Updated: Jan 1
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We’ve all spent hours searching for the best toys for our bulldogs. Keeping a bulldog happy and occupied isn’t the easiest thing to do, and the personality traits that are often associated with bulldogs make that task even harder - I’m sure, like myself, you’ve spent a fair amount of money on dog toys in the past that your bulldog will either turn it’s nose at, get bored of in a few minutes or completely destroy it within a matter of day.
Along with their personality traits, their flat faces and unique mouth structures can make it difficult to find dog toys that they enjoy playing with. Fortunately for you, we’ve spent the money and took the time to find the best toys that have worked for our bulldogs.
Finding the best toys for your bulldog can help your dog in many different ways, bulldogs often suffer from weight related problems and ensuring that their dog toys help them keep engaged in some physical activities is a brilliant way to help keep their weight under control.
If you lead a busy life, which, let's be honest most of us do, then you may at times feel guilty for not giving your dog the attention you think it might need or leaving it alone for extended periods. Dog toys are perfect for you if this is the case, if you can find the right dog toys for your bulldog then they'll be able to keep themselves entertained and curve their boredom during the times when you might not be able to pay your dog the attention that it needs.
What are the benefits of dog toys?
The main benefit of dog toys is that they provide your dog with enjoyment and mental stimulation. Without dog toys, it's likely that your dog will become bored and unhappy.
Dog toys are great at helping provide your bulldog with a sense of self independence. As dog owners, we can't be with our dogs 24/7, so it's great for your bulldogs to learn to play on their own.
Dog toys are also brilliant for your dogs health, and they help keep your dog active.
What should you consider when you purchase dog toys for your bulldog?
There are a lot of things that you should consider when purchasing a dog toy for your bulldog, but the main things we always take into consideration are:
Their flat faces & short muzzles: Bulldogs have flat faces and short muzzles than most dog breeds. You may think this might not impact your dog's enjoyment of its toy, but their short muzzles can make it tricky for them to pick up certain and hold certain dog toys.
Their crowded teeth: Due to a bulldog's jaw space being smaller than most dogs, their teeth tend to grow in and can crowd together, causing them to have crowded teeth. Their crowded teeth can make it hard for bulldogs to hold onto their toys and can make carrying their toys around awkward and difficult.
Breathing difficulties: The flat face of your bulldog does mean that they will have difficulties with breathing. Due to their face being compressed, air doesn’t flow as freely as a bulldog breathes. This means that we don’t recommend any water play with your bulldog or dog toys that are going to cause your bulldog to become overexerted. Finding the best puzzle dog toys can help keep your bulldog occupied and stimulated without vigorous exercise.
Durability: Bulldogs are notorious for their rough play style and if their toys aren’t durable enough, you’ll likely be buying toys over and over again as your bulldog continues to destroy them. You’ll want to find the best indestructible dog toys for your bulldog.
Bulldogs can be picky: Bulldogs are known for their personality traits, they can be highly anxious and very picky when it comes to deciding on what they like. We’ve often found that Bulldogs can be scared of toys that squeak, so it’s always good to have great squeak-less dog toys for your bulldogs.
Dog Toy Safety Tips
When buying a dog toy, your biggest worry is probably going to be whether the toy is safe, and if it has potential to put your dogs health at risk. Dog toy's don't have the same rigorous testing requirements that a child's toy needs, so it's key that as a dog owner, you know the things that you need to look out for to know that the dog toy is safe.
Here are some of the tips we've put together for you to consider when thinking about if the dog toy your about to purchase is safe for your bulldog.
Ensure the to is specifically designed for dogs. You may think that any toy is fine for your dog, however dog toys are often more durable and designed to last with rough play.
Check that the dog toy is non-toxic and doesn't include any materials that may be toxic to your bulldog.
Make sure the toy doesn't include any small parts that may come loose. I often make sure I stay away from any dog toys with small plastic parts, such as eyes on a teddy, to ensure that they don't come loose and end up being swallowed and choked on by my dog.
Make sure the toy is the right size for your dog. You don't want to be purchasing dog toys which your dog can swallow whole.
Dog toys you should avoiding giving to your bulldog
Dog toys are obviously extremely beneficial for bulldogs, however there are certain types of dog toys that we don't recommend giving to your bulldog as they can be a risk to your bulldogs health. Our complete list of dog toys we recommend that you avoid is below.
Stuffed toys: We don't recommend giving your bulldog any dog toys that are stuffed. As wear and tear beings to show in the toy the filling from the stuffing will come out of the toy and this is a choking hazard for your bulldog. If your dog does swallow stuffing, this can be extremely dangerous for your bulldogs health too, such as intestinal or internal blockages.
Rawhide dog toys: Your bulldog may love it's rawhide dog toys, however they can be dangerous to your dogs health. As the rawhide is chewed it becomes softer and begins to tear, once torn it does present a potential choking hazard for your bulldog.
Pigs Ears: Pigs ears are often considered to be good for dogs as they work well as chew toys, keep dogs occupied and entertained and they can help puppies when teething. It has however been discovered that pigs ears are frequently swallowed and choked on by dogs.
Tips & Tricks for Cleaning your Dog Toys
Bulldogs are messy little creatures, and I'm sure as a bulldog owner, you've thrown out plenty of toys that you might think are now ruined, or past the point of cleaning.
Because dogs use their mouths to play with their dog toys, it's important that we do clean and disinfect their toys on a regular basis. Their toys will harbour dirt and bacteria, so ensuring their toys are cleaned regularly will help prevent your dog from getting sick.
The majority of the dog toys you purchase will include care and cleaning instructions, whenever you can, ensure that you follow these instructions.
Cleaning rubber, plastic or nylon chew toys: Unless it is clearly stated on the dog toy that it is dishwasher safe, we recommend hand washing these dog toys in warm water with antibacterial soap. A small brush, such as a toothbrush, can be a great way to get all the extra dirt out of the little crevices.
Rope toys: The absorbent fibres on rope toys are great at trapping moisture and drool which can become a breeding ground for bacteria. We recommend completely soaking the rope in warm water for a minute or two before scrubbing with a small brush to try and remove the trapped dirt. After washed, it's important to ensure the toy is completely dry before allowing your dog to play with it again.
Plush toys: The best way we've found to wash our plush dog toys is in the washing machine - please use your judgement when washing your plush toys in deciding which cycle will work best for the toy.
Keeping your bulldog clean is also a fantastic way to help ensure it's toys don't become dirty too quick.
Different types of Dog Toys for Bulldogs
Like most dog breeds, bulldogs love toys that they can chew on to keep them entertained. If you don’t have chew toys for your bulldogs, you are risking them easing their boredom by chewing on your furniture or personal possessions - which we know you don’t want. When looking for chew dog toys, make sure you lookout for the best indestructible dog toys for your bulldog.
As a bulldog owner, we all know how intelligent they actually are as a breed. It’s key that the dog toys you pick for your bulldog will play into their intelligence and help keep them mentally stimulated. To do this, puzzle dog toys are brilliant for your bulldogs. They can provide hours of fun and they can help to keep your bulldog occupied and entertained whilst you're busy and don’t have the time to play with your dog. They’re also perfect for bulldogs as they don’t result in your dog having to exercise vigorously which can be dangerous for bulldogs with their breathing problems. We've done plenty of research to find the best puzzle dog toys to keep bulldogs entertained.
Plush toys are great for bulldogs. Plush dog toys are stuffed toys that are made to be sturdy and durable with your dog's sharp teeth in mind. They come in a wide variety of colours, shapes and forms. Bulldogs have an extremely strong jaw, so make sure you take this into consideration when purchasing your plush dog toys, otherwise they won’t last too long!
Whatever style of toy that you're looking to purchase, ensure that you keep in mind the shape, durability and material of your dog toy. Plush toys will help provide your bulldog with a level of comfort and they provide the perfect snuggling partner for your fur baby, as we all know there’s nothing a bulldog loves more than to snooze!
Can Dog Toys Help with Dental Hygiene
Keeping on top of your dogs dental hygiene isn't an easy task and it's something we all worry about as pet owners, however, luckily for us, there are dog toys specifically designed to help with your bulldogs dental hygiene.
Not keeping on top of your bulldogs dental hygiene can lead to smelly breath and their teeth can begin to rot, become infected and turn yellow.
Dog dental toys are great for dogs who don't enjoy to have their teeth brushed. They are designed so that whilst your dog chews on the toy, the bristles work against their teeth to clean off any plaque build ups.
The Best Dog Toys for Bulldogs
Kong Extreme Dog Toy
Kong Specialise in making sustainable and durable dog toys, and the Kong Extreme Dog Toy is made to stand up against the powerful jaws of bulldogs. The kong extreme dog toy is one of the toughest dog toys you'll find on the market and the top of our durable dog toys list.
As well as being extremely durable and an excellent chew toy for your bulldog, the Kong Extreme Dog toy comes with an interactive element in that it's hollow centre allows you to enter snacks like peanut butter or dog treats that will dispense as your dog chews the toy.
The Kong Extreme Dog Toy is available on Amazon directly from Kong, and is available in a variety of sizes and colours.
Nylabone Extreme Tough Dog Chew Toy
The Nylabone Extreme Tough Dog Chew Toy is the perfect chew toys for your bulldog if it's a little more on the aggressive chewer side. It's hard plastic design means that the toy is extremely durable and will hold under the wear and tear of your dogs chewing. They are also available in various different flavours, adding a little extra treat for your fur baby whilst it's playing.
An added benefit to the Nylabone Extreme Tough Dog Chew Toy is how the toy can help improve your dogs teeth health. The toy is covered in small bristles which work away whilst your dog chews, helping to remove plaque and tartar.
Mammoth Flossy Chews Colour Knot Rope
The Mammoth Flossy Chews Colour Knot Rope is the perfect toy to keep your bulldog entertained - we all know that a bulldog loves a good game of tug and war! This rope dog toy is the most durable of all the rope dog toys we've tested and is truly built to last.
Rope chew toys are fantastic for your bulldog if they love to chew - and it should help stop them from destroying any of your personal belongings with their chewing antics!
OurPets IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy
The OurPets IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy is a great interactive puzzle toy that also incorporates food which should help provide mental stimulation for your bulldog as well as satisfying it's never ending hunger that we've all seen from our bulldogs!
The balls are available in a number of sizes and they can be adjusted to increase the difficulty.
Willie Bones Modern Dog Chew Toy
The Willie Bones Modern Dog Chew Toy is made from 100% natural, non-toxic rubber. It's bulky, ridged design creates dimension and allows for great chewing fun for your bulldog.
It's an extremely durable chew toy that allows for hours of chewing fun for your bulldog, helping to maintain dental health, relieve stress and reduce boredom.
Kong Flyer Durable Flying Disc Dog Toy
The Kong Flyer Durable Flying Disc Dog Toy is the most durable dog toy Frisbee you'll find. It's made from an extremely tough rubber to ensure its longevity.
The Kong Flyer Durable Flying Disc Dog Toy is perfect if your bulldog loves frisbee.
Tug a Jug
The Tug a Jug dog toy can hold up to an entire meal for your fur baby, meaning that you can help provide it with a bit of mental stimulation during it's meal time. This toy is fantastic if you have a bulldog that eats too fast, which is a common problem, as the toy will force the dog to work for it's food and slow down how fast it can consume it's meal.
If your bulldog doesn't suffer from bad breathing problems and is on the healthier side, then a ball launcher is great for a dog that loves to play fetch. I'm sure we've all experienced the shoulder ache of having to launch the ball for you dog as it runs backwards and forwards franticly, but the ball launcher will help resolve this - and you'll be able to launch the ball twice as far!
Eco-Friendly Dog Toys
Although dog toys are brilliant for our fur baby's, the majority of them aren't so brilliant for our planet. The majority for the dog toys are often non-recyclable and will end up in landfill. We've put together a short list that includes a few dog toys that are fully recyclable or biodegradable and are made from recycled materials.
Beco Natural Rubber Treat Ball
The Beco Natural Rubber Treat Ball is made from natural rubber and rice fibre husks, it is completely non-toxic and it doesn't include any potentially harmful chemicals. It's irregular shape means that it's great for your bulldog to bounce around and play with and the hole through the centre means it works perfectly as a treat dispenser to keep your bulldog further occupied.
PetFun Natural Rubber Pineapple Chew Toy
The Petfun natural rubber pineapple chew toy is made from 100% food-grade natural rubber and is fully biodegradable. The dog toy includes multiple holes which are great to work as a treat dispenser and the texture on the toy is designed to help keep your dogs teeth clean and remove any excessive plaque build ups.
Green & Wilds Lionel the Llama
The Green & Wilds Lionel the lama is a plush dog that that is made from jute rope that is wrapped around a fully recycled bottle. It's one of the more durable, eco-friendly, natural dog toys and it is fully recyclable.
How to make your own dog toys
You might be thinking, why are dog toys so expensive?! If you've got a little bully that loves tearing through it's dog toys and you can't find any toys that can hold up to it's rough playing style, then your bank account may be running a little empty from all the replacement toys you need to keep buying!
Toys are a necessity to keep your bulldogs happy and entertained, so if your feeling the pinch and don't want to be buying expensive dog toy after expensive dog toy, then when not try and make your own DIY dog toys?
Checkout a few of the simple dog toys that we've made ourselves in the past.
T-Shirt Rope Toy
Plenty of old t-shirts lying around and not quite sure what to do with them? Here's an idea for you! Why not create your own DIY T-Shirt Rope Dog Toy? Permacrafters have a brilliant guide on how you can make your own super simple t-shirt rope toy.
Towel Tug Toy
Put your old tattered towels to use and create your own DIY towel tug dog toy. Simply cut three strips of towel, about 4 inches wide and at least 12 inches long. Tie them off at one end with a small towel strip (1 inch wide and 6 inches long). Braid and use another strip to tie off the end.
What dog toys should I get my bulldog puppy?
The main thing that a bulldog puppy needs from their dog toys is variety. Puppies will become bored of their dog toys faster than an adult dog would, so it's key to ensure that you offer your puppy a wide variety of dog toys that can offer various different play styles and include various different textures and materials.
A fetch toy is brilliant for your bulldog puppy. Bulldog puppies are full of energy and ready to cause trouble whenever and wherever they can, playing fetch with your bulldog puppy is a fantastic way to tire it out and help it burn off that excess energy. One thing to be careful of when playing fetch with your bulldog is that if your dog becomes to look fatigued, then it's time to stop playing and let your dog rest and regain it's energy.
Another great toy toy type for bulldog puppies are chew toys. Puppies are always looking for something to chew, so give them a dog toy rather than your furniture or personal possessions. Chew toys are also fantastic at helping sooth your bulldogs teeth as they begin teething.
Tips for keeping a bulldog entertained
Keeping a bulldog entertained isn't always the easiest task, and understanding what they want can be harder. I know with my English bulldogs, I've spent hours at a time trying to figure out exactly what they want when they are in a bit of an irritable mood - and it'll often leave me feeling like I want to pull my hair out! Here are some tips from my experience of how I keep my bulldogs entertained.
Remember, bulldogs aren't the most active dog breeds you'll find - they are actually one of the least active. This means that when it comes to playing, you don't have to spend hours playing with your bulldog, I've generally found that around half an hour is the perfect amount of play time for my English bulldogs without over exerting themselves. After half an hour of playing, I've often found that my bulldogs will often trotter off to their beds or somewhere comfy to catch a few extra hours sleep!
Bulldogs are extremely sensitive to the heat, and if it's too hot, this can cause breathing issues for your bulldog and lead to them overheating - which can be fatal. If you think it's too hot for your bulldog, then leave it to rest during the heat of the day and keep your physical activities to the early morning or late nights when the temperatures are cooler.
Let your bulldog interact and play with other dogs. Take your bulldog to the park and let it meet new people and new dogs, bulldogs get a lot of enjoyment out of socialising.
Frequently asked questions
Are dog chew toys safe for bulldogs?
Chew toys are not only safe for your bulldog, but they have many a lot of benefits for bulldogs that other types of dog toys don't have.
Bulldogs love to chew, so a chew toy is the perfect choice for them to help keep them happy and occupied. You can also find chew toys that can help benefit your dogs dental health.
To help ensure the safety of your bulldog when it's playing with it's chew toy, ensure that it's toxic free and that it doesn't have any small/loose parts which may become dislodged and swallowed by your bulldog as it's chewing.
How can I tell if the toy is durable enough for my bulldog?
Bulldogs are known for their rough and tumble play style. If their dog toys aren’t durable enough, you’ll likely be buying toys over and over again as your bulldog continues to destroy them.
When buying your dog toy, look out for if the company mentions that the toy is either heavy duty, durable or indestructible. If one of these terms are mentioned then the toy should be strong enough for your bulldog.
How often should I clean my dog toys?
Dog toys will harbour dirt and bacteria, so ensuring their toys are cleaned regularly will help prevent your dog from getting sick. We recommend cleaning your dog toys at least every two weeks - and more if one of your dogs toys looks extra dirty since it's last clean.
What size dog toy should I get for a bulldog?
When buying your dog toys, always look out for what size dog the manufacturer recommends for the dog toy. Bulldogs generally fit into the "medium" sized dog bracket.
If the toy is too big for your dog, it may be uncomfortable for it too play with and it may not enjoy the toy, however if the toy is too small, then you are putting your dog at risk of swallowing the toy and choking on it.
Could dog toys make my bulldog sick?
If you don't buy the right toy for your dog, then yes, it may make it sick. The key to buying safe dog toys is to ensure they they are toxic and chemical free and that they are the right size for your bulldog.
We also recommend always using well known, established brands such as Kong & Chuckit!
Finding the best toy for your bulldog
Finding the best toy for your English bulldog will take some trial and error, their quirky little characters mean that no bulldog is the same, but through trial and error we've put together this list for the best dog toys that have helped to keep our bulldogs occupied and entertained.