When you first bring your puppy home, those sweet little nips don’t get much of a second thought until teeth start to form.Unfortunately for you, that adorable little mouth is filled with 28 miniature razors attracted to your hand, toes, your favorite shoes, and even the TV remote.

While it is annoying to have constant nips on your extremities from your new puppy, rest assured it is only a phase.

 Puppy teething is a regular part of puppyhood.The testing phase usually kicks off when your puppy hits about three months old, and it continues as they lose their puppy teeth and gain their adult teeth.

With the right combination of treats and toys, you and your pup will get through the uncomfortable (and painful) phase of puppyhood.

How We Picked Out Our Puppy Teething Survival Items

These days there are gimmicks all over the place – including the pet care aisle. Be cautious about what you purchase for your teething puppy. While some products are safe, others can permanently damage their gums as well as the emerging adult teeth.

Teething lasts about three months says the AKC, which means you need toys and treats that are durable, keep your puppy’s short attention span, and help protect your fingers from unnecessary nips.We scoured the selections of toys, treats, and teething aides to come up with a list that should help.

Some criteria used to come up with the 10 best includes:

  • Durability: The entire purpose of a teething toy is for it to last through the sharp teeth and constant chewing. A teething toy that falls apart after a few uses would be not only a waste of money for you but a safety concern for your dog if they were to swallow those broken pieces.
  • Hardness: While these toys require durability, they also cannot be so hard that they break off a tooth.
  • Coatings: Some teething toys are coated with unique flavorings, which attracts dogs to them, but also create a digestive upset. We eliminated toys that have harsh chemical flavors.
  • Washable: Dog toys, especially those chewed on for several months, need a wash periodically. If you cannot toss it in the dishwasher or washing machine for disinfecting, it is not worth it. Naturally, not all products are dishwasher-safe, but if their clean up doesn’t require a toothbrush to sanitize, it is still a great option.
  • Entertainment Value: What is the point of a teething distraction if the toy itself does not entertain your dog? The more appealing it is, the more distracted your dog is from your shoes and other objects they prefer to chew on.

Top 10 Toys, Treats, and Chews for Puppy Teething

Puppy eating a treat

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Toys are a necessity, especially during teething time. These toys alleviate sore gums and keep the rest of your house from becoming your dog’s biggest chew toy.

KONG Extreme Goodie Bone

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Kong products are notorious for their durability, hardness, and ease to clean. They come in a variety of styles, but the Puppy Kong is usually better for teething distractions. Kongs promote healthy chewing habits, and they are especially helpful if you are crate training at the same time. 

Even better, a Kong acts as a treat. The toys have a small opening in the center where you can put peanut butter or squeeze a soft chew treat inside. You can buy the Kong Easy Treat products too, which are sold next to the Kong toys.These chew toys compress when grabbed, bounce when tossed, and roll when your dog plays by himself.

Kong’s are freezable, and the cool texture might help your puppy’s teething pain. Kong features a soft, but indestructible rubber, and can even hold up to a game (or two) of fetch.Puppy Kong comes in several sizes too, including medium, large, and extra-large.

Like all Kong toys, the Puppy Kong is dishwasher-safe. Because of the smaller crevices for food and treats, inspect your toy after washing to remove any remaining food bits inside.

 Nylabone Just For Puppies Petite Pink Dental Bone Puppy Dog Chew Toy

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Gentle massaging of your puppy’s gums might help alleviate discomfort, and the Nylabone Petite does it. It features a durable nylon core and has soft dental nubs to massage the gums. Also, the nubs act like a dental toothbrush, which can clean out your puppy’s teeth.

The Petite is perfectly shaped and sized for smaller puppy mouths, and when frozen it helps soothe gum inflammation.If you are on a tight budget, the Nylabone is cheaper than Kong and lasts equally as long. Also, Nylabone comes with various pet-safe flavors, including beef, bacon, and chicken.

Cleaning Nylabones is as simple as tossing it in the dishwasher or a quick scrub by hand.

 Flossy Chews Cottonblend Color 3-Knot Rope Tug

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Some dogs need to play tug-of-rope or have something they can whip around. Rope toys help with teething but also floss your puppy’s teeth. Mammoth Flossy Chews are indestructible to constant gnawing, and they keep your puppy’s gums healthy.

You can soak it in water and freeze it to soothe inflammation too. When it comes to cleaning, toss Mammoth Flossy Chews into the washing machine and air dry.Note that Mammoth Flossy Chews are nylon ropes, which are durable. However, with frequent use and chewing they can break down.

After each wash, inspect the chew and discard if you see loose fibers or frays.

MPP Chilly Bone Dog Toy

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Just like a toddler teething, puppies need something to soothe the swelling and irritating feeling their gums have as adult teeth emerge. Chilly Bone comes in a variety of sizes – so pick one that suits your breed.Chilly Bone features a non-toxic gel that freezes quickly and lasts one to two hours. 

Your puppy can chew and get instant relief. The bone itself is highly durable, and it would take considerable effort for your puppy’s teeth to puncture.While not dishwasher safe, after your puppy is done just rinse in the sink and toss back into the freezer until needed again.

 Nylabone Dura Chew Regular Original Flavored Wishbone Dog Chew Toy

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The Dura Chew Wishbone is shaped like a wishbone. Its heavy-duty nylon construction can handle daily nibbles from ultra-sharp puppy teeth.It does not have the dental nubs, but the shape makes it easier for your puppy to grab ahold of and take around the house. It also comes in multiple flavors, including beef, chicken, and bacon.

With its wishbone shape, the Dura Chew gives your puppy three ends to focus on too.When you’re ready to wash it, toss it in the dishwasher or hand wash the toy with hot water.

KONG Puppy Tires

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Kong Puppy Tires might be more comfortable for smaller puppies to carry around than the traditional Kong shape. It still has a treat-fillable slot so that you can add a dog treat or scoop in the peanut butter too.It has a doughnut shape with specialized rubber explicitly made for teething puppies.

The shape makes it easier for your dog to play fetch with and hold in between smaller jaws.Freezing your Kong Puppy Tire extends playtime too, which is helpful when crate training.Washing a Kong Puppy Tire involves nothing more than placing it on the top rack of your dishwasher.

Nylabone Just For Puppies Medium Key Ring Bone Puppy Dog Teething Chew Toy

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Puppies need variety with their toys. While you have a few traditional chew toys, consider something fun like the puppy key rings. These have three differently textured keys affixed to a solid key ring for your puppy to chew on.While soft, they are incredibly long-lasting.

These keys also come in small, medium, and large for dogs of all sizes.The key rings are not dishwasher safe, but you can handwash quickly with warm water and soap.

 Nylabone Puppy "X" Bone Small Beef Flavored Chew Toy

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The Nylabone X Bone promotes positive chewing habits and has unique textures throughout. Each side of the X-shaped toy has a different surface, and the durable nylon keeps your dog busy for hours.

The X Bone comes in beef flavor, and the dental nubs throughout help clean your puppy’s teeth and keep their gums healthy.

 N-Bone 3-Rings Puppy Teething Ring

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The N-Bone is a puppy teething treat that comes in a pack of six rings.The rings are formulated with DHA and calcium to support healthy bone growth, taste delicious, and are pliable enough not to damage delicate teeth and gums.

These toys are floppy, but still easy for your puppy to hold onto and chew. They are made from rice flour, gelatin, water, chicken, oat fiber, and even cranberries, so when your dog does tear one apart, they easily digest it.

Naturally, these are not reusable. However, a single pack is less than $8, and each chew will last your puppy a few hours to days depending on how active they are with it.

 Outward Hound Invincibles Plush Stuffing-Less Dog Toys with Squeaker

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Outward Hound Invincibles is a softer teething option that is squeaker filled but stuffing free.They keep squeaking even when punctured, and they have a chew shield layer that keeps even tough teeth from breaking through. Outward Hound’s come in ten different characters and four sizes.

Order the larger sizes if you plan to play tug-of-war with your puppy and enjoy the small hole for more comfortable gripping on your end.

A Few Last-Minute Tips When Picking Out Treats and Toys for Puppy Teething Time

Puppy with its teething toy

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Finding the appropriate toy for teething doesn’t have to be something stressful. Instead of spending hours staring at choices at the pet store, narrow down the list by considering this:

  • Go with Soft, but Tough Design: The chew toy still needs pliability, but durability too. Your puppy should be able to chew continuously, and the toy holds up. Likewise, it should not be hard as a rock. Anything that does not give slightly to your thumbnail is too hard for your pet’s teeth.
  • Avoid Breakable Toys: A puppy is susceptible to choking, so pick a toy that does not shatter or break into small bits after continued use.
  • Go with Multiple Shapes and Textures: A single toy only holds your puppy’s attention for a few hours (or if you are lucky a few days). Pick a few toys with varying textures and shapes. Some toys can make noise, while others stay silent. The more options you have, the less likely your puppy is to become bored and go back to your personal belongings.
  • Pick a Toy by Dog Size and Mouth: Most toys are labeled for small, medium or large. Also, consider your dog’s mouth and pick one that they can carry around, but not fit entirely in their mouth.

Never Buy the Following for Dog

puppy biting a chew toy

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While it is essential to pick the right toy, knowing what to avoid is equally critical. Here are items to never buy for a teething puppy:

  • Long Strips or Loose Fibers: Any rope or toy with loose fibers is not safe. It can become dangerous if swallowed.
  • Foam Stuffing: Toys filled with foam stuffing eventually fall apart, and dogs swallowing foam stuffing could suffer from intestinal blockage.
  • Real Bones: Real bones of any kind are dangerous. They have highly abrasive fragments that can damage your dog’s intestinal tract when swallowed
  • Pick a Toy by Dog Size and Mouth: Most toys are labeled for small, medium or large. Also, consider your dog’s mouth and pick one that they can carry around, but not fit entirely in their mouth.
  • Your Items: Even if your dog prefers your shoe, avoid giving them an old shoe to chew on. When you do so, you are teaching them that it is okay to chew their way through your shoes. After all, a puppy doesn’t understand the difference.
  • Never Use Antlers: A growing practice for puppy teething is to hand over natural antlers. According to Healthy Pets, antlers are notorious for breaking carnassial teeth – the teeth in the back of your dog’s mouth. Broken teeth lead to bacterial infections, which cause further complications for your puppy’s overall oral health.

No matter which puppy teething remedy you use, always examine your puppy’s toys regularly. If there are signs of damage, discard it immediately.

What are some of your favorite puppy teething remedies?

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