Puppies are cute, cuddly, and fun. However, they can also be hard work. For most dog owners, that’s where toys come in. Puppies need toys to give them stimulating play and keep them occupied. A puppy needs a solid set of toys to keep themselves amused, and often they need to be quite tough to withstand the rough play from a puppy or the chewing that comes with teething. This leaves a lot of new puppy owners wondering what toys they should get? It is easy to overload on toys, only to find your puppy uninterested in most.
With a puppy, you don’t have the same idea of what the pet likes. For adult dogs, most owners know what type of toy is right for theirs and get those. With a puppy, the options are wide open. Even when shopping for puppy toys, you’ll likely see them in a category of their own. These ‘puppy’ toys are essentially dog toys designed to look cuter or more babyish. These aren’t always the best toys for puppies, but it can be difficult to work out which ones are.
When you’re looking for the right toys for your puppy, you have a few things to keep in mind. First, you need to be sure that these are toys that are safe. They need to be completely safe to be chewed on or even have pieces break off without hurting your puppy. You also need to be sure that your puppy is actually going to enjoy that toy. It is a waste of time finding a puppy toy if your pet isn’t even going to be interested. This is what you need to think about when finding which toys are right for your puppy.
What Type of Toys Are Right for Your Puppy?
Since the type of toy you should get for your puppy depends on them, you should consider how they play with toys. You should take some time to watch them play and see what type of behaviour they do; this can give you some clues as to how they’ll play. This is what you should watch out for:
- Are They Hunters? – Some puppies don’t mess around when it comes to playtime, they’re there to kill a toy. These are the puppies who will pounce on toys and attempt to rip them to pieces. This is a natural form of play to puppies and there are plenty of toys that facilitate this.
- Do They Chase? – An energetic dog that likes to chase toys around will need some specific toys as well. These puppies might be seen running after anything that moves.
- Cuddlers – Some puppies play in a way that is kind of just cuddling. These dogs may pick things up and just carry them around in their mouths. This is a bit weird to watch, but there are specific toys for them.
- Do They Chew? – All puppies chew on things as they explore the world, and especially when they are teething. However, for some dogs chewing is more than that. Chewing can be the way that they play and the only thing they’re interested in. There are plenty of dog toys you can get for your puppy if they’re a chewer.
- Noise or Textures – You can find puppy toys that make noises, that have unique textures, or those that are plain and won’t scare a skittish dog. These things all depend on how your dog plays though.
Finding the Right Toys for Your Puppy
Out of those styles of play, you’ll likely recognise what type your puppy is, or you can watch them to figure it out. Most puppies aren’t just going to be one though, they’ll typically like a few different styles of play. On top of this, you need to consider quality and safety. These are the other factors you should keep in mind:
- Durability – This partially depends on how your dog plays. If they enjoy chewing or killing toys, you’ll need tougher toys than those that just like to chase. Ideally, these toys should be built to last. Puppies do a lot of playing, so it is important that they go the distance.
- Size – Puppies are smaller than an adult dog, but they grow quickly. If your breed is going to grow up to be quite big, don’t think you have to go for baby-sized toys that’ll need replacing soon. A dog can handle toys that they’ll grow into.
- Mouth Size – A great safety rule to keep in mind is that your toy should never fit entirely in your puppy’s mouth. Even if you’re sure they won’t try to swallow it, puppies aren’t the most intelligent dogs and accidents can happen. Dog toys shouldn’t be small enough to swallow.
- Safety – Avoid toys made of plastic or things that can break off into shards. This might be obvious but it is surprising how many dog toys can actually be broken into relatively sharp shards when ripped by a dog’s teeth. Avoiding health problems is still a concern for puppies, so this is important.
You should consider those factors of safety and quality alongside how your dog plays. If you look for all of those qualities, you should be able to find the right dog toys for your puppy.
The Best Dog Toys for Puppies
These are some recommendations for dog toys for puppies. Each fits into a different category of play, so mixing and matching can help you find the right set of toys to keep your puppy happy and entertained.
Toys for Puppies Who Hunt
If you’re looking for a toy for a puppy that likes to rip apart toys until they’re dead, these tuffy toys are a great choice. The stitching and stuffing are divided into different sections, so even the most vicious of puppies will get a lot of mileage out of it. Many puppy owners who have a dog that rips toys to pieces might despair at how quickly they blow through prey. These soft toys are specifically designed for that type of players, and they’re hardy enough to last longer without ruining your puppy’s fun.
Toys for Dogs Who Chase
The toys for dogs that enjoy chasing things is a bit easier to find than any others! Balls are obviously the first toy that springs to mind. However, when you’re considering safety and quality you might want to think about which balls are right. Small tennis balls might be the easiest solution, but they’re often small enough to fit into a dog’s mouth, and low-quality ones can be easily broken or split by a dog’s play. Some balls offer some more resistance for a dog. Dog balls can be made of lots of different materials like rope like this one:
Your puppy might also like balls made of textured materials. This type of ball is going to be great for a puppy since it is very hard to chew through or break.
Toys for Dogs Who Cuddle
Soft Toys like these are great for dogs who play quite gently. These should keep a pet entertained. This is likely the easiest category to keep a dog happy in! The options are pretty open for these type of players, most soft toys are going to be agreeable to them.
The advantage of heartbeat toys like the Snuggle Puppy toy is that its “real-feel” pulsating heartbeat and heat pack calm the puppy and reduce negative behaviors such as whining and barking. Talk about having a good night sleep – both you and your puppy!
Toys for Dogs Who Chew
A dog that loves to chew on just about anything can be a bit trickier to fit toys for. They are the most likely to cram things in their mouths, which can be a safety risk. Larger chewing toys like these are too big to cause any harm to a dog and have some flavour to keep them interested in chewing. These types of toys will last a long time and make a great alternative to just giving your puppy a whole lot of treats.
Dogs Who Like Noise
A dog who likes the stimulation of noise in toys can be easily entertained by a toy with a squeaker. If your dog likes to play rough with toys, ones like this can facilitate this while making noise to your dog. That toy even continues to squeak after its been chewed up.
Balls with squeakers like these can help make chasing more fun.
Even soft toys like this can have a squeaker that still encourages both gentle play as well as some hide-and-seek fun.
Dogs Who Like Textures
Some dogs don’t like loud toys, but they may like toys with different textures. Toys like this use different feeling materials to give a puppy plenty of stimulation without any noise.
Which Toys Should You Pick for Your Puppy?
Those are all great choices for dog toys for puppies. However, which are right for you will depend on your dog’s unique personality. Toys are diverse, and no two dogs play in exactly the same way. Keep in mind their safety, find toys of a good quality, and try to find those that your dog is going to love. Finding the right toys isn’t all that complicated, and your dog will get a lot of enjoyment out of even a few toys, especially when they’re a young and adventurous puppy.