty of safety issues during our kids’ playtime with their pet canines, it is important to adhere to certain principles.

  • Be the pack leader. 

This is considered the golden rule in dogs and kids’ playtime. However, since your child may not have the mental and physical capacity to be the leader of the pack yet, then it is your responsibility to assume the leadership role. Becoming the pack leader simply means only you can initiate the play or the game, not your dog. This is crucial as your doggie needs to understand that it needs to obey and not the other way around. So, if you can initiate the game, only you can also stop it. It’s all about showing who is in control. This way they know that rough play is not necessarily tolerated in your household.

  • Know which games you need to avoid.

There are certain games that are not really recommended to be played with our canine friends, unless under strict supervision and guidance. Playing tug-of-war, jumping for food or toys, wrestling, and chasing are generally not recommended as these are regarded as a form of rough play which can increase the risk of undesirable canine behaviors. We are not saying that they should be avoided entirely. The point is that these games must be played with very strict rules. Remember, you are the pack leader.

  • Know which games you need to play with your canine friend.

Just as there are games that you should avoid, there are also games that are highly recommended by pet experts and canine psychologists. These can include hide and seek, fetch, finding the treat, and others. These games are not only designed to provide our pets the kind of leisurely fun they need but teaches them something as well. For instance, the game hide and seek actually teaches our pets to come to us when called. Playing fetch has the same effect. However, caution is advised not to play tug during a game of fetch.

  • Kids should not encourage their pets to run after them. 

Running away from your pet can actually trigger the predatory instincts of our canine pals. Studies show that children who are running and who exhibit fast-paced actions and high-pitched voices tend to mimic prey in the wild. Even a well-mannered pooch can tackle and bite your kid. To address this predatory instinct, we can teach our canine friends to run after balls, sticks, and other toys instead of people.

  • Kids should not play tug-of-war and other similar games. 

We already mentioned that playing tug-of-war should be discouraged. Your kid who is tugging on one end of the toy can be seen by Fido as a prey trying to struggle free from its clutches. Young children simply don’t have the maturity yet to exert their being a pack leader and as such may lose control of the situation in an instant. If you have to play tug of war with your doggie, make sure that it has been fully trained first. This means that it must know how to release items in its mouth when told to do so. One particularly interesting option is to give your doggie a bungee cord so that it mimics the action of being tugged.

  • Use toys appropriate for dogs. 

The whole point about safety in children playing with their respective mutts is to never use our kids as prey or to stimulate their predatory instincts. This is something that we all need to understand. And this is something where toys for dogs can come in. It is imperative for us not to suppress their predatory instincts as this can lead to frustration in our pets. Doggie frustration can lead to behavioral problems which can make playtime with your kids even more challenging and risky. As such, we need to use toys that can help them play out their instincts but in a much safer way.

The Bottom Line

Toys are not just for kids; they’re for our pets, too. With our 10 best toys for dogs, you are now better equipped to keep your canine friend happy and content throughout its lifespan.

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