Everyone loves puppies, and it’s easy to see why. Their adorable faces, their cute little paws, and the endearing little noises they make…all of these qualities make for a thoroughly likable creature.
However, puppies have other qualities that aren’t so endearing, and one of them is a tendency to chew things.
Naturally, your German Shepherd puppy is going to need a chew toy or two. This is an effective and time-honored way to curb the chewing habits of a young pup. With that in mind, let’s look at six of the best puppy chew toys that we could find on the internet.
Best Overall Product: Kong Puppy Toy
These particular toys are very popular for dogs of all ages, and this is what you might call the “junior version” of the product.
It consists of three bulbous sections, each one smaller than the last. This gives your puppy plenty of places to grab and chew.
The main selling point of this item is its durability, as it is made of thick natural rubber and nothing else. There is an inner cavity into which you can place treats or food, but the whole thing is solid apart from that.
We would say that a German Shepherd puppy will have a tough time destroying this toy, even though older dogs could probably rip it to pieces with ease.
Kong toys are available with several grades of rubber, and the puppy grade is the softest. That makes it a good choice for teething pups, and they tend to like the way it bounces around when thrown. The round but irregular shape of this product causes it to bounce in unpredictable ways.
They make Kong toys for all sizes and ages of dogs, and so it’s not a bad idea to get your dog used to them now.
By sticking with the same kind of toy, you help your dog to establish good habits early in life. However, we don’t like the smell.
These toys smell like a car tire, but most dogs don’t seem to mind. We’ve also noticed that the blue/pink rubber is easily scuffed and stained.
- Extremely durable
- Rubber is soft enough for teething
- Can be stuffed with treats or food
- Puppies usually love the way it bounces
- Larger sizes available for later
- Smells like a tire
- Easily stained
Best Budget Product: Petstages Dental Chew Rings
This is an interesting toy, as it combines a ring-shaped chew toy with a rope toy to create something that serves multiple purposes. Because it is long and flexible, it can be used for tug-of-war, much like a rope toy.
Puppies tend to love this game, and it’s a good opportunity to bond with your German Shepherd puppy.
Two of the three rings are made of rubber, and it’s soft enough to avoid damaging the jaws of your pup. These rings also have raised, rounded knobs that are supposed to clean your puppy’s teeth as they chew.
The middle ring is made of cloth, and it appears to be the synthetic kind. We like the fact that they have no visible seams, indicating that each is made from a solid piece of rubber.
This one offers your puppy multiple textures on which to chew, and that should increase their enjoyment. The two rubber rings are not identical, as one is much knobbier than the other. Thus, it is less likely that your pup will become bored with this product.
Despite the solid construction, the rubber rings still appear to be too thin. That’s not a big deal when you consider the fact that we are shopping for a puppy, but don’t expect this toy to last the ages. We would be surprised if it lasted longer than two months.
The biggest issue is that cloth ring in the middle. It’s not as strong as the rubber rings, which means it really shouldn’t have been put in the middle.
The middle ring will have to deal with more stretching and stress than the others, so they shouldn’t have put the weaker material there.
- Great for tug-of-war games
- Offers three different textures
- Cleans teeth as the puppy chews
- Very cheap
- Rings are solid with no seams
- The middle ring will probably break first
- Unlikely to last more than a month or two
The Runner-Up: EE Toys Mint-Flavored Aquabone Chews
These would have to be some of the most stylish puppies chew toys that we have ever seen. Still, looks don’t matter for something like this, so we should disregard that advantage.
These bones don’t look like bones, but they serve the same purpose. They are infused with the essence of mint, so they should help to freshen your dog’s breath. As far as we can tell, mint is safe for dogs of all ages, so there’s no safety concern here.
The white and blue areas represent softer and harder areas, which gives this bone a multi-layered consistency.
Puppies like to chew on both hard and soft objects, so they will probably like this aspect. Dog owners will probably like the 12-month warranty, which is very rare for products of this type.
These bones are a little bit expensive, so you might not want to get them if you’re on a tight budget. Indeed, this is the main reason that these bones are the runner-up instead of our winner.
Another little problem can be seen in the advertising when they say this product is for “gentle chewers.” From that, we can see that these bones won’t hold up to the teeth of a particularly rowdy German Shepherd puppy.
- Freshens breathe with a minty flavor
- Provides both hard and soft surfaces
- Will bend rather than break
- 12-month warranty
- Available in many different sizes
- A little expensive
- Only intended for gentle chewers
Honorable Mention: Benebone Wishbone Dog Chew
Benebone makes a series of nylon bones that have become very popular, so let’s look at the smallest version of their “wishbone” series.
As the name implies, these bones have three ends instead of two, giving your dog another place to grab. The advertising touts this feature as an “ergonomic design,” and it probably will help your dog to keep a better grip on the bone.
This one is made of nothing but nylon and bacon flavoring. We like the fact that this flavoring was made from real bacon without any weird additives, as it limits the chances of an allergic reaction.
The product smells and (probably) tastes like bacon. This makes it very attractive to most German Shepherd pups.
One thing about this bone is that it’s very hard and dense. This is great for dedicated chewers, but some pups might find it to be too hard.
As such, we would not recommend this one for puppies under 10 weeks of age. You don’t want to risk damaging those tiny little puppy teeth.
The hardness has an upside, though. You don’t have to worry about small pieces breaking away from this bone and getting lodged in your pup’s throat. It tends to break in large pieces, after which it must be replaced.
If you don’t replace it at the first sign of breakage, you could end up with a problem on your hands because the nylon is non-edible. We list this one as an honorable mention only because it requires closer supervision than the rest.
- Three ends for more chewing options
- Tastes and smells like bacon
- Doesn’t flake off in small pieces
- Available in a pup-friendly size
- Nothing but nylon and bacon
- Must be replaced if it breaks (not edible)
- Might be too hard for some pups
Alternate Product 1: NylaBone Dental Chew
This is one of the most popular nylon chew bones, and so it deserved a place on this list. Nylabone makes quite a few products like this, with each one tailored to different sizes and habits. This one is covered with thick knobs that are meant to clean a dog’s teeth as they chew.
For a dental bone, this is one of the best out there. It does a very effective job of cleaning debris from between the teeth, and of scrubbing away tartar and plaque. The more the dog uses it, the better it works.
The pleasant chicken flavor should help motivate them to chew plenty, leading to a dog with superior dental health.
This one is extremely cheap, and it’s likely to last a while. The nylon is much more flexible than that of the Benebone, and so it can bend without breaking to a much greater extent. Still, it loses points for two things, which is why we listed it as an alternate product.
Those cleaning knobs might be a little too big for a puppy, although the exact age of the puppy is a factor here.
Still, we fear that it might hurt the dog’s gums if they get carried away, so you might want to file those knobby projections down or look for a product with smaller ones.
Like all nylon bones, this one is not edible and must be disposed of at the first sign of cracks or breakage.
- Great for cleaning your dog’s teeth
- Pleasant chicken flavor
- Able to bend without breaking
- Extremely cheap
- Helps relieve stress
- Not edible
- Knobs maybe a little too big for pups
Alternate Product 2: Yotache Set Of 6 Puppy Toys
This one is a little different from the others, as it is a complete set of toys. There are six pieces here, and each of them is meant for a different kind of play.
Although this is the only value pack on our list, we wanted to include one so that those on a tight budget could have a viable option.
This product does give great value, and you get a great variety of toys as well. There’s a rope toy for playing tug-of-war, a round rubber ball for playing fetch, a rubber ring for teething, a knotted rope toy to provide hours of chewing, and a stuffed banana that your pup can enjoy ripping to shreds.
None of these products are made to the highest of standards, but all of them are made with non-toxic materials.
That is a serious plus because cheap dog toys are often made with all kinds of strange fillers. Most of these toys should be durable enough for the average puppy.
At the same time, there are some consistent complaints about durability, so we can assume that these toys won’t be a good choice for dedicated chewers.
None of these toys looks particularly durable, which would seem to confirm their limitations. Still, for those dogs that go a little lighter on their toys, this can be a great way to save money.
- Lots of toys at a low price
- Gives your pup a wide variety of play options
- Made of non-toxic materials
- Most of the toys are pretty strong
- Happy, colorful appearance
- None of these look all that durable
After reading the above, you should have a better understanding of the subject. You should know what kinds of toys offer the greatest quality, and which ones are not worth buying. However, your education is not yet complete.
Let’s go over a few of the most common questions that we receive on this subject.
How Long Should A Chew Toy Last?
The answer to that question will depend on both the product and your dog. There is no way to give you a reliable answer to this question. However, if you choose your chew toys wisely, your dog should get at least a month of use per toy.
If you don’t get at least that much, you wasted your money. It’s important to remember that chew toys are meant to be disposable, even if you don’t want to replace them any more often than necessary.
Is It Safe To Use Nylon Bones?
Nylon chew bones are safe, for the most part. However, you don’t want your dog to eat any part of them. Nylon isn’t toxic, but it can cause some digestive issues.
At the worst, it could cause an intestinal blockage, and that’s a potentially fatal problem. We would recommend that these bones be checked often for signs of breakage or cracking, and replaced immediately if such signs are found.
Do Chew Toys Present A Choking Hazard?
There is no easy way to say this, but all chew toys present at least some danger of choking. Unfortunately, there is no way to get around this problem, as it is a natural consequence of an animal putting things in their mouth. Still, you can minimize the risk by choosing edible bones, or those that only break into large pieces.
Best Chew Toys For German Shepherd Puppies Buyer’s Guide
Next, let’s look at the essential factors that you should look at when choosing a chew toy for your German Shepherd pup.
Durability Vs. Cost
Ordinarily, these two factors would be considered separately. However, durability and cost are closely related in this case.
The more expensive a chew toy is, the longer it will need to last (to justify its cost). By contrast, a cheaper toy can be replaced more often, so durability isn’t as important.
For example, let’s say your dog gets a chew bone that costs $10, and it lasts him two months. That means you paid $5 per month for your dog to have that bone.
On the other hand, you might buy a $3 toy that lasts for one month, which means you just saved $2 per month on toy expenses. You need to figure out your per-month cost for chew toys and go from there.
This is the most important factor to be considered. As we said earlier, all chew bones will present some danger of choking, so you want to minimize that danger as much as possible. There are several things you can do to select the safest product.
For one thing, think about the material of which your chew toy is made. Nylon bones can present a larger danger of intestinal blockage, but a little less danger of choking due to its softness.
Natural bones don’t present much danger of choking because dogs will grind and chew them up too finely. Wooden sticks also make great chew toys, and they are also pretty safe.
You should also think about how that toy will break. All chew toys eventually break, so think about how they will break and consider the safety implications.
When it comes to a puppy, you need something a little bit softer than average. There are exceptions to this rule, but you should generally avoid the hardest chew bones when shopping for a puppy.
As you might have noticed, German Shepherd pups tend to be very energetic. As such, they can easily get carried away and hurt their teeth on some of the harder chew toys.
If your pup is a dedicated chewer, you should avoid bones made of hard nylon until they are at least ten weeks of age. Stick with things like cloth, soft rubber, and other things that won’t damage those small, developing teeth.
Flavor And Scent
Unlike humans, who get most of our information from visual cues, a dog often judges their world by smell.
Since taste is related to smell, both flavor and scent will play a huge role in whether or not your pup likes their new toy. Unfortunately, every dog has different preferences in this department.
Most chew toys are flavored with some kind of meat product, so you can start by finding out what kind of meat your dog likes best. Give them small scraps of beef, chicken, pork, etc. to get a better idea of what makes them go crazy.
Lots of chew toys have special features that add something to their usefulness. Perhaps the most common of these is to have a hollow toy that can be filled with food.
This gives the dog a goal, but it can also encourage them to destroy the toy as they try to get the food. So, should you get a toy like that for your German Shepherd pup? That’s a question you must answer, and you should base your answer on the behavior that you see from the pup.
As a general rule, most of these “extra features” should be avoided when buying a chew toy for a puppy. Safety is the biggest concern here, so it is safer to stick with something simple.
Chew toys are one of those items that every dog owner tries to keep stocked. They bring such joy to a dog that many of us want to give them the best toy we can get. As you look for the perfect chew toy, we hope that you will find this guide to be helpful.
With a little research and care, you can find the product that will serve your dog’s needs with maximum safety and effectiveness.
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