top of page
YuMOVE Supplements for dogs
Years.com dog food trial
  • Writer's pictureSmart Bark

Best Dog Toys UK for 2024

Updated: Mar 20

Smart Bark is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Choosing the right dog toy for your dog can help to banish boredom and mentally stimulate your canine companion.


Engaging toys and puzzles can also relax your pup and improve their behaviour, ultimately saving your furniture and your home from unwanted chewing.


We explore a whole collection of dog toys from chew toys to keep them occupied, to interactive toys you can use to spend quality time with your dog and help you strengthen your bond.


Regardless of their temperament, size and preference you should find something from our carefully curated selection to suit your four-legged friend.

Dog on bed with best dog toys

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Our Picks of the Best Dog Toys

Our Verdict

Why are Dog Toys Important ?


According to Behaviourist Carolyn Menteith at tails.com -

Like humans, stress can cause health problems for dogs. Dogs who aren’t provided with enough mental stimulation, problem-solving opportunities and an outlet for their natural behaviours are likely to experience heightened levels of stress, which can lead to anxiety, depression, and behaviour issues”

So dog toys are a more than simply fun for your dog. This review features our picks of the best dog toys in each category


Physical exercise

Many dog toys encourage physical activity and exercise, which is crucial for a dog's overall health and well-being. Look for toys that involve chasing, fetching, or tugging which help dogs burn energy.

Dog running with ball in mouth

Mental stimulation:

Dogs are intelligent animals that require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behaviour. Look for toys that challenge their problem-solving skills, such as puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys.


Dental health:

Chewing on toys can help keep a dog's teeth clean and healthy. Consider toys that are designed for chewing, such as dental chews or rubber toys


Emotional comfort:

Dogs are social animals and can experience separation anxiety or loneliness when left alone. Having access to toys, particularly soft or plush toys, can provide comfort and reduce stress and anxiety.

Dog sleeping with soft dog toy

Bonding & interaction:

Playing with toys can strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Look for interactive toys, like tug ropes or interactive balls, allow for fun and engaging playtime together.


Redirecting unwanted behaviour:

Providing appropriate toys can redirect a dog's attention from destructive behaviours, such as chewing on furniture or shoes.


Here at Smart Bark, we've our team of testers have put a wide range of dog toys through their paces over the years and here is our round-up of the best dog toys you can buy in 2023.



Our Picks of the Best Dog Toys


K9 Connectable dog toys

1. Best Overall

K9 Connectables

 

The first dog toy we feature is from K9 Connectables. Their innovative range of dog toys are awarded the top spot in our Top 10 due to their sheer versatility. You can use K9 Connectables as chew, fetch and treat dispensing dog toys.


With their patented, award-winning design, these toys offer oodles of different combinations. Each individual element is designed to mentally and physically stimulate your dog by offering rewards.

Features of K9 Connectable dog toys

We tested both their Gentle and Pro range with a variety of dogs.


Their Pro toy range is designed to have increased challenge levels and is made from harder materials that are extremely strong and chew resistant.


The elements slot and stack together offering different combinations to suit your dog.


Some of their range can be used as fetch toys, treat dispensers or puzzles and they even offer their own bone shaped bone treats to fit into the slots.


A series of ridges at each connection point let you increase the challenge level. The further you push the elements together, the harder it will be for your dog to pull them apart.


During testing, with a Labrador and Cockapoo, we found the PRO range to be extremely tough and durable so whilst K9 Connectables may not be the cheapest dog toys available, they will certainly outlast most.


Reasons to Buy

+ Tough enrichment toy

+ Unlimited combinations

+ Extensive range

+ Size and difficulty options


Reasons to Avoid

- Not the cheapest


Buying Options

If you would like more information, why not check out our deep-dive review of K9 Connectables

Dog playing graphic
Tug-e-Nuff dog tug toy

2. Best for Building a Bond

Tug-e-Nuff

 

Tug toys are a great way to keep your dog active, offer an opportunity to strengthen your bond with them and as a high-value reward, can support you in achieving your elusive training goals - recall, leave and stay training.

dog playing with Tug-e-Nuff dog toy

Tug-e-Nuff are a family run company launched way back in 2009.


They have combined their considerable experience as professional dog trainers with creativity to develop a range of high quality, innovative tug toys.


The Sheepskin Bungee Chaser ticks all the boxes for a tug toy.


It's incredibly durable so will stand the test of time, is suitable for anxious dogs and is the most enticing of all the tug toys we've tested.


The toy measures over a metre long, so is ideal if you have an anxious dog, as they can play tug with you from a distance rather than up close which will help to build their confidence.


The strong handle is padded for extra comfort and includes a bungee cord section. We love this design feature as it takes the majority of the strain away from your arm and your dog's neck during the tug game.

Available in 4 colour combinations with a choice of black or white sheepskin bite material. If you prefer, Tug-e-Nuff also offer rabbit fur or faux fur options.


We think every dog lover needs a Tug-e-Nuff toy in their toy arsenal.


Reasons to Buy

+ Ideal for anxious dogs

+ Super fluffy

+ Padded handle

+ Bungee section


Reasons to Avoid

- If you're not a fan of fur

- Too big for your pocket


Buying Options


Get 10% OFF theTug-e-Nuff range

Use discount code SMARTBARK at checkout

If you would like more information about other tug toys in the Tug-e-Nuff range, why not take a look at our deep-dive review - Best Dog Tug Toys for 2024



Dog playing graphic
Cockapoo dog with a Chuckit ball launcher and ball

3. Best for Active Dogs

Chuckit Ball & Thrower

 

If you are looking for a dog toy to exhaust your very active dog then you can't go wrong with a ball thrower.


We've tested several balls and ball launchers over the years and none compare to the quality and ease of throwing as the Chuckit range.


No ordinary dog balls either, Chuckit balls have been designed for the most demanding 'fetch' use. Created with a really high bounce to keep your dog entertained they are also highly visible so can be found easily when your dog appears to forget the 'fetch' command leaving you searching.

Chuckit original and ultra dog balls

Playing at the beach or by a lake - no problem, Chuckit Balls float so they're perfect for water play.


Their Ultra ball range is designed to be extra durable with a smoother finish which means that they're so much easier to clean than furry tennis balls which turn black and grey before you know it.


Their original 'furry' balls are available as singles and multi-packs in a range of sizes. Chuckit also offer a eco-friendly recycled version and a newly launched Sniff Ball ( peanut butter or bacon scented options).


Our advise, if you choose to buy a ball launcher and additional balls on-line, double check the sizes to make sure they fit.


We've found in testing that whilst there are lots of balls and launcher sets on the market, the Chuckit balls and launcher are the best designed and most durable.


Dimensions ( diameter) - Small 5 cm | Medium 6.4 cm | Large 7.6 cm | X large 9 cm


Reasons to Buy

+ Tough dog balls

+ Ideal if you use a ball launcher

+ Size options for little dogs

+ Multi-packs available


Reasons to Avoid

- Cheaper options available


Buying Options


Dog playing graphic
Bob-a-Lot treat dispensing dog toy

4. Best for Treat Dispensing

Bob-a-Lot

 

Starmark has been the world leader in pet education for over a decade, with award-winning training and behaviour tools developed by experts.


We bought and tested their Starmark Bob-A-Lot interactive dog puzzle toy to see what all the fuss was about.

Filling the Bob-a-lot dog toy with treats

The Bob-A-Lot was surprisingly heavy and sturdy. It wobbles around the floor on it's weighted base and as your dog nudges with their nose and paws, it releases treats


To start, simply fill the top with your dog’s favourite treat, or if they have a kibble diet, you could put their whole meal inside.


Adjust the two openings to alter the difficulty to release the food and you're all set.


We loved that Bob-a-Lot offers you some flexibility in dispensing rate do you can make it more difficult for your dog.


After some trial and error we were able to open the slots just enough to keep Freddie interested but still keeping it challenging. Great for 'chewers', it's a substantial toy and super durable.


Our one reservation is that it doesn't come apart for cleaning so we would recommend using hard, crunchy style treats that won't leave crumbs inside the toy.


It's worth noting that it's a great option for greedy guzzlers as it works as a slow feeder by increasing the time it takes your dog to consume their food. Just be aware that it would only work with a kibble diet.


It's easy-to-fill and available in two sizes to suit puppies to large breed dogs.


Reasons to Buy

+ Durable and not easy to chew

+ Flexible difficulty level

+ Could act as a slow feeder


Reasons to Avoid

- Moves around floor

- Doesn't come apart for cleaning


Buying Options

You might also be interested in .....

If you're looking for some healthy training treats to use with these puzzle toys, take a look at our Best Dog Treats article. The Pooch & Mutt Meaty Treats we feature are the perfect size for the Kong Gyro and Bob-A-Lot.

Dog playing graphic
Kong dog toy

5. Best for Fighting Boredom

Kong

 

Let's be honest, no article discussing the best dog toys would be complete without a nod to probably the best known dog toy - the Kong.


The classic Kong, launched way back in 1976, is recommended by veterinarians and dog trainers worldwide. Made from natural rubber, it has an unpredictable bounce which is enticing for your dog.


If you're looking to extend their play, it can be filled with a whole range of dog treats to keep your dog entertained and works particularly well with soft treats such as yoghurt or dog - friendly peanut butter.


The ultimate boredom buster, the Kong is available in a wide selection of sizes and materials for chewers, puppies and extreme chewers.


Our one reservation about the Kong, is cleaning. It may be us, but we've found that if you stuff the Kong with wet treats like peanut butter, it's incredibly difficult to clean effectively. So ultimately our dog loves it, but we're not so keen.


Reasons to Buy

+ Best selling dog toy

+ Boredom buster

+ Tough

+ Range of sizes and durability


Reasons to Avoid

- Doesn't come apart for cleaning


Buying Options



Dog playing graphic
Kong Gyro dog toy

6. Best Easy Interactive Toy

Kong Gyro

 

Another toy from the Kong stable is the Gyro. A simple but well designed treat dispenser which is easy to clean!


This is a great introduction to dog puzzle toys as it doesn't involve a huge amount of strategy and the results are immediate.


The blue central sphere has a hole to release treats as your dog touches and spins it. The smaller the treats the easier it is to leave a tasty trail as your dog nudges it around the kitchen floor.


Kong Gyro toy with Dachshund

There is an opportunity to make the Gyro more of a challenge for your dog by adding chunkier treats. The dispensing hole is approx. 2cm diameter (slightly smaller than a £1 coin).


The red outer ring slows the dispenser, stopping it from spinning out of control and sliding under your cupboards.


The inner blue ball is transparent so you can see when it's empty and simply unscrews for easy cleaning.


Our one reservation would be Power Chewers !


As it's made from plastic not rubber, we wouldn't recommend this for any serious chewers out there. You may be better with the larger, heavier and more substantial Bob-A-Lot featured later in this review.


Like the Bob-a-Lot featured earlier, the KONG Gyro could even be used as a slow feeder or to entice fussy eaters if your dog shows some anxiety eating from a more traditional dog bowl.


Our photos show us testing it extensively with a gorgeous miniature dachshund we fostered who suffered with some food issues.


We've found that the sheer movement element of the GYRO grabbed her attention and appears to make the food more interesting. Available in two sizes.

Reasons to Buy

+ Simple puzzle

+ Dispenses treats

+ Two sizes available

+ Easy to clean

+ Great value enrichment toy


Reasons to Avoid

- Limited challenge

- Not suitable for power chewers


Buying Options

Dog playing graphic
GoDog Plush toy

7. Best Soft Chew Toy

GoDog Plush Toy

 

Dogs don’t need to be big or powerful to destroy their toys. Aggressive chewers can leave an unsuspecting dog toy completely mangled in minutes if they put their mind to it.

Dog playing with GoDog Plush Toy

Despite the huge number of different dog toys available lots of our four-legged friends still prefer to play with soft toys.


This is probably because they retain your dog's scent to keep them coming back again and again.


So if you're looking for a soft but tough toy that can withstand some heavy play and is actually fun, we'd suggest taking a closer look at the range of soft toys from GoDog.


Cute, soft and cuddly the headline feature for the GoDog range is their amazing construction.


Including chew-guard technology and double stitched seams so they are more durable than most soft dog toys, their ultimate aim is to keep the stuffing on the inside !


It's worth noting that their super cute dragon toy also include an internal squeaker.


Available in two sizes, if you have a chewer these tough soft toys may just stand the test of time.


Dimensions ( length) - Small 20 x 7 x 16 cm | Large 33 x 10 x 25 cm


Reasons to Buy

+ Tough soft toy

+ Internal squeaker

+ Chew-guard technology

+ Double stitched seams


Reasons to Avoid

- Not the most durable of dog toys


Buying Options

Looking for a different tough dog toy ?

We test and review 10 of the most indestructible dog toys available in the UK for 2024 - Best Indestructible Dog Toys : Ideal for Chewers

Dog playing graphic
Goughnuts tough dog toy

8. Best for Power Chewers

Goughnuts

 

Admittedly they don't look that exciting, but Goughnuts are extremely popular amongst dog lovers with power chewers.


This stick toy is engineer-designed and made from virtually indestructible material so is definitely built to last.


They are also designed with your dog's safety in mind. The Goughnuts range features two layers with a red indicator which lets you know that the central core has been reached.


A selection of different sizes are available along with different colours denoting their durability so you can select the right one for your dog regardless of whether they're a Dachshund or a Rottweiler.


The Goughnuts collection also features rings, balls and tug toys so you have options on shapes.


Easy to clean, simply wash under warm water. Oh! and it's worth mentioning that Goughnuts come with a lifetime warranty.


Reasons to Buy

+ Indestructible

+ Lifetime warranty

+ Range of sizes


Reasons to Avoid

- Not the most exciting


Buying Options

Dog playing graphic
Nina Ottosson dog casino puzzle

9. Best for Canine Einsteins

Nina Ottosson

 

Puzzle or dog enrichment toys as they're otherwise known, have been specifically designed to exercise your dog's brain, provide endless opportunities for learning and amazingly can tire your four-legged friend out as much as a dog walk.


The extensive and popular Nina Ottosson range of dog puzzle caters for dogs who are new to puzzle toys and those that think they're canine Einsteins.


This particular design, the Dog Casino, is a level 3 game so is recommended for more challenging play.

However as with most puzzle toys, we found it can easily be adapted to suit your dog.

Dog playing with the dog casino puzzle from Nina Ottosson

The idea behind the Dog Casino is for your dog to slide the drawers open to access the treats hidden inside.


If your dog is good at solving puzzles, you can further challenge them by simply twisting the bone shaped white handles to lock the drawers in place.


We introduced the puzzle with a couple of drawers slightly ajar to entice our dog.


Once he was able to pull the drawers open to reveal the treats inside, we shut the drawers completely.


Lastly, we began to turn the bones to lock the handles in place and with some guidance Freddie was able to start unlocking them - this stage is very tricky!


Made from tough plastic, so not only can you use it for wet or even frozen treats, its dishwasher proof too.

Reasons to Buy

+ Well designed

+ Provides a challenge

+ Flexible

+ Easy to clean

+ No loose pieces


Reasons to Avoid

- Difficult to master completely


Buying Options

Dog playing graphic
Bamboodles dog chew toy

10. Best Dog Chew Toy

Bamboodles

 

Last to feature in our top 10 is the Bamboodles toy collection. Incredibly tough and durable, this 'Y' shape chew is new to their range and suitable for all breeds and sizes of dog.


The 'Y' shape has been designed to massage your dog's gums and better still, it's infused with flavour to keep them coming back for more.


Cleverly, the base is shaped to help your pup grasp the chew between their paws keeping it stable.


Crafted from natural bamboo fibre combined with nylon fibres to create a long-lasting durable chew it's available in three sizes. Cleverly, as your dog knaws, the infused bamboo flakes away rather than shears or snaps so there are no sharp edges to worry about.


There are several other shapes and designs available including a range for puppies.


Reasons to Buy

+ Range of designs

+ Range of sizes

+ Great value

+ Suitable for aggressive chewers


Reasons to Avoid

- Not interactive

Buying Options




dog graphic


Our Verdict


If you, like many dog lovers consider your dog a member of the family and love to spoil them rotten, then anything from our Best Dog Toy range will be sure to get those tails wagging.


When researching this article, we tried to include some durable, fun toys which would last, as well as some tried and tested puzzlers, tug toys along with enrichment and fetch toys.


Regardless of your budget, something from these thoughtfully chosen toys and treats should fit the bill.


And if you reckon we've missed an absolute blinder of a dog toy that we're crazy for leaving out, then give us a shout.



Thanks for stopping by and reading our Best Dog Toys for 2024


Tags:

7,217 views

Comments


Pitpat GPS Tracker Sale

More Articles...

Pick of the Week

Roolo treat dispensing dog toy

It's a one-of-a-kind dog puzzle toy to banish boredom from UK company Play9. In testing we thought it was a really fun & durable treat dispenser. 

bottom of page