The majority of chew toys are made from some form of rubber/plastic chew polymer. This makes them long-lasting, soft on teeth and gums, and ensures that if any bits break off, they aren’t harmful (although care should always be taken to ensure they aren’t digested).
Some toys may also involve materials such as rope which gives your dog something a bit different, in case they want a different sensation. They’re also easier to interact with in case you want to encourage playfulness.
The perfect size of dog toy for your puppy depends on their age, breed and general preference.
Toys made for a 4-month-old puppy at the start of their teething journey may be too small for one aged nine months. One which is too large for your puppy may cause injuries as they try to carry or hold it. Most toys will have appropriate guides on their page for the best size for your dog.
Along with textures, the shape of the toy can be important. Dogs like and dislike certain things, and may prefer something long as opposed to round and solid.
But it can also be a good idea to give them some variety, so if they get bored with one toy, they still have another backup. Familiarity can cause boredom, and a toy which has been hidden for a week in place of another toy can suddenly be treated as a brand new addition to the home.
Some teething toys are edible these days, and others can be stuffed with treats or lined with peanut butter or meat pastes.
Some also come as flavours, such as beef, chicken or peanut butter. Look for a toy which has this flavouring throughout and ensure it is natural. This makes them more appealing, and also causes a longer chew which should have a better effect on their teeth.
Freezing Teething Toys
Most teething toys can be frozen as they’re just rubber. This cold temperature can provide even more relief to painful, swollen and inflamed gums, and relief in hot weather too.
There are some toys out there which are specially created for putting in a freezer, filled with water to keep them cold for longer.
What To Avoid When Your Puppy Is Teething
These can be ripped up by dogs of any age, but especially by little dogs who don’t know any better and have very sharp teeth. This fabric and string can cause issues if swallowed
Some dogs often don’t understand that causing the toy to squeak is good enough – they want whatever it is that is squeaking. They can, therefore, rip into the soft toy and get the squeak, again a swallowing risk
Toys with moving parts are another swallow risk as they are easier to break
As tough as you may think that bouncy ball toy which once belonged to your daughter is, it wasn’t made for dogs. A pair of sharp teeth will probably prove you otherwise
Anything which looks like a household item
That rubber toy which looks like a shoe is promised to be strong, but also looks suspiciously like your work shoes. They don’t know the difference at that age, so wait until they do