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Discussion Starter #1
I did a quick forum search and couldn't find a fairly recent thread with this subject, so I need some help figuring this out.

I am in need of some advice about appropriate chew/play toys for a 12.5 week old puppy that will create a self-occupying, self-sustaining type of play for a few hours at a time.

A bit of an explanation - after treatment for melanoma a few years ago, I've suffered from severe migraines that leave me physically ill and mostly unable to move relatively frequently (about twice a month). One of these hit me yesterday at approximately noon. I left work when I started seeing black spots, got home, took the puppy and dogs outside, but couldn't stand being in the sunlight, so took him back in and put him in a play area with access to the couch where I was laying. I felt SO terrible because he seemed really bored a few times, yet I couldn't stand and could barely open my eyes. I managed to get up to let him out about every 45 minutes, yet he was mostly laying there, waiting for me to get up and play with him!

I'm looking for longer lasting chew toys that are puppy-teeth friendly, or toys that he will find interesting for longer than 30 seconds. I do have a Kong that I stuff and freeze, but he gets bored with that relatively quickly. He also really likes puppy Nylabone chewies, but goes through them very fast. How young is too young to start giving him more long-lasting chew objects, such as antlers? Will he break his puppy teeth on them? Or does anyone know of any other puppy-friendly chews that might work?

I'd prefer to be prepared for when the next migraine hits as opposed to waiting until it happens to find a way to keep him entertained.

Thanks in advance for the advice :)
 

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I think antlers are fine for puppies. If you have access to a large, raw meaty bone (like an elk femur), that should hold his attention for pretty long and be large enough that he can't do much but gnaw at it. Or, you can try the tougher adult Nylabones and see if those will hold his interest. Himilayan chews won't last 15 minutes for my dog but perhaps for a puppy it would last longer. Again, for dogs that gnaw instead of trying to go right through them...

Honestly, I think a puppy can chew on anything that is also appropriate for adult dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Honestly, I think a puppy can chew on anything that is also appropriate for adult dogs.
Really? Okay, I didn't know that. There was a thread not too long ago about someone's puppy cracking a tooth on a metal crate, and that kind of got me worried. That OP's puppy is going to be fine, but ever since seeing the photo I've kind of been like "omg, what if that happens to Titan?".

Food toys. Food toys are your best friend.

Or a frozen kong.

Granted they wont last hours, but you could do them one after another if you needed to.
He really seems to lose interest in frozen Kongs quite quickly. I used them to crate train him, but he just kind of got fed up. Maybe I should try a different stuffing flavor...

I'm glad antlers will work. I'm also going to look into bully sticks and the like (I will obviously avoid rawhide). Any particular brand of bully sticks that anyone uses? I prefer 'made in the US' when it comes to what I give my dogs.
 

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My go-to is peanut butter for kongs. I've mixed it with mashed banana or honey on occasion just to add a bit more interest. You can also do pumpkin, plain yogurt or wet dog food. Really anything that you can shove in that wont upset your dog's tummy. Could also mix in treats to make a less yummy stuffing more interesting.

I ideally like to have one frozen in the freezer ready to go if/when I need it. (been bad at this lately, I need to get back into the routine...)
 

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If a puppy cracked a tooth on a metal crate one must wonder why the puppy was chewing on his crate... Hardly an appropriate chew item! But yes, fractures are always possible (mine has two minor slab fractures from bones) which is why it's important to supervise. Some dogs are good chewers and take their time gnawing through things while other dogs try to crunch down and break off pieces immediately, and for such dogs some chews may not be appropriate.
 

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Ah yes, that was my puppy. I was super paranoid about what to give him for chewing after that so I did a lot of looking around. One broken tooth is enough for us! I was just about to recommend bully sticks. He can't chew them very fast, so I give him one of the bigger ones...9" maybe?...when I need him to just calm down and chew on something he's allowed to. He can chew it for a few hours and not get very far on it. And it turns chewy instead of having pieces break off, so I'm not worried about him with it. I bought the Red Barn brand because we are extremely limited on options where I am, but they make 80% of their treats in Kansas and the rest in Paraguay, according to their site.

What about peanut butter in the kong? Would that maybe interest him more? I know my guy LOVES it and will lick frozen PB out of it for hours. I never tried any of the special treat stuff for them, so I can't say if he would have responded to that the same way he has peanut butter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My go-to is peanut butter for kongs. I've mixed it with mashed banana or honey on occasion just to add a bit more interest. You can also do pumpkin, plain yogurt or wet dog food. Really anything that you can shove in that wont upset your dog's tummy. Could also mix in treats to make a less yummy stuffing more interesting.

I ideally like to have one frozen in the freezer ready to go if/when I need it. (been bad at this lately, I need to get back into the routine...)
I'll look into the peanut butter/other flavors combination. I have to be careful about calories, so I'll reduce food portions if these toys can keep his interest!

I have three frozen Kongs in my freezer (puppy size), that he just seems to have no interest in. I just had a thought, though, that the problem could be that he's too big for the puppy size ones and that he can't reach the filling any more. I'll stuff an adult sized one and give it to him over the weekend! Maybe that, combined with the peanut butter, will be the solution :)

If a puppy cracked a tooth on a metal crate one must wonder why the puppy was chewing on his crate... Hardly an appropriate chew item! But yes, fractures are always possible (mine has two minor slab fractures from bones) which is why it's important to supervise. Some dogs are good chewers and take their time gnawing through things while other dogs try to crunch down and break off pieces immediately, and for such dogs some chews may not be appropriate.
Ugh, ever since Atlas got tramped by horses and had 2 major slab fractures, I've been nervous about teeth. He's actually getting his cleaned as we speak :)

I'll try to watch Titan chew on some high value treat items and see what his "chewing style" is, haha. I don't think Danes are supposed to be super high power or obsessive chewers, though obviously every dog is different. I'm hoping he calms down after he's done teething.

Ah yes, that was my puppy. I was super paranoid about what to give him for chewing after that so I did a lot of looking around. One broken tooth is enough for us! I was just about to recommend bully sticks. He can't chew them very fast, so I give him one of the bigger ones...9" maybe?...when I need him to just calm down and chew on something he's allowed to. He can chew it for a few hours and not get very far on it. And it turns chewy instead of having pieces break off, so I'm not worried about him with it. I bought the Red Barn brand because we are extremely limited on options where I am, but they make 80% of their treats in Kansas and the rest in Paraguay, according to their site.

What about peanut butter in the kong? Would that maybe interest him more? I know my guy LOVES it and will lick frozen PB out of it for hours. I never tried any of the special treat stuff for them, so I can't say if he would have responded to that the same way he has peanut butter.
How is your puppy doing? I hope he's well :) I'll try to pick up a few bully sticks today. I still have some headache remnants (just flashes of pain and spots every once in a while), but I think I should be able to make it to the pet store.

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. Hopefully the next time I am out of commission, my poor puppy won't be surrounded by boring toys while he tries to get me to play :)
 

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Much better! You reminded me I never replied to that thread. No redness, no pain. It looks really good. I'm still going to have the vet check on it when he goes in for vaccinations, but I think he'll be fine. And I haven't seen him chew on the gate again. I'm not sure what made him do it that day, but I got my first lesson in new puppy mom freakouts.

As far as calories go, I would look into the bully stick calories. I think I read somewhere while researching that they do have a relatively high calorie content, but only if the whole stick is consumed...which, unless your pup is chewing for a long time and hard, I doubt he would make it through a whole one in a day. My guy is a pretty intense chewer and can't make it very far. Maybe an inch or two in a few hours. But just something to watch, incase he does or he has it for a longer period of time.

I hope you find some stuff that works! I feel overwhelmed by the amount of toys and chews everytime I look. I'm regularly reading on my phone while browsing the toy and chew aisle, trying to find reviews and advice. It's crazy!
 

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Bully sticks are good. Adult dogs go through them quickly, but they can last days for most puppies until their adult teeth come in. Hazel has her adult teeth and they still take her a couple hours (I'm not sure she's even finished one, because Watson eventually takes it and finishes it in about 10min). Beef tracheas are also pretty good, though don't even last as long as bully sticks IME.

Frozen kongs are good. You could keep a couple ready made in the freezer and just pull one out when you're not feeling well.

I wouldn't recommend puzzle toys. They are usually loud and the last thing I want when I have a migraine is for the dogs to be flinging plastic toys around. Haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Much better! You reminded me I never replied to that thread. No redness, no pain. It looks really good. I'm still going to have the vet check on it when he goes in for vaccinations, but I think he'll be fine. And I haven't seen him chew on the gate again. I'm not sure what made him do it that day, but I got my first lesson in new puppy mom freakouts.

As far as calories go, I would look into the bully stick calories. I think I read somewhere while researching that they do have a relatively high calorie content, but only if the whole stick is consumed...which, unless your pup is chewing for a long time and hard, I doubt he would make it through a whole one in a day. My guy is a pretty intense chewer and can't make it very far. Maybe an inch or two in a few hours. But just something to watch, incase he does or he has it for a longer period of time.

I hope you find some stuff that works! I feel overwhelmed by the amount of toys and chews everytime I look. I'm regularly reading on my phone while browsing the toy and chew aisle, trying to find reviews and advice. It's crazy!
Yeah, I'll need some calorie and calcium information on anything I give him. I'm hoping that isn't *too* hard to find.

As he is quite a bit larger than an "average" puppy, he does chew harder than most puppies do. He's 12.5 weeks, a little over 18" at the shoulder and weighs in at around 35 lbs. So I'm hoping he wouldn't go through bully sticks too quickly, but I do imagine they'll be consumed relatively quickly. Thanks for the heads up, I'll keep an eye on the rate at which he chews them :)

I have spent SO much on toys, it's crazy. Not sure WHY a small stuffed animal with a squeaker in it costs $8. Probably costs around $.30 to actually make. And anything he likes I buy two or three of, just in case the first one gets ruined. His favorite right now is a leather squirrel-shaped thing. As long as he doesn't eat my leather couch, I'll buy him toys like that all day long!

Bully sticks are good. Adult dogs go through them quickly, but they can last days for most puppies until their adult teeth come in. Hazel has her adult teeth and they still take her a couple hours (I'm not sure she's even finished one, because Watson eventually takes it and finishes it in about 10min). Beef tracheas are also pretty good, though don't even last as long as bully sticks IME.

Frozen kongs are good. You could keep a couple ready made in the freezer and just pull one out when you're not feeling well.

I wouldn't recommend puzzle toys. They are usually loud and the last thing I want when I have a migraine is for the dogs to be flinging plastic toys around. Haha.
Oh, I hadn't thought of beef tracheas. Not sure if my local store has those... I will check :)

I am thinking that the problem with the Kongs I'm using is size, so hopefully upgrading to a larger size and therefore having the stuffing be more accessible will keep him interested! Will have to buy a few more "adult" ones! Would be great if I could start using those again, as they're pretty quiet.

I hadn't thought about puzzle toys being loud. Even his occasional barks felt like they were stabbing me behind the eyeballs, so yeah, a loud plastic toy being tossed around would be a bad idea.
 

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Kong Wobbler. It can be noisy but it keeps them busy for a surprisingly long period of time.

I'm also of the mind that most puppies can have most chewing materials that an adult would get. At that age I was giving Toast small RMBs, usually spare ribs which he would just gnaw the gristle off.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Kong Wobbler. It can be noisy but it keeps them busy for a surprisingly long period of time.

I'm also of the mind that most puppies can have most chewing materials that an adult would get. At that age I was giving Toast small RMBs, usually spare ribs which he would just gnaw the gristle off.
For some reason I was just thinking that puppy teeth would be weaker and more likely to break. Probably just a weird misconception I had without any real reason to think that way! Like, tooth matter is tooth matter, right? Are there massive differences between human baby teeth and human adult teeth?

Glad I can give him some more time consuming chews without worrying about his teeth! Maybe it'll take the edge off of them so when he nips my hands it doesn't hurt as much :p
 

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Loudness depends on the toy and also on how your dog uses it. My bf doesn't like loud food toys so we have a few that are quiet on our hard floors. (tricky treat ball is a favourite)

Also, Luna has now figured out her strategy is to take them to her dog bed to do so the material doesn't really matter for us anymore anyway.
 

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Oh yeah...I guess your guy *might* be just a little bigger than most puppies! Just maybe. Well, a bully stick might not last as long then, but I would think it would still do fairly well. Quill is only 8 weeks and probably 15-ish lbs. I believe you can also buy bigger than 9" as well, so that might be an option so you at least wouldn't have to worry about him chewing it down too small too quickly.

And I know! I went to the store the other day and between three things spent $30. I need to figure out how to make these squeaky stuffed animals! Luckily he doesn't chew to destory...yet. But he did tear his Kong cozie's belly open shaking it around within 24 hours of getting it. He does really enjoy tennis balls as well, which are very affordable and so far he hasn't figured out how to destroy those! We'll see how long he goes before destruct-o puppy comes out...
 

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The only thing that lasts my dogs a while and they are able to safely chew are beef tracheas. My guys are very 'determined' chewers and I am wary of giving them most of the chews that would probably last them a while because they'd likely break their teeth. The shape of the tracheas is awkward enough for them that it slows them down. I get them from TSC if you have one near you and they're only a dollar. Pig ears might be a good option too, since he still has puppy teeth they might last him a little while.

I always save 'empty' peanut butter jars too, and give them to the dogs when I'm out of other treats. You'd have to watch him the first time and make sure he doesn't try to eat the plastic, but they last my guys longer than kongs because it's harder to get the peanut butter out.
 

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Cow hoofs are great because they get soft when chewed on, last a long time, stay interesting, and they don't leave nasty residue. Antlers are also good too, but mine are less interested in those.
 

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Cow hoofs are great because they get soft when chewed on, last a long time, stay interesting, and they don't leave nasty residue. Antlers are also good too, but mine are less interested in those.
I wish my dogs liked cow hooves. We gave them to our dogs growing up and they were a great long lasting chew.

Antlers are expensive, but they take Hazel. She's been working on a split antler since 8 weeks. Watson doesn't care about them at all though. Anything that isn't very consumable isn't interesting to him.
 

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I wish my dogs liked cow hooves. We gave them to our dogs growing up and they were a great long lasting chew.

Antlers are expensive, but they take Hazel. She's been working on a split antler since 8 weeks. Watson doesn't care about them at all though. Anything that isn't very consumable isn't interesting to him.
Always buy the Smokehouse brand, because they don't like any other brands of hoof. I think they might be chewier or something. Even Ryker who is picky likes them.
 
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