The best dog toys Australia

The Best Dog Toys Australia -
The Overview

Our #1 Pick

KONG Classic Dog Toy

The Best Value for Money

KONG Classic Dog Toy

  • Perfect fetch toy
  • Great for teething dogs
  • Can be stuffed with treats
  • Comes in a variety of sizes

All dogs deserve toys! We can agree on that. Get your canine companion the right toys to play with, and you’ll provide them with comfort, entertainment, and exercise.

Guess what you could get if they don’t get toys that provide the above, destructive behaviour.

No one wants that, and that is why we’ve compiled a list of best dog toys available, accompanied with a guide on how to choose the right one. If this sparks your interest, keep reading!

staffordshire bull terrier playing with toys

Buying Dog Toys Online: How to Choose the Right Toy for Your Dog

When shopping online, it can be quite difficult to find good dog toys. Sure, there are plenty of options available, but it is difficult to know which ones are made from high-quality materials, and which ones are unsafe and will fall apart in a matter of hours. Here are some guidelines to help you choose the right toy for your canine companion:

Materials and Safety Concerns

It may surprise you to know there are currently no mandatory safety standards for pet toys in Australia. This means there will be many toys on the market that do not have the durability and quality needed to be played with vigorously by our pets.” - RSPCA

What this means is that you are on your own when choosing options. Many dogs will play with just about anything, but it is important to pay attention to the materials the toys are made of. However, this is easier said than done. One way to go about this is to choose only well-known and respected manufacturers. If thousands of dogs have played with said toy before and there were no ill effects, it should be safe to presume that your dog will be fine too.

Unfortunately, there are still many unresolved issues when it comes to materials for dog toys. For example, almost everything these days contains BPA. Now, while BPA will not kill your dog, there are still some concerns about it. One of the first studies related to BPA and dogs concluded that small amounts of the chemicals can in fact end up in the dog’s gastrointestinal system (1).

A more recent study showed that BPA can cause changes in the dog’s microbiome, although it also indicated the bigger cause for concern is dogs ingesting BPA through food, than through toys, since the amount of BPA they can ingest from toys is quite minuscule (3).

In short, while toys containing BPA are not a complete no-no, it’s still a good idea to steer clear of it when possible, as well as any other mystery chemicals.

Choose the Right Size

One thing that is often overlooked when shopping for fun dog toys is the importance of choosing the right size. If you choose a toy that is too big, the worst thing that can happen is that your dog won’t be able to use it as intended and lose interest as a consequence.

However, if you choose a toy that is too small there is danger that the dog might swallow it - and this is definitely not good. For the same reason, you should be cautious about toys that contain small parts. Anything that your dog can easily swallow is not a good option. If this does happen, consult your vet immediately.

Supervision is Important

There is no surefire way to know if your dog will destroy their new toy or know how to play with it. Some dogs can be incredibly caring about their toys, while others try to chew right through them. For this reason, it is important to supervise, especially when introducing a new toy.


Dog Toys Australia: Our Top Picks

Now it’s time for the interesting part! We searched the ocean of dog toys available online and we found some real gems. Your pooch will surely love one of those!

#1: Best Overall: KONG Classic Dog Toy

KONG Classic Dog Toy
  • Perfect fetch toy
  • Great for teething dogs
  • Can be stuffed with treats
  • Comes in a variety of sizes

Although KONG now makes a variety of quality toys for dogs and cats, what they are really known for is this oddly-shaped toy. Despite the strange shape, the KONG original toy has gained immense popularity all across the world. So why is that?

Well, this KONG is one of the most well-made toys ever. It’s durable, it’s multifunctional, and it keeps the dog happy. First of all, the KONG is the perfect fetch toy. When you throw it, it bounces unpredictably due to the shape, which keeps dogs interested. Moreover, you can stuff the toy with treats, peanut butter, or whatever else they like - which keeps your dog’s attention on the toy. Finally, this is a toy that can withstand quite a bit of chewing and will not fall apart easily.

The KONG is also available in a variety of sizes, so you can definitely find one that will be perfect for your dog. The toy is also available in different versions - there is extra hard rubber, a perfect chew toy for extreme chewers and softer versions for seniors and puppies.

Pros

Cons

  • Perfect fetch toy
  • Finding the right size can be a bit tricky
  • Great for teething dogs
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  • Can be stuffed with treats
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  • Comes in a variety of sizes
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Below you’ll find other versions of the KONG toy:


#2: Budget Pick: Hartz Dura Play Dog Toy

Hartz Dura Play Dog Toy
  • Comes in a variety of shapes and sizes
  • Lightweight (it also floats)
  • Great value for money

Quality dog toys are nice to have, but they can get quite expensive too. Well, this toy from Hartz solves the issue. Their toys are well-made, versatile, and come at quite an affordable price.

Hartz Dura Play toys are made with natural latex on the outside. The external layer is quite firm which makes it durable. However, unlike toys that are made completely out of rubber which makes them quite heavy, the Dura Play toys have a soft lightweight foam on the inside. The result is a very squishy object that is firm on the outside.

Moreover, Hartz lets you choose the shape of your toy. They make a ball, a bone, and a rocket - all of them have the same features, just a different shape. They also come in a variety of sizes so you can always find one that is perfect for a canine companion. All their toys have a squeaker inside and smell like bacon which really helps get the dog acquainted with the new toy.

Pros

Cons

  • Comes in a variety of shapes and sizes
  • Not for extreme chewers
  • Lightweight (it also floats)
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  • Great value for money
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#3: Best Ball For Dogs: Aussie Dog Enduro Ball

Aussie Dog Enduro Ball
  • Innovative design
  • Fun to play with
  • Made from non-toxic plastic
  • 1-year warranty against chewing through

Aussie Dog is an Australian company (obviously), dedicated to making great toys for dogs. All of their toys are well thought-out and built to last. With the Enduro Ball, they are actually willing to back this claim up: they offer a 12-month warranty.

One annoying thing about dogs and balls is that they often like to chew them right up. If you’ve purchased endless tennis balls only to see them ripped to shreds, maybe you should give this one a shot. However, there is actually a reason why this ball is not chewable - it is simply too big!

Measuring 19 cm in diameter, this ball can offer many hours of fun to your dog. They can push the ball, chase it around, but never quite manage to catch it, since the ball is too big to chew into it. The only downside is that some dogs simply don’t enjoy this kind of non-chewable toy.

Pros

Cons

  • Innovative design
  • Some dogs simply don’t like these oversized balls
  • Fun to play with
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  • Made from non-toxic plastic
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  • 1-year warranty against chewing through
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More balls by Aussie Dog:


#4: Best Automatic Ball Launcher: iFetch Original

iFetch Original
  • Perfect entertainment for bored dogs
  • Adjustable launching strength
  • Runs on an AC adapter or batteries

When it comes to high-tech toys for dogs, many attempts have been made at creating the perfect one. However, nothing really seems to work well - except this awesome ball launcher!

The way this works is so easy that even a dog can learn it - which is kind of the point. When a ball is placed inside the wide shoot, the launcher will shoot it out. The goal, of course, is to teach the dog to do this so they can fetch to their heart’s desire.

What you can do with this launcher, though, is set how far you want the ball to go. There are three settings you can choose from, which makes this launcher effectively usable inside too. The launcher can be plugged into a power outlet but it can also run on batteries.

Pros

Cons

  • Perfect entertainment for bored dogs
  • Some dogs love automatic launchers, but some are not interested
  • Adjustable launching strength
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  • Runs on an AC adapter or batteries
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#5: Best Plush Toy for Dogs: KONG Wild Knots Bear

KONG Wild Knots Bear
  • The toy is soft and plushy but also durable
  • Minimal stuffing for less mess
  • Comes in a variety of sizes
  • No harmful pieces your dog can swallow

This bear toy from KONG is not your typical plush dog toy. It’s fluffy on the outside, but there’s a knotted rope skeleton inside. You get the best of both worlds - it’s soft and cuddly, yet durable. This is a plush toy you and your dog can play tug of war with, but without worrying the bear will get ripped to shreds.

KONG really thought this toy through. It’s perfect for both tough play and cuddling at night, and the fact that it doesn’t have potentially harmful details like plastic eyes is a bonus. So even if your canine companion gets wildly destructive, there’s no way they can hurt themselves.

The bear is minimally stuffed, so even if the teeth manage to make it through the toy’s body, you won’t have balls of stuffing all around the house. However, keep in mind that the bear is not supposed to be used as a chew toy.

This bear toy comes in four sizes, ranging from XS to XL, which is always a plus - big dog owners know the struggle of finding the toy that’s larger than their pet’s snout. Let’s be real, there’s no fun in playing with an ant-sized toy, is there? But you know what is fun? A squeaky toy! That’s right, the bear also makes those squeaking noises our pooches love to hear.

Pros

Cons

  • The toy is soft and plushy but also durable
  • Not suitable for heavy chewers
  • Minimal stuffing for less mess
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  • Comes in a variety of sizes
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  • No harmful pieces your dog can swallow
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#6: Best Dog Frisbee: KONG Flyer

KONG Flyer
  • Flexible but sturdy rubber
  • It flies accurately and delivers a dynamic rebound
  • Can withstand strong bites

If your dog is a frisbee lover, then this flyer from KONG is a perfect toy for them. It’s made out of natural rubber that’s soft and flexible, so it won’t hurt your dog’s teeth or gums when playing a game of fetch. This is very important - the frisbee flies at quite a speed, and if it was made out of a stiff material, such as plastic, your dog could snap it while fetching.

The flyer delivers a dynamic rebound if your pooch misses catching the initial toss. This means it won’t simply fall on the ground as other flyers would, and that would kill all the fun for your canine companion. Plus, the frisbee flies quite accurately, so don’t worry about it somehow getting stuck on a tree – well that depends on your tossing skills, but the flyer does its part well.

The disk is somewhat floppy, so you might need to use both hands for tossing. While that might seem like a disadvantage, pooches simply love that. It allows them to swing it around and fold it in their mouths, and they can even use it for playing pull games.

Pros

Cons

  • Flexible but sturdy rubber
  • If will sink if it falls on water
  • It flies accurately and delivers a dynamic rebound
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  • Can withstand strong bites
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#7: Best Tug Toy for Dogs: Aussie Dog Pull It

Aussie Dog Pull It
  • Great for both tug and fetch games
  • Interactive toy made for two or more dogs
  • Made out of non-toxic sturdy fire hose
  • Machine washable

This toy’s original name is Eightathong, meaning its shape resembles the number eight. It appears quite basic, but don’t let the looks fool you. It’s sturdy and designed specifically for playing tug of war. The toy has equal sized bite loops on both ends, which makes it a great option for two dogs to play with and test their strength. It also floats on water, so your pups can enjoy it both in house and on the beach.

This simple-looking yellow toy is made out of a durable fire hose, and you can rest assured it will last through many games of tug. The material doesn’t harbour germs or bacteria, which is an important trait of a toy that’s designed to be held in a dog’s mouth. Dog toys get dirty easily, but don’t worry, this one can be machine washed.

This option is a great alternative to sticks - while dogs generally love them, we all know that some wood can be toxic for our pooches and can cause them stomach problems or cuts on their gums. This tug toy is 100% safe and non-toxic, and you can leave your dogs playing unsupervised. However, be wary that this product is not an indestructible dog toy, and if your canine best friend is a heavy chewer, it might bite it through.

Pros

Cons

  • Great for both tug and fetch games
  • Not suitable as a chew toy
  • Interactive toy made for two or more dogs
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  • Made out of non-toxic sturdy fire hose
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  • Machine washable
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#8: Best Interactive Dog Toy: Outward Hound Nina Ottoson Dog Brick

Outward Hound Nina Ottoson Dog Brick
  • Reduces undesired behaviour
  • Exercises a puppy’s mind
  • Easy to clean

Does your dog get bored easily? Then this toy Nina Ottosson designed for Outward Hound is what your pooch needs. It features obstacles that require your pooch to combine actions in order to reach the rewards. If you want to prevent your dog from going into destruction mode when their bored, then this is the right toy for them.

Plus, this kind of toy is awesome for building a bond with a new pup, as well as teaching him basic commands. What’s more, this dog puzzle toy can be a great way to keep your dog distracted from thunderstorms, fireworks and other noises that could frighten them.

A dog has four legs and one head - and all of those need exercise. This toy has 20 different treat compartments that will keep your canine friend physically and mentally engaged. Some blocks can be flipped open while the others have to be slid or removed to reveal the treats. The blocks have scent holes that allow your dog to sniff what’s underneath.

The toy is made out of plastic, but don’t worry - it’s BPA, PVC and Phthalate-free. The puzzle is made with our canine companions’ health in mind. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t leave your dog to play with the puzzle unsupervised, especially if he’s a chewer. Puzzle pieces can be harmful if your pooch chews on them. The toy should be cleaned between uses - warm water and soap will suffice.

Pros

Cons

  • Reduces undesired behaviour
  • Dogs shouldn’t be left unsupervised with the toy
  • Exercises a puppy’s mind
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  • Easy to clean
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#9: Best Slow Feeder: Outward Hound Fun Feeder

Outward Hound Fun Feeder
  • Prevents bloating and obesity
  • A non-slip base holds the feeder in place
  • Dishwasher-safe

So, you pour the kibble in your dog’s bowl, and by the time you turn around it’s already empty - if this scenario sounds familiar to you, then a slow feeder is what you need. Outward Hound designed bowls that will slow down the mealtime by up to ten times! Your dog will forage for food, and in turn, it will prevent bloating and obesity. Your pooch’s stomach will thank you.

This fun feeder features multiple ridges and valleys that will keep your dog engaged during lunchtime. The feeder is veterinary recommended, as slowing down the mealtime naturally improves the digestion. The bowl is made out of food-safe materials - it’s BPA, PVC and Phthalate-free. No matter if you feed your pooch dry, wet, or raw diet, the feeder is suitable for all types of dog food.

The feeder has a non-slip base, so it won’t slide around the room while your dog is ravaging for food bits. There are five colour options, and each of them features a different type of maze. The bowl comes in three sizes, so you can find the one most suitable for your pooch. Like any food bowl, the fun feeder needs to be washed regularly, and its dishwasher safe! That’s great considering you’d have a hard time reaching all the areas with a sponge.

Pros

Cons

  • Prevents bloating and obesity
  • Wide-snoot dogs could require a sized-up bowl
  • A non-slip base holds the feeder in place
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  • Dishwasher-safe
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Nylabone Original Bone Chew Toy
  • Provides a healthy outlet for chewing urges
  • Comes in a variety of sizes and flavours
  • Durable

It’s hard to find dog toys that are actually meant to be chewed, but that’s exactly what many dogs need. Sometimes, they really don’t want to destroy toys, they just want to satisfy their natural chewing instinct. This is exactly what the Nylabone Original Bone was made for.

This is simply a very durable gummy bone. It is actually made from non-toxic nylon. The whole bone is flavoured, and you can choose between different flavours like chicken, beef jerky, or peanut butter. It also comes in a variety of sizes so you can choose the one that will fit your pooch’s bite.

In short, this bone is a great way to satisfy your dog’s chewing urges. Unlike real bones, there are no sharp parts that can hurt your dog.

Pros

Cons

  • Provides a healthy outlet for chewing urges
  • Can be dangerous if swallowed
  • Comes in a variety of sizes and flavours
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  • Durable
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Best Toys for Dogs: Final Thoughts

When it comes to buying dog toys, one can never have enough. There are so many cute toys for all kinds of games, that it can be hard to stop.

If you want one toy that can provide maximum fun and entertainment, the KONG Classic Dog Toy might be the right choice. It is very well-made, multifunctional and also very tough and durable.

 However, if you really don’t need all of that and your dog is not a power chewer that destroys toys, the Hartz Dura Play Dog Toy might be all you need to make your canine companion happy.

FAQ

Can dogs be allergic to toys?

Yes, although it is not common if you use toys made from safe materials. Although uncommon, allergies to plastic or nylon in dogs do exist. So, if you notice your dog has any of the general symptoms of allergies (skin rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, persistent cough etc.) do take away any new toys you have introduced and consult with your vet. Allergies are more likely to be caused by food than by toys, but you never know.

What toys will keep a dog busy?

Well, that highly depends on the dog and their temperament. Some dogs will go crazy over a treat-stuffed KONG or a similar toy. If you fill it with peanut butter and freeze it, for example, it can provide hours of happy licking to the dog. Others will be more interested in a puzzle like the Outward Hound Nina Ottoson Dog Brick. An automatic dog launcher can also keep a dog busy for hours.

Why do dogs rip stuffing out of toys?

Well, first of all, the dog might just be bored. When it comes to stuffed toys, some dogs get attached to them and can behave very gently towards their favourite toy. Others, not so much. The reason some dogs immediately rip the stuffing out of toys might be that it reminds them of prey. That’s exactly what ancestors would do to prey in the wild, so who can really blame them?

References
  1. “Making playtime a good time for you and your pet”. February 20th 2019. RSPCA Australia. Retrieved November 12, 2020. https://www.rspca.org.au/blog/2019/making-playtime-good-time-you-and-your-pet
  2. Wooten KJ, Smith PN. Canine toys and training devices as sources of exposure to phthalates and bisphenol A: quantitation of chemicals in leachate and in vitro screening for endocrine activity. Chemosphere. 2013 Nov;93(10):2245-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.07.075.
  3. Koestel, Zoe L., et al. "Bisphenol A (BPA) in the serum of pet dogs following short-term consumption of canned dog food and potential health consequences of exposure to BPA." Science of The Total Environment 579 (2017): 1804-1814.
Vedrana Nikolic

Vedrana Nikolić is a professional writer, anthropologist & a dog lover with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Semiotics studying the communication between animals and humans.

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