Why Dog Toys Become Our Best Friend
What happens when a dog is bored?
The possibilities are endless and not always pleasant for us:
- Playing with our clothes and shoes
- Eating trash
- Devouring pillows and pieces of furniture
Let's not go there...
Instead, consider your dog's likes and dislikes and explore these 10 creative toys.
(And I'll include places to shop to make it super easy for you.)
Keep in mind that I tested these on Katie, who is a large dog, weighs over 50 pounds and if a toy is too difficult, she won't play with it. She is a dog who cannot handle tough challenges.
This was my criteria:
- easy for Katie to get treats out
- easy on the budget
- easy to fill
- easy to keep clean and in one piece
- easy on the environment/eco-friendly and non-toxic
I did not mind if the toy held a small amount of kibble or treats since I am not using it only for meals. I can fill 1/2 cup of Katie's small kibble from like Nature's Logic in any of the treat balls and toys that I have tested with Katie.
I included all of the toys I tested and I am trying to be fair in my review and give my criteria because some of the toys that Katie would not touch, got good reviews on Amazon and other places.
It's natural that dogs have preferences for toys just like children do.
Katie will share her favorite toys...
Here's the list, offered with Katie's blessings and enthusiasm:
1) Planet Dog balls (both glow-for-good white and the Mazee ball that can be filled with treats)
5* It met all criteria
This company focuses on creating earth-friendly,non-toxic materials.
2) Starmark Bob-A-Lot
4* Katie LOVES it but I could not get a great feeling about the material if it belonged to a dog who was a real chewer.
3) Starmark Groovy Ball
4* Katie LOVES it but I could not get a great feeling about the material if it was belonged to a dog who was a real chewer.
4) Starmark Chew Ball
2* Katie would not smell it or play with it, and it's important to remember that only 2 of their replacement cookies are made in the USA. So be sure, if you buy it that you check out which cookie you use. I loved the idea of the toy, though. It has a dental “cookie” you can use in the top, then put peanut butter in the ridges, freeze it and also have treats that come out the bottom. It’s very creative.
5) Dog Tornado by Nina Ottosson
4.5* Katie LOVES this game. It looks like a blue bone and has 3 layers where you can safely put even hot dog or other smelly treats. I appreciate the care Nina has taken to create fun learning tools and not just another chew toy. It costs over $20.00
6) Dog Treat Maze by Nina Ottoson
4.5* This toy/game looks like a flying saucer. When you spin it, treats come whirling out. At first it scared Katie but almost immediately when I would say with calm, enthusiasm, "spin" and let the treats fly, Katie became interested and happy. It's a bit expensive but as with Nina's games, worth the money. This toy/game requires my constant attention to keep it spinning. She can't get anything out because she's not learned how to spin it herself.
7) Kong Wobbler
2* Didn't interest Katie. The treats are harder to get out than the Bob-A-Lot. But some dogs love this toy and it's now made in the USA.
8) Pet Sage Magic Mushroom and Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug
2* These looked great in theory. They got good reviews on Amazon. Katie won't play with them. She will even leave them with food still inside. Maybe dogs who love ropes would like the Tug-A-Jug and dogs who are clever could turn the mushroom upside down, which is the only way the treats come out. That may have been a bit too hard for Katie. They are also noisy on the floor because they are made of hard plastic.
9) Omega Paw Chew Ball
2* Got rave reviews on Amazon, but the smell of the rubber is a bit strong, it's made in China and the treats are hard to get out and it's hard to clean. Katie will play with the Starmark chew ball or the Planet Dog Mazee ball but leaves this one sitting with food in it. Reviews on Amazon said that they checked into the material and it was safe.
10) Kong Stuff-A-Ball
5* Katie does not chew on it, but works to get the treats out of it. Kong is making these in the USA. I appreciate that because from what I've researched, Kong is focusing on the quality of the rubber they use.
I found these on Amazon.com and I also love the toys from Only Natural Pet.com because they have soft toys and smaller dog toys that are eco-friendly and non-toxic. I am concerned, like most dog parents about where a a dog toy is manufactured and what it is made from.
With the right dog toy, your dog will be safe, busy and so happy. And we know that when our fur baby is happy, we are happy too.
Now, over to you for your suggestions and top picks for dog toys...
Share in the comments below some bully breed dog toy ideas and add ideas for little dog toys too because mindful dog parents have fur babies in all sizes and breeds.
xo, xo, xo
Lee and Katie