The 7 Best Dog Toys to Buy in 2018

Keep your furry friend entertained with these picks

Courtesy of Amazon

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Your dog is your best friend. And while he certainly enjoys your company a whole lot, he needs his own entertainment too. Just like your children, your pup may grow in and out of toys, so it’s important to consider Fido’s needs when making a purchase. The key is to find a toy he simply can’t put down (think: the Netflix of the dog world), that’s safe and durable against teeth and claws.

From upgraded dog balls to the newest tech for your four-legged friend, we narrowed down the best dog toys for every pup. Many toys even come with a guarantee, so no worries if your furry friend decides it’s just not his style. Whether your dog is a puppy or a puppy-at-heart, we have the best dog toys.

  • 01 of 07

    Best Overall: KONG Wobbler Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

    If you’re looking for a basic but dog-beloved toy, the Kong can’t be beat. We chose the Kong Wobbler as our best overall pick because it suits nearly every pup, and keeps dogs entertained for hours. The Kong stands up to extreme wear and comes in a variety of sizes and strengths for puppies up through senior-aged dogs.

    The Kong can be filled with treats, and depending on your dog’s nutritional needs, can even provide a full meal with a side of fun. It’s made from rubber, and the large size (suitable for dogs over 25 pounds) is about 7.5" tall. Many owners fill the Kong with frozen peanut butter for long hot days, or use it to keep dogs entertained for a few hours during the workday. Our favorite thing about the Kong is it can be both a passive and an active toy – fill it with snacks, and your dog can keep himself entertained; keep it empty and bounce it for pup bonding time. In the end, you can’t go wrong with the Kong.

  • 02 of 07

    Best Dog Frisbee: CHUCKIT! Flying Squirrel

    Many breeds were born to run, and exercise is key to a dog’s health and happiness. The CHUCKIT! Flying Squirrel is a great alternative to a standard Frisbee, and is perfect for active dogs who need to burn off excess energy. Far superior to a regular throw toy, the Chuckit! comes with raised sides, so your pup can easily pick it up or float in water. It even has a glow-in-the-dark feature for night play. It comes in small (9"), medium (10") and large (11") sizes, and reviewers say they’re strong enough to last through many aggressive games of fetches before you need to replace.

    Owners note that the flexible canvas material is gentle on dog teeth — which is great when Fido wants to play for hours on end.

  • 03 of 07

    Best Interactive: Trixie Pet Toy

    Your workday can be a drag for your dog, but finding the right toys to keep him occupied while you’re away can make the time you spend away from him a little better. The Trixie Pet Toy is a great solution for bored pups. Made from durable plastic with a rubber floor grip, the Trixie is a game with multiple compartments and drawers where an owner can hide treats and food, allowing a dog to spend some time figuring each piece out for a reward. This toy is great for middle aged-pups who are skillful at problem solving (if your pup has figured out how to open the fridge, this toy is for you).

    Many reviewers say it’s also great for fast eaters, because it forces dogs to slow down during dinnertime. If you have a dog that gets stressed out when you leave him alone, or one that could simply use a little more mental stimulation, the Trixie is a great option.

  • 04 of 07

    Best Gadget Toy: iDogmate Ball Launcher Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher

    So you already bought yourself the new iPhone, and now it’s time to spoil your pup too. The iDogmate ball launcher is a toy for your dog and for you, giving your dog hours of fun and your ball-throwing arm the rest it deserves. The iDogmate can launch custom-made balls up to 30' without your even lifting a finger. Its rechargeable battery means no messy cords in the backyard, and it has a funnel so that your pup can return the ball for another launch.

    Owners love the multiple throw settings; one even mixes up the distances so that your dog doesn’t get bored. The iDogmate comes with a remote controller, which is the equivalent of the ultimate dog ownership win. If you want to surprise your pup this holiday or if you feel that no matter how many games of fetch you play, you can’t wear out your active pup, the iDogmate will be your lifesaver.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Best Tug Toy: West Paw Design Zogoflex

    Not all tug toys are made alike, and the West Paw Zogoflex definitely stands out. Shaped like an “S,” the Zogoflex is made from BPA-free plastic, so it’s safe for strong chewers. Its unique shape encourages play between two dogs, so it’s a great option if you have multiple pups. The Zogoflex comes in small and large sizes (the large is 9.5" at it’s tallest), offers three bright colors and owners say it floats well in water. The Zogoflex is our pick for best tug toy because of its guarantee — if your dog chews through the toy, the company will either replace it or refund your money, which is a great feature for dog parents whose pets simply cannot keep a toy in one piece.

    Reviewers say their dogs can’t get enough of the toy, agreeing that they go nuts for it with or without a game of tug. If you want to upgrade from a standard rope tug toy, the Zogoflex is a great option that will keep even the strongest chewers occupied.

  • 06 of 07

    Best for Nervous Dogs: Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy

    New puppies and new-to-you adoptees often suffer from anxiety as they adjust to their new homes. The Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy toy was designed to reduce sleep anxiety, mimicking a dog’s mother with a soft heartbeat and a self-warming function to provide comfort to even the most nervous dogs. It comes in eight different designs, but each one functions the same way. A single 24-hour disposable heat pack is included (you can replace it with any store-bought version) and the Snuggle Puppy is rechargeable, with each charge holding for about two weeks.

    Owners say the Snuggle Puppy was a lifesaver for their puppy’s first nights at home, and also works great with dogs who get anxious when they travel. The calming effects of the stuffed toy extend long past the battery life, with many reviewers saying as their dog aged, it became a favorite sleep toy for years to come.

  • 07 of 07

    Best Ball: Wobble Wag Giggle Ball, Dog Toy

    The Wobble Wag Giggle Ball is an addicting toy that owners say their pets can’t put down. Made from strong plastic, the toy makes a unique giggle sound that your dog will love (even if you might not). It also has six pockets that allow dogs to easily pick it up, and many reviewers say the toy keeps their dogs busy without them needing to lift a finger. It’s 5.7" at its widest, so it won’t get lost under most furniture, and weighs just over a pound.

    One owner states that her dog loved it so much, she had to take it away from them to get the pup’s attention back. While you may grow tired of the trademark wiggle sound after hearing it for hours on end, it’s fine in short bursts — and hey, it’s all about making your dog happy, right?