Which puppy toy is best?
Having a new puppy in the house is an exciting time, so it’s natural to want to spoil them with puppy toys. Rather than letting your house become overrun with every toy on the market, it’s more sensible to pick carefully and buy a smaller selection of high-quality toys that your puppy will love.
Which puppy toys are worth spending money on, and which are likely to be torn to shreds in minutes or completely ignored? If you’re looking for a versatile, durable dog toy, the KONG Puppy Toy is the top choice.
What to know before you buy a puppy toy
Types of puppy toys
If you buy a puppy starter kit, it may contain some puppy toys, but it’s nice to have a range of different types of toys for your canine companion to enjoy.
Chew toys are essential for puppies as they have a natural urge to chew — especially when teething — and they haven’t yet learned what they are and aren’t allowed to chew on. Having a selection of chew toys on offer could save a few pairs of shoes from little teeth.
Puzzle toys and treat-dispensing toys are made for keeping puppies occupied and mentally stimulated so they don’t get bored, while balls and other toys you can play fetch with provide physical stimulation.
Some puppies love cuddling up with plush toys, while others simply tear them to shreds, so they can be hit or miss.
Tug toys are great for when you want to play with your puppy and can promote bonding when they first come home.
It’s easy to assume that all puppy toys are suitable for all puppies, but you need to take the size of your pup into account. A Yorkie pup, for instance, is going to be much smaller than a Doberman puppy. If a puppy toy is available in multiple sizes, check the sizing chart and choose accordingly.
What to look for in a quality puppy toy
Puppy toys should be durable enough to stand up to sharp little teeth, but not too hard or too tough, as this could hurt your puppy’s mouth.
Textures and sounds
Some puppy toys feature a range of textures, such as nubs on chew toys or fleece parts on plush toys. Others make noises — most commonly squeaking sounds. These features can help get puppies interested and makes them more likely to play with toys than get up to mischief.
Some toys are designed so that you can play with your puppy, which is great fun for both dog and owner.
How much you can expect to spend on a puppy toy
You can find some affordable puppy toys for less than $5 while the most expensive rarely cost more than $20.
Puppy toy FAQ
Should you leave your puppy’s toys out all the time?
A. If your puppy has a lot of toys, it’s best not to leave all of them out all the time. Not only can this be overwhelming and overstimulating for some puppies, toys that are out all the time can lose their novelty. However, because puppies are notorious chewers, thanks in part to teething and to the desire to explore everything mouth first, it’s a good idea to always leave at least one chew toy out. You can use this to redirect your puppy to when they chew something they’re not meant to, and in time, they’ll head straight to their chew toy to get their chewing fix, rather than your shoes or a table leg. If your puppy has a favorite comfort toy they like to carry around or snuggle up with, let them have access to this at all times, too.
Are all toys safe for puppies?
A. It’s best to stick to puppy toys rather than adult toys when it comes to puppies, as these are designed for smaller and more delicate puppy mouths. If you choose a puppy toy from a reputable brand, it should be as safe as a dog toy can be. Of course, there’s always a slight risk of choking or intestinal blockage if your puppy bites chunks off a toy and swallows them, so supervise your puppy carefully until you’re relatively confident they won’t do so.
What’s the best puppy toy to buy?
Top puppy toy
What you need to know: This durable, multipurpose toy from a respected manufacturer is a great choice for all puppies.
What you’ll love: Not only is it great for puppies to chew on, it’s also fun to chase and can be stuffed with peanut butter or similar. It comes in four sizes so you can choose one according to the size of your puppy.
What you should consider: Some puppies don’t take much notice of it, although this can happen with any toy.
Top puppy toy for the money
What you need to know: Nylabone is an affordable chew toy that’s made for teething puppies.
What you’ll love: Extremely satisfying to chew on, this is a perfect toy for redirecting your puppy if they’re chewing things they shouldn’t. It’s durable but softer than an average Nylabone for more delicate mouths.
What you should consider: Make sure you get the size right, as your puppy may be able to chew through it if it’s too small.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If your puppy loves to play fetch, this is the ideal toy for indoor fun.
What you’ll love: Made with a soft fabric outer, this toy lets you play fetch indoors, which is helpful if you don’t have a fenced yard for outdoor playtime. It’s excellent for active puppies and helps work off excess energy.
What you should consider: Don’t let your puppy chew it, as it’s possible for persistent chewers to pull the fabric off the ball.
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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