Is your new puppy entering the chewing phase of their life and taking it out on everything you own? Puppies need different types of chewing toys during different phases of their lives. We've broken down the ultimate list of the best chew toys per age range to help you save your furniture (and your money!).
Birth to 12 Weeks
During this time, no chew toys are needed. This is when the baby teeth are just starting to emerge, and puppies are weaning off their mother’s milk. These new teeth can be quite sharp but, are also very delicate and can easily be damaged. It's best to wait until the 12-week mark to give your new puppy a chew toy.
12 to 24 Weeks
This is when the baby teeth start to fall out and the permanent teeth take their place. Just like with human babies, this process is uncomfortable for your puppy and they'll begin to teethe to relieve the discomfort. During this time, your puppy may seek out furniture, shoes, or even your toes to chew on. We recommend the following toys to help keep your belongings safe:
Nylabone Teething Rings: These teething rings are perfect for soothing the pain of teething, promoting non destructive chewing habits, and maintaining dental health. The nubs found on the rings are designed to not only keep your pup entertained but also to help clean their teeth by reducing plaque and tartar build up.
- More aggressive chewers at this phase could use products that are more durable such as the KONG puppy teething stick. The grooves inside this toy are designed for treats to be inserted for more interactive playing and chewing for your pup. Additionally, the thick ridges along the outside allow for chewing that gently cleans teeth and soothes your pup’s sore gums.
- Softer natural chews are great options for teething puppies as well, plus they can double as a delicious snack! Beef Gullet Sticks are lighter, crunchier chews that are great for puppies and will soften as they're chewed. For larger breed pups, Cow Ears are another great option that will also soften as they're chewed, and are low in fat.
24 Weeks and Older
Once your puppy hits the 24-week mark, they are usually old enough to transition to adult size toys. While every dog has their own breed requirements, exercise needs, and chewing durability requirements, here are some of the best chew toys we recommend for adult dogs:
- Rope toys are excellent for redirecting biting and nipping behavior in adult dogs as it provides them an alternative chewing outlet. By engaging in a game of tug of war with your pup you will bond on a deeper level, give them some physical exercise, and are excellent for removing plaque from your pup’s teeth.
- Fetch toys are a great way of keeping your dog in shape and promoting positive behavior commands and obedience such as sit, stay, and drop. If your pup is having fun playing with toys, they are not chewing are your furniture or shoes! Some great toys for fetch include a disc like this one or the Chuck It Launcher found here.
- Distraction/Chew toys are a great way to keep your dog entertained while you cannot play with them. Ideally, your pup should still be monitored in some fashion to prevent a choking incident, but some toys such as the Kong Classic are designed for durable chewing and promotion of dental health.
- Comfort/Plush toys are ideal for dogs going through several phases in their life. First, they are great for those coping with behavioral problems or anxiety because it gives them something to divert their attention and focus on. Second, plush toys can enact that inner primal instinct in your dog while giving them a healthy release for it as well. Finally, for some female dogs these plush toys can function as a pretend puppy to give their love and attention to. We recommend one similar to this one here.
- Natural Chews are ideal for pups who love to engage in a snack while they chew. We offer a variety of different chews and treats perfect for pups at all chewing levels. If your pup is a powerful chewer, we recommend trying our Peanut Butter Happy Hooves, which are easily refillable for an interactive chew. For more medium-strength chewers we recommend our Pig Ears, a savory and flavorful chew!
Keep in mind that every dog is different, and will have different chewing preferences. Training is also key! Encourage your pup to associate chewing with the appropriate items to help save your belongings, body parts, and anything else from getting chewed during their teething period. Check out our blog for more tips, tricks, and recommendations!