Puppies are one of the greatest joys that life has to offer. They are absolutely adorable, full of energy, curious as anything, and love to play. When all of those traits combine, it is survival of the fittest for their chew toys.
Inevitably, some toys not built to hold up to this scrutiny will buckle under the pressure. And we mean literal pressure — puppies are near-constant chewers.
This article comes complete with a variety of safe chew toys that your puppy will enjoy, but what exactly makes a toy of this variety safe for puppies? Before we get into the chew toys themselves, we need to review some critical (and adorable) facts and figures.
What Should You Look for in Puppy Chew Toys?
It is a common misconception that one kind of chew toy fits all. Without doing any further research, it is understandable that someone might think that all chew toys are created equal.
In reality, there are key differences when it comes to which toy is best for your dog. Different dogs tend to favor specific toys, but these general guidelines can alter when considering puppies.
The first and most important attribute that you should look for in your puppy’s chew toys is durability. After all, there is a reason we made it the central focus of this article. The material should be able to stand up to your pooch’s needle-like baby teeth, but it should never be too hard.
Yet, if this toy is too hard, it could end up doing much more harm than good. As a result, you should ensure that any toy you get for your puppy is always softer than their teeth.
How Big Should a Puppy’s Chew Toy Be?
The exact size of the chew toy will depend on how big they are and their age. Of course, smaller dogs will need smaller chew toys. With that in mind, you should always be very careful and cognizant not to get your dog a toy that is too small. If the toy isn’t big enough, it can pose a serious choking hazard to your pup.
Of course, a large breed puppy is going to need a bigger chew toy earlier on than small dogs like a Chihuahua or a Pomeranian. If you give your dog a toy that features a squeaker, be sure to supervise them as they use it. Sometimes, the squeaky sound can cause dogs to try and destroy the toys and possibly swallow the source of the noise.
Why Do Puppies Need Chew Toys?
Some people look at toys as a bonus or a luxury for pets, but the truth is that they are an absolute necessity. Dogs need toys to be mentally stimulated, engage their sense of play, and not get too bored. In the case of puppies, they require chew toys, likely even more than their adult counterparts.
There are a few reasons that puppies require chew toys. Dogs of any age, but puppies especially, have natural instincts telling them to chew. These are natural and are impossible to train out of your dog.
Instead, you should redirect that chewy energy onto objects built to withstand it. Otherwise, your dog might end up chewing shoes, wires, or any number of other items you don’t want them to get in.
The second reason that chew toys are necessary is specific to puppies. Just like with human children, puppies will grow and lose their baby teeth as they age. Eventually, these will be replaced with a full set of adult teeth. In the meantime, though, they will have to go through a process known as teething.
What Is Teething?
You may be aware of teething because it also happens with human kids, and it often instills the same urge to chew and bite. Teething is when the baby teeth fall out and are replaced with adult teeth.
The process of teething is generally a painful and uncomfortable one, so it is essential to provide your puppy with a variety of chew toys to soothe their gums during this time.
Teething typically lasts until a puppy is about six months old since, at that point, their adult teeth will be fully grown. Keep in mind that you will still have to give your puppy toys appropriate for their size, even if they are no longer teething.
So they might not be ready for full, adult-sized toys just yet. If you suspect that this process is not progressing as it should for your pup, it is likely time to visit your vet.
Exactly what durable toys should you give to your puppy? Well, we are so glad you asked.
1. KONG Classic Puppy
The Puppy KONG dog toy is a Kong classic for a reason. It comes complete with a gentle, natural rubber specifically formulated to handle any and all puppy teething. It also comes in various sizes so it can meet your puppy at their current age. Not only that, but this Kong toy is also interactive.
To keep your puppy occupied while crate training or simply to give them something to keep them mentally stimulated, this toy can be stuffed with a wide variety of fillings. With these teething toys, playtime with even the most aggressive chewers will be long-lasting and rewarding.
2. Kong Teething Stick
For a toy that specifically addresses the puppy teething process, the Kong Teething Stick has you and your canine companion covered. This toy was thoughtfully designed to include ridges composed of durable rubber to clean your dog’s teeth. This dog chew toy is a must for any pet parent that wants to help assuage their puppy’s sore gums.
3. Puppy Ball
No matter how young or old, your dog can have a sustaining love for a good old-fashioned game of fetch at any stage of life.
For dogs under nine months who enjoy running, chasing, and retrieving, the Puppy Ball is a wonderful place to start. This ball can teach puppies all about the wonders of fetch while it bounces all over the place.
4. Puppy Activity Ball
Then, we have those little puppy geniuses who need a significant amount of mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy (and out of trouble — looking at you, Border Collies).
For those dogs, the Puppy Activity Ball offers just the right mix of thoughtful play, all while promoting healthy teeth and gums. You can add peanut butter, dog treats, or kibble to this toy to make it even more engaging. With this ball’s treat dispensing ability, the fun never ends!
5. The KONG Binkie
If you have ever had the urge to see your puppy with a pacifier in their mouth, this is the best dog toy for you. Even if you have not had that desire just yet, it is never too late to start!
The KONG Binkie can also be filled with different puppy-approved stuffings to make the incentive to chew even stronger… and the puppy pictures even more precious.
6. Puppy Tires
What is even cuter than a full-sized tire? A dog tire! And what is even cuter than that? A puppy tire! Kong’s Puppy Tires are rubber toys that are formed from a natural formula made just for puppies to aid them through the teething process.
7. Puppy Goodie Bone
There are perhaps no dog toys out there more iconic than a nice bone to chew on, and that variety of toys can work well for puppies too!
Again, it is just crucial to make sure that the toy is the right size and will not hurt your dog’s teeth. Luckily, the Puppy Goodie Bone comes in a small size for puppies and is made of unique puppy-safe rubber.
8. Puppy Goodie Bone With Rope
The Puppy Goodie Bone With Rope has all the benefits of the Puppy Goodie Bone, but with 100% more rope! Seriously, what’s not to like about that? For games of tug-of-war with your puppy, this is a fantastic toy that is effective and comfortable for your young dog.
9. Rope Ball
Rope toys are not just for adults, and they can have applications beyond just a rousing game of tug-of-war. The KONG Rope Puppy Ball is a great tool for indoor games of fetch because it still can bounce, but it is soft enough not to cause any damage.
At the same time, this puppy-specific rope will help your dog ignite their playful side while also soothing their gums.
Puppy See, Puppy Chew
We all want the best for our dogs, whether they are a new puppy or a long-established member of the family. That principle undoubtedly applies to the toys we give to our dogs, as well.
However, shopping can become a bit more complicated when trying to find the best chew toys for puppies. As long as you stick to a few basic rules, you can find toys that are just right for this stage of your puppy’s life.
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Dog Toys: How To Pick the Best and Safest | The Humane Society of the United States
A Timeline of Puppy Teething | American Kennel Club
Teeth Teething And Chewing In Puppies | VCA Animal Hospitals.