Puppies will chew on anything they can find, from your fingers to your furniture. Sometimes it’s playful, but often it’s just because teething hurts. Chew toys can alleviate the need for your puppy to eat everything and can be lots of fun too.
“I look for what is specific for that particular puppy's needs,” says certified dog trainer Erin Marion of Down to Earth Dog Lady, who is based in Pennsylvania and also trains dogs virtually. “If the puppy is prone to bite more (like shepherds) I will get more durable toys, if I notice the puppy is soft on toys and enjoys gently chewing on them I’ll go with softer more stuffed toys. Overall I like sensory stimulating toys: toys with crinkle material, toys with water bottles in them etc.”
We talked to puppy owners, fosters, and trainers about the most dependable and entertaining chew toys for puppies. We considered them based on materials and size, whether they were targeted for teething, and any extras like squeakers and crinkly parts.
Our best overall pick is the Kong Puppy, a very popular rubber toy that can be chewed, bounced, and stuffed with treats to keep your pup happy and occupied.
Here are the best chew toys for puppies.
KONG Puppy Dog Toy
Has an erratic bounce and wobble
Softer rubber for teething pups
Comes in four sizes and two colors
Can be cleaned in the dishwasher
Can be destroyed by tough chewers
The classic Kong is a popular and sturdy rubber dog toy, good for teething and chewing. It’s even more entertaining and long-lasting when stuffed with treats, then frozen. The puppy version is made out of softer rubber and is smaller, designed for chewing and teething. It wobbles and bounces if pushed or tossed. Some puppies are quite content just to gnaw on it as is, but it’s much more motivating when filled with kibble, treats, or a little peanut butter.
There are several sizes of adult and puppy Kongs and it’s key that you get the right one for your pet. It’s particularly frustrating for your puppy if it’s too big for them and they can’t reach into the toy to get all the goodies. Some dogs won’t play with a Kong if it isn’t packed with a tasty center, but for those that like to fetch or chase, it’s fun because the bounce is so unpredictable.
“If the puppy or dog is an extreme chewer I like to recommend products from Kong or West Paw,” Marion told The Spruce Pets.
Price at time of publish: $8
Dimensions: 1.75 x 1.75 x 3 inches | Materials: rubber | Colors: pink, blue
Best for Chewers
Benebone Puppy Dog Chew Toy
Softer than other hard chews
Several sizes, shapes, and flavors
Can be too hard for some pups
Nylon toys are a little softer than similar toys and easy for puppies to grasp with their paws. Puppies love to chew on sticks (and fingers and chair legs). These hard nylon toys are just a bit softer than the traditional Benebones for adult dogs, which means they’re more forgiving for teething pups. They come in three sizes (tiny, small, and medium) and two flavors (bacon and maplewood). Depending on the size, there are also four designs including a wishbone and a stick that are easy for puppies to grasp with their paws..
The tiny puppy Benebones come in a two-pack and are for puppies under 15 pounds. Be sure to choose the correct size because they’re unwieldy if they’re too large and can be a choking hazard if too small. The toys aren’t edible, so inspect them regularly for signs of wear.
Price at time of publish: $15
Dimensions: 2.76 x 0.39 x 4.33 inches | Materials: nylon with flavoring | Colors: natural
Best Treat Dispensing
WEST PAW Zogoflex Toppl Treat Dispensing Dog Toy Puzzle
Works with wet or dry food, fresh or frozen
Made in the U.S.
Strong chewers can damage toy
The Toppl looks like a squat cup with a hole on the side. You can fill it up with dry kibble or treats and let your pup roll them out. There are grips on the bottom of the inside to help keep bigger snacks in place. But a true challenge is when you freeze it. You can add moistened kibble, canned food, or a combination of tasty treats. Then let your pup have a frozen dinner.
It’s a great idea for puppies that tend to scarf down their meals quickly. This slows them down and keeps their brain occupied while they dine. The toys can get a little grungy, but can be washed in the dishwasher. The top edges will get ragged after lots of use. When that happens, you can ship them to West Paw for their recycling program to make more toys.
Price at time of publish: $20
Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 2.5 inches (small) | Materials: blend of plastics | Colors: tangerine, granny smith, aqua blue
N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring
Edible and digestible
Added calcium and omega-3s
Made in the U.S. (with globally sourced ingredients)
Can get sticky and messy
Puppies adore these teething rings. They will often gnaw on them for hours, unless they are really aggressive chewers. The rings are completely edible and have added nutrients, including calcium and omega-3s.
Be sure to feed according to directions. Tiny puppies under 10 pounds should only get a quarter of one per day. Because puppies can have sensitive tummies, feeding too much can cause stomach upset. As tasty as puppies must think they are, they can also be messy. When they’re done, puppies can have some sticky residue on their muzzle and paws, but it’s easy to wash off.
Price at time of publish: $7
Dimensions: 9.75 x 3.25 x 6.75 inches | Materials: Rice flour and other ingredients | Colors: (flavors) chicken, peanut butter, pumpkin
goDog Dragons Squeaker Plush Dog Toy with Chew Guard Technology
Tough fabric and double-stitched seams
Can be ripped by aggressive chewers
Made with tough fabric and double-stitched seams, this soft toy is also good for snuggling. Not technically a chew toy at all, this rugged plush dragon still withstands some pretty rough teething activity. Some puppies aren’t intrigued by rubber or plastic and just want something softer that they can snuggle with too. The material is a tough bubbly plush fabric with a strong liner and double-stitched seams. The company offers a limited replacement guarantee.
The dragon also has a sturdy squeaker and lots of dangling parts for biting and tug time. A very determined dog could rip off a limb or chew a hole. The manufacturer recommends only wiping the surface by hand when it gets grungy.
Price at time of publish: $15
Dimensions: 12 x 5 x 9 inches | Materials: fabric | Colors: assorted
SodaPup Soda Can
Chew toy and treat dispenser
Lots of sizes and designs
Made in the U.S. from non-toxic materials
Can be (too) challenging when stuffed and frozen
There are so many whimsical, colorful designs in this line of durable rubber chew toys. It’s incredibly cute to see a puppy carrying around a bright pink soda can or red coffee cup. SodaPup has a large selection of sturdy toys in many whimsical designs from gift boxes and teddy bears to cupcakes and flying saucers. They can be used as a sturdy chew toy or you can fill them with kibble, wet food, or a little yogurt or peanut butter. Depending on the toy, stuffing it and freezing it might be too challenging for some puppies.
The toys are made in the U.S. with a natural rubber material that comes in three formulations: puppy for teething pups, original for strong chewers, and magnum for “dogs that destroy everything.” They also come in small to extra-large so you can choose based on your pup’s size and how much they like to chew. Bonus: It’s dishwasher-safe.
Price at time of publish: $16
Dimensions: 2.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches (small soda can) | Materials: rubber | Colors: pink, orange
Best Frozen for Teething
Petstages Cool Teething Stick
Can be used frozen or not
Has crinkly parts
Can be cleaned in washer
Can be torn by strong chewers
Soak this brightly colored fabric toy in water, then place it in the freezer for a couple hours. It gets cold and crunchy, offering relief for inflamed gums. It also can be refreshing for a hot, bored puppy on a warm day.
Even without freezing, the toy can be entertaining. Some pups love the crinkly noises that the fin-like features make when grabbed. As with any soft toy, check it often for rips or loose threads. Some owners have said their dogs were able to rip the toy. It can be cleaned in the washing machine on a gentle cycle.
Price at time of publish: $5
Dimensions: 8.47 x 5.52 x 1.97 inches | Materials: cotton-polyester fabric | Colors: mix of bright colors
Best for Small Dogs
Nylabone Puppy Power Chew
For powerful chewers
Good for chewing or gentle tug
Not dishwasher safe
These colorful, connected plastic rings have different textures to help with teething and boredom. They’re very rugged and targeted for puppies up to 25 pounds. The tough nylon is designed for puppies that are particularly powerful chewers or those that already have their adult teeth.
The toy looks just like baby teething rings. It can keep your pet entertained just as a chew toy, but it also works for a very gentle game of tug. It isn’t dishwasher safe and must be washed by hand in warm soapy water. Check it often for sharp edges if your pup gets too vigorous when playing.
Price at time of publish: $8
Dimensions: 2.5 x 4 x 3 inches | Materials: plastic | Colors: green, yellow, and turquoise
Best for Very Young Puppies
KONG Puppy Teething Stick Teeth Cleaning Dog Chew Toy
Ridges hold treats or peanut butter
Comes in three sizes
Soft rubber for young puppies
Older puppies can chew off chunks
“Very soft rubber can ease the ache of young puppy gums, and ridges can be filled with treats.”
The soft rubber of these teething sticks can be soothing for sore, puppy gums. It’s very pliable and forgiving, but still solid enough to offer some chewing satisfaction. The stick has ridges along the sides and a hole in the middle. You can fill the ridges with peanut butter, yogurt, or tiny treats and stuff the center with goodies too.
This stick is not very durable, so it’s only for young puppies. Older pups could easily chew off pieces, particularly when they’re motivated by treats. It comes in two colors (pink and blue), three sizes, and is safe to use in the dishwasher. (That’s the only way you’ll be able to get the treat residue out.)
Price at time of publish: $10
Dimensions: 3.25 x 1.75 x 1.75 inches (small) | Materials: rubber | Colors: pink, blue
What To Look For
Chew toys can be made out of rubber, plastic, nylon, fabric, or other material. What you choose depends on whether your puppy is teething and how aggressively he chews. Softer rubber can be a good choice when a puppy is young and not chewing heartily. Harder rubber or nylon might be a better option if your pup is more committed to gnawing and can wreck softer materials. Always inspect toys regularly for loose pieces, holes, or too much wear and tear.
Choose a toy based on your puppy’s current size, not what they’re expected to be when they’re full grown. You’ll likely have to swap them out with new ones as your pup grows and if their chewing style changes. Something too big now might be overwhelming and no fun. Something that’s too small can be a choking hazard.
If your pup is teething, take size, shape, and materials into consideration when choosing chew toys. “I typically like just anything frozen in a West Paw Toppl, especially yogurt or frozen fruits and berries,” says Marion, who also suggests trying the DIY route. “You can also freeze a washcloth [dipped in] bone broth and that can help as well as long as they don’t swallow the material!”
All these teething toys can be chewed on or played with just as they are. Others can be frozen to soothe aching gums and some can be stuffed with treats to provide longer-lasting entertainment. For extra stimulation, choose toys with squeakers or crinkly parts. Bonus points if the toy can be cleaned in the dishwasher or washing machine.
Are hard chew toys good for puppies?
Some toys and bones can be too hard for teething puppies. They might end up with a broken tooth or really sore gums. “Many hard bones are too much for a puppy's teeth,” says Marion. “Even adolescent dogs have a hard time with extremely hard bones.”
For dogs that really want to chew, she recommends Benebones for puppies. They’re a little softer than similar toys and the right size and shape for a puppy.
How long do puppies teeth?
Puppies usually have approximately 28 baby teeth. Their adult teeth start to push out their baby teeth when they are about 3-4 months old. Puppies should have all their adult teeth (42 of them) around the time they are 6 months old. The teething process can be achy, which is why puppies so often want to gnaw on everything.
Are knotted rope chew toys okay for teething puppies?
Some puppy toys are made from ropes that might be knotted, but are made up of hundreds or even thousands of tiny strands. When your puppy is chewing, they can unravel the ropes and swallow some strands. That can result in a dangerous intestinal blockage where they can be life-threatening when they wrap around the intestines. To be safe, don’t give rope toys to any dog, particularly puppies.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was written by Mary Jo DiLonardo who has tested dozens of puppy teething and chew toys in her years as a puppy foster. In her experience, she knows that toys have to be durable and fun to keep everyone happy and that’s what she considered for this story. Mary Jo has been writing about pets and animals for several decades. She has a rescue dog and has fostered more than 600 dogs and puppies. She is always trying different products to keep the dogs in her care entertained, healthy, and safe.