It can be hard picking out the first few toys for your puppy. So many cute, cuddly, squeaky options on the shelves. Puppies can wreck most toys in seconds flat, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Rather than dropping a couple bucks every now and then for a stuffie your puppy will trash, you’re probably better off investing in tougher toys and giving them something durable, and much safer, to chew. You might spend a bit more upfront, but with these long-lasting puppy chew toys and treats, I guarantee you’ll be saving yourself in the long run.
Būmi Tug Toy
We’ve had the same Būmi in our house for 6 year. No kidding. It’s my Pit Bull-mix’s go-to toy for tug of war and fetch, but the same toy is a hit at Embrace HQ too. It’s durable, easy to find in the grass or water, doesn’t hold a ton of odor, and comes with a replacement guarantee.
The Būmi is available in two sizes, but the smaller one is just right for a puppy or smaller dog, and at $12.95 it’s one of the best bangs for your puppy toy buck.
Tuffy’s Zoo Hippo Hilda
We’ve gone through a few of the Tuffy’s zoo toys, but they last for months even with an adult dog, because there are lots of seams and angles to work on. I’m a firm believer that every puppy needs a snuggle buddy, and the Tuffy’s toys are both a pal and a chew toy. They’re soft outside but have durable seams and last, with no majorly annoying squeaker. Hilda is rated 7 out of 10 on their tuff scale of durability, and while that’s probably sufficient for most chewers, it’s nice to know they have even “tuffer” toys available.
Tartar Shield Soft Rawhide
I’m sneaking this in here because some of you are looking for bones to keep your puppy busy. But rather than risk splintering or dental damage from a hard bone, the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) recommends soft chews like these. Tartar Shield Soft Rawhides come in several sizes and provide not only a release for busy chewers, but a little tasty snack too. (Don’t overfeed with any treat, or your puppy may have digestive upset.) You’ll be happy to keep your busy chewer occupied and keep their teeth tartar free too.
Another recommendation from the VOHC are Greenies. These have been around since I was first a dog owner and have only gained popularity since. They’re digestible and puppies love chewing on them, plus they actually help freshen their breath. Greenies won’t last all day, but they definitely satisfy those chewing urges pups get.
Coming in last, but certainly not least, KONG. Ask nearly any trainer, veterinarian, behaviorist, or shelter worker and they’ll tell you that KONGs are an affordable, multi-purpose toy for just about any dog. Fortunately they offer a handy-dandy chart to help you pick the right toy and stuffing techniques for your puppy based on age. Investing in a KONG now, for under $10, will pay off in dividends. Some pet parents find themselves serving the puppy’s kibble or treats in the KONG to provide additional enrichment, but even as a stand-alone chew toy it’s tons of durable fun.
Just remember, more expensive doesn’t always mean safer. Many hard plastic chew toys, as well as bones and antlers, can splinter or cause dental damage in adult dogs and puppies, so steer clear. But taking the time to find a durable toy or treat that your puppy can savor and enjoy is much more satisfying and save you tons in the long run.