7 Best Puppy Teething Toys: Our In-Depth Teething Guide

Puppies have very different needs to adult dogs. Their smaller jaws and developing teeth are not suited to the durable and firm materials that their bigger brothers and sisters like to play with – so they need toys that are made just for them.

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Luckily there are a huge range of products on the market that are specifically designed for young puppies, but they are not all created equal.

Today we’re going to look at why you need to get special toys for puppies, some good qualities to look out for, and a few tips to help your pup be as comfortable and as happy as possible.

We’re going to conclude with the results of our research into the best puppy teething toys on the market, all of which will leave you with a lucky happy puppy.

Why Are Puppy Teething Toys Necessary?

Teething toys have been specifically designed to help your puppy get through the teething process as comfortably as possible. They are very different to toys designed for adult dogs – which are usually unsuitable for young teething puppies.

Teething toys are usually trying to massage your pup’s mouth and gums while promoting proper dental hygiene from the start of the life of their adult teeth.

Toys made for teething puppies are also generally made from different materials to toys that are aimed towards adult dogs. The bite strength of an adult dog is obviously much larger and more powerful than the strength of a puppy, and as such the materials they are made from are designed to be as firm and durable as possible.

These materials are too hard and strong for a teething puppy to be able to enjoy. Puppy teething toys are made from much softer materials that are perfectly suited to the smaller bite of a young dog (while still being as durable as possible).

Without a dedicated teething toy you’re probably going to have a very bad time. The sensations caused by their adult teeth coming through provide them with an almost unstoppable desire to chew something constantly. If you’ve not provided them with adequate toys that are enjoyable and suitable for their little mouths, then they’re going to find substitutes – which usually means your shoes or your furniture.

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What To Look For In A Good Puppy Teething Toy?

There are a few things that make a toy specifically good for a young puppy. We’re going to list some of the most important ones below.

Material

It’s important to find a toy that has a material specifically designed for young puppies. As we just mentioned, adult toys can be a little too firm for young puppies and they might reject them and chew on your furniture instead. Find products made from soft materials that are going to be gentle on their little mouths (while being firm enough to not disintegrate and become a choking hazard).

Ridges

Ridges and bumps will commonly be found on puppy toys more frequently than they are found on adult dog toys. This is because these little ridges can help massage their sensitive gums and reduce discomfort throughout the teething process. Ridges and bumps are the most effective – but things like coiled rope have a similar effect.

Flavoring

One of the hardest parts of training a young pup is telling them what they can and cannot chew on. For this reason, you’re going to find that a large number of puppy teething toys are flavored. The flavors are usually quite strong and can often have a light scent (that’s much more obvious to a dog than it is to us). This encourages them to play with a tasty treat instead of your smelly shoes or bland tasting furniture.

Cuteness

Ok, this one is a bit silly – but you can’t overlook how adorable some of these toys made for pint-sized pooches are. For example, our top recommended product today is one of the cutest things we’ve ever seen a dog play with. Don’t underestimate how much joy a little over the top cuteness in a puppy toy can bring you. They’re only young once, enjoy it.

5 Tips To Help Soothe Your Puppy’s Teeth.

Make your life easier by following these 5 simple tips to help your puppy have a pain free teething process.

  1. Warm Soft Foods – Feel free to treat your pooch to warm soft foods instead of hard kibble during the teething phase. It’s much gentler on their teeth and gums.
  2. Put Your Things Away – One of the easiest ways to train your pooch to only chew stuff that they are allowed to chew is by moving your things out of reach. Wait until they have gotten the hang of it before returning to normal.
  3. Pick Flavoured Toys – Flavoured toys entice your pup to chew on them instead of other things in your home, they’re great for dogs that haven’t quite learned the rules yet.
  4. Frozen Treats – Freeze some of their favorite treats and put them inside a toy that’s suitable (like the KONG products below). This allows them to soothe their gums with the cold temperature without trying to bite down on hard ice directly.
  5. Gum Massages – Get your pooch on your lap and gently massage their gums. This reassures them that everything is ok (as it can be a confusing uncomfortable process for a dog) and it also removes some pain.

Best Overall Puppy Teething Toy

Nylabone Puppy Chew Teething Pacifier Dog Toy

We’ve done a huge amount of research for this article trying to find the best toys on the market for puppies that aren’t going to break the bank. There were several other products that are more than worthy of your consideration (which we will list later) but this adorable, functional, and fun pacifier was our favorite.

It’s one of the cutest toys we’ve ever seen, watching your pup chew away on puppy pacifier is something you’re going to find hard to draw yourself away from. There are two individual chews on the pacifier that give your pup a choice of chewing surfaces and each is in a different adorable color.

The entire toy is made from a super durable yet reasonably soft nylon material that’s going to survive whatever your little monster can throw at it. The raised little nubs that cover the pacifier will stimulate your pup’s teeth and gums and help soothe their pains too – it’s vet recommended. As an added benefit the nubs will rub against your dog’s teeth improving their dental hygiene while getting rid of bad breath too.

This isn’t a toy that can be used with adult dogs due to the softness of the material – so regardless of how cute it would look if your fully grown adult Doberman had this in their mouth, it’s not a good idea. The manufacturer recommends that only puppies under 15 pounds should play with this toy, so if you’ve got a young pup that’s already grown up fast – you might need to get another product.

This is a brilliant product for any pooch under the weight limit that doesn’t have permanent teeth. They love playing with it, especially when they carry it in their mouth and toss it around while the two pacifiers connected to the ring flail around randomly.

It’s going to promote proper chewing habits from a young age, and considering it’s less than $7 we doubt you’re going to find a more adorable yet functional product on the market.

6 More Really Good Puppy Teething Toys

While the pacifier is our overall recommendation (mainly because of how adorable it is) there are other products we came across that we’d like to recommend too. Any of the toys below are more than worthy of your consideration.

KONG Puppy Teething Stick Dog Toy

If this is your first puppy you might not have hard of KONG before, but they’re one of the most reputable and respected toy manufacturers in the world. They have hard earned a reputation for quality and performance that other brands struggle to keep up with. Their products can often be a little more expensive than other toys, but you get what you pay for, and KONG’s products are some of the best.

This is an amazing teething stick that’s designed to clean your dog’s teeth and soothe any sore gums while they play with it. They love it right out of the box, but you can make things even more exciting for them (if they’ve been a good dog) by stuffing treats inside.

There’s a hollow section that’s big enough for you to stuff some meat, kibble, or even peanut butter in – and it gives them an interesting and interactive challenge to deal with. This is obviously super fun for your pooch (because all dogs love getting a treat or two) but it’s also good for their intellectual development as it teaches them problem-solving skills from a young age.

The material this product is made from is super durable (like all of KONG’s products) but it has been designed to be soft too – to ensure it’s comfortable for a young pup. This might become their favorite toy, but be sure to take it away from them when they grow up big and strong, as adult jaws might destroy it.

Nylabone Chicken Flavored Puppy Teething Dinosaur Dog Chew Toy

This is a non-edible chew toy that will be able to withstand even the most determined and playful of puppies. It’s been designed to handle the issues that teething puppies have to deal with while promoting proper chewing habits at the same time.

The delicious real chicken flavor this product has been infused with entices them to choose this toy to be their next chewing victim (instead of your shoes or furniture). The ridged bumpy texture helps clean teeth while they play and will also soothe any pains they may be suffering from with a gentle massage style effect.

It comes in a super cute dinosaur shape that’s a lot of fun for your pooch, and the crazy colors it comes in will keep their attention for hours on end. It’s a simple yet effective product at a great price point – we highly recommend it.

Nylabone Teething Puppy X Bone Beef Flavored Chew Toy

This product is very similar to the product above (it’s made by the same brand) but there are a couple of notable differences.

The shape of the product is the most obvious difference, instead of being shaped like a dinosaur this is a cross-shaped product. 2 sides of it have bumpy sections much like the product above, the other sections are more like spiral ridges that are excellent for sensitive gums that need a massage. The cross design pattern is much more ergonomic for your puppy and it’s easier to hold on to for pooches that haven’t quite figured out the best way to hold things yet.

The other main difference is the flavor this non-edible product has been infused with. Instead of chicken, this is infused with real beef that’s irresistible to any pooch on the planet. It’s going to promote proper chewing habits and clean teeth in the same way as the product above, and it’s a great alternative that’s worthy of being added to your shortlist.

Fido Puppy’s First Bone Beef Flavored Dog Teething Bone

This is an adorable non-toxic flavored bone that your little pup is going to struggle to leave alone. The firmness of material this bone is made from has been custom made for the little jaws of a young pup. It’s soft enough to feel great in your dog’s mouth and massage their gums, but it’s strong enough to hold its own against the most determined of little monsters and their powerful playtime practices.

The super delicious beef flavor that’s been infused into this product is going to entice your dog to choose this to chew on instead of anything else in your home, and the ridged knobbly surface is going to help rub and clean your dog’s teeth – making their breath smell great too.

It comes in two different sizes (with slightly different prices) that are suitable for large pups and small pups – and it’s made in the USA too for complete peace of mind.

KONG Puppy Goodie Bone with Rope Dog Toy, Color Varies By KONG

KONG make so many excellent products that we were having a hard time deciding if we should recommend this one or the one we mentioned earlier. In the end, we decided to recommend both – they’re two great toys that you should be adding to your shortlist.

This is a 2 in 1 toy that combines a fun chewy section with a rope for tugging and pulling. The soft yet durable material of the bone is perfect for young puppies and it has been designed with a hollow section inside. This hollow part can be filled with all kinds of treats (soft or hard) to make this into your dog’s favorite toy in their toy box.

The rope section adds interest for your pooch and provides them with a different kind of material and texture to explore with their little mouth. It’s quite a thin rope to ensure they are going to be able to grip it properly, but it’s more than strong enough for you to have a gentle game of tug of war with your active little pup.

This product is suitable for dogs up to 9 months old, which is a little bit longer than many other puppy toys – but let’s not forget that this is a KONG product, it was to be expected really…

Nylabone Petite Dental Puppy Chew Toy

The final product we’re going to recommend today is this amazing little toy from Nylabone that is one of the best bone shaped products we have come across.

Like most of the products we have mentioned today it’s made from a super soft material that’s going to be suitable for tiny developing jaws (while being strong enough to not disintegrate). It’s a ridged textured product so it’s going to massage and soothe gums while cleaning teeth and freshening breath at the same time.

It’s recommended by veterinarians and made in the USA, and it’s another great product that’s going to teach your pooch what they can and can’t chew. The only slight issue with this toy is that it’s unflavoured. However, we know there are dogs that don’t like the taste of artificial infusions that are found in other products – so we thought we’d add this recommendation for the fussy pups out there.

Conclusion

So there you have it, that’s what you should be looking out for in a great toy for a teething puppy and some recommendations of products they’re sure to love.

All of the toys we’ve talked about today are of the highest quality and adhere to the strictest safety standards. They’re all going to help your puppy get their adult teeth as painlessly as possible while promoting proper chewing habits and teaching them the rules of your home.

They’re all more than worthy of your consideration, and we pretty much guarantee that your little monster is going to be happy with any of them.

 

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's also the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com Award winner for 2013. In addition, she's written Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

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