Dog holding a stuffed animal toy in its mouth.

Photo by Jesper Brouwers on Unsplash

Grab your furry friend. This is going to be a squeaking-good read! Owning a pet comes with the endless supplies needed to care for them. Just like little kids, our pets get very excited when we bring them home something fun to play with — so we wanted to find the best dog toys to recommend to owners nationwide.

Did you know an incredible 69 million U.S. households have a dog?! That means there are likely tens of millions of toys scattered across homes, hiding under couches, or currently being gripped tightly in dogs’ mouths. After all, we love to spoil our dogs, don’t we? Turns out, we love them so much because they love us. Recent evidence shows they can’t help it. It’s literally in their blood to adore humans — they have a genetic differentiation separating them from wolves.

And maybe one day there will be research showing how partial we are to dogs. (One survey finds a third of owners prefer their pet to their partner!) All in all, there aren’t many things in life that can beat coming home to a wagging tail and wet nose. So, we should make sure dogs know we love them, right? Perhaps, a fun new toy would speak their love language. 

But where to start? When it comes to dog toys, it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. No two dogs are alike and neither are their favorite things. That’s why we’ve broken down the best dog toys by category. This way, you can see what your furbaby might be sniffing around for. If you have your own suggestions, please be sure to leave them in the comments section below!

dog toy ball
A dog holding a ball (Photo by Blue Bird from Pexels)

The List: Best Dog Toys, According to Pooch Lovers

 

1. Best Ball: Chuckit! Ultra

The competition in the ball category is STEEP. There are so many high-quality, amazing balls for our fetch-loving friends. But is there one to rule them all? Here’s where the experts weigh in. “After trying this toy, you’ll never go back to tennis balls again … At first glance, the Chuckit! Ultra looks like any other rubber tennis ball. But once you throw it, the difference becomes obvious,” says Dog Lab.

Chuckit! Ultra
Chuckit! Ultra

And Newsweek agrees: “Compatible with the Chuckit! Ball Launchers, the Chuckit! Ultra is a must-have for every dog — but especially for aggressive chewers. These are a game-changer, particularly for dogs who may rip off the fuzz off other material-covered balls (tennis balls included). Made of natural rubber, these balls can withstand the elements, are convenient to clean and even float in water.”

2. Best Squeaky: Jalousie 5 Pack Dog Squeaky Toys

Sometimes less isn’t more. This expert pick comes with a handful of fun! Petside is all in on this 5-pack, saying: “A set of squeaky toys for dogs of all ages, three come with a squeaker and no stuffing inside, while the other two are plush toys. You can give your pup the choice of which animal is their favorite! For small and medium breeds who are gentle and medium chewers, these are a great choice.”

Jalousie 5 Pack Dog Squeaky Toys
Jalousie 5 Pack Dog Squeaky Toys

These toys are even suitable for the hunters in the pack. “Does your dog have a prey drive? I have a dog who loves chasing squirrels and birds in my backyard, and she loves these toys! There’s no stuffing, so you don’t have to worry about the white fluff winding up all over your floors. My favorite part is that she has fun, and no animals are harmed,” points out a reviewer from DogTime.com.

3. Best for Chewers: Classic Kong Dog Toy

“Classic” is in the name for a reason! Pet parents have been choosing Kong since the 1970s. “The wobbling, red rubber toy is a must-have for dog owners, as you can be assured they’ll be occupied and stimulated for a long time. Fill the hole in the bottom with treats — like peanut butter or anything they love to munch on — and watch them try and get it all out with paws and tongues blazing,” the New York Post writes.  

Classic Kong Dog Toy
Classic Kong Dog Toy

It’s a must-have for experts at Discover Magazine, too: “A Kong is a classic dog toy for a reason — it’s durable, bouncy, and can be stuffed with your pup’s favorite treats. Kongs come in different sizes to accommodate different size dogs, as well as different levels of chewers. For the best dog toys of 2022, we recommend the Classic Kong Dog Toy because it’s an all-around great toy that will keep your pup entertained for hours on end.”

4. Best Plush: Lambchop 

Celebrating the iconic hand puppet, Lambchop is a sweet little plush with the bonus of fond memories. Reader’s Digest raves about it, saying, “This adorable Lambchop dog toy celebrates the iconic Sheri Lewis hand puppet, and several squeakers in each paw and the body provide extra wag appeal. With more than 34,000 Amazon ratings, this inexpensive $5 toy ranks number one among plush toys.” 

Lambchop Plush Dog Toy
Lambchop Plush Dog Toy

You may love it so much, you’ll give it a nickname. “‘Lamby’ is a simple, soft dog toy that squeaks. For the last two years, Lamby has endured countless bouts of zoomies, snuggles, and trips to the washing machine … when Lamby finally bit the dust (that fluff isn’t meant to last forever), we rushed to buy a new one,” says a reviewer from The New York Times.

5. Best Interactive: Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel 

You know when a dog’s head turns sideways in a puzzled look? Here’s the top puzzle toy that may turn heads. “For this toy, you can fill the plush tree trunk with three stuffed squeaky squirrels and toss it, encouraging your dog’s hunting instincts to kick in. It’s offered in four sizes: small, medium, large and extra-large (which includes six squirrels),” explains NBC News

Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel 
Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel

In this case, being squirrely is a good thing. According to The Spruce PetsThis toy combines the challenge of a puzzle game with lots of little squeaking stuffed animals. In order to get to the squirrels, your dog has to pull them out of the holes in a stuffed tree. This combines the fun of a puzzle toy, plus enough little plush creatures for endless squeaking and chewing.”

Let us know what toy your pup has a doggone good time with in the comments below!

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Sources

Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

About Stephanie Vallette

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