Whenever the weather is nice and the sun peeks through, it’s time for you and your dog to get back in the garden and make the most of the great outdoors.
Finding the best garden dog toys will encourage your pet to exercise outside and provide vital physical and mental stimulation, and that isn’t only true for your pet! Research has shown that dog owners are fitter than the average person. Find extra motivation to get active and outside with your dog this summer, with this list of our all-time favourite garden dog toys.
Sometimes you just can’t beat the most classic of all garden dog toys—the ball! The timeless game of fetch just doesn’t get old; you’ll see puppies and senior pets alike enjoy this game in parks all over the country as soon as the sun comes out.
It’s a fantastic source of exercise, encouraging your pet to run and chase, raising their heart rate to burn off excess energy.
You can boost your pet’s experience by investing in a new kind of ball toy. Dog balls can be found in a huge variety of different shapes, sizes, and materials, so choose a ball that is size and weight appropriate for both your dog and yourself. Some balls come with handles, useful both for your dog to carry in their mouth, and for you to swing into a brilliant throw!
You may have spent some walks in the park envying other dog owners for their impressive ball throwing skills, or at least your pup may have!
Find your best throw with the aid of a dog ball launcher. These nifty gadgets maximise on your potential, extending every throw an impressive distance. You might even double the length of fetch games, giving your pet extra exercise, as well as extra enjoyment!
The benefit of ball launchers doesn’t just end with increased exercise. As these garden dog toys handle the ball for you, you won’t have to put up with getting excitable dog slobber all over your hands. It’s a win-win!
Tug of war toys
These brilliant dog toys are best played with outside. Encouraging your pet to pull, chew, and win the game, it’s a good idea to make sure your dog has plenty of space in which to get excited over their game of tug of war.
Tug of war garden dog toys come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and materials. Some are simply a thick rope tied into a figure of eight; others feature knots and tassels at each end; some are made of plastic or rubber.
Think about your dog’s size, weight, breed and jaw strength when it comes to choosing the best tug of war toy for them. A Labrador will have significantly different strength to a Shih Tzu and will need a different shaped toy.
Puller dog toys function in a similar way to tug of war toys. Shaped in a ring and made from a durable rubber material, these garden dog toys are great for exercise, training, and fun! The shape and material make a brilliant fit for most dogs, and pullers come in different sizes. The softness of the rubber is easier on your pet’s jaw, but resilient enough for long-term use.
You can use pullers to play fetch and tug of war, as well as utilising them for practising vital commands, such as ‘drop’. The best thing about these multi-purpose garden dog toys? They float! If your pet enjoys getting wet or splashing in the paddling pool during their game of fetch, this will make the perfect toy for them.
If you really want to challenge your pet, an obstacle course is the only way to go!
You can easily make your own DIY versions of each obstacle course element, or purchase ready-made items. Either way, these fantastic garden dog toys make for a great outdoors bonding session with your pet. Obstacle courses help with exercise and agility, ensuring your pet flexes different muscles and joints, and provide a source of mental stimulation. Keep the challenge fresh by changing the order of obstacles in your dog’s course every time they play.
You can find a variety of difference agility challenges for your dog obstacle course, but below are a few of our favourite garden dog toys:
Train your dog to jump with an agility hoop: great for keeping their muscles and joints limber.
It might take your pet a little while to understand that they have to weave their way through this line of flexible poles, but once they’ve got the hang of it—watch them fly! This tricky obstacle will really get them thinking, and increase their capacity for training and future commands. You can tempt them through the first few times with a treat, using your hand to guide them and getting them to follow.
Encourage your pet to crawl through a long tunnel—you may have to tag team it with another person to get your dog used to it at first. Have someone else hold your dog at one end of the tunnel, whilst you call them to you at the other. Sometimes, there’s no better reward than the smiles and praise of a happy owner at the end of a tunnel!
Next, discover our top five dog sports that are incredibly fun for both the pet and the owner.