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Having a puppy is quite a bit of work and can be exhausting! As a pet parent, you might just need a break and want to have some time to yourself where you don’t have to worry about what they are getting into. But can you just leave your puppy with a popular toy like a Kong or Nylabone? Or must you stay and supervise your pup?

Can you trust a puppy alone with Kong or Nylabone toys?

No, the simplest answer is you can’t trust a puppy to be alone with Kong or Nylabone toys. Kong and Nylabone toys for puppies are relatively safe, but if left unsupervised, there is always a risk that your puppy could chew off a piece and choke or hurt themselves.

Puppies’ teeth are sharp and depending on bite strength, there is always a risk of rubber coming apart from the main body of the toys.

However, there is a caveat. The American Kennel Club states that you should only ever leave your pup unsupervised with a toy you know is safe and to closely watch how the toy holds up during playtime before ever letting your pup be alone with it.

The rule of thumb then is to never leave a puppy or dog alone with a new toy, whether it be Nylabone, Kong, or any other brand.

We can’t be expected to sit and watch our puppy all day long, even though we might want to! Your puppy is going to spend time chewing on a toy now and then unsupervised. But it’s important that you have already spent at least a few sessions with your puppy watching them with that toy.

If they cause any damage or even look like they are going to cause damage to the toy, then you should look for a more durable toy for them to be left alone with.

But always keep in mind to check in on your puppy as often as possible.

Can you trust a puppy to be alone with any toys?

It is never recommended to allow a puppy to be truly alone with any toys. Some toys have a higher risk than other toys, for example, stuffed toys can be a higher risk than a quality rubber toy, such as a Kong or Nylabone.

If you are leaving your puppy alone at home, then you should ensure they don’t have access to stuffed toys. These are higher risk than a strong, quality rubber toy. But also keep in mind that a specific rubber “puppy” toy will likely have softer, less durable rubber.

This is due to their puppy teeth. But some puppies have razor-sharp teeth and crocodile jaw strength, meaning these toys won’t last long.

We also have this article you may be interested in reading, Leaving Your Dog Home Alone: (8,12, or 24-hours)

Can a puppy choke on a Kong or a Nylabone?

It is definitely possible for a puppy to choke on a Kong or a Nylabone. Before giving a puppy either of these chew toys, you will want to make sure that they are the appropriate size, shape, and material for your puppy.

You will also want to ensure that the chew toy is undamaged, so there is no risk that your puppy will damage it even further. A puppy could easily choke if a Kong or Nylabone were to break down or be chewed down into smaller pieces.

Sadly, there are stories of puppies that have died from choking on pieces of puppy chew toys, like this one in the UK. We also have a post on what to do if your puppy eats stuffing from a toy.

There are also accounts of dogs having their tongues stuck inside Kong toys.

Here is a disclaimer from Nylabone on their chew toy products:

If you think that your dog swallowed a large piece of a Non-Edible Chew, take the chew away and contact your veterinarian for advice. No dog toy or chew is totally indestructible. Frequently inspect any chew before giving it to your dog to make sure it’s whole and intact, with no missing pieces. Replace a Non-Edible Chew when knuckle ends are worn down, or if it becomes too small to chew safely. Nylabone Chews and Toys should not be boiled, placed in a dishwasher, washing machine, or convection or microwave oven.”

If you’re thinking of leaving your puppy with a Kong toy, then you should watch this video as she brings up some points you may not be aware of yet:

Puppy safety with Kong and Nylabone chews

As long you choose a Kong chew that is appropriately sized for your puppy, it will be safe for your pup to chew on it while supervised.

Make sure that it is too big to be swallowed, and it will need to be puppy-proof or chew-resistant if your puppy starts chewing on it. If you notice that your puppy is an aggressive chewer and tries to tear apart the Kong, you’ll definitely want to keep a closer eye on your pup during the chew session.

If they start to damage the toy, you should take it away from them.

If your pup swallows a large piece of rubber, then you should take them to the vet.

Are you interested in reading our post, Dog Panting Heavily After Eating Bone, Bully Stick, Rawhide: Why?

Should you put any chew toys in your dog’s crate?

We don’t want our puppies to be completely bored out of their minds while they are in their crates, but we also don’t want them to be at risk for choking or injury either.

The best recommendation is to not put any soft, stuffing-filled, or squeaker toys in the crate with your puppy, as these are most at risk.

If your puppy is restless and needs something to keep occupied, try a stuffed Kong that you already know is appropriately sized for your pup and that your pup won’t be able to destroy or chew into small pieces.

If you are confident that your puppy is safe with a Nylabone, (after supervising them with the toy over extended periods of time) then your pup will likely be fine having the toy in their crate.

About the Kong

The Kong dog toy was actually found or invented by accident. One day in 1969, a German Shepherd named Fritz was helping his dad work on his Volkswagen van. Fritz had a bad habit of using rocks as his chew toys. But on that one day, Fritz’s dad threw an old rubber part from the car aside, and Fritz chased after it!

Fritz’s dad was thrilled that he found something besides rocks to chew on, so he modified the rubber piece and started production, and the Kong was born. The Kong toy is one of the most well-known and most popular dog toys ever because it does it all.

It can be used to play fetch, as a chew toy, as a food dispenser, and as an interactive puzzle toy that rewards the dog with treats!

If your puppy is a super chewer, Kong also offers higher durability chew toys.

About the Nylabone

Nylabone is a type of chew toy made out of a thermoplastic polymer. These chews contain components like rubber, nylon, and plastic. Bone is in the name, but they are not edible! They are a chew toy, and like any chew toy, when it starts to become worn out and broken, it needs to be thrown out, or it could harm the dog.

It is important to remember that no toy is 100% foolproof and safe. Some dogs and even puppies are incredibly strong and aggressive chewers and can make any toy or chew into tiny pieces that are the perfect size for choking on.

Several companies make dog chews out of similar materials, but the Nylabone brand is probably the most recognized. Recognizing that puppies have different needs than adults, the brand offers special products for puppies under six months old.

As puppies still have their puppy teeth and may be teething, they require a softer robber, like Nylabones puppy dinosaur. They also have products for pups with their adult teeth already or who are stronger chewers.


Kong and Nylabone are great chew toys for puppies, but you’ll want to watch your puppy closely the first several times they are given the chews to make sure that the chew is an appropriate size and that the puppy isn’t able to damage it.

As you get to know your puppy and their temperament, demeanor, play style, and of course, their chew style, you’ll be able to better determine if you feel comfortable leaving your pup alone with a Kong or a Nylabone chew.