Puppies explore the world through their mouths, so they’ll chew anything they can sink their teeth into. By providing them with toys that indulge their teething instincts, you’re more likely to spare your shoes and socks from destruction.
During a puppy’s period of rapid development, from 2-months-old to 10-months-old, it’s important to give them appropriate toys, and both dog breed and personality can play a role in what toys might become your pup’s favorites. If your puppy bursts with energy and enjoys a challenge, they’ll love a toy that they can puzzle apart, or one that dispenses treats. While some pups like to snuggle up with a soft toy, others dogs may tear it to shreds.
Read on to discover some toys and treats to offer your puppy to help soothe painful gums and distract from the discomfort of teething.
What You Need to Know About Puppy Teething Toys
Whether you’re helping your puppy through teething, teaching good behaviors, or just enjoying playtime, good quality, age- and size-appropriate toys are as important to dog development as training and exercise.
At around four months old, puppies start to teethe, as their baby teeth are replaced by adult teeth and molars. At this stage, chewing may seem like your puppy’s obsession, and they may chew on anything and everything. As any parent of a teething baby knows, teething is painful, so your puppy will need ways to reduce the discomfort of sore gums.
Teething toys soothe your puppy, while giving you an opportunity to teach them what they can and can’t chew on. For instance, don’t give your dog toys that resemble taboo items, like a squeaky shoe toy. Size is also an important consideration, as toys made for the small mouths of an 8-to-10-week-old puppy may cause a 6-to-9 month-old to choke.
Always read the manufacturer’s guidelines to make sure the toy is appropriate for your dog’s age and size, and that it’s been tested for safety.
No matter what toy you select for your puppy, it’s important to watch them when they play, and to check the toys occasionally to make sure your puppy hasn’t bitten off any chunks. Discard your puppy’s toy if it appears to be nearing its breaking point.
Best Starter Kit for Teething Puppies
Best Soothing Teething Toy
The shapes and textures of this Nylabone toy will satisfy your puppy’s need to chew, while keeping them entertained. Plus, the different textures on the keys are specifically designed to clean teeth and massage gums.
While many owners recommended this teething toy, some have warned that the small keys can be chewed off, which may lead to internal damage. Price: $6
Best Teeth Cleaning Puppy Toy
If you want a teething toy that freshens breath and cleans teeth at the same time, this Nylabone dinosaur is the solution for you. This teething bone is designed for puppies up to 25 pounds, but it is not intended for aggressive chewers. The fun, T-Rex shaped puppy toy comes in an enticing chicken flavor.
Many users praised the durability of this toy, while some reported that dogs who don’t typically enjoy chew toys liked this one. However, others caution that this toy can be dangerous, as chunks of the toy may be torn off and digested. Price: $5
Best Toy for Aggressive Chewers
This non-toxic NWK puppy toy can be frozen to enable cooling relief over hours of chewing. The thick ring is made of 100-percent purified water, and reviewers noted that the durable ring was able to withstand even the most aggressive chewers. Price: $10
Best Small Puppy Toy
Made in the USA, this KONG puppy binkie is perfect for small breeds under 35 pounds, and may be filled with treats to better appeal to dogs. The binkie is available in small, medium, and large sizes, with color choices of blue or pink.
Though many users liked the soft, squishy texture that was appropriate for teething, others reported the toy being quickly destroyed within a day or two. Price: $8
Best Made in the USA Puppy Toy
For a fun, durable toy that is designed for a puppy’s baby teeth, try KONG’s small chew toy. The KONG’s odd shape enables erratic bounces, creating a fun game of fetch. Manufactured in the USA, this puppy toy can be filled with kibble, peanut butter, or other treats for added enjoyment. Scores of reviewers rave that puppies love this classic KONG toy. Price: $19
Best Non-Toxic Puppy Toy
Available in an assortment of six fruits and vegetables, these Scenereal rope toys are sure to provide hours of fun for your pup. The toys range in size from 2.5 to 8.5 inches, making them compatible for cats and small dogs, but less suitable for medium or large dogs. They are all made of non-toxic cotton, and contain a squeaker hidden inside.
While few reviews are available, buyers noted these toys are mostly tear-resistant, though one reported that the yarn unravelled after repeated use. Price: $13
Best Affordable Teething Toy
Freeze this Petstages puppy toy and let your dog cool their aching gums as they chew. The cooling stick crunches when frozen, and includes bright colors, streamers, and ribbons to entice eager dogs.
Customers note that the toy doesn’t stay always cold, and the outer material rips easily, although others affirm that the toy is most effective when frozen solid. Price: $4