Updated - Oct 1st, 2021
The teething stage can be a very stressful time for both puppies and puppy parents. Between the ages of 3 and 4 months, puppies start to lose their baby teeth, kicking off a ruff time for puppy parents and their fur babies! Their gums will hurt, and they’ll chew on just about anything to get some relief. As a puppy parent, you need to make sure they have the best possible chewing options, both for their benefit and yours – because if you don’t give them enough stuff to chew, they’ll destroy your stuff instead!
There are a few things to consider when looking for a good teething toy for your pup. It’s impawtant to remember that a puppy’s baby teeth are much softer than their adult teeth, so you should keep that in mind when looking for a teething toy – something made for adult dogs could be too hard and cause serious damage. You also want to be aware of the size and weight of your pup when picking out a good teething toy or edible chew. Always pick toys larger than your pup’s mouth to avoid possible ingestion and choking hazards.
Beyond this, larger-breed puppies will require much bigger toys than teacup pups. And some dogs are more aggressive chewers than others, so you’ll want to look for toys that can stand up to your pup’s specific chomping needs.
As much as we all wish there were a 100% safe and indestructible dog toy, no such thing exists, so a huge part of your job as a puppy parent is supervising your teething pup to make sure they’re chewing responsibly! That said, here are 10 of the most reliable, safe, and pup- and parent-approved teething toy options out there.
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Kong toys are great for all stages of life, but they’re especially pawfect for the teething stage. Kong makes a puppy version which uses a softer rubber than the Classic Kong and is perfect for those little baby teeth! Kong toys bounce around and can be filled with your pup’s kibble or their favorite treats, keeping them engaged in play. (You can also fill the Kong with peanut butter or cheese spray.) One of the best ways to soothe those aching puppy gums is to put the Kong in the freezer before you give it to your pup. The Puppy Kong comes in 4 sizes – Extra Small, Small, Medium, and Large – so you’ll be able to find the right match for your pup, whatever their size.
If you’re looking for a chew toy for a small puppy (under 25 pounds), this pacifier toy is a great option for your fur baby. This toy is actually two toys in one: a pacifier and a bone are both attached to a ring and designed with a puppy’s baby teeth strength and teething needs in mind. The pacifier and bone have raised nubs that will stimulate your pup’s teeth and gums while cleaning their teeth – and they’re bacon-flavored to entice your pup! But like most chew toys, this toy is not edible, so pup parents should always observe their pup while they play. This toy is also not recommended for aggressive chewers or larger-breed puppies (over 25 pounds).
This chew toy is designed specifically for teething puppies. The West Paw Zogoflex Hurley Bone is durable enough for aggressive chewers while also being soft enough for your puppy’s teeth. This latex-free, BPA-free toy is FDA approved and made in the USA from non-toxic material. It‘s also dishwasher-safe, which means it’s easy to keep squeaky clean for your puppy’s enjoyment. It comes in three sizes – Extra Small, Small, and Large – and a variety of colors, too. Not only is the West Paw Zogoflex Hurley Bone good for chew time, it’s also bouncy, which makes it a fun choice for playing fetch on land. It also floats, so if your pup is a water breed – it works for playtime in the water, too!
This toy is meant to be frozen and given to your puppy to ease their teething discomfort. It’s filled with non-toxic purified water for easy freezing, with no need to fill and drain it after every use. The NWK Pet Teether Cooling Chew has ridges and nubs on the outside to promote clean teeth and massage gums. It also has two spaces that can hold a treat, making it perfect for holding a Bully Stick or other edible chew for some extra added fun! Its thick rubber is pretty sturdy for normal chewers, but aggressive chewers may need extra supervision.
Rope toys are a great interactive option for you and your pup to spend some quality time together while also making sure your pup is chewing appropriately. The Hartz Dura Play Double Ring is a great choice, especially for larger-breed puppies. It’s designed with two loops of cotton rope – one for you to hold and one for your pup to tug on – and its rings are connected in the center by a latex ball with nubs and ridges, so it can also be used as a chew toy. The best part? It smells like bacon, so your pup won’t be able to resist! But you should be aware that it may be too large for very small puppies, and even pup parents of larger-breed dogs should be careful not to tug too hard – your fur baby doesn’t have adult teeth strength just yet!
Not only is this toy pawsitively adorable, it’s a great eco-friendly option for your teething puppy. Jax and Bones Jerry the Giraffe Rope Toys are chemical-free and made with hand-tied cotton rope and non-toxic vegetable dye. As your pup chomps on the rope, it naturally frays and acts like dental floss. This toy is not just good for chewing – it’s a great interactive toy for tug and fetch, too! Jerry the Giraffe comes in three sizes – Small, Large, and Jumbo – which are all machine-washable and biodegradable. For extra relief for your teething pup, you can soak your Jerry the Giraffe in water and freeze it.
This knotted rope toy is a great choice for larger-breed pups who are aggressive chewers and love a good game of tug. Mammoth Flossy Chews Premium Ropes are durable and made from a safe and non-toxic cotton-poly blend. In addition to being great interactive toys for quality time with your pup – and solid outlets for your puppy’s chewing needs – these rope toys also promote dental health by flossing your dog’s teeth as they play. Mammoth Flossy Chews Premium Rope Toys come in a variety of sizes and lengths, so even smaller pups will be able to find something that fits their needs.
Bully Sticks are combined treats-and-toys that can keep your pup occupied – and they’re pawfect for teething puppies. Since puppy teeth are too soft to handle big-dog treats like bones, Bully Sticks are a great option for puppy parents who want to give their pup something that will last a while. Bully Sticks are made in the USA and are an all-natural alternative to rawhide, which can be very dangerous for dogs. The beef of Bully Sticks does not splinter, so it’s safe for dogs, although – as with any long-lasting treat or toy – humans should always keep an eye on their pup while they’re consuming these treats. Many pup parents like to use a Bully Stick holder, too – this way, their pup will not be able to swallow any pieces whole once they get down to the end of the stick!
If you’re looking for a fully edible option for your pup to chomp on, Get Naked Puppy Health Dental Sticks are a very healthy choice. While Get Naked makes other types of dental sticks for adult dogs, their Puppy Health sticks are designed specifically for teething puppies. They don’t just help with teething, though – they also have health benefits for growing pups! Get Naked Puppy Dental Sticks are grain-free and made from natural ingredients, with DHA Omega-3 fatty acids that aid your pup’s cognitive development and calcium that strengthens their teeth and bones. Get Naked Puppy Health Dental Sticks help ease some of the discomfort your pup goes through while teething – and when those grown-up teeth finally come in, they’ll help get rid of plaque and tartar, keeping your pup’s teeth and gums healthy!
These dog chews are another fully edible option to keep your pup chewing up a storm. Himalayan Dog Chews are all-natural hard cheese chews made from yak’s milk. These chews are lactose-, gluten-, corn-, soy-, wheat-, and grain-free, and they don’t contain any preservatives. They’re a great natural rawhide alternative, and they come in a variety of sizes – Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large – to fit your pup’s needs. They also have several dog-approved flavor options besides the classic cheese: cheese & bacon, cheese & chicken, and cheese & peanut butter. And since these chews last a while, there’s no need to waste the end when your puppy gets down to a nub – you can use a Himalayan Dog Chew recipe to transform the chew into a puffy treat your pup can eat again!