Getting a new puppy is an exciting whirlwind of furry cuteness. Puppies are tiny, adorable little chewers. It’s hard to believe some are even real, like these teddy bear pups on this site. Once the excitement is over, however, reality begins to set in. Those cute little chewers are also destructive and messy.
In order to enjoy your pup and save your house at the same time, you’ll need to start training. Different schools of discipline can be found to meet your style, but one thing all these trainers agree on is that puppies need treats and toys.
Here are six of the best puppy-friendly items out there.
Peanut Butter Paste
Peanut butter is a doggy favorite, and when given the right kind of peanut butter, is healthy too. Make sure you avoid any peanut mixes that are high in sugar. Never give your dog products with Xylitol an artificial sweetener that can be highly toxic in even the smallest quantities. Look for natural mixes of just peanuts and oil, like this peanut butter paste by Kong brands.
Reminiscent of Easy Cheese, this handy paste is recommended by trainers to help put nervous dogs at ease. This high-value treat can also be used as rewards on walks and other socialization training.
Bite Sized Training Treats
An important thing to remember when choosing training treats is that you don’t want items that are too large. Training works best with repetition, so you’ll be giving these treats to your pup frequently. Larger treats or unhealthy options can cause you to accidentally overfeed your pup.
Just like with human children, young dogs need a nutritious and balanced diet. Look for tiny treats packed with healthy protein like these Cloud Bites. Small enough to be able to eat plenty of treats, these are also a clean and low-prep training option.
Dental Friendly Treats
The health of teeth and gums is important to your little chewers. Dental treats like Greenies provide an excellent option for once-daily treats that clean teeth and freshen breath too. These green treats come in multiple sizes, so you can scale the size of your snack to the size of your pup. Recommended by vets, the treats have a proven record for tooth and gum health. In addition, these green bites are generally well-liked by dogs and low in fat.
Kong Chew Toys
Puppies are going to chew. It’s up to human’s to find the best chew toys for these developing jaws. A favorite of owners and trainers alike is the trusty Kong toy. This hard rubber toy is recommended by the American Kennel Club and comes in a large variety of shapes and sizes.
A favorite among many is the Kong that looks like to stacked rubber balls of slightly different sizes stacked together. In the center of the toy is a hole that is easily filled with tiny treats or paste. You can also freeze a Kong toy with water, adding an extra option to cool down or soothe sore gums.
Puppies love a game of tug. Whether a training reward, something good to chew, or a fun way to burn off a little energy, these simple toys are a long time favorite. It’s important to purchase a quality tug rope and not just use any old string. Look for a durable rope that won’t have pieces breaking off, which is why pet-rated toys are best.
Puppies don’t understand that eating these broken pieces can be harmful, which could result in an intestinal blockage. Ropes with knots or handles can make the item easier to grip for both humans and pups alike but aren’t necessary. Another important thing to remember is not to play actual tug of war until your puppy is older, as too much pull can damage a developing jaw. Just play gently for now, or toss the rope for fetch. Quality ropes should last until your dog is older and can play a little rougher.
There are many more different training treats and toys on the market. Look for items that are both durable and non-toxic and avoid any items that can splinter or shred easily.