The Best Toys for Your Dog

The Best Toys for Your Dog

Toys are one of the essential doggy commodities; whether you have a playful pup or not there is a toy for them. There are plenty of choices out there for dog toys but how do you whittle down your options?

Unfortunately plenty of dog toys from unnamed brands peddled through amazon can contain unsafe chemicals and choking hazards which at best cause a little coughing but at worst can cause some serious health problems, even death.

Let's walk through what to look for in a dog toy and some of the ideal options for the purpose you so choose…

The Basics

  • Safety


    Pet toys are not subjected to the same strict rules and regulations as say children’s toys. This means that dog owners have to do a bit more sleuthing themselves to find toys that are doggy-safe.

    The main culprits in toys are PVC, phthalates, BPA, lead, chromium, melamine, arsenic, bromine and formaldehyde; individually, these substances can wreak havoc on a dog’s gut, kidneys, liver and brain. If you can’t confirm with the manufacturer what is precisely in your dog’s toy it’s better to avoid it entirely considering that there is no overarching body regulating the production of dog toys.

  • Size


    The appropriate size for your dog toy is entirely dependent on the size of your dog, particularly the size of their mouth. No part of the dog toy should be able to be worked to the back of your dog’s mouth - making it a choking hazard. Not only should the overall size of the dog toy be considered but the elements that make it up.

    There are several interactive puzzle toys for dogs that contain parts small enough to be swallowed but large enough to cause plenty of trouble in your dog’s digestive tract. Ensuring that each piece cannot fit further than halfway down the snout should avoid this entirely!

What Kind of Toy Do You Need?

  • Development


    Mental exercise tires any dog far quicker than physical exercise so development toys are great for the rambunctious pup. Development toys are those that focus on testing your dog’s mental agility mainly through making that tasty treat that much harder to access; the most popular of which are those from Kong. The classic Kong is dog-safe and entirely customizable meaning that you can add just about any tasty treat favorites.

  • Comfort


    For dogs that prefer soft play and tend to carry around their toys as opposed to pulling them apart a soft plush toy could be a great option. This variety of toys provide some anxiety relief to your canine companion through appealing to their desire for touch, for this reason comfort plush toys are a great option for dogs with separation anxiety. It’s important to make sure that the stuffing of these toys is dog-safe so again, checking for the toxic components listed above is essential.

  • Active


    Tug toys are an excellent choice for a hyper-active dog; playing tug with your dog allows them to play with you in a language they understand - strengthening your human-dog relationship. Not only do these toys offer a great source of fun for your pet but they also hold a lot of training potential; using tug toys is a great way to teach your dog impulse control via learning obedience skills such as “leave it”.

  • Home-Made Alternatives


    Dog toys costs can rack up quick so getting nifty with things that you already have in the house will save you plenty of money for just a little time. Some great options are old clothes in place of tug toys, treats frozen in water for a bit of mental stimulation (and the added bonus of getting your dog to drink more water) and any old baby safe cuddly toys to offer some comfort to your furry friend.


Finding the right dog toy can be easy when you have the right information. Simply checking that your toys dont have one of the several toxic components of the unfortunately unregulated dog toy market will surely go a long way in keeping your pet safe. Sticking to a reputable pet store and staying wise about the appropriate size of toy will not only give your dog an enjoyable and safe experience but keep your mind at ease.