Dog toy buying guide

Dog toy buying guide

Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds

Guide written by:

Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds

122 guides

From chewing to sniffing, chasing to tug of war, there are plenty of activities to keep your dog happy and feeling good. Luckily, there is a range of accessories to help you out: balls, squeaker toys, activity boards, soft toys, tug ropes... the choice is endless. Read on to find your pooch's next favourite toy!

Important features

  • Toy type
  • Material
  • Basic or interactive
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Soft toys are generally one of the first things we reach for to fill up the dog bed. These toys can offer comfort, be used as a reward or even to motivate dogs when out and about.

Different types of soft toys for dogs

  • Classic soft toys come in all different sizes and may or may not feature a squeaker.
  • Toys without stuffing will last longer.
  • Soft toys in various materials offer different sensations for the dog to chew on.

For your dog's safety, you should closely monitor the condition of the toy. As soon as your dog begins to make holes in the toy and tear out the stuffing, take away the filling to avoid the risk of intestinal blockages.

Balls are generally the first toys that come to mind when you're looking to get your dog interested in play. But not all dogs like to do the same things with these toys!

So what can you do with a dog ball?

  • Use it to play fetch both indoors and outdoors.
  • Use it as a chew toy.
  • Allow your dog to tear off the felt from tennis balls.

Some balls feature a squeaker while others do not. They may also have a smooth surface or a textured surface; the latter option can be made up of small spikes to massage the dog's gums and help to combat tartar.

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Looking for a strong dog toy to tire out your pooch?

Multi-coloured cotton rope toys are very affordable and multi-purpose.

  • They help to relieve your furry friend's need to chew.
  • They can be used to play fetch (either with a basic cord or one attached to a ball).
  • They can be used to play tug of war with your dog.

While dog rope toys are very practical for day-to-day use, be sure to remove any loose pieces and to change the toy when it starts to wear too much.

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Dog bowls

Chewing is one of the greatest pleasures for dogs, both young and old. To stop your dog wreaking havoc around the house or garden, provide them with specially designed chewing sticks or bones. Chew toys for dogs don't necessarily have to be edible – bone-shaped toys can be made of plant-based materials, deer antlers or plastic.

Solid toys are more hard-wearing as dogs can easily break through toys with hollow parts while chewing – especially toys with squeakers inside.

For rawhide or bully stick-type treats you need to be very careful about how the product is treated. Accidents can also occur if your dog chews the stick down until it is almost finished and ingests the last piece. Instead, you can opt for something like a non-toxic tree root, which is very resistant, or a natural, untreated bone with no added sugar.

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Dog biscuits

Dog toys designed to be filled with treats or wet dog food are very popular just now – and for good reason! They allow dogs to enjoy an activity all by themselves without any input from the owner.

So what kind of treat toys can you give your dog?

  • Kongs: come in all different sizes and in resistant and extremely resistant varieties. They may be cone-shaped or bone-shaped with fillable ends.
  • Treat distributors: such as Pipolino, balls with holes, rocking Kongs, etc.
  • Sniffing mat or snuffle mat: a mat with fleece strands used to hide treats.
  • Activity boards with drawers, holes and other doors.

In short, there is a wide range of dog toys on the market so you're sure to find something to suit your dog's preferences. All that's left to do is let your canine pal try out a few options!

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Dog leads

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Guide written by:

Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds, 122 guides

Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds

With a handyman-father, I grew up with the soft sound of the sander and hammer on weekends. I am both manual and cerebral (yes, it is possible.), I learned the basics of DIY and the customization of furniture because I was passionate. The salvage mentality is a true way of life that allowed me to know how to use all the tools and products needed to give something a second life, from sander to varnish. I have two favorite activities: the transformation of old furniture and decoration tips. I am always ready to lend a helping hand to revamp a table or to restore a mirror that was intended for the trash that will become a friend’s centerpiece. I’m convinced that it’s possible to reinvent an interior by small, regular modifications, I constantly research low-cost, test ideas.