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Best puppy toys: Make playtimes fun and exciting

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best puppy toys
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If your playful puppy seems easily bored, you’ll need the best puppy toys to make playtimes more exciting. Not only do they keep them mentally stimulated, but gives them the physical activity they need to keep fit and healthy. Alongside the best dog toys, this is a great way to help our furry friends thrive and ensure they won’t suffer from anxiety or depression. 

But with so many puppy toys to choose from, it can often be hard to know which one is suitable. In addition, it’s important to consider the age and developmental stage your pup is at. 

If you have a pup under the age of six months, they are likely to experience the painful symptoms of teething. In this case, you might want to consider a toy made from rubber or nylon materials that they can use to massage their sooth sore gums with.  

Soft or cuddly toys can also offer great comfort to pups suffering from separation anxiety, or who miss the security of their mothers. What’s more, if they are having trouble sleeping at bedtimes, our guide to the best puppy sleep aids has additional toys that have been designed especially for that purpose. 

If you want to challenge your inquisitive pup, there are plenty of puzzle toys available, which come in a variety of difficulty  levels to suit your pooch as he gets older. Just be mindful to make sure there are no small or dangerous parts that could break off and be swallowed during play. 

In the meantime, we’ve put together our top selection of the best puppy toys that will keep your furkid jumping for joy at playtimes!

PetsRadar's pick of the best puppy toys

  • Best overall puppy toy: KONG Wild Knots Bear
  • Best budget puppy toy: Bojafa Dog Puzzle Teething Toys 
  • Best for fetch-lovers: ChuckIt Ultra Squeaker Ball Small
  • Best puppy puzzle toy: Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Puppy Hide N' Slide Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy
  • Best durable chew toy: Nylabone Teething Puppy Chew
  • Best stylish puppy toy: Beewarm Pineapple Dog Chew Toy
  • Best puppy playmat: IFOYO Dog Play Mat 
  • Best puppy teething toy: KONG Natural Teething Rubber Puppy Toy
  • Best puppy toy for anxiety: SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy
  • Best puppy toys for boredom: BUIBIIU Dog/Puppy Teething Toys
  • Best interactive puppy toys: Slopehill Interactive Dog Toys Balls

Best puppy toys: Kong Wild Knots Bear

(Image credit: Getty)

KONG Wild Knots Bear

Best overall puppy toy

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

Minimal stuffing for less mess
Durable internal rope design 

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.

Bojafa Dog Puzzle Teething Toys

(Image credit: Amazon)

Bojafa Dog Puzzle Teething Toys

Best budget puppy toy

Materials: Rubber | Type of play: Chewing, Comfort, Fetch | Includes stuffing: None | Includes sound: No

Great price
Multiple purposes
Perfect for keeping teeth clean
Some dogs may not like the mint scent

This affordable double pack of puppy toy balls offers great value for money and will keep your pup’s teeth occupied for hours. Made from non-toxic rubber material, they’re durable and puncture-resistant.

Each of the balls has a light mint scent and rubber teeth that help to remove plaque and tartar and freshen the breath with every chew. The ¾-inch hole in the middle and ½-inch gaps around the ball are perfect for stuffing with snacks or smearing with peanut butter and as well as being used as a chew or comfort toy, they’re also great for playing fetch.

Whether you’re after a toy for chewing, teething, or boredom, this cheap but strong set from Bojafa is the ideal way to keep your pup physically and mentally stimulated. 

Best puppy toys: ChuckIt Ultra Squeaker Ball Small

(Image credit: Getty)

ChuckIt Ultra Squeaker Ball Small

Best for fetch-lovers

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

Small size ideal for puppies 
Loud squeaker appeals to puppies
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

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

Provides mental enrichment
Intermediate-level fun
Non-slip base
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

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

Great for dental hygiene 
Ideal for teething 
Delicious beef flavor
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

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

Can be used to feed treats
Durable material 
Lifetime replacement guarantee
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

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

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

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

Soft but tough material
Trusted brand
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

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

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

BUIBIIU puppy toysPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: BUIBIIU)

BUIBIIU Dog/Puppy Teething Toys

Best puppy toys for boredom

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

Great variety
Good value for money
Good idea for first-time dog owners
May receive different items than pictured

Excellent for first-time dog owners, the BUIBIIU Dog/Puppy Teething Toys offers a 6- in-1 solution ideal for keeping your puppy busy. 

It's a bit like a puppy toy starter pack, there's everything you need here for a very reasonable price. This includes a wide variety of toys designed to entice your puppy's senses: there's durable ropes but also novelty characters featuring squeaking sounds.

If you're worried about quality for the price, then be rest assured that even in the jaws of miniature Cane Corsos they stay intact. 

BUIBIIU indicate that they will send random colors. For pet owners who love surprise this adds a fun dimension to receiving the product in the post. 

However, for others who have their heart set on particular items, there's sure to be an element of disappointment in receiving something different then pictured.

Slopehill interactive puppy toysPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Slopehill)

Slopehill Interactive Dog Toys Balls

Best interactive puppy toys

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

Colorful design
Durable rubber
Great for puppy training
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. 

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.

Amy Davies

Amy Davies is a writer and photographer with more than ten years’ experience working in the media. She lives with her miniature dachshund, Lola, a rescue dog who is very much the boss.