Bulldogs are quite different from your ordinary pet dogs. For instance, while your usual dog will often be playful and jumpy, you will realize a bull dog is happier to stay calm most of the time. Getting to know a bulldog fully is quite a journey, pretty similar to a human relationship. As such, these adorable little friends give both new and long-time owners quite a sweat when picking toys for them. This article seeks to explore dog toys in the market and identify which are the best toys for bulldogs.
But do dogs really need toys? Oh yes they do. Not just for their convenience, but for yours too. Remember dogs weren’t house dwellers originally. But they became man’s best friend and accepted to crash in a kennel near the man’s house, if only to be close to the said friend. As the relationship grew, man saw it fit to move in with dog, and the good friend could not say no. Only he dragged a good number of his outdoor behaviors with him through the door. Pet dogs will chew on many valued items in your house, from furniture to accessories. But they are happy to let these be when equipped with their own toys – a win for everyone!
Bulldogs are more on the small side of dog sizes. They are short but have a bulky build, usually in the range of 40 to 50 pounds. For their size, bulldogs are pretty strong though and have really tough jaws. This probably explains why they are such ardent chewers. The shape of bull dogs’ heads makes them appear mean at first glance, but they are really friendly pets. They crave human company and are well adapted to living indoors, and are a safe bet around kids. That said, it is always important to keep a close eye around any pet when it is around small kids, bulldogs no exception.
They are also protective, a trait which will often make them not so friendly to strangers. It’s just an issue of trust, but they adapt to new people fast. They are not generally aggressive in nature, but if part of their family- person or dog- is in danger, they can really assert their dominance.
They have an enviable appetite, another warning sign that getting one is inviting a chewer to your house. Bulldogs are low energy creatures, and thus not much into long durations of intensive play. They are also poor swimmers.
Bulldogs do not thrive well in areas of extremely cold or hot weather. They are hard to train and do not really love other dogs, both probable results of their bossy nature.
While they do not bark much, bulldogs are still quite noisy. They also drool and take in some air when they eat, and that is released in form of flatulence. Their fur comes off easily when you pet them, and is noticeable on surfaces when they shed.
What sort of toys suit Bulldogs?
With these traits in mind, it is a basis to determine what the best toys for your bulldogs are. One word to always keep in mind is quality. Yes, bulldogs are bosses like that. Any compromise in quality and they are quick to explain the meaning of ‘cheap is expensive.’
Quality starts with strength and durability. The constant chewing and strong jaws of bulldogs means they will easily destroy weak toys. Bulldog toys may be soft, but that should not be a substitute for strength. Strong rubber can satisfy both of these requirements.
The low energy levels of bulldogs mean they are more suited for toys that they don’t have to fetch over distances. They are more comfortable with toys that they can attack, owing to their protective nature. Unlike high energy dogs, bulldogs won’t spend much time outdoors. You, therefore, do not need to go for toys built for the toughness of the weather. Rather, always mind the toughness and efficiency of the bulldogs’ jaws.
Whatever toy it is, it should also be large enough so it is not easily swallowed. Bulldogs’ jaws are quite wide.
What to look for when buying toys for bulldogs
Again, quality is the key. Low quality toys will be in for devastatingly quick destruction at the merciless crusher jaws of bulldogs. With the best quality, you are assured of durability. You may have to pay a slightly higher price, but it is worth in the long run.
If bulldogs’ mouths were economies, they would be some of the most active in the world. Probably 24-hours. Their toy’s thus need to be in it for the long run, able to withstand hours of continuous and repeated chewing.
Bulldogs’ toys should be larger in size than those of other breeds of pets. They literally have big mouths, and an equally big use for them.
Literally. This is a bonus. Not just because bulldogs have a super appetite, or because they are easily bored. Dogs are intelligent animals, and quickly master and tune out things that are not real. Unless they really hate them, like scarecrows.
What to avoid
Toys that are cheap in a way that is too attractive are usually low quality and easily destructible. They will be literally chewed up within no time. They are also likely made of low quality material which could cause infection to your pets if ingested.
Brittle or soft material
Plastic toys are easily broken. The resultant pieces are often pointed and pose a threat both to people while lying on the floor and to the bulldog in subsequent chews. Safety is an essential consideration.
Raw-hide material is likely to be tattered faster than you will be willing to replace it. The pieces scattered on the floor make the house a mess. Also, hide increases the likelihood of dogs chewing up any leather furniture within the house.
Small toys are likely to be swallowed whole. This is a loss either if you have to keep replacing the toys, but mainly because it poses a risk to your bulldogs’ health.
Unless you have another use for them, because bulldogs simply won’t fetch. That’s not for bosses! Also, water toys are to be avoided. Bulldogs’ will barely swim to save their own lives, let alone for fun and toys.
The top 5 toys for Bulldogs
Here are our Top 5 Bulldog Toys, taking into account all factors discussed
KONG Extreme Dog Toy, Black (4.5 stars)
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The Kong Extreme is a round black toy with groves of an increasing diameter. It is made of rubber, and boasts a degree of toughness that makes it ideal for the toughest chewers. That rhymes with ‘bulldogs,’ doesn’t it? The Kong is made in the USA and is sold by Gatsies.
The extended hours of chewing plus the fact that you can stuff it with hidden treats means this toy can keep bulldogs occupied for hours at a time. It is also available in a variety of sizes, from small to XX-large. This means you can pick it as a toy of choice for your bulldogs from when they are younger to when they are older and bigger. Again, you can have it in packs of different sizes; 2-pack, 6-pack all the way to 24-pack. It retails at the range of $10-$15, with free shipping.
The downside of the Kong is its adaptability for an irregular bounce when playing fetch, which doesn’t interest bulldogs anyway.
Goughnuts – Indestructible Chew Toy MAXX (4.3 Stars)
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Another toy boasting size and toughness, two major qualities necessary in the search for bulldog playthings. The USA made toy is a long sausage shaped chewing accessory, with a claim of 360 psi superiority to its predecessor, the green goughnut. It is sold by etailz, for around 30 dollars with free shipping.
That it is described as indestructible may look as just a selling point at first glance, but numerous reviewers who have purchased it have attested to this. It has received a 4.3 star rating. It is easily compatible with other toys like Kong balls.
The major downside to this one is its unexciting shape. Bulldogs will take to it, but it may quickly become cliché seeing as it won’t even roll away. Its availability in a large size also means you cannot adopt it for small bulldogs.
Dog Toys Balls – Tough Nearly Indestructible Toy for All But the Most Aggressive Chewers (4.4 Stars)
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The dog toy balls are simple balls made from thermoplastic elastomer. They are made in the USA and sold by Rocco & Roxie Supply for around $15. They are available in a variety of sizes, meaning you can have them for your pups or grown bulldogs. They also boast a variety of colors and are fade-resistant, making them suitable for outdoors.
Besides toughness, the toy balls main strong point is safety. Especially for pups, the elastomer material significantly lowers the risk of infection by ingesting part of the ball. They are also pretty easy to clean. They have a star rating of 4.4 out of 5, and a 100% guarantee if they don’t meet your expectation.
On the flipside, the toy balls are not exactly your largest toys. They measure four inches in diameter. Their outdoor design also means they are also considered fetching games; bulldogs don’t!
Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel and Puzzle Plush Squeaking Toy (4.4 stars)
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For a pet who won’t be bothered to go for a hike in the woods, the hide-a squirrel is the perfect toy for bulldogs. Sold by Amazon, it comes in a variety of sizes, the largest being ginormous. It is soft and tough.
It is made in the shape of a tree trunk with holes. The holes are stuffed with squeaking squirrels, which the pets hunt and pull out. Fun is its main selling point.
It fits in well for engaging pets and kids, and is well suited for both indoor and outdoor play. Rated 4.4 stars and selling at slightly above ten dollars, it really is a great bargain.
Looking at the puzzle plush, you get a feeling that it is more of an energy sapping toy. That doesn’t sit well with bulldogs. It is also not the strongest of toys as it is not designed for chewing. After a successful play, bulldogs are likely to chew some of the squirrels. Or even the trunk!
Nylabone Dura Chew Textured Toy (4.3 Stars)
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The Nylabone Dura Chew is a bone shaped nylon toy, with studs that rise up during chewing. It is a unique design away from the traditional bone with one end studded.
Its main uniqueness, however, is its flavoring, which ranges from peanut butter, chicken, bacon and original bone. It is sold by amazon for slightly below $10 with free shipping within two days. The rising bristles help to clean pets’ teeth as they chew and are hailed to control plaque. Its unique end to end design is meant to encourage appropriate chewing within pets. It has received a rating of 4.3 stars from people who have purchased it.
Chewing behavior might not be a very useful feature for bulldogs whose wide jaws protect them from the said effects of destructive chewing. The Dura chew is also not versatile in its sizes, making it a little off for culture toying.
Owning a bulldog seems like an exciting idea when you spot them with others. But they could really drive you nuts when you decide to get your own. They are fun to have alright, but can be really annoying with their destructiveness. This is an easily solvable problem though. By getting the best toys for bulldogs, you can get them away from your valued stuff and still keep them happy. The list of toys discussed in this article has comprehensively touched on major factors to keep in mind. It is a result of both experience and wide research.
Because the world is a much better place when we help others avoid the same mistakes we made, you can now keep your bulldog without a hassle!