Top tips on the best chew toys for puppies

By | February 2, 2016

Some people may think dog chew toys are pretty much all the same. We may just pick the one we like the look of best, or the one we think is the best value, or maybe even the one near the store counter – because we just happen to be standing there. However, there’s a lot more to think about if you want to ensure comfort and safety for your puppy’s chewing phase. Read on for my top tips on the best chew toys for puppies.

Best Chew Toys for PuppiesWhy is a puppy different?

Puppies are babies – it’s as simple as that. For anyone who has children, you will be familiar with the child-proofing that goes on in your home during the early years. We hide away things, lock cupboards and protect the stairs – and still there are sometimes accidents, despite our best efforts. The same is true for puppies! In respect of any toys, the main things to think about is they are likely to swallow anything they manage to eat – whether that be string, a pair of ladies pantyhose, a shoe lace – well, you get the picture.

If you would like to see some of my general tips for buying dog toys, please click here.

A puppy’s teeth

I still remember our first dog, and despite growing up on a farm surrounded by working dogs, I had never realized they lost their teeth – just like humans! To be fair, the working dogs never lived in the house, even at puppy stage, so it was unlikely I was ever going to find their teeth lying around. However, I did get a shock the first time I found one of our German Shepherd’s teeth, embedded in the carpet. I thought there was something wrong, so it was off to Google firstly to hear it is an entirely normal part of puppy development.

Another thing, a puppy’s teeth are sharp – razor, sharp! With the same dog, I was fluffing the duvet one day, and Rocky thought it was a fun game to jump up and down, mouth wide open to try and catch it. However, my hand came down on his mouth and his teeth sliced open one of my fingers pretty badly. Needless to say, I think he was more perturbed by the blood than I was.

Sharp Puppy Teeth

Both these facts help us understand why puppies have an almost uncontrollable desire to chew. It’s all part of losing their baby teeth and making way for their permanent dog grin. The chewing helps pull out the baby teeth when they’re ready (and yes, we did find some of Rocky’s teeth stuck in his chew toys), as well as relieving the gum pressure that builds as the new teeth are ready to emerge. And just like human babies, there is likely to be a lot of saliva on the go too!

What characteristics should puppy chew toys have?

They need to be

Firm & durable, but not too hard – If the chew toy isn’t durable, it won’t last long. But there must also be a little “give” in the texture, or they can hurt their gums when they bite down. It’s important to remember that the gums will be relatively sensitive at this stage.

Unbreakable – It’s natural that a chew toy will deteriorate over time, especially with the constant chewing and moisture of a puppy’s mouth. However, no puppy toy should shatter or break into smaller pieces that can then be ingested or cause a chocking hazard. Whilst rubber might be good for chewing, it’s not so good inside a puppy’s digestive tract and the last thing anyone will want is an emergency trip to the vet.

Size-Appropriate – Picture if you will two puppies – one is a jack Russell Terrier, the other is a Great Dane. They will have very different mouth sizes, even as puppies. Because of this, the same general rule of thumb applies as for grown dogs – a toy that is too small can choke a dog, or be swallowed, whilst something too large can get jammed in their mouth and cause pain and sometimes even injury. So please think about the size of your puppy, and select chew toys that are the right size.

Tasty (might not be important to all puppies!) – A chew toy that has an appealing flavor, or has treats inside, is likely to hold your puppy’s interest for longer periods of time. Just be careful with any flavors that aren’t natural – artificial chemicals can do all sort of funny things to any dog’s behavior. A playful puppy is fun, a hyper “wired” puppy is not.

==> SEE REVIEWS OF THE BEST PUPPY CHEW TOYS <==

A Good Idea to Have More than One!

Variety is the spice of life, and this is likely to be true for your puppy too. It’s good to try a few options during teething – your puppy may get more relief for their sore gums from chewing a particular type, and different shapes and textures will also keep him/her interested.

You can also treat some toys as you would baby teething rings, and put them in the fridge or freezer to help give extra relief to sore puppy gums. Please check any instructions first though, as not all chew toys will be suitable for this.


 

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. If you have any thoughts or experiences you would be willing to share, please leave a comment below. It would be great to hear from you.

Mara 🙂

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15 thoughts on “Top tips on the best chew toys for puppies

  1. Jackie

    My little doggies LOVE chew toys so I read your post with great interest. I really like how you described the best characteristics of a good toy. When I first got my dogs ( first time mom) I had no idea! I bought some tiny stuffed animals from Amazon and within a day, one of them chewed the eyeballs off and swallowed them. I wish I would have found your post back then! 😉 Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Mara Post author

      Hi Jackie,

      Thank you for stopping by and reading this. I’m glad you think it’s useful. Having a puppy for the first time is very similar to having toddlers around – sometimes we learn through our own experiences! Accidents are bound to happen and we just have to hope that nothing untoward happens as a result. I hope you and your doggies are all having fun with your toys.

      All the very best, Mara.

      Reply
  2. Irma

    It is very important to buy the right toys for a dog. I have kept my dogs baby teeth, at least the ones that I could find since they have a tendency to swallow them. I have noticed that my puppy has changed her taste in toys so I keep changing them for her to spice things up.

    Reply
    1. Mara Post author

      Hi Irma,

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your own experiences. It’s a great idea to keep changing toys to keep puppies and dogs motivated and interested. Hope to hear from you again soon.

      All the best to you and your canine, Mara :

      Reply
  3. ZEGU

    Little did I know that in choosing a puppy’s toys, there’s a lot more to think about in terms of the comfort and safety for the puppy. Puppies are babies – is the best advice I’ve ever heard. I will always remember that. Also, I will remember to look out for toys that are firm & durable – but not too hard. Toys that are unbreakable and of the right size. Superb advice.

    Reply
    1. Mara Post author

      Thank you for stopping by and also for sharing your thoughts. I’m glad you found this helpful. I have also reviewed some puppy chew toys that are specifically developed for them.

      All the best, Mara.

      Reply
  4. JammySammy

    Hi Mara,
    I do not have a dog, but i am thinking about buying a present for the dog of my partner. At first I thought it was silly. A stick would be good enough right? Wrong.

    Obviously something a dog chews needs to be unbreakable to avoid choking. A Dog gnaws, shakes, bites and plays with these toys so realise the importance of durability for the health and safety of the dog.

    Could you recommend me a toy for a 2 month Springer Spaniel. The toy should be one you think will be appropriate for the size and breed of the dog.

    Many Regards

    Reply
    1. Mara Post author

      Hi there,

      It’s really nice to see that there are people putting so much thought into buying something for someone else’s dog! At 2 months old, this Springer Spaniel is still a puppy and will be wanting to chew a lot of the time. I have reviewed a selection of puppy chew toys here and any of these would be good. This breed of dog is very active, so as the puppy grows up and is taken out more, one of the throwing toys from my outdoor dog toy list would be great. Springer Spaniels enjoy lots of exercise and interaction!

      Hope that gives you some ideas, Mara.

      Reply
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  6. frankj2016

    Great post. I have had many dogs in my lifetime. They all at some point had chew toys. But we never really gave any thought to them. It makes perfect sense that puppies would be just like babies with teething and losing their baby teeth too. I had the Kongs they were great for giving treats and keeping my pups busy. I like all of your recommendations.

    Reply
    1. Mara Post author

      Thanks so much Frank – I appreciate you reading this and posting a comment. The KONG toys are definitely very popular! have a great weekend,

      Mara.

      Reply
  7. Michel

    Wow. I never dreamed that you could get such a variety of puppy chew toys. I also learned something new today. I didn’t know that puppies had different needs to adult dogs.

    Well you live and learn. I have always just bought our dogs raw hide to chew, or hooves of cows or pigs. These do look far more appealing and attractive.

    Our one dog is impossible though. She buries everything we give her. Any ideas on how to stop this?

    Reply
    1. Mara Post author

      Hi Michel,

      Thanks for your comments – it’s great to hear from you. You have asked an interesting question – burying things of value goes back to our dogs ancestors, as it was sometimes necessary to bury food in order to return to it later. So effectively your dog is exhibiting a fairly natural behavior by burying things she values. If you want to stop this, you will need to invest time and effort in training her out of the habit. It comes down to you removing the item once she appears to have finished with it, but before she buries it. You will need the eyes of a hawk, so it will need to be something that really does bother you, so you will consistently work on training her out of it. See how this goes, then by all means come back to me if it’s still causing problems. Or you can get extra training guidance online.

      Mara

      Reply
  8. Dyl

    Hey thanks for the great article, you had a lot of good information. Puppies can be a disaster if you don’t train them well or have the right equipment (toys) for them. Personally I have bought many Kongs and they seem to do the trick! Ill be sure to revisit this site for more insight on new toys!

    Reply

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