AKC is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to akc.org. If you purchase a product through this article, we may receive a portion of the sale.
Puppies explore the world through their mouths, so they’ll chew anything they can sink their teeth into, whether or not it’s a puppy toy. By providing them with puppy-safe 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 puppy toys, and both your puppy’s dog breed and personality can play a role in what puppy toys might become their favorites. If your puppy bursts with energy and enjoys a challenge, they’ll love a dog puzzle toy that they can work to figure out, or a puppy toy that dispenses treats. While some pups like to snuggle up with a soft plush puppy toy, others dogs may tear stuffed toys to shreds and do better with tougher rubber puppy toys or rope puppy toys.
Read on to discover some puppy toys and treats to offer your puppy to help soothe painful gums and distract your puppy 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 puppy 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 for puppies soothe your puppy’s gums 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 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.
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.
Best Toy for Tougher Chewers
This two-pack toy is great for tougher chewers. Both the classic wishbone and gum-massaging teething chew are bacon-flavored and will keep your chewing puppy busy for hours. These toys are durable so they will hold up to mouthy puppies.
Best Toy for Soothing Teething Puppies
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.
Best Small Puppy Teething Toy
Made in the USA, this KONG puppy binkie is perfect for small breeds under 35 pounds, and may be filled with wet puppy food, stuffed with high-value puppy treats or smeared with dog-safe peanut butter 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.
Best Made in the USA Puppy Teething 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 soaked puppy kibble or wet puppy food, stuffed with high-value puppy treats, smeared with puppy-friendly KONG Easy Treat for added enjoyment. Pop it in the freezer to make the stuffing last longer and soothe sore teething gums. Scores of reviewers rave that puppies love this classic KONG toy, and they grow up to love the adult versions of the classic KONG toy as well.
Best Plush Puppy Teething Toy
This plush Lamb Chop toy is perfect for puppies who love playtime. The toy comes in small sizes and includes a squeaker to engage your puppy even more.
Best Budget 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.
Best Comforting Puppy Toy
These kits are great for puppies that need some extra comfort from the stress of teething, or might be having a harder time adjusting to being away from their mother or littermates for the first time. Each pack includes a comforting Snuggle Puppy, extra heat packs for the toy, a puppy teething comfort aid, and a plush blanket.