Buying your dog a new toy benefits you both. Your dog loves the novelty of a new toy, and you get to delight in your dog’s excitement when you bring him a surprise gift.

I recently bought Woof Reporter Larry (pictured) a few new toys – while there’s certainly no dog toy shortage at home, it’s always fun to treat him. And it’s much too easy to rationalize the purchases when I can share my finding with woof readers!

So here they are…handpicked as always and not advertisements, purchased myself so Larry, the good boy he is, could give them a try for us.


Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Toy

kyjen-squirrel-dog-toyFew toys are cuter than the Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Toy. Stuff the three adorable squirrel toys into their tree stump home and let your pup pull them out of the holes. It’s challenging and even better, the squirrels squeak. It’s available in three sizes, including a small size for small pups: $8.97-$10.97. Replacement squirrels are available too!

While this toy and many variations of it have been around for years, I was hesitant to buy it for Larry. After all, he eats plush toys. However, he adores this toy and it’s more durable than it appears. While Larry has eaten all of the ears, whiskers and charming tuffs of hair off the squirrels, and one is now missing legs, he plays with this toy constantly, delivering squirrels around the house and carrying the tree house in his mouth (and shaking it quite a bit too). This is one of his all-time favorite toys!


Seek-A-Treat Dog Toys

shuffle-boneWith Drs. Foster & Smith Seek-A-Treat Dog Toys, you can test your dog’s treat-finding skills and provide mental stimulation. Add treats, cover them with the sliding pieces or flaps and watch your dog get to work. Two options, Flip N’ Flap or Shuffle Bone, $17.99.

I had considered purchasing one of Nina Ottosson’s highly-rated interactive games, but at $35-$60 each, it seemed best to start with a lower price option. Larry received the Shuffle Bone and any game involving treats works for him. The toy was challenging for him and it was interesting to watch him use his nose, and to a lesser extent his paws, to move the flaps to uncover the treats, and improve over time. Since Larry’s such an active pup, I’d probably choose an interactive game that gets him moving more.


KONG Pet Stix

kong-stixThe KONG Pet Stix Dog Toy is relatively new item from Kong. It’s an interactive toss and tug toy that’s great for indoor or outdoor use, and meant for supervised play. It’s made of durable nylon and available in three sizes, 11 to 17.5 inches, so there’s a size for every dog, $6.99 – $9.99.

Larry loves this toy! He has the large size and never wants to stop fetching and playing tug with it, it’s another of his favorites. He did puncture the nylon with his teeth in a few spots and the toy remained in tact, but heavy chewers may do more damage. As the product description states, it’s a toy for playing with your dog, not a chew toy. Overall, a fun find.


KONG Air Dog Squeakair Tennis Balls and Football

kong-tennis-ballWhat’s better than a tennis ball? A tennis ball that squeaks! These high quality KONG Air Squeakair Tennis Balls are made in the USA and with non-toxic felt covering specially designed not to wear down dogs’ teeth as they play. The balls also float, and they’re available in multi-packs and in various sizes, $4.31 and up.

What can I say – Larry loves these balls too!  In addition to fetch, they’re great for keeping him nearby at off leash parks and beaches. When he hears a little squeak from the ball, he’s by my side (and eager to play fetch). He also loves the KONG Air Squeakair Football.


The Scoop:

Please share your favorite toy finds in the Comments section below!


Find more fun toys in the Pup-Perfect Toys & Beyond category in the Tip Archive.