Like humans, dogs have two sets of teeth in their lives. The 28 baby teeth erupt through the gums between the third and sixth weeks of age. Puppies don’t have to grind much food, so they do not have molars. Puppy teeth begin to shed and be replaced by permanent adult teeth at about four to five months of age. The teething period can be frustrating and painful; the puppy clamps his mouth on everything he can reach, from body parts to expensive trainers. In an attempt to relieve the discomfort, our Puppy rubber toys are gentle for growing teeth and jaws and helps to promote entry of growing teeth, while establishing healthy chewing habits.
A kitten begins teething between the ages of 15-17 weeks old, and all the permanent teeth are through by 6 months and fully developed at about 7 months of age. A dogs jaw is generally ready to chew harder rubber toys around 9 months of age.
Although there is some variation in breeds, most adult dogs have 42 teeth, with the molars coming last, at about six or seven months. The order of tooth replacement is incisors first, then canines (fangs), and finally premolars. During this growth period, teeth and jaws are getting stronger and dogs need toys that can keep up with that change. When these new adult teeth are fully set, dogs should move from a Puppy KONG to a Classic Red or black Extreme KONG based on chewing behaviour.
The Senior Kong has been designed exclusively for older dogs. Made from a gentler rubber formula, it provides great interactive fun for the older dog. Older dogs can often be difficult to exercise due to conditions such as arthritis, so this toy provides both mental and physical stimulation. Some senior dogs might still play like younger dogs and need to stick with our red Classic rubber toys, make sure you know your dogs chewing behaviour.
Active dogs need a great amount of mental and physical stimulation in order to be content. Breeds that need large amounts of exercise tend to become destructive when bored, so use a variety of toys and keep the fun coming with new games and challenges. Keep an active dog busy playing games of fetch and retrieve or tug, and then let him settle down with a stuffed KONG chew toy.
There are many breeds that are suitable for a more relaxed lifestyle. Dogs traditionally bred as companions, as opposed to working, herding or hunting breeds, will be happiest to lie at your feet or sit in your lap. These toys are for the dog that still has a play drive, but doesn’t need to be occupied around the clock.
Highly-intelligent dogs need to be exercised on a regular basis, both mentally and physically. They are typically free-thinking, resourceful, and busy. When left alone for long periods, they can become bored and get into trouble. These toys help harness that IQ and keep them active and engaged.
While chewing is a natural behaviour for dogs and can easily help promote healthy teeth, gums and jaw muscles. Prevention is key to establishing good chewing behaviours. Sometimes a dog may direct its chewing habits at objects that are deemed off-limits. Redirecting dogs to appropriate chew toys is key. KONG rubber chew toys offer a variety of options for all types of chewers.
Motivated by Food
Your dog loves treats, and will work to get them. Many KONG toys offer the versatility of treat dispensing for extending playtime and mealtime. They are great for games of chase, catch and chew, but when stuffed with kibble or treats, they are even more exciting to food-motivated dogs.
Treat dispensing toys are great for overweight or bored dogs, since the pursuit of the treats encourages play and exercise. This helps to keep pets happy and healthy. It may also be used as a way to prevent dogs from eating their food too quickly. This can lead not only to weight issues, but can also cause a serious condition called bloat. Stuffing our Classic KONG toys or the KONG Wobbler makes mealtime more fun.
Loves the Squeak
Dogs like squeaky toys because they resemble real prey and the squeak satisfies natural instincts. These toys give pets a payoff for their work. These toys have embedded squeakers for games of fetch and retrieve, but are not for chew sessions like our classic rubber toys.
There are three basic types of behaviours when it comes to dogs and their toys:
Gentle chewers – these dogs are gentle with toys and rarely ever destroy their toys, so can be trusted alone with little worry. But always know your dog before leaving them alone with ANY toy.
Athletic dogs– this type of dog loves to play and will often carry toys around with them everywhere, but rarely stops to actually chew on the toys.
Tenacious chewers – these dogs like to rip, shred, pick or shear at their toys. These dogs need constant supervision and should never be left alone with toys. For destructive chewing habits, consult your vet or local dog training professional for guidance.