Just like babies, puppies also undergo teething, which can be equally uncomfortable and painful if they don’t know how to manage it properly. While pups don’t have the luxury of seeking professional dental help to help them in their teething woes, they can rely on us, their pet parents, to provide the best tools to successfully get them through the teething stage. Choosing the right teething toy is critical to helping them get through the ordeal, so we have prepared a list of some of the world’s best teething toys for puppies. With these, we’re optimistic that you can find something that best suits the young pup in your life.
Our Selection of The Best Puppy Toys For Teething
1 Aipper Toys For Teething Puppies
- 5 to 12 different chew toys
- Made of non-toxic materials
- 45-day full refund guarantee
- 1-year hassle-free warranty
It may not be the best chew toys for puppies, but with the variety that the Aipper Puppy Toys provides, it could very well be one of the best puppy toys, guaranteeing endless fun for your young pup. The Aipper includes 12 different types of chew toys from balls to Frisbees to squeaker to rope toys. Each toy is made of only the safest materials. For example, its rope toys only contain non-toxic cotton fibers while the rest are not broken down into small bits. This greatly improves the safety of these toys so your young pup can go about playing while cleaning its growing teeth. The Aipper is available in a 5-piece pack, too.
2 KONG Puppy Dog Toy
- Indestructible yet puppy-soft construction
- Food and treat refillable body
- Unpredictable bounce properties
- Recommended by experts
KONG is one of the most revered brands when it comes to doggie chew toys. It is thus, not surprising to see the puppy version of its Classic KONG to be in this list of the best chew toys for puppies. To make it a really tasty treat, all you need is to fill the KONG with your pup’s favorite treat. You can fill it with creamy peanut butter or any other delicious treat. The KONG for Pups is made of soft yet indestructible rubber that is just perfect for the small developing dentition and gums of pups. It can make for a great bouncy toy for an amazing play of catch, too.
3 Nylabone DuraChew Power Chew Bacon Dog Toy
- Really tough construction
- 3 new exciting flavors
- Textured design
If you’re going to look at the average number of positive customer reviews, the Nylabone Dura Chew Textured Toy easily romps off with the best chew toys for puppies plum. While the Dura Chew Textured is not really edible, it comes in 3 exciting new flavors that pups will love, nonetheless. You’ve got a choice of bacon, peanut butter, and chicken. Of course, you can always choose the original flavor. The textured design helps relieve painful gums. It’s made of heavy duty nylon, giving it exceptional durability that will stand even the most powerful of chompers. No wonder it’s one of the most trusted chew toys for active teethers and powerful chewers.
4 Petstages Cool Teething Stick Tough Dog Chew Toy
- Unique, colorful, and fun design
- Relatively inexpensive
When you look at the Petstages Cool Teething Stick, you might not really consider it as a teething toy. In fact you might look at it more like the sensory toy of a human baby. In hindsight, this should make the Petstages Teething Sticks one of the best puppy toys you can give to a young pup. The Teething Stick looks more like the larvae of some insect floating in a pond, complete with its shrimp-like tail and crab-like legs. The Petstages Cool Teething Stick has to be frozen first, giving it a crunch as your pup chews on it. This also helps soothe the inflamed gums brought about by the teething process. At any rate, its colorful patterns can help make for a great toy for a young pooch.
5 Nylabone DuraChew Wishbone Original Flavored Toy
- Heavy duty nylon and unique wishbone construction
- Priced relatively lower than similarly designed chews
- Strongly positive customer reviews
Designed like a wishbone, this Nylabone dog chew typically features the same characteristics of other Nylabone products including heavy duty nylon construction that can withstand the bite force of moderate chompers. It doesn’t have dental nubs, though. However, the unique shape of its tips can still make for an excellent gum-soother especially for teething pups. The Nylabone Wishbone is one of the best chew toys for puppies primarily for its three ends that provide for endless chewing fun for the young mutt.
6 KONG Puppy Tires Dog Toy
- Made of rubber specially designed for teething puppies
- Food and treat refillable design
- Quality one can always rely on
We’ve got to admit the Classic KONG is nothing less than a marvelous piece of canine plaything known the world over. However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t those who are looking for something quite different from the usual and that KONG is not listening to them. In fact, while it may not be one of the best puppy toys, not yet anyway, the KONG Puppy Tires is slowly gaining traction as a favorite. It comes with the same food-refillable design that everyone has come to love about KONG products, but in a largely different kind of style. Just look at it as a tough rubber doughnut or even a tire in your vehicle and you get the idea. This makes it perfect for playing a game of fetch with your young mutt as the ring is a lot easier to place and hold in between the small jaw. Of course, it’s also great for teething puppies.
7 Nylabone Teethe ‘N’ Tug Puppy Toy
- Pull toy design intended primarily for early pup socialization
- Sturdy and durable construction
If you don’t like the Petite or the Wishbone design of the Nylabone for your pup, then maybe the Small Puppy Teether and Tug Toy should be more appealing. Think of it as a rubber ring that has been slightly deformed to produce an elongated rubber chain link. The idea is that it replaces your rope toy or any other canine plaything that you can play tug with your pooch. Unfortunately, playing tug-of-war with a pup is not really recommended. Nevertheless, as Nylabone says, the Teether and Tug is especially built for early socialization of pups while aiding in their teething process. It’s still made of the same durable materials that everyone expects from Nylabone, however. Sadly, it doesn’t come with some unique flavors.
8 KONG Puppy Teething Stick Dog Toy
- Treat-fillable dental ridges
- Made of tough and highly durable materials
- Reasonably priced
The KONG Puppy Teething Stick is a surprising departure from the company’s signature food- and treat- refillable chew toys. Instead, pasty treats can be applied into the grooves – called dental ridges – of the stick so it’s like coating a bar of the best puppy toys with something truly delicious and yummy. KONG actually recommends stuffing the ridges with peanut butter or any other healthy treat for dogs. As they chew on the delicious treat, their growing teeth get cleaned and their gums receive a wonderful massage to relieve pain and inflammation. It truly is a very interesting way to help pups manage their teething concerns.
9 Nylabone Teething Pacifier Puppy Chew Toy
- Unique pacifier design
- Secure O-ring attachment
- Soft dental nubs
Pups will love the yummy bacon flavor of the Nylabone Puppy Teething Pacifier. The design is quite intriguing, though as it looks more like a cross between a baby pacifier and a set of keys held by a plastic O-ring. The O-ring allows for attachment to any bag or device or even poet carriers so you can bring the Nylabone wherever you go. The pacifiers come with dental nubs to help soothe inflamed gums while also removing tartar and plaque that may have already begun to build up. It comes in blue and pink colors, too, although we’re not sure if the pink color is a right choice considering dogs can only differentiate gray, blue, and yellow in various shades. Nonetheless, this should be an interesting product.
10 KONG Puppy Binkie
- Unusual yet very handy and indestructible design
- Made of the same safe and high-quality materials
- Expert recommended
KONG returns with its take on what a puppy pacifier should be. The Binkie looks like the pods of an earphone complete with an O-ring handle that is mated to its base. Technically the Binkie still follows the traditional design of the Classic KONG but with the removal of the third globe, replacing it with the O-ring handle. The Binkie is sized perfectly for small feeders as treats can still be inserted through a small opening at the base of the handle. Like all KONG products, the Binkie is vet recommended and is made of only the finest quality and safest materials.
11 Nylabone DuraChew Textured Ring Flavor Medley Toy
- Constructed of safe and durable nylon material
- Multiple ridge design
- Available in chicken flavor
Staking its claim as one of the best chew toys for puppies is this creation from Nylabone. The Ring Dog Toy can be viewed as a heavily pumped-up version of the KONG Puppy Tire. It comes with alternating ridges and extensions that are designed specifically to clean the teeth and relieve pain. The unequal thickness and length of the ridges gives it an entirely different texture. Add to this the integration of chicken flavor into the Nylabone and you have a toy that will bring fun and contentment to any teething pup. It is also made of the same durable nylon that Nylabone products are recognized for.
How to Choose the Best Toys for Your Teething Puppy
If you’re unsure how to buy the most appropriate or even the best teething toy for your young mutt, you need not worry, as we’re here to share with you some tips on picking the best for your puppy.
Choose one that is soft but tough
It is important to choose a chew toy that is soft enough to be chewed on and provides adequate pain relief but tough enough that it will not be destroyed easily. It should withstand more than just a couple of continuous biting and chewing. Otherwise, you’re looking at a very expensive proposition. The point is to get something that is durable yet soft.
Pick something that won’t break into fragments
Puppies are more susceptible to choking for the simple fact that their airways are smaller. That said, it is important to choose a chew toy that will not break easily or one that will not shatter into many smaller pieces.
Consider getting a variety of textures and shapes
Different puppies have different tastes, just like us. Just because your older pooch loves the toy you gave it doesn’t mean your pup will love it, too. As such, try to invest in various chew toys that come in different shapes and textures.
Check the size appropriate to your pup’s mouth
This is self-explanatory. A Shih Tzu pup will have a smaller mouth than a St Bernard pup. Both are puppies, yet they do have different sizes of mouths. So choose one that is appropriate for your puppy breed.
Consider something tasty
It’s great if you can give your pup an indestructible chew toy. It’s greater if it also tastes good. The welcome news is that manufacturers are now churning out puppy chew edible toys. So give them a treat.
Timeline of Puppy Teething
It is often wise to understand the teething process to help you realize just how critical it is to choose the right teething gadget for your pup. Do canine teeth appear all at once? Or do they erupt one at a time? These are just some of the questions that boggle the mind of newbie puppy owners. That’s why we’d like to share with you the puppy teething timeline for you to better understand this physiologic change.
The following is the ‘usual’ progression of temporary, deciduous, or milk teeth among puppies. Just like human babies, these are eventually replaced by more permanent teeth.
- 2-3 weeks old: The very first deciduous teeth of your pup will already be erupting. These include 12 incisors or front teeth, six each on the upper and lower jaw.
- 4 weeks old: By the time your pup reaches about a month old, its canines will already erupt on both the upper and lower jaw, positioned next to the outermost incisor on both right and left sides, for a total of 4. By this time, your young pooch already has about 16 teeth.
- 3 to 8 weeks old: Between 3 and 8 weeks old, although some would start at four weeks, four premolars begin to erupt adjacent to the canines on both sides and floors, bringing the total to 28, which is the total number of deciduous teeth that puppies have. By comparison, human babies only develop 20 milk teeth. It should be noted that puppies don’t develop their molars yet since they don’t need grinding and chewing tough food.
Starting around 12 to 16 weeks, young puppies will start shedding their milk teeth in favor of the more permanent canine adult dentition, numbering 42. Technically, teething commences when the pup starts shedding its deciduous dentition.
- 3 to 5 months: Permanent incisors will start replacing the temporary ones.
- 4 to 6 months: It’s the canines’ turn to be replaced.
- 4 to 5 months: The premolars are replaced.
- 5 to 7 months: The molars start erupting to complete the 42.
Technically, your teething chores should be geared toward assisting your pup to make the transition from deciduous teeth to permanent pearly whites. Thus, your choice of chew toy must reflect this need from three to around seven months.
Benefits of Chew Toys for Teething Puppies
Canine teethers provide the same benefits as those that we use on our human babies. While these products come in various shapes, sizes, and even flavors, they are inherently designed to help puppies get through the teething process more successfully. Here are some of the more popular benefits of chew toys for teething puppies.
Stimulates growth of the erupting tooth
One of the fundamental reasons why chew toys are recommended for pups is that they somehow provide the necessary stimulation for the more normal growth of dentition. No one knows the principal mechanism that governs tooth eruption or teething. There have been many theories forwarded and refuted over time. One of the most enduring theories is that tooth eruption occurs because of the cross-linking and shrinking of the collagen fibers of periodontal ligaments combined with the contraction of the ligaments’ fibroblasts. It is through the stimulation of the periodontal ligaments through the application of pressure that the tooth can be stimulated to erupt and to continue growing.
That is why even pups that are not provided with chew toys eventually end up chewing and nibbling at almost anything they can get their mouth into. The reason is quite simple. If there is no pressure on the erupting teeth, the periodontal ligaments will not be stimulated properly and it will often take a longer time for the tooth to erupt. This easily translates to prolonged agony for the young pooch.
Relieves pressure and pain
While pressure is needed for successful tooth eruption, it can be a real nuisance, too. As the tooth pushes its way through the gum line, it inadvertently causes micro-inflammation of the adjacent tissues resulting in pain. The application of counter-pressure can help negate this outward force by temporarily blocking the pain signals transmitted to the pooch’s brain with an entirely different signal. Experts say that it is also possible the application of pressure can somehow reduce the number of pain signals transmitted to the brain for interpretation.
Soothes and toughens the gums
In addition to relieving the pressure and pain off of your young mutt’s gums, chew toys can also help soothe the gums while strengthening them. This can be especially beneficial since strong gums can help provide for a stronger framework for canine dentition.
There are many other benefits of chew toys that are not really related to teething. Soothing the gums and allowing the tooth to grow normally are just some of the many benefits of chew toys. The other benefits can include the following.
- Prevents gum diseases: This is often related to the abnormal accumulation of plaque and tartar on the surface of the teeth especially near or on the gum line. Underneath these cement-like substances are germs that can release acids and other corrosive substances that eat through the layers of the tooth, leading to periodontal disease. Chew toys can help rub against these formations and get rid of the problem.
- Helps clean the teeth: Dogs don’t brush their teeth. As such, chew toys can help them remove debris, tartar, and plaque buildup to make the teeth whiter, brighter, and cleaner.
- Prevents bad breath: Some dog chews come with flavors that can provide your mutt with a refreshingly cleaner breath. Moreover, the removal of the plaque and tartar also removes the habitat of odor-causing microorganisms and thus, prevents halitosis or bad breath.
- Prevents destructive chewing: We have already mentioned that chew toys are better alternatives to the legs of your chairs and tables, your upholstery, your wooden door, or almost anything that your pooch can latch its teeth on. Giving your pooch a variety of toys will lead to less boredom and stress.
What Type of Toy Should I Choose?
Knowing the benefits of a chew toy on your teething pup is one thing. Knowing which type of toy you should choose is clearly another. There are a number of chew toys that can lay claim to being the best for puppies. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make choosing any easier. Here, we’ll present to you the different types of toys that are commonly used as teething toys.
Hard rubber chew toys
These are epitomized by the products produced by KONG. The materials used are nearly indestructible. Regardless of how powerful a chomper and chewer your pooch may be, it will never be able to puncture through the tough and dense rubber shell of the KONG. Well, almost never, actually. The beauty of these products is that they are fillable with almost anything making them more appealing to pooches, especially the young ones. These can be frozen, too, which is perfect for soothing gums.
Check out our ultimate guide on Dog Toy Boxes.
Hard nylon chew toys
Like rubber-made chew toys, hard nylon toys provide for exceptional durability and strength. These are also nearly indestructible. Nylabone is well known for creating such products. The only downside is that these don’t come with a compartment that you can fill with treats. However, to counter this deficiency, many manufacturers of hard nylon chew toys have learned to incorporate flavors into their products. Regrettably, this is where some companies fail miserably as they tend to incorporate artificial flavoring.
Thick rope playthings
The main concern with these types of chew toys is that the different fibers may be pulled out and off from the rest of the rope. These can be swallowed and might increase the risk of blocking the gut. It also increases the temptation of playing tug-of-war with your pup which is still not recommended at this stage in their lives. As such, it is crucial to choose only those rope toys with exceptional qualities and to never use it as a tug toy.
Treat chew toys
These are inherently designed to provide a more interactive experience for your pup. Treats are placed in the toy for your pup to ‘work’ with. KONG is an example of this type of chew toy.
Choosing the best teething toy for your puppy means you’ve got to choose something that is both soft and tough, can provide a variety of textures and shapes, will not break off into very small pieces, and maybe palatable to your puppy. It is equally important to appreciate the normal growth and development of the canine teeth so you’ll know what to do especially in managing their teething.
Lastly, understanding the different benefits of using chew toys for their teething as well as the different types of chew toys will help you gain a better understanding of these types of dog care products.
- Dr. Krista Williams, BSc, DVM, Teeth, Teething and Chewing in Puppies, VCA
- Dr. Leslie Gillette, DVM, How to Pick the Best Chew Toys for Puppies, PetMD