Best dog toys 2024 to keep your canine companion happy and healthy

A black lab, and a yellow lab play with chew toys in a grassy yard.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Playing with your furry friend is a great way to bond and spend time together, and with our picks for the best dog toys, you can ensure your pooch is happy, healthy, and stimulated. Having an array of options your dog can play with ensures they always have something to do that isn't destructive. The right toys also have a variety of other benefits for your pets as well, from offering mental stimulation to promoting dental hygiene.

We've got you covered with a number of options for dogs at all activity levels, and stages of life. If you already know your dog is tough on toys be sure to check out the toughest dog toys for chewers, or our best rope toys guide. In this round up, we've collected our favorite choices for dogs, looking at durability, suitability for different types of dog personalities, and even whether the toy makes noise or contains stuffing.

We also took a peek at the best dog puzzle toys, and teething toys, as well as whether a toy might help with separation anxiety. Our best puppy toys round up is also available if you've just brought home a new furry friend!

Dr Nick Horniman MRCVS, veterinary surgeon and founder of the online pet pharmacy mypetsvet says, “Dog toys provide mental stimulation, enhancing your dog’s cognitive skills and problem-solving abilities. Toys also foster a stronger bond between you and your pet through interactive play sessions. Additionally, certain toys promote dental hygiene by helping to clean teeth and gums. Finally, they offer an outlet for physical exercise, keeping your dog active and preventing destructive chewing behavior. In essence, dog toys are more than just playthings; they contribute to a happier, healthier life for your pet.”

For now - let’s have a look at some of the best dog toys, available at a range of price points to suit your budget.

The best dog toys 2024

How to choose the best dog toy

When picking a dog toy, there are a few things to consider:


Every dog is different, but if you’ve got a particularly inquisitive dog, you could consider toys that offer lots of ways to interact. Perhaps through squeakers, different textures, or even intelligent interactive toys.


It’s a good idea to pick a toy that matches well with the size of your dog. A toy which is too large can be overwhelming for small dogs, while larger dogs may find small toys don’t offer the right kind of stimulation.

Ease of Use

If a dog toy requires some kind of complex set-up or tricky management to use, chances are it’ll end up in a box and barely touched. Look for those that are simple and easy to play with and chew straightaway.


If you’ve got a dog that likes to destroy their toys, look for more durable ones that will hopefully last a bit longer. Although they can be more expensive, if you keep hold of them for a while, they can be better value for money. If your pooch is gentler, then you’ve got scope to go for cheaper and less durable options.


Be careful of toys that might have small detachable solid parts that could potentially choke your dog - especially if they’re quite destructive. It’s always wise to supervise your dog when playing with toys, especially if it’s the first time they’ve used them.

Why do dogs destroy toys?

There are a variety of reasons your dog may destroy their toys. High prey drive breeds are more likely to tear apart soft toys, and many dogs like to remove the squeakers from toys if they can find them. Playing with your dog, or wearing them out can alleviate this, as mentally and physically stimulated dogs are less like to destroy their toys.

Keep in mind that wear and tear are a normal effect of a dog playing with toys. Chewing, throwing, and whipping toys around are going to cause damage. Depending on your canine breed, their behavior may be an instinctual behavior and need tougher toys. 

When dealing with puppies and younger dogs, remember that puppies teethe and that may be while they've been more destructive. Younger dogs in general also tend to be high energy, and if the toys you purchase are not durable they may not last long at all. 

Some dogs will destroy toys when dealing with separation anxiety, stress, boredom or frustration. It can also be a behavior to try and get your attention. 

If a dog is undernourished, or hungry, they can also be harder on their toys. To ensure this isn't an issue make sure your pooch is getting enough to eat with nutritious dog food. 

Do I need to clean my dog's toys?

It’s a good idea to give your dog’s toys a good clean every once in a while. Although you don’t need to be overly fastidious about it, dog toys are a bit of a breeding ground for things like bacteria, mold and mildew so it’s worth keeping an eye on them. 

Hard toys made from plastic, silicone and similar materials are very easy to clean. Brush off any major dirt from them before soaking them in warm soapy water, giving them a good rinse and drying them off before giving back to your dog. 

Soft toys, such as those made from fabric, rope or other similar textiles are a bit harder to clean. You can spot clean using a sponge for any obvious dirt, but for a deeper clean, they can usually be placed in the dishwasher (top rack) or washing machine on a hot cycle. Be careful if your soft toys have been damaged, as they might get misshapen - it’s worth checking the label to make sure it’s safe to machine wash them too. Allow toys to dry fully before giving them back to your dog - avoid using a tumble drier as this can also damage the toys.

Why do dog’s toys squeak?

Not all dog’s toys squeak but those that do are tailored for a specific doggy instinct: to catch prey. The squeak is intended to mimic the sound of a small animal and this is why dogs tend to love playing with them. The high-pitched sound gets dogs very excited so if you have a pet who appears to be disinterested, a squeaker toy may prove to be the answer.

How to pick the best dog toy

There are thousands of toys built for dogs on the market, and finding the right one requires knowing your dog. You want an option that fits your canine companion's personality, activity level, and destructive tendencies so you don't end up buying items that just collect dust in a corner somewhere. 

If your dog is a tough chewer, you'll want an option that can hold up to them even when they're excited or bored. This means avoiding soft or fluffy toys, and opting instead for durable options built to hold up to dogs on a mission. 

For dogs that need a little extra stimulation, puzzle toys can be just the ticket. These toys often feature little mechanisms that hide treats, and make the dogs work for their reward. The extra stimulation is excellent for dogs bored by normal toys, or for distracting dogs with separation anxiety when you leave the house. These toys can provide hours of stimulation, even for high energy dogs. 

For high energy breeds, or toys for outside, you want an option that is durable, and easy to see in the bushes at the park. Balls are always great for fetch, but be careful to choose an option that isn't too big, or too small, for your breed. Frisbees can also be a ton of fun, and come in different shapes, sizes, and materials.  

When bringing home new toys, it's worth keeping an eye on your dog when they first play with it to ensure there aren't any hazards. Of course, the most important part of bringing home dog toys, is finding one your furry friend will love, whether for a few days, or their whole life. 

If you’re looking for play inspiration, here are eight exciting games to play with dogs.

Dr. Nick Horniman MRCVS
Dr. Nick Horniman MRCVS

Dr. Nick Horniman MRCVS is an experienced veterinary surgeon and petcare expert. In addition to his strong experience in veterinary medicine, throughout his career Dr. Horniman has worked in various fields, including clinical research, customer service, sales and medicine.

Having spent 25 years running his own veterinary practice, Dr. Horniman recognised the rising costs of veterinary medications. Motivated by the need for more affordable options for pet owners, he founded online pet pharmacy, MyPetsVet. MyPetsVet offers pet owners value-for-money medication and a safe, reliable delivery service.

Amy Davies

Amy Davies is a freelance writer and photographer with over 15 years experience. She has a degree in journalism from Cardiff University and has written about a huge variety of topics over the years. These days she mostly specialises in technology and pets, writing across a number of different titles including TechRadar, Stuff, Expert Reviews, T3, Digital Camera World, and of course PetsRadar. She lives in Cardiff with her dog, Lola, a rescue miniature dachshund.

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