Of all of the facts in the world that we know about puppies, puppies loving their toys is the truest of them all!
Using toys during crate training can be a very effective way of helping your puppy form positive associations with their kennel and give them a bit of fun too!
You can put toys in a puppy’s crate during and after crate training. But, you cannot leave your puppy with toys unsupervised in case they start to destroy and eat the toy. Some of the best toys to put in a puppy’s crate are stuffed animals for comfort, puzzle toys with treats, and chew toys for teething.
In this article, I will list the best crate toys you can buy for your puppy to ensure they have plenty to occupy and comfort them in the crate.
Ready? Let’s start!
To put it simply and enthusiastically: YES!
If you want a puppy that is content in their crate, having a toy there to occupy their mind is a wonderful thing.
This allows the puppy to be distracted with something fun, have warmth and comfort in the little safe haven that you’ve turned the crate into, and stay quiet for your sake as well!
Putting toys in a puppy’s crate can also help with crate training - the toy is a positive in a young dog’s life, and being able to play inside of a crate allows the enclosed space itself to hold a positive feeling.
Plus, toys are a great solution for hiding some treats inside and allowing the kennel to be positive for both playtime and food time.
That being said, you do need to be attentive toward your puppy when they have toys in their crate.
Puppies chew, and being left with toys unsupervised can be dangerous. Swallowing pieces of a toy can lead to obstruction, which is a life-threatening condition in which a foreign object gets lodged inside of your puppy’s body.
This is also the reason that cooked bones, rawhide chews, and other edible gnawing food items should not be left in the crate - it can be hard to supervise whether or not your puppy is taking too large of a chunk out and swallowing it whole.
Be sure to watch how your puppy is playing with the toy to ensure they aren’t attempting to rip the toy into small pieces! Each dog is inclined to chew on each toy differently, so if you have a puppy that wants to shred stuffy toes, look into rubber chews instead (and vice versa)!
Choosing a toy is very dependent upon your puppy’s personality, likes, and dislikes. Some prefer stuffed animals to play with and others love to have something to sink their teeth into! Here are the best toys you can put in your puppy’s crate and why.
You really can’t go wrong with a classic Kong toy - a toy that is so highly recommended by breeders, pet owners, dog professionals, and so many more. So much so that despite Kong being the name of the brand, everyone refers to their tough-rubber treat holders as such.
Having been around for a tremendous amount of years, this toy has truly stood the test of time (and many sharp teeth). Made to be durable and thick but ultimately pleasing to your pup’s chewing craving, this toy should keep your puppy occupied for a long time.
There are so many ways you can utilize the classic Kong toy, with most of them being the treats you shove inside.
In the summer months, many pet owners love to throw some peanut butter in there and toss the toy in the freezer - to give the puppy a little popsicle treat that keeps them occupied for hours.
In the wintertime, lathering on some thicker treat deep in the inside of the toy’s hole should do just the trick!
As I’ve covered in many articles on my website, puppies that have come into your home for the first time can be very nervous, anxious, and sometimes scared.
Everything they’ve ever known is suddenly gone, and the world is a pretty big and unknown place. One of the biggest losses a puppy may have is the comfort of their siblings and mom.
As such, some kind companies have created stuffed dog toys with internal heartbeats and heaters to imitate a living animal. This can provide your puppy with warmth and comfort as they transition into their new life with you! This is a wonderful crate toy to give a nervous puppy, and it can help make the crate feel safe and secure.
That being said, not all puppies thrive well on a stuffed toy such as this. If your puppy happens to be mouthy and destructive, this toy can become dangerous as they could swallow the fibers or internal components. As such, this heartbeat toy should only be given to milder puppies that don’t have destructive tendencies.
With a name this fun to say, it’s had to be fun for your pup! The Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug toy does many good things for your puppy all at the same time. What appears to be a jug with a squishy ball at the tip will keep your pup occupied for the foreseeable future if you fill it with yummy treats!
The design will keep your pup busy trying to figure out how to get the treats inside. In the process of chewing and sorting out how to get the food, your puppy will clean their teeth and keep some of the teething tendencies at bay! The treats will also trickle out slowly, so you won’t need to worry about your puppy choking from eating too fast. The attached rope makes it easy for your puppy to pull the toy around and hold it steady.
All of this being said, this toy is very durable but the Kong may still be more durable, depending upon how eager your puppy is to try and destroy it. For most dogs, this toy will last a good while.
The Idepet Dog Toy Ball is along the same lines as the jug and Kong above, meant to be a puzzle stuffed with treats. As your pup takes their time to figure out how to get the goodies out, you’ll have peace and quiet. In the time it takes for the puppy to get everything from the toy, their brain will be exhausted, and it’ll be a nice nap time!
This ball has teethy ridges running all around it, easy to squish kibble, treats, peanut butter, and other goodness for your pup to try and get out. These ridges are soft to the bite, so your pup won’t injure their mouth while discovering how to get the delicious goodies out of there.
The materials and design are pretty resistant to biting and tend to bounce right back, albeit a bit slobbery. Made of non-toxic material, this toy aims to remain a safe companion for your puppy in their crate. The process of getting the treats out may also clean your puppy’s teeth!
That being said, very large puppies may not be good fits for this toy as it can be swallowed by large mouths, making it a potential choking hazard for them.
Similar to the Idepet Dog Toy Ball above, this ball also dispenses treats for your curious pup.
However, the OurPets IQ Treat Ball is not really meant for chewing. It’s more so meant for rolling.
If you’re worried about your puppy tearing off rubbery pieces from our other toys, this one might just be the solution you’re looking for.
This toy has also been used as a feeding tool for dogs that eat way too fast, as you can stuff it full of kibble and let your pup use their brain to figure it out. Your puppy has to roll the ball around to get each piece of treat or kibble out, slowing down their gulping habits.
To make it even better, each piece of this toy comes apart so you can clean and sanitize it with ease!
To this day, the Nylabone is one of the most famous dog toys of all time, next to the Kong. Great for teething puppies, this toy is meant to be gnawed on. This is one of the few toys on our list that has nothing to do with puzzles or hiding treats; Nylabone has one sole purpose: a chew toy.
Made of nylon (as the name suggests), this is a very durable chew for many puppies out there. Rated for up to 50lbs of chewing pressure, most dogs can play with this toy safely. The material is gentle enough for teething puppies as well to prevent them from deforming their bite as the adult teeth push through the baby teeth.
The newer designs of the Nylabone have grooves in them to help clean your pup’s teeth as they satisfy their craving for chewing. Some of the Nylabones are even flavored to encourage chewing!
However, if your puppy is strong, this toy should always be supervised to make sure little Fido doesn’t bite pieces off and try to eat them.