You can’t have a puppy without puppy toys anymore than you would have a small child without toys. But you wouldn’t give an infant toys with small removable parts, bead eyes or long strings because those could pose serious safety hazards for your baby. Puppies are essentially baby dogs, so you need to use the same good judgment when you buy toys for your puppy as when you buy toys for your baby.
Do buy toys that your puppy will enjoy, though. They need the toys to chew on and to give them something stimulating to do. Without toys, they might decide that your shoe and the table leg are fun toys to chew on, instead. Be sure the toys don’t have any sharp edges. Puppies are still learning how to be coordinated and are still learning a sense of balance. Anything that could potentially harm them while they’re in this stage should be removed, and certainly no toys that could hurt them should be allowed.
You want to make sure that the toys aren’t too small. Just like a small baby will stick everything in its mouth without understanding the concept of choking, a puppy will chew on everything, too. Something too small, or something that could potentially be broken or chewed into small pieces, could be swallowed or lodged in your puppy’s throat.
The best place to find puppy toys to purchase is at a pet store. All of their toys are specially designed to be safe and fun for puppies. You can find toys designed to be good for them to chew when they’re teething, and toys in bright colors to stimulate puppies and interest them. Toys that move or roll are ideal. After about 3 months, a puppy will enjoy chewing. Its instinct is to chew, and it helps them cut teeth, just like infants. So anything that they can chew without destroying makes an ideal toy.
It’s not necessary to spend a fortune. Many toys you can find in the children’s department of a store will work well for puppies, too. Balls or cylinders that roll are ideal, as long as there are no small or moving parts and the material is not so soft that your puppy can easily destroy it by chewing. Make sure balls or any toys are not so small that they can become lodged in your puppy’s mouth or can be swallowed.
One of the best toys for puppies (and they make them for several other animals, as well) are Kong rubber toys. They’re a fun shape, and the hard rubber is ideal for enthusiastic chewing. The centers are hollow so you can fill them with dog treats to give your puppy special incentive for chewing.
Squeaky toy are fun for pups, too, but do keep an eye on their condition and throw them away when they show too much sign of wear. The “squeaker” is a small piece that could be potentially hazardous if it comes out.