The best chew toys for dogs to improve oral health

Get your dog chewing away on these favourite toys.

English Bulldog Chewing on a Toy - Best Chew Toys for Dogs

by Piper Huxley |

Dogs love chewing – it’s no secret. And there’s nothing better than giving your pooch a chew toy to gnaw on throughout the week. However, something so important can’t come without risks and lots of questions… Here, at Take a Break Pets, we’ve made your search a little easier. We’ve put together a guide to the best chew toys for dogs that are safe, good for their oral health and approved by vets.

Why are chew toys important for dogs?

Chewing is a natural behaviour for dogs. While not every dog wants to chew, many will love to chew on the occasional bone – or substitute. Vets and behaviourists agree that chewing is completely natural, and we should encourage it – hence, chew toys are a good solution.

Additionally, we can’t ignore the benefits to chew toys – and how it improves your pooch’s dental health. In fact, studies have shown that some chew toys reduce tartar and plaque. It’s safe to say that chew toys are far more appropriate (and beneficial) for your dog than your slippers.

Related: The best leads for dogs that pull

How do I choose a safe dog chew toy for my pet?

At Take a Break, we want to make sure you’re putting the safety of your pooch first. So, we’ve got some tips on choosing the safest chew toys for your dog.

Breed & Size – are the main factors when it comes to picking the best chew toys for your dog. Consider the size of their jaw – are they a nibbler or does their bite pack a punch? The toys to trust will offer advice and different varieties of chew toys to suit all breeds and sizes.

Brand – is another thing to consider. Always choose good quality over a cheaper product.

Supervision – is best. It’s no secret that our pooches get up to no good when we’re not around… but, when it comes to chew toys, it’s best to keep watch to make sure everything is OK. Just don’t give your furry friend a brand-new toy and then leave the house

As veterinarian Joanna Woodnutt says: “There are no completely safe chew toys for dogs, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them. It’s all about balancing the possible risks against the possible benefits to your dog, and then doing what you can to minimise the risks. If you’re unsure, talk to your vet, who will be happy to share their experiences with a range of dog chews!”

The best chew toys for dogs UK 2022

Durable and flavoured with natural beef, chicken and bacon, your pooch will love this durable nylon chew. Make sure to supervise your dog when they chew this toy - and the manafacturers recommend 15 minutes each time.

Material: Flavoured Nylon

Suitable for: Large Breeds

Review: "I have 2 American bullies and they are super strong chewers, they absolutely love these! Most chews last no time but these are going well, would give 10 stars if I could, fantastic value for money, 2 very happy dogs!"

Made from durable rope, this yellow giraffe is a favourite. Judging by reviews and the product description, this toy is best suited for smaller breeds - those who nibble, rather than aggressively chew. It's great for teething pups, too.

Material: Rope

Suitable for: Small & Medium Breeds, Puppies

Review: "I have a 4-month-old Vizsla, and he’s teething, poor little fella. They’re about to come through his gums, and he seems to be very fond of gumming the giraffe’s feet with the back of his mouth. Also, it’s a great toy for playing fetch with, since, being cotton rope, it’s not as noisy when it lands on the wood floor."

Made from safe and non-toxic material, this set of toys is a great companion to a small dog or puppy who wants to chew. Great for dental health, the ropes can clean your dogs' teeth by reducing plaque build-up. Apart from the duck toy, which has been known to be a little flimsy, this set is durable - and will keep your pup away from the furniture.

Material: Non-Toxic Rope, Natural Cotton Fibre, Rubber

Suitable for: Small & Medium Breeds, Puppies

Review: "I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the toys in this selection. I wanted something that my 10 week old Yorkie/Bichon Frise Cross could play with and chew on that wouldn't break her teeth whilst she was chewing on them. There were a couple of toys that were too big for her but she'll grow into them. Though the yellow plush squeaky duck is slightly flimsy and cheap, I can heartily recommend this selection of rope toys as being excellent value. The set has something for every type of puppy I can think of."

This squeaky toy is made from non-toxic rubber and judging by most reviews, is practically indestructible - which is what we want to hear. With a soft texture and ridged design, this rubber toy a great companion teeth-cleaning companion to your extra-large pooch that may tear through everything else in a matter of minutes.

Material: Natural Rubber

Suitable for: Medium & Large Breeds

Review: "My friend owns a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and I wanted to get him something he could play with a chew on which would last more than a weekend. Prior to this, I'd seen him destroy some chew toys made of rope in a day! This toy is made of hard set rubber - almost doesn't bend but it's not rigid by any means, which is perfect for a dog with a strong chew. Given the small price tag, I would say this is a great buy."

Kong's rubber chew toy is another favourite on this list. Great for medium sized to larger dogs, this chew toy can be filled with kibble or peanut butter to satisfy your pooch's hankering for a nibble. Though not indestructible, this rubber toy is durable with an erratic bounce. It's a great choice for a pooch that loves to chew and play.

Material: Rubber

Suitable for: Toy for Medium, Large and X Large Breeds

Review: "Our dog hasn't made a dent on this which is a miracle! He loves it as a basic toy but he also loves it frozen with food stuffed inside. Lots of recipes on YouTube, then seal the end with peanut butter. I don't know why I waited so long to buy one. Keeps puppy entertained and her brain activity for ages - I think it might be magic!"

Why not provide hours of pull and tug play with the Grrelli Tyre Tugger? It is made up from a bright rope and a tough tyre - which help your pooch play. Available in three sizes - it covers all strengths, sizes and breeds of dog.

Material: Rubber & Rope

Suitable for: Medium and Large Dogs

Review: "Five Stars."

This bacon-flavoured dental toy will help keep your canine's gnashers in tip top condition! Made from tough, durable nylon and a soft, flexible polymer, this chew toy gives your dog a great "cleaning perfomance". It serves as a great way to keep your dogs teeth and gums healthy.

Material: Combination of Tough, Durable Nylon & Softer, Flexible Polymer.

Suitable for: Sizes Available for Small, Medium & Large Dogs.

Review: "My doggy wouldn't eat any dental chews and hated having her teeth cleaned but she adores this! Best purchase I've made for the health or her mouth. Would highly recommend!"

Packed with flavour and exceptionally tough, the TastyBone Nylon range is tried and tested offering that keeps even the most vigorous chewers chomping for days. With an irresistable peanut butter flavour, your pooch will fall for this durable nylon chew toy - which is deisgned for larger dogs and to last more than five minutes.

Material: Flavoured Nylon

Suitable for: Larger Dogs. There are Small and Medium versions available.

Review: "Most chew toys and treats don't last long with my staffie but this is still holding up since Christmas. It's durable and is taking a long time to wear down. Packaging says it's safe if they ingest any small parts as it's edible, which is reassuring to know. Would recommend for any dog that destroys a toy within minutes!"

Since vets have concluded that real antlers are dangerous, these fake antlers are the next best thing. Flavoured with the natural antler taste, this Nylon-based toy is just like the real thing - minus the choking hazards, of course. Pestages have since redesigned their chew toy to be gentle on the gums and remain intact. Not suitable for aggressive chewers.

Material: Nylon, Bonemeal, Naturally Shed Antler

Suitable for: Smaller, Mediuma and Large Available.

Review: "This chew toy is simply fantastic! My eleven month old English Springer Spaniel just loves spending time each day happily gnawing away. This is the second he's had, the first one lasting about seven months. The product is safe, hygienic and worth every penny. We will never be without one for him."

What makes a safe chew toy?

Well, thanks to Pet Radar, we’ve managed to round up the ideal characteristics of a safe chew toy:

Tough and long-lasting
Contains no harmful chemicals
Available in a range of sizes to suit each dog
Completely and quickly digestible, in case of swallowing
Doesn’t splinter into sharp pieces
Not harder than dental enamel
Attractive to dogs (tastes/smells good, right texture)

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