Our four-legged friends bless us with plenty of aww-worthy moments, from the good ol’ zoomies to chasing their tails.
However, nothing can quite top watching them battle it out with a grunting toy. The derpy noises, endless tail wagging, determined thrashing and tossing — it’s equal parts hilarious and heartwarming.
Below, we’ve identified a few of the best grunting toys on the market and also included some tips on how to find the right one for your dog’s needs.
Best Grunting Dog Toys: Quick Picks
What Are Grunting Dog Toys and Why Do Dogs Like Them?
A grunting dog toy is a soft toy, typically made from plush, rubber, or latex, that contains a noise-making device at its center. When squeezed, air travels through this device and causes it to emit noise.
The exact tone, duration, and volume produced by the noise maker can vary, depending on its size and how your pup interacts with the toy.
Grunting dog toys operate the same basic way as squeaky toys (and some use the terms interchangeably).
In fact, the only real difference is the noise they produce: Toys that produce a high-pitched sound fall under the “squeaker” category, while toys that generate a low-pitched, pig-like noise are considered “grunting” toys or “grunters.”
Dogs have varying preferences when it comes to the toys and sounds they enjoy. If even the wackiest, funniest dog squeaker isn’t perking your dog’s ears, a grunting toy might just capture her heart!
Pups go barking mad over grunting toys for several reasons, including:
- They stimulate your dog’s hunting instincts. Our dogs have inherited a prey drive from their wolf ancestors, and grunting toys — which are soft, noisy, and small — simulate real prey. So yep, these toys engage your pup’s hunting instincts in a healthy way, allowing her to act on her wildest desires without causing harm (well, apart from the toy itself!).
- Grunting toys provide instant gratification. A grunting toy’s auditory feedback is rewarding as it helps your dog truly feel the “oomph” of every bite, toss, and thrash. An inanimate (read: boring) dog toy just can’t quite match the same sensory experience. Auditory feedback is particularly ideal for blind dogs, who rely on their sense of hearing more than other pups.
- They provide a safe and constructive way to satisfy chewing urges. Dogs, especially teething puppies, have a strong urge to chew on things. And it’s no surprise why. Our four-legged friends explore the world with their mouths, and chewing can provide comfort, relieve sore gums, and even combat boredom.
- They give your dog a way to catch your attention. Our canine companions are always finding new ways to get us to play with them. If you come running to your dog’s side whenever you hear the grunting sound, they might start to associate the noise with you and learn to use the grunting toy whenever they want your attention. Take it as a compliment!
- Grunting dog toys can be soothing. Slow, low-pitched noises tend to be more soothing for dogs than high-pitched, squeaky noises. This makes grunting toys a potentially ideal alternative for pups that suffer from noise sensitivities.
The 8 Best Grunting Dog Toys
Ready to find a grunting toy that’ll tap into your pup’s wild side? Below, we’ve compiled a list of our personal favorite grunting toys on the market and covered each one’s pros, cons, and features.
As always, keep in mind your dog’s needs and preferences when choosing a new toy!
1. Outward Hound Accordionz
About: The Outward Hound Accordionz is designed to make playtime exciting. And it combines the best of grunters and squeakers, as it is capable of making both kinds of noises.
It also has a unique shape that adds to the sensory experience (and keeps your buddy’s brain buzzing). Plus, the natural latex is lightweight, easy to wipe clean, and firm yet soft enough for teething puppies and sensitive mouths.
- Makes both grunting and squeaking noises
- Comes in several slightly different versions
- Made with sturdy latex material
- Unique ridged shape provides plenty of gnawing points
- Material is lightweight and easy to wipe clean
- Enhanced sensory experience; different noises and textures
- Made by one of the best dog toy brands around
- Squeaker feature may not be suitable for noise-sensitive pups
- Grunter can sometimes get dislodged
2. Chiwava Grunting Dog Toy
About: Owners love the Chiwava Grunting Dog Toy for its realistic pig grunting noises, stretchy soft material, and grip-friendly shape. Its vibrant yellow color is also attractive and makes the toy easy to find, whether you’re playing outside or in the home.
While this toy has received better reviews from pet parents than the Outward Hound Accordionz dog toy, we’re declaring them tied for the best overall grunting dog toy.
Go with the Chiwava if you care more about pet parent reviews; opt for the Outward Hound if you’d rather buy from an award-winning pet product manufacturer that’s known for its reliability and rigorous testing.
- Suitable for large dogs, between 68 and 88 pounds
- Made from rubber with plush filling
- Soft thorns on the toy’s back
- Vibrant yellow hue
- The color makes it easy to locate
- Easy-to-grip shape
- Bouncy enough for interactive games like fetch
- Unlikely to withstand heavy thrashing and chewing
- If your dog tears the rubber, the plush filling will be accessible to your dog
3. ZippyPaws Oscar the Octopus
About: Oscar the Octopus is a grunting toy that’s just as cute as your pup (well, almost)! It gives off total Disney vibes, with a sweet smiling face, cuddly plush design, and cute pastel blue hue. Plus, your dog is sure to love grappling with the tentacles!
- Adorable octopus shape
- Plush outer material and soft filling
- Cute light blue color
- Suitable for large breeds
- The design is entirely too cute
- Tentacles provide extra mental stimulation and plenty of gnawing points
- Grunting noise maker is loud and built to last
- It’s a pretty pricey toy
- Tentacles can be torn off in rough play
4. Chiwava Polka Dot Pigs
About: Being on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t treat your pup. Chiwava offers an affordable toy set that includes two — yes, two! — colorful grunting pigs. Each toy is made from easy-to-clean latex, sports attractive polka dots, and has a grunting noise that owners say is gentle on their ears.
While these toys lack the soft thorns that Chiwava’s more premium grunting pig toy has, it’s a worthy trade-off that’ll keep both your pup and wallet happy.
- Set contains two grunting toys
- Made from latex with a plush filling
- Two different size options to choose between
- Attractive polka dot pattern
- A very budget-friendly option
- Material is easy to wipe clean
- Gentle grunting noise; ideal for noise-sensitive pooches (or humans)
- Some owners reported durability problems
- Grunting device may loosen over time
5. Petstages Grunt N’ Punt
About: If your dog can’t get enough of fetch, the Petstages Grunt N’ Punt is sure to keep her tail wagging for hours on end. Best of all, it makes the fetch games even more exciting and stimulating, thanks to the loud grunter. The ball is also super bouncy, gentle on the teeth, and easy to grip, no matter how slobbery the play gets!
- Bouncy and lightweight ball design
- Tie-dye pattern is highly visible to owners
- Several different colors and styles to choose between
- Made from durable, high-quality rubber
- It’s a great fetch toy that is even more interactive than boring balls
- Easy-to-grip texture
- The ball is lightweight and floats — ideal for water-loving pooches
- Grunting noise appears to soften over time
- It’s quite rigid; some dogs won’t like the stiff feel
6. VIMIGOO Latex Grunting Pig
About: The Vimigoo Grunting Pig Toy might not boast the cutest design out there, but it does come in seven different colors, so you’re sure to find an option that suits your tastes (or your pup’s attire). It even comes in hues that are easier on your dog’s eyes too!
Looks aside, this grunting dog toy appears to keep tails wagging, as it is pretty soft and comes with fun little thorns that take the chewing experience to the next level.
- Available in 7 different colors to choose between
- Made from environmentally friendly, non-toxic latex
- Suitable for medium to large breeds
- Soft thorns on the toy’s back
- Can easily find a color that suits your tastes
- Soft enough that it doesn’t damage sensitive teeth and gums
- Thorns enhance your pooch’s sensory experience
- The facial design isn’t exactly cute and lacks charm
- Only suitable for gentle chewers
7. ZippyPaws Grunterz Plush Toy
About: Want a grunting toy your pooch can thrash, chew, and even snuggle up with? Then the ZippyPaws Grunterz Plush is for you. With a cuddly design and extra soft filling, your pup will be in gruntin’, comfy heaven in no time. Plus, the grunting device is loud and more durable than most others on the market.
- High-quality plush material with soft filling
- Adorable animal design
- Recommended for large dog breeds
- Loud, durable grunting device
- Ideal for snugglers; it’s extremely soft
- Easy to clean, despite being a plush toy
- Can withstand moderate chewing
- The bear’s scarf is flimsy and easy to tear apart
- It’s a pricey toy
8. SPOT Woodland Collection Opossum
About: Our gentle giants need a toy that can match their energy. Luckily, the SPOT Woodland grunting toy does the job pawfectly: It’s 15 inches in size, designed to withstand big jaws, and comes packed with a grunter and squeaker for extra-loud fun.
Plus, the realistic opossum design is not something you see every day, and it simulates prey extremely well.
- Toy has a grunting device at its center and a squeaker in its tail
- A realistic possum design that mimics prey
- Suitable for large to giant breeds
- Made from soft plush material
- Ideal for dogs with high prey drives
- Multiple noises to help keep your pup engaged
- Reputable, ethical brand
- Can be difficult to make the toy squeak
- Plush fur comes off easily
Things to Look for in a Grunting Dog Toy
A grunting dog toy allows for hours of sensory fun. But what exactly should you consider when making your choice?
We’re so glad you asked! Make sure to look for the following when picking out a grunting dog toy:
- Durable, high-quality construction: You need a toy that can withstand your pup’s teeth, paws, and playful energy. Low-quality materials might be cheap, but they won’t last in the long run and can even put your dog in harm’s way if they break and fall apart.
- The right size: The grunting toy should be small enough for your dog to grip with ease but large enough that it doesn’t pose a choking hazard.
- The correct type of grunting noise maker for your dog: The build, shape, and size of the noise maker can affect how exactly it sounds. Some will produce a loud grunty noise — like the ZippyPaws Grunterz plush — while others will be quieter. If you can’t test out a toy in person, browse through online reviews; sometimes, pup parents include recordings of the toy.
- The best texture for your terrier: Ideally, the toy should be firm but still have some give to it. But keep your specific dog’s preferences in mind; your dog may, for example, prefer the softness of plush over rigid materials like rubber and latex.
- Easy to clean: Let’s be real: Your dog is going to “bless” her toy with a whole lot of slobber. Considering this, you ideally want a grunting toy that’s easy to clean and doesn’t retain odors. It’ll save you hours of scrubbing and let your dog get back into the action in no time.
- Safe construction and materials: Ensure that the toy you select is made from nontoxic materials and doesn’t have any sharp edges, loose threads, or parts that can easily be swallowed. Also, the stitching should be firm and tight.
- Suitable for your dog’s playstyle: Don’t forget to take your pup’s own preferences into account. If your dog loves playing fetch, opt for something bouncy and lightweight, like the Petstages grunting ball toy.
Grunting Dog Toy Safety: Avoiding Accidents
It can be tempting to dive straight into playtime with your dog, especially if they give you those irresistible puppy eyes. However, safety should always be a priority. Here are a few things to keep in mind when introducing your dog to a new toy:
- Inspect the toy daily. After every play session, you need to examine the toy and look for signs of wear and tear. Don’t let your pup interact with any toys that are damaged.
- Clean frequently. Dog toys get messy. Make sure to wash them at least once every month to tackle odor and prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria. The toy should have cleaning instructions on the label — keep in mind that most grunting dog toys are hand-wash only!
- Don’t play rough. Your dog might love a good game of tug-of-war, but be careful not to yank too hard on the toy while playing. The sudden, jerking movement can potentially injure her mouth. Keep a firm, consistent grip on the toy, and always use smooth motions.
- Always supervise your pup. You should never leave your pup alone with a grunting toy, even if the manufacturer claims it holds up well against chewing. If it breaks apart, your dog could end up swallowing the material, filling, or even the noise-making device.
Is your dog an aggressive chewer? Consider one of these indestructible dog toys instead.
Grunting Dog Toy FAQ
Still have some questions about grunting dog toys and how they work? Check out these commonly asked questions below.
Why do dogs love grunting dog toys?
Dogs love grunting toys for a whole range of reasons. A popular theory is that grunting toys resemble prey and stimulate dogs’ natural hunting drive. However, grunting toys can also provide comfort, relieve chewing urges, and be used as a means to gain your attention.
Are grunting toys good for dogs?
Grunting toys are generally good for dogs. The sensory experience offers excellent mental stimulation and helps to prevent boredom. Plus, grunting toys are particularly ideal for blind dogs that rely on their ears to engage with the world around them.
However, grunting toys aren’t suitable for all pooches. Some dogs may prefer the high-pitched sound of a squeaker rather than the low-pitched noises grunters make. If your dog is also an aggressive chewer, a grunting toy isn’t the safest option; she could potentially break it and swallow the noise-making device.
Can you play fetch with grunting dog toys?
Yes, you can play fetch with grunting dog toys. In fact, there are plenty of grunting toys out there which are designed with fetch in mind, like the Petstages Ball Toy. These toys are easy to throw, lightweight, and still have the lovable grunting noise.
Do dogs like grunty toys because they sound like prey?
Yes, the sound mimics real prey and activates a dog’s hunting drive, especially when combined with qualities like soft plush and an animal shape. Squeaker toys offer the same experience.
Are there grunting dog toys only dogs can hear?
There are toys equipped with noise-making devices that only dogs can hear. However, these toys work by producing high-frequency squeaky sounds rather than low-frequency grunting noises.
A silent grunty toy isn’t exactly feasible because humans can hear better than dogs when it comes to low-frequency sounds; dogs can hear at a range of 67 Hz to 45 kHz, while the average human can hear around 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
Grunting dog toys can take playtime to a whole other level and keep your pooch entertained (and mentally stimulated) for hours on end. As our list above has shown, there’s a whole range of grunting toys on the market to explore, so make sure you consider your dog’s needs and playstyle.
Is your dog barking mad over grunting toys? Have you tried any of the toys mentioned here? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!