Dog toy

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Golden Retrievers playing with a tug toy

A dog toy is a toy that is specifically for dogs to play with. Dog toys come in many varieties, including dog bones, puppy toys, balls, tug toys, training aids, squeaky toys, discs and frisbees, plush toys, and sticks.

Dog toys serve different purposes. Puppies, for instance, need toys they can chew on when they are teething because their gums and jaws become very sore and chewing on things provides them relief. Also, playing with different toys encourages exercise, which benefits the pet's overall health. Toys also stimulate dogs' minds, discourage problem behavior resulting from boredom and excess energy, and promote dental health.

There are a wide variety of dog toys on the market that are designed for different purposes and depending on the dog's characteristics such as size, activity level, chewing habits, and play style.


Labrador pup with plush squeaky toy, ball, and knotted rope that can be thrown, tugged or chewed

Some toys can serve multiple functions for dogs to interact with, combining common play behaviors into a single toy. Some can adapt to other toys and objects, and be combined by the dog owner to create new toys for dogs to play with. Whereas a hard ball is not well-suited for chewing, and a plush toy is difficult to throw, wrapping the ball in a plush exterior creates a toy that can be thrown and chewed on. Such toys may provide more entertainment value for dogs and their owners.

Distraction toys[edit]

Kong dog toy can be thrown, stuffed with treats, or chewed

These toys keep dogs busy. They are useful when people cannot play with their dogs. Some examples are food delivery toys, dental chew toys, Kongs stuffed with treats, Nylabones, chew challenge toys, and puzzle toys.[1]


A dog bone is either a real or toy bone that makes a good dog toy. Some dogs like to bury bones in the yard, so they can dig them up and chew on them later. Other dogs like to carry bones around with them. Dog bones also help getting plaque off of the dog's teeth.

Blue bone-shaped toy manufactured in China

Latex and rubber[edit]

Labrador retriever with rubber squeaky toy resembling a baby's pacifier
Main article: Chew toy

Latex and rubber dog toys are great for dog entertainment. With these toys, dogs that are aggressive chewers have a safe way to satisfy their biting instincts. These toys also help keep dogs' gums and teeth clean and healthy. In general, hard rubber bones and other latex dog toys help improve dogs' overall oral hygiene.


Dogs often enjoy gnawing on small tree branches and pinecones. Sticks can also be thrown for the dog to retrieve.


Pup with pink tennis ball

Balls of all shapes and sizes help keep dogs active and fit. They are a great way to play, and exercise a dog at the same time.[citation needed]


Dogs should always be supervised when chewing edible rawhide toys

Dog toys are not safe if small pieces can be chewed or pulled off as these could be swallowed by the dog. The toy should also be adequate for the dog, taking into consideration their size and activity levels.

When choosing a dog toy, it is important that pet owners choose those made with non-toxic materials. Dog owners should avoid giving their dogs objects with small parts that could be chewed off and ingested (such as cooked chicken bones).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dog Toys and How to Use Them" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-05-19.