The 11 Best Dog Toys Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2023
All dogs deserve toys! We can all agree on that. Get your canine companion the right toys to play with, and you’ll provide them with comfort, entertainment, and exercise.
But what would happen if your dog had no toys to play with? They would get bored, which could lead to destructive behaviour. No one wants that!
To help you find the best dog toys Australia offers your beloved Fido, we teamed up with veterinarians, canine behaviour experts, and doggy parents alike to test out some of the most popular options out there. After months of research and many, many dog toys later, our panel of independent experts compiled a list of the most fun, most durable, and most captivating toys your dog will love. First, we've also provided a guide on how to choose the right one for your pooch. If this sparks your interest, keep reading!
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
KONG Classic Dog Toy
- Perfect fetch toy
- Great for teething dogs
- Can be stuffed with treats
- Comes in a variety of sizes
Runner Up -
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
Third Choice -
Fringe Studio I Want To Be A Llamacorn Rainbow Llama Unicorn Plush Dog Toy
- Adorable look
- Soft and cuddly
- Fairly large
- Squeaker inside keeps things interesting
Australia's Best Dog Toys Reviewed
Now it’s time for the interesting part! Together with our panel of independent experts, we searched the ocean of dog toys available online and spent months putting them to the test with our canine companions. Along the way, we found some real gems. Your pooch will surely love one of those!
What sets this product apart from the rest?
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, multi-functional, and it keeps the dog happy. In terms of strength, it's similar to our number three choice by Hartz, but with some key differences. 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, every member of our team of independent experts noted this is a toy that can withstand quite a bit of chewing and will not fall apart easily.
The KONG Classic Dog Toy being tested by our independent expert team.
Related: What To Put In A Dog Kong Toy?
The KONG is also available in a variety of sizes, so you can definitely find one that will be perfect for your dog. The rule of thumb is that the right sized KONG should be small enough so your dog can easily carry it in its mouth, but not so small as to be in danger of swallowing it. 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.
Below you’ll find other versions of the KONG toy:
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, unlike our first KONG toy, yet durable. This is a plush toy me and my dogs were able to play tug of war with, all without worrying the bear would 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 KONG Wild Knots Bear being tested by our independent expert team.
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, as does our number three choice next...
Some dogs love to chew their toys apart, but others love their comfort toys and take care not to destroy them. This adorable Llamacorn is for the second kind of dog. This is an extra-cuddly plush toy. Our team of independent experts note that it’s not a chew toy, and it’s not a tug toy. As long as you don’t expect it to be any of these things, there is a good chance you (and your dog) will love the Llamacorn.
The Llamacorn is cleverly designed so it’s not only cute in the eyes of humans but also fun for dogs. The body of the llama-unicorn is amazingly soft, but also well-made and fairly durable. For our dogs that love to run around with their toys, we appreciated that it is shaped in such a way that dogs can easily grab it when they want to carry it around.
The only possible problem we’ve found is that this toy from the Fringe Studio only comes in one size. However, it’s a good size: being 34 cm tall and 23 cm long, the toy is fairly large, but not huge so most dog breeds will be able to have fun with it.
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. Similar to our number one choice by KONG, 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.
The Hartz Dura Play Dog Toy being tested by our independent expert team.
Moreover, I love how 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, believe it or not, smell like bacon, which really helps get the dog acquainted with the new toy.
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’re like me and have 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!
The Aussie Dog Enduro Ball being tested by our independent expert team.
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.
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 dog ball launcher!
The way this works is so easy that even a dog can learn it - which is kind of the point. When I placed a ball inside the wide shoot, the launcher will shoot it out. The goal, of course, was to teach my dog to do this so they can fetch to their heart’s desire.
The iFetch Original being tested by our independent expert team.
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.
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. Not only ending your game short, but possibly cutting their gums and mouth.
Related: Best Dog Frisbee.
Our panel of independent researchers share that 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 KONG Flyer being tested by our independent expert team.
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.
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 I was happy to discover makes it a great option for my two dogs to play with and test their strength. It also floats on water, so your pups can enjoy it both in house and at 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.
The Aussie Dog Pull It being tested by our independent expert team.
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. In fact, our independent experts praised this tug toy for being 100% safe and non-toxic, so 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 through.
Is your dog like mine and gets bored easily? They'll need an interactive dog toy then. And 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, our panel of pros say 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.
The Outward Hound Nina Ottoson Dog Brick being tested by our independent expert team.
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. While this is a more unique option, the puzzle is like others on this list in that it 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.
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.
I love how this fun feeder features multiple ridges and valleys that will keep your dog engaged during lunchtime. The feeder is veterinary recommended, which our experts can concur, 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 Outward Hound Fun Feeder being tested by our independent expert team.
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, but its dishwasher safe! That’s great considering you’d have a hard time reaching all the areas with a sponge.
As our team of independent experts were quick to learn during our trial phase, 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 made from non-toxic nylon. Unique to this list, 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.
The Nylabone Original Bone Chew Toy being tested by our independent expert team.
In short, this bone is a great way to satisfy your dog’s chewing urges. Like our number five and number seven toy choices, this toy looks very traditional. But unlike real bones, there are no sharp parts that can hurt your dog.
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.
So where to start? Our team of independent experts have some ideas. 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 - especially if you are buying online.
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 (2).
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, rather 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.
Related: The Best Dog Subscription Box Australia.
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, our experts suggest 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 within 30 seconds (like my furry brood!). For this reason, it is important to supervise, especially when introducing a new toy.
My Final Thoughts On Dog Toys
When it comes to buying dog toys, you 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, then our panel of independent experts think the KONG Classic Dog Toy might be the right choice. It is very well made, multi-functional 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, then we think the Kong Wild Knots Bear Dog Toy might be all you need to make your canine companion happy.
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.
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.
Sometimes, it can just be a matter of trial and error to find out the best toy to keep your pooch happy and entertained.
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?
- “Making playtime a good time for you and your pet”. February 20th 2019. RSPCA Australia. Retrieved May 9, 2023. https://www.rspca.org.au/blog/2019/making-playtime-good-time-you-and-your-pet
- Wooten KJ, Smith PN. November, 2013. "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. Retrieved May 9, 2023. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24007620/
- Koestel, Zoe L., et al. February 2017. "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. Retrieved May 9, 2023. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27932218/