There’s little in life that warms our hearts more than seeing our loved ones having the time of their lives. This goes for our pets as well! But what if we just don’t have the energy to play?
The answer to that is simple: Use a tug toy! Whether you want to give your dog the impression that you are as invested in playing as they are, or you just want to hear that cute growling noise they make, tug toys are wonderful for helping them get out that extra bit of energy at the end of the day.
In these reviews, we’ll show you our favorite tug toys on the market!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
The 7 Best Tug Toys for Dogs 2020
1. KONG KG1 Tug Toy – Best Overall
Is there a bigger name for dog toys and dog accessories than Kong? Whether it’s to store peanut butter or to bounce around and chase, Kong toys have been innovating playtime for pups for years now, and this toy is no different.
This is a great design. There’s one end for you to hold on to, and the other end for your pup to try to pull. A sturdy middle leads to the durability of this product. This is another trademark of the Kong brand. This is the type of rubber that even the most motivated of dogs will not be able to destroy — well, at least not right away.
This toy comes in three different sizes, depending on how much heft you need for your game of tug. This also makes for a decent throw toy, as the rubber construction will have it bouncing every which way, giving your dog a good game of chase!
The reaction to this toy largely depends on the type of dog you have. Let’s face it: Some breeds of dogs can go through any toy, no matter how strong it is. Folks with these types of pups seem to have an issue with this toy, and while we don’t entirely blame them, we understand that they may be actually more upset with the fact that there isn’t a strong enough toy in the world for their precious pup.
2. Mammoth 3-Knot Rope Tug Toy — Best Value
This is a classic tug toy: a rope with a knot (or a couple knots) in it. This is playfully colored, which is sure to pique your pup’s interest. It is also quite strong and great for any breed out there.
This fun toy is 20 inches long, so there is a good length for you to hold. This also serves a hygienic purpose: This rope toy will effectively floss your puppy’s teeth as they are playing with it. If that were the case with every toy, we’d never stop playing with our dogs!
Another perk of this toy is that while not indestructible, it might be the most durable dog toy that exists for those with stronger jaws. Considering the value and the life of the product, it’s pretty easy for us to call this the best tug toys for dogs for the money.
This might be the second most durable toy on the market, behind the rope tug toy. The rubber of this toy is 1.5 inches thick and made with large dogs in mind. At 11 inches long, you can have a serious game of tug with your favorite tug partner. Just take one look at this product, and you’ll realize how substantial it is.
This is another toy that can also be used for toss, testing the coordination of your fluffy friend. Not only does this bounce every which way, but it bounces really well!
There are a couple of things that we have to point out, though. One of them is that this isn’t for smaller pets. Really small dogs won’t even be able to get their mouths around it. The other is that this product has a bit of a weird odor to it, which can turn some dogs away. Those who aren’t turned away, though, absolutely love this toy, and you shouldn’t be surprised if this is the toy your pup brings with them to sleep.
4. West Paw Interactive Tug of War Toy
This is a classic design that you will probably recognize immediately. This is another rubber toy, but instead of having two solid pieces joined in the middle, this is just one piece with two handles. The upside of this is that you can get in there close with your pup when playing. The downside is that hand slips and teeth nips are more likely to happen.
This toy is 100% BPA free and made with the safety of your pet in mind. As it can stretch to twice its length, you can have epic games of tug or watch two pups go after the same toy! This product is less ideal for toss but still decent, nonetheless. This toy can be used for dogs of all sizes, but more powerful dogs can render this toy moot quickly.
While any dog toy has durability issues, this is the first one on this list that has significant durability issues. We would recommend this item for small dogs or small-medium dogs.
5. Redline K9 Dog Bite Tug Toy
Of all the designs we have reviewed so far, this is the least common. You don’t often see a toy like this in people’s homes. The reason is that this is a two-handed tug toy. The part your pup bites down on is in the middle, while you hold two handles around it, which means that you have to take a more active role in playtime.
This seems to be a good toy for smaller dogs and more of a comfort item for big dogs. The durability of this toy is suspect, though, so it might be best to have be an item that your pup can just prance around with to show off to everyone.
6. SodaPup Pull Tab Tug Toy
This is basically a big soda tab, as the name of the company would suggest, but instead of being used to crack open a can of pop, it’s used to crack up your favorite pup! One end of this is thicker than the other, and it is recommended that small dogs use the thinner side while larger dogs use the thicker side. This is similar to our product from Goughnuts, though nowhere near as durable.
The rubber construction of this toy is made with safety in mind. This toy is non-toxic and fully FDA compliant. If this somehow survives your dog, it is completely biodegradable. Of course, SodaPup knows that no dog toy will ever make it that long, and they urge their customers to regularly check the state of the toy and to get a new one if it shows signs of cracking.
If this toy lasts long enough to get gross, it is completely dishwasher safe. It’s made of a material called Puppyprene rubber, manufactured in the United States.
This toy is maybe the least durable on our list so far, unfortunately, and offers another issue: It is super stretchy but also easy to lose grip of. We have heard reports of people losing their grip, and this toy sling shooting back and bonking their doggo on the nose!
7. Nerf Dog Tug Durable Dog Toy
If you thought Nerf was only responsible for far-flying footballs and toy guns, then think again. Your favorite childhood toy manufacturer can now be your dog’s, and that is a cool thing to share.
The outside of this one-piece toy looks like a car tire. This is useful for both you and your dog, as it will give both of you superior grip. The one-piece construction would lead you to believe that it is super durable, especially since this is made for medium- to large-sized dogs. Well, this toy suffers the same fate as most dog toys. It just doesn’t hold up to the adorably powerful jaws of bigger dogs. While the novelty of a Nerf dog toy might be awesome, the reality is less so.
The most important thing to think about when you are buying a tug toy is the safety of your pup. This includes the durability of the toy and what the toy is made of. You’ll want to avoid toys made with any BPA in them.
Outside of that, it comes down to what you are comfortable with. Some people don’t give tug toys to their pets because it could teach them bad habits. We do think it is best to consult a dog trainer before buying your dog one of these toys.
While you’re probably excited to shop for your pup, they will be even more excited when you come home with a brand-new tug toy! There are quite a few options out there, but what are the ones that you just can’t let go of? It’s hard to pass up a toy from Kong, as they are widely regarded as the best. Of course, our value pick from Mammoth is special as well. Whatever you wind up getting, we know exactly who will be trying to yank it from you soon!
Featured Image: Tug Toy/Kong, Amazon
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 7 Best Tug Toys for Dogs 2020
- Buyer’s Guide