Best Toys for Bulldogs and Their Unique Traits

Dog owners are always looking for the best dog toys because everyone wants the best for their pooch. However, there are some dog breeds that have more specific needs when it comes to picking out the best toys. When it comes to choosing the best toys for bulldogs, keep the specific traits of the breed in mind. Do this not only to make sure that they are happy and entertained during playtime but for their health and safety as well.

Both English bulldogs and French bulldogs are prone to certain health issues that can be helped with the right types of play but are exacerbated by overdoing it.

If you are a bulldog owner, especially if you recently brought home a bulldog puppy into your family, then you need to review this list of the best toys for your dog and the reasoning behind those choices.

Best toys for bulldogs:

Toys For Exercise

french bulldog getting squeaky toy

Both the English and French breeds of bulldogs can struggle when it comes to exercise. The brachycephalic (literally “short-headed”) shape of their snouts that gives their face that distinct “smooshed” look can often lead to serious or potentially fatal breathing problems on hot days, or if they play too hard or for too long. 

On the other hand, without adequate exercise, they run a very high risk of health complications as they are prone to becoming overweight. This is particularly true for the English style. English bulldogs naturally carry more weight around their face and middle. They commonly struggle with back and hip problems.

Due to this Catch-22, providing your bulldog with just the right amount of exercise can be a challenge. Taking walks can be tricky. You may end up needing to carry your four-legged friend for part of the journey if the distance isn’t just right.

Best Toys for Bulldogs Who Play Fetch

dog on bed with squeaker balls

Instead, a game of fetch with a classic dog toy such as a frisbee or a tennis ball is a great option. This way the game can be easily stopped and started as needed. By closely monitoring your dog’s breathing, you will be able to recognize when they are nice and warmed up, when they need a short break, and when they are all tapped out.

For the perfect fetch toy, consider dog toy tennis balls with engaging squeakers that come in different sizes compared to the standard used at Wimbledon. Especially for French bulldogs, a smaller size will be easier for them to carry and less likely to further obstruct their breathing.

Making sure that your bulldog is happy and healthy should be monitored on an individual level. Consistency over time is the best way to seek the results that you desire, but make sure to keep the games and toys fresh to add some variety and stay out of exercise ruts.

When the good old tennis ball and frisbee lose their appeal, mix things up with a novelty such as a Squawker Rubber Chicken. Made from natural rubber and too cute to resist, these fancy chickens are sure to liven up your game of fetch.

Toys for Keeping Themselves Entertained

best toys for bulldogs

Like many dogs, bulldogs are prone to boredom. When this happens, they can easily become destructive or even depressed.

To combat this, choosing an interactive dog toy can make a game out of alone time. Choose interactive puzzle toys with increasing levels of difficulty to sharpen their mental state and entertain their brain.

Starting with level one is recommended. This lays out foundational skills that they will build upon and utilize as they progress to more challenging puzzles up to level four. With their natural intelligence, bulldogs are sure to enjoy these mentally stimulating toys and master them in due time.

If you also have concerns that the boredom might be compounded by separation anxiety, then a great toy to try is a kong or a similarly hollow chew toy. Fill this with the all-powerful, chewy, and alluring magic spread: peanut butter. Just make sure that your product is dishwasher safe to make for easy cleanup and sanitation.

Dental Health Toys

pc: @thefrenchpig

The best kind of toy is a toy that’s also a treat! Just stay away from rawhide.

For teething puppies and for those concerned with the health of their dog’s teeth, the best chew toys are safe, have durability, and won’t splinter. 

Aggressive chewers will easily chew a traditional dog chew toy to shreds. You can combat this problem by approaching it from a different angle. Instead of looking for a dental health toy that they can’t destroy, give them one that is intended to be chewed safely.

Real tree branches can splinter and cause oral and intestinal damage in dogs who love to chew. Doggie chews such as Dogwood Sticks give teething pups and destructo dogs a safe, tasty alternative to the traditional stick your puppies will adore!

Your bulldog will think that they have mastered the art of the chew. Plus, you won’t have to worry about picking up shredded toys (or sticks) off the carpet anymore.

Toys for Roughhousing 

dog playing tug

Another breed characteristic of bulldogs both French and English is strong jaws and an even stronger stubborn streak. With powerful jowls and a refusal to give up, a game of tug of war with a bulldog can last a while, so you better make sure that your tug toy is high-quality and durable.

Go with a classic rope toy or a funny little farm animal that combines the fun of tug and softness of their favorite plush toys. Either way, you will quickly discover why tug toys are some of the best toys for wearing out your energetic bulldog.

One note of caution: we recommend getting down on their level for these tests of strength, as wrenching the toy upward is not only unfair with your height advantage but can also be harmful to your bulldog’s teeth.

What Is Your Bulldog’s Favorite Toy?

best toys for bulldogs

Just like people, every dog is unique and has its own unique tastes. Remember that breed characteristics do not define your pup’s personality. They are not intended to put your dog in a box, but they can help you to understand them a little better.

Share the myriad of ways that these common bulldog traits can be expressed! Please tell us in the comments your experiences with bulldogs and their all-time favorite toys!