Just like we enjoy a tasty, frozen popsicle when the temperature ticks up, our furry friends often enjoy something cool to chew on as well. And a frozen dog toy is the perfect way to accomplish this!
But frozen chew toys are also useful for another purpose: They can soothe the sore gums of teething puppies!
Frozen dog toys come in many varieties. Some are designed specifically for chewing, while others are designed to hold frozen treats or wet food.
No matter which kind you choose, frozen dog toys are a must-have for all dog owners! We’ll identify a few of the best ones on the market and share some safety tips below!
In a hurry? Just check out our quick tips!
Best Frozen Dog Toys: Quick Picks
- #1 PetSafe Chilly Penguin [Best Overall Frozen Dog Toy] — If you want a sturdy, well-built, and affordable chew toy that’s designed to hold frozen blocks of water or juice, the Chilly Penguin is a no-brainer.
- #2 Chuckit! HydroFreeze Ball [Best Frozen Toy for Fetchers] — Got a dog that loves to play ball? Just watch how much he’ll love the HydroFreeze — a ball-shaped fetch toy designed to be frozen.
- #3 ZNOKA Arctic Freeze Cooling Teether Toy [Best for Teething Puppies] — Teething puppies experience quite a bit of discomfort, but this cold-and-chewable toy will help provide them with some relief.
- #4 Classic KONG [Best for Multiple Applications] — Even though the Classic KONG isn’t specifically designed to be a frozen toy, you can fill the internal compartment with any dog-safe liquid or paste your pet likes. Plus, you can use a KONG for dozens of different training drills and games.
Benefits of Frozen Dog Toys
Frozen dog toys are packed with a variety of valuable benefits, and you really can’t go wrong with them. A few of the benefits they provide include:
- They last a while. Many dogs fly through pig snouts or cow ears and other chewable treats. However, frozen dog toys are naturally harder than most other options on the market. Because of this, they tend to last longer. If your dog flies through other chews too fast, a heavy-duty frozen toy may be the way to go. Many even can hold food and treats inside to provide extra chewing fun!
- Pretty darn safe. Frozen dog toys are pretty safe in most cases. Dogs aren’t as likely to choke on them as they would be with a bone or similar chew, but they fulfill the same basic chewing need. Furthermore, many frozen toys are made to withstand quite a bit of chewing, so the odds of your pooch breaking through them are pretty low. Since they are quite safe, they are usually the best option when you want to leave your dog alone with something.
- Dogs love ‘em. Most dogs love chewing on frozen toys. They feel good on their gums and often come with some sort of tasty food as well. Some frozen toys are even puzzle-like, making them perfect options for dogs who need some mental stimulation.
- Cool relief in the summer. When the summer rolls around, our dogs may need some help staying cool. Shade and puppy pools can only help so much. Just like people often turn to cool snacks in the hotter months, our dogs can benefit from a frozen toy to help stay cool. Plus, because they’re frozen, these toys stay cold for an extremely long-time – even in the heat.
- Dog-management tool. Frozen toys can often be filled with food of some sort. Even if they can’t, though, many dogs just love to chew on something cold. This can be extremely useful when you need to keep your pooch busy for a while, like when you have company over or need to take an urgent call.
- Teething puppies. Puppies are a lot like babies. They are often in pain when their new teeth are coming in. When they are, something cool to chew on is often helpful. There are tons of puppy teething chews out there, so you’re sure to find something your pooch enjoys chewing on.
The Best Seven Frozen Dog Toys
There are several great frozen dog toys on the market. The best one for your doggo will depend on his personality and your situation, so be sure to check them all out.
Here are some of our favorites:
1. PetSafe Chilly Penguin Treat Holding Dog Toy
About: The PetSafe Chilly Penguin is the perfect option when you need to keep your pooch busy or cool on a hot day.
It’s designed to hold dog treats of all sorts, from peanut butter and kibble to beef broth and yogurt. It also provides a bit of mental stimulation for your pooch, since it takes some work for him to reach the food.
Ultra-durable & holds liquids
Lightweight, hollow, and made from premium rubber, the Chilly Penguin will hold just about any frozen, dog-safe treat you like.
Features: This toy features a rounded base, which makes it wobble slightly while your dog licks away. This makes it more challenging for dogs to use than other toys, keeping them busy for longer and providing a mental workout.
This toy is made of one piece and is pretty safe – the odds of your pet chewing a piece off are pretty low. Furthermore, this toy is quite affordable for what it is.
We also love that this toy has a self-contained hole, which means it can be filled with liquids like beef broth or flavored water – something many other treat toys can’t handle.
Since it can be filled and frozen with liquids, it’s also great for keeping your dog hydrated in the heat!
This brand also makes other similar toys (like one of our favorites — the Busy Buddy), so you can purchase a few different ones to keep your pet on his toes.
- Comes in small and medium/large
- Holds everything from flavored water to broth to wet dog food
- Stackable in the freezer
- Made of a durable rubber
Many customers reported that this toy kept their dog busy for hours. It holds just enough food to keep them occupied without adding tons of extra calories to their diet. Even owners with heavy chewers reported that their dogs preferred to lick the toy instead of rip it open to get to the food faster.
The small version is very small. It is created for tiny dogs under 20 pounds. If your dog is bigger than that, you’ll have to purchase the large size.
2. Chuckit! HydroFreeze Ball
About: If your area gets particularly hot summers, the Chuckit! HydroFreeze Ball is a fantastic option.
This toy is designed to be filled with water and then frozen. As your dog chews on it, the water melts, keeping your pooch cool, hydrated, and occupied.
This toy can also be put into your dog’s water to keep it cool.
Frozen water ball that hydrates your pup
Perfect for playing fetch in the summer, the HydroFreeze Ball has an internal compartment that freezes to keep the ball cold.
Features: This toy is very versatile. On the one hand, it can be used to keep your pooch’s dog water cool. On the other hand, it becomes a fun ball that your dog can play with on land and in the water.
And of course, your pooch can just chomp on it at his leisure!
This toy can even be used for things like dock diving, where toys are thrown off a dock for a dog to retrieve. As you can imagine, this toy works perfectly for water retrievers – especially when paired with the Chuckit! Launcher.
- Can be played with in the water
- Internal reservoir freezes to allow slow melting
- Compatible with the Chuckit! Launcher
- Exterior forms ice welts, which your dog can bite off and chew
Most dogs appear to love this toy. It stays frozen for a long time and can be used almost anywhere. If you want something for your pooch to play with in your pool during hot summer days, you really can’t get better than this.
Some dogs love this toy a little too much. There have been reports of heavy chewers breaking this ball after only a day of rough play. If your dog is generally gentle with toys, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, if your dog does tend to destroy their toys, don’t expect this one to last very long.
3. ZNOKA Arctic Freeze Cooling Teether Toy
About: The ZNOKA Arctic Freeze Cooling Teether Toy is very similar to teething toys made for human babies. It is a simple ring full of water that is designed to be frozen.
Cold mouth sensations are very comforting to teething puppies, who would otherwise be chewing on your shoes or furniture.
Great for teething puppies
Similar to a toddler’s teething ring, the Teether Toy is perfect for young puppies with achy teeth and gums.
Features: Unlike some other teething dog toys, this one contains water instead of gel, making it much safer.
If your puppy does break it, you don’t have to worry about them consuming toxic gel (or getting it all over your house).
This toy can also be filled with treats in two different places (note the two X-shaped holes), which should keep your pooch occupied for even longer. The company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so there is little reason not to try this affordable toy.
This is one of the safest teething toys for puppies on the market. Plus, it is also versatile and can be filled with treats – just in case your pup isn’t interested in it as is. Owners stated that their puppies love this toy, and they love not worrying about it making a mess as it melts.
Not all puppies had success getting the treats out of this toy. It seems to be significantly tougher than similar toys on the market, so it’s probably best suited for brainy pups.
4. Nylabone Chill & Chew Freezer Dog Bone
About: The Nylabone Chill & Chew Freezer Dog Bone is a straightforward toy, that is shaped like a bone and is designed to be frozen.
It’s designed to replace regular bones and similar chew toys, while providing plenty of cooling fun. Because this toy is made to be frozen, it is particularly helpful on warmer days when your dog needs some help staying cool.
Great cooling toy for small and medium-sized dogs
Made in a bone-shape for easy gripping, the Chill & Chew will work with hard treats or liquids.
Features: This toy is very similar to other frozen toys on the market, with a focus on simplicity and ease-of-use.
This toy is designed for moderate chewing, and it is a little stronger than what your average puppy needs, but isn’t so strong that it can withstand heavy chewing.
This toy features both pockets for hard treats and spots for liquids and pastes. You can really fill this toy up if you wanted to, allowing it to keep your dog busy for hours.
- Designed for dogs up to 35 pounds
- Made in the USA
- Comes with treat pockets for stuffing
- Can also hold pastes like peanut butter throughout its “wells”
This product is another great option for teething puppies. It is more solidly built than other options on the market, allowing it to withstand play and chewing from bigger puppies. Additionally, the bone shape makes it easy for dogs to hold.
This bone does not stay cold as long as some other options do. The treat pouches aren’t as big or well-designed either. Many owners complained that they had a hard time filling the water holes because of their small and shallow size.
5. All for Paws Chill Out Ice Ball
About: The All for Paws Chill Out Ice Ball is a pretty unique dog toy that’s sure to keep your pup cool.
To freeze this ball, first, you soak it in water. After it has absorbed as much water as possible, you move it to the freezer. The water inside the ball will freeze, providing your pooch with hours of cool playtime.
A mix of gel and ice to cool your pooch
The Ice Ball relies on a cooling gel and freezing water to give your pooch plenty of chompin’ or fetchin’ fun.
Features: Most frozen toys use either water or gel to stay cool; this one uses both. This makes the water stay cooler and frozen for longer, especially in hot weather.
However, it also means that gel will seep out if your pooch ever breaks it – something to keep in mind if you have a dog who is a heavy-chewer.
This ball is mostly designed for smaller dogs, and there are not large sizes available at this time.
- Includes gel to help water stay frozen for longer
- Measures 3.5 inches in diameter
- Promotes healthy teeth and gums according to the manufacturer
- Perfect for teething puppies and summer fun
This ball is designed to be filled with whatever water you have. Because of this, you could use dog-safe flavored water, which may make your pooch more interested in the toy. Some customers reported using broth as well, which we’re sure most dogs would love.
The water in this ball is not contained. When it melts, it will start seeping out. Because of this, you really can’t use this ball inside. However, this feature may make it an excellent choice for dogs who spend a lot of time outside on hot days.
6. NWK Freezable Pet Teether
About: The NWK Freezable Pet Teether is another simple pet teether that works best for puppies in need of some tooth and gum comfort.
It’s a traditional ring shape with small bumps to help massage your puppy’s gums as he chews. Older dogs may also enjoy this toy, as it provides some stress-relief, fulfills their chewing needs, and helps them cool off in the hotter months.
Frozen chew toy for soothing gums
The Freezable Pet Teether will allow your dog to exercise his chompers while chilling out at the same time.
Features: This ring toy is mostly designed to be frozen and then chewed on by your dog. However, it also comes with a few pouches that can be stuffed with treats or things like peanut butter. The bumps on the toy also help clean your dog’s teeth and massage his gums.
This toy does not make a mess when it melts, so it can safely be used inside your home. It stays frozen for a relatively long time, so it may be an excellent toy to leave in your dog’s crate while you’re at work (once you’ve supervised several times to ensure your pooch is playing with it in a safe manner).
- Made of non-toxic materials
- Filled with water
- Thick ring designed to withstand moderate chewing
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
This pet teether is exceptionally durable. Owners report that it is nearly indestructible, even for puppies who tend to be heavy chewers. For large breed puppies, this is an excellent toy to choose. It will likely hold up to moderately-sized dogs as well. Still, be sure to supervise your pooch, as we’d bet some larger, very heavy chewers could break it.
There are some reports of a “chemical smell” coming from the toy. While this isn’t necessarily bad (lots of safe products can smell like chemicals), it may turn-off your dog.
7. KONG Dog Toy
About: The KONG Dog Toy is a classic toy that has been around for decades.
It’s made out of natural rubber and can be used as a chew toy or a fetch ball. The hole on one end allows it to be stuffed with all sorts of yummy treats, including hard treats and pastes like peanut butter.
An all-time trainer favorite
While not specifically designed to be frozen, the Classic KONG works wonderfully with frozen liquids, pastes, or spreads inside.
Features: This toy is dishwasher safe and can be used alongside KONG treat sprays if you need a quick filling, but it can also be stuffed with whatever you have on hand.
It’s designed for average chewers, though it is quite durable and would put up a fight to even heavy chewers.
Because of this toy’s shape, it is more difficult for dogs to get food out of it than compared to other chew toys. This provides some mental stimulation, which is perfect for intelligent breeds.
- Comes in five sizes: small, medium, large, X-large, and XX-large
- Can keep dogs busy for hours
- Classic red color
- Designed for adult dogs, though larger puppies could use it as well
It is not technically purposefully made to be frozen, but it absolutely can be when stuffed.
This KONG toy can keep your pooch busy for hours, especially when stuffed. Many dogs will happily chew on it without any prep, though others need to be encouraged with frozen, tasty treats. It does not leave a mess around the house in most cases.
This toy is not technically designed to stay frozen. The outside rubber does not stay cold for very long, especially when it is unstuffed. Furthermore, no toy is indestructible, including the Kong. Some heavy chewers may be able to chew through it. If that describes your dog, KONG does make a very similar toy for heavy-chewers.
8. HyperPet Licking Mats
About: Licking Mats (formerly called Lickimats) are flexible mats that feature bumps, ridges, and other textures. Designed to be used with spreadable treats (including wet dog foods, peanut butter, or yogurt), the textured surfaces help grip soft foods and keep them in place, so your dog has to use his tongue to enjoy the food.
Lickimats aren’t specifically designed to be frozen, but they work marvelously in this fashion. In this way, they not only work for meal time, but whenever you want to give your dog a frozen treat too!
Frozen fun at dinnertime
Just smear some of your doggo’s favorite food on the Lickimat, let it freeze in the freezer, then allow your dog to enjoy!
Features: Licking Mats are designed to not only encourage your dog to eat more slowly, but they also serve as great dog-management tools. They can be used in conjunction with a variety of super-tasty spreads as treats or rewards, and they can also help keep your dog preoccupied during grooming or nail-clipping sessions.
There are three different types of Licking Mats available, each of which features differently shaped bumps and ridges (the manufacturer even sells a combo-pack, which makes this especially easy).
Licking Mats are made from non-toxic FDA Grade TPE (short for Thermo-Plastic Elastome), and they’re easy to clean — just pop ’em in the dishwasher.
- Available in three different versions, which each feature a different texture
- Can help slow your dog down while eating
- Provide your dog with mental stimulation at chow time
- Dishwasher safe for easy cleanup
- Backed by a 90-day warranty
Most owners who try Licking Mats become instant devotees, and they appear to work well with most four-footers. They are easy to use as designed, and they also work well with frozen treats. We even performed an in-depth, hands-on review and came away as huge fans!
The only real downside to Licking Mats is their durability — determined doggos will make quick work of the plastic material. So, be sure to supervise your pooch while using these feeding tools.
Frozen Dog Toy Safety
While frozen toys typically aren’t any more dangerous than your average dog toy, there are a few safety pointers you should keep in mind:
Supervision is Vital
Supervision is required for any toy. Even the most durable toy is not indestructible. Dogs can and will bite pieces off of toys, especially if they are heavy chewers. When this happens, the broken piece can become a choking hazard.
Furthermore, some frozen toys are filled with gel.
While this keeps them frozen for longer, it also means that the gel will leak out if the toy is punctured. If your dog is using the toy without supervision, they may consume quite a bit of this gel before you notice it.
Frozen toys are generally meant to be licked, not chewed. This is one of the reasons they’re often filled with frozen food.
The frozen treats encourage the dog to lick them as they melt, instead of trying to chew straight through the toy.
Try to encourage your dog to lick whichever frozen toy you choose. The easiest way to do this is to add food, especially wet foods and pastes. They make spreadable dog treats that are designed for this exact purpose.
You want to make sure that the toy isn’t about to break by inspecting it regularly. Most of the time, durable toys don’t break within a matter of hours. Instead, they get broken down over days or weeks.
You want to catch the wear-and-tear before anything breaks. If our dogs are chewing on something and break a piece off, they’re going to be able to eat it before we can get to them – especially if they’re determined.
This is why it is so essential to catch the rips and tears early.
Your dog will end up slobbering all over his toy, and the resulting film and grime can quickly build up on their toys. Frozen toys are even more susceptible to bacteria because they are often filled with food.
Over time, this can make your dog sick or turn them off from chewing on his frozen toy. We recommend cleaning your pet’s frozen toys regularly. A quick scrub before you throw the toy back in the freezer is all you may need.
Many are machine-washable, which can cut down on cleaning time substantially. This also provides you with an opportunity to inspect the toy.
Frozen dog toys can be the answer to keeping your dog occupied and cool. They can also be an excellent option for puppies who are teething, since the cold and gum massage may reduce their discomfort.
While these toys are usually pretty safe, you should still follow appropriate safety guidelines to prevent choking.
Why are you looking for a frozen dog toy? Is there a favorite toy we missed? Let us know in the comments below!