10 best puppy toys for 2019: Fun toys to beat puppy boredom

What are the best toys for puppies? Find the best puppy toys for 2019

Updated on July 20th, 2019

How do you choose the best toy for your puppy? With all the toy choices out there, here’s our pick of the best puppy toys for 2019.

Getting a new puppy is an exciting time. One of our favourite activities when planning to bring our puppy home was going to the pet store and picking him out some toys.

However, it was slightly overwhelming trying to decide what to get, especially as we were completely new to dog ownership and didn’t really know what would make a good puppy toy, or which were age-appropriate for our tiny little pup.

So how do you decide on the best toys to buy your puppy? And are they any toys you should AVOID? Find out below!

Sleeping dog cuddling his teddy

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase (at no additional cost to you). Thanks to Suzi at Start a Mom Blog for inspiring me to write this post!

What kind of toys are good for puppies?

The best puppy toy depends slightly on the age and breed of your puppy, plus their own personal preferences.

There are many different types of toys for puppies, including:

  • Soft toys
  • Soft toys with squeakers, crinkle noises or other interactive sounds
  • Balls
  • Interactive puzzle games
  • Chew toys
  • Heated toys and heartbeat comforters
  • Toys that you can stuff with tasty treats
  • Interactive feeding mats
  • + so much more!

How to pick puppy toys

To try to get an idea of the type of toys your puppy likes best, ask your breeder (or the dog rescue if you are adopting instead of buying) what your pup’s favourite toys are.

You’ll also want to think about the size of your dog and his breed. The best toy for small breed puppies might not necessarily be the best toy for large breed puppies due to the size of the toy.

Small toys can be choking hazards for large-breed puppies. Similarly, larger toys aren’t always ideal for small breed dogs as they can be too large to them to carry about which may cause them to lose interest quickly as they won’t be able to play with it easily.

Labrador puppy with chew toy

10 Best toys for puppies in 2019

Here are some of my favourite toys for puppies, as well as some that come highly recommended from past purchasers.

Kong puppy toy

Kong toys are a staple in our household. They are so long-lasting and well-made, and there are so many different things you can put into a Kong to keep your puppy busy.

When Freddie was a puppy, he loved to chase after his Kong as the bounce is really unpredictable so it was a fun game. When he was tired of running, he settled down on his mat for a good chew to try and get the rest of the treats out.

KONG - Puppy Toy Natural Teething Rubber -Fun to Chew, Chase & Fetch- For Small Puppies (Color May Vary)
  • Teaches appropriate chewing behavior while offering mental enrichment
  • Soft puppy KONG rubber formula is customized for puppy teeth and gums
  • Unpredictable bounce for games of fetch
  • Recommended by veterinarians and trainers worldwide

Little Petface puppy toy

This soft toy is perfect for playful pups due to its durable material.

It’s light and soft so it can easily be carried around and the ridged material makes it great to chew on thanks to the range of textures.

Little Petface Puppy Dog Toy, Freddi Cord
  • Little Petface Freddi Cord Dog Toy
  • Perfect for playful pups
  • Soft play toys for very young puppies
  • Light and soft for playful games, these cord character soft toys and cute comforters are great to keep puppy both entertained and company when snuggled up
  • Developing play skills and keeping their little mouths busy and satisfied

Heart beat sheep

Does your puppy struggle to sleep through the night?

If so, this little heart beat sheep may help them to feel more comfortable when left along at night.

It’s a soft cuddly toy with a beating heart to help comfort your puppy as it makes them feel less alone. The heartbeat lasts for 20 minutes, which should be plenty of time for your pooch to fall into a lovely blissful sleep.

All For Paws AFP Little Buddy - Heart Beat Sheep White
  • soft cuddly toy with beating heart
  • The heartbeat lasts for 20 minutes
  • Helps Comfort Puppy

Nylabones for puppies

This kit contains three chews to help your puppy through their teething.

If your pup is a particularly heavy chewer then these may not be the best choice as they might be able to break up the non-edible chews, however for small breeds or dogs that only chew lightly, these are ideal.

Nylabone Puppy Starter Kit
  • Ideal kit for helping puppies through various chewing stages
  • Encourages healthy, non-destructive chewing habits
  • Helps Clean teeth and remove tartar
  • Provides Entertainment for your puppy
  • Includes a Chicken flavoured Dura Chew, a Chicken flavoured flexichew puppy bone and a bacon flavoured healthy edibles bone

Kong balls

These are some of the best balls for puppies according to the reviews on Amazon.

I haven’t used this product before, but Kong is a brilliant brand, so if I was to get another puppy then these would probably end up in my shopping basket!

Slightly smaller than normal balls; these Kong balls for puppies contain a fun squeaker to encourage playtime.

KONG - Squeakair Ultra Balls - Dog Toy Premium Squeak Tennis Balls, Gentle on Teeth - For Medium Dogs (3 Pack)
  • Fetch toy for healthy; active play
  • Dual material with varied textures for extended playtime
  • Non-abrasive KONG Tennis material; softer on teeth
  • Squeaker entices play

Bouncy soft ball

These affordable balls for puppies are made from non-toxic, durable rubber to keep them safe for your pup to play with.

They will float in water and they bounce, making them a fab choice for all types of location.

YUDOTE ElfBall Dog Ball Toy,Bouncy Squeaky Toys for Puppies and Small to Medium Dogs Fetch,Chew,Interactive Play and More,6.5cm Diamter, Yellow
  • Made from non-toxic and ECO friendly TPR rubber, safe, healthy and durable for your dogs daily play, fetch, traning, exercise and more
  • Showoff your dogs adorable and hip personality with this ElfBall toy
  • Cute, Bouncy, Squeaky and Floatable, keep your dog interested and active
  • TPR squeaker ball covered by cotton fabric, easy to clean
  • 6.5cm diameter, 60 grams, ideal for puppies,small to medium dogs

Beco Teething hoop

Beco are an eco-friendly dog toy company.

These teething hoops are made from natural rubber and rice husks which means that if your dog accidentally ingests part of them, it should be safe.

They are vanilla scented to tempt your dog to chew on them and to stop them smelling ‘rubbery’.

Beco Hoop - Natural Rubber Chew and Tug Toy for Dogs - L - Green
  • Made from a rice husk rubber that is 100% natural
  • Non-toxic, eco-friendly and completely safe for the most enthusiastic dogs!
  • Sustainably sourced rice husks strengthen the toy and remove nasty plastic fillers
  • Our 100% natural hoop is designed to stretch and ex to the max.n fact it’s so strong that it’s the perfect toy for a game of tug o war with your dog!
  • Vanilla scented the toys smell great for dogs and their owners

Interactive feeding mat

These interactive feeding mats look so much fun!

The different sections of the mat are designed to hold treats which your dog needs to sniff out.

This helps develop your dog’s problem solving abilities and can even be used to slow down eating if you have a pooch that likes to gobble their food down too quickly.

Interactive feed mats train your dog’s sense of smell, drains their energy (sniffing is a high-energy activity!) and can even help to calm them down if they are anxious by distracting their attention away from what’s worrying them and onto finding all the tasty morsels hidden in the mat.

IFOYO Dog Feeding Mat, Dog Snuffle Mat Small Dog Training Pad Pet Nose Work Blanket Non Slip Pet Activity Mat for Foraging Skill, Stress Release, (S, Green, 17.7x19.7in / 45x50cm), Ideal for Dogs
  • Unique Dog Training Mat, Hide the treats or small toy in the snuffle mat, and let your dogs to find it out, it helps to train your dog's sense of the smell, drain your dog's energy and lose weight
  • Keep Your Dog Occupied, This dog feeding mat is a great way for a dog who has tons of energy to use their brain during their dinner time, it can wear them out just as much as a walk
  • Non Slip Dog Snuffle Mat, With 2 straps, you can fix it under the chair to prevent it slip when dogs sniffing, the dog play mat keeps your dog mentally and physically stimulated and help relieve stress and relax
  • Easy to Clean, The snuffle mat for dogs made of fabric material, the dog sniffing mat can be washed by machine
  • Small Dog Feeding Mat, Size: 17.7x19.7in / 45x50cm, great for small, medium dogs, rabbits and other animals

Puppy dummies

If your dog is your baby, then why not take this one step further by giving them their very own binkie!

These Kong puppy dummies are designed to be fun to chew on and they have an opening for treats to be put in to make them even more appealing.

They are made with specially formulated natural rubber designed for delicate puppy teeth.

KONG Puppy Binkie Dog Toy, Small, Assorted colors
  • Unique pacifier shape and soft KONG Puppy Rubber designed to soothe sore teeth and gums
  • Promotes positive chewing behavior
  • Fill with treats or pastes to extend playtime
  • Made in the USA. Globally Sourced Materials.
  • Assorted colors: Pink and Blue

Outward Hound  Squirrel hide-and-seek

This toy is one of the more expensive puppy toy options; however the reviews on Amazon are fantastic!

It’s actually four toys in one, as the three squirrels can be pulled out of the tree trunk.

Test your puppy’s problem solving skills by putting all the squirrels into the trunk and seeing how long it takes them to pull them out.

You can make it even more interesting by putting some high-value dog treats into the trunk before the squirrels, to encourage them to pull the little critters out.

Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Squeaky Puzzle Plush Dog Toy - Hide and Seek Activity for Dogs
  • HIDE & SQUEAK FUN: Fill the Hide A Squirrel dog activity puzzle tree trunk with Squirrel stuffed dog toys and let your dog sniff, hunt and fetch them.
  • CUTE ANIMAL PLUSH: This dog puzzle game comes with squirrels with hidden squeakers your dog won't be able to resist!
  • CHALLENGING PUZZLE: An attached trunk top makes it trickier for your dog to remove the plush stuffed toys from their home. Watch as your dog learns to nuzzle its way in to reach the prize!
  • BOREDOM BUSTER: Bored dogs can become chewers - however indestructible your home. This hide and seek game challenges your dog's brain, keeping bored dogs occupied for hours!
  • INTERACTIVE PLAY: This plush squeaky dog toy puzzle is also ideal for interactive dog games with you - get your pet to retrieve the stuffed Squirrels, and start again!

What toys can I give a puppy for teething?

Just like with humans, puppies get a ‘baby set’ of teeth which then fall out and get replaced by the adult set of teeth.

If you’re wondering ‘is teething painful for puppies’; unfortunately the answer is often ‘yes’.

Some puppies will get teething pain worse than others, so your pooch might get lucky and not really be in much pain.

At what age are puppies teething?

Puppies have 28 temporary teeth that start to appear at about 4 weeks of age. These ‘milk teeth’ generally start falling out between 14 and 30 weeks and then they get replaced by 42 adult teeth.

When we got our first dog, we had NO idea that puppies lost their teeth, so the first time we found one on the carpet we had a major freak out!

Smiling puppy with teeth

Luckily, one quick internet search later and we felt reassured that puppies losing teeth was a completely natural process and nothing to be worried about.

The *more* worrying thing is that we only ever found about 5 teeth – so we’ve got no idea what happened to the other 23!

When Freddie was teething, we could tell he was in pain occasionally so we tried our hardest to make teething easier for our puppy.

One of the ways we did this was by making sure he always had a suitable chew toy available that he could crunch down on to relieve some of the pain.

Should puppies have chew toys?

Chew toys are designed to be nibbled on by your puppy and they can be particularly helpful whilst your puppy is teething.

When they are teething, your puppy will naturally want to chew to help relieve some of the pain in their gums. The amount that they chew varies on the individual puppy, but can also vary between breeds too.

When puppies reach around 7 months old, their desire to chew will probably increase. A combination of adult teeth coming in and boredom or lack of stimulation makes chewing a very attractive pastime for your puppy.

What type of chew toy does my puppy need?

There are many different types of chew toys for puppies available to buy. They range from non-edible toys to hard-but-edible crunchy treats, as well as braided rope toys such as these:

Focuspet Dog Rope Toys, Puppy Toys Set Pet Braided Rope Toys Puppy Chew Durable Interactive Cotton Toys Dental Health Teeth Cleaning for Small/Medium/Large sized Dog Biting Toys 6 Pack
  • ★Safe Cotton Material - Made of durable 100% cotton, safe and nontoxic, clean and edible, distinctive modelling, in high quality. Fabric is cotton material, no harm to puppies, it doesn’t matter if your puppies eat a little by mistake. Gentle on dog's mouth yet durable for powerful jaws, chewing or biting the rope is the best way to clean dog's teeth and improve dental health.
  • ★Benificial for Teeth - The rope chew toys featured solid knots that help clean dog's teeth and improve dental health; these cotton rope dog toys can easily keep your dog's teeth and gums clean and healthy. Lovely puppies often bite rope toys, which can help clean and exercise their teeth. A perfect choice for grinding teeth, can reduce the rate of catching calculus, keep the freshness of oral cavity.
  • ★Strength Relationship - Playtime keeps dogs physically and mentally smart, interactive play will help strengthen bond between you and your dog, build self esteem and make obedience training fun. Spend your time, alleviate the dog's separation loneliness, makes them happy. Puppies having toys to play is smarter, multifunctional dog toys make puppies vigorous, lively and clever. The interactive games between pets and master, can enhance the emotion between you and puppies.
  • ★Practical Dog Bite toys - For puppies, their new teeth grow up, bite slippers or furniture to relieve discomfort; for adult dogs, feeling irritated, imprisoned and lack of sports, bite to vent bad emotion. Focuspet dog toys are a best choice, occupied to prevent he/she damaging your furniture. When your friends come to visit or your favourite show is on, please do not ignore your puppies, rope toys can relieve boredom and pressure, make the puppies happy.
  • ★6 Pack Dog Toys - The package includes 6 kinds of pet bite toys, in different colour and in different shape, including long lob, rope ball, giraffe, frisbee, rope knot and candy rope knot. Great toy for dogs, puppy training, daily exercise, suitable for indoor and outdoor play. Please note that large dogs and powerful chewers may destroy the toy easily and ripped pieces may create a choking hazard to your lovely pets.

Quality rope toys can be very relieving for puppies to chew on as the different textures can reduce teething pain. Plus, the act of chewing the natural cotton material will clean your pup’s teeth and chewing is a great form of mental stimulation too!

Boston terrier puppy with rope toy

Providing suitable chew toys ensures that your puppy doesn’t have to resort to finding their own objects to chew – such as your furniture or shoes!

Do not give rawhide chews to puppies!

Rawhide is one of the most dangerous pet chews and can have very bad consequences for your pet.

Rawhide can be dangerous for puppies

You should never feed your puppy rawhide chews as not only are they too hard for your pup’s little teeth, but bits can break off and get stuck in your puppy’s throat.

Also, once they start chewing, the initially hard rawhide materials goes soft and squidgy. Puppies can’t break this apart very easily which leads to them swallowing large lumps whole. This can cause an internal blockage which may lead to emergency surgery being necessary.

Rawhide chews are often made from lots of nasty ingredients that you really don’t want your precious puppy to be eating.

There are lots of alternatives to rawhide that are MUCH safer (and more enjoyable!) for your puppy.

What is the safest chew toy for a puppy

When choosing a chew toy for your puppy, make sure you buy one that’s appropriate for their age.

You can buy chew toys specifically designed for puppies. These are probably some of the safest chew toys for puppies as they have been especially made for that purpose.

Adult dog chew toys often carry a warning on the labels saying not to give them to young puppies as they are too hard and could damage their delicate teeth.

Nylabone chew toys are great for puppies because they are hard to destroy, and come in tasty flavours to keep your puppy interested.

Nylabone Puppy Starter Kit
  • Ideal kit for helping puppies through various chewing stages
  • Encourages healthy, non-destructive chewing habits
  • Helps Clean teeth and remove tartar
  • Provides Entertainment for your puppy
  • Includes a Chicken flavoured Dura Chew, a Chicken flavoured flexichew puppy bone and a bacon flavoured healthy edibles bone

Some Nylabone puppy chews are designed to be eaten, and some are definitely NOT, so check the packaging before giving them to your pooch. If you give them one that’s not for eating, be sure to check the chew toy regularly for signs of wear-and-tear.

If your puppy starts breaking parts off, take the toy away and replace it with a new one.

Want a more cost effective puppy teething toy?

When my puppy was teething, he loved to crunch down on a fresh carrot straight from the fridge. This was cool so it helped to soothe his gums. He never used to eat it – just break it all up into tiny pieces which he left all over the carpet for us to clean up!

If your dog does eat the carrot then you’ll want to make sure they don’t overeat as this could give them a stomach upset.

Cold carrots can help to soothe puppy gums when they are teething

Freddie also liked chewing on his Kong teething stick. We smooshed a little bit of peanut butter or cream cheese into the grooves which he spent ages getting out.

Kong products are wonderfully long-lasting and high-quality. These teething sticks come in different sizes, so be sure to pick up the correct sized one for your puppy.

For added gum relief, spread your filling into the teething stick and then put it in the freezer for a couple of hours to make it nice and cold.

How many toys should a puppy have at once?

It’s really up to you how many toys your puppy should have.

Some puppies will play with multiple toys, whereas others will have one favourite and tend to ignore all others.

We usually have around 10 toys available in the “toy box” that our dogs can choose from, but we have a collection of about 30 (yes… that’s probably excessive) stored upstairs that we periodically switch out for some of the least-played-with options.

How many toys should a dog have?

Removing and replacing toys in this way means that our dogs stay interested and think they are getting “new” toys when in fact it’s their old toys that they last saw about 6 months ago!

No matter how many toys we have available, Freddie and Socks tend to stick to about 2-3 “favourites” that they’ll always run to and pick up when they want to play.

For Socks, our Shih Tzu, it’s a Kong pterodactyl. This has lasted about 3 years of near-daily playing with, so it’s super long-lasting which makes it a perfect dog toy in our eyes!

KONG Dynos Pterodactyl Dog Toy, Small
  • Reinforced lining for strength
  • Varied textures to entice play
  • Squeaks and crinkles for added fun
  • Available in four characters: T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops and Pterodactyl

What kind of toys will my puppy enjoy?

Ultimately, this question comes down to the individual puppy and their personal preferences.

Some puppies love squeaky toys, whereas others prefer ropes. Some will chew for hours on a Nylabone whereas others will ignore it completely in favour of a Kong or treat-filled ball.

Best ball for puppies

If your puppy suffers from separation anxiety, or if they struggle to get through the night without whining, you could try making them a handmade dog toy from your old clothing so they can be comforted by something that smells of you.

If you can afford it, it’s a good idea to buy a few different toys for your puppy that you introduce to them one at a time.

That way, you can see which types of toy or chew they enjoy the most, and use that knowledge to base your future toy choices on.

Not sure which toy to buy for your puppy? Why not bring them to the pet store and let them choose their own toy?

You’ll probably find that they’ll naturally gravitate to one particular toy out of the hundreds available. Just make sure it’s one that’s suitable for the age of your puppy before you buy it.