While you scroll through Instagram or read a book to pass the time, your furry companion has nothing to keep themselves occupied.
People tend to think that dogs have a higher boredom threshold than humans. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
On the contrary, dogs are highly intellectual, active, playful, and curious creatures. Even the most spoiled and idle pet dog will not have forgotten their natural hunting, guarding, and herding instincts. But since they can’t do any of those things inside your home, you need to offer them alternatives.
And fun dog toys will help you do just that!
Recent research into animal well-being attests to the importance of keeping your dog’s boredom at bay using dog toys. But why limit your dogs to tennis balls and rawhides?
Instead, try these fun and unique options to keep your dog’s boredom at bay.
The Classic Kong is an iconic, action-packed, and treat-filled toy that can occupy your dog for hours.
These all-in-one fun dog toys can act as a chew, fetch, and food puzzle toy. A harmless, durable rubber material constitutes the exterior, while the hollow interior holds your dog’s favorite treats. A small hole dispenses the treats as your dog nudges, chews, and knocks around the Kong.
Ideally, a durable Kong can last for months and can keep your dog busy forever and a day as they toil away to snack on their favorite treats.
A puppy-friendly alternative can be the Kong Pacifier. The pacifier is softer and smaller and has the perfect shape for a young pup’s snout.
Chuckit! Breathe Right Fetch Ball
Ever looked at your dog holding onto his beloved tennis ball after a long game of fetch and wondered: how are you even breathing?
Dogs need to pant to release body heat and both during and after exercise, but they can’t do it with a tennis ball lodged in their mouth. But the Chuckit Breathe Right Fetch Ball allows your dog to breathe freely while still holding onto their prized possession.
The hollow, mesh-like design facilitates better breathing and panting. Its lower density makes it buoyant enough for some pool-side playing. Moreover, its rubber material is much easier to clean than a regular tennis ball.
Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Dog Puzzle Toys
Redirect your dog’s love-hate relationship with small, scurrying squirrels with the Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Dog Puzzle.
These fun dog toys cater to various instinctive behaviors of your furry friend, including pursuing, scouring, and retrieving. All you have to do is stuff the hollow tree branch with the stuffed toy squirrels and toss it for your dog to retrieve.
Your enthusiastic hunters will spend a good amount of time getting the squirrels out of the branch, much like they would in real life.
Trixie Mad Scientist Dog Puzzle Toys
The Trixie Mad Scientist Dog Puzzle Toys is an intermediate-level game for sharp-minded canines.
The game involves a test-tube-like contraption with space for treats. Each of the three test tubes mounts a short stand and pivots as your dog nudges it. Ultimately, the goal is for them to figure out how to turn over the test tubes long enough for the treats to fall out.
It might take the little tykes a few frustrating days (and your help) to solve the puzzle. But after that initial learning curve, these fun dog toys will have them tap dancing with excitement.
Smart Pet Dog Snuggle Puppy Heartbeat Stuff Toy
A dog’s love language is physical touch. Snuggling, grooming, and rubbing against each other is how they socialize with humans and other animals.
Deprive them of this physical touch, and they’ll soon develop behavioral issues, including separation anxiety, travel anxiety, and sleepless nights.
The Smart Pet Dog Snuggle Puppy Heartbeat Stuff Toy is especially useful for new pet puppies who are getting used to their new forever homes. It stimulates the maternal touch and calms their nerves whenever they feel alone or anxious.
Fortunately, the stuffed toy doesn’t have any ribbons or buttons on which your dog can choke. But the best part is that, unlike regular stuffed toys, these cute dog toys come with a “real feel” heartbeat. Moreover, heat packs in these fun puppy toys create a life-like snuggle buddy for your anxious pup.
Outward Nina Ottosson Treat Puzzle
“Don’t play around with your food” is good advice for humans, but not so much for their canine companions. You see, dogs have a natural inclination to work hard for their grub, and loading up their bowls with easily accessible food wastes this instinct.
Enter the Nina Ottosson Treat Puzzle, which you can use as a game or even a slow feeder. Simply fill any of the 24 compartments with kibble, and let your dog figure out the sequential steps to access their tasty treats.
However, it is a level-four game for dogs who are already master puzzle solvers. So, frequently using it as a food bowl might frustrate your dog and it may no longer be one of the funny dog toys for them.
Hear Doggy Silent Squeaker Dog Toy
When squeaky toys make your ears bleed but perk your dog’s ears with excitement, a compromise must be reached.
The Hear Doggy Silent Squeaker Dog Toy utilizes ultrasonic technology, which is audible only to your dog. Unlike humans, dogs can hear sounds above 20 kHz. Hence, these fun dog toys are music to your dog’s ears without being a nuisance to you.
Additionally, these silent squeaker plushies are highly durable, making them perfect for enthusiastic chewers.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Dog Toys
The best dog toys can be expensive, especially considering how quickly your dog goes through them.
But instead of splashing out on new dog toys, try DIY-ing it instead! Here are some ideas:
Freeze a small towel overnight and let your dog chew on it. This is especially useful for teething puppies, as the cold, dense fabric will soothe their gums.
Make a chew and tug rope out of a tennis ball and rope. Drill holes on either side of the ball and pass the rope through it, knotting it on either end to secure it.
DIY a Kong by hollowing out a tennis ball and stuffing it with treats.
Take the cap off an old plastic bottle and wrap the bottle inside a large sock. Tie the sock from the top and let your dog go to town on it; they will love the auditory stimulation as well as having something to chew.
Ensuring Dog Toys Safety
Truth be told, your dog can turn pretty much anything into a fun little plaything. They’re really not that picky, as long as they have something to tug, chew, or run after.
But as responsible dog parents, you know better than to give in to their every little whim.
Just because a certain toy amuses your lively pooch doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe for them. Choking hazards, indigestible fibers, and teeth-damaging toys are always a threat, even with the best dog toys.
Here are some tips to ensure safety when it comes to fun dog toys:
For stuffed toys, always check the labels to see if they are appropriate for children under the age of three.
Prioritize interactive dog toys to maximize your furry companion’s “people time.” Not only will this help you supervise their playtime, but it will also strengthen your bond with them.
Ensure that the toys are proportionate to your dog’s size to reduce the risk of choking and fatigue.
Always supervise your dog’s squeaky toy playtime. Once they get to the source of the squeaking, they will gladly ingest it.
Keep their teeth and bite strength in mind. Puppies will gladly go to town on a kong. But if the material is too tough, it can damage their teeth.
Discard tattered toys the moment they start to fall apart to reduce the risk of choking or ingestion.
Remove any ribbons, strings, eye and nose buttons, and anything else that the little tyke can rip off and try to swallow. This is especially important for stuffed toys.
Always consult with your vet to check whether certain rawhide toys are safe.
A bored dog is a destructive dog.
If you’re worried that your dog doesn’t get enough mental stimulation, these fun dog toys might make things easier. We say “might” because not every dog will express the same interest in the same toys. In fact, some might not even like to play with any toys at all.
So, use this list as a starting point to figure out your furry friend’s individual interests and preferences.
Once you find the right toy, both you and your dog will be thankful for it!