There are few joys in life that can match bringing home a puppy. Of course, you also have to bring home quite a few other things, like food, equipment, and most importantly, toys.
But as anyone who’s ever owned a puppy can tell you, buying toys can quickly become an expensive proposition. Some will get shredded in seconds, while others just sit there uselessly, failing to capture your dog’s attention. Either result means you wasted your money.
In the reviews below, we’ll share some of our favorite toys currently available. The options below are safe, durable, and virtually guaranteed to entertain your dog for hours on end.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Premium Choice||SmartPetLove Behavioral Aid||
|Alvi & Remi Chew Rope||
The 10 Best Toys for Puppies – 2021
1. Aipper Dog Puppy Toys – Best Overall
Even pups with extremely short attention spans will find something to occupy them in this bag from Aipper. There are 12 toys inside, including a variety of rope toys, a treat dispenser, and a bouncy rubber ball.
Many of the toys are designed to be gnawed on, which, beyond giving your dog something to do (and something to destroy other than your shoes), will help clean her teeth and massage her gums. This helps teach important behaviors, such as which things are acceptable to bite, while also preparing her for having her teeth brushed down the road.
There’s a wide variety of textures on the toys, so your dog shouldn’t get bored by the same-old, same-old. Instead, she should enjoy the constant stimulation, which should also help tucker her out a bit.
Just be aware that these are puppy toys. Once your dog is fully grown, she’ll probably make short work of these, and she’ll need something more durable to occupy her time. However, that’s an issue for another list, and so it’s not a big enough problem to knock this Aipper grab bag from the top spot.
2. Petstages 126 Dog Toy – Best Value
You probably won’t expect much from a toy as inexpensive as the Petstages 126, but this is a surprisingly durable — and fun — toy. In fact, it’s our choice for the best toy for puppies for the money.
It’s an especially smart choice for dealing with teething, as you can toss it in the freezer for an added treat. When frozen, the exterior shell becomes nice and crunchy, which helps to soothe aching gums. The sound is quite satisfying as well, so expect it to occupy your pooch for some time.
The streamers on the end offer plenty of purchase if she wants to play tug-of-war, and they tend to be pretty securely fastened. They’re fun for cats, too, so this will be a hit in a multi-pet household. Larger dogs may run out of room quickly, though.
Of course, for the price, you can’t expect the Petstages 126 to last forever, and you will need to replace it eventually. However, given that you can buy a few of them for what many individual toys cost, this is still a great value.
If we told you there was a toy that could help reduce separation anxiety, speed up the crate training process, and cut down on barking, you’d expect it to be pretty expensive — and the SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy certainly is that. It’s also worth it.
The toy appeals to a young dog’s natural cuddling instincts by mimicking the feel of her mother. It has a heat pack to simulate body heat, as well as a pulsing heartbeat to reassure skittish pups. All of this can reduce problematic behaviors and make transitioning to a new space as painless as possible.
It’s also machine washable, so you don’t have to worry about your dog snuggling up to a filthy toy. There are multiple styles to choose from as well, so you may even be able to find one that resembles your pet.
However, there are a few negatives to this toy beyond the price. Some dogs will be startled by a toy like this, which defeats the purpose, and it’s not really a toy that your pup can play with. As a result, we can’t really justify ranking it higher than third — but if you’ve got a nervous dog on your hands, it’s worth every penny.
4. Alvi & Remi Puppy Chew Rope Toys
Rope toys are a popular choice for entertaining puppies for a reason, as they’re durable and can clean teeth when gnawed on. With the Alvi & Remi x011 set, you get multiple rope toy options for your dog to choose from.
These range from tug toys to balls she can chase, so if you’re not sure of your pup’s preferred play style yet, this is a great way to find out. Each of the four included toys is made solely of cotton and floss fabric, so there are no rubber or plastic parts to worry about.
Every toy is designed to be chewed on, and while they won’t last forever, they can certainly provide enough of a distraction to get your money’s worth. The toys are all different sizes, too, so your dog can find one that’s suitable now and then grow into the others if need be.
However, if pieces get torn off, they can pose a choking hazard, so you will need to monitor your pup as she plays (and they’re made in China, so you probably don’t want her eating them anyway). They can make a mess once they get ripped up as well, so keep the vacuum cleaner handy.
All in all, the Alvi & Remi x011 is a good rope toy grab bag, but it’s clearly on a lower tier from our top picks.
5. Nylabone Teethe ‘N Tug Puppy Chew Toy
The Nylabone Teethe ‘N Tug is a great, inexpensive way for you to bond with your pup and burn off some of her excess energy in the process. Of course, don’t be surprised if you’re pooped when playtime is over, too.
It has an irregular shape that offers multiple enticing spots for your dog to latch on, while you grab the other end. There’s plenty of give to it, so you can get a good game of tug-of-war going in no time. Just be careful, as its small size means that your hands will be vulnerable to the occasional accidental chomp.
The material is soft and squishy while still being durable, and many dogs love how it feels on their teeth and gums. It’s not intended for heavy chewers, though, so don’t expect it to last long if your dog has a destructive streak.
If you could only buy a single toy for your dog, we wouldn’t recommend getting the Nylabone Teethe ‘N Tug, as it’s just not versatile or durable enough. However, it makes for an engaging change-of-pace when paired with some of the other toys on this list.
6. KONG 41943 Puppy Toy
KONGs are classic dog toys, and for good reason — they’re extremely versatile and nearly indestructible. However, they may be better suited for adult dogs than puppies.
Your pup can chew on it to her heart’s content, and it’s unlikely the thing will be left any the worse for wear as a result. You can also fill it with treats or add some peanut butter and freeze it to give her a little mental stimulation as well. Just remember to put it in the dishwasher when she’s done, or else it can mold over.
KONGs can also be tossed for games of fetch, and they bounce and roll erratically, which can keep some dogs occupied. However, most dogs are more entertained by toys expressly designed for that purpose, so the KONG has limited play value.
The puppy versions are also extremely small, and large-breed pups may be able to get the whole thing in their mouths, which can pose a choking hazard. We’re sure you’ll buy your dog a KONG eventually, but you might want to wait until she’s fully grown (and then you should buy her the adult-sized version).
7. LEGEND SANDY Squeaky Plush Dog Toy
There are few things that will drive a puppy as wild as a squeaky toy, and the LEGEND SANDY is a grab bag filled with a dozen plush toys with noisemakers hidden inside.
It’s certainly more cost-effective than buying a single squeaky toy, but just be aware that there’s a reason why they included so many of the things: they don’t last long. You may find that the entire bag lasts about as long as a single, higher-quality toy, especially because each one is incredibly small.
The fabric inside is non-toxic, which is good because there’s a strong possibility your dog might swallow some accidentally. Even if she doesn’t, expect it to get everywhere.
While buying a dozen toys at once might seem like a good deal, you’re probably better off investing in quality over quantity. They will entertain your dog — but she’ll probably spend less time playing with them than you do cleaning up after them.
8. HOUNDGAMES Puppy Toy Mat
The HOUNDGAMES Toy Mat is both a diversion and a comfortable place for your dog to rest, as it’s a foam mat with multiple squeakers and chew toys attached.
That sounds good in theory, but it’s worth asking whether you really want to teach your dog that it’s OK for her to chew up her bedding. It’s not terribly durable, either, so you won’t get much time to save it if she decides to destroy it (and replacing it isn’t cheap).
The mat itself is made of foam, so torn-up pieces can possibly choke your dog or create an obstruction in her bowels. It does fit neatly in a crate, though, so if she leaves the mat portion alone it can help with separation anxiety.
While we appreciate the thought process behind the HOUNDGAMES Toy Mat, we think the manufacturers may need to go back to the drawing board if they want to climb this list.
9. Vitscan Dog Treat Dispensing Toy
Any toy that gives out treats is sure to be a hit, as it stimulates your pup’s mind and her appetite. However, while the Vitscan Treat Dispensing Toys may be popular with your pooch, don’t expect them to be that way for long.
There are three toys in the package, two of which dispense treats and one spiky ball that squeaks. All of them are entertaining, and none of them are durable.
Once your dog realizes there’s food inside the dispensers, she’ll likely want to tear them apart, and these toys offer little resistance. You’ll have to monitor her the entire time she plays with one, and be ready to take it away once she starts gnawing on it.
It’s also hard to load the things with food. It will likely take a few minutes to get them ready for your dog — and it wouldn’t surprise us if it takes you longer to fill it up than it takes her to destroy it.
The blue ball is the best of the lot, but you can buy one of those for a lot cheaper than this set. In fact, that’s probably a good idea.
10. Lil Spots Puppy Toys
This option from Lil Spots has a crinkly body and a plush head with a squeaker inside. If that sounds like it won’t hold your dog’s attention for long, that’s because it probably won’t.
The fabric won’t even slow your dog down as she hunts for the squeaker, and most dogs find the crinkly body to be hardly worth a second glance. Once it gets torn up, the head will leave a surprisingly big mess, with fabric, plastic, and stuffing everywhere.
The crinkly paper inside can bunch up in one corner as well, requiring you to choose between trying to smooth it out or leaving most of it empty and useless.
It’s a very small toy, so only tiny breeds will likely get any use out of it. However, it may be one of the few toys that little dogs can carry around with ease, so it may be worth it for that alone.
Ultimately, though, it’s difficult to recommend the Lil Spots, as it’s not terribly entertaining while it lasts — and it won’t last long.
If you just brought home a puppy, we think you should bring home the Aipper grab bag as well. With a dozen well-made toys inside, your dog will have everything she needs to occupy herself all day long.
The Petstages 126 is only one toy, but it’s a good one — and it’s very inexpensive, too. In addition to keeping your dog entertained, it can also be frozen to give her something fun to gnaw on, rather than taking her teething pains out on your furniture.
Buying puppy toys can be surprisingly involved, and we hope our reviews helped you find something your dog will love. After all, an unused toy is a waste of money — and a good excuse for your dog to find something else in your house to destroy.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Toys for Puppies – 2021
- 1. Aipper Dog Puppy Toys – Best Overall
- 2. Petstages 126 Dog Toy – Best Value
- 3. SmartPetLove Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy – Premium Choice
- 4. Alvi & Remi Puppy Chew Rope Toys
- 5. Nylabone Teethe ‘N Tug Puppy Chew Toy
- 6. KONG 41943 Puppy Toy
- 7. LEGEND SANDY Squeaky Plush Dog Toy
- 8. HOUNDGAMES Puppy Toy Mat
- 9. Vitscan Dog Treat Dispensing Toy
- 10. Lil Spots Puppy Toys