January 03, 2020

There’s nothing quite like bringing home a new puppy, and toys are a great way to keep your new family member happy and engaged. Good dog toys are essential to preventing boredom, calming nerves, and developing good behaviors. They can also be a great way for you and your new pup to play and bond together!

Especially with a newly adopted dog, it’s important to make sure you choose durable, safe puppy toys that will last.

First, Puppy Proof Your Home

Aside from accidents in the house, chewed-up sandals, slippers, electronic cords, and couch cushions are some of the most frustrating and stress-inducing aspects of bringing a new puppy into your home.

Dogs — and especially puppies — will chew on just about anything, so it’s important to make sure they know the difference between a toy and something they shouldn’t chew.

puppy in sweater

Here are a few steps to take to make sure your home is dog-proof:

  • Cover or contain any cords.
  • Be sure to keep your toilet lids closed.
  • Keep any potentially toxic house plants up off the floor.
  • Make sure your trash is stowed safely away.
  • Keep medications and cleaning supplies out of reach.
  • Have a safe place for battery-containing devices like remote controls.

Types of Puppy Toys: What’s Safe for Chewing?

Especially if you’re a new dog owner, you probably have some questions when it comes to what kinds of toys are safe for puppies to chew on. Are rope toys safe for puppies? Plush toys? Squeaky toys?

While every dog is different, and your puppy’s unique personality and preferences will determine which kinds of toys they love, it’s a good idea to follow some basic guidelines for safety when you’re choosing new toys. Also keep their size, age, and breed in mind.

Hard, active rubber toys are your safest bet

The toughest, most durable toys you can find are hard rubber toys. They’re also the safest option for dogs who love to destroy toys. If your puppy is teething or you’re concerned about them chewing up their toys while you’re at work, you can count on well-made rubber toys, like the West Paw Rumpus Chew Toy , to hold up!

Some rubber toys even double as puppy puzzles and dispense treats when your dog rolls or shakes them, which adds extra fun for your furry companion. Rope toys are another fun and safe option for feisty chewers. Just be sure to remove any tassels if your puppy starts to rip them up!

Tennis balls are great for fetch, but not for chewing

Tennis balls are perfect for fun and exercise, and for making sure your pup has something to carry and roll around. But try to save tennis balls for fetch . While some dogs love to chase their ball and bring it back to you, other dogs will grab the ball, sit down with it, and proceed to chew it to pieces.

puppy playing on couch with tennis ball

Watch your puppy closely the first time you give them a ball. See if they enjoy playing fetch and throw away any chewed up balls right away. If your pup likes to play fetch but you’re worried about chewing, you can always opt for a puncture-resistant fetch toy like the Chuck It! Fumble Fetch & Max Glow Football .

Be choosy when it comes to plush toys and squeaky toys

It’s important to distinguish between soft companion toys, squeaky toys for playtime, and chew toys. While some soft toys are built tough enough to withstand your puppy's teeth , many aren’t. Make sure you choose soft and squeaky toys carefully to fit your dog’s needs and throw away any toy that your dog has destroyed or removed the filling or squeaker from.

If your puppy loves to carry soft toys and snuggle with them during nap time, it’s a good idea to keep those toys separate from their chew toys. You might consider keeping your puppy’s soft companion toys near their bed or crate and put rough-and-tough rubber and squeaky toys in a play area so they’ll learn the difference.

Make Puppy Toys Last by Switching Them Out

Rotating your pup’s toys each week is a great way to keep them interested and prevent their toys from being chewed up right away. Think about keeping only a few toys available at a time. As long as they’re all safe for your puppy’s chewing habits, try having one toy of each type available at all times:

  • A plush toy to carry and snuggle
  • A puzzle or squeaky toy to play and interact with
  • A tough chew toy
  • A toy to chase
Chocolate Lab Puppy Playing with Rope Toy

If your dog has an absolute favorite toy, you might want to leave that one out all the time. For example, if your dog has a plush companion toy that gives them comfort when they feel anxious or bored, think about leaving it out all the time.

Are you looking for fun and safe toys or other great products for your new puppy?

At King Duke’s, we take playtime seriously! Toys are essential for your pet’s health, happiness, and overall well-being. We can’t wait to help you find all the toys, food, treats, and other products your pet could want or need.

Stop by our store in Beaverton, OR (and bring your cat or dog) or shop online!


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