There is no better toy than a giant stick found in the park—Artemis can attest to this. But, unfortunately, we are not enjoying off-leash strolls in Central Park or Hampstead Heath right now (and neither are you, probably—hopefully). Artemis is also recovering from Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) repair surgery, which means she is on crate rest for six more weeks. That means we’ve been investing our time and resources into playtime at home. We want toys that stimulate Artemis’ mind, look comforting in our homes (where we’re spending a lot of time), hopefully, last longer than an afternoon (we’re trying to be good to the planet, too!).
Due to COVID-19 and Artemis’ CCL surgery, we did a lot of research into #ArtemisApproved indoor dog toys these past few weeks. No, they’ll never replace a fresh stick found in the park, or a gross tennis ball found in a pond. But until that day comes again, these toys will become your dog’s new BFFs (after you, of course):
Why we love it: While you’re eating gummy bears by the handful on the couch, your dog could be playing with these adorable gummy bear plushies, which come with a sturdy squeaker. This is one toy where you’ll want to keep the packaging, which is modeled after Haribo bags.
Why we love it: I had low expectations for this orange blob of a toy. It doesn’t look very engaging, and while I have never considered Artemis a genius, she is easily bored. But this 100 percent recyclable toy has kept Artemis occupied for hours. You put some food in the grooves, and it kind of rolls around on its own accord, toppling over in various directions.
Why we love it: From a storage perspective, I appreciate that this shaggy mat folds up nicely when your dog isn’t playing with it. All you have to do is hide little bits of dry food or treats in the mat for your dog to sniff out, like they would in the wild, theoretically (although I highly doubt Artemis has any wilderness survival skills). And yes, it’s machine washable—whew.
Why we love it: This lollipop-shaped toy comes in candy shop pastel colors. Simply put some kibble in the base, and then place the rotating stick inside. Have your dog knock it around—it’s very durable.
Why we love it: So, your only child aka your dog is missing their friends at the dog park? This is not quite the same thing, but at least it’s some interaction. This toy, available in Wild One’s chic colors, is made of a 100 percent rubber triangle and a 100 percent natural cotton rope, and it’s perfect for playing tug o’ war with your dog during work hours. One hand on your laptop, the other hand on the grippy triangle.
Why we love it: We’ve written about this ball before, but we love it so much, we have to include it again. This 100 percent merino wool ball with whimsical devil ears is made for indoor play. Dogs love merino wool because it contains lanolin, which has a whole-mouth feel (y’know, tastes like animal), and you’ll love it because lanolin helps clean teeth.
Why we love it: All curious dogs should have a Nina Ottosson puzzle in their lives. This entry-level puzzle is a great way to keep your dog occupied while they eat their kibble. (Note: We are embarrassed to admit that we had this puzzle for months, and Artemis never figured it out…)
Why we love it: Do you share the bed with your dog (or rather, does your dog share the bed with you?)? This adorable and super soft ivory rabbit is the perfect stuffed animal for both of you (and yes, it comes with a squeaker). Personally, I would only keep it on our bed because I don’t want it to get dirty.
Why we love it: Yes, you probably already have one. We did too, but I couldn’t find it after we got home from London. So, we bought a new Kong toy and have been filling it up with peanut butter every day. It’s a classic for good reason.
Photography by Sylvie Rosokoff
Studio photography by Tayler Smith