Looking for a gift for a friend or family member who has a new puppy — or looking for something fun but safe for the newest furry member of your own home?
From teething toys to soft cuddling toys, the best puppy gifts are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
Though most puppies aren’t very picky about toys, it’s a good idea to inquire about a puppy’s preferences.
Some puppies prefer chew toys, while others may prefer stuffed toys or toys that have moving parts.
Below we share some of the considerations you should make before choosing a gift that is best suited to the puppy who will happily receive it.
Puppy Gift Ideas
Here are some gift options to consider — some of which my Labrador puppy, Thurber, absolutely loves:
Benebone Bacon Flavored Wishbone Chew Toy — This toy is designed in the shape of a wishbone for better grip by a puppy. It is basically a chew toy with actual flavors. It comes in five sizes and has bacon, chicken or peanut butter flavors. However, avoid this toy if you or your puppy has a nut allergy.
ChuckIt! Ultra Ball and Launcher — The rubber Ultra Ball is ultra tough and one of my dog, Thurber’s, very favorite toys. He loves to chew it for extended periods and hasn’t destroyed one yet. Every time we go outside, I use the ChuckIt Launcher to toss the ball far into the yard with ease — taking the strain off of my arm. ChuckIt balls are available in five sizes and both rubber and a tennis-ball material, which is not nearly as durable as the rubber version. If you have a large dog, avoid the small balls and go with the medium to large sizes that your large pup will not be able to accidentally swallow. The bright orange balls are easy to find in the grass and the snow.
KONG Classic Rubber Dog Chew Toy — This sturdy toy is multi-purpose. It’s one of the best-selling dog toys for good reason. Often referred to as “The KONG,” it is an excellent choice for puppies who love chewing. Due to its heavy-duty rubber construction, it can bounce in unusual ways, which is a form of puppy heaven. You can play fetch with your puppy for hours. It has a cavity built in it that can be filled with treats, such as peanut butter, which can occupy your puppy for a long time. Better yet, after you fill it with a spoonful of peanut butter, freeze it and it will keep your busy happily occupied for a good long while. Different colors represent different levels of durability, with black being the toughest to destroy.
KONG Rubber Flyer Frisbee Dog Toy — My dog, Thurber, loves this frisbee. It’s extra sturdy but his powerful Labrador jaws are eventually able to start chewing away at the rubber if he is free to chew it for extended times — so I never leave him with this toy alone. It’s strictly for throwing and chasing in the yard. This frisbee is composed of special rubber that is environment friendly and mostly unbreakable, but it is heavier than plastic frisbees and doesn’t travel as far. Unlike plastic frisbees, it is safe for your puppy to play with and chew without risk of injury to oral cavities.
Mammoth Floss Chews Cottonblend Color Knotted Rope Tug — This can make a great gift for puppies whole like to play with ropes. This toy is made up of multicolored ropes knitted together to form a single larger rope. Puppies can play tug of war, fetch and even chew on this toy. Fibers on this toy can help clean the teeth of our puppy. It is also available in many sizes, so you have the perfect pick to meet your puppy’s preference. This toy is also inexpensive.
BarkBox Dog Squeak Toys — BarkBox is a great gift for puppies who like to destroy their toys, because this toy is extra durable. It houses another small toy inside its body, and it squeaks when puppies press their paws on it while playing. Note that this durable toy costs about $13 dollars.
Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Dog Toys — This toy appears to be a tree trunk in which three squirrels are living. The squirrels on the tree make a sound when pressed by the puppy. This is a dream toy for some puppies and you can play along with your puppy. It comes in different sizes available for all kinds of puppies. It is a very soft and long-lasting toy.
OurPets IQ Treat Ball — You’ve guessed it, a puzzle toy that will reward your puppy with treats. This ball can be filled with puppy treats and, as your puppy plays with it, the treat will fall out of the ball. It will encourage your puppy to play for a longer time. This ball is available in two sizes: 3 inches and 4 inches. The difficulty level to obtain treats is also adjustable, so you may make it harder for your pup to vanish the treat quickly. This ball also will make an appealing sound when bounced on hard surfaces.
SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy — This makes great toys for new puppies or the ones who bark a lot or are afraid of loud sounds. You can crate train your puppy with the help of a toy. This toy can help reduce the stress levels of puppies who are brought to a new place. This toy has a beating heart inside and can be machine washed.
ZippyPaws No Stuffing Squeaky Plush Dog Toys — These toys can be great for puppies who like squeaky toys that are made up of soft thick fabric. The good thing about these toys is that they don’t contain any kind of stuffing inside their bodies to prevent a mess in the house so you don’t have to spend a whole day vacuum cleaning your house. ZippyPaws toys are enduring and long-lasting.
Outward Hound Interactive Puzzle Game Dog Toys — If you want to gift a toy that stimulates your puppy both mentally and physically, this is a good choice. This toy has compartments in which you may hide treats. Your puppy has to search for them and find a way to get them out. Puppies that have destructive behavior are easily be distracted by this toy. This toy has variable stages of puzzles to contest puppies of every IQ level. Note that the price of this toy starts at about $12 dollars.
Visit www.ThurbersTail.com for regular column updates, funny dog videos, well-researched articles explaining why our dogs do what they do, and Tom’s new book, “Tips from a New Dog Dad.” The Thurber’s Tail blog is managed by nationally syndicated humor columnist Tom Purcell and his beloved Labrador puppy, Thurber!