Best Safe Puppy Toys and Chews 2014

Dog toys are essential to your dog's mental health and overall well-being.

Because dogs come in all shapes, types, and sizes, dog toys also come in various shapes, materials, and sizes.

Remember, Consider your Dog's Safety First when choosing a dog toy.

Although some toys may "look" fun or may be conveniently in the isle at the supermarket, they may not be safe. Many toys can break into large chunks that can get lodged in your dogs throat or teeth.

If you look around, you can find toys that are both safe and physically and mentally stimulating for your dog. By the end of this hub you should know exactly how to identify and choose what is the best dog toy for your dogs breed, size, and personality is. I've also listed some of the best choices along the way.

Safety First - The Best Toy for Your Dog is a Safe One

Here is a quote from the humane society, "Many factors contribute to the safety or danger of a toy, and a number of them depend upon your dog's size, activity level, and preferences. Another factor to be considered is the environment in which your dog spends his time. "

A quick note on Rawhide Dog Toys

Rawhide toys can pose a serious risk to choking. Make sure to double check that your rawhide chew toy is appropriate and safe before your dog before giving it to them. Always make sure to supervise your dog while he/she chews on the rawhide.

An Additional Tip from the Humane Society:

Be cautious: Per the humane society "string, ribbon, rubber bands, children's toys, pantyhose, and anything else that could be ingested" are the most dangerous items for dogs.

"Balls and other toys that are too small can easily be swallowed or become lodged in your dog's throat."

I also suggest being careful with anything that can splinter or break off. Always be aware that your supervision is the most important way to keep your dog safe.

Now that we have that out of the way let's talk about which toys are appropriate for your dog!

Best Puppy Toys 2014

KONG Air Dog Squeakair Birthday Balls Dog Toy, Medium, Colors Vary (3 Balls)
KONG Air Dog Squeakair Birthday Balls Dog Toy, Medium, Colors Vary (3 Balls)

These balls are inexpensive and work well with medium to large-sized dogs. They non-abrasive tennis ball fabric won't wear down their teeth and dogs love to fetch them because of their squeak.


Good for Large Dogs and Heavy Chewers

KONG Extreme Dog Toy, Large, Black
KONG Extreme Dog Toy, Large, Black

This toy is perfect for stuffing with treats and is durable to outlast even the strongest of chewers.


Choosing the Right Toy for Your Precious Pet

When picking a dog toy for your precious pet I recommend the following steps to make sure you get the best dog toy for your dog.

  1. Safety First
  2. Age of Your Dog - Is Your Dog Still a Puppy?
  3. Breed and Size of Your Dog
  4. Your Dog's Personality
  5. What's the purpose of your dog toy? Well-being? Gum and Teeth Health? Excercise?
  6. What Material Should the Dog Toy be made of? Is your dog strong enough to tear it apart?

A Durable Chew Toy for Dogs That Helps with their Teeth

Nylabone Dura Chew Original Flavored Dental Dinosaur Chew Toy, Dinosaur Style Varies
Nylabone Dura Chew Original Flavored Dental Dinosaur Chew Toy, Dinosaur Style Varies

While this is a temporary toy it's great for your dogs teeth, last a long time, and is suitable for dogs that weigh up to 50 pounds.


Age of Your Dog

Is your dog still a puppy?

All dogs loves to chew, but puppies love it even more. Most puppies are curious about the world just as a new born baby is when it begins to crawl. It is important to let a dog know what is appropriate to chew on when they are young so as they transition into adulthood they aren't chewing on your shoes, or other children's toys or items that you may accidentally leave lying around. Excessive chewing is usually a result of boredom, teething, stress, inadequate exercise, or it can simply be a result of your dog's personality.

Remember that as a dog grows older toys that might have been too big to fit in your puppies mouth earlier on can become choking hazards in adulthood. It is always a good idea to monitor and know the toys that your dog is playing with.

Tip: For puppies make sure your toy has a lot of texture to it. How it feels in their mouth is very important, and picking a toy that a puppy finds enjoyable while teething can save you a lot of heartache!

*Bonus Tip: Rotating toys can be a great way to keep your dog interested!

West Paw Design Zogoflex Tux Guaranteed Tough Treat Stuffable Dog Chew Toy, Aqua
West Paw Design Zogoflex Tux Guaranteed Tough Treat Stuffable Dog Chew Toy, Aqua

My dog loves this toy and it's durable and stuffable too. When it gets dirty just throw it in the dishwasher.


Kong Toys are the Best Durable Dog Toys

Breed and Size of Dog

When looking around make sure you purchase a toy that is the appropriate size for your dog. If your dog is small he wouldn't want to play with a toy that is too big and if the toy is too small for your dog it immediately becomes a choking hazard.

Tip: There are many stores where you can shop by breed size online. This could be a perfect way for you to find an appropriate sized dog gift.

Yes, thumbs on occasion make great chewing toys.
Yes, thumbs on occasion make great chewing toys.

Your Dog's Personality

What is your Dog's personality?

Just like people, dogs have their own unique personality.  

There are some dogs that want to rip every toy they see to shreds and some that like to be "gentle" with their toys. This does NOT have to do with the size of the dog. That is only a stereotype.

Understanding and Knowing what is appropriate for your dog and his personality allows you to make the best decision on whether your dog is able to have or not have certain types of toys.

Remember that obliterating the toy is part of the fun for some dogs. Toys that are inappropriate for dog breed and size often can get lodged in a dog's teeth or even stuck in their throat. This makes soft squeaky toys especially dangerous after the exterior of the toy has been compromised. Squeakers in the middle can easily get lodged in your dog's throat.

Tip: If your toys keep breaking consider a stronger material for your dog toys!

Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Dog Toy Plush Dog Squeaky Toy Puzzle, 4 piece, Large
Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Dog Toy Plush Dog Squeaky Toy Puzzle, 4 piece, Large

This toy takes care of two common dog problems; boredom, and problem solving. This toy is one I take out from time to time and then put away. Our dog then gets excited every time I take it back out.

Make sure to pick a dog appropriate tennis ball.
Make sure to pick a dog appropriate tennis ball.

What's the purpose of your dog toy?

Well-being? Gum and Teeth Health? Exercise? These are all important considerations in choosing a toy for your dog.

Excercise Toys - These include any type of ropes, balls, tugs, and of course for larger dogs frisbees.

If you are looking for a toy that encourages exercise I suggest any type of toy that allows you to play with your dog. Exercise is good for you too!

Do you need a Durable Dog Toy?

Picking the appropriate material for your dog toy can save you money and frustration.

Dog toys are found in a variety of shapes of ropes, rubber, soft stuffed animals, latex, hard bones, and cloth. For a tough player make sure to pick something durable like a rubber toy. Soft Stuffed animals can be appropriate depending on your dog's personality.

From the humane society: "Very hard rubber toys, such as Nylabone®-type products and Kong®-type products, are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and are fun for chewing and for carrying around. "Rope" toys are usually available in a "bone" shape with knotted ends.
Tennis balls make great dog toys, but keep an eye out for any that could be chewed through, and discard them."

What's Your Dog's Favorite Brand of Toy?

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Open Discussion on Dog Toys and Safety 6 comments

KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

I no longer give my dogs rawhide because of the choking hazard. I had a dog choke on rawhide a few years ago and have not felt comfortable with giving it to the ones I have had since then. However, I have friends who give their dogs rawhide with no problems. For my dogs I have found that they love balls and stuffed animals with long arms and legs so they can each play tug of war with them. Great hub with great advice and tips. Voted up and useful.

Amanda 5 years ago

There are some really great dog product reviews on Thanks for all these great tips!

Jennifer Theories profile image

Jennifer Theories 5 years ago from Canada

That is an excellent article. Good job!

terrecar profile image

terrecar 5 years ago from Maryland

I absolutely love the Kong. My Aussie/Border Collie mix is very high energy. Besides training and excercise, she requires something to keep her high doggy IQ mind busy. Her Kong has been great for this. I am self-employed, so when I need to work, I have learned to stuff a Kong with just the right sized pieces of cut, rolled dog food, and she has learned how to pick up the Kong and drop it so that one or two tidbits come out each time. It keeps her occupied and entertained--and it helps wear her out a bit as well--so I can get my work done.

L A Dreamin profile image

L A Dreamin 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

Great Hub! My dog Torry chewed his puppy Kong for almost two years. When I threw it away he would stare at the can I threw it in, lol I felt so bad but he needed the bigger one and luckily it didn't take him long to love that one as much. We play "Kong" with him daily and a million times a day :) They are great, even without treats in them!

Bgreer 5 years ago

Good article, and just wanted to say that i would highly reccomend the kongs! my dogs are both power chewers and love to fetch and love this toy. they have a variety of durable toys from bone-shapes and frisbees to floating water toys (which my lab loves). His water toy was even accidentally run over with a lawnmower blade and barely has a small cut! They are indestructable!!!!

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