7 Best Small Dog Toys for Miniature Breeds in 2020

Miniature dog breeds are all-around adorable, and they tend to love attention. They also love when playtime arrives, and their excitement can be simultaneously infectious and sometimes hard to keep up with all the time. Whenever you want to give your pup something that will delight them and get them ready to play, toys make for an excellent option.

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In general, dog toys can give your pet something to stay interested in as they play while adding some variety to their activity. Learning games to play with your toys—like playing fetch—can further encourage exercise, keeping your pet healthy. But where do you know where to start when it comes to picking out toys?

With so many options out there, it can be challenging to narrow down your choices, even when you consider your miniature breeds’ size. To help, we’ve built this complete guide to picking out small dog toys.

As you read, you’ll find our top recommendations of the best small dog toys for miniature breeds, a guide to picking out the best toys, playtime tips, and answers to other frequently asked dog toy questions. Now, let’s start with a preview of our top toy choices.

What to Look for in a Good Miniature Breed Dog Toy

When it comes to buying toys for miniature dogs, size is easily one of the first aspects you need to consider. There are two core things to consider when it comes to this: if a toy is too large, your dog won’t be able to easily carry it around and enjoy playing with it. On the flip side, though, if the toy is too small, it can create a choking hazard.

You should also think about your dog’s age whenever you purchase toys. Puppies will need toys that won’t be too hard on their developing teeth, but still sturdy enough to last. Older dogs will ultimately need toys that help them stay active—think balls for playing fetch.

Additionally, you’ll want to think about the temperament of the specific breed of miniature dog you have. While each dog is different and yours will make it clear over time what kind of toys they like, you can get a good idea by seeing what toys work well with a particular breed’s specific personality.

As you would with any dog toy for any breed, durability, and quality are essential. Toys that easily break apart not only can lead to repeated (and potentially costly) purchases of toy replacements, but they’re also a hazard. Whenever pieces break off, your dog could swallow them. On a similar note, you should check that the manufacturer of a toy hasn’t included any harmful ingredients in a toy.

Overall Best Small Dog Toys for Miniature Breeds

Now that we’ve covered some core tips on finding the best dog toys from the extensive array of options out there, here’s our list of top picks.

KONG Squeakair Birthday Balls – Overall Best

While these toy balls have a “happy birthday” design to stay true to the name, that’s nowhere close to the most critical aspect of these balls. As you’d expect from a product with the KONG name on it, these balls are durable and capable of standing up to regular use and play—even whenever you have a heavy chewer chomping down.

The size of these balls is the perfect fit for a smaller dog to pick up and carry around with no issues. Inside, there are squeakers to compel your pup further to play with them, and the exterior design has a similar texture to a tennis ball. While sturdy and durable, this toy won’t wear down your pup’s teeth as they use it. The toy ships in a package of three with a variety of colors.

KONG Floppy Knots Fox Dog Toy

Some dogs love to have a plush toy nearby to cuddle up with and relax. The downside of these toys is that they often have stuffing inside, which creates a mess and choking hazard whenever a pup’s teeth ultimately break the surface. KONG’s floppy knots fox toy helps decrease this risk by having minimal stuffing and the stomach filled with more knot ropes to provide chewing texture.

This fox plush also has three squeakers in the stomach, providing audio stimulation for your pup. The materials use both polyester and cotton, keeping them safe for your dog to play with and enjoy. Any aggressive chewer probably won’t allow this toy to last too long, but it’s a good fit for gentler breeds. KONG offers this style of knots plush in a variety of different animals.

Multipet Musical Birthday Cake Plush Toy

While your dog may not fully understand that it’s their birthday, that doesn’t mean you can’t give them a special treat. This plush toy is shaped like a birthday cake with candles included. Inside is a speaker box that will play the happy birthday song in response to when your pup bites down on it. They can also bite again to stop the music, making an interactive and responsive toy.

This cake plush has durable stitching to keep the pieces together, but the outside remains soft. Having a toy that can make noise in response to your pup can help keep them entertained and potentially prevent anxiety. That all said, there is no convenient way to turn off the sound, and the music box means it isn’t machine washable, so take care when you go to clean it.

Pet Qwerks Talking Babble Ball Toy

Babble balls provide an interactive toy that gives not only the enjoyment of a ball, but also plays responsive sounds to keep your dog engaged. This toy is motion-activated, and it has a soundbank of more than 20 sounds. Some are sound effects, while others will speak words, giving a variety. Whenever your dog leaves the toy alone, the babble ball automatically turns off, saving battery.

You can access the batteries in this toy, allowing for replacement when you’ve gone through the first set. This feature also means you can take the batteries out for some quiet time if you so choose. The outer casing of the ball uses a non-toxic and high impact plastic for safety and durability. While some miniature breeds may have a hard time picking up the toy, they can still enjoy pushing it around for playtime.

Overall Best Small Dog Toys for Miniature Breed Puppies

While their size may not change much as they grow up, miniature breed puppies still need special toys to meet their unique needs. Here are our top choices.

KONG Puppy Dog Toy

Though miniature breeds don’t always have as much jaw strength as their larger counterparts, they can still be heavy chewers. When that’s the case, it’s best to teach them early on what items aren’t for chewing, and which ones are okay to work their little jaws on. KONG’s puppy specific chew toy comes in an extra small size, suitable even for miniature breed’s tiny teeth.

KONG has been in the dog toy business for over forty years, and it comes vet recommended. You can fill the inside with treats to help encourage train your dog what’s suitable to chew on, and the high durability means it will last a while. You can also freeze the toy to help alleviate teething pains for your pup. When tossed, the toy also bounces for extra playtime fun.

JW Pet Play Place Butterfly Puppy Teether

Another chew toy option for puppies is the JW Per Play Place Butterfly Puppy Teether. With a multitextured butterfly design, it can attract your pup’s interest. This toy is safe to place in the freezer to help alleviate teething pains. You can also wash it in the dishwasher without detergent for a simple cleaning process.

The materials in this toy are one-hundred percent non-toxic and recyclable nylon. This design makes the toy slightly bouncy for some extra fun when tossed around during playtime. While the durability is suitable for toy dogs, some heavy chewers may work their way through it quickly. The butterfly puppy teether also ships in a variety of colors.

Multipet Bouncy Burrow Buddies Stuffing-Free Plush Puppy Toy

Multipet’s Bouncy Burrow Buddies toys bring together the comfort and softness of plush with the enjoyment of a ball. The outer texture of the toy is soft and suitable for your pup to cuddle up with when they want to rest. When playtime comes along, the ball inside the toy’s head is bouncy and ready for tossing and chasing.

The ball also has a squeaker inside, which increases its appeal for playing. While stuffed toys don’t make good dedicated chew toys, this product has minimal stuffing inside to prevent a mess when it wears down. There are six different animal designs, and they ship at random: raccoon, squirrel, skunk, beaver, opossum, and fox. The size is suitable for even small puppies to pick up and enjoy quickly.

Tips for Playing with Small Dogs

With your chosen toys ready to go, it’ll soon be time to play. That said, you should always stay aware of how your dog is playing—and ways you can keep them safe. Here are some tips that you can consider:

  • Don’t roughhouse. Roughhousing can be dangerous with any breed of dog because it doesn’t make it clear how they should interact with people. For small dogs, specifically, miniature breeds tend to be more fragile, and roughhousing has the potential to injure them. Instead, always play gently with your dog so that they associate human touch with positive handling.
  • Pay attention to your pup’s exercise needs. Though miniature breeds are small in size, they have plenty of energy inside them and need a lot of playtime to work it out. The flip side to this is that smaller dogs often wear themselves out quickly and require more frequent breaks. Break up your dog’s play sessions throughout the day to ensure they get as much activity as they need to stay healthy.
  • Always supervise your dog when they use toys. Dog toys are an excellent tool to use when entertaining your pup, but you shouldn’t leave them alone. Even durable toys will eventually break, and you don’t want your small pooch to choke on a broken-off piece of a toy. By keeping an eye on your dog, you can take away any toys if they become a danger.
  • Take advantage of smaller play spaces. Miniature breeds don’t need a lot of space to get a good workout; even a hallway in your home can make for a great area to play fetch in, especially when your dog’s learning the game. Other games, like tug of war, also don’t need a lot of space, so they make great options for when the weather is miserable outside.

Frequently Asked Questions

To further help your journey towards the ultimate pupper playtime, we’ve answered some toy FAQs!

Should I only play with my small dog in specific ways?

Thanks to the size of miniature breeds, you will want to make sure you’re not too rough with them. Aside from that, though, small dogs can play a lot of the same games as larger pups—just on a smaller scale. Shorter sessions of play are one of the biggest differentiators, but otherwise, training is the same.

How do I know if a toy is safe for my dog to play with?

With any breed, picking out toys that are easy for your pup to pick up without being small enough to swallow is essential. Confirming the materials used in manufacturing is also helpful. When in doubt, consult your vet for advice.

When should I replace a dog toy?

Whenever you start to notice a toy tearing or pieces coming off, it’s generally a sign that that toy’s time has come. Since dogs’ play habits can vary widely, it’s best to regularly check over toys before and after use to make sure they’re still in good condition.

How will I know what types of toys my dog enjoys?

It can be a challenge to tell right away what toys they’ll like whenever you have a new dog. Some breeds may have general preferences, but that doesn’t always guarantee your pup’s tastes will be the same. When in doubt, just offer toys to your dog and see what they gravitate to over time. Eventually, they’ll learn how to indicate their preferences.

Final Thoughts

Miniature dog breeds can pack a lot of energy into one small and exciting package. For that reason alone, it can be helpful to give them toys to enjoy their playtime in fun new ways. Our recommended best small dog toys are not only the right size for miniature breeds, but they also come highly rated by pet owners and their pooches alike.

Now, all that’s left for you to do is to try out your best picks and see how they fare with your pup!

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