DISCLAIMER : These are my personal opinions regarding dog toys & what I’ve had experience with. This post contains Affiliate Links to products which costs you nothing but may give me a small commission if you choose to purchase. I don’t promote anything I have not personally used & have had a good experience with. All dogs are different & while my dog may love a certain product, your dog may turn its nose up at it.
We got Missy at 12 weeks old & she’s now almost 18 months which, to me, is still a puppy. She’s a beautiful, black & white collie with the sweetest nature.
Fortunately for me, I have a friend who’s a Dog Behaviourist & Trainer, so he gave me some good tips on getting her started. I’ll write another post with some of the tips he gave me about toileting, crate training & general puppy behaviour. But for now, lets talk puppy toys!
Heres some some of the toys we have for our dog.
Why are Toys so important?
Puppy teeth hurt! Think of a toddler who’s constantly got his fingers in his mouth. They need something to relieve the pressure on their gums.
Puppies also need to be entertained … lots! If they aren’t entertained they’ll start getting naughty & look for something to play with or chew. Do you really want them to get a taste for your new shoes or the coffee table leg?
They also help with brain development. Think about them like a toddler again, puppies are eager to learn. They need stimulation. They want to please you & interact with you. They are social animals & need to be socially accepted.
Dental hygiene is really important as it can cause all sorts of illnesses. Chew toys can really help to dislodge tartar & buildup on their teeth & gums.
Okay … I need to come clean. I hate anything that squeaks! I refuse to buy any toy that has a squeaker in it. It just drives me insane. So, please bear this in mind with the toys I’ve reviewed here.
Types of Dog Toys
- Chew Toys
- Treat Toys
- Brain development toys
- Agility Toys
- Throw Toys
- Plush Toys
- Tug-of-war Toys
- Tech Toys (camera’s, talking, etc)
- Floating Toys
In my opinion, these are the most important toys to have. We have a basket with her toys in it & take a few out each day & change them around so she doesn’t get bored.
IMPORTANT NOTE : Each dog chews differently, so you really do need to keep an eye on their toys. If theres any damage & the risk of the puppy swallowing bits, throw it away immediately.
Below are a few chew toys that we’ve used for Missy & that she absolutely loves.
These are my absolute favourite & Missy has loads of these. Take a look at their website for a full range of products : Kong
a) Classic Kong
This is their best seller for good reason & one of the first toys we bought Missy. Its a great chew on its own, but there hundreds of ways to stuff this to get hours of fun.
In summer we stuff it with dog nuts, peanut butter (no additives), plain yoghurt or dog treats & freeze it for overnight. It gives them hours of fun as it slowly thaws out.
We started off with a puppy one but as she grew we moved onto a “classic”.
b) Easy Treat Tins
We love this squeezy treat in either Liver, Cheese or Peanut Butter flavour.
They’re great to stuff into a toy before you head out for a few hours.
c) Dental Stick
This was a lucky purchase. It has loads of grooves to put the Easy Treat squeezy into. Not the easiest to clean though as you really have to scrub it to get the bits out the middle. But again, this definitely did the trick with her sore teeth/gums.
Different textures massage their gums & promotes dental health. Heres a few other Kong products my dog loves …
These are quite easy to find in most pet shops & some housewares stores. Missy has 2, a Gravy bone & a new Beef Jerky Extreme bone. Theres 2 ways criteria to selecting the perfect bone, 1. Weight & 2. Type of Chew (Basic to Extreme). Packaging will often indicate if this is suitable for a puppy, so then you just need to select the right size for the size of your puppy.
Take a look at their website to get a better idea of whats available : Nylabone
This is similar to the Gravy Bone I got her. Note how this one is for “up to 16kg”. It did suffer some damage after a few weeks, but I definitely got my moneys worth out of it.
3. Other Toys & Makes
Just arrived this week. Its a softer rubber, so I’ll have to watch her closely to make sure the little ‘teeth’ don’t get chewed & swallowed.
Its supposed to be good for stuffing dog biscuits or nuts into & maybe some peanut butter.
She loves playing fetch & this is super bouncy, so I’m sure we’ll have lots of fun throwing it for her.
This is a large hard plastic ball. Its smaller than a football but much bigger than a tennis ball.
Missy can’t get her mouth around it, so can’t pick it up. She loves chasing it around the house. Its a bit noisy on wooden floors, but is great for wearing out those little bursts of energy by herself.
Rope Chew Toys are great, but you have to watch for wear. They don’t last very long, maybe a day or two.
Plush Toys : I don’t like the squeeky, so these aren’t my favorite at all. Also, I don’t like having stuffing all over my house. I’ve bought the flat ones before which have crinkle paper in them. They only last about an hour with my girl, so I prefer to buy her toys that last.
4. Toys I won’t to buy
1. Raw Hide Dog Chews
I watched a documentary once about how they ‘create’ these – a real eye opener. The hide/skins are bleached several times and therefore the final product may still contain toxins from the process. It just didn’t look like a product I want to be feeding my dog. It can also pose a choking hazard and could lead to intestinal blockages if digested by accident.
2. Pigs Ears or Antlers
This is purely a personal choice. Its a conversation I didn’t want to be having with my children.
3. Animal Bones
I know this can be a controversial topic. Theres many cases both for & against giving bones to dogs. Always do your research before deciding.
Years ago my butcher used to give me big beef bones for my older dog. I part baked them in the oven before giving it to him. My concern was having the children around as I didn’t trust him if they went near him while chewing. He’d also hide them in the garden & I didn’t need a child digging them up or standing on them.
I don’t feel its necessary to feed our girl any animal bones as she has enough toys to play with & I feel she gets enough nutrients in her food. Maybe in the future I’ll give her a big knuckle bone & see how she reacts with it.
Heres a quick checklist to keep your puppy safe :
- Always supervise playtime with toys
- Ensure toys aren’t broken or have bits that could come off
- Throw away old or broken toys
- Buy non-toxic dog toys
- Wash thoroughly in hot soapy water regularly
- Only buy toys for their intended purpose (don’t give baby toys to a dog)
- Research the correct size & weight for your dog
Most of all HAVE FUN! Dogs thrive on loads of exercise & keeping their minds active. They’re called “mans best friend” for a very good reason!
Leave a comment below & tell me what toys you’ve had success with.
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