Bringing home a new puppy is all kinds of fun, but let's be honest: It's a lot of work, too. To prevent your new furry BFF from chewing up everything in sight, investing in the
best chew bones for puppies is a must. That said, there’s no shortage of options, so Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, veterinary medical advisor for Rover — is here to help narrow them down. The first step is deciding between edible or non-edible chew bones, but whichever one you pick, it should be made from safe ingredients or materials.
Since many dogs are
motivated by food, you may want to consider edible puppy bones that you can use as a reward or training treat. According to Dr. Greenstein, however, they're not all created equal: “The benefits (and risks!) of a particular edible chew vary greatly.” For example, “certain animal-derived chews like pig ears and pizzle sticks have been associated with cases of bacterial contamination.” You should also only give edible chew bones to your pup while they’re being supervised, since even the so-called edible ones aren’t always fully digestible and can cause internal blockages “if accidentally swallowed in giant pieces,” according to Dr. Greenstein. And keep an eye out for a bone that simultaneously “does work” — like cleaning your dog’s teeth while they chew.
Some pups can chew through an edible bone in minutes, so if that's your dog, a non-edible chew may be a safer, longer-lasting option. “When it comes to non-edible chews, the choice of material is key. Always look for something just pliable enough to dent with your fingernail,” Dr. Greenstein wrote. “Anything super hard [like bones, hooves, antlers] can risk breaking a dog’s teeth.” For that reason, synthetic materials are a good option, especially for “
tenacious chewers or large dogs with powerful jaws.”
Not sure which one to start with? Here's are some of the best chew bones for you to choose from.
1 The Best Edible Option: Himalayan Dog Chews
all-natural bones are perfect for pups who are motivated by treats. There's no gluten, grains, or other ingredients that could harm your puppy's sensitive stomach in these bones. In fact, there are just four ingredients: yak's milk, cow's milk, lime juice, and salt. This combination creates a bone that's tough on the outside yet gradually softens as it's chewed. As your pup wears it down, small pieces release to satisfy them without any splintering. And, while these treats come in multiple sizes, the small option is best for small puppies. According to one reviewer: "I'm in a business that works with dogs. I found these several years ago. They are amazing. My dogs loved them instantly and I have kept them around as a staple ever since. They never seem to tire of them and they make zero mess. Also, every dog I've ever given one to has also liked them.” 2 The Best For Aggressive Chewers: Nylabone Flavored Durable Dog Chew Toy
Thousands of reviewers can't say enough good things about this
durable chew bone. It's made from tough, high-quality nylon that even the most aggressive chewers won't be able to bite through. Plus, this bone is lightly textured to clean your puppy's gums and teeth while they play, and it's also flavored to hold their interest for the long haul. Amazon reviewers agree that this bone has saved them from constantly replacing toys. There are even multiple flavors and chew strengths to choose from. According to one reviewer: "We rescued our pup from the SPCA and were told he lived outside in a metal cage his whole life (5 years old). So when we brought him home and noticed he had a chewing habit, we bought several toys to help him focus on what to chew. The peanut butter Nylabone became the most durable and the only one to survive so far (it's been three months and it's still intact after being chewed daily).” 3 These Edible Treats For Teeth-Cleaning: Purina DentaLife Chew Treats
Dr. Greenstein recommends chews that clean your dog’s teeth while they keep themselves occupied. “Always look for the distinctive VOHC seal on the packaging, which means that a product has been clinically tested and approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council to help with dental hygiene,” Dr. Greenstein wrote. While they won’t last too long, these
Purina DentaLife chews have the aforementioned VOHC seal, not to mention more than 6,000 reviews and an overall rating of 4.8 stars. They reduce tartar buildup by 57%, according to the brand. Plus, they’re made without artificial flavors or colors. According to one reviewer: “I started giving these to my new puppy when she was three months old, and every day since although at that time I used a smaller size switching to larger when she became an adult. She just loves them, and looks for her "daily treat". Dogs typically need their first professional cleaning (expensive) at the age of two to three years, and at that interval thereafter for life. She is now almost six years old, and the vet has said she is only now ready for her first cleaning, even though tartar is still quite minimal. The vet even admitted he has never before seen anything that works like this. Kudos Purina!” 4 The Best For Mental Stimulation: KONG Puppy Goodie Bone Dog Toy
For pups that love to play games, these
Kong puzzle bones are a must. For one, they're extremely durable, yet they're also soft enough that they won't bother puppies who may be teething. Each bone features multiple treat pockets in the ends where you can stuff small goodies or soft treats like peanut butter. Then sit back and watch as your puppy tries to figure out how to get the snacks from the pockets — a task that isn't as easy as it looks. This style is designed for puppies, but the brand also makes ones for more developed dogs. According to one reviewer: "This bone is relatively soft and flexible which encourages chewing. Small bite kibbles or treats fit perfectly in the ends and the dog can work them out by chewing the ends. It keeps my puppy busy for a while trying to get the treats out.” 5 A Long-Lasting Edible Bone: Rachael Ray Nutrish Soup Bones
If you’re worried about synthetic or hard materials in your dog’s digestive tract, consider these
Rachael Ray Nutrish soup bones. Like a treat, they’re fully digestible and made with great ingredients like real beef and barley — but like a bone, they last a little bit longer to keep your pet entertained while they chew. When your dog finally gets to the center, they’re rewarded with a soft, delicious interior. While these aren’t the types of bones that last for days, this order comes with three bags and there are multiple bones in each. According to one reviewer: “My dogs get excited to get this treat. Even my extremely picky Chihuahua loves this. There have been no issues with digestive problems either, which is always good when introducing something new.” 6 A Bone That Comes In Many Shapes: Benebone Puppy Dog Chew Toy
Dogs don’t have thumbs, which is why they often have trouble holding onto a toy that’s in the shape of a traditional bone. These
Benebone puppy chew toys, on the other hand, come in different shapes from a wishbone to a maple stick, so they’re much easier to handle. This one in particular is made with synthetic nylon and has an infusion of maple wood and bacon for taste. It’s soft enough to remain safe, but durable enough to keep your pup occupied for quite a while. According to one reviewer: “I got this for my two puppies and they love them. I ordered another one and then my older dog decided he had to have one as well! [The] shape allows them to hold the bone for easy chewing.” 7 The Variety Pack For Picky Pups: Nylabone Puppy Chew Variety Toys
If you’re not sure what your pup would like, snag this
chew bone starter pack to give a few different options a try. It comes with one "gentle" bone that's softer and highly textured to sooth sore gums, along with one of Nylabone's more durable options for aggressive chewing — both of which are chicken-flavored. And if neither of those grab your pup's interest, this pack also comes with an edible bone that's flavored to taste like lamb and apples and is safe for younger dogs. This pack as earned a 4.4-star overall rating after more than 40,000 reviews. According to one reviewer: "Our puppy really likes these. She's picky. They are strong and yet soft enough for her. She can't chew the little nubbies off like so many other toys. Great value.” 8 A Rubber & Nylon Bone For Bigger Breeds: Apasiri Dog Chew Toy
rubber and nylon, this dog chew toy is designed to be more durable than most, plus it won’t splinter off. That being said, it’s also designed larger for breeds up to 80 pounds — and its textured center helps to clean their teeth while they chew. You can get it in a huge range of flavors (from beef to peanut butter) to keep your pet enticed and entertained. According to one reviewer: “I have a young mastiff who’s an aggressive chewer. I’ve tried every ‘durable’ bone. Very few last more than a month. I’ve had this one for 3 weeks and it’s holding up really well! Totally worth the money!” Expert: Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, veterinary medical advisor for Rover
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This article was originally published on
June 14, 2020