What should I look for when buying a dog toy?
Finding the right toy that offers the mental stimulation they are after while also enduring all the chewing and tugging that is inevitable with playtime can be tricky.
"When choosing toys for your dog, look for options that suit their size as well as their preferred style of play. For example soft toys are for gentle indoor play and cuddling, balls, ropes and other fetch toys are for dogs who like to retrieve, and durable rubber or nylon toys are for heavy chewers. Interactive and puzzle toys are also great for preventing boredom in dogs who spend time at home alone," explains Pet Circle Head Vet Dr Teagan Lever.
"To keep your dog engaged, make sure that they have a variety of toys from a few different categories and rotate them regularly so they don’t lose interest. You can do this by keeping toys in two to three different batches and switching them every couple of weeks after a quick clean so they feel new again."
Best dog toys for puppies
"For puppies, look for toys that will satisfy teething urges, typically these are made from a softer rubber to prevent breakage of delicate puppy teeth. As puppies naturally will want to chew, avoid toys with small or loose items which could come off easily. Soft toys are also good to introduce early to encourage gentle play."
Best dog toys for active dogs
For active dogs, particularly working breeds like Kelpies and Border Collies who are naturally intelligent, interactive toys like puzzles are a must.
"Keeping them mentally stimulated will help reduce boredom and unwanted behaviours. Other good options for active dogs include toys that react to your dog’s play like bungee tug toys and tech toys like robotic balls."
Best dog toys for retrieving dogs
For dogs who enjoy retrieving, Dr. Teagen Lever advises to look for balls, ropes, safe sticks, frisbees and automatic ball launchers.
"Fetch toys are important as dogs can sustain nasty injuries from fetching sticks from trees."
Best dog toys for heavy chewers
"As a general rule when choosing toys for a heavy chewer, go larger in size to help improve durability and extend the toy's lifespan. Some manufacturers will claim that a chew toy can clean your dog’s teeth, but I wouldn’t recommend toys as part of a dental care program. Treats and toothbrushing tend to be more effective."
Where can I buy the best dog toys in Australia?
If you are after toys that are designed to keep the furriest members of the family happy and busy, while also lasting (which is equally as important), then you're at the right place.
Save your shoes from becoming chew toys, and read on for our top picks of dog toys that your dog (and your wallet) will love.
Shop now at Myer
Not only is this cow squeak toy adorable, but the satisfying squeaky noise will get your dog excited for play time in an instant.
Shop now at Vet Supply
Sudden boost of zoomies at night? Simply shine a light on this toy and watch it glow in the dark while your dog plays. Soft, long-lasting and easy to clean. Plus - it also floats, so if your dog is an avid swimmer, playing fetch poolside has never been easier.
Shop now at Lucky Pet
Designed to be mentally stimulating and entertaining, the Honey Pot toy by Zippy gives your dog an outlet to satisfy their burrowing needs (and end boredom). Featuring three holes for squeaky bee plushies to live in, your dog will be buzzing for playtime.
Shop now at Amazon
A treat puzzle toy is always a good boredom-buster for dogs - mentally stimulating and engaging (plus, they get a tasty treat at the end). Featuring nine hidden bone-shaped compartments for your dog to find their favourite treats in, all you'll need to do is provide the treats and watch your dog as they learn to nudge and paw away at the puzzle.
Shop now at Pet Circle
The iFetch ball launcher is a great investment for owners of active dogs. Recommended by Dr. Teagen Lever, it's the award-winning automatic launcher that is sure to be hit.
Once powered up, simply select the distance that best suits your space (indoor or outdoor) and let the toy do the rest.
Shop now at Kogan
Feeling fruity? Small but mighty - these squeaky fruit shaped toys are perfect for small to medium sized dogs. Use as an easy hide-and-seek game or in combination with other puzzle games.
Shop now at Pet House
Made from sustainably sourced hemp and recycled cotton, this rope toy by Beco Pets is durable - even for the toughest chewers. Plus, it doubles as a chew toy that keeps your dog's teeth clean.
Shop now at Pet House
Hours of fun is just a throw away with the Yours Droolly throw toy. Perfect for outdoor play and designed to endure chewing and tugs. Plus, the fabric ribbons add another level of fun and engagement for your puppy.
Shop now at Pet Circle
Recommended by Dr. Teagen Lever for active dogs, the Cheerble WickedBone is a 100 per cent automatic dog toy designed to keep your pooch happy and occupied when home alone.
The Wickedbone will move by itself (or as controlled by you) to attract your pets attention and also react when played with, though it comes at a slightly higher price point, it's worth it for days when you just need your alone time.
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