- What are the Best Dog Toys Made in the USA?
- What to Look for in a Good Dog Toy Made in the USA
- Overall Best Dog Toys Made in the USA
- Overall Best Dog Toys Made in the USA for Puppies
- Tips for Playing with Your Made-in-the-USA Dog Toy
- Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to spot a high quality toy. After all, many types of toys look fairly simple. How can you tell the difference between a well-made rope toy and a poorly-made one? What features should you look for in a cuddling toy?
Many people feel buying dog toys made in the USA is the first step towards ensuring high overall quality. American-made toys are generally built to last with durable components. Plus, toys made overseas lack the same manufacturing oversight found here.
If you’re looking for the best dog toys made in the USA, you’re in the right place. Check out our top recommendations for 2021, including four options for adult dogs and three for puppies. Then, check out our complete guide to finding the best American-made toys for your dog based on breed and personality.
When buying dog toys, USA-made is often the best way to go. Here’s what you need to know:
What are the Best Dog Toys Made in the USA?
Are you and your pup ready to play? Here’s a quick look at our top recommendations so you can jump right into the fun:
What to Look for in a Good Dog Toy Made in the USA
Remember, American-made is only the starting point. Just because a toy is made in the US doesn’t automatically make it awesome. Instead, once you find a toy made in America, you want to take a closer look at its features. Here’s what to consider:
Dog toys are divided into four general categories:
- Fetch toys – Tennis balls, frisbees, ball launchers, and other toys that dogs can fetch
- Chew Toys – Rope toys, Kongs and other toys that your dog can chew on
- Interactive Toys – Puzzle toys, hide-and-seek toys, and other toys that engage your dog’s mind
- Companion Toys – Plush stuffed animals, blankets and other toys for your dog to snuggle with
Your dog should have a variety of each of the four toy types. However, some dogs prefer certain types more than others. For example, Pitbulls love to chew, so they’ll likely benefit from a few extra chew toys (while still having other types of toys, too).
Next, check out the toy’s durability. You don’t want your dog to destroy the toy within a few days. Not only is that a waste of money, but it’s also a safety hazard, as your dog risks accidentally swallowing small parts.
Dog toys in the US aren’t classified as consumer products, which means they’re not subject to federal safety standards in the way many products are. However, they’re still substantially safer than many toys made overseas. Foreign companies have practically non-existent accountability, but a US-based company needs to make sure their toys are safe, or they’ll go out of business fast.
Dogs use their mouths to play. You want to make sure all of their toys are safe to chew. Look for BPS-free plastic. BPS is an industrial chemical known to cause lots of health problems.
Make sure the material can’t splinter easily. Along those same lines, avoid any toys made from real wood. Also, watch out for any small buttons, zippers, or other parts that can potentially pose a choking risk.
The size of the toy should suit the size of your dog. If a small dog plays with a toy that’s too big, he can accidentally become wrapped up or injured. If a large dog plays with a toy that’s too small, he can accidentally choke on it. Always follow the manufacturer’s sizing recommendation.
The better you understand how your dog likes to play, the easier time you’ll have picking toys that he’ll enjoy. If your dog is purebred, the American Kennel Club is an excellent resource for learning more about breed-specific traits. For mixed dogs, check out the traits for each breed.
Of course, dogs have individual personalities, too. Is your dog built for running? He’ll want plenty of fetch toys. Does he grow restless or bored? Puzzle toys help engage his mind. Give your dog a variety of different toys so you can learn which type he likes best.
Overall Best Dog Toys Made in the USA
|Our 2021 Picks: Best Dog Toys Made In the USA|
Let’s start with our four favorites for adult dogs, followed by three recommendations for puppies:
Our top choice is this fetch, chew, and tug-of-war toy from USA Bones & Chews. All elements are proudly made in America.
Your dog can play fetch and tug-o-war with you, or he can play with the toy independently by chewing on the rope and hooves. Beware: The hooves do have a strong smell, but dogs love it! Still, many pet parents prefer this toy remains outside.
As you’d expect from a product made in the USA, the quality is high. The cotton blend rope is strong but durable, and the hooves are bleach and formaldehyde-free with no artificial colors or flavors.
Regular play promotes not only physical activity and bonding, but also good dental health. When chewing on the rope, the threads slip between teeth to help remove debris. Additionally, chewing on the hoof can help reduce plaque buildup.
Kong has an excellent reputation for durability and overall high-quality. Even better, they’re an American company based in Golder, Colorado. One of their most popular toys is their line of Cozies, including Bailey the Blue Dog.
Each Cozie is a soft plush toy with an extra layer of material to withstand even tough chewing from large breeds. Additionally, they’re made with minimal filling, so even if your dog manages to tear the material, you’re not faced with a mess.
They’re great as chew, fetch, and comfort toys. An internal squeaker increases engagement by providing audio feedback. Aside from Bailey the Blue Dog, nine other delightful characters are also available.
Billed as “The Original Squeaky Plush Dog Toy,” this toy from MultiPet is loads of noisy fun. It’s long and fuzzy, so dogs love to grab it, chew on it, and shake it. It’s also great for a game of fetch.
MultiPet is an American company located in Moonachie, New Jersey. They’ve been in business since 1995, so they’ve firmly established themselves as a trustworthy brand that cares about the safety of their four-legged customers.
Finally, it’s an excellent toy for practically any size and breed of dog. It’s available in four sizes (Mini, Small, Large, and Jumbo) and five colors (blue, purple, yellow, green, and red).
GoughNuts is an American company dedicated to fun and safety. Their Ring Dog Toy is a chew toy with a unique twist. It’s made from two layers, so as your dog chews, the color changes. When it’s green, it’s safe to chew. When it’s red, it’s time for a replacement.
You no longer have to guess about the state of your dog’s chew toys to determine whether or not it’s a chewing hazard.
Safety isn’t the only awesome feature here. Overall, the ring is made from durable and non-toxic natural rubber. It bounces and rolls across any surface, making it perfect for both indoor and outdoor games of fetch. It floats, too!
Overall Best Dog Toys Made in the USA for Puppies
Puppies need toys that suit their small stature and also meet their specific play needs. Here’s a look at our three favorites for 2021:
For over 50 years, the New Jersey-based Nylabone has manufactured a full range of high-quality dog toys, with an emphasis on chew toys. This teething ring chew toy is one of their most popular products.
It contains three rings of different shapes. Each is covered with various textures that stimulate gums and help soothe the pain associated with teething.
Although primarily a teething toy, it also works well as a fetch toy. Of course, you want to play gently, as this toy is designed for pups with baby teeth and who weigh less than 15 pounds.
Standard-sized Kong toys are too big and heavy for puppies to play with, but this pint-sized version is perfect. It’s made from all-natural rubber, so it’s durable enough to withstand heavy chewing while still remaining soft and flexible.
The unique shape and contours of the bell allow your puppy to chew on it using all 28 of his baby teeth. Plus, you can fill the inside of the Kong with treats like kibble or peanut butter. Your dog will have to work to reach the reward, which engages his mind and encourages independent play.
Founded in 1846 by a German immigrant, Hertz has grown into one of America’s most trusted pet care companies. Their Dura Play Ball is specifically made for puppies. It’s a safe and fun introduction to fetch.
It’s made from natural latex and foam. Even tiny puppies should have no problem holding it. Also, it’s lightweight, so an accidental bonk on the head is unlikely to hurt. Even better, it has a light bacon scent that encourages shy dogs to check it out. It’s an excellent “first ball” for young ones.
Tips for Playing with Your Made-in-the-USA Dog Toy
Fortunately, if you’re looking for American-made dog toys, you’ll find plenty of great options. However, not all dogs take to toys right away. In many cases, you’ll have to help your dog learn how to play, especially if he’s a puppy or you’re giving him an unfamiliar type of toy.
Here are some quick tips for getting the most out of playtime:
1. Introduce the Toy Gently
Don’t try to get your dog to immediately play with a new toy. Instead, set the toy down next to him. Pet and praise him as he checks it out.
2. Start Slow
Keep the early play sessions slow and gentle. Don’t play full-strength tug-of-war with a new rope toy or toss a new frisbee as far as possible. Instead, let your dog understand a simplified version of how to play with the toy.
3. Provide Plenty of Variety
Even if your dog loves a certain type of play more than others, you want to always provide opportunities for other options. Your racing dog still needs the mental stimulation of a puzzle toy. Your tiny dog who loves to chew should still play fetch on occasion.
4. Don’t Overdo It
Dogs don’t always know when it’s time to stop playing and rest. Make sure to limit your dog’s playtime, so he’s not overexerting himself. Excessive exercise can result in joint injury, muscle soreness, paw problems, and other issues.
A dog’s appropriate level of exercise varies by breed, age, and other factors, so you’ll want to consult with your vet. As a general rule, intense exercise should last no more than 20 to 30 minutes a day.
5. Always Supervise
As long as you pick appropriately safe toys, the risk of injury is minimal. Still, you want to always supervise play. Stay nearby even if your dog is playing with an independent play toy like a busy ball or puzzle toy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Finding the best American-made dog toys is easier than you think. Here are the answers to the most common questions:
How Do I Know If a Toy is Made in the USA?
Usually, this is easy to determine. Almost all toy manufacturers know customers prefer toys made in the USA. Check the label of the toy for more information. Typically, a made-in-the-USA logo will be easy to spot. You can also check the manufacturer’s website for the location of their headquarters.
What Types of Toys are Made in America?
You can find plenty of American-made toys in all the major toy categories (fetch, chew, puzzle, and cuddle). Remember, you want to give your dog a wide range of toy types, to engage him in a variety of ways physically and mentally.
What are the Benefits of Dog Toys Made in the USA?
Generally, US-made toys have many benefits compared to those made in other countries. American-made toys are typically higher quality, so they last longer and are more resistant to damage.
Additionally, toys made in the USA are typically safer than those from overseas. Word of dangerous products would quickly ruin an American company’s reputation. However, a foreign manufacturer can simply change their name and continue making dangerous products.
What Type of Toy is Best for My Breed of Dog?
Your dog will almost certainly prefer certain types of play over others. Give him plenty of options and let him determine what he likes best.
In most cases, your dog’s breed plays a big role here. If he’s a large, athletic dog, you’ll want to get him toys like a ball launcher and items to fetch. If he’s a dog such as a pit bull, he’ll likely prefer chewing toys.
Consider the traits of his breed plus his individual preferences to find the types of toys he’ll enjoy.
How Much Playtime Should My Puppy Have Each Day?
The American Kennel Club recommends that you play with your puppy in short sessions throughout the day. Most growing puppies experience what is commonly called “the zoomies.” They race around at a fast pace, only to collapse for a nap shortly after.
Generally, your puppy will likely want to play for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Make sure to calm him down if he shows any signs of overexertion, such as excessive panting or tiredness.
Finding the right toy for your dog plays (pun definitely intended) a key role in keeping them active, healthy, and happy. When shopping for toys, you can’t go wrong if you start your search with toys made in the USA.
All of the American-made toys listed above are highly rated, well-made, and loads of fun. Consider your dog’s breed and personality, and you’ll easily find a selection of toys they’re sure to love for a lifetime.