Best toys for small dogs 1

October 15, 2022

What to consider when shopping for dog toys

There are plenty of toys out there for all kinds of dogs, whether they’re young puppies or large, aggressive chewers. And dogs usually have their own preferences when it comes to what they like to play with. “Take your pup to a local store and let them pick out their toy — it’s so much fun to see what your dog prefers,” said Khara Schuetzner, a certified professional dog trainer and owner of training facility The Doggie Spot, which also sells dog toys in its store in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Choosing the right toy for your dog can depend on a few factors, including your dog’s size and their activity level. Experts broke down what to consider when shopping for a dog toy.


It’s important to buy toys suitable for your dog’s size — large dogs, for example, should avoid small toys that they can swallow or potentially choke on. “If you’re getting a toy that they are going to be chewing on, you want to make sure that it’s not a toy that they can actually [fit] into their mouth and potentially swallow,” said Mark Forrest Patrick, owner of Tuxedo’s K9 Training Camp, Inc. “I always tell people that if the dog can put it in their mouth and it sticks out the side of their mouth, then it is big enough that they can’t swallow it,” he added.


The material a dog toy is made of can present all new challenges. You should always be checking labels to ensure toys don’t include dangerous fillings like nutshells and polystyrene beads, according to The Humane Society. Even the most common materials used to stuff dog toys — including polyester fiberfill — aren’t fully digestible (this can be a problem if your dog is known to destroy their toys and other possessions).

Kong Wubba

Our experts widely recommended Kong toys for all types of dogs since they’re durable and come in a variety of styles to fit your pet’s play preferences. The Kong Wubba is offered in small, large and extra-large sizes and can be a good option for both solo and interactive play, according to Schuetzner. The toy has tassels for the dogs to grab, as well as squeaks to engage your pup. And if they’re inclined to shake or tug at toys, the Wubba is made from a durable reinforced nylon that can avoid easy ripping and tearing, according to Kong.

Dog Tug of War and Fetch Toy (Assorted Colors)

Kong Wubba Toy

Chuckit! Breathe Right Fetch 2 Ball Set

The hollow and mesh-like design of Chuckit!’s Breathe Right ball can facilitate airflow to your dog’s lungs while running and fetching, which can be especially useful for small breed dogs with breathing problems, according to the brand. The ball is made from lightweight natural rubber, floats in water and can even be stuffed with treats thanks to its open design, the brand says.

Dog Toy

Clean Run Biggies Bungee Bunny Pouch

Schuetzner said she’s a fan of tug toys since they give the owner a chance to join in on the fun — she recommended this mini pouch for small dogs since “it’s soft for the dog to bite down on and you can hide treats in the pouch to encourage your dog to bite it.” The “bungee” handle is made from soft-touch nylon and is designed to act as a shock absorber between you and your dog while playing — it provides a good amount of resistance for your dog without you having to pull too hard, according to the brand.

Bungee Bunny Pouch

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