There are few things more fun than pampering your pet, right? Dog experts agree that dog toys are not a mere luxury but actually a necessity. Dogs seem to agree, too. The only downside is that your best friend can quickly chew through most toys, so you’ll have to buy a new one. That’s where we come in! We recruited seven dogs from GeekWrapped team members to find the best tough dog toys. After lots of testing, our canine reviewers revealed the most rugged choices. As a reward, all got a treat! The good news is that durable, tough dog toys are not expensive. There are a few things to watch out for, though. Here’s what you should keep an eye on when buying.
Material – For a start, you’re going to have to decide which material to get. The main options are plastic and rubber dog toys or a combo. You need to be careful about this and go only for reliable manufacturer and dealers, since there aren’t many regulations that keep the furry end consumer safe. This goes double for manufacturers outside the US. Both plastic and rubber are good for heavy chewers, as long as they’re hard enough. Natural rubber dog toys came out on top in our real-world reviews, so we recommend them. More on this below.
Type – There are three main types of dog toys: Chewing, dental, and intelligence promotion. Plus, there are combinations, too. You’re probably aware that dogs love to gnaw at things. Chew toys are designed so that your upholstery remains as intact as possible. In other words, chew toys substitute for your furniture and shoes. Dental toys are something of a doggy toothbrush, meant to massage their gums and scrub teeth. Finally, IQ toys are designed to stimulate the dog’s brain, and they’re often very interactive, allowing you to join in. Just resist the urge to bite yourself, no matter how great that toy looks.
Treat Compatible – Some toys will have a hollow center or cavity that you can fill with treats. It’s as straightforward as it sounds, although your dog might disagree. The whole point is to make the four-legged ball of joy concentrate on the toy, and get a sense of accomplishment if he approaches it the right way. In fact, this kind of problem-solving stimulates your dog's intelligence and is very rewarding. This is bound to prolong the entertainment and is very fun to watch. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that most IQ toys are treat-compatible. We highly recommend trying them.
Country of Origin – As noted earlier, there aren’t many regulations that protect your dog from bad manufacturers, and the industry relies on the honor system. In other words, the manufacturers are left to their own devices as to how to develop and make the toys. To help you with this we have pointed out below if the dog toys are made in the USA. We have also included reputable foreign brands that have a long track record and many positive online customer reviews. It’s worth double checking this since it can change over time. Generally, most toys from well-known companies are high quality, though.
Dimensions – Dog toys come in all shapes and sizes, though most of them are balls, sticks or bones. With this in mind, it’s tough to find and/or give exact measurements, so we’ll stick to approximations. If you see 3 x 3 x 3 inches for dimensions of an item, you can fully expect it’s a ball rather than a cube. Depending on your dog’s size, choose one that fits comfortably in his or her mouth but isn’t so small that it could be swallowed. When in doubt, get a little larger toy and double check the manufacturer’s recommendations for breed size.
Weight – There’s no golden standard when it comes to dog toys, so they’ll vary greatly (much like dogs vary from breed to breed). Make sure, though, that the weight suits your dog. If it’s a bigger breed, he might find a lightweight toy to be not much of a challenge; conversely, if it’s a small dog, and you get him or her a very heavy ball, there will be a quick return to your shoes or pillowcases. This is another area where your dog’s personal taste matters, so it’s smart to buy two different dog toys and let your pet test them.
All right, let’s sink our teeth in the best dog toy reviews – that’s what you’re here for after all. Below you will find the top 10 indestructible dog toys that emerged as winners in our tests. All of them will make your pooch smile, so simply pick the one that fits your needs and budget.