Kate is a former veterinarian's assistant of five years. She maintains a passion for training and caring for dogs of all types.
Leave your pup to his own devices, and he'll chew up an entire roomful of furniture, right? If you have a passionate chewer, follow these guidelines for replacing your dog's easily-destroyed plush toys with durable alternatives.
Choosing the Right Toys for Your Dog Who Chews Everything
- Pick an appropriate size. Check the label and know your dog's weight before checking out with that cart full of Kongs for your Mastiff.
- Don't buy toys with chewable parts. Instead, pick out toys that don't have parts that can be ripped off like plastic eyes, noses or tags and labels that stick out from the toy.
- Pay attention to your dog's play habits. Monitoring your dog's play and chewing habits will give you an idea of what to buy in the future. Does your dog go through plush toys in just a few days? Nix those off your list and try a nylon-based toy next shopping trip from a brand like Benebone.
Keeping Your Pet Safe
Sure, your dog's toy label is going to tell you to supervise play but let's be real, you're not going to sit there at 2 AM and watch your dog gnaw on her favorite toy. Instead, store your dog's toys in a designated basket that can be put up at night when you're sleeping or leaving the house. This makes it easy too, to keep track of any toys that are ready to be tossed when you pick them up before bed.
The Best Toys for Dogs That Chew
Just a reminder: "indestructible" is a misnomer, and all dog toys will have to be replaced. However, there are toys that will even take the most aggressive chewer a few months or years to work through.
I really can't start any list like this without first mentioning Kong brand toys. For years, Kong has been making rubber chew toys that take any level of chewer months or even years to destroy. For the power chewers in your family, I would recommend the KONG Extreme line. They come in sizes Small to XXLarge and are black instead of the classic red.
You can also try the regular KONG rubber toys too. I've got a couple of the red ones, and they've held up to some intense chewing sessions.
Nylabone Chew Toys aren't exactly "indestructible," but they last a while. Even with my Labradoodles gnawing away, I've had Nylabones last at least six months or more. Plus, the hard bristles will keep your dog's teeth squeaky (probably literally) clean.
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Outward Hound FireHose Toy
I came across the FireHose toy on accident when searching for an interactive toy my dogs wouldn't destroy in two hours. While it's not meant to be a chew toy, per se, it did turn out to be one of the best toy purchases I made. If you have a power chewer that also likes to toss their toys around, this is a good one. It's made from the same material as a firehose, so it lasts a good while, and my dogs love it.
I found out that this is the coolest, most durable, and most affordable dog toy. Buy your dog her own package of large-sized (they're about the size of a baseball) wool balls from Amazon or Etsy, and she can chew, play fetch and toss the ball around all by herself when you're not home. The best part about these is that they can't do any damage no matter how hard your canine companion might push the limits. They're extremely lightweight and a safe alternative to tennis balls.
Toys to Avoid if Your Dog Is a Chewer
Rawhides and pig's ears can be dangerous chew toys to give to dogs. That's because, apart from the contamination and allergic-reaction risk factors, the biggest risk of rawhides is the choking hazard. If your dog really goes at one of these, a piece can break off and get lodged in their throat. Skip the rawhides.
Sure, there are whole aisles of pet stores dedicated to cute plush toys for your pup, but let's face it, these things don't last more than a week with chewers, especially ones who like to chew stuff up to punish you for leaving for the evening.
Growing up, this was a toy that was strictly meant for playing fetch. Even if they were gentle chewers, our dogs weren't allowed to have a tennis ball when they were left alone. The reason for this is it's actually easy for a dog to destroy a tennis ball. Any pieces they might swallow, as with rawhides, can be a choking hazard. These days, I just skip cheap tennis balls and use an old baseball I used to play with. I think they like it better anyway.
Anything With a Squeaker
As soon as your dog rips that toy open, the squeaker becomes a choking hazard. Why do dog toy manufacturers still make these?!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2018 Kate Stroud