While puppyhood is a precious time in a dog’s life that contains immeasurable joy, there are definitely some things about the puppy stage that we’d rather skip through.
And one of those things is chewing!
Puppies are master chewers and destroyers - but they really can’t help it.
During those early months, puppies lose their baby teeth to make room for their adult teeth, which causes a painful process called “teething.”
Just like human babies, puppies seek to relieve the pressure of the emerging teeth by chewing.
But puppies weren't born knowing what the can munch on and what they can't. Puppies need patience guidance to direct their chewing energy to the right objects.
If left to their own devices, puppies will chew all manner of things from shoes to the edges of cabinets to your smartphone. The more expensive - the better.
Having a large and varied assortment of chewing toys for your Shiba Inu puppy will encourage your puppy to choose the interesting toys versus your furniture and drywall.
Puppy hood only lasts a short time and we want to do our best to ensure a great experience for your Shiba Inu puppy as well as your household.
With proper planning and the right tools - it’s possible to have a puppy and keep your home intact.
There are hundreds and hundreds of puppy chew toys on the market, and some of them can be downright dangerous.
As a conscientious dog owner, it’s up to you to do the research and choose which brand and type will be safest and best for your Shiba Inu puppy.
We’ve done a bit of the legwork for you, outlining why chewing is important for puppies as well as how to choose the right chew toy for your Shiba Inu pup.
Shiba Inu Puppies "Really" Love To Chew Chew Chew
Puppies chew, there are no if ands or buts about it. There are many reasons why a puppy will chew.
The first simply because their mouth is one of the main ways a dog can explore the world around them. They don't have hands like we do, so they use their mouth to touch, feel, taste, and hold.
Puppies also chew due to boredom. If a puppy doesn’t have much to do, they are likely to chew on the first available and enticing object.
It’s your job to make sure that it’s a chew toy, and not the couch or the edge of your table!
Shiba Inu puppies, just like all breeds, are also hardwired to chew from a biological perspective, as it often soothes the pain from teething (a bit like a human baby.)
Chew toys are the safest and most effective way to redirect your puppy’s natural urge to chew.
If your Shiba Inu puppy has plenty of stimulating and tasty chew toys to play with, they are less likely to go after your shoes or other valuables.
Best of all, chewing on pet-safe chew toys is also a great way to clean your puppy’s teeth.
How To Choose A Puppy Chew Toy
When choosing a chew toy for your Shiba Inu puppy, you need to keep your pup’s age, size and individual preferences in mind.
Are they heavy chewers, or do they just nibble?
Do they have any allergies, any favorite flavors?
The biggest consideration to bear in mind when making a decision about chew toys is safety. While there are tons of chew toys on the market, not all of them are safe for puppies, and some of them pose some very dangerous risks.
There are tons of different chew toys on the market, from hard rubber bones to squeaky plush toys.
Because there are so many, it can be difficult to figure out which one is best for your puppy. You know your puppy best, so bear in mind the kind of chewer they are.
If your Shiba Inu puppy is a bit older and also a rough chewer, for example, you may want to skip the plush toys (the toy will likely be disemboweled in a matter of minutes!)
On the other hand, if your Shiba Inu puppy is very young and loves squeaky toys, a plush toy with a built-in, secure squeaker may be your best bet.
Plush toys also comfort young puppies who have just been separated from their litter mates.
As always, it’s important to make sure the chew toy that you choose is safe. In this case, safe means:
- Your puppy can’t accidentally swallow the toy.
- Your puppy can’t chew off pieces, which may pose a choking hazard
- The chew toy matches your puppy’s age and strength.
- The chew toy is made of safe and nontoxic materials.
Puppy Chew Toy Tips
- The toy should feel good on your puppy’s gums while they chew- it should be hard without being too hard (toys that are too solid may splinter or shatter, which can injure your puppy.)
- Looking/sounding like real “prey” is often a great selling point with Shiba Inu puppies, as they were originally bred in Japan to be hunting dogs.
- See what your puppy prefers- do they like plastic bones that taste like chicken, or soft stuffed toys that squeak? Your puppy will naturally prefer some toys to others, so take note!
- Buy a variety of different chew toys. Variety is the spice of life, and the same goes for puppies! If your puppy gets bored they may turn to inappropriate chewing, such as chomping on shoes or furniture. Having different types of toys with different textures and flavors will go a long way in keeping your puppy interested.
- Try smearing a dab of peanut butter on the toy to stimulate your Shiba Inu puppy’s interest in the toy.
- Freeze the toy (the cold will also help soothe your puppy’s gums while teething.)
- Rotate the toys. Only offer your puppy one or two toys at a time, and keep the rest locked away. When your puppy loses interest, simply rotate the toys- your puppy will think they are getting a new one each time.
You should always supervise your puppy with their chew toy, no matter what type you choose.
Keeping a watchful eye on your Shiba Inu pup as they happily chew away will reduce the risks that they choke or accidentally or purposefully bite off chunks of the toy.
If you see your puppy chewing something they shouldn’t, such as a shoe, simply tell them “no” and quickly offer them their chew toy instead.
With a little practice and a LOT of patience, your pup will soon learn what’s ok to chew and what’s not.
Edible Puppy Chew Toys
Edible chew toys often seem like the perfect solution because they serve as both an enticing and stimulating chew while doubling as a snack for your growing Shiba Inu puppy.
While some edible chew toys are great, many of them can be dangerous to your Shiba Inu puppy.
Puppies often are very enthusiastic about these types of chews and may chomp off pieces and swallow them, which can lead to very dangerous health issues such as an intestinal obstruction, which often requires surgery.
If you have your heart set on edible chew toys, here are a few tips:
- Give them to your puppy sparingly as a high value treat.
- Always supervise your puppy while they are eating them to be sure they don’t choke or bite off large pieces!
- Only choose edible chew toys that are made out of natural high quality ingredients, such as pig ears.
- Despite their popularity, we do not recommend “Greenies,” as the ingredients are subpar.
Unsafe Chews: The Controversy
Unfortunately, many of the chews available to us aren’t safe. And the dog world has a hard time agreeing which ones are safe and which aren’t.
There is a great deal of controversy surrounding rawhide bones, which have been a staple in many dog owners’ homes for years. While dogs certainly like them, they can be very dangerous and even deadly if ingested.
Some chew toy brands are made of plastic that contains BPA, an unsafe chemical found in many plastics. While some owners rave about giving their dogs raw bones, such as those from cattle or pig, others claim that raw bones pose unnecessary risks of choking and contamination.
More Types Of Chew Toys To Avoid
Luckily for dog owners, there are some hard and fast rules about how to avoid dangerous chew toys.
Things you should absolutely never offer your Shiba Inu puppy are:
- Stuffed animals made for humans. They often have fake eyes and noses, which will be the first thing your puppy tries to chew on and can pose a choking hazard.
- Cheaply made stuffed squeaker toys (puppies can easily rip and ingest stuffing and or the squeaker.)
- Toys that are too small, such as cat toys, or toys that contain small parts
- Toys that have BPA plastic
- Toys that looks too similar to common household items, like slippers or socks. Your puppy can’t be trusted to understand the difference!
Our 10 Favorite Shiba Inu Puppy Chew Toys:
Kong Puppy Tires Chew Toy [Small]
Kong Puppy Tires, as their name suggests, are hard rubber Kong toys that are shaped like a tire.
The Kong line of chew toys are our favorite due to the quality, safety, and variety of choices.
This Kong tire toy has room for treats, which is a great motivator for young puppies, and it’s soft yet durable rubber is the perfect texture for tiny puppy teeth.
Any potential nibbles you hide in here go sort of inside the tire, which means they are little hard for your puppy to reach. While this sounds kind of mean, its actually perfect because it means the Puppy Tire is also mentally stimulating to a young Shiba Inu puppy who is just figuring things out.
The Puppy Tire is made of what Kong calls “teething rubber,” which promotes healthy dog teeth and gums, and will also soothe your puppy’s teething pain.
As with all rubber chew toys, monitor your dog the first few times you give it to them, just to be sure they aren’t able to bite off pieces of rubber.
Check the latest price of the Kong Puppy Tires Chew Toy Here.
DII Bone Dry Crinkle Noise, Squeaking Dog Toy
The toy has limited stuffing, which sort of detracts from a puppy’s desire to destroy it, and the fabric is soft and snuggly but actually pretty durable.
Best of all, there’s no squeaker inside which eliminates that potential choking hazard. The toy is also pretty large (10.5” x 5”) and is perfect for puppies that like to snuggle with their toys.
Check the latest price of the DII Bone Dry Crinkle Noise, Squeaking Dog Toy here.
KONG PUPPY KONG Durable Rubber Chew and Treat Toy
Classic Kong toys are great for inquisitive Shiba Inu pups. While the original Kongs may have been too big for puppies, Kong was smart enough to develop a puppy version, which is a little softer and smaller and perfect for teething pups.
Nontoxic, durable, and bouncy, these fillable toys are very popular. I like them because they keep my puppy interested thanks to the peanut butter I stuff inside!
If I’m going out for an extended period, especially in the morning before work, I will freeze a Kong with peanut butter overnight and give it to them before I leave. It’s a great way to curb any anxiety associated with my walking out the door, and it keeps my puppy busy while I’m gone.
Hard treats can also be used, which is a little less messy than peanut butter.
The rubber that the Kong is made of is durable and will withstand the chewing of most puppies, but not all of them. If your puppy is an especially rough chewer be sure to monitor them with this toy.
Check the latest price of the KONG PUPPY KONG Durable Rubber Chew and Treat Toy here.
Mammoth Flossy Chews Cottonblend Color 3-Knot Rope Tug
Mammoth Flossy Chews are essentially braided cotton ropes specially made for dogs to chew on and play with.
The fibers in the cotton serve as doggy dental floss and will help keep your Shiba Inu pup’s teeth clean and shiny.
The Mammonth Flossy Chew is a great choice for medium strength chewers, or puppies that enjoy a good game of tug of war.
The colors won’t run and stain your floors, and the 24-inch rope keeps your hands far away and safe from tiny puppy teeth while you’re playing with them.
The only downside is that puppies who are extremely food motivated (like mine!) may not play with this toy on their own…they want you to be there to tug on the other end!
I find that flavored chew toys are more enticing to puppies, though the Mammoth Flossy can be a great choice if your puppy really likes to chew on cloth items, such as your socks.
As with all chew toys, it’s important to make sure your puppy doesn’t accidentally ingest the cotton fibers!
Some puppies will delight in trying to shred the Mammoth Flossy and eat the pieces, which can lead to various digestive issues. This is a toy that is best played with when you’re around to watch them.
Check the latest price of the Mammoth Flossy Chews Cottonblend Color 3-Knot Rope Tug here.
Kong Dog Goodie Bone Red
As with most Kongs, it is hollowed out to allow you to stick something tasty inside, which hopefully will help keep your Shiba puppy occupied and out of trouble.
I like this model because of it’s bone shape- it’s easy to carry around, and quickly could become a puppy’s favorite toy. There are also multiple holes in the Goodie Bone, so you can hide multiple treats or multiple scoops of peanut butter inside.
The fun bone shape, coupled with any treats you hide inside, make this are a great alternative to actual bones (which can be dangerous, especially for young puppies.)
Check the latest price of the Kong Dog Goodie Bone Red here.
West Paw Zogoflex Tux Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Chew Toy for Aggressive Chewers
The West Paw ZogoFlex is unlike any other toy I’ve ever tried.
It’s made of a hard plastic, and its shape reminds me a bit of a boomerang.
This toy is perfect if you have a destructive Shiba pup- it’s made of BPA-free material, it’s durable, and you can stuff treats in it.
I wouldn’t use the ZogoFlex with peanut butter, as it’s full of nooks and crannies and nothing is grosser than old peanut butter than you can’t wash away (though the toy is dishwasher safe, thankfully), but it’s perfect for meaty treats.
The ZogoFlex is great if you’re getting your puppy used to self soothing or staying home alone for short periods of time, especially if you stuff it with a treat or two.
It’s durable enough that you can leave your pup with it for short periods of time and not worry too much about them destroying it, but give it a few test runs just to be safe.
The only downside is that even the small version of the ZogoFlex is relatively large, and may be hard to manage for a small Shiba puppy.
So while I wouldn’t recommend it for very young or small pups (also because the very hard plastic might not be good for their tiny teeth) it would work just fine for a puppy that’s a little older.
Check the latest price of the West Paw Zogoflex Tux Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Chew Toy here.
Kong Jump N Jack Dental Dog Toy
The Kong Jump N Jack is actually marketed as a chew toy that cleans your dogs teeth, and it’s not hard to see why: the toy is shaped sort of like a jack (hence the name?) and has plenty of grooves to slough off any tarter hanging out on your pups teeth.
The Jump N Jack is made in the USA out of a hard, durable, non-toxic rubber that will be hard for a small puppy to destroy.
There is a hole in the middle that you can stuff with something liquid, such a peanut butter or, as the manufacture suggests, breathe past for dogs (which cleans and freshens their breath.) You wont be able to get a treat in there, unless it’s very thin.
The smallest size, which would be the best for a Shiba Inu puppy, is around 3in X 7 cm, which means its small enough for your puppy to comfortably grab but not so small that they could choke on it.
The danger with rubber toys is that rubber is 100% not digestible, so if your puppy is actually able to chew off a part and then swallows the piece, it could lead to an intestinal obstruction.
I suggest monitoring your Shiba Inu puppy with this toy in the beginning; just to be sure they aren’t able to rip it to shreds
Check the latest price of the Kong Jump N Jack Dental Dog Toy here.
KONG Winders Tails Dog Toy Fox
Although made by Kong, the Kong Winders Toy Fox isn’t made of their signature rubber. Instead, it’s sort of a rope toy/ plush toy hybrid. The top portion (the fox’s head) is snuggly and the body is made of a thick rope.
The rope is perfect for cleaning and polishing doggy teeth, which is great for puppies that prefer soft toys.
The Kong Winders Tails squeaks, which may appeal to Shiba Inu puppies that retain their inner hunting instincts. It’s a pretty multifaceted toy, as your puppy can tug, fetch, and chew on it.
I wouldn’t recommend this toy for very strong chewers, as very determined puppies could easily destroy both the fluffy top portion and the braided cotton bottom.
This is definitely a toy that you should use when playing together with your puppy. If they want to chew on it for extended periods of time, I’d keep an eye on them to make sure they aren’t shredding the rope part and eating it.
Check the latest price of the KONG Winders Tails Dog Toy Fox here.
Himalayan Dog Chews 100% Natural, Small, 3.5 oz., 3-4 Piece
I was very curious to try Himalayan Dog Chews (or rather, to let my dogs try them) because they I heard a lot of my dog friends raving about them for quite a while now.
Believe it or not, these chews are made of yak and cow milk, salt, and lime juice- that’s it!
They are edible and a great source of protein for puppies.
They are safe when ingested (though make sure your puppy doesn’t bite off big chunks at a time, as that can be harmful if swallowed) and when the bone is eaten down to just a nub, you can microwave them and they sort of “puff up,” which allows for more chewing time.
Surprisingly, these chews actually smell pretty good, but they can be a little bit messy. As your dog chews they create a bit of a yak-milk-goo, which can stain carpets.
I highly recommend only letting your dog eat this chew toy on hard flooring.
I wouldn’t leave my dog unattended with a Himalayan Dog Chew, though, because there’s always the risk that they’ll try and eat it too quickly and choke or ingest large pieces.
Check the latest price of the Himalayan Dog Chews 100% Natural, Small, 3.5 oz., 3-4 Piece here.
JW Pet iSqueak Bouncin' Bowlin Pin Dog Toy
The JW Pet iSqueak Bouncin’ Bowlin Pin is a hard rubber toy that’s shaped like a bowling pin (surprise!) It’s pretty simple, not too heavy, and is infused with vanilla extract (though it’s not discernable to human noses).
This toy is great for dogs that like a squeak. It makes a loud, duck-like noise when you squeeze it, which is really appealing for dogs like Shiba Inus who were bred to be hunting dogs and who still retain those instincts.
The soft yet durable rubber is ideal for teething puppies, and the narrower portion on the top of the toy is perfect for nibbling.
Because there is a squeaker inside, I wouldn’t recommend this toy for very rough chewers, as the squeaker and the rubber exterior could pose a choking hazard.
Check the latest price of the JW Pet iSqueak Bouncin' Bowlin Pin Dog Toy here.
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