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Toys are an essential part of our dogs’ development, offering both physical and mental enrichment. And yet, it doesn’t take long for all those playthings to accumulate into a chaotic jumble. If you find yourself constantly tripping over dog chew toys or squeaky plushies strewn across the floor, you’re in the right place. We have some tried-and-true strategies and a few practical dog toy bin suggestions for managing the clutter.
The first step is adopting a solid organizational system to prevent your pup’s toys from overtaking your home. To learn how dog parents can better manage toy overload, we consult certified dog trainer Kimberly Shaw, CPDT-KA, who explains how deliberately rotating and discarding toys can help pet parents get things under control. She also offers a few tips on what types of dog toy bins are easy to use and find.
Ready to get started? Let’s get organized!
The Importance of Dog Toy Rotation—And How to Do It
Most experts agree that a dog can’t have too many toys—or as many toys as your space and budget can allow. What’s more important than the number of dog toys, however, is the variety of your toy stash. Rotating out toys is a simple way to keep things fresh for your pup while also minimizing clutter.
“The key is to find a balance that works for your pet and your household,” says Shaw. “By rotating your pet’s toys every two to three weeks, you can keep their playtime exciting and prevent boredom.”
Some pet parents may opt for a monthly rotation, while others might switch things up weekly—your personal routine will depend on how easily your dog gets bored and how frequently you’re able to swap toys out.
Aside from the mess (and subsequent threat to bare human feet), leaving out too many dog toys can actually lessen their appeal, Shaw points out. “Too many toys can be overwhelming and lead to decreased interest in playing with any of them,” she explains. “A good rule of thumb is to have a minimum of three to five toys readily available for your pet.”
According to Shaw, this assortment should include toys that meet your dog’s different needs—like one for chewing, one for chasing, one for cuddling, and one for playing with their human (like a tug toy). Your final selection in your toy bin will be highly individual and should reflect your dog’s interests and play style.
To start, try stocking two to three bins with a well-rounded mix of toys. Leave one toy box out for your dog to play with, and store the others in a closet or shelf until it’s time to introduce a new batch. This will add novelty to your dog’s playtime and keep toy pickup to a sane minimum.
When To Discard Old Toys
No matter how durable it may be, no dog toy is meant to last forever. When your dog’s toys are beginning to look worse for wear, it’s time to retire them. For Shaw and other veterinary experts, it’s a matter of safety.
“It’s essential to regularly inspect your pet’s toys and remove any that are old, worn-out, or frayed,” Shaw explains. “Broken or damaged toys can pose a choking hazard, so it’s best to dispose of them promptly to ensure your pet’s safety.”
As you add new toys to the ranks, do a quick evaluation of what you currently have and discard any unused or older toys to make more room in your toy bin. Shaw recommends donating gently used toys that are still in good condition to a local shelter or rescue organization. Not every shelter will accept used toys, however, so be sure to call and check ahead of time.
Simple Storage Ideas for Dog Toys
For pet parents with a large collection of toys, a thoughtful storage strategy will give each toy a place and make rotating more manageable.
To keep things easy, Shaw suggests a basic set of storage boxes, like these plastic containers by IRIS USA or this canvas hamper by Bone Dry. “A simple plastic bin or basket can be an excellent way to store extra toys, making it easy to access and rotate them as needed,” she says.
If you have limited space or are looking for something to fit more seamlessly into your home, opt for multipurpose pieces like an ottoman or footstool with integrated storage. This ottoman by Lavish Home, for example, works well in compact spaces, serving as not only a home for scattered toys but a comfy sitting area when guests come over to visit your pup (and you, too, of course).
Pet company Bone Dry also carries a range of charming wicker and canvas storage containers to blend into your home’s aesthetic, like this bone-shaped toy box. Available in several different sizes, it comes with a lid so you securely shut it when you need to keep toys out of sight.
You can also find collapsible fabric bins with handles that are easy to store. This soft-sided dog toy box from Morezi has two compartments, each with its own lid, so you can categorize your pup’s favorite things.
And finally, if your goal is to get toys off the floor completely, a mesh hanging hammock or over-the-door storage unit could work best. This jumbo toy hammock by Handy Laundry can expand up to 5.5 feet along the wall and can fit about 30 or so stuffed animals.
Regardless of what dog toy bin you pick, Shaw offers one piece of applicable advice. “Whichever storage solution you choose, label it clearly, so you can easily find and access the toys your pet loves the most.” That way, you always have the right toy handy when it’s time for play—something your pooch will always thank you for.
How We Chose
The toy bins featured here were selected based on a comprehensive look at feedback from real dog parents across a wide variety of retail platforms, as well as an interview with a certified dog trainer. We prioritized dog bins with adequate storage as well as those well-suited to a variety of living spaces. Additionally, we considered a range of dog parent lifestyles, budgets, and organizational goals. We’re also guided by the experience of living and playing alongside our own much-loved and strongly opinionated dogs, who are never stingy with their feedback.