A casual search for “dog toys” on Amazon.com produces more than 70,000 results, though just picking the top five (per Amazon) could be enough to entertain kerries and owners alike. But, is it wise to order pet toys online, vs. checking them out in person (and with dog) at a local pet supplies store?
#1: The NylaBone Dura Chew (about $7 on Amazon.com) is advertised as a durable nylon chew toy for aggressive chewers. The product offers a textured dog chew toy that keeps dogs busy and entertained, per its manufacturer, and satisfies the natural urge to chew. The manufacturer offers that dogs are chewers by nature and need mental and physical stimulation. If they’re not engaged enough, the company says, a dog may choose to create their own fun with _your_ toys, rather than the dog’s. The chew contains a flavor medley suggested to satisfy those dogs who require a buffet experience from their toys. Human consumers generally agree that this chew toy is long-lasting, but many note that over time, the chewy becomes abrasive and can develop many sharp projectile points, such that some owners removed the toy from the rotation before it was fully consumed. Also, the toy is blamed for a few cracked teeth and associated vet bills.
#2: Multipet Duckworth Duck (about $8 on Amazon.com) is advertised as being great for fetch and play, complete with squeaker, a large toy at 13” and plush filled. The toy is endearing and many owners report their pet sleeping with the toy clutched in the pet’s paws, however, the manufacturer states clearly that pets should be supervised while playing with toys and all damaged toys should be discarded. This seems to be good advice, as many reviewers found that the toy lasted only a few days before being ripped apart and the squeaker destroyed, and also many reviewers reported receiving smaller DDs than advertised, with poor quality.
#3: Allstar Innovations Wobble Wag Giggle Ball (about $12) is described as a great gadget to keep your dog happy, healthy, and fit, entertaining your furry friend because the ball emits “Giggle Sounds” when rolled or shaken. Frankly, this reviewer find the idea of a giggling dog toy to be about on par with listening to Barney the Purple Dinosaur on automatic repeat, however even those souls were were tolerant enough to let this product into their house found that medium and large dogs destroyed the ball in a matter of days (this reviewer can understand their motivation).
#4 and #5: Chuckit! ball and launcher (pricing for the Chuckit! balls vary; launcher is about $6 on Amazon) come in high-visibility colors, such that pets and pet parents can easily spot the bright blue and orange dog ball during outdoor play (and not lose them quite as often). On hard surfaces, the ball gives good height and distance per bounce, encouraging dogs to leap and jump, while knobs and ridges on some of the balls makes the bound unpredictable and keeps dogs agile in the chase. The balls also float in water, making them appropriate for playtime near ponds or at the beach. The Chuckit! launcher revamps the classic game of chasing a ball by enhancing the human’s throwing speed and distance -- with less effort for the human and more running for the dog. While many reviewers cite that the Chuckit! balls appear to be of inconsistent quality and durability, the launcher remains beloved for its powerful throwing ability, its usefulness in scooping up and throwing slimy dog toys without having to touch them, and its long handle that saves human shoulders from the hazards of repetitive high-speed throwing and saves human backs from the hazards of bending all the way to the ground to pick up a ball for the next throw.
Not far behind on Amazon’s list were rope toys (some marketed by rescue organizations, such as pacificpup rescue rope toys, donate a portion of their proceeds
to rescue), and the Kong, favored for durability among all but the most destructive chewers, but associated with a certain amount of cringing due to
its tendency to get slimy between throws.
The bottom line? It’s probably best to buy your dog’s toys, when feasible, from a local store. Shopping local for dog dogs gives you the chance to determine quality and toughness before you buy, and if the product isn’t up to your dog’s standards, you’re able to bring it back to the store for a refund or replacement.