The 9 Best Dog Toys for Puppies
Your puppy has different needs than a full grown dog, and finding the best dog toys for puppies can help entertain your young pooch while also setting them on the right track for a lifetime of good behavior.
The Humane Society breaks toys down into three categories:
- Active toys: Like tug-of-war and fetch, these toys will help your dog get exercise while engaging with you, which can help you and your pup form a bond of trust.
- Distraction toys: These are mentally stimulating and will help keep your puppy entertained and challenged.
- Comfort toys: Your dog can carry these plush toys around for company and to help ease anxiety.
Chew toys exist in a category of their own since one of the main concerns puppy owners have is a dog's penchant to chew on just about anything. If your dog is about 4 months old, that chewing can turn into something of an obsession, since this is the time teething begins and your dog will do anything to relieve soreness associated with incoming molars.
The propensity to chew, however, isn’t only due to teething. Even older dogs chew which isn't a bad thing since chewing can help keep teeth and jaws strong and clean while also helping relieve anxiety and reduce boredom. In other words, chew toys are an exceptional option because they offer some across-the-board benefits.
With all that, let's dig in to the best puppy toys on Amazon.
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Best Toys For Chewing
1. Best For Teething
What's great about it: KONG's puppy teething toy is designed to soothe achy teeth and gums during the teething stage, and thanks to the strategically placed ridges, it also helps improve dental hygiene. And one more thing: The toy doubles as a puzzle. Fill the hollow center with peanut butter or a KONG treat, and your dog will be challenged to get it. Note that this toy comes in three sizes, from small (for puppies up to 35 pounds) to large (for puppies up to 65 pounds).
What fans say: "My puppy loves this toy! He frequently carries it around the house with him, throws it across the floor and then chases it, and plays tug of war with it. He loves it so much that we haven't needed to put any food or treats in it yet."
2. Best Rope Toy For Small- To Medium-Size Dogs
What's great about it: This set of four puppy chew toys is a great option for playing games of tug-of-war and fetch, but they also clean teeth, massage gums, and fight plaque and gum disease. These toys are on the smaller side, so they won't necessarily keep up with larger dog breeds as they grow, but they're very durable and machine-washable, too.
What fans say: "They're incredible. She loves them, both for play and to absorb her chewing instincts, which are pretty strong. It's absolutely amazing how they hold up. She's made it through the ropes that connect the tied-up ends, but all of those ends are still in great shape."
3. A Freezable Chew You Will With Water
What's great about it: This puppy teething toy is freezable, so it can help relieve pain caused by teething and also cool your dog down on hot days. And since it's filled with 100% water, it's totally safe for your pet. The two openings allow you to insert favorite treats, which can help up the reward factor. Like most chew toys, it cleans teeth and can even works as an indoor fetch toy for light play.
What fans say: "Very sturdy and my dog absolutely loves it!! Life hack: I put it in the freezer and he really thinks that he’s getting a nice treat when I get it out to give it to him. Keeps him busy for a while. Sometimes I stuff it with a little bit of kibble or peanut butter and it keeps him busy..."
Best Toys For Active Play
1. Best For Teething And Tug of War
What's great about it: This tug-of-war toy is made with a gentle material that's specifically designed for puppies with baby teeth so don’t expect it to grow with your dog. However, is a great starting-out toy for these reasons: It encourages early-on socialization between you and your pup, and also helps provide relief from teething pain. This is recommended for dogs up to 15 pounds and who still have their puppy teeth.
What fans say: "My GSD puppy loved this when she was teething! It was the perfect size to soothe her gums and hold with her paws. It also made for some good tug of war games."
2. Best Ball Launcher For Fetch
What's great about it: Fetch is a great way to exercise your dog, establish a bond, and promote trained behaviors. With over 7,000 five-star ratings, the Chuckit! ball launcher lets you throw the ball much farther than your arm ever could alone. It also allows for hands-free pickup, so you don't have to bend down to get the slobbery ball when it's returned. This a great toy because it can grow with your pup as it matures and needs more running distance to truly tire out. You can use it with a tennis ball, but I recommend opting for these Chuckit! balls that are specifically sized for a puppy. And the launcher itself comes in multiple lengths — choose a longer handle for long-distance throwing or a shorter handle for portability.
What fans say: "I have a young Golden Retriever who would retrieve balls and frisbees all day long if my arm could take it. Bought the 26M Chuck-It and love it! I can throw the ball a lot farther and for more throws, so he gets more exercise."
3. Best Frisbee
What's great about it: If a ball doesn't get your dog exercising, the KONG dog frisbee just might be the ticket. This small frisbee is specifically sized for growing dogs and made with "puppy rubber" that makes for a softer catch — perfect for when your canine is still learning the game. The 7-inch disc is ideal for puppies up 9 months old, and after that, you can graduate him or her to a grown-up frisbee.
What fans say: "Great flying disc. My dog loves this disc and never wants to stop playing. He can catch it and fold it in his mouth. I love that it can't be chewed to pieces like plastic Frisbees."
Best Toys For Distraction
1. Best For Keeping Busy
What's great about it: The classic KONG toy can distract your dog for hours while satisfying their intellectual instincts. Fill it with peanut butter, kibble, or another puppy snack, and it becomes a puzzle with a delicious reward at the end. You can also use it for a game of fetch: It bounces unpredictably, making for an added challenge. It's available in four sizes for puppies of all breeds.
What fans say: "The puppy Kong and classic Kong are the greatest dog toys of all time. If you don't have one, I don't know how you survive the puppy days! I [...] give one to my puppy every time I leave the house or need a moment's peace."
2. Best For Interactive Play
What's great about it: This toy dispenses food when your dog engages with it for extended playtime. It even allows you to adjust the level of difficulty by turning the interior disc. It's great for intellectual stimulation, but it also helps train your dog to slow down while eating — super helpful if your dog tends to get indigestion from eating too fast.
What fans say: "I have a 10 week old Finnish Lapphund puppy. She's food driven, insanely smart, and incredibly energetic. [...] I want to meet the person who created this toy so I can glee-cry into their shoulder in a loving embrace for giving me even 5 uninterrupted minutes to take a shower every day."
Best Toy For Comfort
What's great about it: While this plush puppy toy is soft and cuddly, it'll still stand up to chewing and rough-and-tumble- play thanks to its reinforced seams and a super durable lining. And here's another awesome feature: The toy has an ultrasonic squeaker set to a frequency between 24 to 28 kiloHertz that your dog can hear but you can't. In other words, your puppy will be comforted, and you won't be annoyed. The toy is available in both mini and large sizes, and if alligators aren't your thing, you can opt for an equally adorable giraffe, pig, elephant, and more.
What fans say: "The gator was the first Hear Doggy silent squeak toy I got for my puppy, and we loved it so much we bought a few others but this one has held up the best, it's great that she can be excited from the squeak she hears while humans are spared."