In our world today, if you have a dog as a pet, you also have toys for that dog to play with.
They just go together, dogs and toys, and you wouldn’t think otherwise. Your dog even has his favorite “baby” to carry around.
The majority of pet owners have a bed for their dog and a basket or box full of toys for their beloved pets.
Dog Toys Made in the USA
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Author Roxanne Hawn credits the company Kong as being the first true pioneer in the dog toy market.
As the story goes, Joe Markham invented the Kong toy in 1970 for his much-loved dog Fritz. Fritz was a trained police dog who had quite destructive chewing habits.
Not only that, but Fritz would also chew rocks and sticks, and that was causing his teeth to wear down.
Nothing seemed to work to curb Fritz’s habit until the day that Joe tossed out a suspension part from a Volkswagen Bus he was repairing.
Made of rubber and shaped like a snowman, this suspension part captured Fritz’s attention.
Although Joe tried to throw it away, Fritz was having none of it, and eventually Joe got the picture.
Joe developed the Kong as a dog toy, and the rest is history.
Kong toys are sold around the globe and are considered to be the best dog toy made in the United States.
The line of Kong dog toys has expanded to various strengths for various types of chewers, including aggressive chewers and consumables.
The classic snowman shape, which can be stuffed with treats, is still the most popular toy with dogs.
One of the most popular dog toys ever, Kong is made of nearly indestructible rubber that will last for a long time.
The Kong Classic is the gold standard of dog toys. The Kong comes in five sizes from small, medium, large, x-large, and xx-large.
The unique, cone-shaped toy has a hollow center. This is where the fun comes in for your pooch.
Kong’s hollow center allows you to stuff the toy with food and treats for your dog.
Your dog has instinctual needs for chewing, and Kong can satisfy those needs and provide mental stimulation for your pooch.
This toy can encourage healthy play, too. Because of the Kong Classic’s shape, it makes for an unpredictable bounce, and therefore more excitement when playing fetch with your dog.
Stuff the Kong with kibble, Kong Easy Treat, canned dog food, or peanut butter, and give it to your pooch to retrieve the treats inside.
If you want to increase the interaction time, freeze the stuffed Kong for about four hours before giving it to your dog.
This food puzzle provides mental stimulation for your pet. As a toy, the durable rubber satisfies your dog’s need to chew without destroying the toy in the process.
Kong is also dishwasher safe, so you can clean the toy easily whenever needed. Veterinarians worldwide recommend the Kong Classic.
Made in the United States, Kong has been making its classic dog toy for over 40 years!
- Dog Toy is Made in the USA
- Can customize the fillings
- Provide mental stimulation
- Nearly indestructible
- May need a toothbrush to clean inside the toy
- Food that you put inside the toy may stain the carpet
Dogs love to fetch and they will definitely love this West Paw Zisc frisbee. This toy will work well with a pup, a senior dog, and any age in between.
Made in the USA, this toy is incredibly durable and will last a long time. The bright color makes it easy to find in tall grass, too.
Made to be aerodynamic, this frisbee will float, so bring it along to the beach! Soft and pliable (so gentle on your pup’s mouth) the Zisc is lightweight and easy for your pup to carry.
Designed with a curved edge for an easy grip, you will be ready to throw, and they will be eager to catch.
While you are away from home or at the beach, the latex-free and FDS compliant Zisc can double as a water and/or food bowl.
This makes it easy to give your pooch a much-needed drink while you are out and about.
Safe for the top rack of your dishwasher, the Zisc is easy to clean and have ready for the next adventure.
- Made in the USA dog toys
- Non-toxic and FDA compliant
- Easy to clean in the dishwasher
- Easy on dogs mouths
- Thinner center, so tug-of-war can damage the disc
Tougher than real bones, Benebones will last for weeks even if your pooch is a constant chewer.
Dogs have a much more powerful sense of smell than we do, and the manufacturers of Benebones kept that in mind when making their food-grade bacon chew.
This wishbone-shaped chew both smells and tastes like the real thing to your pooch.
Rather than a flat chew toy, the wishbone shape is easy for your dog to obtain a comfortable chewing position as the toy is designed is slightly curved.
Grooves in the chew toy help your dog to get a good grip and be able to really get a good chew on.
Made in the USA, from the manufacturing, sourcing, and tooling, Benebones support American businesses.
- Made in the USA
- Has real bacon taste
- Ergonomic design great for dogs to hold
- Not for aggressive chewers as could cause injury to teeth or gums
The Goughnuts MaXX is made with the same natural reinforced rubber that is used on spaceships and aircraft.
The MaXX is the sturdiest recipe for dog toys that Goughnuts produces. They do have other sizes that are geared towards the size of your pooch.
With your dog chewing on a Goughnut, they will hopefully leave your furniture alone!
The Gonoughnut is designed with the alignment of a dog’s jaw in mind.
This toy forces the dog’s mouth to stay more open when chewing, thus reducing the toy’s leverage.
Coming with a lifetime warranty, the Goughnut is virtually indestructible.
However, the company has placed a red safety core inside the toy. If you ever see that red core, send it back for a replacement.
The Gonought nut is a family-run company and is made in the United States.
- Made in the USA
- Safe for teething
- Free replacement if your dog chews through it
- Can be heavy for smaller dogs
Your pooch will love the erratic bounce produced by the nubs on the exterior of the Cycle Dog ball.
Those same nubs also provide a massage for your dog’s gums when chewing on the ball. Toss this toy in the water for your dog to retrieve, as it floats.
These balls are also made to fit into a throwing device. Durable, this toy will last for a long time and is sure to become your pooch’s favorite ball.
Made in the USA, the Cycle Dog ball is produced from Ecolast post-consumer material such as recycled bicycle tubes.
Cycle Dog is one of the world’s leading eco-friendly pet brands. Located in Portland, Oregon, Cycle Dog seeks to lower the carbon “pawprint” of the pets they create toys for.
It comes in two sizes, the medium is tennis ball size, and the large is softball size. It comes in blue, green, or orange.
- Made in the USA
- High Durability
- Recycled material
- Squeaker inside
- Some dogs can chew through to squeaker
A Brief History of Dog Toys
You can go into nearly any type of store, department, convenience, thrift or grocery store and you will be able to find a section that has dog toys for sale.
It was not always this way. There had to be a significant shift in both economic situations and in people’s attitudes towards animals for this to happen.
Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years. There is evidence that in Greek, Roman, Chinese and Egyptian societies, tamed animals were kept.
How much a part of their owner’s lives these animals were, is left to speculation.
Dogs have been discovered buried with high-value items, but it seems a sad legacy that love on earth translates into an early demise for these creatures.
There is not a lot known about the role domesticated animals played in eras past, but we do know about the middle ages.
During that period, church leaders felt that affection lavished on a pet leaned toward pagan worship.
The type of relationships that you might display in today’s world was greatly frowned upon at that time.
In the late 1700s
The Victorians did not see these pets in the same threatening manner as they had been perceived before.
The Victorians felt that having a domesticated animal was a symbol of man’s domination over nature.
In “Playthings, Then and Now”—written for the American Kennel Club in 2008, author Roxanne Hawn marks this period as a turning point.
“As companions and a form of leisure, dogs gained strength as we moved from a rural to urban culture,” Hawn writes.
“Incomes grew. Store-bought products multiplied as manufacturing improved, and marketing efforts built excitement.”
You might have thought that dogs and cats would have become instant favorites with our ancestors, but that was not the case.
By the 19th and 20th centuries, birds were the clear favorite across the board. All classes of people were eager to bring the birds and their songs indoors.
Stores that sold birds opened in the 1840s. The 1890s saw stores that sold birds and other pets along with all of the items to care for them.
As economic times became better, people began to make decisions based on emotion rather than necessity.
Even large department stores in the 1920s opened sections for pet items. At that time, the items were limited to products that would help care for the pets, such as bowls, leashes, cages, and food.
Toys for dogs, at least the type of toys that you would recognize today, did not appear until the 1950s.
After World War II
The advancements in technology, better manufacturing techniques, rubber, and higher incomes for individuals aided in spurring the burgeoning market for pet toys.
What Type of Dog Toy Should You Choose?
What do the various toys do for your dog, in helping them to develop their skills? Different types of toys can provide mental stimulation and exercise.
Toys can be used to teach commands to your dog. And for your dog, although they may be learning, toys are just plain fun.
A nice stuffed, soft, and fluffy toy can comfort your dog. A dog will often adopt a certain one as their favorite and tote it wherever they go.
Don’t ever use a soft human toy for your pooch. Those toys could be harmful to your pet if they are allowed to play with them.
The cotton and polyester in human toys can block the digestive tract of your dog.
Purchase soft toys that are made specifically for animals when choosing a soft toy for your pet.
These toys are especially helpful for puppies that are teething. They help with the development of their teeth.
For older dogs, they help to strengthen their face and neck muscles.
Dogs also seem to have an innate desire to chew, and toys that provide the opportunity will save your furniture and other household objects from being destroyed.
We seem to naturally associate balls and dogs as they love them so much!
Playing fetch with a ball can help your dog develop his motor skills and provide valuable exercise.
Learning to retrieve is a good skill for a dog to learn while still a puppy.
These toys can help with your dog’s mental stimulation.
If the toy has a squeaker, it can teach your dog cause and effect; if they squeeze the toy, it will make a sound.
The hard toys that have a cavity for treats and food, like the Kong, can provide your dog with the opportunity to learn how to work towards a goal.
Getting all of the treats out of the toy can entertain them and be a fun activity with rewards all along the way.
When choosing a toy for your dog, do not ever give them toys that are made for humans.
There are too many items that could be dangerous for your dog.
Strings, ribbons, the eyes on stuffed animals, and bows could all be items that your dog could choke on with a toy made for humans.
Even toys made for dogs can pose a problem if your dog is an aggressive chewer.
A Booming Business
The average American pet owner spends almost $127 a month on pet food, medicine, and toys.
In 2017, pet owners as a whole spent almost 69 Billion dollars on pets and their supplies.
We love our little beasties to a great extent and strive to keep them happy and healthy. Toys are one of the ways that we do so.
As is wise, supervise your dogs with any new toy and toss out any toys that become ragged or have loose parts that might pose a choking hazard.
As a pet owner, you will continue to provide for the best interests of your beloved pooch and bring home the toys that make them happy.