When puppies go through teething, they’ll start chomping on anything within arm’s length. Providing chew toys for puppies gives your pup something safe and soothing to chomp on (as well as something that’s also much more appealing than your favorite leather shoes).
How Teething Toys for Puppies Can Help Soothe Gums
Puppies lose their teeth and go through the teething process just like human babies do. This means that your pup will go through an uncomfortable transition period as he loses his baby teeth and his adult teeth grow in.
Many puppy teething toys are specifically designed to numb soreness and alleviate irritation.
Toys made for teething puppies are unique — they should be made of a soft, malleable rubber than will not harm your pup. Some can even be frozen to help numb the aching gum area.
As your dog gets older and matures, you’ll want to consider graduating to harder, tougher rubber toys. But when your pupper is young, stick to softer toys, with a gentler design made for puppies and their sensitive little gums. For example, many softer rubber toys make excellent picks.
11 Best Chew Toys for Puppies That Are Teething
Check out our list of the very best chew toys for teething puppies, made to withstand those adorable yet razor-sharp teeth!
1. KONG Puppy Toy
About: The KONG Puppy Toy is a puppy-appropriate version of KONG’s classic chew, featuring a softer rubber that allows your little one to enjoy a chomping experience without harming his delicate (but sharp) baby teeth. This versatile chew for puppies can be used for a bouncin’ fun game of fetch or just gnawing around the house. You can even stick a tasty treat inside to keep his attention longer.
- Made with a dog-safe, natural rubber that has plenty of bounce
- Hollowed center allows for stuffing with your puppy’s favorite treats
- Vet-recommended for chewing enrichment
- Made in the USA
- They’ll keep your dog entertained for a long time
- The size and shape reduce the risks of choking
- Available in a variety of sizes to suit different pooches
- Affordable price or such a long-lasting, durable chew
- Not every dog is a fan of rubber toys
- Puppy version isn’t tough enough to withstand aggressive chewers
2. Nylabone Puppy Chew
About: The Nylabone Puppy Chew is a textured toy for puppies flavored with chicken, keeping your canine focused on nomming it instead of your furniture. Intended for puppies up to 15 pounds, it’s the perfect, budget-conscious pick for hours of chewing fun.
- Made with non-toxic, tooth-friendly nylon
- Ridged texture starts dental health off on the right paw
- Chicken flavor finish keeps your puppy happy and engaged in chewing
- Made in the USA
- X-Small Pink
- X-Small Blue
- Pricing won’t blow your budget
- Bumpy texture helps keep teeth clean and massages gums
- Nylabone has been a trusted brand by pup parents for decades
- Can be gnawed into sharp points
- Not every pup cares for nylon chews
3. Goughnuts Green Ring
About: The Goughnuts Green Ring is hands-down the best option for power-chewing puppies who’re working in their new teeth. Made of a specially designed, super-durable rubber, these toys are tough enough to stand up to just about any puppy’s teeth, while still passing the fingernail test.
Additionally, these toys feature an internal safety indicator system. This indicator is a different color than the rest of the toy and helps pet parents know when it becomes unsafe to use. If the indicator layer becomes visible, you can simply contact Goughnuts for a replacement under their lifetime warranty.
- Made of dog-safe, non-toxic rubber
- Ring shape is easy for dogs to hold and chew
- Made from durable material, yet soft enough to avoid tooth damage
- Made in the USA
- Easily the best choice for heavy chewers
- We love that they’re US-made
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
- The safety indicator system is perfect for new pet parents
- While affordable, they cost a bit more than some other teething chews
- They are a bit heavy
4. Nylabone Puppy Starter Kit
About: The Nylabone Puppy Starter Kit includes a variety of toys for entertaining your four-footer, from textured chewies to traditional nylon bones. Whether your floof is a fan of nomming bones or shaking keyrings, this set will keep him occupied.
- Each 6-piece kit contains 3 traditional nylon bones, 2 key-style toys, and 1 dino chewy
- The hardness is specifically geared for puppy teeth
- Toys made with a mix of dog-safe nylon or plastic
- Made in China
- One-size-fits-all, with each toy measuring less than 5 inches long
- Great assortment of toys
- Reasonable price for such a wide mix of toys
- Pet parents report the toys to be durable
- Another made-in-China option that will make some owners nervous
- Plastic and nylon chews aren’t hits with every pup
5. Benebone Wishbone
About: The Benebone Wishbone is a flavored goodie in a fun shape dogs love to chew. Made with three gnawable nubbed points, it’s also easy to hold–a must-have feature for tiny puppy paws.
- Crafted with durable nylon
- Smooth finish rinses clean
- Comes in bacon, chicken, and peanut flavors
- Made in the USA with American-sourced ingredients
- Most dogs love the taste
- Owners report it’s a long-lasting chew
- Shape is easy to hold, chew, and chase
- Not every dog likes nylon chews (even flavored ones)
- Too hard to pass the fingernail test
6. CHIWAVA Standing Stick Animal Chews
About: CHIWAVA Standing Stick Animal Chews is a 3-pack of brightly colored, wild-looking rubber animals that emit a loud squeak when chomped or squeezed. Great for casual chewing or playing fetch, these crazy creatures are fun additions to your doggo’s playchest.
- Made with non-toxic latex rubber
- Stuffing-free design
- Intended for small and medium breeds
- Manufactured in China
Available in one size. Each 3-pack contains:
- (1) 9 inch x 2.7 inch frog
- (1) 8.9 inch x 2.2 inch pig
- (1) 9 inch x 1.6 inch chicken
- Comes with 3 different toys to keep your pup’s interest
- Loud, high-pitched squeaker adds to the fun
- Size is perfect for most puppies
- Not intended for heavy chewing
- Another made-in-China option
7. Benebone Zaggler
About: The Benebone Zaggler has a unique shape that makes it roll away if your floof chomps or plays in the “wrong” way, which will send him springing after his fun new toy. Featuring a ribbed texture that feels amazing on gums and an irresistible flavor, it keeps your puppy’s attention on it and off of your shoes.
- Made of hardy, non-toxic nylon
- Doubles as a stick for rounds of fetch
- Available in peanut, bacon, and chicken flavors
- Made in the USA
- Interesting shape makes chewing fun
- Most pup parents report this chew lasts
- Majority of pups like the flavor
- Some dogs prefer to chew something with smaller end nubs
- Doesn’t pass the fingernail test
8. Nylabone Chill & Chew Puppy
About: With its fill and freeze design, the Nylabone Chill & Chew Puppy gives teething fur babies extra relief from sore gums. Just dip the chew into the water and pop it into the freezer for a gum-pleasing chew experience for puppies up to 25 pounds.
- Made of plastic
- Color-changing technology to indicate when it is fully frozen
- Lamb & apple flavoring for added tooth temptation
- Made in China
- Single size option measures 4 inches long x 1.5 inches wide
- Innovative, reusable way to soothe your puppy’s sore gums
- Made from flexible, dog-safe material
- Bumpy texture feels great on gums
- Not made to withstand heavy chewing
- Made in China, which isn’t ideal
9. Petstages Mini Bone Tug
About: The Petstages Mini Bone Tug features a trio of linked bones for chewing, tugging, or tossing around. Great for solo play or engaging in one-on-one bonding sessions between you and your puppy, this is a versatile pick for countless fun.
- Crafted of a flexible, tooth-friendly rubber
- Textured surface cleans teeth and massages sore puppy gums while chewing
- Easily rinses clean with warm water and soap
- Made in China
- Available in one 1.75 inch x 6.25 inch size
- Works for chewing, tugging, or fetch
- Lightweight design is perfect for small puppies
- Affordably priced
- Too small for large puppies
- Not intended for heavy chewing
10. ZHEBU Dog Chew
About: The ZHEBU Dog Chew battles dental buildup with its wide variety of lumps, bumps, and edges as your dog gnaws away. Intended for small and medium-sized breeds, it’s the perfect size for puppies.
- Made with dog-safe, non-toxic thermoplastic rubber
- Hollowed middle allows for hiding treats or flavored toothpaste to dispense while chewing
- Available in blue, green, and yellow
- Made in…
- Each one-size-fits-all chew measures 5.9 inches x 1.9 inches x 1.9 inches
- Textured design helps clean gums and teeth
- Excellent size for most small to medium-sized puppies
- Pup parents report excellent durability
- Not made in the USA
- Texture and material aren’t every dog’s favorite
11. Nylabone Wishbone Chew
About: The Nylabone Wishbone Chew is made for puppy mouths with an easy-to-hold shape and three nubbed ends. Smaller and softer than adult versions of the chew, this toy for puppies helps soothe the ache of teething while developing healthy chewing habits.
- Intended for puppies up to 15 pounds
- Crafted with a dog-safe, flexible nylon
- Chicken flavoring keeps puppy palates interested
- Made in the USA
- X-Small Pink
- X-Small Blue
- It’s made specifically for puppies
- Flexible material won’t hurt puppy teeth
- Flavoring keeps canines interested
- Not every puppy is keen on chomping nylon
- Not durable enough for power-chewers
Choosing the Best Puppy Chew Toys: What’s Safe And What’s Not
When hunting down the best chew toys for teething puppies, consider this list of things to look for versus things to avoid.
Things to Look For in a Puppy Chew Toy:
Rope Toys: Make sure to stick with high-quality rope toys if you go that route — cheap versions may allow your puppy to pull off fibers and eat them. As a bonus, tug ropes give you another way to play with your pet.
Firm, Tough Rubber: The most popular type of puppy teething toys are made of durable rubber. However, they shouldn’t be too hard — the rubber should have some give to it.
Passes the Fingernail Test: Speaking of avoiding toys that are too hard, it is typically wise to stick to toys that pass the “fingernail test.” This simply means that you should be able to make an indention in the toy with your fingernail; if you can’t, it’s too hard. If your chosen toy does not pass the fingernail test, be sure to use extra caution and monitor your mutt closely.
Quality Toys: Puppy teeth are razor sharp, so they can chomp through most thin materials. This can make dog toys very dangerous if your dog is able to break up and ingest a toy (and as your dog ages, you may need to seek out ultra-tough dog toys for strong chewers). Puppies may also “sharpen” toys to the point where they can cause damage to their gums! For these reasons, you don’t want to skimp on quality for your puppy teething toys.
Puzzle Toys: Puppies can have short attention spans, so you’ll want to make sure your teething toys keep them engaged. Treat-dispensing puzzle toys can be a great way to keep your dog entertained – just make sure that they’re tough enough to withstand your pup’s teething chompers!
Frozen Chew Toys: Some puppy teething chew toys are designed to be frozen. The cold helps reduce swelling and inflammation in your dog’s gums, as well as numbs some of the discomfort. You can also try freezing a wet washcloth that has been tied into a knot!
Teething Treats: Keep an eye out for edible treats that are specifically created for teething puppies. Ice cubes work well and can be made at home, but you may be able to find even fancier options at the pet store.
Alternatively, consider stuffing food-friendly toys with delicious treats and freezing them (we cover great toys for doing this below)!
Things to Avoid in a Puppy Chew Toy:
Long Strings & Ribbons: Teething puppies might be able to swallow toys like these entirely.
Toys With Foam Stuffing: Like squeakers, puppies may rip out and eat the foam stuffing from a soft push toy during puppy teething time.
Small Toys: Toys should be at least as big as your pup’s mouth to keep him from swallowing anything!
Toys with Sharp Angles or Corners. Toys with sharp angles or corners can damage your puppy’s sensitive gums.
Puppy Teething Tips: Watch Those Chompers!
Aside from providing your puppy with a safe and soothing chew toy while he’s teething, there are some other things you’ll want to do to help protect your pooch’s dental health. This means you’ll want to:
Handle your pup’s mouth frequently and from an early age. Start handling your puppy’s mouth as early as possible — this will make brushing your dog’s teeth much easier when he is older, plus it allows you to get a good look at how your pup’s teeth are coming along!
Look out for double teeth. If your pup’s milk teeth don’t fall out on time, your puppy may end up with a double set of teeth! Make sure to consult your vet if this happens, as vets may need to remove the milk teeth so that your pup’s adult teeth have room to grow. Double sets of teeth can also cause dental hygiene issues and mouth crowding, so definitely don’t ignore this issue!
Encourage your pup to chew suitable things. If your pup is chewing items you’d rather he didn’t (whether it’s their puppy bed or your suede shoes), there are a few strategies you can employ. You need to make the desired chew toy look more appealing than your antique rug. So, play with the toy, wave it around, have fun with it, and your pup may get curious. You can also put pet-safe peanut butter or treats on toys, while using an anti-chew dog spray on items you want your pup to stay away from.
Be Firm With Corrections. Even if you pup is going through teething discomfort, it’s important to stay consistent and correct him when he chews inappropriate items. Unfortunately, as pups teeth, they also tend to nip. This can be cute and playful at first, but you still need to teach your puppy that nipping is is inappropriate behavior. Most dogs grow out of nipping naturally as adults, but if your dog isn’t taught that nipping it bad behavior, he may learn to use it as a tool for dominance (which is not a road you want to go down, trust me)!
Hold Off On Tug-Of-War. Playing tug-of-war while your pup is teething can affect the growth of teeth, so hold off until your pup’s a bit older.
Remove Broken Toys Immediately. Dogs will eat anything (really, anything) they can swallow. Any item, whether toy or chew, that begins to splinter and break apart should be taken from your pup right away.
Homemade Puppy Teething Toys
Are you a crafty canine parent? You may want to try to make your own homemade puppy teething toys! This will not only save you a few bucks, but it also means that you can customize the toys for your specific pet!
We provide instructions for making a ton of DIY dog toys here, but you can check out some relatively easy-to-make rope toys by watching the video below!
Chew Toys for Teething Puppies: FAQ
Still have questions about your puppy’s chew toy needs during the teething period? Don’t worry! A lot of owners do. We’ll try to help by answering some of the most common chew toy questions below.
What is the best chew toy for a puppy that is teething?
The ideal chew toy for a puppy that is teething will depend on a variety of factors. For example, some puppies may want a toy that can be filled with something tasty (such as the KONG Puppy Toy), while others may prefer a toy that’s already flavored, such as the Benebone Wishbone. Others may prefer something frozen to soothe their gums, in which case the Nylabone Chill & Chew would be ideal.
What can puppies chew on while teething?
Durable, well-constructed chew toys are the ideal thing for puppies to nom while they’re teething. You can also give your puppy edible items, such as carrots or dental chews. These types of items won’t last as long, but they’re an acceptable alternative.
What is the safest chew toy for puppies?
It is difficult to determine which chew toy is the absolute safest, but the KONG Puppy Toy is certainly a contender. Generally speaking, if you simply stick to one of the high-quality teething toys discussed above and monitor your pooch, your pup will likely remain safe.
When can a puppy have teething toys?
You can give your puppy a teething toy more-or-less immediately after bringing him home at around 8 weeks of age. Just be sure to keep safety in mind and monitor him closely. That said, the primary teething period for puppies occurs between 12 and 24 weeks of age, so it is especially important to provide your pupper with safe and fun things to chew during this time.
Any of the five toys discussed above should help your new pup cope during the difficult teething process. Just make sure that you watch your little furry one closely when giving him a new toy.
Do you know of any great teething toys we missed? Let us know about the ones you’ve found for your furry friend in the comments below!