I’m guessing you’d rather not find your shoes, couch or electrical cords chewed up But instead, you’d like to find something that keeps your puppy occupied and chewing on something more appropriate instead? In this article, I’m going to share my go-tos for good teething toys for puppies, while you’re at it, this way you’ll never miss my new articles when they get released First things first, your puppy is like a little land shark they have razor-sharp teeth and an insatiable urge to chew You probably noticed that already are you’re about to This is a natural behavior for almost all dogs Keep in mind it’s up to us to make sure our pups don’t have access to things you don’t want to be chewed. Your puppy doesn’t know the couch is off-limits or your shoes shouldn’t be their favorite teething toy. If you don’t want those things destroyed then don’t leave them out for puppy to chomp on Contrary to popular belief they do not know better and will chew on anything they have access to I hear that response often when frustrated puppy owners tell me their dog chewed up something they weren’t supposed to. If they knew better they won’t have chewed it in the first place This means fabrics, woods, cords, and carpets are fair game to pups and even some determined chewers will sink their teeth into metal and rocks When a puppy is going through the teething stage which can start as early as 2 months and continue through 8 months and even longer for a select few Your puppy will want to soothe those sore gums and satisfy their NEED to chew Yes, they need to chew This isn’t a behavior we can just make go away or stop with some magic command. We need to embrace their natural behavior and offer more appropriate items to sink their teeth into When you’re looking for appropriate teething and chew toys consider picking toys that can’t be easily destroyed within minutes This means softer toys with stuffing, loosely braided ropes, toys with tiny pieces attached to them or strings hanging off are not good choices for teething puppies. If you do give your pup softer toys these would be under supervision only and never left in their crate when you leave. Some dogs love to deconstruct a toy in a matter of seconds since it feels good to them and they often seek to destroy the squeakers inside. This is such a satisfying behavior for many dogs Many dogs who destroy toys eat the pieces they pulled off or swallow stuffing. This poses a health issue when it becomes lodged in their stomach and intestines Often surgery is required to remove these things that can’t pass through your pup’s system I also recommend that you avoid giving your pup toys that resemble your own personal items I was at students home for a private lesson once and saw that she had given her pup one of her old slippers to chew on but couldn’t get her pup to stop chewing on her brand new slippers. A puppy can’t reason and determine which one is ok to chew on and which isn’t They are the same as your puppy At another student’s home, they gave their new puppy an old pair of jeans to chew on thinking the stronger material would last longer They couldn’t understand why their puppy wouldn’t stop chewing on the legs of their pants… it’s because it was the same material as the pair of pants they had given their puppy. There are a few items that I’ve even hear vets recommend too, such as washcloths and tied-up socks, this shocks me! These are the same vets that have had to remove these things from many of their patients over the years. Do not give your pup frozen washcloths or tied up socks because you think they make great chew toys When I worked at the vet’s office we saw several dogs come through that needed to have these items removed from their stomachs and intestines If it can fit in your dog’s mouth or can be swallowed easily it is not a safe for them to chew on either Do not underestimate your dog’s determination to eat just about anything Do not think your dog has enough good judgement not to eat these things because they just don’t think like we do There have been several dogs that have repeatedly eaten rocks and repeatedly had surgery to have them removed Dogs do not think about consequences like we do When picking a toy chose one that is a little bigger than your dog’s mouth Often this means going up one size from what the manufacturer recommends For example, Kongs are one of my go-to toys for teething dogs and dogs that need to stay busy and out of trouble Kongs are made of a hard rubber with a whole in the middle that allows you to fill them with things like peanut butter or even a kibble slurry You can then take your filled Kong and freeze it, this is a great teething toy for a puppy and it makes it last longer too The sizing on the packaging is a little off in my opinion and I always go one size up from what they recommend I put together this article here all about Kong Filler Ideas so you can see some of the other things besides peanut butter that I put in my dog’s Kongs The Kong brand really has done a good job of providing so many options for durable toys They even have a line for extreme chewers, these products are even more durable than the regular line which I think are pretty good too I also make sure I have plenty of Benebones and Nylabones on hand for teething puppies I’ll put the link to all these items I mention in the description below this article including our free new puppy starter kit This is a great resource for all new puppy owners. It has a lot of great training tips in it! Ok back to teething toys, I like Benebones and Nylabones because they last quite a while for most dogs and they aren’t as hard as marrow bones or beef bones or antlers I do give my dogs split antlers as well Not all dogs should have these if they are prone to chipping teeth Many vets discourage the use of them but they can be really good for more assertive chewers So can the marrow or beef bones since they are harder and last longer too Another one of my absolute favorite toys for assertive chewers is the Indestructible Bone This thing is the King of all chew toys. It’s well worth the investment in my book We have had the same bone for several years and all of the boarding dogs as well as my own assertive chewers haven’t destroyed it yet. It is safe for dogs with sensitive teeth as it’s similar in feel to a Nylabone but lasts much longer One secret I share with my students is… if your dog isn’t too interested in chewing on the Benebones, Nylabones, Antlers or Marrow bones or any toy for that matter Put them in your dog food bag overnight, let them absorb the smells and oils from the food Many times this piques your pup’s interest and they suddenly are much more interested in chewing on these toys Any of the consumable chews such as Whimzees or the Dental Chews aren’t going to last very long for most dogs We tend to see these consumed within minutes The same goes for Bully sticks or Pizzles for some dogs too I love to give my dogs these but only for about 10-15 min at a time otherwise they will have the whole thing consumed in one sitting. Never leave consumable chews with your dog unsupervised. I go up in size with these types of chews as well as a matter of fact I go about triple the size because it can be consumed very quickly by many dogs Recently my Standard Poodle surprised me when I gave him an 18-inch Bully Stick and I had stepped away to do some house cleaning I came back just a few minutes later to find he had consumed all but 6 inches of it and it was completely in his mouth and I could not see it even sticking out That would have been a choking hazard if he attempted to swallow it when I wasn’t looking. A note about Bully Sticks and Pizzles, make sure you read the package and pick the ones that say less odor or odor-free. Some of these can stink up your house and make your stomach turn The same goes for cow hooves and yak horns. I don’t give my dogs these for that reason. They smell absolutely terrible when the dogs chew on them The Himalayan Dog chew tends to be a favorite among the heavy chewers and teethers too My Cavalier and Great Dane are heavy chewers. Harper the Dane destroyed hers within minutes and Pickles my Cavalier has done a good job on his but didn’t consume the whole thing in one sitting like Harper did Westley my Standard Poodle is a much softer chewer and still has ¾ of his left after a few days of chewing Knowing your pups chew style is important to consider when picking the best toys to help them soothe that urge to chew and soothe those sore gums Now there is one chew toy I never give my dogs and I recommend you never give it to yours either Before I share what it is sure to hit that subscribe button so you never miss getting notified when new lessons become available! Ok the 1# NO-NO chew is… Rawhide. These are absolutely the worst thing you can give your dog. It’s so important that you don’t give your dog one I even made an article all about how dangerous they can be They do not process well in your dog’s system, they are made using harsh chemicals, they make dogs very thirsty and they can be a huge choking hazard These are just a few reasons why I would never ever give them to any dog! Something else to consider…. Check your pups toys often for weak spots, holes, or loose strings When you see these things it’s time to toss the toy or trim off parts that can come off and easily be consumed Anytime I get a new rope toy for my dog always check how strong it’s braided and how tight the knots are tied as well as how long the frayed ends are. I usually cut off any excess as I don’t want my dogs pulling the strings off and getting them stuck in their stomachs After I witnessed a surgery where the longer strings of a rope toy wrapped around a dog’s intestine cutting off the flow and resulting in a portion of their intestines having to be removed, I vowed never to give my dogs those cheaper rope toys ever again and all my rope toys get trimmed before they are given to my dogs.