The Best Puppy Toys

Written by Katie Melynn Wood
Updated: March 3, 2023
© Dorottya Mathe/Shutterstock.com

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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall puppy toy is the Kong Puppy Toy.
  • There are many different types of puppy dogs available — including snuggle toys, chew toys, and puzzle toys.
  • Toys are a great way of helping puppies with teething or separation anxiety.
  • It’s important to choose a toy that is durable as puppies are often rough with their toys and love to chew them.

Bringing a puppy into your home can be fun, joyous, and exhausting. Most puppies have seemingly boundless amounts of energy. A puppy toy is a great way to channel that energy into play. Toys can also help your puppy socialize, get familiar with their new environment, and learn key developmental skills. Plus, it’s a fantastic bonding experience between you and your new pet.

Puppy toys come in just about every shape, color, and style. We’ve researched and reviewed some of the best-selling puppy toys for those who like to chew, tug, and snuggle. There are also options for every budget that can express your own interests and style. Puppy toys can even help puppies learn how to problem solve, chew safely, and engage in exercise to keep them growing strong.

  1. KONG Puppy Toy
    • Unpredictable bounce keep puppy engaged
    • Can fit treats inside
    • Puppy can chew on it
    • Comes in two colors and four sizes
    Check Amazon
  2. Frisco Fetch Squeaking Colorful Tennis Ball Toy
    • Provides plenty of fun
    • Very affordable
    • Comes with a squeaker inside
    • Dogs love the bright colors
    Check Chewy
  3. Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Brick Puzzle Game Dog Toy
    • Keep the dog entertained and mentally stimulated
    • Develop the puppy's problem-solving skills
    • Very easy to clean
    • Made from food-safe material
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  4. Nylabone Puppy Chew
    • Plenty of flavor and color options
    • Can help puppy teething
    • Help keeps teeth clean
    • Good for all development stages of your puppy
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Snuggle Puppy Sleepy Time Behavioral Aid Dog Toy
    • Comes in five different colors
    • Soft and machine washable
    • Features an optional heat pack
    • Good for puppies with separation anxiety
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for the Best Puppy Toys

#1 Best Overall: Kong Puppy Toy

In our review, the best puppy toy is the Kong Puppy Toy.

This toy bounces, is great for chewing, can be used for fetch, fits treats inside, and is affordable. This is everything that you might want in a puppy toy. It comes in two colors and four sizes. The rubber is specifically designed for puppies who are still learning to chew. The size is based on the size of your dog.

This toy is simple but genius in its design. You can throw it to play fetch, let your puppy chew on it, put treats inside the hollow interior for them to dig out, or bounce it. The three-tiered design results in an unpredictable bounce that will keep your puppy engaged.

As your puppy grows, you can give them this familiar toy throughout their lifetime. Kong makes a variety for adult dogs, vigorous chewers, and senior dogs. The design and function remain the same while the rubber changes to suit their chewing needs and capabilities. This toy will last through most puppies’ chewing.

However, customers have reported that this toy is smaller than they expected so it may be a good idea to size up.

Pros and Cons of the Kong Puppy Toy

ProsCons
This toy has a three-tiered design which results in an unpredictable bounce.The sizes run small so sizing up may be necessary.
It has a durable rubber design which is ideal for puppies to chew.
It has a hollow interior so treats can be put inside it.
There are four sizes and two color options available.
Overall Best
KONG Puppy Toy
  • Unpredictable bounce keep puppy engaged
  • Can fit treats inside
  • Puppy can chew on it
  • Comes in two colors and four sizes
Check Amazon

2. Best on a Budget: Frisco Fetch Squeaking Colorful Tennis Ball Toy

Puppies can often be rough and destructive with their toys, so you probably don’t want to be splashing out on something expensive only for them to destroy it. Therefore, we recommend the Frisco Fetch Squeaking Colorful Tennis Ball Toy as the best budget option.

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned tennis ball to play with your puppy. This colorful pack of three is affordable and provides plenty of fun for you and your new pet. They have a squeaker inside to give an extra dose of stimulation and excitement.

These are sized for small and medium dogs, making them a great option for all but the smallest puppies. Keep in mind that if your puppy likes to chew (as most do), these won’t last for the long haul. You will probably just get a short amount of time of play before your puppy destroys them. You can either dole them out one at a time to make the pack of three last longer or plan on upgrading to another more durable toy once your puppy outgrows its intense chewing phase.

Pros and Cons of the Frisco Fetch Squeaking Colorful Tennis Ball Toy

ProsCons
These balls have squeakers inside them to provide extra stimulation for puppies.They are not very durable.
There are three balls in every pack.
Best on a Budget
Frisco Fetch Squeaking Colorful Tennis Ball Toy
  • Provides plenty of fun
  • Very affordable
  • Comes with a squeaker inside
  • Dogs love the bright colors
Check Chewy

3. Best Puzzle Toy: Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Brick Puzzle Game Dog Toy

Puzzle toys are a great way to engage your puppy’s problem-solving skills with positive incentives like treats. That’s why the Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Brick Puzzle Game Dog Toy is our top pick for puzzle-loving pups.

After you fill the toy with treats or food, they dispense as your puppy rolls the ball around and plays. They will quickly learn how to get the treats out and go to town with this fun toy. This toy is perfect for mental stimulation and keeping you dog interested. There are two levels of difficulty which means that you can set it to the appropriate level for your pet.

As your puppy grows, you can introduce other puzzle toys from Outward Hound to keep them engaged and exercise their minds as well as their bodies. With options ranging from beginner to expert and a variety of styles, there is almost no limit to the amount of puzzle-solving your puppy and dog can do.

Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to open to refill.

Pros and Cons of the Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Brick Puzzle Game Dog Toy

ProsCons
This toy dispenses treats as it is rolled around the floor.It is difficult to open to refill.
It is great for mental stimulation.
There are two levels of difficulty.
Best Puzzle Toy
Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Brick Puzzle Game Dog Toy
  • Keep the dog entertained and mentally stimulated
  • Develop the puppy's problem-solving skills
  • Very easy to clean
  • Made from food-safe material
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best for Chewing: Nylabone Puppy Chew

Puppies love to chew, and chewing a toy while they are in the teething stage is much better than chewing your hands. Therefore, we recommend the Nylabone Puppy Chew.

This triple pack of puppy chew bones is perfect for every stage of your puppy’s development. Nylabone recommends beginning with the textured chew bone to help your puppy as they are teething. This also teaches chewing habits that they can use for the rest of their lives. They will then graduate to the next teething bone and eventually to an actual bone to chew and eat. The two chew bones are a delicious chicken flavor, while the treat bone is lamb and apple flavor.

However, although the two teething bones are suitable for younger puppies, the chew treat bone is not suitable for puppies less than six months old.

Pros and Cons of the Nylabone Puppy Chew

ProsCons
There are three bones in each pack — two teething bones and a chew treat bone.The chew treat bone is not suitable for dogs aged less than six months old.
The teething bones are chicken flavor and the treat bone is lamb and apple flavor.
These bones teach promote healthy chewing and teething habits.
Best for Chewing
Nylabone Puppy Chew
  • Plenty of flavor and color options
  • Can help puppy teething
  • Help keeps teeth clean
  • Good for all development stages of your puppy
Check Chewy Check Amazon

5. Best Snuggle Toy: Snuggle Puppy Sleepy Time Behavioral Aid Dog Toy

Sometimes puppies can become anxious, especially when they are left alone or when they first leave their mother. A snuggle toy can help to alleviate this anxiety, which is why we recommend the Snuggle Puppy Sleepy Time Behavioral Aid Dog Toy.

This snuggle puppy is so adorable you may even find that you steal it for yourself or your kids. This unique toy has a “real-feel” heartbeat to comfort puppies. It is battery operated and has two different modes as well as a disposable heat pack.

For puppies with separation anxiety, this toy can be a game-changer. It replicates the comforting feel of having a mom dog around, with a beating heartbeat and optional heat pack. The heartbeat can be turned on continuously or for an eight-hour time span. When you crate train your puppy, this can help a lot to keep them calm. It also works great for puppies who have trouble sleeping.

Plus, it comes in five different colors so you can get a snuggle buddy to match your new puppy. The plush exterior is soft and machine washable. All you have to do is take out the battery pack.

Although it doesn’t hold up well to chewing and is an expensive toy it gives you, the new puppy owner, some much-needed rest.

Pros and Cons of the Snuggle Puppy Sleepy Time Behavioral Aid Dog Toy

ProsCons
This snuggle toy has a plush exterior.This toy is expensive.
It is machine washable.It doesn’t hold up well to chewing.
It has a battery operated “real-feel” heartbeat with two modes and a disposable heat pack.
There are five different colors available.
Best Snuggle Toy
Snuggle Puppy Sleepy Time Behavioral Aid Dog Toy
  • Comes in five different colors
  • Soft and machine washable
  • Features an optional heat pack
  • Good for puppies with separation anxiety
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

When deciding on a puppy toy for your new pet, look for something that is affordable, durable, and provides plenty of enrichment.

Affordable

You may be tempted to spend a lot on cute, fun puppy toys once you bring your adorable new pet home. While there are plenty of high-quality puppy toys out there, you should consider how much you want to spend upfront. You will likely need to replace puppy toys quickly since most puppies chew in the beginning. This can be due to teething or just natural puppy behavior. Look for an affordable toy that you won’t mind getting destroyed, at least until your puppy has learned what not to chew.

Durable

Puppies can play rough and cause a surprising amount of damage given their tiny little bodies. Look for a puppy toy that can withstand rough play and plenty of chewing. The best puppy toys are made to last through teething, chewing, tugging, and plenty of other interactive play.

Enrichment

Puppies need plenty of stimulation and enrichment. Toys are the ideal way to teach them skills like chasing, tugging, and appropriate chewing. They can also provide outlets to help with things like separation anxiety and teething. Look for toys that are designed to enrich your puppy’s development. Many will state the skills that they help with as well as how puppy owners can use the toy to improve their puppy’s quality of life.

The Different Types of Puppy Toys: Pros and Cons Compared

When deciding on a puppy toy, consider if you want a toy that is meant to be destroyed and chewed or one that you want to last for your puppy to snuggle and play with calmly. Each type has pros and cons and is suited for different situations.

Chewing Toy

ProsCons
They are great for puppy development.The puppy may not like the taste.
They support healthy teeth.It will eventually need to be replaced.
They are usually inexpensive.
They help with teething.

Snuggle Toy

ProsCons
It can help with anxiety.It is often more expensive.
It is useful for crate training.The puppy may lose interest over time.
There is no mess made.It doesn’t help with physical exercise or mental stimulation.

About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

The Best Puppy Toys FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Why are chewing toys a good idea for puppies.

Puppies usually mouth a lot, especially when they are teething.  Chewing toys can help to relieve the discomfort associate with teething as well as providing something else for them to chew as you discourage them from biting your hands or furniture.

Why are snuggle toys a good idea?

When a puppy enters their new home they are very scared and unsure of themselves, having usually just left their mother and litter-mates.   A snuggle toy provides comfort eases anxiety as it helps them feel secure and as though they’re not alone.

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