While chew toys are often associated with larger dogs, small dogs often enjoy playing with chew toys, and some can end up being heavy chewers. Chew toys have many benefits, including relieving boredom, protecting furniture and household items, and promoting dental health.
Different dogs will have their own preferences, and you can find a wide variety of chew toys sold in stores. While there’s an abundance of chew toys for medium and large dogs, options are a bit more limited for small dogs and toy breeds. So, it can be challenging to look for a chew toy that your small dog will like.
We’re here to help and have reviews of some of the most popular chew toys for small dogs. We’ll also go over the different kinds of chew toys commonly sold in pet stores and what factors to consider when shopping for new toys for your dog.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
The 10 Best Chew Toys for Small Dogs
1. JW Pet Chompion Dog Toy – Best Overall
This JW Pet Chompion Dog Toy is an excellent toy to introduce to your small dog. It has a fun dumbbell shape design that your dog can easily grip and toss and bounce around. It has grooves and nubs that help promote healthy teeth and gums. The sides have holes in them where you can place treats inside.
The material is certified non-toxic, and it’s soft enough for teething puppies to chew on. The toy is infused with a tasty vanilla flavor to encourage chewing. You can also spread peanut butter or other dog-friendly foods between the grooves to promote longer play.
The only setback with this toy is that it may be too large for some toy breed puppies to grip and chew. However, with all the different ways to play with this chew toy, we still consider it the best overall chew toy for small dogs.
2. Nylabone Power Chew Bacon Flavored Dog Chew Toy – Best Value
|Material:||Nylon, synthetic fabric|
The Nylabone Power Chew Bacon Flavored Dog Chew Toy is the best chew toy for small dogs for the money because you get a lot of benefits while paying a budget-friendly price. This particular toy comes in both extra-small and small sizes, so most small dogs and toy breeds can play with it. It’s made with long-lasting nylon and has a tasty bacon flavor infused throughout the whole toy, so you don’t have to replace it unless your dog completely destroys the toy.
While this toy becomes more textured as your dog continues to chew it, it does start off completely smooth. So, your dog may have a difficult time gripping it in the beginning or may not find it as fun as other chew toys with more details and features.
3. Benebone Fishbone Dog Chew Toy – Premium Choice
Benebone is a reputable dog toy brand that produces high-quality products. This particular fishbone chew toy provides a fun experience for dogs and can last for weeks. It’s easy to grip and has a savory salmon flavor that dogs will enjoy gnawing on. The scent is barely noticeable for humans, so you don’t have to worry about your carpets and furniture having a fishy odor.
This toy is a safe alternative to rawhide, and your dog can continue to chew on it and let it wear down. However, it’s important to examine the toy after each time your dog plays with it because it can develop sharp edges that can scratch your dog.
4. KONG Puppy Dog Toy – Best for Puppies
This KONG toy is a classic and a staple for many puppy owners. It’s made with soft and durable all-natural rubber specifically made for teething puppies. The design of this toy promotes safe chewing and keeps puppies entertained for a long time. You can stuff the inside with all kinds of treats and use it as an enrichment toy. The shape of the toy causes erratic bouncing, making the toy even more fun for puppies.
Overall, we love that this toy is multi-functional and offers several different ways to play. However, it can be a bit of work to clean the inside. It’s top-rack dishwasher safe, but gunk can still remain trapped inside.
5. Hartz Chew ‘n Clean Tuff Bone Dog Chew Toy
|Material:||Nylon, plastic, synthetic fabric|
This chew toy is another budget-friendly option that comes in both extra-small and small sizes. It has a smooth, durable nylon border and a textured center with many nubs that massage your dog’s gums and helps fight plaque and tartar buildup.
The toy is infused with a bacon scent to encourage chewing, and it’s easy for dogs to grip.
It’s soft enough for puppies and older dogs to chew on and is safe for all life stages. However, it doesn’t withstand heavy chewing. So, it’s especially important to supervise your dog while it chews on this toy and make sure to replace it right away when a larger piece breaks off.
6. PetSafe Busy Buddy Bristle Bone Treat Dispense Tough Dog Chew Toy
|Material:||Nylon, rubber, synthetic fabric|
This toy is an excellent interactive option for puppies that get bored easily. It’s made with durable nylon and heavy-duty rubber to withstand heavy chewing. It has three different kinds of chewing textures to keep dogs entertained for longer. The nylon nubs massage gums, and the nylon bristles brush your dog’s teeth as it chews.
You can also add treats to the toy to encourage your dog to chew. The toy is easy to clean and top-rack dishwasher safe. However, it may be better to wash this toy by hand as it can unscrew pretty easily if it’s been repeatedly treated roughly.
7. Mammoth Braided Tug with TPR Ball for Dogs
This toy is a fun chew toy and an interactive toy that you can use to play tug with your dog. It has knots on various spots to help your dog grip it easily. It also has a fun rubber ball that your dog can chew on and bounce around. The rope is made with 100% cotton and is soft enough for older dogs to bite into. The rope fibers also help clean teeth, and they’re expertly woven to last against heavy chewing.
This toy is great for tugging, fetching, and chewing. However, since it’s not flavored or scented, some dogs may not use it as a chew toy and prefer playing with it with their owners rather than by themselves.
8. Ethical Pet Bam-Bones Plus Beef Tough Dog Chew Toy
|Material:||Nylon, bamboo, wood, synthetic fabric|
This fun toy comes in a T-shape that helps dogs grip it while gnawing on it. One end has bumps that massage the gums as your dog chews. It has a tasty beef flavor that many dogs will enjoy and keep them entertained for a long time.
While the toy incorporates bamboo fiber to strengthen the toy, it hasn’t consistently withstood the test against heavy chewers. The toy breaks apart pretty quickly for determined dogs. So, make sure to supervise your dog when you first give it this toy to make sure your dog doesn’t end up ingesting any large pieces.
9. Petstages Dogwood Tough Dog Chew Toy
|Material:||Polypropylene, wood, plastic|
This toy mimics the shape and texture of a tree branch, and it can be a safer alternative for dogs that enjoy picking up sticks and twigs outside. It’s made with real wood and other non-toxic materials and has a natural wood smell. This smell often convinces dogs that like sticks to chew on it. However, it may not be very effective for dogs that prefer food flavors like bacon or beef.
You can also use this toy to play fetch with your dog. It floats on water, so it’s a great toy to bring to the beach or swimming pool. The small size is suitable for most small dogs, but if your dog has a difficult time gripping it, you can try giving it the petite size instead.
10. Gnawsome Squeaker Bone Dog Toy
This fun toy is a good option for puppies and older dogs. The soft rubber is fun for dogs to chew, and the nubs also massage the gums. However, as with most softer chew toys, this one won’t withstand heavy chewing. The squeaker may also further encourage determined dogs to bite until they get it out of the toy.
The toy is made with BPA-free, food-grade TPR rubber, and it has a fun squeaker that makes the toy more exciting for the dog. The squeaker is on the louder side, so it’s best to let your dog play with this toy only during times when it’s okay for there to be some noise.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Chew Toys for Small Dogs
As you can see, there are many kinds of chew toys for small dogs. It’ll probably take some experimenting to see which ones your dog likes. Here are some things to consider when shopping for a new chew toy.
Most chew toys are made with nylon or rubber. The material is important because it plays a role in safe play for dogs. Softer materials are more suitable for puppies and older dogs, so you can focus on looking for toys made with thinner rubber or nylon fabric.
Dog toys can also be made with extremely tough material for heavy chewers. Just make sure to keep a watchful eye on your dog when it first plays with a new toy to ensure that it’s chewing safely.
Chew toys come in all shapes and textures. Some are completely smooth, while others have grooves or bumps that help clean tartar buildup.
Different dogs will prefer different textures, so it’s often helpful to try out several kinds of toys to see which one your dog likes the best. You can also spread peanut butter or yogurt on toys with grooves and nubs to make playtime even more enjoyable for your dog.
Many treat toys have flavors infused into them so that dogs will chew on them longer. Common flavors include beef, chicken, and bacon. While flavored chew toys encourage dogs to chew, the flavor often dissipates before the toy wears down. So, you may find yourself replacing them more frequently if your dog enjoys chewing primarily because of the flavor.
Some chew toys have a treat dispensing component to encourage longer play. These types of toys typically have a small hole in which you can put small pieces of treats inside. They add an enrichment element that challenges dogs to use their natural instincts to retrieve a treat. Just make sure to use low-calorie treats or only fill these toys with a small number of treats to prevent your dog from gaining unnecessary weight.
Based on our reviews, the JW Pet Chompion Dog Toy is the best chew toy for small dogs because it’s durable and multi-functional. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Nylabone Power Chew Bacon Flavored Dog Chew Toy is a safe choice that many dogs enjoy. The Benebone Fishbone Dog Chew Toy is another fun option that has a unique shape that’ll excite bored dogs.
It may take some time to find a chew toy that your small dog likes. However, the search is worth the effort because it can provide hours of fun and keep your dog happy and entertained.
Featured Image Credit: evrymmnt, Shutterstock