10 Best Toys for Shih Tzus — 2023 Reviews & Top Picks
Every dog, regardless of breed or age, needs an arsenal of toys to play with, not only for physical exercise but for mental stimulation, too. It’s not as simple as picking the toy you think is cutest and calling it good. The right toys can help your dog cope with chewing urges, provide relief from teething pain, prevent boredom and destructive behaviors, and offer plenty of enrichment.
Shih Tzus are a friendly and playful breed that loves nothing more than a good play session with their humans. But since the doggy toy market is overwhelmingly huge, knowing where to start looking for the perfect toy for your pup can take a lot of work.
We’re making that process easier for you today because we’ve compiled 10 of the best toys for Shih Tzus on the market. Keep reading to read our reviews and find the perfect toy for your pooch.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Chuckit! Ultra Rubber Ball Tough Dog Toy||
|Best Value||JW Pet Hol-ee Roller Dog Toy||
|Premium Choice||Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Brick Puzzle Game Dog Toy||
|Best for Puppies||Nylabone Teething Pacifier Puppy Chew Toy||
|ZippyPaws Burrow Squeaky Hide & Seek Plush Dog Toy||
The 10 Best Toys for Shih Tzus
1. Chuckit! Ultra Rubber Ball Tough Dog Toy – Best Overall
The best overall toy for Shih Tzus is the Chuckit! Ultra Rubber Ball Tough Dog Toy. The balls are very bouncy, so they’re the perfect toy for dogs that love to play fetch. These affordable balls are made with a thick rubber core to ensure they last a long time and are simple to keep clean. This two-pack is also compatible with the Chuckit! Ball Launcher if you have one of those in your toy arsenal. They come in several sizes, so you can find one perfect for your small dog. Since they’re so bright, you won’t need to worry about losing them in your yard or at the dog park.
There are reports that these balls have a strong rubber scent.
- Affordable price
- Very bouncy
- Durable construction
- Comes in a two-pack
- Small size options for small dogs
- Strong rubber scent
2. JW Pet Hol-ee Roller Dog Toy – Best Value
Shih Tzu owners on a budget don’t need to buy poor-quality toys anymore. The JW Pet Hol-ee Roller Dog Toy provides the best Shih Tzu toy for the money. This unique ball is made with a tough rubber material and is double molded to last a long time. While it is a tough toy, it’s still malleable enough to be tugged and stretched. This ball is perfect for Shih Tzus who love to play fetch and gets bored easily with one-dimensional balls. The ball has honeycomb-shaped holes that allow you to put treats inside to give your pup a challenge. It’s even dishwasher-safe to make cleaning simple.
This ball is strong but may not be a good contender for strong chewers.
- Affordable price
- Tough material
- Double molded
- Can stretch
- Perfect for hiding treats
- Not great for chewers
3. Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Brick Puzzle Game Dog Toy – Premium Choice
All dogs need some mental stimulation to keep them challenged and give their lives some enrichment. The Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Brick Puzzle Game Dog Toy takes our pick as the Premium Choice as it’s the perfect toy to give your Shih Tzu the stimulation it needs. This toy is ideal if your pup has mastered other, simpler puzzle toys. You can adjust the puzzle’s difficulty by using the white blocks to hide treats or by sliding the brown discs.
The puzzle toy should be used under supervision only as the white bone pieces are removable and could present a choking hazard. This just gives you more time to spend bonding with your pup as you help him figure out its puzzle.
- Provides mental stimulation
- Extra challenging for smart pups
- Several spots to hide toys
- Great bonding activity
- Should be used only under supervision
4. Nylabone Teething Pacifier Puppy Chew Toy – Best for Puppies
Shih Tzu puppies are not unlike human babies—they need to teethe. The Nylabone Teething Pacifier Puppy Chew Toy is the best toy for Shih Tzu puppies because it gives them a healthy outlet for that teething stage. This bacon-flavored toy encourages positive play and teaches your young pup healthy chewing habits. Each “pacifier” has nubs to help clean your dog’s teeth and promote proper oral hygiene from a young age. The toy comes with a vet recommendation, so it’s something you can feel comfortable giving to your puppy.
The toy may be too hard for some puppy’s teeth, so this might not be ideal for very young puppies.
- Encourages healthy chewing
- Can promote oral health
- Vet recommended
- Irresistible bacon flavor
- May be too big for some puppies
5. ZippyPaws Burrow Squeaky Hide & Seek Plush Dog Toy
|Material:||Fleece, synthetic fabric|
The ZippyPaws Burrow Squeaky Hide & Seek Plush Dog Toy is an interactive toy that mentally and physically challenges your Shih Tzu. It comes with three squeaky hedgehog toys that your dog will need to dig out of their den. Your pup can then play with the hedgehogs on their own if it likes the squeaky sound, or you can put them back in the hole to start all over. It’s machine washable, making cleanup simple. You can purchase the hedgehogs on their own if your dog loses or wrecks one of them.
The hedgehogs may not be able to withstand strong chewers.
- Machine washable
- Interactive toy
- Mentally stimulating
- Hedgehogs can be purchased separately
- Not for strong chewers
6. Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball Dog Toy
The Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball Dog Toy is a challenging and interactive toy that will keep your Shih Tzu occupied for hours. It will give them a mental and physical challenge to keep their life enriching and rewarding. Put your pup’s favorite dry food into the ball and watch as it slowly dispenses the treats the more your puppy plays with it. Though the material type is unknown, it has a soft texture that’s easy for dogs to grip.
The design of this toy makes it a challenge to clean.
- Great enrichment toy
- Challenging and rewarding
- Easy to operate
- Soft texture
- Difficult to clean
7. KONG Cozie Marvin the Moose Plush Dog Toy
|Material:||Polyester, synthetic fabric|
Sometimes the best toys are the simplest. The KONG Cozie Marvin the Moose Plush Dog Toy doesn’t have any bells and whistles, but it makes up for that by providing a cozy comfort toy your Shih Tzu might love. This soft, cuddly, and affordable moose has an extra layer of material for durability and minimal filling to make less of a mess in your home. It has a squeaker inside and is perfect for snuggling or a game of fetch, whichever your pup prefers.
This isn’t the best toy if your Shih Tzu is a strong chewer.
- Great for fetch
- Cozy for snuggly dogs
- Affordable price
- Minimal filling
- Not for strong chewers
8. Nylabone Power Chew Easy-Hold Bacon Flavor Dog Dental Chew Toy
|Material:||Nylon, synthetic fabric|
We know we’ve been talking a lot about toys that aren’t designed for strong chewers today, so let’s take a look at one that is. The Nylabone Power Chew Easy-Hold Bacon Flavor Dog Dental Chew Toy is designed to be chewed on. This durable chew toy has four paw grips so your pup can get at it from any angle. It features numerous dental textures to reduce plaque and tartar build-up and has a bacon flavor to entice your dog to chew on it versus other objects in your home.
This toy needs to be used under supervision only, as strong chewers can potentially rip parts of it off over time. It may also be too hard for some Shih Tzus to chew.
- Perfect for strong chewers
- Yummy bacon flavor
- Paw grips
- Promotes healthy chewing habits
- Must only be used under supervision
- May be too hard for some dogs
9. Hartz Frisky Frolic Squeaky Latex Dog Toy
Sometimes it’s the simplest toys that provide the most entertainment. The Hartz Frisky Frolic Squeaky Latex Dog Toy is a classic squeakable toy that most dogs find irresistible. This bright, colorful squeaker is perfect for chewing, chasing, and fetching. The toy is made with a durable latex material, and its textured surface provides a fun and stimulating chewing experience. It’s perfect for indoor and outdoor play as it can withstand the elements. Best of all, it comes at an incredibly affordable price, so even if your dog doesn’t like it, you’re not out much money.
The squeaker inside the toy is loud and can be scary for skittish Shih Tzus. You cannot choose the color you want as they’re sent randomly.
- Good for indoor and outdoor use
- Perfect for playing fetch
- Affordable price tag
- Bright and colorful to catch the eye
- Squeaker volume can frighten skittish dogs
- Cannot choose toy color
10. KONG Puppy Dog Toy
The KONG Puppy Dog Toy is an awesome pick for young, energetic puppies, as its unpredictable bounce can keep them entertained for hours. The toy is chewable to promote healthy chewing behavior, and its unique shape is designed specifically for soothing teething gums. This versatile toy is great for fetching and chewing and can also be stuffed with treat paste or peanut butter for a tasty snack to keep your dog occupied when leaving for work.
It is a bit complicated and tedious to clean, but it is top-rack dishwasher safe when it’s time to remove tough, stuck-on gunk. The toy does have a strong smell at first and can be pretty messy, so it’s best used in a controlled environment like a crate.
- Great for both puppies and adults
- Adds enrichment
- Great for fetching and chasing
- Promotes healthy chewing behaviors
- Tough to clean
- Smelly at first
Buyer’s Guide — How to Choose the Best Toy for Shih Tzus
Choosing a toy sounds like it should be pretty simple. After all, toys are just for playing, right?
While toys are definitely a source of entertainment for animals, they also serve a greater purpose of providing mental stimulation and physical exercise. As such, there are several factors to consider before buying a for your Shih Tzu to ensure it’s something your pup will both use and benefit from.
The materials your dog’s toys are made of are very important. Some can be torn through in a matter of seconds. Others can pose a choking hazard. Some materials are toxic for animals, so they’ll need to be avoided at all costs.
- Firm rubber
- Hard plastic
Your dog’s toy should have no small pieces that can break off, become a choking hazard, or cause an obstruction.
Your dog’s age should also play a part in your decision-making process. Younger Shih Tzus can benefit from toys aimed toward teething and toys designed to introduce it to learning and developmentally challenging puzzles. Fully grown Shih Tzus will love toys that let them connect with you better, such as retrieval or puzzle toys.
Senior dogs do best with softer toys that won’t damage their teeth.
There are several different toy types we reviewed today. Each type serves its own purpose, so it’s essential to consider this purpose before buying a toy. Your adult Shih Tzu will have different needs than its senior or puppy counterparts.
Just as it sounds, chew toys are designed specifically for chewing. The urge to chew doesn’t stop when your puppy graduates into adulthood, as many fully grown dogs chew to work their jaws. Chewing can also be a stress relief for some.
Chew toys should be made of a firm rubber or nylon material if you want them to last. The ones are durable but not too firm that they’ll damage your pup’s teeth.
Interactive toys are great for Shih Tzus because they’re intelligent and need a toy that can challenge them. The best interactive toys make noise or create movement when your pup interacts with them. They’re great for occupying your dog when you’re busy or away at work.
Retrieval toys are the ones you’ll reach for when you want to play fetch with your Shih Tzu or need a way for them to burn off some energy. While Shih Tzus generally don’t go nuts for ball chases like other breeds, some have a higher prey drive that makes a good game of chase irresistible. Retrieval toys are great for bonding and providing your pup with the necessary exercise.
This toy type is typically bouncy and small enough that your dog can comfortably carry it but not too small that it presents a choking hazard.
Puzzle toys, like interactive toys, are great for Shih Tzus as they can boost your dog’s confidence and let them flex their brain muscles. They’re also great for bonding as they’re designed for you to do alongside your pup.
Puzzle toys come in varying levels, from beginner to expert. They typically require your dog to push sliders or use levers to release treats. We recommend starting with an easy puzzle toy and working your way up to build your Shih Tzus confidence right out of the gate.
Treat-dispensing toys are similar to puzzle toys but don’t require the manipulation of levers or sliders. You’ll fill up the toy with your dog’s favorite treat, and then it will need to figure out how to get it out. Mix dry kibble with 100% natural smooth peanut butter to entice your pup to the toy.
For the best overall toy for Shih Tzus, the Chuckit! Ultra Rubber Ball is the clear winner for its durability and bounciness. Our best value award goes to the JW Pet Hol-ee Roller for its affordable price and flexibility in function. Finally, our premium pick, the Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound, provides Shih Tzus with infinite enrichment and stimulation.
We hope our reviews are making the toy-buying decision-making process easier for you. We’re sure your Shih Tzu will love any toy you buy for it, but the ten above are your best options, in our opinion.
Featured Image Credit: chaoss, Shutterstock