Category Archives for Dog Toys

Best Dog Chew Toys (2020 Buyers Guide)

The Best Dog Chew Toys In Australia -
Perfect For Teething Puppies

Our #1 Pick

KONG - Classic Dog Toy

The Best Value for Money

KONG - Classic Dog Toy

  • Great reviews
  • Vet recommended
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Comes in a variety of sizes and strengths

Whether you have a rambunctious puppy or a surly senior at home, you can bet that your dog loves to chew.

Chewing is a great pastime for dogs, and we're sure that pet parents around the world would much prefer they concentrate their efforts on their own collection of chew-proof toys rather than your fragile cashmere jumpers.

One of the best and easiest ways to stop destructive chewing is to redirect their attention to the perfect chew toy for them. (1)

Dog chew toys come in many shapes and sizes so we will start there. We’ll then discuss the qualities of an awesome chew toy before I give our recommendations for the best dog chew toys on the Australian market.

Labrador puppy chewing up teddy bear

The Different Types of Dog Chew Toys

Chew toys come in all forms. In order to soothe your dog’s boredom, you need to choose the right toy for them. (2)

Classic Chew Toys

Non-toxic rubber toys are what makes up the classic chew toy. They come in a range of strengths, colours, and shapes to keep your dog interested. Classic chew toys are great for most breeds and ages.

Some even come with added flavour mixed in with the rubber to make the toy even more enticing. You can’t go wrong with a classic chew toy to keep your dog happy.

Squeaky Toys

Most people relate squeaky toys to puppies. It makes sense I suppose. Only baby human play with rattles and are dazzled by loud noises. Or is that really true? I would argue that a phone with a ringtone is a squeaky toy for adults - don’t deny it!

Anyway, my point is, adult dogs love squeaky toys too. They are endlessly entertaining.

Now I won’t deny that it is incredibly annoying to have the constant squeal of a toy sounding off during the day. It’s just one of those things we do for the happiness of our dogs. It soon becomes background noise - I promise.

Rope Toys

We like rope toys because of their versatility. A rope isn’t just for tug of war purposes. Dogs love playing with rope with you, with other dogs and even solo. They are great for a good session of gnawing alone. 

A tensile rope can take a good deal of chewing before eventually disintegrating… but they will disintegrate at some point. No matter how strong the rope may be, at a certain point, you will find it melted into a fray of threads.

Don’t discount rope in your search for the best chew toy for your pup. A pack of chew rope products is relatively cheap and they will last a while. All I am saying is that for a toy that will last years and years and years, classic rubber chew toys are better.

Bone Toys

The jury is very much out as to whether it is safe to give your dog real raw bones to chew on. There are certainly benefits.

Mike Clark at DogTime remarks “Raw bones are a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals. They have benefits to the digestive system, including strengthening the stomach muscles, preventing bloat, fostering healthy bowel movements, and preventing anal gland problems.” (3)

That said, bones can cause many issues. (4) For example:

  • Tough bones can fracture teeth and damage gums
  • Splinters can get stuck in your dog’s throat
  • Pieces of bone can pass down the digestive tract and cause complications

So, for the sake of not settling this debate today, we are going to focus on fake bone-like toys. Bone toys can even be flavoured to give the meaty sensation your dog craves.

We will give you our best bone toy recommendation in the later reviews.


What to Look for in Dog Teething Toys

Durability

Of course, you want a good return on your investment, which means that the chew toy you choose can’t just crack as soon as your dog sinks their teeth in. Quite defeats the point doesn’t it.

There are two main aspects to ensuring the longevity of the toy you choose.

Strength

When choosing a chew toy for dogs, you need to keep your pup’s strength in mind. Remember strength and size are different things. Whilst giant breeds are more likely to be stronger, a Boxer is still stronger than a Greyhound, even though the former is a medium dog and the latter is a large dog. (5) A Newfoundland puppy is also way stronger than an adult Chihuahua.
Look out for a chew toy to suit your dog’s strength.

Materials

The second thing to factor is what is the chew toy made of. While Nylabones are incredibly hardy, they can sometimes be too tough for the average chewer. On the other hand, cheap materials may wear quickly.

Rope in general is quite durable but will eventually fall apart as I mentioned.

Figure out what will work best for your pup.

Flavoured vs Unflavoured

As I mentioned, some rubber toys have a flavour and smell artificially added to make the chewing experience more appealing to your dog. Generally, flavours last a while but it does fade eventually. Your dog may still enjoy chewing the toy after it has lost its flavour, but it is worth noting that it does fade - as does the smell.

My dogs are completely split when it comes to flavoured toys. One loves them and the other turns her nose up at them. I guess it’s as polarising as whether you like banana flavoured sweets - never quite tastes like a banana does it?

PRO TIP: The only real way to find out whether your dog likes the flavoured kind or not is to try!


Best Dog Chew Toys Reviewed 2020

Now we know all the elements of a great chew toy for your dog, I have built the perfect Christmas list of dog chews! There are tons of wonderful options available in Australia, so I hope these reviews help you.

#1: Best Overall: KONG - Classic Dog Toy

KONG - Classic Dog Toy
  • Great reviews
  • Vet recommended
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Comes in a variety of sizes and strengths

Are we surprised? No. Am I predictable? Absolutely! The Kong has long been the family favourite dog chew toy the world over and also makes it in our list of the best dog toys overall. My oldest dog got her first Kong toy at 3months old. It was bright pink and small like her. The original Kong has been a long-standing fixture in our home ever since.

So, what’s the hype? The classic Kong toy owes its success to the simple fool-proof construction. The open hole at the bottom helps you to conceal treats inside and your dog has the joy of attempting to get the treat out. It’s a barrel of laughs for your dog!

As a chew toy, it is made of durable rubber with no hard edges. The smooth rounded shape is ideal for chewing.

Kong toys also come in a variety of colours depending on your dog’s age and strength.

An added bonus is the fact that it is dishwasher safe, so it is incredibly easy to keep clean.

Versatile, durable, and fun; the OG Kong toy is a top choice in the dog toy world for a reason!

Pros

Cons

  • Great reviews
  • No flavoured option
  • Vet recommended
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  • Dishwasher safe
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  • Comes in a variety of sizes and strengths
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#2: Budget-Friendly: Anything Pets Dog Chew Ball

Anything Pets Dog Chew Ball
  • Budget-friendly
  • Non-toxic rubber
  • Helps with oral care
  • Comes in a nice selection of colours

Chew balls are a fab invention. They provide hours of entertainment and mental stimulation. And the best part of the Anything Pets Chew Ball is that it is dirt cheap!

The aim of the game is to stuff the sides of the ball with treats or kibble. Your dog will enjoy kicking and gnawing on it to release the goods.

The Anything Pets ball is made of non-toxic rubber. The corrugated sides also have the added benefit of maintaining your dog’s oral hygiene. Yep - chew toys can do that too! The ball’s “teeth” massage your dog’s gums which can help reduce tartar build-up. It is also soothing for teething puppies.

The toy comes in 5 designs: blue, red, green, yellow and a duotone style. The size is quite small measuring only 7cm in diameter. Perfect for puppies and tiny dogs but perhaps not great for giant breeds. I think a Great Dane could swallow this whole.

But for the price, this is a great addition to your dog’s collection of toys.

Pros

Cons

  • Budget-friendly
  • Only comes in one small size
  • Non-toxic rubber
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  • Helps with oral care
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  • Comes in a nice selection of colours
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#3: Best Teething Toy for Puppies: Rufus & Coco Junior Chew Toy

Rufus & Coco Junior Chew Toy
  • Durable
  • Treat dispensing
  • Squeaky mechanism
  • Floats in water

If you have ever had the fun of having a wisdom tooth come through or spending time with a curmudgeonly teething baby, you’ll know how uncomfortable it is to grow new teeth. Tiny shards of enamel piercing through sore, fragile gums is as pleasant as it sounds.

We can’t stuff a dummy in your puppy’s mouth, but a teething toy will be just as effective.

Our pick is the Rufus & Coco Junior Chew Toy. It is a versatile little toy. It could be seen as a treat-dispensing toy, dog puzzle toy, teething toy, and a squeaky toy. Your bundle of joy will have so much fun, gnawing and squeaking away.

Made of a durable, non-toxic rubber-blend, it is built to withstand the sharpest of puppy teeth whilst being gentle enough on those teeth.

Overall, it’s a good starting chew toy for young pups.

Pros

Cons

  • Durable
  • One size
  • Treat dispensing
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  • Squeaky mechanism
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  • Floats in water
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#4: Best for Strong Chewers: Nylabone Dura Chew Power Chew Textured Ring

Nylabone Dura Chew Power Chew Textured Ring
  • Durable
  • Well-reviewed
  • Flavoured
  • Easy to hold

Nylabone toys are known for being mega-tough. They are not for the faint-hearted or tender-gummed, let’s say. Nylabone make rock hard chew toys for super aggressive chewers.

If you have a dog with a destructive chewing habit and seemingly jaws of steel, then this might be the pick for you! Your dog would have to be the strongest dog in the world to destroy this toy.

The textured ring by Nylabone has a few added benefits. First is the flavour. They call it a “flavour blend” meaning to say that it has a general meaty flavour that your dog will enjoy.

The texture helps clean teeth. The ring shape makes it easier for your dog to hold as they dig in.

The product measures 14 x 14cm which is a good size for medium and large dogs alike.

Reviewers attest to how durable this toy is for extreme chewers. That said, it is imperative you don’t give this to a puppy or soft chewer. They may hurt themselves!

Pros

Cons

  • Durable
  • One size only
  • Well-reviewed
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  • Flavoured
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  • Easy to hold
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#5: Best Squeak Chew Toy: Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Squeak

Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Squeak
  • Durable
  • Bright colour styles
  • Squeaky toy

Squeak toys are delightful for dogs, albeit quite irritating to us. But the perfect squeaky toy can make you happy too when your dog is obviously having so much fun.

We chose the Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Squeak ball because it is interactive. As it is a ball, you can use it to play fetch with your dog. Perfect bonding opportunity.

This squeaking toy is incredibly hardy; it is advertised for tough chewers.

It is just over 7cm in diameter, which is not bad for the full squeak experience. It would be good to have other sizes, however.

The ball comes in two bright, easy-to-spot colours - a mid-tone blue and a vivid orange.

If you are in the market for a squeak toy, your dog may love this one!

Pros

Cons

  • Durable
  • Mixed reviews
  • Bright colour styles
  • One size only
  • Squeaky toy
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#6: Best Rope Chew Toy: Youngever 6 Pack Dog Rope Toys

Youngever 6 Pack Dog Rope Toys
  • Value for money
  • Varied styles and lengths
  • Heavy duty and durable
  • 100% money back guarantee

If you don’t fancy buying a rubber chew toy for your dog, but would rather something even more versatile, rope may be the ideal solution.

Many dogs enjoy gnawing on rope. One of my dogs prefers rope much more than classic rubber toys.

The Youngever pack comes with 6 rope toys of varying colours, sizes and knotting. It also includes a rope ball. The variety here is amazing. Having all of these in one pack is also much better value for money. As I said before, rope does eventually wear down so it’s good to have a reserve of options to swap out any that get destroyed.

Of course, these can also double up as tug-of-war games. An even greater return on investment.

This pack is ideal for medium to extra-large dogs. The 100% natural cotton rope is said to be heavy-duty and long-lasting.

To top it all off, Youngever offers a 100% money-back guarantee if you are dissatisfied with the products when they arrive. For chewers who prefer rope and fabric, this is the perfect stocking filler.

Pros

Cons

  • Value for money
  • Mixed reviews
  • Varied styles and lengths
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  • Heavy duty and durable
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  • 100% money back guarantee
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#7: Best Dog Bone Toy: Tasty Bone Nylon Trio

Tasty Bone Nylon Trio
  • Strong favour options
  • Durable
  • Textured surface is good for teeth

Finally, we have a bone toy to pick for you!

The Tasty Bone Nylon Trio toy is the ideal bone toy for your pup. Granted I have never seen a bone with three sides like this, but it gives the same satisfaction as chewing on bones, without the drawbacks.

It is made of super tough nylon, infused with strong flavour to keep your dog engaged for hours. The flavour does fade like with all flavoured chew toys. After the taste has worn off, you can wash the toy with water to keep it in good condition.

The bone has the added benefit of being good for oral hygiene. It has a textured surface that massages the gums.

It comes in two sizes: large and small. Most breeds should be happy with one of the two. Extra-large breeds may still find it too small.

If you need a tough bone toy for your dog, we highly recommend the Tasty Bone model.

Pros

Cons

  • Strong favour options
  • Only two sizes
  • Durable
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  • Textured surface is good for teeth
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Top Pick: Best Dog Chew Toys

Call me obvious and unoriginal - I will own up to both - but the Kong toy is always a winner. It has been a worldwide favourite for many years for very good reason. The options they have, the durability, and the price point all point to an all-round wonderful product that your dog will love.

 As a runner-up, the Tasty Bone Trio toy is a good stocking filler for a strong chewing dog who loves meaty smells. The added bonus is that the Tasty Bone is far safer than any real bone. All the fun and none of the danger.

Want more information on dog toys? Check out our below guides:

FAQ

What chew toys are bad for dogs?

This is a great question! The short answer is it depends on who you ask. Some say that bones are terrible for your dog’s health, whilst others believe that bones are better as chew toys than any artificial rubber toy. Of course, this depends on the type of bones.


Never give your dog cooked bones as they are more prone to splintering. It is possible to buy whole lamb femurs which are supposedly the safest. But again, depends on who you ask!


Nylabone toys are bad to some experts and okay for others. (6)


Antlers have very have mixed reviews. (7) Rawhide toys are also controversial. (8)


It’s all a question of who you ask. If you want to be the safest possible, we advise speaking to your veterinarian for personalised advice. At the end of the day, we can only make decisions for our own dogs.


One thing that most agree on is that sticks are the devil.  I can personally attest to having pulled out a stick that was lodged in my dog’s mouth. Sticks splinter too which can be dangerous if swallowed. All in all - avoid sticks. The rest is very much up for debate.

References
  1. Heuer. V. June 19, 2009. “Destructive Behavior in Dogs”. PetMD. Retrieved November 15, 2020. https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/behavioral/c_dg_destructive_behavior
  2. Madson, C. August 30, 2019. “10 Boredom Busters for Your Dog”. Preventative Vet. Retrieved November 15, 2020. https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/boredom-busters-for-your-bored-dog
  3. Clark, M. “Is It Okay To Give My Dog A Bone? Which Bones Are Safe For Dogs?”. DogTime. Retrieved November 15, 2020. https://dogtime.com/dog-health/dog-food-dog-nutrition/52539-ok-give-dog-bone-bones-safe-dogs
  4. Stregowski, J. October 20, 2019. “Are Bones Safe for Dogs?”. The Spruce Pets. Retrieved November 15, 2020. https://www.thesprucepets.com/are-bones-safe-for-dogs-1118289
  5. Jamieson, A. January 25, 2019. “10 of the strongest dog breeds in the world”. Care.com. Retrieved November 15, 2020. https://www.care.com/c/stories/6113/top-10-strongest-dog-breeds/
  6. Nicholas, J. February 13, 2018. “Popular Dog Chews That Are Actually Dangerous to Dogs”. Preventative Vet. Retrieved November 15, 2020.https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/popular-dog-chews-that-are-actually-dangerous-to-dogs
  7. Burke, A. November 7, 2017. “Are Antlers Safe for Dogs?”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved November 15, 2020. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/are-antlers-safe-dogs/
  8. Habib, R. June 1, 2020. “Rawhide: The Most Dangerous Pet Chew Ever!”. Dogs Naturally Magazine. Retrieved November 15, 2020. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/rawhide-dangerous-for-dogs/

Best Indestructible Dog Toys (2020 Buyers Guide)

Indestructible Dog Toys Australia - Only The Toughest Options

Our #1 Pick

KONG Classic Dog Toy

The Best Value for Money

KONG Extreme Dog Toy

  • Works both as a fetch toy and a chewing toy
  • Made with extra strong rubber
  • Can be stuffed with treats
  • Perfect for extreme chewers
  • Dishwasher-safe

A dog without toys is a bored and sad sight.

Luckily for them however, when left without toys, most dogs will find something else to turn to for entertainment - and that’s how shoes get eaten and furniture gets destroyed, not so lucky for you.

So, we’ve established toys are important right? Good.

Each dog is different, some take care of their toys amazingly well, whereas others love to destroy them. If you have one of those power chewers on your hands, you are probably getting annoyed with how fast they tend to go through the toys you provide.

If this describes your experience, this guide is made for you. Today we’ll talk about indestructible dog toys that can withstand even the strongest bites.

english bulldog ripping up toy

Best Materials for Tough Dog Toys

When it comes to choosing the best dog toys, your biggest concern should be the material they are made from. After all, that is what will determine how long a toy can last. Below are some good options for those looking for some seriously tough dog toys.

Rubber

When it comes to indestructible dog toys designed specifically for power chewers, rubber is definitely your best bet. Rubber is non-toxic, durable, but also somewhat soft which makes it the perfect chew toy. Quality rubber toys will let your dog satisfy their chewing instincts in a safe manner. There are no sharp pieces that can hurt your pup, and the material is usually soft enough for dogs to chew safely. For the same reasons, rubber toys are also great for teething puppies.

Rope

Toys made of good old-fashioned rope are also very popular among pet parents who have to deal with power chewers. However, if your dog likes destroying things you really need to look for strong, tight-knit rope. Many dogs can destroy standard rope toys in a matter of minutes.

Rope toys do have some advantages. They are easy to wash and they are great for playing tug of war. Also, if the rope is made of a natural material like cotton, there is less danger of your dog having any health issues if they do chew up the whole rope.

Firehose

Recently, some dog toy manufacturers realised that the same material used to make a firehose can be used for dog toys. The material is non-toxic, and it is designed to withstand high pressure and endless bending and general wear & tear. This all sounds great, but just like with rope, it has not been fool-proof.

Although these cases are rare, some dogs do manage to chew even through firehose. That being said, firehose material is tougher than most ropes. We should highlight, if you get such a toy for your dog, make sure to supervise them while playing, if the toy is chewed apart, small pieces of firehose material can become a choking hazard.


What to Avoid When Looking for Durable Dog Toys

Plush Toys

If you want an indestructible dog toy, plush toys, toys made of fleece, teddy bears and the like are just not going to work. While many dogs love cuddling with this kind of toy, they are also incredibly easy to destroy. And when a dog gets destructive on one of those, you’ll end up with stuffing crime scene all over your house, not to mention that it can end up in your pooch’s stomach too and cause lots of problems.

Squeakers

If you have a dog who likes to chew things apart, getting a squeaky toy is probably not the best idea. Usually, dogs will want to find the source of the sound. To do this, they will do their best to chew apart the toy and then they could swallow the squeaker. Not a good idea!

Latex and Vinyl

Toys made from materials like latex and vinyl can look similar to rubber toys, but they are much flimsier and easier to destroy. These materials are not a good choice for extreme chewers.


Indestructible Dog Toys Australia: Our Top Picks

Are you ready to see our top list? Below you’ll find the most durable dog toys available in Australia.

#1: Best Overall: KONG Extreme Dog Toy

KONG Classic Dog Toy
  • Works both as a fetch toy and a chewing toy
  • Made with extra strong rubber
  • Can be stuffed with treats
  • Perfect for extreme chewers
  • Dishwasher-safe

KONG is one of the best-known names in the world of indestructible dog toys. Pet parents around the world choose their toys, and many veterinarians recommend them, so they must be doing something right.

These days KONG makes many different toys for dogs, but this one is definitely their most popular product. If you are going to get only one toy for your dog, this rubber piece is the one to go for. It will work perfectly both as a fetch toy and as a chew toy your dog can gnaw on during hours of boredom.

When used to play fetch, the KONG is great at keeping dogs active and interested because it bounces in unpredictable directions due to the odd shape. In addition to this, there is a hole going through the middle of the toy that can be stuffed with treats of your choice. Fill it with standard dog treats, peanut butter, or whatever else your pooch likes. A stuffed KONG can also be frozen, so your pooch stays entertained trying to get the treat out for hours.

The KONG Extreme is the extra-strong version of their classic toy. It’s made with rubber that’s denser than the classic version which means it can withstand even the most extreme chewers.

Pros

Cons

  • Works both as a fetch toy and a chewing toy
  • Choosing the right size can be tricky
  • Made with extra strong rubber
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  • Can be stuffed with treats
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  • Perfect for extreme chewers
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  • Dishwasher-safe
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Below you can find the other versions of the KONG toy, so you can choose the one that fits your dog best:


#2: Budget Pick: Beco Pets Blue Bone

Beco Pets Blue Bone
  • Made from natural rubber
  • Can be stuffed with treats
  • Quite durable
  • Great for playing fetch and as a chew toy

The Blue Bone (also available in a couple of other colours) from Beco Pets is another great chew toy that resembles the KONG in its functionality, but comes at a lower price. This bone is perfect for playing fetch, but it can withstand your dog gnawing at it for hours too. It is also hollow in the middle so it can be stuffed with treats.

This toy is made of natural rubber which Beco Pets says has been harvested from rubber trees in a sustainable manner. The rubber is mixed with rice husks and this combination makes the bone both durable and elastic. The Blue Bone is a great choice for those who’d like to avoid synthetic materials, but still want their canine companions to have awesome toys.

The Blue Bone comes in 2 sizes - the smaller one is 12 cm long, which should be enough for small breeds. If your canine companion is bigger, you might want to choose the medium which is 17.5 cm long.

Pros

Cons

  • Made from natural rubber
  • Could be destroyed by a very determined dog
  • Can be stuffed with treats
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  • Quite durable
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  • Great for playing fetch and as a chew toy
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#3: Indestructible Ball: KONG Extreme Ball

KONG Extreme Ball
  • Extremely durable and chew-resistant
  • Very bouncy
  • Puncture-resistant

The KONG Extreme Ball is another great indestructible toy from KONG. Some would say this is the best and the most durable ball around. And we all know each dog must have at least one ball to play with!

Just like the KONG toy we mentioned in the beginning, this ball is made from extremely dense and durable rubber. It was designed to suit even the most extreme chewers. No matter what your dog does, it will be really difficult to destroy this ball. It was designed to be hard to puncture, meaning it’s extra tough to break small pieces off it. That’s good to know since small pieces can be a choking hazard (we still recommend supervising your dog while playing).

We couldn’t find any obvious problems with this ball, but there is one thing you should know. This ball is quite heavy due to the density of the rubber. It comes in two sizes and the small weighs approximately 140 grams which is manageable, but the large version weighs almost half a kilogram.

The larger size is recommended for medium and large breeds, since the smaller one could be swallowed too easily. This is not a problem in itself, but it is something to keep in mind. You don’t want to hit your dog with this ball by accident when playing fetch!

Pros

Cons

  • Extremely durable and chew-resistant
  • The ball is quite heavy
  • Very bouncy
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  • Puncture-resistant
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#4: Best Indestructible Tug Toy: Aussie Dog Pull It

Aussie Dog Pull It
  • Two or more dogs can play with it at a time
  • 100% safe and non-toxic
  • Machine washable
  • Can be used as a tug or retrieval toy

This tug toy from Aussie Dog, or as it was first called Eightathong, seems like quite a simple toy. It has two equally sized loops on both ends, a shape that resembles a number eight. As you hand it over to your dogs, a game of tugs will start right off the bat. As an unbreakable dog toy, you can rest assured nothing will stop your dogs from playing, except dinner.

This toy is made out of a yellow fire hose, and we all know these things are made to last through a fire. Another great thing about this toy is that it is safe to machine wash. Even though the toy’s made out of materials that germs and bacteria don’t typically attach to, the fact that your dog will be holding it in their mouths means we definitely recommend a wash every now and then.

Eightathong floats on water, which means your dogs can also enjoy playing with it on a beach. You can use it as a retrieval toy without worrying it will get lost in the waves. With this toy, you can safely assume your pooches will forget all about chasing sticks, which can sometimes do more harm than good.

Pros

Cons

  • Two or more dogs can play with it at a time
  • While many pet parents have found this toy to be very durable, some dogs still manage to chew through it
  • 100% safe and non-toxic
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  • Machine washable
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  • Can be used as a tug or retrieval toy
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#5: Indestructible Oversized Ball: Aussie Dog Staffie Ball Large

Aussie Dog Staffie Ball Large
  • Suitable for large dogs
  • Internal rattle intensifies the excitement
  • A 12-month warranty against your dog chewing through

All Staffie owners know that their canine companions are loving and gentle pooches full of energy! But, when it comes to playtime, their strong bite is deadly to even the sturdiest of toys. They don’t really want the fun to end so fast, but sometimes they just can’t help it.

Luckily, brands like Aussie Dog had our strong pooches in mind, and they designed a Staffie ball that’s built to withstand strong bites! The brand also makes balls suitable for smaller dogs as well as food dispensing ones, all of which are indestructible, so you can surely find one that’s most suitable for your pooch.

This Staffie ball is the definition of what heavy duty dog toys should be like. It’s 24 cm in diameter and it weighs 1.3 kg! It’s suitable for Staffies or just about any dog that fits into the 30-50 kg range.

In fact, the manufacturer claims this ball has been used around the world for polar bears, pandas and even tigers and lions. It’s safe to assume you can leave your destructive Staffie alone with the ball, knowing it will be there when you get back.

The ball features an internal rattle that will keep your dog entertained for hours. It comes in an orange colour and it’s made out of 100% safe and non-toxic plastic that doesn’t crack. If you’re not convinced yet, Aussie Dog offers a 12-month warranty against your pooch chewing through.

Pros

Cons

  • Suitable for large dogs
  • A bit pricey
  • Internal rattle intensifies the excitement
  • While the ball is indestructible, the things it hits aren’t
  • A 12-month warranty against your dog chewing through
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Other balls made by Aussie Dog:


#6: Indestructible Frisbee: KONG Flyer

KONG Flyer
  • The flyer makes a dynamic rebound in case the initial toss is missed
  • Can be used as a pull toy
  • Flexible rubber allows a soft catch

In order to fly well, frisbees are supposed to be thin. But when a thin flyer meets dog teeth, most of the time what you get is a perforated no-longer-flying object. That’s no fun. Frisbees are usually a great way to animate your dog and give them plenty of exercise that doesn’t require you to run alongside them like crazy. KONG had our never-tiring furry friends in mind when they designed this indestructible flyer.

The frisbee is made out of flexible natural rubber that’s forgiving to your dog’s teeth when fetching. While the rubber is soft, it’s quite sturdy, so you don’t have to worry about your pooch accidentally piercing it with their teeth and It’s designed in such a way that it flies accurately in the direction it’s thrown. In case your dog misses catching during the initial toss, the flyer does a dynamic rebound, so there’s no need for you to run around the field in case your canine companion is a bit clumsy.

One thing that dogs simply love about this KONG flyer is that’s soft and floppy. They find it enjoyable carrying in their snout, it might be hard taking it away from them for another toss. But that only means this frisbee can also be used as a pull toy. Since it’s indestructible, you don’t have to worry about ripping it apart.

Pros

Cons

  • The flyer makes a dynamic rebound in case the initial toss is missed
  • Doesn’t float on water
  • Can be used as a pull toy
Cell
  • Flexible rubber allows a soft catch
Cell

#7: Best Bungee Dog Toy: Aussie Dog Heavy Duty Bungie Hook

Aussie Dog Heavy Duty Bungie Hook
  • Doesn’t require dog parent supervision
  • More than one dog can play at a time
  • Rattle for further play enticement

No pet parents enjoy leaving their precious pooch home alone, for multiple reasons. First, because we miss them, but the second most important reason for a lot of us is because their boredom might get the best of them and they become destructive.

That’s where this bungee toy from Aussie Dog comes in. These kinds of strong dog toys are designed with home alone pups in mind, as they can enjoy interactive fetch games all by themselves.

The idea behind this toy is that you tie it so that it hangs from a tree branch or something sturdy and fixed. It simulates a game of tug - it entices your dog to pull and hang on the toy. The Chook is made out of a sturdy fire hose, and we know these things are built to last, so it will surely withstand the bite of a 50 kg Rottweiler.

The toy is tricoloured - it has blue, yellow and red details, and while dogs might not see the colours as well as we do, this toy will surely catch the eye of your canine friend. Furthermore, the toy has a rattle that further entices dogs to pull on it. The shape of the Chook allows more than one dog to play with it at a time, which is great for owners of multiple pooches.

Pros

Cons

  • Doesn’t require dog parent supervision
  • Requires you to have something sturdy to hang it from
  • More than one dog can play at a time
Cell
  • Rattle for further play enticement
Cell

K9 Dog Toys Ultra-Durable Chew Ring
  • Safe and non-toxic
  • Industrial strength rubber
  • Versatile toy
  • Lifetime replacement guarantee

This rubber ring from K9 Dog Toys is definitely one of the toughest dog chew toys we have seen so far. This ring has been tested by Staffies, Pitbulls, German Shepherds and many more, receiving lots of positive reviews.

Put simply, this toy seems to be literally indestructible. Thanks to industrial strength (but non-toxic) rubber that was used, even power chewers will be able to gnaw at this toy for months without damaging it.

Moreover, the ring shape is simple but awesome. You can toss it to play fetch with your canine buddy, you can play tug of war, you can let the dog chew on it when bored and even two dogs can play at the same time.

Pros

Cons

  • Safe and non-toxic
  • Pricey but worth it
  • Industrial strength rubber
  • Only comes in one size
  • Versatile toy
Cell
  • Lifetime replacement guarantee
Cell

#9: Best Squeaky Toy for Power Chewers: VANFINE Dog Squeaky Toy

VANFINE Dog Squeaky Toy
  • Strong and durable
  • Beef flavoured
  • Designed for power chewers
  • Lifetime replacement guarantee

Yes, we said in the beginning that squeaky toys are not the best choice for aggressive chewers because the sound can actually stimulate the desire to destroy the toy. However, some dogs really enjoy playing with squeaky things and who are we to deny them the fun.

This squeaky toy from VANFINE is the toughest squeaky toy we have encountered. It is made of thick rubber, which makes it great for power chewers. Thanks to holes that go through the middle, the toy is quite elastic, but also strong enough to withstand lots of biting.

In short, it’s a great toy to play fetch and also nice as a chew toy (if you can stand the squeak, that is). It’s not the most durable toy in the world, but it is definitely the most durable squeaky toy to be found online in Australia.

Pros

Cons

  • Strong and durable
  • Could stimulate destructive chewing
  • Beef flavoured
Cell
  • Designed for power chewers
Cell
  • Lifetime replacement guarantee
Cell

Tough Dog Toys Australia: Final Thoughts

Getting toys for power chewers is tough. It’s basically hit or miss. No toy in this world is completely indestructible when faced with a powerful set of canine jaws and the right amount of determination.

However, the toys listed earlier are your best bet. The KONG Extreme Dog Toy has received more positive reviews from pet parents than any other options, so it’s safe to say it works. However, for those on a tight budget, the Beco Pets Blue Bone can fulfil the same purpose at a lower price. It’s also made only from natural rubber, but consequently not as durable as the KONG. In any case, we hope this guide has helped you find the right toy for your canine companion!

Want to learn more about dog toys? Check out our below guides:

FAQ

What causes excessive chewing in dogs?

Dogs have a natural instinct that drives them to chew things. However, when chewing gets excessive, it can be a sign of a problem, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, it is completely normal for puppies to want to chew on things, especially while their teeth are growing. Some grown-up dogs also continue chew. However, excessive chewing can also be caused by boredom, lack of exercise, or separation anxiety. If your dog suddenly starts chewing things up more than usual, then you should really think about what they might be missing.

How do you stop destructive chewing?

If your dog seems to be chewing too much, first consider if there are any underlying issues. Is your pooch maybe suffering from separation anxiety when you are not home? Are they getting enough exercise? In any case, a certain amount of chewing behaviour can be expected from any dog. The solution to this is simply to offer the dog appropriate objects to chew on - such as a quality rubber toy.

What are the best dog toys for aggressive chewers?

Toys made of dense rubber are your best bet for an aggressive hewer. In addition to this, toys made from strong rope or firehose material could be worth a try. Always remember to supervise the dog when introducing any new toys.

Best Dog Puzzle Toys (2020 Buyers Guide)

Dog Puzzle Toys - The Overview

Our #1 Pick

StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Pet Toy

The Best Value for Money

StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Pet Toy

  • Durable
  • Top reviews
  • Versatile

Puzzles are one of the best ways to keep our minds sharp. We have our sudoku, crosswords, and jigsaws. Dogs have snuffle mats, topple balls, and, well...jigsaws too!

As dogs age, puzzle toys are a great way of engaging their brain, defeating boredom, and improving cognitive function over time, making them at the top of the list of the best dog toy options.

One of my dogs was diagnosed with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CCDS) recently, which is more commonly known as dementia in dogs. (1) To get her brain going I have been researching and testing out puzzle toys myself, so we want to help you with your search too.

In this article, I’ll share with you what I have learned in the pursuit of keeping my dog’s brain ticking into her twilight years. We’ll go through the many types of puzzle toys available on the market before I give our recommendations for the best dog puzzle toys on the Australian market.

Belgian Shepherd playing with puzzle toys

What to Look for In A Great Puzzle Toy for Your Dog

Whilst searching for puzzle toys for my dog I learned a lot about the makings of a good puzzle, no matter what type of puzzle it is. Here are the criteria we recommend.

Choosing the right level of difficulty

Generally, when you choose a crossword sudoku puzzle to pass your Sunday afternoon, you know the level of difficulty you can handle. Too easy and you’ll find the puzzle boring and unsatisfying. Too difficult and you’ll probably end up ripping up the puzzle in a frustrated rage.

Your dog has the same patience for puzzles. It has got to match their skill level.

Another aspect of this to remember is that age rarely has anything to do with how clever your pup may be. Their level of intelligence is largely independent of age after your dog reaches 6 months. Don’t be surprised by this! I can’t be the only person who has meekly asked the child prodigy in the family to help me with the Sunday crossword.

It can be difficult to tell just how intelligent your dog may be. You can give them an IQ test but generally, it’s all quite hard to measure. (2)

To be safe, start with a beginner/intermediate puzzle and see how your dog gets on with it. If they solve the game quickly, then you’ll know you need to graduate to more advanced toys. That said, you can always keep this beginner’s piece in your collection for a quick game with your dog to lift their spirits and give them an easy win.

In theory, if you start puzzles young, you can increase the difficulty as they get faster and faster at solving the puzzle. After all, you still want it to be challenging for your dog. For senior dogs, you should still increase the difficulty but within reason. If you frustrate them too much, they’ll lose interest.

Durability

Puzzle toys for dogs are meant to used relatively often. They are known boredom busters and stress relievers so you’ll want to play these games with your dog at opportune times.

Maybe not every day, but your dog may want to play at least once per week. Let’s say at minimum your dog plays with their puzzle once per week all year. That is 52 doses of unyielding roughhousing as your dog attacks the toy to crack the code. They will take out their frustration when they can’t get it right. They will likely get it dirty over repeated use. And these toys are worth keeping in good condition for as long as possible.

To measure the durability of a toy, you’ll need to consider the materials of course. Most toys are made of plastic, but some are made of wood too. Wooden toys are hardy and sustainable, but harder to keep clean overall.

Snuffle mats are trickier to test in terms of hardiness. Generally, you get what you pay for with those. The cheap flimsy ones will fall apart quickly. Higher priced but higher quality mats have tighter stitching and stronger fabric. You’re also more likely to have a product that won’t dissolve in the wash.

Size

I have said it a thousand times and you are probably sick of it, but the pet industry has a huge sizeism problem. Small dogs are favoured. Large and extra-large breeds sare left with the crumbs of the pet care world.

So, you need to make sure that the puzzles you choose are adequately sized for your pooch in particular. This goes for overall size, weight, and strength as key factors in your choice.

A super-strong Staffie may make light work of a toy than a dainty Pomeranian would, so the toy you choose needs to suit their physiology just as much as their psychology.

Manufacturers are quite diligent in letting you know what size dog the product is suitable for.

I also advise having a read through the reviews as reviewers often mention the breed and size of their dogs which will help you make a decision.


The Different Types of Dog Puzzle Toys

There are many different types of games and puzzles to get your dog’s brain dogs. The first thing to note is that all of them are treat or food dispensing toys in one way or another.

Cathay Madson of Preventative Vet notes “Feeding your dog out of a regular dog bowl is pretty boring. Dogs are natural foragers, so making them work for their bites of kibble is a great way to work their brain. If you have a dog that likes to inhale their food at record speeds, using an interactive puzzle for their meals is a great way to slow them down.” (3)

The objective of all of the following game types is to get the treats concealed behind a series of obstacles. The great difference between them is what obstacles they force your dog to face before receiving their prize.

They all require the use of different senses. Let’s break it all down.

Treat balls

A dog treat ball is a perfect beginner toy. The aim of the game is to stuff treats into the sides or interior of the toy and your dog has to try and release the treats.

Topple balls work using a specific toppling action to release treats slowly. On the other hand, treat-dispensing chew balls have the treats stuffed down the side, which requires less brain work but is still stimulating. Chew balls are also great for maintaining your dog’s teeth, making them one of the better dog chew toys available.

Tornado puzzles

Tornado puzzles are a special breed. They work by stacking a series of plastic components that spin or slide to reveal treats underneath. Your dog needs to use their paws or snout to spin the top component in the right direction to get to the first treat.

After getting to the first treat, they then need to spin the following components down the “tornado” to get to the treats at the lower levels.

It’s an intermediate level game and should provide good mental stimulation.

Snuffle mats

Snuffle mats are all about using your dog’s foraging skills. They need to follow their nose to snuff out the treats embedded in the tiny pockets of the fabric.

The fabric should be lightweight and easy to clean. Snuffle mats come in a range of different sizes, colours, and shapes.

Since most dogs should have quite sophisticated senses of smell, this is a relatively easy game to crack but is fun and stimulating all the same.

Composite games

Composite games are very much like our own jigsaw puzzles but with one major difference - instead of building a picture from scratch, your dog needs to slide or spin certain elements to solve the puzzle.

Moving the right pieces will reveal the treats hidden within. Composite games are the most scalable in terms of the level of difficulty.

Beginner puzzles have very few pieces to move whereas some are as complex as sudoku. It all depends on your dog’s level of genius.


Best Dog Treat Puzzles Reviewed

We have gone through what to look for and the various types of puzzles your dog may enjoy. Let’s jump into our favourites on the market. We tried to have a good mix of different types of toys of different sizes and at various skill levels. I hope this round-up of dog treat toys is helpful for you.

StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Pet Toy
  • Durable
  • Top reviews
  • Versatile

It was tough to choose a “best overall” category when it comes to puzzle games because of the various different types of dog games and the many factors that just depend on your dog. So, when making this choice, I thought of the most universal toy that is accessible and fun for dogs of all sizes and IQs. The StarMark Bob-A-Lot ticks those boxes.

It is a food dispensing ball that is a little more complex than a chew ball. This one is a topple ball that is sure to provide hours of entertainment.

The trick is that your dog needs to tip the ball in a certain way to release the food. Therefore, your dog is getting some exercise around the house.

Topple balls like this one are perfect for beginners. To increase the difficulty, you can adjust the openings and place the food or treats in different sections of the toy. That means you can scale the difficulty level for a while with the same toy! Great investment.

StarMark make this toy in two sizes: small and large. Most breeds should be able to get on well with this toy and the reviews attest to its toughness.

Versatile. Durable. Well reviewed. This is our very top choice for dog puzzle toys.

Pros

Cons

  • Durable
  • Hard to clean
  • Top reviews
Cell
  • Versatile
Cell

#2: Budget Friendly: Anything Pets Dog Chew Ball

  • Variety of colours
  • Non-toxic rubber
  • Chew-proof
  • Budget-friendly

For the budget-friendly award, I also wanted to recommend a simple beginner toy.

The Anything Pets Chew Ball fits that bill perfectly.

This is the perfect initial toy just to get your dog into the habit of using puzzle feeders.

You stuff the sides of the toy with treats or kibble and your dog has the joy of kicking it around or chewing on it to release the goods. Sounds almost too simple but honestly, your dog will find it so much fun!

Made of soft non-toxic rubber, this toy is durable and chew-proof. The tooth-like corrugated sides also have the benefit of helping to clean and maintain your dog’s teeth.

We love the range of bright, bold colours this model comes in: blue, green, yellow, red, and a cool duo-tone style too. 

The con with this little toy is exactly that… it’s little. This tiny toy is only 7cm in diameter which may not be suitable for large and extra-large breeds. It is certainly too small to hold large kibble so only small morsels can be stuffed into the sides.

Being so inexpensive, it is a wonderful starting point for puppies to join the puzzle-loving club.

Pros

Cons

  • Variety of colours
  • Only comes in one small size
  • Non-toxic rubber
Cell
  • Chew-proof
Cell
  • Budget-friendly
Cell

#3: Most Versatile: Sniffiz SmellyUFO

Sniffiz SmellyUFO
  • Two difficulty levels
  • Durable
  • Non-toxic materials
  • Easy to clean

Sticking with the treat ball train, let’s talk about the Sniffiz Smelly UFO.

This toy is great for its versatility. It can be used as a fast-paced fun game and exerciser or a slow feeder.

This is a topple treat ball for dogs with a difference - the disk shape makes it fun to slide across the floor and tilt the interior maze. There are two difficulty levels. On one side you have the easy maze and the other side has the more challenging maze.

The Smelly UFO is made of non-toxic rubber and tough plastic so it is completely indestructible dog toy. The manufacturer reportedly tested out the toy with over 20 breeds of all shapes and sizes to make sure it won’t crack under pressure.

A huge plus of this toy is the ability to open it fully to give it a good clean. Treat balls can be tough to clean. By popping this one open, you can get into the folds for a thorough scrub. It is even dishwasher safe!

We are a little disappointed it only comes in one size. It is about 17cm in diameter. That isn’t too bad in terms of suitability for large breeds but it would have been nice for Sniffiz to make a slightly larger size too for larger paws, teeth, and treats.

At a decent price point and adjustable openings for difficulty, your pup will love the endless fun of this magical treat-dispensing UFO.

Pros

Cons

  • Two difficulty levels
  • Only comes in one size
  • Durable
Cell
  • Non-toxic materials
Cell
  • Easy to clean
Cell

#4: Most Challenging: My Intelligent Pets Dog' SUDOKU

My Intelligent Pets Dog' SUDOKU
  • Challenging
  • Made of wood
  • Good reviews

Maybe you know that your dog is super smart or they already have experience with puzzles. It’s time to really challenge them. My Intelligent Pets makes a great line of varying puzzle toys for dogs. The one I want to highlight today is the sudoku game.

This dog sudoku game has 15 sliding pieces that your dog needs to strategically move to find the hidden treats below. It takes a keen sense of smell and patience to work out how to get to the treats. Incredible mental stimulation and reward for your pup.

The toy is made of wood. That is good for sustainability reasons however it may take more of a beating if your dog decides to chew on it. It can be cleaned with a damp cloth.

 This isn’t a game that you can leave your dog to play alone. I suggest supervision to stop them from destroying it. Highly engaging, challenging toys like this are always best with your constant encouragement anyway. Treat balls are less high maintenance - you can leave your dog to play with these whilst you are away from home. Sudoku takes a watchful eye. It’s a great vehicle for bonding with your dog because of that.

This game is best for small to medium dogs. Large and extra-large dogs will likely find the pieces too small.

Finally, let’s touch on the difficulty here. I don’t know about you but sudoku has always been a challenge for me. As a born linguist, anything with numbers just looked like another language to me. I warn you that this game will be just as maddening to your pup if they aren’t ready for it.

Pros

Cons

  • Challenging
  • Not suitable for large or extra-large breeds
  • Made of wood
Cell
  • Good reviews
Cell

#5: Best Snuffle Mat for Dogs: Petvins Dog Snuffle Mat

Petvins Dog Snuffle Mat
  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Good for disabled and senior dogs
  • Machine-washable

Switching gears, we have a great recommendation for a puzzle mat! The Petvins Dog Snuffle Mat is the perfect package for this type of toy.

It is colourful, large, interactive, and fun. There are various flaps and folds on this treat blanket to hide kibble that your dog will enjoy sniffing out.

The Petvins mat is made of a machine-washable fleece, backed with a non-slip bottom pad. This makes the product easy to clean and maintain.

It comes in four sizes and three different colourways making it the most customisable purchase on this list.

This is an ideal toy for senior or disabled dogs as it is a flat comfy fabric with no hard corners. It also doesn’t require a lot of exercise to use like treat balls do.

Snuffle mats are also amazing for all levels of difficulty. It’s a simple puzzle to solve but is still entertaining to super-genius dogs.

The con is that this is not ideal for chewers. If left unattended they could tear it up. That’s not to say you can’t use this mat with your puppy. It will withstand normal use. It probably won’t withstand long unattended hours of your dog devouring it though.

Overall, if you want a snuffle mat, this is a wonderful choice.

Pros

Cons

  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Not ideal for unattended chewers
  • Good for disabled and senior dogs
Cell
  • Machine-washable
Cell

#6: Best Boredom Buster: Nina Ottoson Dog Tornado

Nina Ottoson Dog Tornado
  • Good reviews
  • Easy to clean
  • Intermediate skill level

Finally, the last game we are recommending is a tornado puzzle. The Nina Ottoson Dog Tornado to be exact!

Nina Ottoson has an incredible range of toys of all skill levels which we are huge fans of. Today’s pick is the Tornado because it is a great boredom buster for your pooch.

If you find that your dog is listless or even destructive around the house due to boredom, this is the toy for you.

The design is perfect for engaging your doggie’s brain. The twist and turns reveal treats as they progress. It’s a rewarding game to play and truly the Goldilocks of puzzle toys; not too easy or too hard.

At 24 x 18cm it is a decent size. Many breeds will be able to enjoy this toy. It is made of hardy, easy to clean plastic too.

For the ultimate boredom fighting product, the Nina Ottosson is a wonderful pick.

Pros

Cons

  • Good reviews
  • Not chew-proof
  • Easy to clean
Cell
  • Intermediate skill level
Cell

Final Verdict: Best Treat Dispensing Dog Toys

For a wonderful introductory toy that will suit breeds of all shapes and sizes, the StarMark wins a million times over.

As a personal favourite though, the Petvins Snuffle Mat has been a great addition to my dog’s life. Though she may be losing her faculties, she really enjoys snuffling out treats on this colourful, entertaining mat. Doggy dementia approved!

FAQ

How do you mentally stimulate a dog?

Puzzles are not the only way of providing mental stimulation for your dog. (4) Here is a list of other ideas:

  • Rotating toys
  • Physical exercise
  • Setting up play dates with other dogs (if it is safe to do so)
  • Agility training
  • Learning new tricks
  • Changing the walking routes

Are puzzles good for dogs?

Yes! Mental stimulation is essential to your dog’s overall health and wellbeing.

Nicole Ellis from the American Kennel Club writes, “As a trainer, I’ve learned that many of the hyperactivity and destruction problems my clients struggle with can be resolved by adding mental exercise to their dog’s daily diet. Excessive barking, destroying the house, destroying toys, eating socks — all of those things have gone away after the owner starts to give the dog mentally stimulating activities.” (5)


Using puzzles is also a good source of mental stimulation for dogs with dementia like my dog. (6)

References
  1. Cohan, M. June 7, 2018. “Recognizing and Managing Dog Dementia”. Hill’s Pet. Retrieved November 15, 2020. https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/healthcare/managing-dog-dementia-canine-cognitive-disorder
  2. Dodman, N. March 29, 2016. “How Smart is Your Puppy?”. Pet Place. Retrieved November 15, 2020. https://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/pet-care/how-smart-is-your-puppy/
  3. Madson, C. August 30, 2019. “10 Boredom Busters for Your Dog”. Preventative Vet. Retrieved November 15, 2020. https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/boredom-busters-for-your-bored-dog
  4. “10 Ways to Mentally Stimulate Your Dog”. Pet Coach Editorial. Retrieved November 15, 2020. https://www.petcoach.co/article/10-ways-to-stimulate-your-dog-s-brain/
  5. Ellis, N. January 1, 2019. “A Mentally Stimulated Dog Is a Happy Dog”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved November 15, 2020.  https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/mentally-stimulated-happy-dog/
  6. Cain, M. & Cain, S. October, 2017. Updated February, 2020. “Canine Dementia — Signs, Symptoms, Treatments”. The Bark. Retrieved November 15, 2020.  https://thebark.com/content/canine-dementia-signs-symptoms-treatments

Best Dog Toys (2020 Buyers Guide)

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
Cell
  • Can be stuffed with treats
Cell
  • Comes in a variety of sizes
Cell

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)
Cell
  • Great value for money
Cell

#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