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The best teething toys for puppies in 2023: Give your pooch something to chew on

Tired of being your puppy’s favourite chew toy? Our pick of the best teething toys are here to give your fingers a much needed break

Chewing is a very natural behaviour for dogs. Unlike humans, they don’t have the luxury of hands to explore the world around them, so they use the next best thing – their mouths. One of the most challenging times for any dog parent when it comes to biting behaviour is when a puppy is teething.

Most dogs will start to get their baby teeth when they’re around three weeks old, with the incisors being the first to make an appearance, swiftly followed by canines and premolars. Unless you’re raising a litter from birth you won’t have to worry about this initial teething, as most puppies are brought home when they’re between eight and 12 weeks old. The next stage, however, will often come at around this time, and you’ll want to be prepared.

These first little razor-sharp nippers will start to fall out at around 12 weeks old, and will continue to jump ship until they’re replaced by a full adult set at around 24 weeks. In that time you’ll notice that your little bundle of joy may become a little (or a lot) more inclined to bite and chew on whatever they can get their teeth into. Having a selection of teething toys on hand can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping your furniture and your extremities intact, and can also help to alleviate any discomfort for your pup.

Below, you’ll find our pick of the best teething toys for puppies. If you’re not sure where to start, have a read of our detailed buying guide first.

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Best teething toys for puppies: At a glance

How to choose the best puppy teething toy for your dog

There are a number of factors to keep in mind when picking out a teething toy for your dog.

Size: It’s important to select something that’s sized appropriately for the type of dog you have. A small breed puppy will have trouble getting its mouth around a bigger kong or chew toy, making the item itself pretty useless for its intended purpose and leading your pup to find other more accessible things to chew on. At the other end of the spectrum, a larger breed puppy could be at risk of swallowing a smaller toy, resulting in health risks for the dog and potentially a very large vet bill for you.

Personality: Your dog’s personality can play a big role in the kind of teething toy that will be most effective for them. For example, a shy and nervous puppy may prefer a soft plushie that they can suckle on and snuggle with, whereas a more rowdy and boisterous dog might be better suited to a heavy-duty rubber ball or kong toy.

Routine: Another thing to consider is your puppy’s daily routine. If they have a lot of solo time either in their crate or in a gated section of the house, then they may respond well to toys that will keep them busy for longer periods of time. These would include things such as treat-dispensing balls that will take them more time to work through. On the other hand, if you’re always at home and on hand to interact with your pup then they might prefer fetch or play toys, such as a rope or a ball. These are a more interactive option that allow you to bond with and train your dog while also helping them through the teething process.

What types of teething toys are available?

There’s a huge variety of teething toys available for puppies and it can be a bit overwhelming to try and figure out what will suit you and your dog best.

Fabric: These would include things such as soft plushies and braided rope toys. This can often be a gentler option that may be kinder if your dog is experiencing discomfort in their teeth and gums. However, you’ll want to be careful when playing tug of war with a fabric toy as your dog’s teeth can get stuck more easily in the material.

Rubber: These are the more classic options of rubber balls and treat-dispensing kong toys. They’re typically more heavy duty than the fabric alternatives, and will work well with stronger breeds of puppy. As stated above, just be sure to select the correct size for your dog so that they’re safe and able to use the toy effectively.

Edible: This final option includes everything from dental sticks to dried meat strips. There’s a huge range available online and in pet stores, so you should be able to find something for even the fussiest pup. Once again, ensure that you’re selecting the appropriate size and type for your puppy and that these treats coincide with a healthy and balanced diet.

What should I avoid?

Most veterinarians and other canine professionals seem to agree that it’s best practice to avoid very hard chews for young dogs. Things such as antlers, rawhide chews and bully sticks can easily splinter and become stuck in the throat or gut, which can obviously very quickly become a life-threatening situation. Harder plastic toys can also cause issues for your puppy’s mouth and may result in chipped or broken teeth that will then need to be removed. All in all, we want to do our best to help our young pups through this uncomfortable teething stage while keeping them safe and avoiding any damage to their brand new adult teeth.

Please note that dogs should be fully supervised when using any kind of chew toy or treat in order to prevent choking. Most manufacturers also recommend keeping drinking water on hand at all times.

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The best teething toys for puppies to buy in 2023

1. Nylabone Puppy Teething Chew Toy Freezer Bone with Soothing Cloth: Best freezable teething toy

Price: £8 | Buy now from Amazon

Nylabone has been making chew toys since 1955, and those decades of experience are evident in its designs. The Freezer Bone features a soft fabric cloth that can be soaked in water, popped in the freezer for an hour or two and then given to your pup. Chewing on the cold material can subsequently soothe much of the discomfort that comes along with the teething process, and the fabric element also makes it a great option for nervous dogs that need a more comforting toy.

The bone itself is made of a soft textured plastic that’s ideal for gently cleaning puppy teeth, and the divots can be spread with treats and frozen alongside the cloth. If that sounds like a mess you’d rather not clean up, you’ll be pleased to hear that the plastic material is already peanut butter-flavoured throughout, ensuring that the taste lasts as long as the chew.

Key details – Material: Soft plastic and cloth; Flavoured: Yes; Sizes: One size

2. Nylabone Gentle Puppy Dog Teething Dental Dino Chew Toy: Best for teeth cleaning

Price: £7.50 | Buy now from Amazon

If you like the sound of the Nylabone design but want something a little more straightforward then you may want to try the Dental Dino Chew. Covered in soft plastic bristles, this toy acts as a mini toothbrush for your puppy and helps to prevent plaque and tartar build-up. If you want to achieve an even better teeth clean the bristles themselves can be spread with puppy toothpaste or teething gel.

Similarly to the Freezer Bone, the Dino features a strong chicken flavour in the material itself to ensure that your dog won’t lose interest after the first few chews.

Key details – Material: Soft plastic; Flavoured: Yes; Sizes: One size

3. Benebone Puppy Chew Toy Bacon X Small 2 Pack: Best for small breed puppies

Price: £13 | Buy now from Pets At Home

A lot of dog owners will know that just because a pup is small in stature doesn’t mean they aren’t fierce in bite. The XS Puppy Chew Toys from Benebone are an excellent option for smaller breed puppies that are also very determined chewers. While they boast the same real bacon and maplewood flavours as the adult versions, the puppy chews are a slightly softer material that better suits their growing teeth.

The shapes of the chews themselves have been designed to be ergonomic for little paws, allowing pups to grip and chew to their heart’s content. Please be aware that, although flavoured and coloured, these are not edible.

Key details – Material: Nylon; Flavoured: Yes; Sizes: XS, S, M

Buy now from Pets At Home

4. Kong Teething Stick Large: Best for large breed puppies

Price: £13 | Buy now from Amazon

Perhaps the best-known pioneer of enrichment dog toys, the Kong brand also has a fantastic range dedicated to puppies. The Teething Stick is an ideal choice if you have a larger breed between 13 and 30kg and can be used up until the age of nine months.

Distinguishing itself from its adult counterparts, the softer rubber formula and patented Denta-Ridges are specifically designed to help clean teeth and gums and soothe teething discomfort. These ridges, along with the hollow centre, can also be stuffed with treats to provide longer-lasting entertainment for pups that have a bit more solo time.

Key details – Material: Rubber; Flavoured: No; Sizes: S, M, L

5. Kong Puppy Chew Treat Toy: Best for treat dispensing

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

This treat dispensing rubber ball is one of the most widely loved and recognisable dog toys on the market. Although the adult version is popular, we think the puppy Kong deserves just as much love. As with the Teething Stick, it is made of a softer rubber that is more suitable for growing teeth and has the added benefit of coming in a variety of sizes to better fit your puppy’s bite. Whilst it is typically known for its use as a distraction and enrichment toy, its well known curved shape makes for an unpredictable bounce when used as a fetch toy, something that the more energetic pups will appreciate. If you’d like to stick to the more traditional use you can stuff the hollow centre with treats or even freeze it with some soaked kibble to keep your dog amused for longer. All in all, it’s an incredibly versatile toy that will be a great investment for any puppy parents.

Key specs – Material: Rubber; Flavoured: No; Sizes: S, M, L

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