Dogs love to chew! Puppies chew to ease the stress of teething, and adult dogs chew to exercise their mastication (chewing) muscles as well as engage their brain to prevent boredom. Since chewing is a natural part of being a dog, it stands to reason that if you have a dog, especially an aggressive chewer, you need to have safe, durable and interesting toys for him to chew on.
Are your dog’s chew toys safe, durable and engaging? Read on to find out!
What makes a chew toy safe?
In my opinion, a safe chew toy is a toy that doesn’t disintegrate, fall apart or splinter. Pieces of damaged toys can become lodged inside an intestine cause a blockage or, in the very least, can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea.
A safe chew toy is also one that doesn’t damage my dog’s teeth when being chewed. Since a chew toy spends alot of time in my dog’s mouth, I’d like it to be non-toxic as well.
What makes a chew toy durable?
I have heavy-duty, destructible chewing dogs, a German Shepard, Alaskan Malamute, and 2 Siberian Huskies. If a chew toy is not durable, it will be destroyed within a matter of minutes. In my opinion, a chew toy is considered durable if it lasts for more than a week with my dogs.
What makes a chew toy interesting?
Lastly, the chew toy needs to be engaging and interesting or it simply won’t be useful. I have bought toys in the past which were definitely safe and durable, but for whatever reason, my dogs simply did not play with it.
Toys to avoid for heavy chewers
- Plush.stuffed toys
- Rope toys
- Toys with squeakers
- Chew treats which can be broken or ingested (rawhides, dentabones nylabones, hooves etc.)
- Tennis balls
Considering the newest trend, Antlers? Read this:
According to Miami Herald contributor, Dr. Patty Khuly, “Skip the antlers. As with cooked bones, cow hooves and hard chew toys, deer antlers offer serious potential hazards. I’ve seen way too many painful dental fractures (most of which require tooth extraction or root canals) and not enough benefits to recommend them, behavioral or otherwise. And given the fact that there are so many safe and effective alternatives to choose from, it seems silly to insist on feeding anything potentially dangerous.” She goes on to say, “And when it comes to exercising that chew drive, consider that any chew toy your dog can sink his teeth into will work way better than any antler.”
Here are the toys that I give my dogs
So far, they have been safe, durable and engaging toys for my heavy chewers, 2 Siberian Huskies, an Alaskan Malamute, and a German Shepard.
Just so you know, I do not receive any form of compensation for mentioning these products in this blog post. These are simply products that I have used and have found to live up to my standards of chew toys. I am not an expert. These are just my opinions as a fellow dog lover!
- GoughNuts Dog Chew Toy – Made from 2 thick layers of solid rubber, it’s one of the most indestructible dog toys on the market today and guaranteed. If your dog chews through to the red layer of rubber, they replace it free of charge!
- KONG Extreme Dog Toys – The black Kong Extreme ones are the most durable and there are plenty of styles to choose from. They also come in a range of sizes to fit any size dog. Made from solid rubber, they can withstand even the most intense chewer. Most Kong Extreme items can be stuffed with yummy treats to keep your dog happy and entertained. They can even be frozen for an extra treat!
- Jolly Pets Tug ‘n Toss Jolly Ball – This toy originally was developed as a toy for horses so you know it is tough. I actually used to have several for my own horses to play with and they can stand up to a beating! This heavy-duty dog chew ball is made of a thick, durable rubber that will not pop or deflate.
- Ruff Dawg Indestructible Dog Ball – Made in the USA specifically for the most aggressive chewers, non-toxic and as name says, indestructible! Come in a variety of fun colors. Lifetime guarantee.
- Mammoth TireBiter Rubber Tire Chew Toys – These are made from real tires (real rubber) with 2-ply reinforced nylon fiber. Strong, durable dog toys.
- West Paw Zogoflex Hurley Durable Dog Bone Chew Toy for Aggressive Chewers – 100% guaranteed. Designed for hard chewers and comes in several sizes to choose from.
Multipet Nuts for Knots Ball Dog Toy – this toy is durable and great for playing catch with. (Image not available)
OurPets Buster Food Cube Interactive Dog Toy – Keeps your dog’s mind busy and rewards him with treats!
Keep a variety of toys on hand and rotate them periodically so that your dog doesn’t get bored. Rotating toys also helps them last longer as well!
Always supervise your dog when they are playing with their chew toys, remove any damaged toys, and watch for signs of trouble in your dog’s mouth such as bleeding or excessive drooling. When in doubt, contact your veterinarian.
Try out some of the chew toys listed above and let me know how you and your dog like them. Suggest some of your own favorites in the comment section below. I’m always looking for something new for these guys!