There is hardly any difference between bringing home a new puppy and a newborn baby. In fact, people consider their pets as one of their children and want to give the whole world to them.
Interestingly, for puppies, the mouth is the primary medium for inspecting and understanding the world. They use it to lick, suck, and chew anything and everything. This statement is especially relevant if you have a Lab pup – one of the most inquisitive dog breeds.
Therefore, whether you give your pup the whole world or not, ascertain that you present it with various puppy toys. For example, puppy play toys, puppy chew toys, and teething toys for puppies. It will spare your books, shoes, and other precious items from your Lab’s torture.
However, in this age of consumerism, shopping for your pup is definitely not a straightforward affair. There are so many options in the market that you will find your head spinning while contemplating which one to choose.
So many questions may be roaming in your mind.
- Which puppy toys will best suit your furry baby?
- Are those toys durable?
- Will those puppy toys fit your budget?
- Are cheap puppy toys harmful?
- What if your pup doesn’t like its new toy?
Well, do not get so hyper. That is precisely why we are here. We will provide you with all the required information, suggestions, guidance, and examples related to toy-shopping for your pup. Hopefully, by the end of this article, your mind will be clear enough to help you select the most suitable toys for your Lab puppy.
Things to Consider Before Selecting a Suitable Toy for your Puppy
Selecting a suitable toy for your pup becomes relatively easy if you are clear about your Lab’s toy’s expectations. To put it more simply, you need to chalk out a list of criteria you want your pup’s toy to fulfill. Setting a benchmark will streamline the whole selection process and help you to choose your pup’s toy easily. The following are some of the aspects you can consider while selecting a suitable puppy toy:
- Material quality
Even though the factors mentioned above will help you enough to select the best puppy toy for your Lab, the toy’s overall suitability will depend on your pup’s individual needs. To understand your pup’s requirements, you need to observe its behavior and personality. Most importantly, you have to consider its age.
Stages Within the Puppy Stage
If you are a novice dog owner, you must know that the puppy stage itself has three development stages. Your pup’s requirements will be determined by its current development stage. Therefore, before you head to an online or offline pet store to buy your puppy a new toy, attune your mind to the following three stages’ requirements.
1. Toys for 8 to 12 weeks old puppies
The period between eight to nine weeks is one of the turning points of your pup’s life. This is when your Lab is supposed to depart from its real mother’s warmth and siblings’ companionship. It is expected to adjust and live in a completely new environment, which is hereafter going to be its original home.
At this stage, your Lab will need a considerable amount of sleep for its growth and development. However, the alien environment may make it feel very uneasy and restless. Failing to handle such conflicting emotions, your new Labrador puppy may resort to biting and crying activities.
To deal with your pup’s anxiety and restlessness, you need to pick up those puppy toys from the market, which will keep your Lab occupied for hours. Consequently, you and your family members will be saved from the wrath of your Lab’s sharp teeth. The following are some useful toys you can consider purchasing for your Lab puppy:
- Strong rope toys
- Leash training toys
- Rawhide chews
- Fetch toys and others.
2. Toys for 3 to 5 months old puppies
You can expect some form of stability in your pup’s behavior during this stage. The anxiety will be gone, and you will see your Lab quite friendly towards its new family, home, and the environment in general.
You will also find that your pup has grown a lot, both in height and weight. With its newfound confidence, your Lab will want to play day and night. Be careful because your pup’s games won’t be sedentary. Instead, they will be more violent and involve jumping on people, licking, and, most importantly, biting.
This is the time when your Labrador is supposed to be teething. As its baby teeth drop out and adult teeth start emerging at their place, your pup will experience a lot of pain. Consequently, it will begin to chew things, not merely because it wants to. But also because it has to so that the strain is released. In such a situation, you have to act promptly so that your Labrador doesn’t chew anything that can severely damage its overall health.
Rush to any online or offline pet store to select some useful and toxin-free puppy teething toys for your Lab. An ideal puppy teething toy is one that can relieve the pain in your pup’s teeth and gums and yet doesn’t cause single damage to its body.
You must remember that your Lab will aggressively chew the concerned toy to release the soreness and ache in its teeth and gums. In such a situation, if the toy is by any chance ripped apart, it can go through your Labrador’s food pipe and severely harm its digestive system.
Therefore, be careful with your pup’s toys and keep this mantra in your mind – “Soft, yet durable.” You won’t face much confusion while picking up the right puppy chew toy for your Lab pup.
3. Toys for 6 to 9 months old puppies
Your pup will be done with its teething stage by the beginning of the six months itself. Consequently, you will see a whole new set of adult teeth in your dog’s mouth. Besides going through the terrible pain of teething, your Lab will have experienced many new things by now. Such experiences may include an introduction to new smells, human beings, situations, and places. Consequently, your pup’s brain may have developed a lot.
To ensure your dog’s further cognitive development, you need to initiate it to more complicated interactive toys. Toys for boredom, puzzles, food-dispensing toys, treat-finding toys, and slow feeding toys are significant examples of such interactive toys. The more your pup gets engrossed in such mind provoking games, the more its mental and physical health will be taken care of. Besides that, your puppy will master the art of entertaining itself as you engage yourself in your daily mundane activities.
Apart from the general developmental needs corresponding to your pup’s age, you need to consider its individual personality traits as well. Always remember that each puppy has its own set of unique qualities. Consequently, there is no rigid rule that your Lab puppy will exhibit the same characteristics we have presented in the developmental stages mentioned above. Therefore, dedicate a considerable amount of time to your small pooch and get familiar with all its habits and traits.
Puppy Toys From Kong
If someone asks about the most reliable pet toy company, the Kong Company will definitely occupy the number one spot on people’s list. You can trust this company’s products even with your eyes closed. The reliability of this organization’s products is further explained by the fact that you will find your veterinarian using Kong toys to distract your pup during its examination and vaccination.
As far as puppies are concerned, Kong has a distinctive line of collection to cater to your puppy’s various physical and cognitive needs at different developmental stages. To provide you with the perfect puppy toy, Kong has even developed a sizing chart based on your pup’s breed, age, and weight. As per that chart, you should look for puppy toys of large or medium sizes for your Labrador pup. Toys smaller than that will neither gain your dog’s interest, nor they will fit your pup’s mouth.
Given below are some of the most preferred puppy toys from Kong based on your pup’s age and developmental stage:
Kong Toys For 7 to 12 weeks old puppies
As mentioned earlier, this is a transitional period for your puppy. Consequently, you will always find your Lab in a volatile mood. To keep it calm and engaged, here are some most loved Kong puppy toys.
It is the famous Kong Classic toy’s puppy version. The material is durable and is attuned to the large breed puppies’ teething needs. There is a hole at the center meant to be stuffed with food and treats. Your pup will have a gala time playing with it.
Kong Cozies Ali the Alligator Plush Puppy Squeaky Toy
Some cute and fluffy puppy toys are provided by the Kong company, keeping in mind your pup’s comfort. Labrador puppies love these snuggly and cuddlesome toys so much that they often sleep with them. However, these toys are made up of soft materials. Therefore, avoid giving this toy to your pup unless you have time to supervise it.
This pull toy is one of the recent additions to the Kong family. However, do not be misled by its fragile appearance. It may look soft and delicate, but its material is really durable. Even though the fabric is nylon, your pup won’t feel even a little bit of irritation in its teeth and gums. The toy comprises of four tails and two balls. It has been designed for both self and interactive play.
Kong Toys For 3 to 9 months old puppies
This is when your pup will be teething and engaging in hyperactive games like jumping, licking, and biting. Obviously, you will have a hard time dealing with its antics. But do not worry. The following Kong puppy toys will channelize your pup’s energy in constructive activities:
This toy is precisely what your pup needs at this stage. The soft but enduring rubber and the carefully engraved ridges will provide your puppy’s teeth and gums the soothing effect it has been craving for since the beginning of its teething stage. Besides that, the stick will clean your pup’s teeth as it chews. You can put it in the freezer to provide a cooling effect to your pup’s sore teeth and gums.
This frisbee is just the thing you need to deal with your Lab pup’s excess energy. Besides that, it will help you to trigger your pup’s retrieving instincts. And the most satisfying part is that your hands will be spared from your pup’s canines’ wrath.
This marvelous toy has been designed to help your pup to get through its painful teething stage. The material is enduring enough to withstand your pup’s violent chewing, and there are grooves to clean up your pup’s teeth and gums. Besides that, you can stuff some delicacies in the tire to motivate your Lab to chew more. The more your Lab sinks its teeth into the tire, the more its dental health will be taken care of.
Kong Toys For 9 to 12 months old puppies
The time when your pup is just about to step into adulthood. So why not engage it in some complicated, mind provoking adult games?
The Kong company prescribes the following dog toys for your pup’s further physical and cognitive development. The rubber used for manufacturing these toys is more durable and, therefore, apt for your pup’s sharp adult canines.
It is another beautiful toy that has been specifically created to take care of your puppy’s adult teeth and gums and overall oral hygiene. There are ridges to be filled with delicacies like nut butter and others. As your Labrador tries to extract those treats, the toy will clean all the plague from your Lab’s teeth and gums
Kong Air Dog Squeakair Dog Toy Tennis Ball.
The toy is terrific for playing fetch and triggering your pup’s retrieving instincts. Besides that, it makes a squeaking sound when your Lab holds the tennis ball with its mouth. No doubt your Lab will be intrigued by this toy.
It is the Kong Wubba’s adult version. It is bigger and far better than the puppy version in terms of durability. Besides that, it is versatile. There are many shapes and configurations designed for different climatic conditions and dogs of various breeds, sizes, and ages. No wonder it is so popular among dog lovers.
Why Puppy Teething Toys are vital for your pup?
Have you ever gone to your dentist for a thorough checkup? Did he or she clean your mouth? If yes, then you must remember that scary metal-hook your dentist used along your gum line to remove all the plague. And why not? Who can forget that soreness and uncomfortable feeling in the teeth and gums after being subjected to that sharp hook’s ‘torture’?
Well, your pup feels precisely the same way when its adult teeth start taking its baby teeth’ place. In fact, the pain is so excruciating that it often becomes clueless on how to react. Sometimes, it will be confused. At other times, it will act all grouchy and sulky. Besides that, it will be impelled to bite and chew almost everything—anything to release that agonizing pain.
Under such circumstances, you have to be patient, compassionate, and considerate. However, you cannot let your pup chew everything that it finds appealing to chew. That can prove to be perilous for its health. Therefore, you need to search for suitable puppy chew toys to help your Lab get through this painful phase with the least possible discomfort. You will also find some freezer-friendly teething toys meant to provide a cooling effect to your pup’s teeth and gums as it sinks them into the toy’s body.
Best Puppy Teething Toys for Labrador Puppies
The following highly-rated puppy chew toys will help your Lab to pass through its teething phase without much discomfort:
Mr. Play Puppy Toys Dog Chew Bone
This ball-shaped or bone-shaped chew toy is ideal for serving your pup during its teething stage. It is freezer-friendly as long as your puppy keeps its weight below 70 pounds. One notable feature of this toy is that you will find it as a set of a bone and a ball.
ActivPet Puppy Chew Teething Rope Toy Set Mini Dental Pack
These chew ropes are made up of a hundred percent cotton. But they are strong enough to withstand your pup’s violent chewing without being ripped apart and making their way into your Lab’s food pipe. Besides that, they will act as floss to clean up your pup’s teeth and gums.
Nylabone Puppy Starter Kit Puppy Chew Toys
If you are looking for a specialist brand for teething and chew toys, Nylabone is perfect for you. You can choose to purchase their regular teething ring or make a more savage selection by purchasing the Nylabone T-Rex chew toy. It will take care of both your pup’s chewing needs and its dental health.
MultiPet Chilly Bones For Teething
This chew toy shaped into a bone from MultiPet has been mainly designed for your puppy’s teething needs. The structure enables your Lab to efficiently and firmly grasp the toy within its muzzle and chew into it like there’s no tomorrow. You can freeze it for a soothing effect to your pup’s teeth and gums. The fact that it comes in vanilla flavor will encourage your Lab to chew it more rigorously.
Best Puzzle Toys for Puppies
Stepping into adulthood is just not an easy task for puppies, especially Labrador puppies. Being a large breed, they are bound to have more food when they are adults. But the transition from the puppyhood to adulthood can subject them to some serious digestive problems. This is called the food transition period.
Basically, what happens is that, as puppies, Labradors become accustomed to small proportions of frequent meals. Therefore, when the time comes to transition to an adult food schedule characterized by large proportions of less frequent meals, they start experiencing some problems digesting their food.
Therefore, you need to slowly and steadily initiate your puppy to the adult feeding schedule. In this context, food-dispensing toys, slow feeders, and treat toys will be of particular help to you. They will make the whole adult feeding process a bit slower as your pup has to solve them to have its treat. And because these toys are so much fun, your dog won’t even know when its body will become accustomed to large food proportions.
This popular treat ball from Omega Paw is relatively easy to solve. Yet your puppy has to think a lot before finding the right way to roll the ball so that the kibbles come out. The bright orange color is meant to gain your pup’s attention. And the holes are supposed to be stuffed with treats, preferably dry food. Also, you won’t have to bite your nails worrying about the ball getting damaged. The toy has been manufactured with pliable yet enduring vinyl material.
OurPets IQ Treat Ball Food Dispensing Dog Toy (Interactive)
This unique ball from OurPets is one of the most favorite toys of dog lovers. It is simple, yet your dog will keep on guessing for hours the right way to roll this ball so that the kibbles or treats inside it come out.
Outward Hound Kibble Drop Interactive Dog Toy Puzzle for Dogs
This ‘X’- shaped interactive puzzle toy with some striking colors is bound to catch your pup’s attention. The four corners are meant to be stuffed with different kinds of treats. The center portion has a hole that will enable you to insert the food. Your pup has to make some effort to flip open the corner lids to get its reward. Quite an exercise, no?
J.W. Pet Tough from Nature Hol-ee Roller
This ball-shaped toy is made up of a durable material and has got holes in it. Consequently, you will be able to utilize it to provide two kinds of relief to your pup. First, chewing satisfaction if it is experiencing the excruciating teething pain. And second, physical and emotional fulfillment by stuffing some delicacies in it.
Chew Toys For Puppies
When it comes to Labradors, chewing is not limited to their teething stage. It is like their second nature and is likely to get worse when they are bored. Giving your Labrador an ample amount of exercise can put a break to this habit to some extent. However, you need to keep it engaged all the time to prevent it from destroying your precious belongings. Some toxin-free and durable puppy chew toys are just what you need. It will keep your Lab busy and cater to its instinctive needs to chew.
This is another innovative toy from Nylabone Dura. Besides catering to your pup’s teething induced chewing needs, it will take care of your pup’s teeth and gums. You must be wondering how?
Well, we will suggest you not to judge this toy by its appearance. It has got bristles that remains hidden unless your pup starts chewing it. As your Lab sinks its teeth, the fibers come up and start cleaning your pup’s teeth.
Moreover, the size is medium and, therefore, perfect for Lab puppies.
Otterly Pets Puppy Dog Pet Rope Toys
If you want a chew toy specially designed for your Lab puppy (under 6 months), the rope toys manufactured by Otterly Pets are perfect for you. The fabric is made up of pure and durable cotton and is washable as well. There are four ropes of various designs in one package. Consequently, you will always have an alternative ready whenever you plan to launder one of the strings.
EXPAWLORER Cotton Dental Teaser Puppy Pet Chew Rope Toys
You will find it one of the most exciting puppy-chew toys. These are actually ropes made up of durable materials to encourage chewing while massaging and cleaning all the plague out of your pup’s teeth and gums. However, the fascinating part is that these ropes are shaped into different animals – lions, horses, giraffes, and others. They look so cute that you will want to cry when your Lab attacks them with its savage canines.
Mavel Large Toy for Dogs Puppies – Top Cool Rope Dog Chew Toy
This is another rope toy meant to take care of your pup’s overall dental health. The fabric’s interior is pure cotton, and the exterior is polyester. Quite evidently, the toy is made up of one of the most durable materials (cotton-polyester blend) and hence, perfect for relieving teething related pain.
Dog Toy PetStages Cool Teething Stick
This teething stick from PetStages is filled with some eye-catching colors and designs. Your pup will fall in love with it at first sight itself. Besides that, the toy is freezer-friendly. Also, when your dog sinks its teeth into it, the stick will make crunching sounds. No doubt your pup will have a party with it.
Some Interactive Dog Toys for Labrador Puppies
Till now, we have explored teething toys, chew toys, and puzzle toys. But what about interactive toys? You do want to spend some quality time with your pup, right?
So, here are some highly-rated and most favored interactive toys for your pup.
Dogit Mind Games 3-in-1 Interactive Smart Toy For Dog’s
If you want your Lab pup to grow into an intelligent and smart dog, you have to start working on its cognitive skills from now on itself. And no toy can be better than this interactive puzzle toy to impel your pup to exercise its brain. The puzzle is based on treats, and there are suction cups that will not leave their place unless your Lab has figured out the mechanism.
Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Squeaky Puzzle Plush Dog Toy
It is a toy that has been specially designed for Labrador puppies. If you wish to encourage your pup’s natural instincts for retrieving, get this toy immediately. It is soft and safe. Besides that, the animals, namely birds, bees, or/and hedgehogs, make a squeaking sound when hunted and retrieved. And the most satisfying part is you can buy their spare parts separately in case of damage.
Ethical Pets Sensory Ball Dog Toy
This unique ball from the Ethical Pets company will appear to your pup’s senses at multiple levels. It has got three distinct designs and textures and a delicious beef flavor. No doubt, you and your puppy will have some real fun playing with this ball. Besides that, the smell of beef will encourage your pup to play solo as well.
Ethical Pet Interactive Seek-A-Treat Flip ‘N Flap Bone Dog Toy Puzzle
This innovative interactive toy will impel your Lab to exercise its mind simultaneously with its body. Your pup has to apply its brain to understand the mechanism and move its body to get its reward. Besides that, it is made up of eco-friendly materials. Consequently, you won’t have to be tensed about your pup’s health.
Precautions to be taken before purchasing a new Puppy Toy
If you intend to purchase a puppy toy that has not been discussed in the list mentioned above, we will suggest searching for a safety note on that product. Verify if the toy is durable and made of toxin-free components or not. A reliable manufacturer will mention all the information related to the toy’s production on the label.
If you do not find any safety notes or instructions concerning the product’s usage, it is recommended not to purchase it. However, we will suggest you do some more research on the concerned product and its manufacturer if you insist on buying it. Scroll through the internet and contact some Labrador retriever owners to know their take on the product. It is more salutary to be informed and safe than feel uncertain and sorry.
Always keep in mind, nothing in this world is more precious than your pup’s life. However cool the concerned product may be, avoid purchasing it unless you are sure about its safety.
Unfortunately, most people do not take the task of purchasing toys for their pup seriously. Some of them even consider purchasing dog toys a luxury rather than a necessity. However, such people do not understand that high-quality dog toys with a size appropriate to their pup’s age are as important as training and exercise for their Labrador’s mental and physical development.
Hopefully, the puppy toys mentioned by us have cleared the fog inside your mind and triggered some ideas about what kind of puppy toys you want to present your Labrador puppy. Even though the toys we have reviewed here are very much safe, you must not be casual regarding your dog’s security.
Always monitor your Labrador’s antics when it is playing with its toy. Inspect the condition of your pup’s toys frequently to look for any wears and tears. If you find some, discard the toy immediately before your puppy swallows the torn chunks and falls sick.
So, what are you waiting for? Pick up your smartphone and start looking for some entertaining and mind provoking interactive puppy toys. Your pooch will definitely be pleased with its new plaything. And you won’t have to spend the majority of your day struggling with its hyperactive behavior.
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