It's a truth, universally acknowledged, that there is absolutely nothing quite as cute as a brand-new puppy in the house. From the minute you get the little one home, your heart will leap with every clumsy bound, every nap, and every precious attempt at discovering the big world around them.
The chances are good that your new puppy will attempt to gnaw on the first thing it can get its little teeth wrapped around. As a new pet owner, you're going to want to make sure that whatever it chomps into is safe, and good for them. Safe chew toys for puppies are vital to their growth and development.
We've assembled this little primer on some of the do's and don'ts of pupping chewing and provided a helpful list of some of the best puppy chew toys currently available on the market. With our guidance, you'll safely, and happily, steer that adorable little bundle into its adulthood.
What Kind of Chew Toys Are Safe For Puppies?
Just like human babies, puppy's teeth and gums are sensitive. In some cases, your puppy may not have even lost its milk teeth yet. You're going to need to keep this in mind when selecting the appropriate puppy chew toys so that you don't accidentally cause pain or worse issues.
A puppy has underdeveloped teeth and gums, so you're better off if you avoid chew toys that are too hard for them. Your best bet is toys made from soft rubber. They should be hard enough to help them develop their teeth and provide hours of fun, but not so hard that it causes them pain, to either their teeth or gums.
Rope toys are also good, so long as they're good quality. Puppies, with their razor-sharp teeth, can easily destroy poorer quality rope toys. This shredding means they could, accidentally, swallow some of the fibers and cause issues with digestion or worse.
That is a good general rule, in fact, when it comes to puppy teething toys - if they can easily tear it into smaller bits, avoid it. One of the most common causes of sudden, unwelcome visits to the veterinarian with new puppies is their ability to swallow things they shouldn't. Make sure your pets' toys are good quality, and once they become too dangerous, throw them away immediately.
Another great thing for puppies is puzzle toys. These are simple chew toys with a little compartment that dispenses treats. In addition to helping your puppy with its growing teeth and strengthening gums, it helps their brain development and socialization.
Whichever toys you buy, make sure you are regularly interacting with the puppy. Toys are great as they get you bonding with your new pup and socializing them to the world of humans. Don't forget to handle your pup's teeth frequently, as this will get them used to it, making teeth cleaning easier as they grow up.
What Can I Give My Puppy For Teething?
In many ways, teething puppies are just like babies. Their gums may ache from growing teeth and need some relief. Just like human babies, ice and iced treats can alleviate some of the pain.
Many of the chew toys available these days are like teething toys for humans. They can be popped in the freezer for a bit, taken out, and gnawed on through your puppy's growing pains. Ice cubes are also perfect!
Otherwise, soft rubber chew toys like the Kong Puppy Toy or the Nylabone Romp and Chomp are ideal. The Nylabone Romp and Chomp can even be filled with water and frozen for additional relief, and the Kong Puppy Toy can be filled with puppy's favorite treats.
You will, however, want to avoid toys with strings or ribbons for the same reason you want good quality rope toys. They can be swallowed, causing digestive issues and other more threatening problems.
Other things to avoid are squeaky toys that might break, causing the dog to swallow the squeak. Toys with foam stuffing, such as plushies, and anything with sharp angles or corners should also be avoided as the sharp bits could aggravate growing gums and cause them to bleed.
Can You Give Puppies Rawhide?
Puppies will chew on anything, and if you've had dogs before you've probably given them rawhide at some point. Rawhide chews can be dangerous for puppies, however, as sharp teeth can break off chunks of the rawhide causing a choking hazard.
If you're determined to give your puppy rawhide, the best thing to do is to monitor them closely. Make sure that your puppy isn't biting off too much. Some dogs are allergic to rawhide as well, which will present as digestive issues or loss of appetite.
Start them with something small, watch them as they play with it, and keep an eye on them afterward to check for any signs of digestive issues.
5 Best Chew Toys for Puppies
These are the five best chew toys currently available on the market for puppies:
Ring Bone from Nylabone
This simple, soft, ringbone is a delight for teething puppies everywhere. With varying textures, it even helps clean their teeth and gums.
Soft rubber in a variety of sizes for different sized dogs, this vet-recommended toy is perfect for bouncing and bonding with your new pup. It's hollow so you can fill it with treats!
If your puppy is a little bigger with an appetite for chewing, this one is for you. It's perfect for filling with water and freezing on hot summer days. It even helps to clean their teeth as they cool off.
Dogs love peanut butter, and this one is flavored with it. It's perfectly designed for gnawing but make sure you monitor your pup actively. If it shows signs of sharp edges, make sure you take it away.
These delicious chew treats are a little harder than the others on this list so they might not be right for smaller dogs. Your puppy will chew for weeks on one of them and get nutrients and calcium in the process.
3 Best Chew Toys for Puppies Under 3 Months
Puppies begin teething around three to four months. This point is when they lose their milk teeth and start gnawing on whatever they can get their mouths around. The three best chew toys you can get for puppies that age are:
It looks a lot like the teething toys for toddlers and serves much the same function while also preventing your shoes from being eaten.
Just freeze it and let them gnaw. It's what it was designed to do.
Like the Nylabone Romp and Chomp, it's filled with purified water. You can find it here.
As with all our recommendations, check with your veterinarian first to make sure the size is suitable for your pup.