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KONG toys have been the gold standard of dog toys for over 40 years—and are still one of the most popular toy lines on the market. It seems like these days, just about every dog is a KONG dog!
KONG offers a number of interactive toys to engage your pet and provide endless hours of fun and play. But not all KONGs are created equal. Some dogs will gravitate to KONG’s more classic dog toys while more out-of-the-box toys might be a better fit for other pets.
Let’s take a look at the best KONG dog toys for 2019 (and what kinds of dogs those toys are the best fit for):
What are KONG dog toys?
Before we jump into the best KONG dog toys for 2019, let’s briefly cover what, exactly, KONG toys are.
The KONG company has a number of toy varieties, but the most popular and well-known is their classic KONG toy, which is a durable rubber toy shaped like a snowman. The inside of each KONG dog toy is hollow, which allows you to stuff the inside of the toy with food (like peanut butter, dog treats, or KONG snacks, like their own line of Easy Treat or Stuff’n Ziggies).
For more fun, versatile KONG stuffing ideas, check out our guide here.
KONG video: an inside peek
We recently visited the KONG headquarters and got a rare, exclusive look inside their dog-friendly operation. Watch and you’ll see why KONG continues to be a bestseller.
Why KONG toys are so popular
KONG toys are a hit with both dogs and dog owners for a pretty simple reason. KONG dog toys essentially roll three toys into one. The rubber toy itself resembles a traditional chew toy—but when you stuff the inside with food (a dash of peanut butter is a classic option), your dog has to figure out how to get the food out of the KONG treat dispenser and into his mouth, which transforms the KONG into a puzzle toy.
KONG toys also have a bit of bounce to them, which provides plenty of fun play-and-chase time for your pet.
Durable rubber that provides hours of chewing, bouncing, and chasing; a fun and engaging puzzle game; and a delicious treat waiting at the end of it all? When it comes to KONGs, there isn’t much for your pet not to like.
The best KONG dog toys of 2019
The classic KONG has been a longtime favourite of dog owners. In recent years, the company has branched out with several other dog toy options. Based on customer reviews and our office dogs’ experience with these toys, we’ve rounded up our six favourites. Let’s jump right into the best KONG dog toys of 2019.
Best all-around KONG toy: KONG Classic
If you’re only going to buy one KONG toy, your best option is, without a doubt, the KONG Classic.
This toy has the word “classic” in its name for a reason. The KONG Classic is made of an extremely durable rubber, which can withstand the chewing of most adult dogs. It meets your dog’s instinctual needs of play, mental stimulation, and chewing. It’s easy to stuff, easy to wash (you can throw it in the dishwasher!), and comes in a variety of sizes (from x-small to xx-large) that will suit every dog from Chihuahuas to Newfoundlands.
If you’re just getting started with KONG toys and aren’t sure what’s going to be the best fit for your pet, you can’t go wrong with the KONG classic—making it the best all-around KONG toy of 2019 (and beyond).Buy Now on Amazon
Best KONG toys for puppies: Puppy Goodie Bone
Puppies have instinctual needs to chew. But puppy teeth and gums are more sensitive than older dogs—so it’s important to choose a dog chew that soothes that soreness.
KONG Company’s Puppy Goodie Bone is a slam dunk for puppies. It’s made out of a softer, puppy-friendly rubber than other KONG toys and eases the aches and pains that come along with teething. It also helps solve behavioral issues by teaching puppies proper chewing behavior—which is an essential part of raising a healthy, happy dog.Buy Now on Amazon
Best KONG toys for older dogs: KONG Senior
Similar to puppies, senior dogs also struggle with tooth and gum issues—but for a completely different reason. After a lifetime of chewing, older dogs need something that’s gentle and easy on the gums—and KONG created the KONG Senior toy with those needs in mind.
The KONG Senior is formulated using rubber that’s customized to fulfill even the oldest dog’s needs for chew and play—without causing any damage or pain to the teeth and gums. If your dog has spent years chewing—but isn’t showing any signs of slowing down—the KONG Senior is a great fit. Just stuff with some peanut butter or bits of kibble and give it to your pet. It’s relaxing, engaging, and even mentally stimulating for your senior.Buy Now on Amazon
Best KONG toys for super chewers: KONG Extreme
KONG toys have a reputation for being durable. But if you have a super chewer dog (who has some serious chompers), you need something that’s extra durable.
The KONG Extreme was created with power chewers in mind and is formulated with the strongest, most durable rubber in KONG’s arsenal. It doesn’t matter how quickly your dog rips apart other toys—the KONG Extreme will keep him (and his teeth) occupied for hours at a time.
(Bonus tip: if you want to add an extra chewing challenge for your dog, stuff the KONG Extreme with peanut butter and pop it into the freezer for four to six hours before you give it to your pet).Buy Now on Amazon
Best KONG toys for fetch-obsessed dogs: KONG Squeezz Ball
If your dog’s favorite activities include running, fetching, and chasing, the KONG Squeezz Ball dog toys are your best bet. Not only do these ball dog toys have a serious bounce to them—making for the perfect game of fetch—but they also have a hidden squeaker inside, which will add an extra layer of fun every time your dog picks up the ball to return it to you.Buy Now on Amazon
Best KONG toys for dogs who love tug of war: KONG Wubba
If your dog loves a good, old-fashioned game of tug of war, the KONG Wubba is the toy for you. This rope dog toy has long, floppy tails that encourage your dog to tug, making it great for games of tug of war. KONG Wubbas also feature squeakers, which ups the engagement value of this dog toy—and encourages your dog to play even when you’re not available for tug time.Buy Now on Amazon
Where are KONG dog toys made?
The KONG Company is based in Golden, Colorado, and makes the majority of their dog toys in the United States. These include all of their classic rubber toys. Of their variety of toys, only three are manufactured in China: the Air KONG (tennis balls), KONG Plush, and KONG Wubba. In an interview with ConsumerAffairs, their director of marketing, Chuck Costello, clarified that all three of these toys undergo rigorous product testing.
“All imported KONG product lines are tested by independent laboratories, once in China and again in the U.S. to prove they are safe and non-toxic,” said Costello. “Once products are received in the KONG warehouse they are again subjected to strict KONG quality control procedures.”
We’re fans of KONG for this kind of attention to quality, especially because there isn’t generally good consumer protection in place when it comes to pet toys. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, for instance, doesn’t have any regulatory control over dog or cat toys.
Finding the best KONG for your dog
This list features many standbys when it comes to KONG toys, but if none feel like the right fit for your pet, don’t give up. KONG has plenty of other toy options (like plush toys or floppy knots toys)—all of which are of similar high quality to their classic rubber line.
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Featured image: Flickr/Greg Holland