best dog toys

After thousands of hours spent watching hundreds of dogs play and interact with me, each other and a huge range of toys, a few of these stand out as worthy of a place on my list of the very best toys for dogs. Value for money is always somewhere in the equation when we consider which are the best toys for dogs and with that in mind there are really only two groups of toys to consider:

  • Those that are cheap enough to be considered disposable.
  • Those that are more costly, but stand the test of time.

Best dog toys that are cheap, easily destructible and very popular

1. Balls. Cheap dog ‘tennis balls’ won’t last long for most dogs but they are popular and don’t cost much either. Kong manufactures a good quality, fairly robust tennis ball, which has a squeaker for added play value. A ball on a rope makes a fun alternative, and some people find these easier to throw. The Kong Squeezz ball is collapsible to an extent when chewed, which can feel very satisfying to a dog.

Buy the Kong Airball on Amazon:
3-pack medium Kong Airballs

3-pack small Kong Airballs

Other recommended balls on Amazon:
Armitage ball on a rope

Kong squeezz ball

2.  Squeaky space lobber (hopper) toys. These are hugely popular, but fairly easy to destroy – first the squeak is removed, then the stuffing, then finally the casing will be shredded. I’ve seen them last in some ‘state’ in a household of dogs for weeks, providing oodles of fun.Don’t leave unsupervised as you’ll want to pick up the stuffing once it’s removed and also the casing if it gets torn off. The little one makes a great training aid as it has a loud squeak and is small enough to be easy for both human and dog to handle.

Buy space lobber toys on Amazon:
Good boy space lobber dog toy

3. Strings of plastic sausages on a knotted rope. Another extremely popular toy with dogs of all sizes. Cheap enough and fairly robust, providing hours of fun especially with a friend. Great tug toy. They do get chewed, but usually in stages over time.

Buy sausage toys on Amazon:
String of sausages toy


4. Knotted rope tug toys. Great for chewing and tug of war. Cheap, fairly robust and can be machine washed. The octopus is a small toy that’s excellent for puppies and smaller dogs (often left out of tug as many tug ropes are too heavy)

Buy tug rope toys on Amazon:
Sharples Rope Octopus 

Slipped this one in because it’s wonderful… not as cheap as most, but a great gift.
Gorgeous quality gift tug toys for any dog.


5. Cheap soft, stuffed or flat material toys. Yes, these will eventually be destroyed, so buy at a price where you don’t care – and don’t throw the carcass away once all of the stuffing has been pulled out. ‘Deflated’ soft toys make great tug toys and have often been a favourite with the dogs when I have been home boarding.

Buy soft toys on Amazon:
Happy Pet soft duck toy with squeaker

Flat unstuffed squeaker toys 
These toys have been some of my own dog’s besties! He’s a small dog and these are his go to toys for a game of tug. The squeakers have long since died but the toys have lasted 6 plus years. This pack has the two very different textures so offers choice to your dog.


Indoor Soft Ball – Chuckit!

Seems to have a lovely mouth feel for many dogs – bigger than a tennis ball but smaller than a football. Great for indoor ball play, chewing and holding – especially for soft-mouthed breeds.


Rosewood soft noodle dog toy


6. Long-life chew toys The Yak bar is a relatively cheap and more tooth-friendly alternative to the once-popular deer antlers for persistent chewers. They are softer so will get worn down – but this means they are unlikely to cause the tooth issues caused by hard chewers working on alters. For most dogs, they are still long-lasting and represent good value for money. Watch out for cheap copies which often don’t last well.

Hollings mini roast bones are also excellent as a long-lasting chew toy. They can be filled much like a kong to renew interest and don’t splinter. Be careful though as many of the other bones in the Hollings range will splinter with a strong chewer.

Best dog toys that are more expensive, but stand the test of teeth and time

7. Kong toys. The whole Kong range is wonderful and is loved by most dogs, but favourites include the Wubba range, Squeezz jells, Safestix, Squeezz stick and the Classic Kong (for stuffing and leaving with a ‘home alone’ dog). Kong toys wear really well and most take a long while to show signs of wear and tear. The addition of material makes the Wubba range slightly more vulnerable, but they are well-made and compelling to dogs.

Buy Kong toys on Amazon:

Kong Squeezz dog toys – come in a wide selection and are pretty robust. Most are only recommended for medium to large dogs.

Kong Stuff-a-Ball

Kong Wubba Dogs Chew Toys

Please note that the wubba toys come in all shapes and sizes (xs to xl). Please make sure that you search for the wubba toy that would suit your dog (this is an xl 1 kg toy)

Kong Classic Dog Toy – Note that all Classic (red) Kong toys are durable, but destructive chewers will benefit from their Extreme range (black)

8. Other strong, chewable treat balls and sticks

Strong cyber rubber treat balls

Mudder classic pet ball (teeth grip small treats)

This one is a multi-purpose ball which is really strong yet collapsible rubber, with a hole for treats, but still designed for outside use, bounces and glows in the dark. Great all-rounder. Add to that, the ethical nature of the company. A small percentage of the sale of these balls goes to the planet dog foundation, which works to support and train dogs for service to people in need.

Planet dog glow in the dark luna ball

Chuckit! Glow in the dark stick

9. Ruffwear dog toys. Good range of tough and longlasting toys. We particularly like the Ruffwear Gnawt-a-Cone Dog Toy, which was designed based on the shape of a pine cone. Love the one on a rope. 

Ruffwear Gnawt-a-Cone

Ruffwear Huck a Cone

Ruffwear Hovercraft toy (frisbee)

10. GoughNut. For the ultimate lifetime guaranteed chewable, retrievable, floating dog toy, look no further. Expensive, yes – but you’ll only ever need to buy one, as the company will replace the GoughNut free of charge for the pet’s lifetime if the internal red core is exposed. NOTE the toys come in different degrees of durability and different sizes. Make sure you are buying a suitable toy for your dog (don’t size up as they are heavy).

GoughNut indestructible dog toy – lifetime guarantee

Please note that a purchase made via the links on this page will generate a small referral fee to the site owner. This does not affect the amount that you pay for the item but is paid out of the percentage Amazon take from the sale.

My very best dog toys
Any product on this page
Average rating:  
 0 reviews