The best strategy to keep a young dog occupied has always been to entice with puppy toys to chew on. But more than that, puppy toys are for mental stimulation, puppy teething, and preventing destructive behavior.
Buying the right type and the right size of the best puppy toys that specifically fit your young dog is important for safety. Most vet-recommended puppy toys are KONG because they last the longest, are hard to chew through, and supply mental stimulation:
“Kong toys are fantastic because the animal has to work, but they are also rewarded for their hard effort.” – Dr. Mark Stickney, DVM [source]
We've tried and tested a huge number of dog toys over the years here on Top Dog Tips, and picked 25 of the best puppy teething toys that are longest lasting and safe for puppies. Below are the five best puppy toys that ended up being our favorites.
Picking Best Puppy Toys for Teething and Mental Health
Same as with puppy foods, there's a difference between dog toys for adult dogs and those you can give to a young puppy. Dogs are not picky in the way that we humans are. The actual type (or price and value) of a puppy toy is irrelevant. What matters when choosing the best dog toys for puppies is the toy's longevity and safety.
The longevity of the puppy toy is how long before you have to replace it and buy a new one. The safety of the puppy toy is based on its simplicity – the fewer parts there are, and the more solid a dog toy is (hard to chew through), the safer it is for a puppy.
Remember to also “renew” your puppy teething toys now and again. Studies have shown that dogs prefer new toys over old ones, but fortunately, there's a way to make old toys into new, and plenty of options of cheap best puppy toys for owners on a budget.
Choosing the best puppy teething toys, we've emphasized both of these factors. Some of them look great and have fancy features, but will last only a few days. Others may seem well-made but have pieces breaking off. To avoid health problems, pet owners must also be aware of what are the worst puppy toys for teething, and which ones to avoid.
Worst Puppy Toys for Teething
Be particularly careful when choosing toys for a puppy. There are many dangerous puppy teething toys that are marketed as popular choices. Some pet owners may also come up with unsafe ideas using dog toys which can endanger a small young pet.
Here's what to keep in mind:
Real bones (cooked). They break off and pose serious danger to dogs.
Rawhide knots. Just as cooked bones, these are hazardous to dogs if chewing unsupervised because it's easy for pieces to break off.
Human toys. While some may be completely fine, others are not designed to be chewed and will have pieces break off which a young dog may swallow.
Foam toys. In the same vein, any toys (some may even be dog toys) that have foam stuffing should be avoided.
Squeaky toys (of wrong size). While some of these may be fine, most of the squeaky dog toys are dangerous because dogs swallow the squeaker.
Anything sharp or metal. It goes without saying, nothing can be a safe toy for puppies if it's made of metal or has any sharp parts.
Generally, it's best to not make your own DIY homemade dog toys for puppies because it would be very difficult to make them safe. Try to not give your dog anything to play with that isn't a properly made puppy toy as well. Some of these best puppy toys below are very cheap ($3-5) and will last a long time; invest in one of these instead.
Top 25 Best Puppy Toys for Dogs That Chew A Lot
25 KONG Squeakair Tennis Ball with Rope Dog Toy
This is everything your puppies will love! KONG SqueakAir ($8.99) is a ball that squeaks with a rope to play tug a war if your dog wishes as soon as he/she brings it back to you. Almost a dog toy nirvana! Beware tho, there is a small plastic plug on this puppy toy, right in the ball, and it makes the actual squeak, and your dog might easily get it out – as soon as that happens, the pup might not be as interested anymore.
24 Nylabone Dura Chew Giant Bacon and Chicken
The Nylabone Dura Chew ($11.99) is one of the safer Nylabones out there. Did you that majority of the best puppy toys for dogs that chew, stuff like plush toys and toys with squeakers, can be very easily and quickly destroyed by certain dog breeds if you aren't careful about what you pick? With that said, this best dog toy from Nylabone is actually good and long-lasting. It will keep your puppies occupied while crated or when you are away from home, and it will help deter your young puppy's destructive behavior.
23 KONG Cozie Marvin the Moose
One of our long-time favorites, KONG's Moose ($18.99) is popular among pet owners. Just like us, the majority of dogs and owners love KONG dog toys and especially their best puppy toys for teething. Veterinarians seem to agree with that too. Why? Because while your pooch will be able to chew to bits any other stuffed toy, Kong's stuff actually lasts for a very long time.
Certain squeaky toys can be quickly demolished, but it will take a while for your pooch to deal with this one. Again, why? Not because it's strong, but because a lot of dogs view this particular toy (maybe because of the materials) as their pal – they will carry them to bed, sleep with them, etc. It's amazing!
22 Chuckit! Small Ultra Ball 2-Inch
Now you can Chuckit! ($4.99) to your dog, too. Another one of the best puppy toys for dogs that chew a lot or heavy chewers, this one is by far one of the top-rated balls out there. Chuckit! toy ball will bounce higher than most other dog toy balls, and it's very easy to find in any tall grass and similar areas due to its coloring. It was also proven many times how highly indestructible this dog toy is, and so far many dog owners find this to be very true – great to play with and last ages!
21 Outward Hound Kyjen Squeaker
Another one from the family of squeakers is the Outward Hound's Squirrel ($5.78). First of all, make sure your dog isn't big enough to tear this puppy toy apart very easily (and puppies shouldn't be able to) because it's dangerous that way. This squeaker isn't ultra-tough best dog toy, but other than that it's a great way to occupy your Fido. If you talk to other dog owners or review customer reviews, you'll notice a big fan base of this toy (unless it has been destroyed, like already mentioned).
20 OurPets Smarter Toys Interactive IQ Treat Ball
The OurPets IQ Treat Ball ($12.45) is great for dogs that get easily frustrated or those who are good with puzzle toys. The reason this is now one of the best puppy toys for dogs that chew is that you can take the centerpiece out and stuff more food in there. It can hold around 1 cup of dry dog food and it will still be very easy to screw the whole thing back together. If you have a panel it, then it will be a bit less. At some point in the future, you might want to insert the panel that increases difficulty back in for those more clever dogs.
19Nylabone Strong Chew Real Wood Stick Dog Toy
Nylabone is great but we always want more, and this Real Wood Stick ($5.84) toy is spot on. They finally made another one of the most durable puppy toys, and that's the wooden stick Nylabone you can see right here. Most puppies will absolutely love it. They will carry the toy around, and there will be very few things that can come in the way between the puppy and the toy. A great dog toy, highly recommended. You will quickly notice plenty of teeth marks on the trunk of it, but it's still amazing, study, and your pooch busy for many days.
18 3-Pack Nylabone Durable Dental Dinosaur
Nobody gets away without trying the famous Nylabone Dinosaurs ($20.57). It's the most popular, if not the best puppy toy for dogs that chew, among pet owners. I used to buy these dinosaurs on a regular basis because my dogs would go through them pretty quickly, but for puppies, it will take a while. Interestingly, most dogs love them. Unlike the Nylabone bones that they have, these Nylabone dinosaurs will last substantially longer. They are funky shapes, which is the reason most puppies prefer to chew on them.
17 KONG Air Dog Squeakair Birthday Balls Toy
Another one from the KONG puppy toy collection, Air Dog Squeakair Ball ($17.94) is a different variation to the above KONG balls. Your dog will love these! Normally, puppies will rip tennis balls to pieces but with this one, they usually won't even try to destroy them. I think it's because puppies like playing with these balls and making weird sounds and so forth. Dogs love to play with all three Kong balls at the same time and hide them under everywhere possible. Some people might get annoyed by this, but I love it!
16 Nylabone Dura Chew Flavored Dental Dinosaur
Alternatively to the previously mentioned dinosaur, you can try this Dura Chew Toy ($5.99) instead. These Dental Dinosaurs chew toys will keep your dogs occupied and will also help with teething and similar things. You will be amazed at how long they have lasted and how long most dogs enjoy chewing on them. The best part is indestructibility, of course, but also the fact that dogs genuinely seem to enjoy the shape or size or whatever it is about these particular toys.
15 Benebone Bacon Flavored Wishbone Chew Toy
How can a list of best puppy toys be complete without the flavored wishbone chew toy! Benebone Wishbone ($11.59) used to be my dog's favorite bone before I got him onto a few new toys listed below. Anytime I picked it up and gave it to my pups, they would be very excited. Normally, my pooches don't like toys that are too long, but somehow this turned out to be an exception. When there are other best dog toys lying around, my dogs would always grab this one first to start it off.
14KONG Cozies Dog Squeaky Toy for Puppy
How about a pig plush toy, like this KONG Cozies ($9.07)? As far as I remember, we used to have three or four of these dog toys always lying around at home, and they've been my dogs' longest-lasting pet toys. They would often destroy certain plush toys within minutes or at least within hours, but not this one. The head and limbs of this pet toy have been torn off and gone fairly quickly, however, the majority of it, the biggest part remained intact for a long time and dogs still enjoyed playing with it.
13 Bergan Turbo Scratcher Pet Toy
The Bergan Scratcher ($8.39) is something new in the series of best puppy toys. Designed for cats, it's actually very appealing to puppies. The turbo scratcher is simply a plastic circular base that has a ball in it, and that ball always rolls around the track on the outer edge of the dog toy. It has a cardboard corrugating medium, if you will, as a clawing area on the inner part of the circle of this toy. Honestly, it's pretty simple but extremely useful and effective. I don't know why, but most dogs and cats adore this thing! Once they get the ball moving, the time will go by very fast.
12 KONG Beaver Dog Toy for Puppies
Don't like the above Cozies toy? Try the KONG Beaver ($13.00) instead. I've recently learned that these beaver dog toys are among the best plush puppy toys for dogs that chew out there, and trust me, I have tried more than enough. I don't believe any of them are truly “indestructible” because, you know, there's always a dog somewhere that will defy that claim without any issues sooner or later. However, these beavers are well made, sturdy and worth buying for the majority of puppies. Just be sure to buy the size that suits your dog!
11 KONG Tugga Wubba Dog Toy
The Tugga Wubba ($13.69) is a unique and extremely durable, strong dog toy that will last a while if you choose the correct size for your pooch. This is one of the most important parts of the best puppy toys for dogs that chew – durability. The toy has a good, not annoying, and not too loud of a squeaky sound which is very fun to play around with.
The section of this toy that is in the center has the actual squeaker, and it's not easy for the dog to get it out, too. Kong is one of the best dog toy manufacturers, and it seems they meant for this to be an interactive toy so there would be no chance of chewing off the cover.
10 Kaytee Small Animal Knot Nibbler Chew Toy
A slightly different concept of best puppy toys that's much more interesting so that even I myself would like to pick around it, the Kaytee Knot Nibbler ($4.79) is very unique too. This thing is made out of wood, which is unusual, and dogs will now disintegrate from their daily play and you might want to get a couple of these because they absolutely love them.
Personally, I would say it's very hard to pull this thing apart – it's sturdy and durable, after about a year of working on it, the last few wooden sticks of this toy for puppies will get pulled out and it will eventually fall apart, but that's a cheap price to pay for a year's worth of entertainment.
9 Nylabone Giant Flavored Ring Bone Dog Chew Toy
Nylabone continues its domination of the top-rated puppy toys with another version of Giant Flavored Ring ($7.79). Note that a lot of other, oddly shaped Nylabone dog toys will usually last your canine about a few months. However, this dog toy ring is not the same case: it's super fun to play with, and most dogs will love it a lot because of its round shape so that they can stick their pats in it in order to secure it, and then proceed with chewing.
It's very durable for sure, it's sturdy, and is similar to its other brother called “Gumabone” for much younger pups, which is why it's in this place of top best puppy toys list. Great choice!
8 KONG Extreme Goodie Bone Dog Toy
KONG's Extreme Goodie Bone ($11.93) is a dog toy shaped like a bone – who would've thought?! Surprisingly, we didn't have many of these on the list. This one will last forever if you purchase the right size of the right dog breed. Kong knows how to make very long-lasting best puppy toys for dogs that chew really hard.
Try it out and see how much your Fido will love it, and how damage-resistant it actually is; it's pretty amazing. Just like all other Kong best puppy toys mentioned on this list above, it will serve you well and long. You can even put treats into those Kong dog toys, it's crazy!
7 American Classic Squirrel for Puppies
Another plush-like dog toy for puppies, this Classic Squirrel($26.99) is much more life-like than the previous animals on this list of best puppy toys, and it's also a somewhat popular dog toy on Amazon. Now you have to realize that nothing that has been constructed out of fabric will last forever and be indestructible.
For that purpose, you must choose dog toys made out of rubber or plastic, and there's plenty of those to choose from on this list. With this one, it will be the seams that will fail eventually, but once all the stuffing is removed, your pooch will be happy to continue destroying it for a lot longer anyway.
6 KONG Extreme Ball Best Puppy Toy
KONG is back again on the list with one of their most popular dog toys – the Extreme Ball ($13.99). This one is exactly what it says it is: an extreme ball because it will be a while before your dog will be able to let it go or destroy it. It's one of the best dog toys for large dogs breeds that are hard chewers – it's heavy and indestructible. If your pooch is about 45 lbs or lighter, then make sure to order the smaller dog Kong ball. The large version is somewhere around 4 inches in diameter, and it weighs over 5 ounces as they claim.
5 KONG Flyer Dog Toy, Large, Red
This KONG Flyer ($10.99) is a different variation from the one mentioned above. Amazon's best seller for many years now, this top recommended puppy toy for dogs that chew really hard is very simple yet it works brilliantly! After your pet spends at least an hour with this toy, you won't even find any visible wear and tear on it, which means it will be really hard for them to destroy it.
This is best for those with their own houses and backyards, and you can simply throw it in your yard for your pooch to chew on whenever they feel like it, and just it there – nothing will ever happen. One of the most indestructible best puppy toys for dogs that chew that you can purchase on Amazon hands down!
4 Duckworth Large Yellow Duck Dog Toy
With Multipet Duckworth ($7.90) we have another great puzzle dog toy for puppies that love to chew on hairy ducks. This one's bigger, sturdier, and works wonderfully. Personally, my dog loves this toy and I'm going to review this puppy toy separately for dog owners who are interested in how it works and why it's so popular. It's definitely worth every penny.
These best puppy toys will not get chewed apart as easily as a lot of other similarly plush dog toys for chewing, and it will be so well-loved and torn apart that you won't even recognize whether it's a duck or chicken, yet it will all be intact and your dog will happily continue to enjoy himself or herself for many months.
3 Outward Hound Kyjen Hide-A-Squirrel Squeak Toy
Do not be nervous about purchasing the Kyjen Hide-a-Squirrel ($21.65) if you aren't sure if this is the whole set of best dog toys or just a simple replacement: it's a complete and full set as in the pictures shown. Your puppy will have an amazing time with this puzzle toy, and it will take them a while to grasp how to even approach it.
Those little squirrels that are inside of this puppy toy's tree trunk are actually squeaky toys, which is great because as we know, dogs love squeakers! Packaged box from Amazon will come with instructions on how you need to motivate and teach your pet to use this dog toy, which is always helpful.
2 KONG Low Stuffing with Squeaker Dog Toy Small
Do you know what's even better than the previously mentioned duck dog toy? Two duck toys that are made by KONG, like the Low Stuffing ($15.25) ones. Here's one example – Amazon's best seller for years and ultra-popular among dog owners, this is definitely one of the winners. Let your puppy chew on this for a few months and you will quickly realize that it's simply one of the best purchases you can make for your dog.
Especially if your puppy is teething, or you want to play fetch with them, it will be absolutely one of the best puppy toys because of how much dogs prefer this toy and how long it will last due to Kong's knowledge on how to create durable puppy toys for dogs that chew a lot. There's even an extra squeaker included in the package!
1 KONG Classic Best Dog Toy for Puppies
Finally, the number one among best puppy toys collection is the one made by the masters of dog toys for hard chewers – the KONG Classic ($12.99). It's the famous classic dog toy, the most popular among dog owners and Amazon's long-term bestseller; and it's also red! Whenever you're looking for the next thing you want your dog to destroy, then Kong will always be the answer. Believe it or not, some customers stock up on this stuff because they're afraid that eventually stores will run out of Kong will stop manufacturing them.
People buy 5 or 10 of these best puppy toys, and that pretty much sets them for a lifetime. Rightfully so! Do this: make a great smelling and tasting snack, like a combo of peanut butter, oatmeal, and yogurt, and stuff that into this dog to; it's going to be the ultimate best puppy toy for any dog!
What to Know Before Buying Puppy Toys
First of all, you must know that your first dog toys will never be perfect because you don't really know how your pooch will respond to them. As time goes by, and you and your puppy develop an understanding, as a dog owner you will have a better grasp of your dog's preferences when it comes to chewing toys and similar things.
The same rule applies to most dog products you buy, like when choosing dog beds or trying to pick a good gift for your pooch; the rule especially applies to dog houses and things like dog treadmills. So don't worry about it too much – pick a few of those best puppy toys that other dog owners seem to like and see how your dog reacts.
We already know that dogs prefer newer toys, but are you wondering how pets decide which best puppy toys they like and which ones bore them?
It's a good question, because one study published in the journal of Animal Cognition has introduced Labrador Retrievers to one dog toy for a whole of 30 seconds, waiting for them to stop interacting with those best dog toys they picked, and the outcome confirms what you have probably already seen in the behavior of your own pet:
- Canines see toys as prey, therefore, they like best dog toys that can be torn apart, taste good, smell good, or release some kind of sound.
- Dogs definitely find quiet chew toys less curious because there's no response, there's no reason for them to do anything to those toys.
- Most dog breeds are very interested in everything new, and new dog toys will definitely amuse them, so if you can keep supplying your dogs with new toys every month, then they have a very considerate (and rich!) owner, but that isn't really necessary unless you can afford it.
Now it's your turn to share! Have you and your pooch tried any of these best puppy toys for dogs? How long did they last and what did your dog think of them? Please share your opinion of these dog toys for puppies below!