Does your best mate need a new dog toy? Perhaps you’d be interested in finding him some toys that are a bit more enticing than the usual tennis balls and Frisbee. The following are our top picks for dog toys that will provide physical and mental stimulation for your pooch.
Interactive Treat Dispensers
In the wild, wolves and coyotes have to really work for their meals. You probably wouldn’t dream of turning your dog loose to hunt for his next dinner. On the other hand, you can give him the opportunity to work harder for his food than he’s currently working.
Ordinary dog food bowls don’t demand much from your canine friend. They hold his food, and he eats it. That’s it.
Instead of using a traditional dog food bowl, you could try putting doggo’s food in an interactive dog food dispenser that transforms meal time into more of a challenge. These toys are designed to dispense kibble or other treats, a little bit at a time, as your dog plays with them. If this sounds like something your dog would enjoy, try feeding him using any of the following interactive toys:
Kong makes an entire series of bestselling dog toys, and this is one of their all-time most popular offerings. It’s a chewy, natural rubber compound toy that randomly dispenses treats whilst the dog is playing with it.
You place food or treats in this fun bungee ball and then hang it up for your dog to play with. As he plays, the toy will dispense the treats. It has an internal rattle that helps to keep the dog’s attention.
This toy is intended to reduce your dog’s boredom levels when he’s home alone. If your dog is prone to barking, chewing or random acts of destruction while he’s unsupervised, this contraption might help. The consensus amongst satisfied customers is that this toy is super-durable and built to last.
Here’s a fun twist on the soft rubber ball that your doggo is sure to enjoy. It’s part ball, part puzzle toy designed to dispense dog treats as the dog plays with it. You can fill the ball with kibble or kangaroo jerky. Your best mate will have heaps of fun extracting the treats from it. However, do be aware that this is NOT a good toy for aggressive chewers.
This ball is designed to extend the amount of time your dog will play with it by limiting the number of treats it dispenses. It dispenses treats often enough to keep the dog interested, but not so fast that he’ll be able to scarf them all down in a few seconds. You can adjust the settings on this ball to make it more or less challenging. There are two different sizes available – a larger one for large dogs, and a smaller one for small dogs.
How this game works: You hide treats in each of the 9 compartments on the puzzle. Then your dog can play at unlocking them, which releases the treats each time he is successful.
Chewers and Chew Toys
Chewing is a natural dog behaviour. If you don’t find a healthy way to channel this behaviour, your dog is likely to choose something less than ideal for chewing on – perhaps your best leather shoes, your wallet or your furniture. Providing chew toys or chewy treats is a sensible way to encourage non-destructive chewing.
In years past, rawhide bones were some of the most popular chew toys. However, it’s wise to avoid giving your dog rawhide bones, because rawhide can be problematic for some dogs. There is nothing stopping a dog from chewing apart small bits of rawhide that can easily be swallowed. It’s possible for pieces of rawhide to get lodged in a dog’s digestive tract; since the material isn’t easily digestible, removing it could potentially require surgery. Obviously, this is something you’d want to avoid, even if you have outstanding pet insurance.
Instead, opt to give your dog safer alternatives like the following:
Salmon skins have a ropy sort of texture. While it would, of course, be possible to give your dog an actual rope or a rope toy to chew on, he is likely to prefer these treats instead – first of all, for the taste; second of all, because they can actually be eaten; and third because there are healthy Omega 3 oils in the salmon skins.
Kangaroo tendons make great dog chews. They vary in length, with some being shorter and some longer. They often have a stalk and can be either round bulb or flat bulb.
Beef tendons satisfy a dog’s urge to chew. They can also help to keep your dog’s teeth clean and contribute to healthy gums.
If your dog has a gentle enough disposition to be trusted with plush toys, which can be fragile, the following are some excellent options to consider:
This plush squeaky toy has rope as its skeleton. But, unlike the plush toys designed for children, this doggie toy only has a little bit of stuffing inside – so if your dog chews it apart, the resulting mess will be minimal. The bear comes in several different sizes, so there’s probably a size that will be suitable for your dog. However, we don’t recommend this toy for aggressive chewers.
This is both a plush toy and a squeaky toy consisting of multiple chirrupy, plush squirrels in what resembles a hollowed-out tree trunk. Your pooch can remove the squirrels and stash them in various places around the house. The toy is available in several different sizes and configurations, making it suitable for dogs of differing sizes. However, like most other plush dog toys on the market, this set is best suited to gentle dogs; it is not advisable for aggressive chewers.
Squeaky toys stimulate dogs’ sense of hearing, and they can help keep a dog interested in a toy that might not hold his attention otherwise. Squeaky toys are especially fun for puppies.
If you’re in need of puppy toys, this fun squeaky toy is an excellent option to consider. This toy is designed to empower you and your pup to play tug-of-war together. The toy is ideal for puppies less than 6 months old.
This ball can be used in the same manner as a standard rubber ball for fun games of fetch, but it is more interesting than the usual balls are. For starters, it has a squeaker that helps to capture and hold a dog’s attention. It is also covered with little spikes that give it more texture.
Ball Launcher and Balls
Everyone knows that dogs love to chase balls. However, we don’t recommend allowing your pup to play with tennis balls, because they’re bad for dogs’ teeth. Here are the balls we recommend instead, plus a ball launcher for throwing them:
This ball launcher is the ideal toy for ensuring your dog has as many ball-chasing opportunities as he could possibly want. Because of the clever design of this ball launcher, you never have to bend down or touch a slobber-coated ball. It’s absolutely brilliant.
If your days are too busy for playtime with doggo, the Max Glow Ball offers one possible solution: You can play fetch together at night. The ball glows in the dark, allowing your best mate to see the ball even if the sun has already set. You can use it with the Chuckit ball launchers or on its own; it works well either way.
This ball is durable. It has a history of standing up well to aggressive chewing.
These balls are extra bouncy on land and buoyant in water. They work well with the Chuckit ball launcher, but you don’t need the ball launcher to enjoy using them.
These are our top picks for 15 of the best dog toys currently available in Australia. We highly recommend all of these great toys to fellow dog owners.