Dog Toy Guide: Puppy Dog Toy Must Haves5 min read

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Walking down the toy aisle for any dog owner can be a thrill for your pup, but a bit overwhelming for the owner. Keeping your dog engaged with their new toy while also safe can be difficult. By knowing your dog and their tendencies, dog owners can keep their dog safe. This guide will also clarify which dog toys you should stay or stray from.

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What to Consider When Choosing Puppy Toys

1. Choose Softer Toys

Puppies baby teeth are intact for the first 30 weeks of their lives. The development of a puppy’s jaw is not complete until after the baby teeth have fallen out and reached adulthood. Weaker teeth and jaw power requires dog owners to choose softer rubber dog toys for their puppies. Oftentimes, dog toys formulated for puppies helps to offer your puppy a gentle chewing alternative.

2. Choose Durable Toys

Not only can durable toys keep more money in your wallet, but it can keep your puppy from ingesting dangerous objects. When toys begin to breakdown stray pieces of rope, fabric, squeakers, stuffing, and plastic may be found strewn about the floor. Be quick to remove these pieces from your dog’s eye view, but also remove the damaged toy immediately. Choosing durable dog toys made for your dog’s size and jaw strength is important. When choosing your next puppy toy, keep in mind that a large and small dog breed may be very different sizes at the same age. Instead of following the toy package’s instructions word for word, use your own judgment regarding an appropriately sized toy.

3. Avoid Rawhide and Cooked Bones

Offering your dog rawhide is a debatable topic in itself. Rawhide is well known for being an excellent way for dogs to release their energy to chew. It is a natural instinct for dogs to chew. By doing so, they keep their teeth clean and maintain jaw strength. Unfortunately, rawhide has its drawbacks too, including the hazard of contamination, choking, or digestive irritation. Prevent any of these occurrences in your small puppy by avoiding rawhide and cooked bones. Other chewing alternatives are available.

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Types of Dog Toys

Chew Toys

Examples: Chew bones and dog treats like cow and pig ears

  • Satisfy dog’s natural instinct to chew and gnaw in order to keep their teeth clean.

Plush Toys

  • These soft toys are cuddly and offer your dog additional comfort.

Fetching Toys

Examples: Balls, flying discs, and footballs.

  • Fetching toys allow dogs to satisfy their urge to hunt or carry items around.

Rope and Tug Toys

  • Designed to clean your dog’s teeth, prevent build up and satisfy the desire to chew.

Interactive Toys

Examples: Dog puzzles and treat dispensing toys.

  • These toys support critical thinking in your dog causing them to be engaged for longer periods of time.

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Choose a Puppy Toy Based on their Breed

Gundog Breeds:

Examples: Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Pointers, English Springer Spaniels

These dogs are enthusiastic and strong chewers from birth. They are clever and enjoy interactive toys and dog puzzles that can challenge them as they hunt for a treat. Likewise, they really enjoy playing fetch, so having a favorite ball or flying disc dog toy would be a great choice for these breeds.


Examples: Beagles, Basset Hounds, Greyhound, Bloodhound, Dachshund, German Shepherds

Hounds were bred to hunt a variety of animals. These breeds are designed to hunt using either their strength or by following their nose. This breed enjoys chasing items and carrying them back to their owners. It’s in their DNA. This breed might enjoy a plush dog toy they can carry around in their mouth.


Examples: Yorkshire Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers, Boston Terriers, Malteses, Airedale Terriers

Lastly, terriers are often cute yet sturdy breeds that were bred to hunt vermin. They innately have a desire to hunt, especially small animals and pests. Due to their small size, they can get into the tiniest of spaces. Terriers enjoy digging in the dirt and would be grateful for a fun tugging toy they can hunt for in the sand

Top Puppy Dog Toys

Chewing – Nylabone Puppy

The Nylabone Puppy collection is specifically made for dogs in their earlier age. This collection is perfect for teething pups and those that enjoy chewing in general. Switch out your favorite shoes for a Nylabone Puppy Chew. They have a variety of products including puppy teething keys, puppy chew bones, and a cute puppy dental kit.

Nylabone Puppy Toy Line:

Interactive – Kong Puppy

For all of the classic Kong dog toys your older dog loves, Kong has created a puppy version of it for your younger dog. The Kong brand is well known for creating durable, interactive toys that challenge your dog and offer a tasty treat in exchange. Kong puppy toys have been replicated for each of your favorite Kong toys. It is easy to differentiate between the two due to the puppy Kong toys use of baby blue and baby pink for the line.

Kong Puppy Toy Line:

Comfort – Loofa Dog Plush Dog Toy

Instead of offering a pillow of yours, offer your dog a comfortable, plush Loofa dog toy. These toys are soft and have enough character to spice up your puppy’s toy basket. These plush cuddle toys come in a variety of sizes to fit any dog. The Loofa Dog Plush Dog Toy comes with a squeaker and is durable enough to withstand a game of tug-of-war with your puppy.

They come in a variety of colors and themes including:

What is your favorite puppy toy? Start searching today!

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