What Kind of Chews Are Best for Puppies?

Four weeks to go until we pick up our puppy!

Guys, I’m getting so excited for this!!

Our Weimaraner pup is about 4 weeks old now. He is one of only two boys in the litter of eight.

It’s been awhile since I’ve raised a puppy though (yikes!), so once again I’m turning to you for help.

Yes, I will discuss these with our pup’s breeder and vet, but I want to hear about your experience too.

I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments.

See my past puppy questions here.

As I’m loading up on puppy supplies …

Here are my 6 questions this week:

what chews are best for puppies

1. What are the best types of chews for puppies?

I want something safe for a puppy but interesting to him. What worked the best for you in the past?

For edible chews, my plan is to get some bully sticks and beef tendons (because my senior dog Ace likes these!). I’m comfortable feeding these because they’re natural, they don’t seem to break or splinter and apparently they’re easier for dogs to digest than rawhides.

Bully sticks for puppies

For non-edible chew toys, I plan to have some Nylabones and Kong toys on hand. Ace likes both of these. I’ll stuff the Kongs with treats or peanut butter.

I’ll also have all sorts of other soft toys too like rope toys and stuffies.

… And we have a box of 50 tennis balls.

2. Can an 8-week-old Weimaraner puppy hold it from about 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.?

I guess I’ll find out!

3. Is the puppy less likely to cry at night if his crate is in our bedroom?

I don’t mind having his crate by our bed, even if he whimpers and cries some the first few nights.

Do you think having him near us will make him cry less or more?

We’re in an apartment so I want to keep the crying to a minimum, but, you know … puppies.

4. How often do you de-worm a puppy?

Our breeder recommends every month for the first few months and then putting him on a monthly heartworm/roundworm/hookworm prevention at six months. Seems like a lot to me, but I’m sure she knows what she’s talking about.

I give Ace a heartworm preventative every 6 to 8 weeks April through December.

5. Does diatomaceous earth actually work to prevent fleas?

Food grade diatomaceois earth for dogsI currently use K9 Advantix II for flea prevention on my adult dog. I hate putting this on him, and I really don’t want to use chemicals on our puppy. However, we can’t use natural, topical flea prevention products in our home due to allergies. It’s out of the question.

However, what about food-grade diatomaceous earth? I’ve heard many good things about it naturally and effectively killing and preventing fleas, but I’ve never tried it. I’m pretty skeptical.

My question: Does this really work? And does it really work in areas where there are a TON of fleas?

I feel like some dog owners “think” their natural flea “prevention” is working but really they just live in an area with no fleas. For example, in North Dakota I never used any flea prevention and never once saw a flea. After a month of living in San Diego, all 3 of my pets had fleas. Hence, the K9 Advantix.

6. Is there any reason to take our pup to the vet right away at 8 weeks?

Should I bring our puppy in for a checkup that first week or just wait until he’s due for the next round of vaccinations + de-worming at 12 weeks?

I wouldn’t want him to get sick from something he picks up at the vet. Also, really don’t want to spend the money on an exam if it’s not needed.

Alright, your feedback is very welcome! Thank you in advance!

Also, leave your own puppy questions in the comments. I’ll get them answered for you!

*This post contains affiliate links.

Related posts:

Help! My 6 puppy raising questions so far!

Will my dog be sad if I get a puppy?

Puppy training guide

How to introduce my dog to a puppy

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What chews are best for puppies

18 thoughts on “What Kind of Chews Are Best for Puppies?”

  1. We cannot wait to finally see your baby puppy!

    Would you consider feeding him chicken quarters as part of his diet? Raw worked great for our pup and still keeps him busy and out of your hair.

    Regarding de-worming: our vet tested our puppy’s fecal sample and gave meds accordingly, which was only twice. (And Kuba never showed any signs of worms, so testing was useful.)

    Good luck with your decisions! It’s great that you have your breeder’s support.

    1. Keeping him out of your hair? Maybe you shouldn’t have gotten a dog, they need and want attention, especially pups. I have a mini aussie shepherd and she’s now 8 months old, she craves attention and she gets it.

      1. Lindsay Stordahl

        Oh don’t worry, Anna is a very good dog mom who spends tons of time training and exercising her dog and foster dogs. I need to keep my pup out of my way at times too. We all need a break at times. Puppies…

  2. My husband and I just got an 8-week-old puppy on Wednesday and I bought him a bunch of bully stick type toys, squeaky toys, stuff for chewing and boredom . . . and he’s ignoring them all! The only toy I got him to play with was a ratty old cloth toy my adult dog stopped playing with a year ago! I think because he had his five littermates and parents to play with constantly before, he wants to chew on something puppy-textured! >:)

    I just brought him for his first vet exam/vaccinations today and my vet told me to de-worm right now, then again in two weeks. I’ve never had a puppy before so I didn’t know you’re supposed to do it more than once. Good luck with your new pup!

    1. I’m just paraphrasing and probably butchering what my vet told me when my dog got a hold of something she shouldn’t have had, but you do it twice in order to catch all of the worms at the right part of the life cycle for the treatment to work. I hadn’t known that!

  3. 1. Sounds like you have the right list for chews. Remember that puppy teeth can’t chew as much or as strong – so puppy may gnaw on a bully stick but be unable to safely chew and swallow (and you need to keep an eye out for choking hazard of broken off pieces). The upside is that chewing on nylabone or other solid bone can be more safe. Rubber bone/toy are often great for puppies. Also – it takes puppies a while to be able to reach and enjoy ‘adult sized’ kongs, so adjust where in the kong you put the goodies.

    2. Yes, but of course every dog is different. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable place to start.

    3. Near you/company = usually less crying, no matter what room it is in. Except…again, every pup is different.

    4. That sounds high on deworming. I thought it was 2 or 3 doses. Every vet is different though. Also, waiting until 6 months for heartworm during summer sounds off, even if you dose lightly (1 every 3 months).

    5. Never tried it. Curious what anyone else would say. I’m used to having dogs who are around other dogs and wanting stronger flea chemicals. I’ve spent weeks dealing with hot spots caused by flea even on treated dog, so I don’t mess around with it.

    6. I don’t think so. If pup is eating and toileting normally, I wouldn’t go until next series of shots/de-worming. I also prefer it to be as early as possible, like at 11 weeks, because I am much more vigilant to avoid places other dogs have been prior to that set of shots.

  4. 1. Those sound like good starting points — really depends on both of your dogs. Mom only got me puppy chew toys once because I destroyed them too quickly, but my friend at the office is full grown and still loves some of his old toys. Don’t forget to keep an eye on Ace too — puppy toys might look delicious to him, but be easy for him to chew through.

    2. Mom says the 16 week puppies she fostered before me could, but the 8 week puppy needed to go out in the middle of the night. Picking up the water bowl an hour or two before bedtime so they can’t reload helps.

    3. Puppies like company — could be you, could be Ace. You can also tie some rope toys and things to the inside of the crate to provide him with something he can play with by himself if he’s not sleeping.

    4. Mom takes one of my “doggie bags” to the vet for every checkup — they’ve always told her it looked good. If your vet thinks you need to deworm puppy, make sure you also ask about cleaning protocols for the rooms puppy has been in (might be a good reason for #6?)

    5. I love food grade anything. yum. Mom just gives me a treat once a month, though. Something about not having to keep me away from the cats like the topical she looked at first. I think she’s like you and not sure the other options work. She does have a big jar of diatomaceous earth though — she used it to clean up after a foster puppy that had worms.

    6. If you’re worried about deworming, they might be able to do a fecal for you ahead of time. Mom took me in right away because I was adopted and had a free checkup as long as it was done within a week of the adoption. Then we had to go back the next week for a booster shot. She thought that was kind of silly. I thought all those strangers and funny smells were pretty scary, but I’ve been getting more interested in the vet’s office since mom started taking cheeseburgers….

  5. 1. Dried cow hooves, antlers, and trachea have been things our pup liked. I’m going to advise against dried fish skin. Worst smells ever on the exit. My puppy disliked the regular/classic Kong, but the Kong Traxx was a huge hit at our house. I stuffed it with high quality canned food and froze it. Great for teething, too.
    2. I’m going with no. (Sorry.)
    3. Depends on the puppy. With mine it was more; with others it is less.
    4. That is more than what was recommended to me. We CHECKED at a lot of those times but she’s only actually been wormed maybe three times in her life. She’s on Heartgard year round.
    5. No experience with it so no idea!
    6. Yes. Most breeder contracts specify you must bring the puppy to your own vet within 48 hours to verify that the puppy is healthy. Mine also did need vaccines at 8 weeks, so we took her, but we just carried her and didn’t let her interact with anyone but the vet and techs.

  6. We are antler fans for puppies. Bailie was after a shoe shortly after her arrival. Mom took the shoe and gave her the antler. After it happened a few times with different items she learned to chew an antler and still does. We have several around the house.

  7. Kellie O'Brien

    The BEST CHEWS for puppies are RAW MEATY BONES such as raw chicken necks, chicken wings or oxtail. Your puppy needs to gnaw & chew to massage his gums & clean his teeth. When he is older & his teeth & jaws are strong & healthy, work him into raw recreational bones.

    I HIGHLY recommend the book RAW MEATY BONES PROMOTE HEALTH by Tom Lonsdale. His well researched information is spot ON!

  8. Can’t wait to see your new pup! We haven’t had a puppy in a while we recently added an adolescent dog to the family who seems to think he is a puppy but its not the same as adding a young pup. For edible chews bully sticks are a great choice and tripe sticks are also a hit in our house but they have a strong smell. For durable toys west paw design makes has a zygoflex line that is fantastic. And I found when Nala was a puppy keeping her crate in my room helped with the whining but I did have to get up in the middle of the night for potty breaks.

  9. Wow! Only 4 weeks away. I can’t wait! When we brought home Archer we wanted to get him a vet check just to make sure everything checked out okay with him. It was more of a piece of mind thing then anything else. The vet charged us for the office visit. The good news was he didn’t charge us for an office visit when we brought him in for his vaccinations a few weeks later. And yes, I’m always worried about disease at the vet office, but I kept Archer on my lap in my arms the entire time we were there (it was a lot more difficult when he was 16 weeks old).

  10. I have a 6 mo old Vizsla puppy and a 5 yr old also.this puppy came from a breeder who did not have human contact with the puppies. Lincoln has been odd , not loving , he gets along with the older dog, but isn’t affectionate with us. I try but not luck. He always wants to be near me but not interested in petting or being loved . What can I do, I noticed he’s better with me if the older dog is outside, but he chooses him instead of people.He is our 4th Vizsla so we are aware of this indifference in him. Help please !

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