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Best puppy toys: Our perfect picks to keep puppies busy

best puppy toys
(Image credit: Getty Images)

From soothing sore gums to teaching appropriate chewing behavior, the best puppy toys have got something to suit every canine. 

Just like the best dog toys, you'll find puppy toys have a lot to offer your little one, from soft and cuddly options that will provide them with a sense of comfort and security. But before you rush out and fill your shopping cart, there are a few things worth considering.

First up, we recommend you opt for a mix when it comes to selecting playthings for your pup, that way, you've always got a toy on hand to suit every situation. For example, when you're crate training and your little one experiences separation anxiety, plush toys that they can snuggle up to will help lessen the feelings of stress they might feel when they're away from you. 

For those months when their new chompers are coming through, the best teething toys for puppies are well worth having on hand. These tend to be made from materials like rubber and nylon that provide a lot of relief for sore gums and you can even pop some of them in the freezer for a nice cold treat that will reduce inflammation and lessen pain and discomfort. 

As well as giving your puppy a good physical workout, engaging their young minds is important too, so investing in a puzzle toy or snuffle mat where they have to work to release a treat can be a really fun and exciting way of providing this vital form of stimulation.

Now that you know a little more about the types of puppy toys that are available, it's time to go shopping! To help make your job a little easier, you'll find all of our favorite picks below, including options to suit every need and budget.

PetsRadar's pick of the best puppy toys

Best puppy toys: Kong Wild Knots Bear

(Image credit: Getty)

KONG Wild Knots Bear

Best overall puppy toy

Specifications

Materials: Rope, Plush
Type of play: Comfort
Includes stuffing: Minimal
Includes sound: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Minimal stuffing for less mess
+
Durable internal rope design 
+
Cute

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

In terms of our overall favorite puppy toy, it takes a lot to beat the KONG Wild Knots Bear. Not only is it cute – just like your puppy itself – it’s made from durable materials to help make it last. 

The KONG brand is well-known for producing tough toys and is a favorite among many dog owners (and their dogs of course). For puppies, this sweet bear has a number of advantages. The internal design features a sturdy rope which makes up the “skeleton” of the bear. This helps to give it a great shape but is also a pleasurable texture for your puppy to chew. 

The external plush material is reinforced so it should take even the strongest of puppies some effort to get through to the ropes and the squeakers inside. For those that do manage to break through the barrier, there’s a minimal amount of stuffing inside to help cut down on the mess that tends to get left behind.

Depending on the size of your dog, there are various sizes available for your puppy, including extra small, small/medium, medium/large and extra-large. We’d recommend matching the size of the toy to the size your dog will eventually be, as this as a toy that should last them beyond puppyhood (depending on how destructive your dog is). 

One downside of this toy is its relatively high asking price, compared with some other puppy toys on the market. However, when you consider how well it has been made and how long it should last, it’s easy to argue that it represents good value for money.

Gumby Plush Filled Dog Toy

(Image credit: Amazon)

Gumby Plush Filled Dog Toy

Best budget puppy toy

Specifications

Materials: Plush
Type of play: Chewing, Comfort
Includes stuffing: Yes
Includes sound: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Great price
+
Ideal for cuddle and play
+
Contains squeaker

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for aggressive chewers

We know, you've never seen such a strange looking toy in all your life, right? And yet, believe it or not, this rather simplistic green man named Gumby is proving to be an absolute hit with puppies around the world.

Measuring 9-inches and coming in at under $3, this toy is filled with a plush stuffing and comes with a squeaker for extra entertainment value. It's suitable for all breeds and is great for cuddle and play.

Because of the softness and coziness of Gumby, he's the perfect toy if you have a puppy who's suffering from separation anxiety, although he's not super tough or durable, so we don't recommend him for aggressive chewers. 

Best puppy toys: ChuckIt Ultra Squeaker Ball Small

(Image credit: Getty)

ChuckIt Ultra Squeaker Ball Small

Best for fetch-lovers

Specifications

Materials: Rubber
Type of play: Fetch
Includes stuffing: None
Includes sound: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Small size ideal for puppies 
+
Ultra-durable 
+
Loud squeaker appeals to puppies

Reasons to avoid

-
High price for dog balls

Most dogs like to chase balls, and if you’re lucky, some will even bring them back too. When you’re trying to train your puppy how to play fetch, larger balls designed for adult dogs can be a little overwhelming and hard to pick up. These small balls are perfect for puppies (and smaller dogs), while the ultra-loud squeaker inside can help train your dog how to play.

Made from a very durable rubber, ChuckIt balls are expensive but will easily outlast most other dog balls on the market. If you’ve got a puppy who generally destroys or chews up balls that it likes to chase, it’s worth giving a ChuckIt a go – several dog owners report them lasting for years. 

Among the great features of the ChuckIt Ultra Balls are their ability to bounce high, which makes for a lot of fun if your dog likes to chase and jump after balls. They also float, so you can take them to the beach, river and so on and feel confident that you won’t lose the balls. They’re also easy to clean should your dog like to play in less than pristine conditions.

It’s worth noting that the squeakers inside the ChuckIt can be fairly easily destroyed if you have a particularly destructive dog, so it’s perhaps worth investing in a separate squeaker if you intend to use the sound as part of your training program. You can buy ChuckIt balls without a squeaker, too, if you prefer quieter toys.

Best puppy toys: Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Puppy Hide N' Slide Green Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog ToyPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Puppy Hide N' Slide Green Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy

Best puzzle puppy toy

Specifications

Materials: Plastic
Type of play: Puzzle
Includes stuffing: No
Includes sound: No

Reasons to buy

+
Provides mental enrichment
+
Intermediate-level fun
+
Non-slip base

Reasons to avoid

-
Older puppies may find this puzzle too easy

Outward Hound's Puppy Hide N' Slide is a level 2 intermediate puzzle designed to challenge your young puppy's mind while offering plenty of incentives in the form of hidden treats.

The design of the puzzle encourages your puppy to figure out how combined actions result in a reward and it's a great way of stimulating their brain and tapping into their exploratory instincts. Puzzles are also ideal for banishing boredom, so if your puppy wants to play in a moment where you don't have time, giving them an activity that's both physically and mentally enriching is a great choice.

We love that this puzzle offers two different levels of challenge, so you can adjust to suit your puppy's age and developmental stage. For an easier game, you can swivel the flippers off the track and just leave the blocks for your puppy to push with their nose which will reveal the treat. Or, for more of a challenge, close the flippers as well so your puppy has to push both to find the treat.

Made with a non-slip base and a durable composite wood and plastic design, this puzzle is built to last and it's also BPA, PVC, and Phthalate-free and easy to clean with warm water and soap in between uses.

Nylabone Teething Puppy Chew

(Image credit: Amazon)

Nylabone Teething Puppy Chew

Best durable chew toy

Specifications

Materials: Nylon
Type of play: Chewing
Includes stuffing: None
Includes sound: No

Reasons to buy

+
Great for dental hygiene 
+
Ideal for teething 
+
Delicious beef flavor

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for extreme chewers

Encourage positive chewing habits right from the start with this puppy chew toy from Nylabone. Ideal for easing pain during the teething stage, this non-edible bone comes flavored with beef to encourage your pup to latch on.

Measuring 3.75-inches long and 1.5-inches wide, it’s perfect for small mouths and the flexibility of the toy ensures your pup’s teeth get a good clean while they chew. It’s also made from a softer puppy-friendly nylon that prevents damage to your young dog’s mouth.

We love that this toy has been designed with an easy-to-hold shape and the four textured chewing ends gently massage the gums, helping to relieve the discomfort that comes with teething. It’s also a great comfort toy if your pup suffers from separation anxiety. 

Best puppy toys: Beewarm Pineapple Dog Chew Toy

(Image credit: Getty)

Beewarm Pineapple Dog Chew Toy

Best stylish puppy toy

Specifications

Materials: Rubber
Type of play: Chewing
Includes stuffing: None
Includes sound: No

Reasons to buy

+
Can be used to feed treats
+
Durable material 
+
Lifetime replacement guarantee

Reasons to avoid

-
High price 
-
Very destructive dogs may easily destroy

This fun and quirky puppy toy is great for combining play with treat time. You can stuff treats in the bottom of the toy, or you could also include other treats such as peanut butter to keep them interested. A top tip is to fill the toy with peanut butter and freeze it – that’ll make it last even longer. Thankfully, the toy is easy to clean which you’ll need to do fairly often if you’re stuffing it with treats. It’s also dishwasher safe, which saves you the hassle of trying to get to all the nooks and crannies.

You could also use this toy to help teach your puppy to slow down while eating – as it’ll take a long time to get through all the treats inside the toy, it’s good for those that tend to wolf down their dinner. 

It’s worth supervising your puppy when playing with this toy at first, but once you’ve established how destructive they are, it’s also something that you can leave with them if you need to leave your puppy alone for a short period – the distraction of trying to get the treats out can help to alleviate problems with separation anxiety.

The toy is made from durable rubber which should mean that it lasts well. It’s designed to be extra-firm, but some owners report that very destructive dogs can destroy it fairly easy. However, you get extra peace of mind from the lifetime replacement guarantee that comes with the toy.

Best puppy toys: IFOYO Dog Play Mat

(Image credit: IFOYO)

IFOYO Dog Play Mat

Best puppy playmat

Specifications

Materials: Various
Type of play: Chewing, Comfort
Includes stuffing: Minimal
Includes sound: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Lots of activities to keep your dog entertained 
+
Machine washable 
+
Anti-slip bottom

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive compared to smaller toys 
-
Takes up space

If you want to tick off lots of toys with one purchase, then this playmat could be a good option. It’s one product, but it features lots of different toys around the edges to give your puppy lots of different types of stimulation. 

There’s chew toys, soft toys, toys with squeakers in and lots of different textures to give your dog a fun experience no matter which they go for. It’s all contained within one mat, so although it takes up quite a bit of space on your floor, it can be quickly picked up and put away, too. The bottom of the mat has a non-slip surface so if your house has hard floors it’ll be easy to use. 

As well as being a suitable play mat, you could also use the toy as a sleep mat – which is another thing your puppy will definitely be fond of doing. Since puppies are not known for their cleanliness, another top feature of this playmate is that it’s easy to wash – you can simply chuck it in the washing machine too. Another potential use of the playmat is to help keep other surfaces in your home – such as sofas – free from fur and dirt. 

This is another toy which isn’t super cheap, but, considering it’s basically six toys in one, you could argue that it offers good value. Some users have also reported that super destructive dogs can make light work of some of the attached toys – which is something to be wary of depending on what your dog is like.

Best puppy toys: kong puppy teething toyPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Kong)

KONG Natural Teething Rubber Puppy Toy

Best puppy teething toy

Specifications

Materials: Soft rubber
Type of play: Chewing, Comfort
Includes stuffing: No
Includes sound: No

Reasons to buy

+
Multi-functional
+
Soft but tough material
+
Durable
+
Trusted brand

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be messy and smelly

Our top-rated pick for best teething toys for puppies, the KONG Natural Teething Rubber Puppy Toy is a great choice owing to its soft rubber formula that's specially formulated to help soothe a pup's baby teeth and gums.

Anyone familiar with the KONG brand will know one of the key selling points here is the ability to stuff it with your pet's favorite gooey treats making it just as fun for owner as it is for pup.

It's an ideal dog chew toy, perfect for distracting them from chewing through your entire household, but it's also a fantastic mental game keeping them entertained for hours. 

Let your furkid dig out the contents to their heart's delight or play a round of fetch; the durability of the rubber will withstand even the roughest canine teeth, whilst being soft enough to soothe them.

Just be sure to clean it often as your canine's appreciation for his or her new toy, combined with an assortment of funky fillings, could lead to unwanted odors in the home. 

best puppy toys for separation anxietyPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: SmartPetLove)

SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy

Best puppy toy for anxiety

Specifications

Materials: Plush
Type of play: Comfort
Includes stuffing: Yes
Includes sound: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Snuggly design
+
Comes with a disposable heat pad
+
Variety of colors available

Reasons to avoid

-
Sensitive dogs may be frightened by the pulsing heartbeat feature

Whether your pup's just joined the family or is having trouble with their crate training, the SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy is perfect for relieving anxiety in your four-legged friend.

Its snuggly design looks simply adorable in your pup's paws but it's more than just a plush toy. Simply open the belly pouch to pop in the heart-shaped heat pack to provide extra comfort.

The Snuggle Puppy looks to recreate the intimacy of a dog's mother with a 'real-feel' pulsing heartbeat, a nifty extra that could end up being a lifesaver for you too if your canine struggles to settle and cries through the night. 

Sensitive dogs may find the sound alarming, but the ability to add and remove the heart is a useful feature that will be appreciated by pet owners looking to tailor their puppy toys to their dog's preferences. 

SYEENIFY Puppy ToysPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

SYEENIFY Puppy Toys

Best puppy toys for boredom

Specifications

Materials: Cotton and polyester
Type of play: Chewing
Includes stuffing: Yes
Includes sound: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Great variety
+
Good value for money
+
Ideal for teething

Reasons to avoid

-
Some toys more durable than others

If you're looking to get more bang for your buck, this value pack of puppy toys is well worth considering. Containing eight plush squeaky toys and four durable rope toys, this combination pack has everything your little one needs to keep them entertained.

The squeaky toys come in a range of adorable designs and are made from 100% premium plush cotton. They're also machine washable, so they're a breeze to keep clean. Perfect for teething, they have a soft texture that does a great job of keeping those new teeth clean while soothing sore gums.

You'll find the rope toys to be particularly durable and able to hold up to a good amount of chewing. High-quality and again made from non-toxic materials, they're perfect for a gentle game of tug of war.

Slopehill interactive puppy toysPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Slopehill)

Slopehill Interactive Dog Toys Balls

Best interactive puppy toys

Specifications

Material: Rubber
Type of play: Puzzle
Includes stuffing: No
Includes sound: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Colorful design
+
Durable rubber
+
Great for puppy training

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for aggressive chewers

If you're looking to introduce a puzzle toy to your puppy that's not overly complicated, then Slopehill treat dispensing balls are a great place to start.

These colorful toys all have an interactive element to them. The yellow squeaky toy makes a sound after being squeezed, while the orange and blue are both treat balls that can aid in slowing down your pup's eating speed.

The idea is that your pup has to work for the treat; the orange IQ treat ball teaches your dog how to roll the ball to get the treats to fall out.

Each is made from a durable natural rubber and features plenty of rigid indentations that help massage the gums and clean teeth at the same time.

Beware if you have an aggressive chewer in the family, however, as these balls are not designed to deal with heavy chewing.

Pet owners should supervise your pup's play, as some of the more destructive dog breeds may be liable to pull off pieces of rubber which may present a choking hazard. 

ZippyPaws X-Large Burrow Log and Chipmunks Squeaky Hide and Seek Plush Dog ToyPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

ZippyPaws X-Large Burrow Log and Chipmunks Squeaky Hide and Seek Plush Dog Toy

Best plush puppy toy

Specifications

Material: Plush
Type of play: Puzzle
Includes stuffing: Yes
Includes sound: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Plush chipmunks with squeakers
+
Mentally stimulating
+
Beautiful design

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for aggressive chewers

Treat your pup to the ultimate game of hide and seek toy that features three adorable plush chipmunks hidden in a log. And if that wasn't fun enough, each of the chipmunks comes with a squeaker to make playtime even more irresistible. 

This toy provides a ton of physical and mental stimulation, and because it's just the right size for smaller mouths, your puppy will find it easy to play with. While it is durable enough for every day wear and tear, we don't recommend this toy if you have an aggressive chewer on your hands.

With a beautiful design that's typical of all ZippyPaws toys, this stylish and fun high quality toy is sure to be a big hit with the newest member of your family. Oh, and did we mention it will hold up to a good wash? You gotta love a toy that's easy to clean!

Diggs Groov Dog Training ToyPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Diggs )

Diggs Groov Dog Training Toy

Best for crate training

Specifications

Material: Natural rubber
Type of play: Training
Includes stuffing: None
Includes sound: No

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use and clean
+
Durable
+
Helps puppies focus 

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Only works as long as the treat lasts

Having trouble crate training your puppy? The Diggs Groov Dog Training Toy presents a genius yet utterly simple solution: distract them with their favorite treat! It's very easy to use: simply smear dog-friendly peanut butter or banana on the inside of the toy and attach it to the crate to entice and engage your pup once inside. 

It's perfect for all breed sizes and is especially helpful for hesitant, nervous pups who need that extra encouragement, helping both owner and dog enjoy peace. 

What's particularly great about the Diggs Groov is that it's made from highly durable natural rubber so even if you have an overzealous canine who loves nothing more than chomping through his or her favorite toys, you should find that this stays surprisingly intact. Then simply pop it off the crate to give it a clean.

Of course, there is one obvious drawback to this product which is that its appeal is fairly time-limited. As your pup grows older they may be inclined to polish off their treat quickly, leaving not much behind to keep them amused. If you're looking for a simplistic idea, however, that makes crate training a dream, this could be exactly what you're looking for.

Hear DoggyPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Hear Doggy with Chew Guard Flats Gator

Best for peaceful play

Specifications

Material: Polyester
Type of play: Chewing
Includes stuffing: No
Includes sound: Yes, but only for dogs!

Reasons to buy

+
Sound can't be heard by humans
+
Uses chew guard technology
+
Looks fantastic

Reasons to avoid

-
Perhaps a little expensive

Puppy toys that make a sound are great for catching your furbaby's attention but it can get very annoying for you after a while. Imagine if someone had invented a toy that makes a sound which you can't hear. That would be the best of both worlds and keep everyone happy wouldn't it? If only...

Well, actually, that is exactly what is on offer here. This toy contains a speaker which is tuned into an ultrasonic frequency that is between 24 and 28 KHz. It's a frequency which human ears can't hear but one that dogs will instantly pick up on. That's because humans can't make out sounds higher than 20 KHz but dogs have a range up to 45 KHz. The benefits to your puppy don't stop there, however.

This pet also has chew guard technology which makes it a rather robust toy that should see your puppy through teething. It's also flat and contains no messy stuffing so you're not going to have to whip out the vacuum cleaner at any point. There’s a variety of different animals available in the Hear Doggy! range, each one looking very cool. The only real downside is that they may be a little more expensive than you'd like.

KONG Puppy Flyer Dog ToyPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Kong)

KONG Puppy Flyer Dog Toy

Best for playing with your pup

Specifications

Material: Rubber
Type of play: Teething, Exercise
Includes stuffing: No
Includes sound: No

Reasons to buy

+
Suitable for all breeds
+
Easy to throw
+
Great opportunity to bond with your pup

Reasons to avoid

-
Does not float in water
-
Not for destructive breeds

When you've got a new family member in your household, you'll want to spoil them with plenty of affection. What better way to bond with your pup then a game of fetch? Alongside its core range of highly durable dog and puppy toys, Kong also have a Puppy Flyer Dog Toy designed especially for baby teeth. 

While it's made from rubber to ensure it doesn't fall to pieces the minute your pet pooch catches it, it's created to be soft on their mouths. In fact, the Kong Puppy Flyer Dog Toy is the softest option within their rubber toy range, just perfect for teething puppies.

It's this clever design point, however, that makes it also unsuitable for particularly destructive breeds. If your pooch is prone to tearing their toys apart, take a look at our durable dog toys selections instead! 

Otherwise, this handy toy is perfect for hanging out in the backyard or park alike, just be cautious if you decide to take it to the beach as this flying toy is liable to get lost in the waves, never seen again. 

How to choose the best puppy toy

Although it can be tempting to just stock up on the cutest, brightest, and perhaps cheapest puppy toys when buying for your new dog – it pays to do just a little bit of research before committing to buy. 

Cheap toys are often cheap for a reason. They probably won’t last very long, and you’ll end up buying twice as many. Non-durable toys can also leave a lot of mess behind – and worse, present a choking hazard for very young dogs. When shopping for puppy toys, pay attention to those that claim to be durable, and check the type of material which is used. Rubber tends to be a good option for most puppies and their sharp teeth. 

Look out for puppy toys with little to no stuffing, especially for destructive puppies. Stuffing can be easily ripped out and spread around your home, while those which feature other materials, such as rope, tend to last a lot longer.

Other things you could look out for include whether the toy has any flavorings, such as vanilla, mint or meat flavorings. These can help keep your puppy’s attention for longer, giving them extra motivation to chew. 

Finally, if your dog likes sound stimulation, look for toys which feature squeakers. Be aware that many puppies will try their hardest to rip out and destroy squeakers though – which can, of course, be part of the fun, but require close supervision.

How many puppy toys should a dog have at once?

It can be tempting to open up the toy box and have many playthings available to your furbaby at any given time.

However, a good tip is to rotate your puppy toys weekly so they have access to up to four or five, each offering a variety of uses.

This can include their favorite comfort toy, a rolling toy that will keep them busy, a chew toy to gnaw on and a puzzle toy to keep their mind active. 

If you find yourself tripping over toys your dog has barely even sniffed at then it could be a sign you have too many.

When it comes to puppy toys, it's best to have a few that perform well in a variety of areas than to have a lot of toys not used at all.