Most pet owners have a love/hate relationship with plush toys. Our dog's go crazy for them, but their instincts tell them to take the insides and make them outsides.
They shake and chew and stalk these little creatures, just like they would if they were hunting real prey. They also destroy them almost immediately. They throw fluff and bits of fabric shrapnel all over your house, and worst of all they try to eat all the inedible shreds of fuzz and squeakers. It can feel like such a waste of money.
Plush toys may not be right for every dog, especially extremely aggressive chewers, but for some dogs, it can provide mental stimulation and satisfy their natural impulse to hunt. You don't have to give them plush toys all the time, but it's an occasional, appreciated treat.
Next time you're looking for a pleasant surprise for your dog, try one of our best-selling plush dog toys, it'll make your dog's day.
Top 10 Plush Toys of 2018
10. Spot Skinneez
Skinneez, named for their lack of stuffing materials, are available in a huge selection of animal styles and sizes to help you find the best most exciting option for your dog. They are extremely lightweight and of course, still contain that precious squeaker to encourage your dog's hunting habits. Use Skinneez for fetch, tug or hide and seek games. These realistic looking toys are ideal for hunting and retrieving breeds too.
9. Smart Pet Love Tender-Tuffs
Tender-Tuff toys use a proprietary TearBlock technology to provide a more durable plush toy experience. Smart Pet love makes toy options for all types of playing and for all sizes of dog. Although your dog will play however they feel comfortable during solo play-times, Tender-Tuff has specific lines to encourage fetching, tugging and shaking during interactive play.
Perfectly sized options for both small or large breeds are available, and the comfort line is ideal for new puppies who desire to nap with a soft, cozy friend.
8. Tall Tails Natural Leather
These toys are made using natural leather, wool felt coverings and heavy duty stitching in a variety of sizes and adorable shapes. Tall Tails has tug options that are made of natural untreated cotton rope to make this plush more versatile and interactive. All of their natural leather products are free of any chemicals and artificial colours or flavours, making this toy not only durable but safe.
7. Beco Pets Family
Beco focuses heavily on responsible and sustainable sourcing and manufacturing. Their plush family toys are high-quality and ethically manufactured with the eco-friendly use of recycled plastic bottles. Each double-stitched toy uses approximately 15 recycled bottles. Each durable plush toy is sourced and manufactured in the UK and is available in a variety of cute animals, like Toby the Bear.
6. Kong Plush
Everyone recognizes the name Kong, but you may not know how extensive the Kong line is. Kong massive selection of plush toys provides an option for every dog and play preferences. With over 40+ plush lines to choose from, Kong plush toys are widely available and reasonably priced. Some of our favourites include Kong Cozies, Layers and the cutest of them all, the Kiddos line.
5. Outward Hound Invincibles
Invincibles are awesome for dogs that play a little rougher with their plush toys. These toys have no stuffing materials, and instead, use giant squeakers that continue to squeak even after they are punctured. All Invincibles are double layered and double stitched for extra durability and extended play-time.
Made for breeds of all sizes, these toys are lightweight and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They Invincibles Snakes are great for tug games and more interactive play.
4. All For Paws Classics
AFP Classic are realistic looking toys and are ideal for hunting and retrieving breeds. Use them for fetch and hide-and-seek games to provide mental stimulation and encourage your dog's instincts. From beavers to frogs to rabbits, the classics line contains all the animals of the rainbow to tempt your prey-driven pooch. Options with or without stuffing and a variety of squeaker shapes will help you find the style that is best for your dog's play style.
3. West Paw Rowdies
Of course, we have raved about this brand before, it's awesome, and we love West Paw. Read our blog about the most durable toys to find out what sparked our love of this brand. West Paw Rowdies are cute, durable, fuzzy monsters that use a proprietary fabric called HardyTex, combined with the same Zogoflex material used in their tough toys line. Backed with a 100% "Love It Guarantee" choosing West Paw is a no-brainer if you are looking for quality and durable plush toys.
Another of our favourite brands here at Homes Alive Pets, the Tuffy's line is super tough. They have an assortment of cute and cool animals, dinosaurs and shapes to try. They rate their toys based on durability, and although the shapes are usually the most durable, we can't resist the dinosaurs.
They make toys for all shapes and sizes from extra small to extra giant - up to 27 inches tall! Seven rows of stitching holding together seven rows of fabric are then improved upon with an additional layer of webbing for the mega and ultimate sizes to make this the most intense plush toys in the game.
1. Zippy Paws
Our #1 plush toys line is Zippy Paws! They have continued to wow us with their creative designs and versatile selection. The burrow line is great for foraging and mind games while the over 20 other lines fill the roles of fetch, chew, tug and cuddle. They have a variety of unique squeaker shapes to suit different play-styles, and all of their designs are hand drawn, making them truly original.
For something a little tougher, try the Z-Stitch Grunterz, a prehistoric line of tough, plush toys that use a zig-zag stitch pattern to increase its toughness and a low pitched grunting squeaker for those of us who are tired of hearing that high pitched squeak all day long.
Although many of the plush toys on this list are durable, they are far from indestructible. If ingested, squeakers can be very dangerous. Most squeakers are small enough to be swallowed whole and could be a potential choking hazard.
Furthermore, squeakers are made of inedible materials that can cause severe digestive issues, including but not limited to intestinal blockages. If your dog does remove the squeaker from the toys, remove it and throw it away immediately.
Encourage Interactive Play-time
We know that plush toys aren't the staple toy in every household, but they are fun and exciting. Try using plush toys as a reward in lieu of treats for pet's with weight or health issues.
They also make excellent gift ideas for your pet or a friend's. Gifts should be exciting and something they wouldn't normally get, so if plush toys are something you've been avoiding, they could be the perfect stocking stuffer or birthday gift to make your pet's day.
To extend the life of plush toys, use them exclusively during monitored play. Put them away when your dog is unsupervised, and they will be all the more excited to include you in their play routine when that coveted plush toy makes another appearance.
If your dog is basically a canine wood chipper for toys, then you are better off choosing a more durable toy, like the ones from our list of toughest dog toys.