Many of you have been to Redogulous looking for toys for blind dogs, an article we wrote in response to our dog going blind and our desire to help her continue to play. While our beloved Sadie is gone, our desire to help disabled dogs is not and we want to continue to help owners enrich the lives of their pets through play. That said, we set off to find excellent toys for deaf dogs. While we had a product tester, Sadie, to test toys for blind dogs, we have no such tester for these toys and are going by the testimony of others in our research across the web. We hope these suggested toys help your deaf dog continue to enjoy playtime despite their disability.
The first obvious choice for a toy for a deaf dog would be something with strong visual interest, like flashing lights. There are actually quite a few flashing and glowing balls on the market, but all are not created equal. Here is a sampling below:
|The Ethical Laser Flashing Ball Dog Toy
We've seen these balls over the pet stores in our area. They are supposed to light up and make sounds when bounced. Our dog Sadie was an avid chewer and we didn't think this toy would stand up to her so we passed on buying it. Judging from the reviews, we were right. One of the major complaints with this toy is that it isn't durable enough for destructive dogs. That's not to say it isn't durable, however. Several owners report that it stands up to their dogs' play and their dogs go nuts for it. It's excellent for night time play. Overall rating for this toy by owners who have purchased it is 3 out of 5 stars.
|Flash & Glow Dog Ball
The Flash and Glow dog ball glows in the dark after being exposed to light for a while. It also has LED lights inside which flash for up to 25 seconds after the ball is shaken or bounced. According to reviews, it's very durable, standing up to heavy chewers. One frequently mentioned issue is that there appears to be no way to replace the battery, but the battery should last a good long time, if our experience with similar toys is a guide. The overall rating for this dog toy is 4 out of 5 stars.
|Nite Ize MeteorLight K-9 LED Dog Ball
One of the advantages of this light up dog ball is that it doesn't rely on impact to light up. It lights up when turned on, which makes it one of the best dog toys for night time play. That also makes it easier to locate, reducing the likelihood of being lost. Another great feature which distinguishes this toy from others is that the battery is replaceable. It's made of durable rubber, is waterproof, and bounces nicely. Owners report that it's kind of hard to turn on in the beginning, but once it's broken in, it gets easier. Overall rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
It's no secret that dogs (as well as humans) compensate for the loss of one sense by relying on the others more. For a deaf dog, that's sight and smell. There are quite a variety of dog toys that rely on smell to engage the dog in play. Here are our recommendations for smell-based toys for deaf dogs.
|Smarter Toys IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy
The IQ Treat Ball gets high marks for both durability and fun. It's excellent for food motivated dogs (which includes pretty much ever dog I've ever had) and has adjustable difficulty to challenge dogs that figure it out easily. It should stimulate your deaf dog's sense of smell and provide plenty of challenging entertainment. If your dog gobbles its food too quickly, this toy is also an excellent way to slow him or her down and make them work for their food. Owners also report that it's easy to clean. Product owners give this toy an overall rating of slightly over 4 out of 5stars.
|Kong Wobbler Treat Dispensing Toy
Having a dog that was a heavy chewer, we came to appreciate the quality of Kong products. Several Kong products integrate treats into their design and all our dogs have loved them. So, it comes as no surprise that the Kong Wobbler is highly rated by product owners. It's very durable and great for both treats and kibble. The toy is somewhat heavy, so not so easily flung across rooms, into furniture, against the wall, etc, as other toys might be. Unlike other Kong toys, this product is made of a hard plastic, rather than rubber. Product owners give this treat dispensing toy a 4.4 out of 5 stars.