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The 13 best puppy teething toys of 2024

The 13 best puppy teething toys of 2024

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Three puppies are chewing on different rope and rubber toys in side by side images framed in blue.
Our top picks for teething toys for puppies are safe and durable.Chewy/Business Insider

Puppies will happily chew on whatever they can get their paws on. It's a normal part of the puppy development process, according to Ivan Petersel, a professional dog trainer and founder of Dog Wizardy. "However, chewing your furniture doesn't have to be part of the process," he says. Instead, you can give your dog some of the best puppy teething toys.

We researched and tested dozens of dog toys for teething puppies and consulted with veterinarians and dog trainers to find the best options. Our top pick is the Kong Puppy Teething Stick, a long-lasting budget-friendly chew toy. If your teething puppy goes wild over plush toys, we recommend the durable Outward Hound Invincibles Minis Dog.

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Read more about how Insider Reviews tests and evaluates pet products.

Our top picks for the best puppy teething toys

Best overall: Kong Puppy Teething Stick - See at Chewy

Best flavored: Nylabone Teething Puppy Chew Bone - See at Chewy

Best for aggressive chewers: Nylabone Teething Puppy Chew X Bone - See at Chewy

Best for small breeds: Kong Puppy Binkie - See at Chewy

Best for large breeds: Kong Puppy Tires - See at Chewy

Best bone: West Paw Zogoflex Hurley - See at Chewy

Best multipack: Outward Hound Orka Mini Dental Dog Chew Toys - See at Chewy

Best treat dispensing: West Paw Zogoflex Toppl - See at Chewy

Best plush: Outward Hound Invincibles Minis Dog - See at Chewy

Best interactive: Kong Puppy Dog Toy - See at Chewy

Best ring: SodaPup Diamond Ring - See at Chewy

Best ball: Hartz Dura Play Ball - See at Chewy

Best for fetch: Kong Puppy Flyer - See at Chewy

Best overall

Like human babies, puppies instinctively put things in their mouth, whether teething or not, says Dr. Bradley Quest, a veterinarian and expert in pet oral health. He adds that it can take almost eight weeks for a puppy's baby teeth to finish erupting. Later, permanent teeth take about five to six months to come in and up to eight months in some cases. Teething is a lengthy process that may involve gum soreness that's often soothed by chewing.

This rubber teething stick from Kong can satisfy a puppy's need to mouth and chew. It may also help soothe sore gums. According to Quest, soft rubber toys can partially relieve gum soreness due to puppy teething. "The physical stimulation of the gums around the new tooth can feel good to a young puppy," he says.

Best flavored

Nonedible flavored chew toys like this Nylabone can be a good choice for puppies who are more interested in your couch cushions than many of the best puppy teething toys. The toy's chicken flavor encourages appropriate chewing, and its textured surface can help prevent plaque and tartar. Toys with ridges and nubs can scrape the tooth surface and between teeth, preventing plaque and tartar buildup, according to Quest.

When selecting the best chew toys for dogs, it's always important to keep safety in mind. That means avoiding toys with parts that pups can easily bite off and swallow and toys that are too hard for puppy teeth. This toy fits the bill: It's soft and flexible yet sturdy.

Best for aggressive chewers

For super chewer puppies, Quest recommends fairly robust toys, but make sure they're not so hard that you can't indent them with a fingernail. The Nylabone X Bone has various nubs and grooves, and its beef flavor comes from real juices infused in the toy's flexible nylon material. The X shape makes it easy to grip, preventing frustration. It's safe for puppies weighing up to 15 pounds.

Remember that supervision is key when offering toys to any dog. It's especially crucial when first learning about a puppy's chewing habits, says Quest. Aggressive chewers may easily destroy typical puppy toys and swallow pieces. Check out our guide to the best dog toys for aggressive chewers for more ideas as your puppy grows.

Best for small breeds

Because every puppy is different, Quest says you may have to try a few different chew toys to see which ones stick. Just make sure you're purchasing size-appropriate toys. While larger toys don't pose a choking risk to smaller dogs, they can make playtime more frustrating.

The Kong Puppy Binkie is a pacifier-shaped rubber toy available in sizes appropriate for smaller muzzles. According to Quest, soft rubber toys may be helpful for soothing sore gums. This toy also has an opening where you can insert food and treats.

Best for large breeds

If you're buying toys for a large breed puppy, you'll want to make sure they're not small enough to be a choking risk. "It is important to try to size a chew toy to a puppy's mouth size so they can comfortably fit the widest part of the toy between their upper and lower molars," says Quest.

The Kong Puppy Tires toy comes in a large size that is 4.5 inches in diameter. Durable, bouncy rubber makes up this tire-shaped toy that discourages destructive chewing. The inside tracks of the tire can be filled with soft food to hold your puppy's attention longer.

Best bone

Toys and objects made of very hard materials can pose a tooth fracture risk, says Quest. Instead of giving your puppy things like antlers or real bones, look for toys made of softer materials like the Hurley.

The bone-shaped toy is made from a stretchy yet durable plastic formula that feels more like rubber. The toy's material is great for chewing and gives it plenty of bounce. It comes in three sizes, the smallest being 4.5 inches long.

Best multipack

"There is no 'one size fits all' product, as each puppy will have their own individual chewing characteristics," says Quest. Some puppies might love to chew on solid rubber toys, while others prefer textured options.

This pack of three different textured toys from Outward Hound combines various textures like fabric rope and rubber nubs. The toys also have ridges that may help reduce tartar buildup. At just 4.75 inches long each, they're an excellent size for small puppy jaws.

Best treat dispensing

Play which might involve chewing objects or other puppies starts at about three weeks, says Dr. Karen Sueda, a veterinary behaviorist with VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital. Puppies also engage in more exploratory behavior as they get older and can benefit from toys that encourage mental enrichment, like puzzles, she says.

You can take advantage of your puppy's curiosity by giving them enriching treat-dispensing toys like the Toppl, our top pick for the best puppy toys. The treat toy has a hollow interior where you can insert soft food like peanut butter along with the best puppy food and best dog treats. It's dishwasher safe and comes in two sizes that you can interlock together as your dog gets older — and smarter!

Best plush

Petersel says many puppies are more attracted to soft, plush-like toys because they can easily sink their teeth into them — and they're gentle on the teeth and gums. If you add a squeaker to that, the toy may be even more attractive to your puppy.

The Invincibles Minis Dog has a squeaker enclosed in ultra-tough fabric with reinforced double-layer seams. The squeaker is long-lasting and designed to keep making sounds even if punctured. Because there's no stuffing, you'll also have less of a mess if it comes apart. It's appropriate for small and medium breeds.

Best interactive

Puzzle toys provide puppies with a physical and psychological challenge and can encourage nervous dogs to focus their attention on play, says Petersel. An excellent way to introduce your dog to puzzles is to start with the most basic variation: the Kong.

The Kong is a good choice for teething puppies because it can be stuffed with food, making it a long-lasting option, says Petersel. It's also our top pick for the best dog toys. Whether or not you fill it with treats, it's one of the best puppy teething toys because it's made of flexible rubber to help soothe teething-related gum irritation. It also comes in various sizes to suit different breeds.

Best ring

While regular puppy play usually involves nipping and mouthing other puppies in the same litter, once your puppy is part of your household — and possibly solo — they may start using their mouth on you or your stuff, says Sueda. You can redirect that behavior onto appropriate chew toys like the SodaPup Diamond Ring.

The ring-shaped toy's nylon and wood composite construction is ideal for super-chewer puppies. The diamond provides a varied shape to hold your pup's attention, and when they chew on it, it may help keep their teeth clean.

Best ball

While balls aren't necessarily the best option for long chew sessions, Quest says they're appropriate for interactive play between puppy and human. However, it's essential to make sure the ball is not small enough for your dog to swallow.

The Dura Play Ball comes in three sizes to fit dogs of all sizes and ages. The ball's latex material is super flexible yet capable of handling plenty of gnawing. Even better, it has a yummy bacon scent and floats in water.

Best for fetch

"The most important thing when deciding what kind of material is best for a particular puppy is to know that puppy's chewing style and habits," says Quest. If your dog is a lighter chewer and doesn't tend to destroy toys, something made of softer rubber, like the Puppy Flyer disc, is an excellent option for fetch.

Kong's rubber formula for puppies is suitable for dogs up to 9 months old. The disc won't hurt your puppy's teeth when they catch it, yet it's durable enough for playing fetch outdoors.

What to look for in puppy teething toys

When shopping for the best puppy teething and chew toys, our experts say to consider your puppy's age, size, and chew strength as well as a toy's safety, durability, and materials.

  • Age and size: Appropriate sizing is crucial when choosing toys for any dog. For puppies, toys should not be so small they pose a choking hazard. Quest says it's best if toys fit comfortably between your dog's top and bottom teeth. A toy that's too big might not do much to soothe sore gums. Once your dog outgrows their puppy toys, it's time to swap them out.

  • Chew strength: Quest recommends supervising your puppy to get a sense of how they interact with toys. Super chewers might need more durable toys to gnaw on, while more gentle chewers might prefer softer toys with more give.

  • Safety and durability: Quest says to steer clear of toys with parts that your pup might easily bite off and swallow. It's also important to make sure a product isn't too hard. "A good rule of thumb is that if the surface of a chew toy cannot be indented with a fingernail, then it is probably too hard and could be a tooth fracture risk," says Quest.

  • Materials: Softer is better for puppies, according to Sueda. Look for soft, puppy-safe rubbers and other toys that have some give to them. You should also consider mixing up materials and textures to help determine what your dog likes.

How we selected the best puppy teething toys

We've tested dozens of toys for dogs and puppies, including many of our recommendations for the best puppy teething toys. To narrow down our other picks, we considered the advice of veterinarians and dog trainers and the reputation of the brands we chose. We relied on our testing experiences with popular brands like Kong, West Paw, and Nylabone and customer reviews for specific toys. These brands consistently get high ratings from our testers and online reviewers.

Puppy teething toys FAQs

What can I give my puppy for teething?

Sometimes, chew toys won't cut it. Quest recommends asking your veterinarian about teething gels if your puppy suffers from excessive teething pain and discomfort.

Should puppies have teething toys?

Yes. The best puppy teething toys can help redirect inappropriate chewing and soothe sore gums. Sueda says you should always supervise puppies when giving them toys, especially when introducing them to new ones. "Periodically inspect the toy for signs of wear and discard toys that are broken, have sharp edges, or could have pieces that could be chewed off and swallowed," she says.

What do vets recommend for puppies to chew?

The ideal chew toy depends on the individual puppy. Some dogs may prefer toys with specific textures, while others might gravitate toward certain shapes. However, Quest cautions against giving edible dental chew products to puppies. "The reason for this is that puppies may tend to gulp edible items rather than chewing them," he says.

Are baby teethers safe for puppies?

Our experts do not recommend giving baby teethers to puppies. Stick with puppy-specific products instead. Quest says that human baby and puppy teeth differ in size, shape, and number, and puppy jaw strength is typically much stronger. "Many puppies could easily bite a human teething product into pieces, creating a swallowing hazard," he says.

Read the original article on Business Insider