Picking Out Toys
When picking out toys for a puppy there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, puppies have small sharp teeth, which help them shred toys easily. I recommend providing them with toys that are made of thick rubber.
KONG has some great products that puppies can vigorously chew on without them falling apart quickly. Because puppies have sharp teeth, no toy will last forever. However, stronger rubber toys will last longer than really thin rubber toys. Once any toy starts falling apart or the puppy starts taking chunks off of it, you need to replace it and throw away the one falling apart. The materials of toys are not meant to be ingested and can cause an upset stomach or intestinal blockage. If you notice pieces of a toy missing, watch for bowel movements to make sure things are still moving through and there is not a blockage which will normally need surgery.
If you give your puppy rope toys, do not leave them alone with them. Their small teeth can pull the rope fibers away from each other and then can be ingested. If the fibers bunch up in the intestines, it can become life-threatening. This is true for older dogs as well, but puppy’s teeth can pull at the fibers of the rope toys more easily and make them come apart. Try these ones out supervised https://amzn.to/3mYgTvM.
Do not give puppies balls to chew on that they can swallow or choke on. Do not give your dog tennis balls to chew on ever. Here is a ball that is ok for them to chew on and does not fall apart easily https://amzn.to/3QwI3rb.
The abrasive material on the tennis ball can cause the teeth to wear down. I have seen dogs wear all of their teeth down to almost nothing from chewing on tennis balls for many years. Dog balls are more expensive but if you get a good quality ball it can last a long time and could save you money on teeth extractions that become painful or infected due to the exposed pulp.
Some KONG toys allow for food to be added inside. If you add peanut butter, read the ingredients since many peanut butter brands contain xylitol which is toxic to dogs. Also, keep in mind, that a very small percentage of dogs are allergic to peanuts. You should be at home to monitor your dog the first few times peanuts are given to watch for reactions.
Stuffed Animals for Puppy Toys
For puppies, I do not recommend regular stuffed animals. They can tear them apart easily and can eat the stuffing. There are stuffed animals made for puppies that have a stronger outer layer than regular (human) stuffed animals. There are also unstuffed animals that make it so they cannot eat the stuffing.
As with anything you give your dog or puppy, make sure they cannot choke on it and that you check it frequently for damage and replace toys as needed for damage to them.
Preventing Puppies from Chewing on Your Things
To prevent your puppy from chewing on things they find in your house, make sure to have a variety of toys available at all times. Keeping a toy close by you at all times is ideal to engage them with their toy and prevent them from chewing on something unwanted. This works well if you are constant with it. Have fun trying new types of puppy toys and they may change when the puppy is teething and not teething.
Check out my article on Feeding and Water Bowls for Your Pets to have the best bowls and how to care for the bowl from the start.