Best Toys to Keep Dogs Busy

The old saying goes that dog is man’s best friend. If this statement has any ounce of truth, then it should logically also be true that man treats his best friend rather well. There are many ways we can go about showing this level of affection to our dogs. Sometimes, we can do so just by spending time with them. However, we can also achieve this goal by purchasing them other things to enjoy, especially in our absence. After all, being able to spend all of our time with our dogs is impossible. Therefore, we need to purchase the best toys to keep dogs busy.

When Should You Keep Your Dog Busy?

As mentioned previously, it is not always possible for us to spend endless amounts of time with our dogs. Therefore, we need to find ways to keep them busy when we are not at home. Dogs need to keep their attention focused as much as possible. This statement certainly makes sense in cases where some dogs might find mischief if they are left to themselves. Certain dogs might end up finding themselves being destructive when mischief strikes. More often than not, this behavior happens purely out of boredom. Having the best dog toys to keep them occupied will make sure this situation does not occur.

Destructive dog

Additionally, these toys will make sure dogs do not have time to feel lonely. Some dogs become anxious when they are left alone for too long. This anxiety can be dangerous to the dog’s health. Just like anxiety stresses our bodies to the point of physical ailments, the same happens to our dogs. Thankfully, there are plenty of toys that exist to help occupy dogs to keep anxiety at bay.

We want to spend as much time with our dogs as possible while we are home. Unfortunately, we also require some peace at home, too. Self entertaining dog toys are a great choice in this situation. Toys that occupy a dog’s mind and their time will make sure that our peace time is not interrupted. Usually, these toys achieve this goal by providing some stimulation.

In general, no matter how active we keep our dogs, they can become bored. Unlike cats, dogs do not typically take leisure in entertaining themselves. Therefore, they need plenty of the right toys to keep them focused most of the time. Such toys also make certain that their brains and bodies remain active. These two attributes are essential for overall health.

What Sort of Toys are Best?

In instances where we can observe our dogs while they enjoy their toys, a few options are available. These toys generally should not be used when we are not around in case of choking. Dogs do need to sink their teeth into something once in a while. Not only does it keep their teeth healthy, but it also feeds their instincts. They are used to hunting by nature. Hence, a bone of some sort is a great idea to fill this void. However, as mentioned previously, dogs should not be left alone with a bone due to choking hazards.

There are other chew toys to pick from instead of bones. They often meet the same needs that a bone fulfills, too. Chew toys often last longer than bones so that they might be a wise monetary investment. These toys do not break down as fast as bones, either. Of course, the best trait to chew toys is many of them do not pose choking hazards.

Bulldog playing fetch

Some of the best toys to keep dogs busy, though, are interactive ones. Toys that fall under this category engage a dog’s mind. They certainly fulfill the needs mentioned above to keep dogs entertained. Destructive behaviors can be resolved with them. Additionally, their minds are kept moving fluidly, which is essential as a dog ages. For puppies, these toys can be used to teach natural hunting and tracking skills. So long as these interactive toys do not have small parts, a dog can use them at any time, with or without our presence. Much the same can be said of puzzle toys, too.

There is one point that needs to be emphasized here once more. Safety is an essential feature when your dog is left alone to play by themselves. Toys with small parts can be dangerous to any sized dog. We need to make sure we can care for them in the case of an emergency with these parts.

What You Should Avoid

We have already covered the point about safety previously. Toys with choking parts are not a great idea for dogs. The same can be said of toys that are not durable. A toy might look like a solid piece, but if it could come apart easily, it might not be safe. In other words, a solid toy with poor construction can turn into a choking hazard.

Cheap dog toy

One guilty part of the above situation is a squeaker toy. The squeak box can be easily dislodged in some toys with poor construction, so they might not be safe. At the same time, these toys also break another concern that has been mentioned already. Squeaker toys can make a great deal of noise. For times when you might want some peace, these toys are certainly annoying. In certain situations, these toys can be left for outside use only to resolve the problem. Leaving them indoors might not be the best idea, though.

Specific toys require our presence, too. For example, balls that require we play fetch with a dog. This toy makes for great exercise. However, we are only, really interested in playing for a certain length of time, whereas our dog might want to play more. These toys are not ideal for being the only toy available to our dogs. This statement stands for double in regards to breaking the peace time.

Our Top 8 Picks

So far, we have given you many things to consider. Here, we want to share our top eight picks for the best dog toys to keep your dog occupied, most of which meet the above criteria.

Kong Classic Dog Toy


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When it comes to providing a chew toy that is also interactive, you might want to consider going with the Kong Classic Dog Toy. It comes in various sizes, and it is made right in the United States. The material allows this toy to bounce all over the place whenever thrown for a game of fetch. Additionally, it can keep dogs busy for hours. Since the toy is hollow on the inside, it can be filled with treats. Dogs will spend a long time trying to figure out how to reach the treats. It also provides a reward system with those treats to keep the dog intrigued. This toy is great for training dogs to keep themselves occupied. It comes in various sizes, from small to extra-extra-large. This sizing is great to match up with the size of your dog. These various sizes also make sure that the toy is durable enough for larger dogs but lightweight enough for smaller dogs. The price ranges from about $5.00 to $20.00 based on size.

Nina Ottosson Dog Casino Interactive Game


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Nina Ottosson’s Dog Casino Interactive Game uses a reward system with dry food or treats. Dogs are enticed to find openings in the toy by manipulating different parts of it around to release the trays holding food and treats. This interaction relies heavily on a reward system to keep dogs going for hours. Due to the small parts this toy often has, you need to remain close to your dog while your dog plays with it. Training commands such as sit, find, wait, and go ahead can be utilized during this time. Adapting to this toy takes some time, so you might be enticed to use it for younger pups. You can teach an old dog new tricks, though, and this toy will keep your dog’s brain working for years to come. It only costs about $40.00, which is a good price point considering how long the toy will last.

StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy


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StarMark has created another interactive dog toy called the Bob-A-Lot. It comes in two sizes, the smaller of which costs about $10.00, and the larger that costs about $12.50. It works similarly to the last two toys in that it requires the use of dog treats or dry food to entice dogs to keep playing. The bottom chamber of this toy can hold enough dry food to fill your dog for an entire meal. Openings at the top and bottom can be adjusted to fit all sizes of dog food. Such adjustability also allows for how fast the food can be accessed by also increasing or decreasing the difficulty level. While this toy does not have to be thrown, it does wobble back and forth. Such erratic movement entices the dog to keep playing. It is made of hard plastic with an anti-slip bottom, but it might be noisy on hard floors without a carpet.

Himalayan Dog Chew Natural Dog Treat


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If you insist on giving your dog a bone once in a while, you should consider going with a chew toy instead. There are natural dog treats that are rather chewy, and not all of them pose a choking risk. Himalayan Dog Chew makes such a treat. It comes in various sizes and price points from about $5.00 up to $10.00. The recipe for this chew comes from an ancient culture in the Himalayas. The ingredients include yak and cow milk along with salt and lime juice. It does not include any harmful preservatives, either. Therefore, it should be consumed quickly. This chew’s measurements are about one inch around and six inches long. Hence, it is bound to last for a long time. Guaranteed protein levels for this chew is 526. It also has very little fat at only nine percent.

Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball


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Omega Paw also has a treat-based toy that can be used for training and playtime. There are three sizes that it comes in, from small to large, and it has price ranges to match. The smaller version is about $8.50, whereas the largest model is about $9.75. Treats can easily be inserted into this Vinyl toy that rolls around just like a ball. Dogs will be tempted to revisit this toy for hours. Since it comes in a ball shape, it can be used for a game of fetch, but it does not have to be used this way. Your dog will go to the Tricky Treat Ball by themselves and roll it around for a snack. There are also various davits of different sizes in the ball. This feature makes it easier for dogs to pick it up in their mouths and carry it around.

Ethical Pet Interactive Seek-A-Treat Shuffle Bone Dog Toy


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Playing on a dog’s needs to hunt and find things is essential in their toys. Spot offers an ethical, interactive toy called Seek-A-Treat. This toy requires dogs to slide various pieces around a preset board to reveal holes that contain dry food or treats. The material used for this toy is eco-friendly, and it does not contain many small parts. This factor eliminates most of the choking hazards involved. Unlike the previous toy of this type, this model costs about $10.00. Once again, training commands can be used with the Seek-A-Treat. Since this interactive toy is also a puzzle, it entices dogs to keep their minds sharp by acting like a puzzle. That feature alone will prevent your dog from becoming bored.

PetSafe Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug Meal Dispensing Dog Toy


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Looking for a toy with as many safety features as possible is key to making sure your dog is safely entertained. PetSafe prides themselves on making such toys, and one model of there is the Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug. Again, treats can be placed into this toy to keep your dog entertained and rewarded by playing for hours. Because of its shape, it can be picked up carried around easily. It can be knocked over, rolled around, and thrown various distances. The smaller version costs about $10.00, but the larger version is only about $5.00 more. Therefore, it lands about the same price range as similar toys. Materials used for this toy are durable and non-toxic. This factor alone makes it all the safer for dogs to use on their own. It does not have smaller parts that easily fall apart, either. PetSafe does suggest this toy should be used on medium sized and larger dogs.

PetSafe Busy Buddy Waggle Dog Toy


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PetSafe is certainly known for creating interactive toys that are safe for dogs to use with or without us by their side. The Busy Buddy Waggle toy is like the previous PetSafe toy in several ways. It relies on toys for a reward and enticement system. This model is a bit more flexible, and it also comes in the shape of a chew toy. While the other model relies on the dog’s playing actions to release the treats, this toy goes a step further. It measures the length of time between dispensing treats. Such a feature is essential to making treats last longer in this toy. Two sizes are available, small and large. The small toy costs about $6.00, but the larger model only costs about a dollar more.

Conclusion

A ball for fetch is not the only way to entertain your dog. You can find various, other toys that keep your dog entertained safely. The eight best toys for keeping your dog busy are included above, and they meet all of our criteria for a safe, interactive toy. Your dog will not be bored anytime soon with any of these toys. Much the same can be said of toys that are not on the list, but that meet the same criteria.

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