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Whether you are crate training your puppy or trying to keep him contained for one reason or the other, you need to ensure he stays safe and happy the entire time. When left alone in the crate, any dog can easily get bored and stressed, especially if he’s a puppy. He needs mental stimulation to keep him entertained. Dog crate toys will get the job done. In particular, here are the top benefits of leaving a few toys in your pup’s crate:
- It gives him something to occupy his mind, stirring up what’s otherwise an unexciting environment.
- It offers him a perfect alternative to chewing his crate bedding.
- It reduces your pup’s urge to chew your belongings once he is out of the crate.
- It makes your pup to associate crating with having a good time with his favorite things, boosting his crating experience.
But not all toys qualify as great crate toys for bored dogs nor are all toys safe to be left in a dog crate. Every dog is also different. Some are not ready for the privilege of having chew or any other type of toy left in their crates unsupervised. Dogs that are just beginning their crate training are also likely to behave differently from their counterparts that are already used to their crates. You understand your pup and his situation best, but the most important thing is finding toys that excite your dog and ensure his safety at all times. To make your work of choosing the best toys for your pup, here is a review of the 15 leading crate toys for dogs in the market.
The KONG Classic has been around for more than four decades and has passed the quality, safety, and durability test. Pet owners all over the world have fallen in love with this product as it is a clear winner in the dog crate toys category. For one, it is made from a durable rubber material that bounces erratically giving your pup a fun time chewing it. Regardless of how aggressive your canine buddy is, the toy is absolutely safe for him. It is too big to choke him and too sturdy to break apart. To keep your Fido engaged in your absence, fill up the toy with his favorite kibble and treats. You can even freeze it up to give your dog a cool and refreshing toy to play with when it is hot. KONG Classic is available in six sizes (from extra small to XXL).
Leaving your canine buddy in his crate for a few hours? He needs a good toy to keep his brain excited without being a hazard for him. The PetSafe Tug-A-Jug Dog Toy meets both criteria. Its design encourages just about any bored and curious pup to chew on it. Just fill it with a snack or treat and let your Fido have it. He will go crazy trying to find out how to get the snack out. In the process, he will clean his teeth and learn how to feed slowly. This product is made from natural BPA-free materials that are absolutely dog-safe.
How about an interactive dog that kills two birds with one stone? The Nina Ottosson is designed to kill boredom while teaching your dog a few mental tricks as well. With snacks hidden in the toy, your pup will have to struggle to get them out by pulling the discs via his nose or paw. If he does it with ease, feel free to increase the difficulty to levels 2 and 3 to keep him alert and stimulated. Even without supervision, rest easy knowing that this toy is completely safe for your furry friend. It has a durable composite construction that is tough and doesn’t have unbreakable parts.
The Idepet Dog Ball Toy is a sturdy rubber dog toy that is excellent for a dog in a crate. It is resistant to biting and offers excellent elasticity. Even in your absence, the toy will offer a safe company for your dog. Add lots of treats in the toy’s grooves and let him dig them out with his teeth, tongue, and paws. The toy will ensure his teeth stay clean all while stimulating his brain.
A good dog crate toy should be able to calm a nervous canine in his crate. It should be adventurous and safe in equal measure. The Smart PetLove Snuggle Puppy Toy is a stuffed animal with a heartbeat and warmth that offers your pup the assurance that all is well around him. If you have a brand-new puppy having a hard time staying in the crate, you might want to give him this toy to calm him down.
Want a chew toy that boosts your dog’s IQ while keeping his mental and gut health in check? OurPets IQ Interactive Treat Ball Dog Toy fits the bill. It is essentially a feeding bowl full of treats. To access them, your pooch has to roll it around. The toy is made to dispense the treats in a slow-motion and is thus great for fast feeders. It is designed using durable, non-toxic, and strong plastic that will withstand chewing, biting, and pulling. For your convenience, the toy can be conveniently twisted for easy cleaning.
The Moropaky Puppy Toy is another heartbeat dog toy perfect for calming a nervous, stressed, or anxious dog. It is a stuffed animal with a heat source and a heartbeat. When placed in a crate where your mutt lies, it mimics the beat and warmth of your heart and gives him the calm he needs to sleep. The toy’s fabric is soft and will ensure your dog stays comfortable. Sadly, like many other stuffed animals, this toy is not a very good chew toy. You will have to supervise your pup when playing with it.
Crate training can be overwhelming on your dog. This is why you must ensure he is happy and entertained through this dog toy from WEST PAW. Its design allows for filling it up with snacks or kibble. Pet owners can freeze it with chicken broth inside to offer some cooling goodness for your dog. Most importantly, this product is made from Zogoflex—a strong and non-toxic material. You can go about your business knowing that your canine buddy will be safe utilizing the toy in his crate. The toy can also be used for outdoor play such as fetch, throwing, and chase.
The Starmark Treat Dispensing Dog Ball Toy is a wonderful interactive crate toy offering plenty of entertainment for your Fido. It is another rubber construction that is very strong and durable. This material is great as it doesn’t break into fragments that may choke your dog. It is perfect for overly aggressive chewers. Add your dog’s kibble or snack and let him keep himself entertained for hours on end while you are away.
Sometimes a dog on a crate needs variety when it comes to his toys. This is why the PetSafe Busy Buddy Dog Toy comes with two different designs of fun toys. Both toys are constructed with materials that are durable and non-toxic, so safety is a guarantee. They hold up well to aggressive chewing, biting, and pulling. The toys are designed for medium-sized pets but if you have a larger pup at home, don’t worry; simply trim the openings and let him enjoy playing with it. The rubber material utilized is scented with chamomile to soothe and calm your four-legged friend.
The Benebone Real Bacon Dog Chew is a super-strong toy shaped like a bone and even stronger than the real thing. If you have a strong chewer that can chew through anything, this is one of the best dog crate toys you should get him. It is seasoned with real bacon and is therefore easy on the taste buds. Your dog will enjoy exploring it with his mouth for long periods of time. It is shaped to encourage easy gripping, so your dog has a good experience playing with the toy. Benebone uses some of the profits of the toy sales to help animal rescue centers, so buying the toy means extending a hand to these institutions as well.
With a rating of 5 out of 5 on the chompers Orbee’s Durability Scale, the Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Diamond Dog Ball is a very strong product. Not even a strong chewer can tear it apart. The ball boasts the strength of a diamond and is a wonderful accessory for an aggressive chewer or a big dog. It is made in the USA using non-toxic materials, so you are guaranteed of its quality and safety. The toy is buoyant, minty, bouncy, and recyclable.
Here’s another awesome bone meant to kill your dog’s boredom when in the crate. Made with nylon, this toy is one of the strongest chew toys out there. It is actually made for tough chewers of over 50 pounds of body weight. This one even has bristles on its surface to help clean the gums and prevent tartar buildup. To entice your dog, the bone has a peanut butter flavor that almost all pups go crazy for.
The EETOYS Dog Toy is constructed with nylon and also utilizes the EETOY’S special Smooth Scrape Technology to make it firm. Compared to other bone toys out there, this toy scores very high on the durability index. You can leave your dog to play with it unsupervised and get to your tasks without worrying about it breaking into smaller fragments. Just smear some peanut butter on it and let your pup lick it off while playing with it.
Last but not least, we have the SPOT Flip ‘N Slide Treat Dispenser for Dogs. This toy has a durable construction that holds up very well to aggressive and overly active pups. It features several compartments from where treats are placed. Some of the pieces lift up to dispense treats and others slide. We also love the fact that the toy has rubber feet to secure it on the floor when the dog is busy chewing on it.
Types of Toys That Are Safe to Leave in a Dog’s Crate
A. The following are some of the best types of toys that are safe to leave in your pup’s crate:
Interactive or puzzle toys are excellent for mentally stimulating your dog and keeping him entertained while in the crate. Most puzzle toys are also sturdy enough to withstand your dog’s chewing behavior yet pliable enough not to pose fracture risk to your Fido’s teeth.
Strong and Durable Toys
If your dog is an aggressive chewer and can destroy most toys, the best dog crate toys to get him are those made of strong and durable materials—toys that can stand up to his powerful jaws but still soft enough to prevent fracturing his teeth.
Related Post: 17 Safe Dog Chews for Aggressive Chewers
Treat-filled tough toys
Tough rubber toys that you can fill with treats and freeze can keep your puppy or dog engaged in what’s commonly referred to as ‘occupational chewing’. He will be happy, relaxed, and have something to work on besides his crate bedding.
While it is not recommended to leave your dog play with or gnaw bone toys unsupervised, antlers provide enjoyable and safe gnawing for extended periods. Antlers are not only durable and tough but will also not splinter into risky shards.
Some Stuffies for Nibblers
If you have a nibbler, then there are stuffed toys that will just be enough to give him the comfort and entertainment that he needs while he is in a crate. For a new puppy, a heartbeat dog toy can go a long way in providing much-needed comfort, especially during the first new nights. However, once he begins chewing with vigor, avoid leaving any soft toys with him in a crate to avoid choking risks.
Related Post: 10 Best Heartbeat Dog Toys
B. The following are the worst toys to leave in your pup’s crate:
- Soft, stuffed, & Squeaky toys: Serious chewers are likely to destroy, chew up these toys, and potentially ingest these toys.
- Bones: Some bones, especially cooked options, can become brittle and break into small, sharp pieces that can injure your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
- Rope Toys: These can be shredded and swallowed by your dog, causing life-threatening intestinal blockages.
- Small Toys: Toy size matters. Toys that are too small for your dog can be choking hazards.
- Rubber, squeaky, and traditional tennis balls: These ball toys are easy to destroy. But if your dog swallows their pieces, they could get stuck in his gastrointestinal tract.
Raw Hides: Aggressive chewers can tear and swallow large chunks of rawhide treats. This can pose a choking hazard since rawhides are not easily digested.
Related Post: 15 Healthy Alternatives to Pig Ear Chews for Dogs
Disclaimer: No Toy is 100% safe for Aggressive Chewers
There are reports of dogs that have managed to chew some of the toughest toys in the market—including the black Kongs. So, if you own an aggressive chewer, scattering some kibble in his crate may be the only safe solution. Kibble won’t keep him busy for long as some of the toys we’ve recommended above, but it might be the safest choice for him.
Crate Toys for Dogs: Conclusion
There it is: the list of the best 15 safe and quality crate toys for dogs. If you’ve been wondering where to get toys to keep your pup busy and safe while on the crate, this list would be a great place to start. Just remember that not all the dog crate toys we’ve listed are right for your furbaby. Dogs’ preferences and needs vary, so it is up to you to choose what’s right for your pup.
Sable M. is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.