Finding the Best Puppy Toys for your Fur Baby

Cute lying havanese puppy playing with puppy toy

Besides being a whole lot of fun, play is an essential part of puppy development. It teaches puppies social and physical skills and is vital for their overall well-being. Bristol University studied 4,000 dog owners and discovered that dogs who don’t play could develop behavioural issues such as anxiety and aggression. No playtime can also increase whining, jumping up, and not coming when called. 

When you’re looking for the perfect dog toy, things worth considering are your dog’s age, size, activity level, and style of play. For example, some doggos love wrestling on the floor with a squeaky toy or plushie, while others go wild for a game of fetch. 

When looking for the best puppy toys, it can be a little overwhelming. There are just so many toys to choose from! But don’t worry; we have some great tips on what toys make the best dog toys for puppies!

Soothing teething puppy toys

Puppies start teething around four months old. As adult teeth and molars replace their baby teeth, chewing can develop into a full-time puppy obsession, which can be bad news for your shoes and furniture. In addition, teething is painful, so your puppy will need ways to reduce the discomfort of sore gums. A soothing teething toy can provide both playtime fun and relief.

We like the ZippyTuff Teether Bonny the Bunny toy, which is ideal for puppies to chew on. Or if you’re feeling a little spooky, Halloween ZippyTuff Teether Black Cat is the purrfect choice. These teethers do double duty as they’re also perfect for fetch and tug of war games.

Zippy Paws ZippyTuff Teetherz Puppy Toy for Puppies - Bonnie the Bunny

Plush puppy toys

Great for puppies of all ages, plush toys can serve multi-purposes, depending on your pup’s personality and age. For example, they can function as a source of snuggly comfort or as a sibling/mother substitute. Plush dog toys can also tap into your pupper’s prey instincts. For our dog, Angus, a game of tug of war with one of his plushies is one of life’s great pleasures!

Our favourite plushie is Eunice the Unicorn from P.L.A.Y because she is eco-friendly by using PlanetFill® filler made from 100% post-consumer certified-safe recycled plastic bottles, and she’s also machine washable and dryer friendly.

Willow's Mythical Collection - Eunice the Unicorn

Fetch puppy toys

Not all dogs love to fetch. And while some are naturals, others require a little training. (If you’re looking for some fetch training tips, then we would recommend the Cesears Way blog called six steps to teaching your dog to fetch.) 

Playing fetch is not only a fun bonding game you can enjoy together, but it also helps with their training. It’s a form of interactive play that can teach your dog to sit and return to you when called.

We like the Aussie Dog Puppy Pack with four toys, including the Tuckerball, a ball and food-dispensing toy, and the Ringathong, a simple retrieval toy shaped like a ring.

Puppy puzzle toys

Puzzle toys provide essential mental stimulation as well as helping to develop your puppy’s curiosity. They also help keep them occupied and out of mischief and encourage natural instincts like foraging, hunting, and sniffing. 

Puzzle dog toys can range from treat-dispensing balls to those that engage their brain, mouth and paws by getting them to flip compartments to find hidden treats. You’ll need to work with your pupper to show them what to do at first until they get the hang of it. 

We’re big fans of the Nina Ottosson Dog Smart puzzle game. It’s designed as an entry-level game to get your dog interested in puzzles before introducing them to more exciting and challenging ones.

Nina Ottosson Dog Smart puzzle dog game

Tug of war puppy toys

A game of tug of war is a wonderful way for you to build a social rapport with your pup. With puppies, though, or senior dogs, the resistance you apply should be light. Tug can build confidence and help your pupper to focus on you rather than outside distractions. It’s also a fun way to introduce command training such as ‘drop’. For puppies that struggle with impulse control, having them wait to go for the toy, or asking them to drop it, will teach them how to contain their excitement – a skill they will need in day-to-day life.

If your puppy is still in the teething stage, you can play a gentle tug of war with a puppy teether or plushie. We love the Scout & About durable Barbell Rope Toy for older pups, perfect for the outgoing puppy who likes to play fetch and tug. It’s a heavy-duty rope toy that’s also ideal for training, agility or just plain fun! 

Scout & About Tug Rope Dog Toy

We recommend that you provide your puppy with a wide range of toys but keep them in rotation, so boredom doesn’t set in unless they have an absolute favourite. This will also help their toys last longer. So, congratulations on your new fur baby! We wish you many, many years of happy play together.