Dog chew toys serve a variety of purposes. In many instances, these products are used to help ensure optimum canine oral and dental health so that microorganisms can be effectively removed and help prevent the development of dental and oral health problems. In some cases, these are also beneficial for addressing the natural behavior of dogs to chew by giving them something a bit less destructive. For puppies however, chew toys can also serve to soothe sore gums especially during the teething process. With the 14 best chew toys for puppies in 2018, you’re now in the right position to care for your pups’ optimum dental and oral health.
How We Chose the Best Puppy Chew Toys in Our List
Just like any other project that we had, it was crucial to first obtain a more concrete understanding of what puppy chew toys are for. This is to help us better choose the right products to share with you. First, the functionality of the item was determined. This was very important since there are those that are designed to be used as a plaything only while there are also those that cater to the chewing habits or behaviors of doggies. It was imperative for us to look at a variety of features that have been built-into the product to make sure these provide a host of benefits as well.
Customer experiences with these products were also considered. While we did see a few products that have 5 star ratings, the number of reviewers for that particular item somehow limited the veracity of its usefulness. It is clear that items that have a substantially greater number of reviewers and users coupled with a sufficiently high consumer product rating are almost always guaranteed a place in our listing. For items that may have questionable ratings, we delved into the reasons of consumers why they think the product doesn’t deserve a higher rating. These reviews are quite subjective so we wanted to know if there really is a basis to the negative comments.
The safety of the product was also determined. While dogs are not humans, they are nonetheless, also vulnerable to chemical imbalances, infections, and other health problems. It is thus, important that the products do not leach chemicals that may be harmful to our furry four-legged mutts. Part of the safety profile of the product was the overall trustworthiness of the company that made it. Reputable companies can always be relied on to deliver, not only high quality products, but also safe ones.
Keeping Our Dogs’ Teeth Healthy
Just as oral health is important for excellent health in humans, dogs too, require a healthy oral cavity and teeth so they will be adequately protected from a variety of systemic diseases associated with canine periodontal disease. Like us, dogs, too require meticulous oral and dental health care to help prevent health problems. Unfortunately, they don’t have hands to brush and floss their teeth. But there are some ways we can do to help keep dogs’ teeth healthy and clean. Here’s how.
- Use a dedicated doggie toothpaste. As much as possible, don’t use human toothpaste to brush and clean your pup’s or dog’s teeth as these contain ingredients that are considered harmful to dogs. Canine toothpastes are especially formulated so that dogs don’t need to rinse anymore.
- If a canine toothpaste is not available, you can manually clean your dog’s teeth by wrapping a piece of moistened gauze around your finger, dab it in baking soda, and gently rub against your dog’s teeth.
- Always give your dog good food as the correct nutrients will help guarantee healthier teeth structure and healthier gums, too. If you have to give your dog fruits and vegetables, choose those that don’t contain starch and too much sugar as these can hasten the development of plaque and tartar.
- Offer dried meats as these are considered excellent chew treats. The chewing action will help keep your dog’s teeth sparkling clean. You can also give chew toys. As we have already presented in this review, there are a variety of chew toys you can choose from.
- Consider giving your dog raw bones especially the larger ones. Don’t give chicken bones or any other small bone as these can break or produce splinters which can injure your dog.
Benefits of Using Chew Toys
Chew toys can provide a host of benefits especially among growing and rapidly-developing puppies. Aside from the fact that chewing is already an innate behavior in many pets including dogs and cats, chewing can also bring about various effects. Here are some of the more important benefits of using chew toys especially on puppies.
- Soothes pain and inflammation associated with the teething process
The process of teething among puppies is not really that different from the teething period of human babies. It’s painful as the growing tooth widens its anchor within the gums of the puppy. While there may be no pain, inflammation is always a constant. Dental chew toys that come with especially-designed nubs or protrusions can help alleviate the pain and reduce the inflammation experienced by puppies that are going through the process of teething. The protrusions exert pressure on the gums, sending pressure signals to the puppy’s brain so that it is the pressure that is registered and not the pain. Pressure is more tolerable than the sensation of pain.
- Promotes optimum young canine dental and oral health
Food particles that get stuck in between teeth or between gums and teeth can lay the framework for the formation of biofilm. These food particles can be the source of energy for bacteria to grow and multiply. Once they’ve grown in number, they start producing a thin film which will protect them from the slightly acidic environment of the dog’s mouth. Over time, plaque and tartar will develop leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Dental chew toys can help prevent these from occurring by serving as your dog’s fun and entertaining toothbrush. These chew toys can help remove food particles and other debris while also preventing the colonization of the puppy’s mouth by bacteria and other germs.
- Encourages non-destructive chewing behaviors
Chewing is as instinctual as barking. Without the ability to chew, dogs and other pets will simply not be able to process their food. This can lead to a host of nutritional deficiencies. Unfortunately, puppies have not yet learned some of the ‘rules’ of nondestructive chewing. For them they can literally chew on anything as part of their nature. While you can slowly train your growing puppy not to chew on certain things or objects, you can provide them with chew toys as a more positive and more rewarding chewable target than a furniture, bedding, carpet, upholstery, or any other item in your house. With training, they will learn that chewing on their chew toys is good while chewing on other objects is not good.
- Prevents canine boredom
Puppy chews are also known to keep your young dog mentally stimulated so that it will not feel bored. While there are dogs that are perfectly fine with just lying around all day long, they will still need some form of activities to keep them busy. This is especially true for puppies that have to be left at home when pet parents leave for work. Since puppies and dogs depend on the interaction they can get from their human masters, the latter’s absence means there is no interaction at all. This can lead to canine boredom, frustration, and anxiety. At least, if your puppy is chewing on a chew toy it will not feel bored as its mind will be exceptionally busy chewing the toy.
- Provides endless entertainment
If you choose the right kind of chew toy for your pet, you may actually provide it endless entertainment. While there is no such thing as an indestructible chew toy for a really tenacious, determined, and powerful chewer, you can at least provide your pet with a toy that will last a lot longer than its usual set of toys. This is where the careful and thoughtful selection of the right chew toy to give to your puppy and dog can help.
Things to Consider When Buying Puppy Chew Toys
Picking a chew toy for your puppy can be hit-or-miss especially if you don’t consider the following things in your buying decision.
- Age of pup
Puppies are defined as any young dog that is below 12 months of age. However, it is very important to understand what specific stage of this 12-month period your dog is currently in. This has something to do with the size of its mouth. Younger puppies will have smaller mouths requiring smaller chew toys. Older puppies will have larger mouths requiring appropriately-sized chew toys.
- Breed of pup
You also need to consider the breed of your pup. Puppies of large and giant breeds may already look like the full-grown adult size of a small dog breed. While they may still be 3 months old, their mouth size can already surpass that of a small breed. As such, you should also pick a puppy chew toy that is appropriate for your pet’s breed.
- Chewing behavior of pup
Nothing lasts especially if you have a tenacious power chewer at hand. Remember, too, that teething puppies tend to have more aggressive chewing behaviors because of the pain and inflammation that is occurring in their oral cavities. If you have a young power chewer at home, then it is a must that you get a chew toy made of durable materials like nylon or even rubber.
- Balance between Toughness and Softness
You want something tough so that your puppy will have some pressure with which to work against. However, it is also important to look for a chew toy that is soft enough for your young pup to chew on it more like prey. It is very crucial to choose a puppy chew toy that is neither too soft nor too tough that your pup loses interest in it altogether.
Getting your puppy to like its chew toy can be tricky especially if you don’t do something about its flavor. As such, picking a chew toy that comes in a flavor that puppies are guaranteed to love is one way to help them like their chews.
The durability or strength of a chew toy is an important consideration especially if you have a power chewer in your pack. This helps prevent breaking the chew toy into tiny pieces that can cause a variety of digestive problems for your juvenile hound.
What to Avoid in Toys for a Teething Puppy
It is very easy to say that you should pick this kind of chew toy for your teething puppy. However, sometimes it also helps to know the things that you really should avoid when picking a toy for your teething puppy.
- Toys with BPA or other harmful chemicals
This is self-explanatory. You don’t want your dog to be chewing and licking on something that is essentially leaching out chemicals such as BPA and other toxic substances. Read the label carefully and do your research.
- Toys that are easily torn to bits
Like we’ve said, there really is no such thing as an indestructible dog chew; uncles you’re going to give them something metallic. The point is to never give your puppy something that can be easily torn apart or one that is composed of many small pieces. These are choking hazards.
- Cheap stuffed toys
Sure you may think you’ve saved a lot by getting 10 toys for the price of one. But if the quality simply isn’t there, then you’re only exposing your young puppy to many potential dangers. Besides, stuffed toys are super soft hat they don’t really do much to alleviate the problems of your teething puppy.
- Toys that resemble household items
It is quite obvious why you should never give your puppy a chew toy that looks like any of your household items. If your puppy cannot find its chew toy it will be chewing on this household item since it looks essentially the same.
- Toys that are very small for your puppy
We already mentioned above that the size of the toy is a very important consideration. Too small and you risk choking your pet to death. It may not die instantly, but the small toy can get lodged inside your pup’s gut, requiring expensive surgery.
Q: How do I keep my puppy interested in chew toys?
A: There are many ways in which you can keep your puppy, or any dog for that matter, interested in its chew toys. First, you will need to have several toys to begin with. Make sure to give your pet one toy at a time or once every couple of days. Once you’re ready to bring out another toy, you can safely hide the previous one. By the time your pup has been exposed to all of its toys, bringing out the first chew toy will look like brand new to your young dog.
Putting the chew toys in the freezer can also help especially if you have a teething puppy. The frozen toy serves as a cold compress which can numb painful and sore gums that typically develop during the teething process. Alternatively, a frozen toy can also double as a means to cool itself down during summer.
Chew toys that are designed as puzzle or interactive toys will always keep your pet entertained and interested in its playthings. There are chew toys that double as treat-dispensers which can provide a sense of accomplishment for your pet as it is able to retrieve the reward using its own skills.
Q: Are all chew toys for puppies safe?
A: Unfortunately not all chew toys are safe for puppies. As we have already mentioned above you should be careful about chews that are easily broken into bits as these can be choking hazards or cause digestive problems including intestinal blockage. There are also chew toys that are laced with dangerous chemicals like BPA and phthalates, just to name a couple.
Our Top Pick
It was never easy picking the best puppy chew toy since almost every other product had its remarkable pros and quite insignificant cons, although there are those that really stand out. One of these is the Nylabone Puppy Chew Toy and Treat Starter Kit.
Starting with the brand, there really is no questioning Nylabone’s philosophy when it comes to providing pets with the best possible chews. The brand has been producing an array of dog chews and chew toys for many years and have created a brand image that is already synonymous to high quality.
But what really set their Puppy Chew Toy and Treat Starter Kit apart was that it came with three different kinds of puppy chews in chicken and bacon flavors. The way in which the chews were constructed also guaranteed that they are going to last exceptionally long while improving the health of your puppy’s teeth and gums. The massaging action of the chew is also beneficial in soothing sore gums, a phenomenon that is very typical in teething puppies. It is for this reason that we are one with many pet parents in saying that the Nylabone Starter Kit deserves to be on top when it comes to puppy chew toys.
The Bottom Line
Caring for our dog’s teeth is crucial to ensuring their optimum health. Helping them act out their innate chewing instincts also help to create a more well-balanced puppy and dog. With the 14 best chew toys for puppies, you can ensure these and more.