Dogs may be man’s best friend, but they certainly aren’t the best companions for your furniture. From Huskies to Labs, we can rely on our furry friends to chew on our curtains, sofas, and dad’s slippers.
To avoid the slobber and mangled messes, dog tug toys are a brilliant alternative to entertain your canine companion.
The best tug toys for dogs will provide your pup with mental and physical stimulation while keeping them from indulging in any destructive chewing behavior.
But not all tug toys for dogs are the bee’s knees. We’ve compiled this guide to the best dog tug toys on the market right now, as well as some safety pointers to be aware of before you buy.
Let’s get down to it…
- Dog Tug of War Toys
- How to Find the Best Dog Tug Toys
- Can a Tug Toy Ever Be ‘Indestructible’?
- The Benefits of Dog Tug Toys
- Best Tug Toys For Dogs: Reviews
- Final Thoughts on Tug Toys
Dog Tug of War Toys
Not all dogs were created equal, and neither were all tug toys.
Huskies, in particular, are power chewers and can easily tear through low-quality toys.
See also: the best super-durable husky chew toys
The obvious safety hazard of choking is compounded by the likelihood of a torn-up plastic toy finding its way beneath our feet.
Moreover, when we spend our money on a toy for our dog, we expect it to last as long as possible – not to be chewed to smithereens within 10 minutes.
How to Find the Best Dog Tug Toys
Here’s what you need to look out for to find the best dog tug toys.
The best and most durable tug toys for dogs are made of sturdy materials, such as hard rubber.
That plushie isn’t going to last 5 minutes…
But be careful – you don’t want to purchase a tug toy that’s too hard as you may run the risk of it breaking your dog’s teeth.
Avoid the cheaper fabrics: these won’t last long when your husky gets their teeth into it and starts tugging. Most prominently, plush toys will not last long, and the stuffing could be dangerous if your pup ends up swallowing it.
Those of us owners who get annoyed by squeaker toys are in luck – we always recommend avoiding these as the squeaker can present your dog with a choking hazard.
A good alternative to tough rubber are rope toys – they’re tough and can even floss your dog’s teeth. Plus, if your dog accidentally swallows some of the rope strands, they will simply harmlessly pass straight through the digestive system. No harm, no foul!
There are several different types of dog tug toys to choose from. Here is a brief breakdown of each.
Handheld Tug Toys: You grab one end of this toy, and your dog grabs the other. Without its owner, this toy is just another chew toy. It is also one of the more common tug toy types. They are affordable, available in tons of styles, and allow you to have some bonding time with your canine companion.
Tether Tug Toys: This tug toy can be set up in the backyard so your dog can play tug of war with himself. It allows your dog to have some solo playtime and helps alleviate boredom. The downside to this kind of tug toy is that they can be more expensive, and there aren’t as many options available to choose from.
When looking for the best dog tug toys, make sure you have ample space available for playtime. Tug of war is a great game for bonding with your dog, but it is also a very physical game that demands a good amount of space. Also, make sure the toy is big enough so you can put a good amount of space between your hand and the dog’s mouth as you play. Always keep your hand out of harm’s way.
If you have a larger dog, tug of war can quickly turn into a game of strength. Avoid tug toys that have holes that can hook your fingers or something that can ultimately wrap around your hand. This can easily lead to injury during playtime. Your large dog may be pulling on the toy excitedly.
You wrap it around your hand to gain more leverage, and your dog, not knowing its own strength, pulls a bit too hard and hurts you. Look for a tug toy that can be grabbed with your fist and can be dropped in a hurry.
Can a Tug Toy Ever Be ‘Indestructible’?
Don’t be fooled by the labeling.
Many companies claim their tug toys are ‘indestructible’; however, this is not true.
Just like the Titanic wasn’t the ship that couldn’t sink, these dog tug toys will not last forever.
Some are certainly tougher than others, but all will eventually wear out one day. Our job is to help you find the dog tug of war toys that last for months rather than minutes.
Usually, the best and toughest toys are the most expensive – it’s best to think of them as a long-term investment.
The Benefits of Dog Tug Toys
Spending the time to find the right tug toy will pay off in the end.
They’re a brilliant outlet for your dog’s energy, and the more time they spend chewing their toy, the less time they’ll spend tearing up your house!
Large breeds like Huskies, Labs and Golden Retrievers require plenty of exercise every day to keep them happy and healthy. While playing with a tug toy can never replace the benefits of going for a walk, it can certainly act as a good slice of exercise in addition to your walks and training.
Plus, they’re fun!
Dogs are sociable creatures, so playing tug of war with your dog and their new toy will further strengthen your relationship. Using your tug toy together is a bonding experience and one that both owner and pup will cherish forever.
Now, without further ado – let’s find out which tug toys for dogs are worth our dollars.
Best Tug Toys For Dogs: Reviews
As you might be able to tell from the photo, this is a tug toy not to be messed with.
The Goughnuts TuG is probably the closest thing to indestructible that we have on this list. Designed with larger breeds in mind, it’s popular with power chewers and pups that really like to go to town on their toys.
Measuring 11 inches in length, this toy comprises two rings – one for your hand and one for your dog’s mouth – for the ultimate game of tug of war.
Safety is Goughnuts’ highest priority, and that’s reflected in the durability of this hard rubber toy. Fido will be hard-pressed to tear this to pieces!
It is slightly more expensive than some of the other toys on this list, but – as we stated before – it’s best to look at it as a long-term investment.
- Ultra-tough and durable
- Engages both the owner and dog for optimal interaction and bonding
- Also suitable for two dogs to play tug of war with
- Suitable for power chewers, pullers, and large breeds
- There is some flex in the rubber to allow your dog a nice chew
- An initial rubber smell on first unpacking
- It’s heavy – 1.6 lbs – and could hurt you if you drop it on your toes!
KONG is probably one of the best-known names in the dog toy market, and this, the KONG Wubba, is one of their bestsellers.
While it isn’t made of the hard rubber or rope that we would normally recommend, we’ve found the Wubba to be one of the most fun tug toys for mild to moderate chewers.
Bear in mind that this is a toy for tugging, not for chewing. It’s unsuitable for power chewers (check out that squeaker), but other pups with less strong jaws will undoubtedly love it.
This toy is designed around two balls, one a tennis ball and the other a squeaker ball which are encased in a nylon fabric. The toy is available in a variety of sizes and colors.
- Engaging and fun for mild to moderate chewers
- Surprisingly durable as long as you don’t let your pup chew through the nylon casing
- Has a soft mouth feel for a nice, satisfying chew
- Floats in the water
- Brightly colored so easy to spot when you’re out and about
- Always supervise your dog during play to ensure that they don’t chew through it
- Not suitable for power chewers
The West Paw Zogoflex dog tug toy is a lightweight chew toy that can be used for fetching, playing, and pet exercise. This dog tug toy can stretch to twice its length and is ideal for gentle chewers. It has a unique S-shaped design, making it great for a game of tug of war with your dog.
Since it is so lightweight, it can also be flung through the air for a game of catch. It is latex-free, non-toxic, and safe for your dog to chew.
The West Paw dog tug toy is also dishwasher safe, making it incredibly easy to clean between playtimes. Just stick it in your dishwasher’s top rack, and it’s good to go for another round.
- Made with love and recycled dog toys
- Easy to clean
- Not suitable for aggressive chewers
The Nerf Tire Infinity Dog Toy is made with Nerf-quality materials that make this dog tug toy tough. It also has a uniquely shaped design that makes it easy for your dog to pick up and tug. It has tire track texture on the exterior, allowing the dog owner to get an easy and secure grip.
The lightweight, durable, and weather and water-resistant Nerf tug toy is built to last. It is a suitable option for medium to large dog breeds. It was designed with your pet’s safety in mind and was tested to ensure hours of fun for you and your pooch.
- Designed for interactive play
- Designed and optimized for endless hours of play
- Durable construction that stands up to extended chewing
- Perfect for indoor and outdoor play
- Easy to clean
- Not a good choice for more aggressive chewers
- Ridges may be uncomfortable for some dogs
Ready to double your dog’s tug toy fun? This Lepawit dog toy comes in a pack of two. It is a cotton dog rope toy designed for small dogs to large dog breeds. It encourages interactivity and bonding time, allowing the pet parent to participate in the fun. One of the ropes included in this package is stretchy, while the other is not.
Not only are these tug toys great for playtime, but they will also prove beneficial when it comes to cleaning your dog’s teeth. The rope and silicone balls help clean away dental plaque and buildup and help prevent decay. It also encourages healthier chewing behaviors.
The large dog rope toy is made with cotton fiber materials and is high-quality and non-toxic, making these tug toys perfectly safe for your pooch.
- Promotes dental health
- Long-lasting fun with the ball made from a silica gel material
- Since it is stretchable, it is easier on the dog owner’s arm joints and back
- Design makes it easier for dog owner to control during playtime
- Not suitable for aggressive chewers
- Rope toys don’t last as long as rubber tug toy options
The Jolly Pets Jolly Tug Toy is an extra-large tug toy that is 14 and ½ inches in length. It is a suitable option for larger dogs weighing more than 60 pounds. It is designed with a patented squeaking assembly. It will squeak when both ends of the toy are tugged simultaneously.
Not only is it great for dog and owner bonding, but it is also a great toy for two dogs to play with and interact with at the same time. It is made with 100% non-toxic materials and comes in bright colors your dog is sure to notice.
There are ropes built into the handles of this tug toy to add to its overall durability. If your dog loves water play, this buoyant toy also floats so it won’t get lost.
- Available in three different size options
- Floats and is brightly colored
- Designed for interactive and collaborative play
- Durable and made to last
- More than affordable price point
- Material may tear due to aggressive chewing, but the ropes and rubber ball inside typically stay intact
- Take a strong pull on both ends to get it to squeak
This Tonka Tread chew tug dog toy is a great option for your more aggressive chewers. It is also suitable for all breed sizes, although it may be on the larger side and not suitable for small dogs. It is made with Tonka tough materials and is a highly visible bright yellow color. No matter how far you toss it during a game of fetch, your dog will always be able to find it.
At 15 inches long, this particular dog tug toy is more suitable for medium to large breed dogs and is made to be durable and tough. It can withstand even the more aggressive chewer and is great during dog training. Some have been known to chew away some of the tire’s rubber tread, but the tire as a whole typically stays intact.
- Made to be durable and long-lasting
- Can withstand excessive and aggressive chewing
- Comfortable for dog owner to hold and play without hurting their hand
- Lightweight and weather-resistant
- Better suited for larger dogs due to its size
Phew – by now, you should know all you’ll ever need to know about the best dog tug toy.
Always remember to buy a toy that’s appropriate for your dog’s size and chewing power. And don’t forget -often the best and most durable toys are some of the most expensive.
Which is your favorite tug of war dog toy?