Last updated: August 8, 2021

Our method

27Products analysed

33Hours spent

28Evaluated articles

82User reviews

Welcome to our big puppy toy test 2021. Here we present all the puppy toys that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best puppy toy for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying puppy toys.

Contents




Summary

  • Puppies need more intense activity than adult dogs and have a greater urge to chew. Your puppy's baby teeth are still quite sharp, so toys should be soft but sturdy.
  • Branches and sticks should be avoided as young puppies' teeth are still too sharp and wood can splinter easily. There is also an increased risk with bones.
  • Good workmanship is important, on the one hand for durability, but also so that your pet can't tear anything off and swallow it.

The Best Puppy Toys: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a puppy toy

Are you thinking about buying a puppy toy for your four-legged friend, but are a bit overwhelmed by the choice and the different offers? Then you've come to the right place, because we'll explain what you should look out for when buying a puppy toy.

Why is it so important to have enough suitable toys for your puppy?

Puppies' urge to move is at the forefront of their needs. Therefore, it is important to think about the dog's preferences. Getting puppy toys has some advantages but also disadvantages.

Toys help to keep the puppy occupied and make education easier. What the puppy learns in a playful way, it remembers easily and quickly. In addition, playing trains your dog's motor skills and, apart from fetch toys, he also learns to occupy himself without you.

So far we have always talked about one dog. In interaction with several dogs, whether they are yours or neighbouring animals, the toy can develop a whole new appeal. Young dogs like to fight in a pack and for toys.

Normally, a puppy already learns with its siblings how to defend itself, where its place is in a hierarchy and another. But it could also be very helpful for him to try this out again with (at the beginning) strange dogs. Playfully getting to know the neighbouring dogs makes it easier for them to live together and integrate with each other.

Soft dog toys are especially suitable for puppies that still have their milk teeth. (Image source: 123rf.com / Iurii Sokolov)

It is also always important that you do not always give your dog the toy without restriction. Then he will gradually lose interest. Chewing intensively on the wrong toy for too long can lead to your puppy breaking it, even if it is well made.

When choosing a toy, also look at the requirements and abilities attributed to your dog's breed, or at observations made by breeders or shelter staff about the animal you have chosen. Knowing its nature and strengths can give you a lot of clues.

Also, only buy more if you don't intend to show too much of it to your pet at the same time. Always use fewer individual pieces at a time, but use good quality ones that will last a long time.

Which puppy toy is perfect for your dog?

Under the umbrella term puppy toys, you will find many different types of activities.

Think about what you need for your puppy! Should it be a toy to cuddle with? Do you want him to train his milk teeth on it or is it his first training toy?

Interactive toys, such as tunnels, adventure play areas, can be very helpful in puppy training.

How much does a puppy toy cost?

Puppy toys come in all price ranges, from inexpensive toys for the home or outdoors, to toys that can be a little more expensive, depending on the brand or manufacturer.

All in all, we find that the price range is quite wide and there is something inexpensive for all customers. Depending on the shape and type of toy, you can buy a puppy toy for as little as a few euros. The very exquisite variants, however, can be in the three-digit range.

Better workmanship and higher quality are reflected in the price, but even inexpensive toys can offer fun.

In general, however, it can be seen that puppy toys are sold somewhat cheaper than normal dog toys because of their smaller size. The average price is between 4 and 20 Euros.

Which dog toys are unsuitable for puppies?

Tennis balls are generally not suitable as toys for puppy dogs. Due to the often rough felt, dirt particles, small stones and sand can collect quickly and easily, which can have health consequences for your puppy.

However, there are balls that are specially designed to meet the needs of the puppy and thus reduce the health risk.

Other puppy or dog toys to avoid are

Branches and sticks, as they carry a high risk of injury. Real bones are also unsuitable because they can splinter and cause injuries to the throat and gastrointestinal tract. Under no circumstances should stones be played with because they can generally break teeth or be swallowed and lead to choking.

What features should a safe puppy toy have?

There are a few things to consider when buying toys for your puppy: The puppy is still in the growth phase, the bone structure as well as the muscles and tendons are still very soft. Throwing toys such as Frisbees should therefore not be used permanently.

Frequent jumping up can impair your pet's growth. Therefore, it is a good idea to start with simple games such as search games, even a rolling ball can provide a lot of entertainment for a puppy.

In general, you should make sure that the toys are unbreakable.

What are the different requirements for dog toys depending on the age of the dog?

A puppy's daily routine is simply sleeping, eating and playing. As long as the toys are free of toxins, not too hard and the size is appropriate, there are no further restrictions in the choice.

Chihuahua mit Spielzeug

Puppies need a way to use their teeth. Bite-proof toys are especially important during teething - otherwise the table leg may have to take the fall. (Photo: Didgeman / pixabay.com)

For the young dog, the toy should already be quite firm, because in this phase he is very physically active. Older dogs are often no longer in the mood to play, so they can be persuaded to move around with snack toys.

What things do you need to consider when buying a puppy?

How old is your puppy? How big is he and what are his habits?

Puppy toys can never be considered universally suitable because each puppy has individual requirements. A puppy of 8 weeks has different needs than a dog that is already 4 months old. The condition of the milk teeth must also be taken into consideration.

How do you recognise dangerous toys?

Toxins and small parts that can be swallowed are the enemy of your young ball of fur.

Softeners are highly toxic substances that get into your puppy's mouth when toys come off. So pay a lot of attention to the workmanship and, at best, even use harmless natural materials.

When buying a toy made of silicone, make sure that it is BPA-free.

Decision: What types of puppy toys are there and which is right for you and your dog?

After much thought and searching, you've finally decided on a puppy dog. Now you may be thinking about what puppy toys to get for your little one. Many young dogs and puppies have a great play instinct and need lots of exercise.

A puppy toy is therefore an important first item to buy for your puppy. For a new dog owner, however, there is usually the problem of finding a suitable toy for the puppy.

The age, the physical activity as well as the psychological development of a dog plays a big role, which you should take into account when making your purchase decision.

You can also tell which toy is suitable for your puppy by the preferences of your dog. There are many types of puppy toys such as balls, throwing bones, frisbees, intelligence games and simple chewing ropes.

As puppies have different preferences and characters, there are also different types of puppy toys, of which we would like to mention six here:

  • Puppy toys made of natural rubber
  • Snack toys
  • Water and swimming toys
  • Retrieval toys (search games)
  • Plush toys (cuddly toys)
  • Intelligence toy

Below we briefly explain the types and show you the advantages and disadvantages of each.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of natural rubber toys for puppies?

Toys made of natural rubber or solid rubber are relatively strong and stable and therefore durable. It should be able to withstand a slightly stronger jaw if there are no manufacturing defects. Of course, no toy is indestructible, but puppies are usually still developing their full bite force.

For animals that are eager to buy, however, such toys are good and important. They can work off their urge here and you can save the odd table leg and pair of shoes. Depending on the texture of the surface or the whole toy, a toy made of this material can help your dog's dental care.

Advantages
  • Durable
  • Dog won't chew on other things
  • For dental care
  • Easy to clean
Disadvantages
  • Possibly more expensive
  • Might even be too firm
  • Strong smell

In larger sizes, they are therefore also well suited for adult animals, a toy for life, so to speak. Mostly, the rubber gadgets are chewing and/or snack toys at the same time. Therefore, they quickly become full of drool. However, most of these toys are easy to clean, even in the dishwasher.

Because of their usually long life, rubber gadgets can be a little more expensive than comparable toys. They also tend to have a somewhat intense smell. This can be a rubbery smell or a fragrance from the manufacturer to reduce the rubbery smell.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of snack toys?

As already mentioned for toys made of rubber, snack toys are usually made of this material. If it is big enough that the dog cannot bite into it, snack toys made of wood or plastic would also be possible.

There are also intelligence toys in which lollipops can be hidden so that there is an incentive for the puppy to occupy itself with them. Snack toys also serve primarily to keep your little impetuous puppy occupied for a while so that he doesn't get into mischief.

The rewards that keep falling out motivate the dog to keep playing and keep the toy interesting for him. Some gadgets offer the possibility to adjust how quickly or easily the treats fall out.

Advantages
  • Often made of natural rubber
  • Keeps the dog busy
  • Play time adjustable by difficulty
  • Easy to clean
Disadvantages
  • Too many snacks encourage obesity
  • Possibly more expensive
  • Might even be too firm
  • Smell like rubber

You then have the chance to make it easier for your puppy in the beginning, to get him used to the toy and to make it more difficult for him step by step, so that you don't have to refill it too often and keep your pet busy for longer. Often the puppy loses interest in the toy when nothing falls out.

The same disadvantages apply to snack toys made of natural rubber as to any toy made of this material. In addition, there is of course the danger that too many treats can lead to obesity. So always keep an eye on the daily amount.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of water and swimming toys?

If your pet likes to jump into shallow water, even as a little one, you should give him or her suitable toys. Many toys could be too heavy and sink. Even simple soft toys can be soaked up by water, but may be very difficult to dry.

Special, usually soft water toys are more ideal. Bright colours prevent you from losing sight of the toy on the water. The special filling does soak up water, but the gadget still always floats on the surface.

Advantages
  • Doesn't sink
  • Not too hard
  • Mostly easy to see
Disadvantages
  • Possibly too soft
  • Dog must feel completely safe in the water
  • Seams can burst

As long as the material does not contain any unsuitable substances and the seams are strong enough, your dog can also play with soft toys from the children's toy range. However, you can be on the safe side if you buy toys that are specially made for dogs, even if they may be more expensive.

As these toys are generally rather soft, your dog might get "bored" if he wants more to chew on. Defects in workmanship can cause the seams to split easily and stuffing to spill out, which your puppy can swallow.

So always take extra care with stuffed toys to ensure that the surface remains intact and improve it if possible.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of fetch toys?

As the name suggests, these toys are great for active dogs and breeds that like to retrieve. With the right toy, you might be able to "persuade" your dog to play fetch, even if he is not generally a member of one of the breeds known for it.

Try out different toys, chewing ropes or bone-shaped gadgets, for example, or even your favourite soft toy can be turned into a fetch toy.

It is important that it is easy to throw and not too heavy, especially for puppies, who should not yet carry so much weight because their muscles are still developing.

Advantages
  • The urge to move is acted out
  • Other toys can also be used
Disadvantages
  • Do not throw hard objects
  • Do not start too early

It is also important for small animals that you do not use wooden sticks, branches or frisbees, as these can damage the still sensitive teeth if they bite down hard.

Also, don't start throwing toys high and far too early, as very young puppies in the growth phase should not do an excessive amount of high jumps with hard landings. This could, as mentioned above, affect their physique.

What distinguishes plush toys and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

There is a large, colourful and mostly cute-looking assortment here. Various animals with a softer or more compact filling, often with a squeaker inside, encourage the puppy to chew gently and carry this toy around the house and cuddle up with it in the basket.

These toys naturally have a more calming effect on an animal than snack toys or something that is retrieved. But even the brightest dogs need their quiet moments and get tired. You should be able to put most cuddle toys in the washing machine if they get too slobbery.

Advantages
  • Can calm the dog
  • Mostly light weight
  • Soft
  • Easy to wash
Disadvantages
  • Small parts could be torn off
  • Generally less durable
  • Always have to dry thoroughly

Important: allow to dry thoroughly before the dog plays with them again. Due to the filling, these toys are not suitable for long periods of moisture, in contrast to specially made water toys. Despite their cute designs, plush toys should be compact.

Nothing should stick out too far so that your puppy can't easily bite off and swallow small parts. If the quality of the material (keyword: harmful substances) has been taken into account, this is not life-threatening, but can lead to short-term stomach problems under certain circumstances.

As a rule, cuddly toys are not as durable as, for example, rubber toys, especially with impetuous puppies and dogs, but sometimes they are made more durable with an internal chewing rope.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of intelligence toys?

Here, too, the name says it all. With hidden treats or other interesting stimuli, the dog is encouraged to deal with the toy on its own and is rewarded for its perseverance and intelligence, depending on the nature of the toy.

These types of toys are usually made of wood or plastic and are designed in such a way that the dog cannot chew on them, but must use its paws or snout. Through this, the puppy learns to control and channel its attention.

Advantages
  • Dog occupies itself with the gadget alone
  • Is encouraged to continue by reward
  • Intelligence training can help with education
Disadvantages
  • Could overtax the animal
  • Too many snacks promote obesity

This can help you to train the little rascal, both if you practice with him alone, but also if you visit a dog school with him.

Rewarding your pet for a bit of play with snacks is still fun, of course, if he is already well behaved. Older dogs can also be encouraged to exercise and train their memory.

However, be careful not to give your puppy a sophisticated intelligence toy too early, but start with simpler toys or preliminary exercises. Otherwise, the animal could be overtaxed and permanently lose interest in such games.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate puppy toys based on these factors

Dogs generally love to chew on objects. A positive side effect of chewing is the consumption of energy. Puppies are usually energetic and adventurous. The most important factors for suitable toys for your puppy are:

  • Material
  • Size / Weight
  • Quality / Robustness

Below we go through all the factors to help you decide on a particular toy.

Material

Toys for puppies should be made of material that is safe for health and soft enough for the teeth. Rubber/natural rubber is often used. This can be moulded into almost any shape and can be slightly thinner and therefore softer or moulded completely compact.

This makes for very bite-resistant, long-lasting toys. Make sure you find the right balance: toys that are too soft are okay for occasional chewing, but not for long chewing. But they should not be too hard, especially for growing puppy teeth.

Toys made of plastic or wood are okay if they are designed so that your puppy cannot bite into them. For this reason, we advise against using branches as toys, even for young dogs, as hard wood can damage the teeth.

This is also a reason why real bones should not be given for playing or eating. Hard splinters can injure the mouth and throat.

Fabric and terry cloth

Both materials are particularly soft. They are therefore ideal for cuddling and dogs like to carry them around.

When it comes to puppy toys, there are not only conventional stuffed animals, but also toys made of many other materials. (Image source: 123rf.com / lunja)

They are less suitable for tugging and romping, as they can tear easily and your puppy could swallow parts. Cotton is an exception, as it is natural and can be very robust when twisted into rope.

Sponge rubber

It is light and floats well and is therefore suitable as a swimming toy. Compared to other toys, however, a toy made of foam rubber is not very robust and parts can therefore be bitten off and swallowed very soon.

Leather

As a natural material, leather is harmless to health and you can let your puppy chew on it. It is relatively stable against dog teeth. The fact that it hardens after the first water bath can be unpleasant, but may also be fun for larger dogs.

Nylon

This is the number one material for water toys. It is light, available in bright colours, filled buoyant and more robust than foam rubber, which has similar properties. However, it is not suitable for overly strong dogs, who can damage the fabric and/or stitching.

Vinyl

This material is easy to clean, tolerates wetness well and is not too heavy. Unfortunately, vinyl can also contain softeners. In these cases, therefore, look for the addition "BpA-free". Also, toys made of vinyl might not always withstand older, strong dogs for long.

(Solid) rubber / caoutchouc

This is ideal for chew toys because it gives to a certain extent and does not contain any questionable substances because it is a natural product. Some rubber toys can also float.

Even rubber cannot withstand too much biting force forever. But: no toy is really indestructible, but rubber toys always have good values in terms of robustness.

If the gadget is also made entirely of rubber, it weighs more but can be thrown easily. Due to its mass, solid rubber is not suitable for young puppies, but can withstand stronger bites.

Size / Weight

As mentioned again and again, the dimensions are especially important for puppy toys. Diameter and other dimensions must be appropriate for the smaller puppy's muzzle.

Make sure, however, that you keep up with your dog's growth so that the toys do not become too small, then they can easily be destroyed and partially swallowed.

Many manufacturers offer the same toy in several sizes, so you can easily buy your favourite toy bigger and your dog doesn't have to get used to it again once he has become fond of it. The breed can also have an influence on the size and weight of the toys.

In this respect, the weight is important upwards. A toy cannot be too light, but it can be too heavy for young puppies. So start with light materials and hollow objects and slowly increase the weight of the toy.

Quality / Robustness

Generally speaking, a puppy toy does not have to last for years, but special attention must still be paid to the workmanship.

On average, puppies spend more time chewing things than older dogs, so make sure that absolutely no small parts can be swallowed.

Baby-Terrier mit Spielzeug

Dogs have different preferences. Some like it soft around the mouth, some like a bit more bite. Over time, you will find out what kind of toy your dog likes best. (Photo: howliekat / pixabay.com)

In addition, milk teeth in dogs are more pointed than the permanent dentition, which further increases the need for robustness. However, toys that are too hard can cause injuries, and this applies equally to older dogs, but especially to puppies.

So look for good workmanship and, if necessary, invest a little more in your four-legged friend's entertainment.

Facts worth knowing about puppies, dogs and their toys

Finally, we would like to answer a few important questions about rose hip powder and its intake.

You'll learn how to make puppy toys yourself, how best to clean them and much more.

How can I make a puppy and dog toy myself?

With a few utensils and a lot of creativity, it's very easy to do. Just make sure that everything fits tightly and that no small parts can be bitten off. It's best if you stay with your dog while he plays with the toys for the first time. This is never a bad thing, even with bought toys.

Here are a few craft ideas:

Sniffing rug: You'll need durable fabric scraps or blankets, an old non-slip bath mat or carpet that's not too thick, scissors, nimble fingers for knotting, snacks for filling. You simply knot the treats with strips of fabric in different places on the mat that you probably won't use afterwards.

Throw toy: You need old socks (can also have holes), tear-proof tape, scissors, nimble fingers for knotting. Stuff other socks into the socks and tie them well. If you have a long sock, you can also just knot the shaft, but it might not hold as well. If there are a lot of holes, you can also partially fill the sock with treats.

Search game: You need a large wooden box or a sturdy cardboard box, old straw scraps that you knot into balls or alternatively wine corks, snacks. The treats are hidden in the box between the fabric balls or corks.

Scent rolls: You need dog snacks and empty toilet paper rolls as well as balls made from fabric scraps. The snacks go into the rolls, the sides of which are stuffed with fabric.

Cleaning and replacing puppy toys

The different materials of puppy toys have different benefits for the dog. However, since it is very used and many harmful bacteria can form, it is advisable to replace the toy after a certain period of time.

The table should give clarity about cleaning and disposal of different materials:

Material Cleaning Disposal after this period
Fabric Can mostly be cleaned in the washing machine. However, the bacteria are only killed at high heat, which is often not possible without destroying the toy 2 months (especially for very young dogs)
Foam rubber Ideal for water toys. However, the soft material can hold bacteria to a greater extent. Thorough cleaning is therefore rather complicated 2 months
Leather This material is more robust and is a suitable material for puppies to chew. However, it cannot be cleaned with boiling water, so the accumulation of bacteria multiplies quickly 2.5 months
Nylon Thorough cleaning of this material is easy as it is more heat resistant than the above materials. Simply clean with hot water or soap 4 months
Solid rubber / caoutchouc The material with the greatest robustness. It can be cleaned without any problems and lasts the longest. However, it is still advisable to dispose of it after a few months 6 months

How much does a dog cost?

The purchase price of a dog can vary depending on the breed, where it comes from and the upfront costs. On average, however, a puppy can cost you 850 to 2800 euros at the beginning, including vaccinations, castration, food and insurance.

Follow-up costs can range from €110 to €540 per month, depending on what food you buy and what else is involved.

How expensive are the different dog breeds?

A Chihuahua puppy can cost an average of 700 to 1,200 euros at the breeder. A Miniature Pinscher, Shih-Tsu, Maltese and West Highland Terrier can cost 800 to 1,000 euros.

A Pomeranian, also known as a Miniature Spitz, can also be worth up to 2,000 euros. An Akito, the Japanese Spitz, can even cost up to 4,500 euros.

Bearded Collies (5,000 euros) and Pharaoh dogs go higher. These elegant and rare animals are worth 6,500 euros to new owners. Tibetan Mastiffs, Rottweilers, Chow Chows and English Bulldogs can be more expensive.

In addition, Samoyeds, the Russian Spitz, and German Shepherds as well as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are sometimes in the range of a small car. Actual prices of all breeds mentioned (the list is of course not complete) depend of course on the individual case and the breeder as well as on what you yourself are willing to invest.

What is a puppy allowed to eat and what not?

As a rule, the following foods are not too much of a problem for dogs, but with new ingredients, always pay attention to possible intolerances and a balanced diet that is adapted to the dogs' natural behaviour anyway.

  • Meat and fish: beef, lamb, venison and by-products.
  • Poultry, fish (but no fatty fish) and egg
  • Vegetables: Potato (only cooked), kohlrabi cooked, mashed or in pieces, carrots (raw or cooked with oil or fat), cucumber, cauliflower (only cooked), broccoli, lettuce, asparagus, courgette
  • Fruit: Apples (without core), bananas, strawberries, kiwi fruit
  • Herbs: (always in small quantities) basil, borage, dill, camomile, caraway, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, hawthorn
  • Cereals: pasta, oatmeal, rice, quinoa
  • Dairy products (only a little and only as a snack) Quark, cheese

What should the puppy not eat?

If possible, the following should be avoided completely. Dogs sometimes react strongly to these foods and serious health consequences can occur. Some of this will seem logical to you, others may surprise you.

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Cola
  • Peas and beans
  • Seeds of pome fruits
  • Garlic
  • Sultanas and fresh grapes
  • Chocolate and cocoa
  • Pork
  • Sweets
  • Tomatoes
  • Sausage (especially smoked)
  • Onion

To be on the safe side, it is best to keep your puppy or dog away from these foods altogether, and if he gets any of them, have him checked by a vet.

(Image source: pixabay.com / HeungSoon)

Why you can trust me?

Reviews