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Best puppy toys: Ten options for tackling boredom, teething and anxiety

best puppy toys
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The best puppy toys are the perfect way to keep the newest addition to your family entertained and not only do they provide great mental and physical enrichment, but many are ideal for alleviating the pain that comes with teething.

Just like the best dog toys, puppy toys come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and styles, so knowing what you're wanting out of a toy can help make sure you get the best fit for your furbaby.

Chew toys are ideal if your pup is teething or if you're wanting to divert their chompers away from your couch and other furniture and teach them appropriate chewing behavior. Usually made of rubber or nylon, you'll often find these have been specially designed with ridges that will gently clean your pup's teeth and massage their gums. 

Then there are toys that are meant for comfort, making them a great choice if you have a new addition to the family who's suffering a bit of separation anxiety. Soft and cuddly, some of the toys below feature in our best puppy sleep aids guide and are ideal for popping into your puppy's bed at night and many come with squeakers that delight young minds.

Speaking of young minds, if you're wanting to engage your furbaby's brain, puzzle toys are just the ticket. We love how lots of these come with gaps that you can stuff with the best puppy treats and then you can watch as your furkid figures out how to solve the puzzle to get to the food. 

No matter what toy you choose for your new furbaby, we recommend you supervise their play sessions until they’re adults. This will ensure they don’t break off any part of the toy and try to swallow it.

Ready to shop for the best puppy toys? We've rounded up all our favorites that we just know your furbaby is going to want to sink their teeth into...

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 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 
Cute
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.

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 
Ultra-durable 
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.

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

Multi-functional
Soft but tough material
Durable
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.