Here at the Strategist UK, we like to think of ourselves as obsessive (in the best way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve previously written about pet essentials before — including the best Halloween costumes for dogs and the best dog food — here, we’ve rounded up the best dog toys as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated overall dog toy
Chuckit’s ultra-durable bouncy ball set was the best-rated dog toy overall — it has 89 percent five-star reviews, and the average review was 4.8. The ball comes in five sizes (from S-XXL), but according to Chuckit, the medium-sized ball is suitable for all breeds of dog. 956 reviewers said their dogs loved playing with this ball, while 148 customers called them “chew proof”. One review even wondered how the manufacturer makes any money given the balls are impossible for dogs to destroy. These were bought by one customer for their Staffordshire bull terrier, who was known to rip a tennis ball to shreds in two minutes flat – nine months on, they said this ball was still without a single bite mark. In fact, several the toy was recommended to several reviewers by their vets as a safer alternative to tennis balls, whose loose fuzz can cause tooth abrasion. One veterinary dentist wrote that the smooth rubber prevents dirt and debris accumulating on the surface, and noted the small hole which helps air escape – meaning dogs can chomp and chew the balls without hurting their mouth. A total of 313 reviewers also highlighted the colour as a key selling point over tennis balls, due to making them easy to spot in grass.
Best-rated soft toy
This hide-and-seek plush toy by Outward Hound is designed to be soft on teeth and gums. The squirrels can be hidden in the tree trunk to encourage your dogs to hunt them out, and reviewers said this was a great toy for keeping your pet occupied for long stretches. Though one owner admitted their dog was too unintelligent to realise they were supposed to get the squirrels out of the trunk, they enjoyed using this as a tug of war toy, and the squirrels, which emit a low squeak, entertained without annoying the owners. As many as 433 reviewers said it kept their dogs busy, including one owner who said it had been a godsend while she was working from home and fielding back-to-back Zoom calls. It was popular with dogs of all ages (not to mention breeds), but puppies were particularly fond of it — 1,213 puppy owners gave this five stars. This includes the owner of a five-month-old husky, who said their dog played with it until he fell asleep. Treats can be hidden in the trunk, but older dogs may be too over-eager; 444 reviewers wrote negative reviews after their dogs destroyed the toy within ten minutes. Many of these were working dogs, such as collies, who might require something more stimulating.
Best-rated chew toy
This chew toy has 69 percent five-star reviews, and 96 reviewers said their dogs loved trying to chew through it (none have succeeded, however). One reviewer noted that too-tough chew toys can cause dogs to get bored, but this slightly squishy option gave her staffy hours of satisfaction. Another reviewer bought this for her two Labradors, and it proved so popular she ordered a second to stop them fighting over it. Seventeen reviewers said it was excellent for tug of war due to the numerous angles the dog can grab onto it (one customer even hung theirs from a piece of rope on a tree branch to tire their dog out). While several reviewers noted the small spikes helped promote good dental hygiene by helping dislodge food, some smaller breeds might find this uncomfortable; owners of bulldogs and cockapoos both wrote that their pets didn’t like the feel of their spikes in their mouths.
Best-rated squeaky toy
This plush elephant (officially known as “Elmer”) was the best-rated squeaky toy, featuring 76 percent five-star reviews. As many as 352 reviewers gave positive reviews about the squeakiness — including a reviewer who said though the ears and tail have been relentlessly chewed by her Labrador, the squeak sounds as good as it does when she first bought it. It was also popular with puppy owners, whose new pets might want something soft to snuggle with at night without their litter. One reviewer says the substantial padding protects the squeak from too much damage, and her dog is overjoyed with the noise even on the hundredth squeak of the day. Another customer noted the impressive stitching; due to the limbs being stitched separately, a ripped leg or tail won’t cause the whole toy to fall apart. It even survived a hot cycle in the washing machine, according to one reviewer, who said the squeak was unaffected.
Best-rated rope toy
This set of ten rope toys came highly recommended by reviewers as they offered variety for dogs who could otherwise get bored. Fifty-two reviewers said they offered good value for money, including a dog owner whose pug could shred through a rope toy in minutes. Instead, this mixed set kept him entertained for hours. According to one customer, textile-based toys are more susceptible to being destroyed compared to rubber toys. These were perfect for her “gentle” dogs, but for her more aggressive terrier, she only let them play with the more durable rubber ring. Due to the likelihood of rope toys fraying, reviewers also recommended these for mature dogs only — no puppies.
Best-rated puzzle toy
This toy features compartments, locks, and other widgets to keep your dog focused and entertained. Some 191 reviewers said their dog loved playing with this toy, many of whom were ex-working dogs. These included the owner of a 45kg German shepherd who, despite being able to solve it in under a minute, never tired of finding treats. Another customer, whose poodle is a registered assistance dog, said it was a great way to keep their pet engaged and stimulated when they couldn’t take him out for a walk. It was also popular with several blind dogs, who often find play time harder due to the change in their spatial awareness. Thirty-four reviewers called it a well-made toy, although as it’s made of plastic, care should be taken to ensure the dog doesn’t break it (the manufacturer also advises not leaving your dog alone with this toy). Fifty-three reviewers also wrote that it was easy to clean.
The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.