What Are the Safest Chew Toys for Puppies During Teething?

It’s no secret that puppies are much like human infants — curious, playful, and in constant need of attention. One crucial similarity is that puppies, like babies, go through a teething period. They will chew on just about anything to soothe the discomfort of new teeth. As a pet owner, you have a responsibility to ensure that what your puppy is chewing on is safe. This article will guide you to the safest chew toys for your teething puppy.

Understanding Puppy Teething

The teething period in puppies is a time of significant discomfort as their baby teeth make way for adult teeth. This period is characterized by an increased urge to chew on anything readily available. The simple act of chewing provides a form of relief for the puppy; however, their choice of chew object can sometimes be hazardous.

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The best way to divert their attention is to provide them with a selection of safe chew toys. But with the numerous options available on the market, how do you determine what’s best for your puppy?

Choose the Right Material: Soft vs. Hard Toys

When choosing a chew toy for your puppy, the material is crucial. Two prevalent materials are soft, plush toys and hard, rubber toys. Each has its own sets of pros and cons.

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Soft toys are generally more appealing to puppies as they are gentle on their gums and mimic the softness of the objects puppies would naturally chew on, such as clothing or shoes. They are also typically less expensive than their rubber counterparts. However, the downside is that they can be quickly destroyed by an aggressive chewer, posing a risk if the puppy swallows loose threads or stuffing.

On the other hand, rubber toys are much more durable. They can withstand the constant gnawing and biting without breaking apart. Rubber toys, such as the ones offered by Kong, often have hollow centers where you can place treats, adding an element of fun and challenge for your puppy. The drawback is that some puppies might find them too hard and may not be interested in them.

Consider Toy Size and Shape

The size and shape of the chew toy are equally vital. Toys that are too small can be a choking hazard, while toys that are too large might be too intimidating for your puppy to play with. The best toys are those that your puppy can comfortably hold and chew.

Similarly, the shape of the toy can affect its safety. Toys with small, detachable parts can be a choking hazard if your puppy manages to tear them off. Opt for toys that are one piece and don’t have components that can easily be chewed off and swallowed.

Purchase from Reliable Sources

With the vast selection of puppy chew toys available, it’s essential to purchase from a reliable source. Platforms such as Amazon and Chewy offer a wide array of chew toys from reputable brands. You’ll find detailed product descriptions and reviews from other pet owners, which can help you make an informed decision.

Before making a purchase, do your research. Look for toys that are labeled as ‘safe for puppies’ or ‘puppy-approved.’ Check the toy’s material, size, shape, and any additional features it might have. Pay close attention to reviews, especially those that mention safety or durability.

Do Regular Toy Checks

Lastly, no matter how safe a toy is initially, it can become hazardous with wear and tear. Regularly inspect your puppy’s toys for any signs of damage such as tears, holes, or loose parts. When in doubt, it’s best to replace the toy with a new one.

Remember, teething is a trying time for your puppy, but with the right toys, you can help alleviate their discomfort while ensuring their safety.

Opt for Toy Safety Over Cost

While it’s essential to consider the cost when purchasing a chew toy, your puppy’s safety should be the top priority. The cost of a chew toy is usually reflective of the quality of the material used and its durability. Cheaper toys may seem like a bargain, but they may not be as safe or long-lasting as slightly more expensive ones.

For instance, a Kong puppy chew toy might cost more than a generic brand, but it’s made of durable and pet-safe materials and has been tested for safety. These factors are vital when considering the potential risks of swallowing parts of the toy or the toy breaking apart and causing injury.

It’s also important to note that while you may spend more upfront on a higher-quality chew toy, you may actually save money in the long run. A durable, high-quality toy will not need to be replaced as frequently as a cheaper, lower-quality one. Plus, investing in safe chew toys can prevent expensive veterinary bills related to injuries caused by unsafe toys.

What Don’ts to Avoid When Buying Chew Toys

When shopping for the best puppy chew toys, there are certain things you should avoid. First, avoid toys with small, removable parts. These can pose a choking hazard if your teething puppy manages to tear them off.

Second, avoid toys made of materials that can easily splinter or break into sharp pieces. These could potentially injure your puppy’s mouth or digestive system. Instead, look for toys made of robust and durable materials that can withstand your puppy’s vigorous chewing.

Lastly, avoid toys that are too hard for your puppy’s developing teeth. Extremely hard toys can damage your puppy’s new adult teeth or can hurt their sore gums. Always consider the hardness of the toy and make sure it’s appropriate for your puppy’s age and size.

Conclusion

Understanding puppy teething and knowing how to choose the right chew toys for your puppy can significantly help alleviate their discomfort and keep them safe. Always consider the material, size, and shape of the toy, and ensure that it is appropriate for your puppy’s age, size, and chewing habits. Additionally, always buy from reputable sources and remember to regularly check the toys for any signs of damage.

The good news is that teething is a temporary phase. As your puppy grows and their adult teeth fully emerge, their need to chew will decrease. In the meantime, providing them with safe and appropriate chew toys can make the teething period a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for both of you.

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