Fido-Approved Outdoor Dog Toys
Want some fun in the sun with Fido? Check out these toys!/
With warmer weather comes more backyard hangs with your pup! It doesn’t matter if Fido is a chewer or a fetcher, there’s an outdoor dog toy or activity for every type of dog.
The trick? Making sure those toys are weatherproof, washable and super fun.
GET TOYS SQUEAKY CLEAN
Before diving into our top dog toy picks, let’s cover some cleaning basics you’ll want to know. First, avoid using harsh chemicals and never use bleach on your pup’s toys because bleach and chemicals like Lysol spray can be toxic.
When in doubt, always check out the manufacturer’s instructions for specific care tips. If there aren’t any, follow our general tips below.
Rubber, Plastic & Nylon Toys
These are the most durable and Mother Nature-approved of the bunch, but beware when cleaning because toys made from a softer plastic can actually melt or be warped under the extreme heat of the dishwater.
Because of this, we recommend hand washing these toys with all-natural and scent-free antibacterial soap—using a toothbrush to get into those tricky crevices. If these toys are extra dirty, you can soak them in a mixture of 1 part vinegar and two parts hot water for 15 minutes before scrubbing.
While these toys are fun for a good ‘ol game of tug and war...they’re also probably the dirtiest toy of all! Unfortunately, bacteria loves to grow in between the fibers. To give bacteria the boot, simply soak the toy and then microwave it for at least a minute to help kill germs or mold. You could also throw your rope toy into a hot washing machine cycle with no detergent and then let it simply air dry for a couple days.
Now that you’ve learned the ropes of proper rope toy cleaning, it’s important to know the signs of rope toy retirement...AKA small strands on the carpet. Unfortunately, washing can weaken the rope’s fibers over time. So, as soon as you see these fibers around the house, toss the toy as these could cause damage to Fido’s intestines if eaten.
These are paws, er, hands down the cutest toys and fairly easy to clean. That being said, if your pup’s fave stuffed animal friend does get dirty, simply put the toy in a mesh garment bag or pillow case to protect it from the spin cycle.
Then, put it right into the washing machine with an all-natural detergent. (If the toy has a squeaker, use cold or warm water as hot water might damage the squeaker inside.) After it’s clean, wring out any extra water and put it on low heat or hang dry.
SOAK UP SOME FUN IN THE SUN
Looking for toys and activities to play outside with your dog? Look no further! This is by no means an exhaustive list, but all these toys are *so* fetch.
Go For the Gold
Fact: Nothing says “fun” like a doggie obstacle course. There are many pre-assembled kits you could look into or you could make your own! This could include cones for your pup to weave around, a tunnel to run through and a see-saw to balance on.
Ace a Game of Fetch
In the human world, Old Faithful is the name of a popular geyser. In the dog world, Old Faithful is small, round and yellow. If you’re going to partake in some good ‘ol fetch with this classic dog toy, just be sure these sessions are well supervised as Fido can get pretty chew-happy with these balls. Game, set, fetch!
Switch to a Disc
If you want to spice fetch up a bit, skip the ball and go for a disc. (Your retriever will thank you, trust us.) There are specific dog-friendly discs that are made with a soft, flexible material that’s easier on your pup’s mouth.
Flex That DIY Muscle
Rope toys are fun, but you can make it even more personal for your pup by DIYing your own version of a rope toy using an old t-shirt that smells like you! Soft material works best, but using a more durable material like a blanket is better for big chewers.
Switch Around Old Faves
If you’ve still got toys with lots of life left, then we have the life hack for you! Reintroducing your pup to old faves is almost like giving them a brand new toy. After inspecting old toys and washing them as needed, a simple toy rotation will have your pup feeling like they’ve just won the toy lottery.
As every dog owner knows, it’s not necessarily the toy that matters—but the company! So, lace up your shoes and go be the best playmate ever.