Best Toys for Small Dogs
Looking for a perfect toy for your petite pooch? Check out the best toys for small dogs that will have your doggo wagging his tail.
Small dog breeds are every bit as playful and curious as their larger furry friends. In fact, some would say that little dogs have even more spirit and love for all kinds of toys. Of course, you can’t throw a big Frisbee to a Yorkie and expect them to fetch or give your lovely Papillon an old football. If you want your pint-sized pupper to truly enjoy playtime, you can’t go wrong with either of the items from our list of 15 best toys for small dogs.
1. Editor’s Pick: Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Plush Toy
Which pooch wouldn’t be thrilled to have some hide-and-squeak fun? This plush dog toy is not only adorable as heck, but it also offers important mental stimulation to your pet. Stuff the trunk with squirrels to give your dog’s inner hunter some fun or use the soft toys for a game of fetch.
2. Runner Up: Gnawsome Squeaker Ball Dog Toy
The unique spiky texture gives the well-loved rubber squeaky ball a fun spin. The ball is made of BPA-free, food-grade TPR rubber, so you won’t have to worry about your dog playing with it every day. And he probably will- considering how fun dogs find brightly colored and loud toys!
3. Best for Average Chewers: KONG Classic
KONG Classic should be a part of every pet owner’s arsenal. Seriously, for such a simple-looking toy, this bad boy can keep ANY pooch entertained and engaged for hours on end. It’s crazy what a piece of rubber can do when paired with a bit of kibble or a spoonful of peanut butter.
4. Best Snuffle Mat: Sniff Diggy Snuffle Mat
Nosework is an important part of canine enrichment, as it stimulates their most important sense- the sense of smell. Snuffle mats are a fun way to keep your pooch’s olfactory system in top shape and provide them with an entertaining outlet for their basic instincts. This colorful, easy to clean snuffle mat will give your pooch hours of fun- just “bury” some treats in it and watch your toy dog turn into a bona fide scent hound!
5. Best Interactive: West Paw Zogoflex Tux Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Chew Toy
There’s only one thing better than a toy- a toy that comes with yummies inside! Freeze some blended bananas, use peanut butter or your pet’s fave treats to fill the Tux. This treat dispensing toy for small dogs is made from BPA-and-Phthalate-free, non-toxic and FDA approved material.
6. Best for Tug-Of-War: KONG Squiggles Dog Toy
Cuddle buddy that doubles as a tug-of-war instrument and a squeaky toy? Yes, you get 3 toys for a price of one with the adorable Squiggles toy. The toy comes in shape of a donkey, rabbit, elephant, and a monkey to accommodate for every pooch’s taste for destruction. Or, in the case of most small dogs- the attempt at destruction.
7. Best Plush: Pet Qwerks Dog Squeak Toys
You can’t go wrong with the classics- and nothing is more timeless when it comes to dog toys than a plushie with a squeaker. Most pooches go bananas for the sudden squeaky noise and not to mention that the softness and cuddliness of plushies make them an instant favorite with any pet. Pet Qwerks Dog Squeak Toys are made with attention to detail and make a lovely choice for any small breed dog- as long as they are not aggressive chewers. These “vocal” plushies come in a range of characters, including a hedgehog, parrot, monkey, pig, rooster, and many others. Of course, each character produces a different sound from chattering to oinking and plenty others in between.
Made from high-quality, durable materials, these plush toys are reasonably long-lasting, as long as your pooch is not a destructive chewer by nature. In that case, don’t count on their new furry toy to stay in one piece for too long- and be sure to monitor them during play.
8. Best Antler: Petstages Deerhorn Antler Alternative Dog Chew Toy
Just because they are small, it doesn’t mean that petite pooches don’t have chompers capable of causing some damage! For some tiny canines, “regular” toys don’t do the trick: they quickly dismember plushies or rip balls to shreds. In case your pet is among those that like to chew their toys or a puppy going through teething stages, Petstages Deerhorn Antler Alternative Dog Chew Toy is an excellent choice. Made from naturally shed antlers it boasts all the benefits of real antlers and none of the cons: the material is completely safe for dogs, it has a taste and smell that is particularly enticing to canines, it is durable but doesn’t pose a choking risk as real antlers do. The special textured surface helps clean plaque buildup, massage gums, and promote better overall oral health. Such a nifty benefit to have in addition to hours and hours of fun your pooch will have with this chew toy!
9. Best Soft Squeak: Hartz Bug Eyes Squeak Dog Toy
This one will have any dog bug-eyed! The pig, dog, or frog character comes with eyes that pop out when your pet squeezes- making for a hilarious show for you and a lot of fun for the doggo doing the squeezing. To boot, the toy is made from specially formulated latex that ensures durability!
10. Best Chirping: Multipet Look Who’s Talking Chick Plush Dog Toy
I mean, is it even a toy if it doesn’t talk back? The soft, cuddly chick will make makes realistic chirping sounds when your dog tries to mangle it- which is kind of creepy when you look at it that way but don’t worry, your dog will find it extremely enticing.
11. Best Puzzle: Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Twister Dog Puzzle
Nina Ottosson is a household name in the world of puzzle toys for dogs, so it’s no surprise that one of her designs found its way to this list. This is a level 3 interactive dog toy with 9 treat compartments that will keep even the smart cookies on their paws.
12. Best Silent Squeaker: Hear Doggy Silent Squeaker Blow Fish Dog Toy
Your dog might adore loud squeaking toys but it doesn’t mean your neighbors do. If you don’t want your pet’s playtime to mean a headache for you or a complaint from the apartment next door, silent squeaker toys are the way to go. The squeaking sound is at a high-frequency, ultrasonic range that only canines can hear- a win-win situation!
13. Best Ball: Chuckit! Ultra Rubber Ball Dog Toy
You can’t go wrong with the basics. A rubber ball is guaranteed to be an instant hit with any dog, regardless of their size. These bouncy balls, though, are an ideal size for petite pooches who want to play fetch with their hooman.
14. Honorable Mention: Pet Qwerks Animal Babble Ball Dog Toy
This might look like your ordinary toy ball, but it hides a whole zoo inside it! The babble ball features more than 20 different animal sounds, from ping oinks to dog barks. The sounds are triggered by touch and the toy boasts an automatic shutoff to prolong battery life.
What should I consider when choosing toys for small dogs?
Size matters, and it’s one of the first things to consider when buying a toy for your petite pooch. You want to get them a toy that will be appropriate for their breed, something small enough they can carry in their mouth and play with, but not too small so they don’t choke on it. Additionally, you want to pay attention to the materials, as they should be both durable and pet-safe: the last thing you need is your dog chewing off parts of the toy or chewing on something that releases dangerous substances. Finally, toys for small dogs come in a range of designs, from interactive and puzzles to balls, plushies, ropes and everything in between- choose depending on your dog’s personal play preferences.
Can I make toys for my dog by myself?
Sure you can! With a little imagination, the right supplies, and a bit of craftiness, you can easily make toys for your pet. For instance, you can braid old T-shirts into ropes perfect for tug of war, create interactive toys with just a muffin tin, some balls and treats, or transform a plain old tennis ball into a treat-dispensing one. However, it’s important to have your pet’s safety in mind when making toys- weak seams, flimsy constructions, small parts and similar all pose a threat as they can be easily ripped apart and ingested or otherwise hurt your pet so make sure that when you make toys, you are neat and meticulous about the safety aspects.
How often should I buy new toys for my dog?
This is very individual, as all dogs are unique and have a different playing style and general habits. Some dogs grow bored of their dogs or tend to destroy them in a matter of weeks, while others get emotionally attached to old ratty plushies they had since they’ve been a puppy. Generally, you should replace any well-worn toys that have become too damaged for safe use: these can be too stained and stinky to be recovered, stuffing coming out of them, or have broken off pieces that could be swallowed. Otherwise, just follow your pet’s cues for what they like and what keeps them occupied for the longest periods of time- it’s no use if you constantly pile up new toys that your pet completely ignores for the most part.
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