Puppies can bring a lot of fun and excitement into your home. They can also wreak havoc by chewing on anything in sight, especially during the first 6 months. Not only should you puppy-proof your house to prevent your new fur baby from getting its teeth on your valuables, but you should also offer stimulating chew toys that can provide gum ache relief and entertainment. This guide will help you choose the best teething toys for your new family member.
Puppy Teething and Nipping
Like babies, puppies go through teething stages, from losing puppy teeth to growing adult teeth.
Birth to 4 Weeks
When puppies are born, they have no teeth, but within a few weeks, the front teeth, also called the incisors, begin to emerge. There are six incisors on both the top and bottom jaw. They are thin and sharp and can cause swollen, painful gums. For relief, puppies begin to chew on everything from shoes to furniture.
Weeks 5 to 8
All 28 baby teeth come in between the ages of 5 and 8 weeks, including the last molars. During this time, most puppies are introduced to soft, moist food and start weaning from their mothers.
Weeks 12 to 16
Most puppies leave their mothers and go to their new homes during this time. You may notice small, tiny teeth throughout your home as baby teeth fall out to make way for permanent adult teeth or milk teeth. Teething can be a painful process, so it’s essential to provide your puppy with plenty of soft, safe puppy chew toys.
6 Months to Adult
Around 6 months of age, teething puppies should have all 48 permanent teeth.
Factors to Consider When Buying Puppy Teething Toys
When it comes to choosing puppy chew toys, it’s crucial to select ones that promote positive chewing habits. Additionally, closely monitoring your puppy when they’re outdoors is essential to prevent them from picking up hazardous objects. As your puppy grows, around the age of 6 months, you can start training them to stay close and avoid wandering using the Halo Collar wireless fence.
Also, keep in mind some of the following when choosing chew toys for your pet:
- Materials: Avoid toys that aren’t dog-proof. Children’s stuffed animals and toys can contain small parts that are dangerous to your puppy. Stuffed animals may be filled with polystyrene beads or nutshells that aren’t digestible. Look for nontoxic, durable materials such as nylon bones, rope toys, and soft rubber. For snuggling, opt for plush dog toys and soft fabrics.
- Size: Shop your pet store for age-appropriate chew toys. Pay attention to the labels, which give guidelines regarding size. Select smaller-sized toys for little dogs and larger toys for bigger breeds.
- Texture: Some puppy toys have unique textures, including nubs and smooth surfaces. Ridges and rippled surfaces may feel better on sore gums.
- Versatility: Give your puppy a wide selection of chew toys to choose from, including different designs and functions to provide mental stimulation. Squeaker toys also help engage your pet in fun.
Top 5 Puppy Teething Toys
There are many puppy teething toys on the market to help puppies get through the teething stage. Here are some top choices.
Himalayan chews are like giant hard cheese sticks for your puppy. They’re traditionally made from yak or cow’s milk and lime juice that’s been dehydrated. Available in various sizes, from small to extra large, they’re calorie dense and highly nutritious. These chews can last a long time, which is ideal for aggressive chewers. Like with any dog chew, it’s important to supervise your pet with them. Once the chew gets too small, you can pop it into a microwave and turn the remainder into a giant soft cheese puff, which most puppies love.
Nylabone toys come in several shapes, colors, and sizes, from teething key rings to bone-shaped chews. Some shapes may contain textures to clean teeth and massage gums, while others may be firm and smooth to provide a durable surface for chewing. Nylabone puppy toys can last a long time but should be inspected regularly for deep scratches, broken pieces, and sharp edges.
NWK Frozen Teething Rings
Frozen teething rings can provide instant relief from sore, swollen gums, and they make an excellent toy to beat the heat in summer. These puppy chew toys are filled with purified water and made from non-toxic materials. The outside is thick to prevent your puppy from biting through, and it contains ridges and nubs to help massage the gums as your puppy chews.
KONG Teething Toys
The KONG puppy binky is ideal for puppies under 35 pounds. They’re made from soft rubber and come in pink and light blue. You can fill them with treats for added fun, and they’re easy to clean.
Petstages Cool Teething Stick
Petstages Cool Teething Sticks blend the softness of a plush toy with different textures. Soak the toy in water and freeze for cool relief. Once the toy thaws, you can refreeze it.
Care and Maintenance of Teething Toys
Look through your pet’s chew toys frequently and throw away anything that’s no longer safe. Dirty toys can also carry bacteria and germs, so it’s important to clean them regularly. Check the labels for the best way to clean your puppy’s toys. Most solid toys can be washed with warm soapy water, and many plush toys can be machine washed. Allow them to dry completely before you give them back to your pet.
During the teething process, it’s important to provide your puppy with safe, durable teething options. Be sure each toy is appropriate for the age and size of your pup’s breed. While you may be tempted to let them chew on old shoes or children’s toys, these items can be dangerous and pose a choking hazard. To keep your puppy happy, browse through Halo’s pet care resources, and if you have any questions, interesting experiences, or recommendations for puppy teething toys, be sure to leave them in the comments.