There’s one fact dog lovers everywhere will understand: dogs love to chew. Which is fine, as long as they’re not leaving gnawed off pieces of your sofa for you to find three days later. When you do find that detached limb, though, frustration settles in like sinking in quicksand. What can you do to save your furniture?
Get your pup a chew toy! A durable one, which can withstand those snapping, powerful jaws. There’s a wide variety of material to choose from–such as plastic, rubber, wood, and rope. We’ll introduce you to some tough, but safe, chew toys for your dog, saving your slippers in the process.
How to Choose a Chew Toy For Your Dog – Buying Guide
There’s a bunch of shapes and sizes to fit the chew power of your dog, so let’s go over some points to consider when picking a toy out.
Holds up Against Those Demolishing Jaws
Obviously, if a toy is labeled as a chew toy, it’s suppose to last for a while. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Make sure the toy is actually sturdy and won’t break when your dog bites in to it.
For those of you wondering: do not give toys meant for human to dogs. Since canines are that much stronger, they’ll easily rip apart soft plushies. Not only that, some human toys contain chemicals that are toxic to dogs–another reason to keep these away from your furry friend.
In the case of older dogs, toys that are too resilient will chip their teeth. You want something that’s tough but has a good amount of elasticity. Rubber is a safe bet, as it’s strong enough to weather a beating but soft enough for your elderly pup’s teeth.
Pick Toys Made With Safe-for-Dogs Material
So you’ve underestimated the power of your dog’s jaw, and they chewed right through the toy. At a time like this, you’ll be glad you chose one made with materials that won’t harm your dog if ingested.
Natural materials—all-natural fiber or wooden toys—may not be the sturdiest things around, but they won’t harm your dogs as much when they accidentally swallow them.
Matching Toy Sizes From Miniature Pup to Giant Canines
If you give a small toy to a giant dog, there’s a risk they might choke or swallow it. Similarly, if you give a big toy to a tiny puppy, it’ll be too heavy for them to pick up or play with. Next thing you know, the plaything’s still in the same spot on your living room floor, while everything else has been gnawed on by your pup.
There’s various types of dogs, ranging from tiny puffball poms to bearish Newfoundlands. Since mouth shapes will also vary, pay attention to the size and shape of the toy. Some manufacturers will advertise whether the toy’s for small, medium, or large dogs, so keep a lookout for that on the tags.
Make Things Interesting With Different Toy Shapes
There’s a lot of dog toys to choose from. Like humans, dogs will get tired of playing with the same old thing over and over again. Make things exciting and new with different types of toys.
Resilient Rope Makes for Good Tug-O-War
Rope toys are perfect for bonding with your dog while helping them relieve stress. These are tough and durable, enough for two dogs to play tug-o-war with. Chewing on these will remove dental plaque from their teeth, like a good brushing (though you don’t want to rely on these solely for your dog’s dental hygiene).
When you bring out the rope, make sure you’re the one establishing the start and end to play time. If you let the dog decide, they’ll see themselves as the owner and you as the pet—and then they stop listening to you. By setting a limit to play time, you make it clear that you are the “master” in the relationship.
Traditional Bone Shaped for Medium to Large Dogs
The traditional bone—it’s perfect for canines that just want to bite all day long. Bone-shaped toys tend to be sturdier, so they’re extra suitable for small dogs who have an intense bite.
Even when we say “bone,” it’s just a mold; some common materials for these toys include wood, nylon, and–yes–real bones. Be sure to choose a safe material that won’t harm your dog even if swallowed.
Some are chicken- or beef-scented to attract your puppy, distracting them from your new pair of slippers. Since your dog will be crunching on this new toy for quite some time, you want to make sure the material won’t hurt their teeth. (And see to it that they don’t munch for so long they wear their teeth down.)
Hide Snacks For Extended Play Time
Just like humans, dogs feel lonely when they’re left alone for too long. During the day, they’ll have the house all to themselves–great if you’re a teenage kid, but not so much a puppy. To keep their mind busy, give them a durable toy stuffed with treats inside.
These toys are made so that the dog will have to figure out how to get the treats out. Whether they need to be chewed nonstop or rolled around, these types of toys are sure to keep your pet occupied when you’re out. Just stuff treats in there and hand it off to your pup for the day.
Animal Shaped Companion for Your Furry Friend
Miniature versions of animals are adorable, and your dog is sure to agree. You’ve got round little things that jingle when pups paw them around, and you’ve also got stuffed animal plushies. Sometimes, these’ll include a squeaker inside, so when your dog bites it, they’ll be in for a surprise.
Even if there’s no squeak to it, animal plushies are surprisingly popular with dogs. Perhaps it comforts them, like how humans are with a teddy bear from their childhood.
In any case, make sure whatever plushie you’re buying has good sewing and stitching. There have been cases where dogs have accidentally swallowed cotton stuffing, clogging their esophagus. And avoid dolls with eyes and noses made out of plastic. Basically, make sure that even if your dogs rip the thing apart and swallow half of it, they’ll stay healthy and bright-eyed.
Top 10 Best Dog Chew Toys to Buy Online
Down below you’ll find our recommended chew toys. You’re sure to find one that challenges your dog’s ravaging chew power!
10. Outward Hound Hedgehogz Squeak Plush
Cute and Cuddly Companion for Your Furry Friend
A favorite among many dogs, this hedgehog provides a constant companion for your dog when you’re out of the house for long periods of time. There’s a squeaker inside, grabbing your dog’s attention when they bite down. Whether your pup wants a stress reliever or a cuddle buddy, Hedgehogz is here to help. With 4 sizes to choose from, small to extra large, it’s a great fit for your Chihuahua or Great Dane.
Keep in mind that it’s a plush, though. Though dogs love to cuddle with it, they’ll equally love ripping it apart. The stitching on Hedgehogz aren’t meant to withstand extreme play time, so they’ll tear easily when thrown about. However, some have reported that, even with a deflated Hedgehogz, their dogs still love to cuddle and keep this toy close, a definite plus.
9. Nylabone Puppy Teething Keys
Best for Puppies and Small Dogs
These have a softer texture than other toys. With raised bristles to help brush teeth and prevent tarter, Puppy Keys will keep your dog’s mouth clean. Since they’re meant for puppies, the soft texture will massage their gums without hurting them. Smaller dogs will get a kick out of this too, being just the right size for their mouths.
With that said, larger dogs can also play with this. However, depending on their chewing power, they might just snap this one in half. Some have said they found shavings coming off of the keys, which could get stuck in the dog’s stomach or esophagus. As with all toys, supervision is always recommended, so you can take the toy away when it gets too worn out.
8. Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel
A Two-In-One Plushie Puzzle
Each squirrel comes with a squeaker inside, making a noise your dog will be delighted with. The puzzle arrives with a log and a set of critters. Simply put the critters in the log and hand it off to your dog. This cute toy will keep your pup busy as they try to dig the squirrels out. Choose one of their four available sizes (small, medium, large, and extra large) based on the needs of your dog. They also have different critter options. Along with the squirrels, they have bees, birds, and hedgehogs.
Again, this one is a plushie toy. While the interactive aspect of the puzzle may make it last longer, there’s no guarantee your pup won’t rip it to shreds. But like Outward’s Hedgehogz plush, some owners have seen that their dogs will still play with the puzzle even when empty of stuffing.
7. Otterly Pets Rope Toy
100% Natural Cotton Fibers in a Pack of Four
Not only are Otterly products affordable, their sets often come with 4 to 12 toys, so you have your backup ready when your dog demolishes their current target. They advertise their toys as natural and washable, so if your dogs accidentally swallow some threads, it won’t harm them. Chewing on these ropes will massage gums and clean teeth, freshening their breath.
These ropes work best with small to medium dogs–larger dogs will destroy them pretty quickly. Though the ends of the rope fray quickly, it’ll still hold for a while longer before completely coming apart. Small threads tend to get everywhere when your pups get to them–something to keep in mind if you have carpeting in your house.
6. Goughnuts Original Dog Chew Ring
Extremely Durable with Company Replacement Guarantee
Sit back and relax knowing your sofa is safe while your lovable mutt spends hours trying to rip this toy apart. These colorful doughnut shapes float in water for those who want to go on a swim and play fetch. The exterior hides a red interior, and if the toy whittles down to that point, take the toy away. Notify the company, and they’ll replace your Goughnut with a brand new one. All you’ll have to do is pay the shipping fee and they’ll send you a new one.
A few have observed that their dogs won’t go near this toy because of a bitter, rubbery taste that can’t be washed off. Supervision is recommended, as some pieces have been chewed off and swallowed. And it’s one heavy donut; if flung, there’s a good chance it’ll shatter a window or two.
5. Mammoth Flossy Chews
Extremely Durable For Colossal Dogs
From the traditional single knot rope toy to a tightly wound rope ball (aptly named “Monkey Fist”), Mammoth toys have got unique appearances to give your dog new angles to chew on. A special trait about Mammoth–they market a “colossal” size. Not just large, colossal. Ones you need for that Newfoundland or Saint Bernard. Their floss is also digestible, so you won’t have to worry if your dog accidentally swallows some.
When frayed, this one will also shed fibers everywhere, a note for those concerned with the mess it’ll make on their carpets. As with all toys, how long it lasts will depend on the strength of your dog’s jaws. Some have reported that, once the knots come undone, the entire rope falls apart soon after.
4. Jolly Pets Romp-N-Roll Ball
Long Lasting Ball Great For Tug-o-War
This demolition ball type toy is great for swinging around the yard, playing fetch with your pup. Since it floats, you can take it to the pool and watch your dog swim around with the Romp-n-Roll in their mouth, happily paddling. It’s long lasting, made of rubber, and durable enough to withstand heavy chewers . Even with hundreds of gnawing attempts, this ball will stay in shape and intact. If your dog does manage to puncture it, Romp-n-Roll won’t deflate, retaining its spherical shape.
The rope does come off easily, based on how hard the tug-o-war game goes. And there’s a chance your pup’s teeth might get stuck in the ball when they bite it, so keep an eye on them while they’re playing.
3. Naturally Shed Elk Antlers
Sturdy, Natural, and No Mess to Clean
Elk naturally shed their antlers, so not only are these eco-friendly, they’re obtained in a humane way. They’re full of nutrients like zinc, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus. Unlike other chews, these won’t leave a mess or odor behind. Antlers also work for your dog’s dental hygiene, removing the plaque on their teeth as they gnaw. Extremely durable, one antler will last you months.
The more your dog wears the antler down, the more the antler resembles a sharp point. Supervision is recommended when it gets down to that point, as some have reported the antler cutting their dog’s gums. Since it’s very hard, there have been cases where a dog’s teeth have chipped, requiring dental services.
2. Zogoflex Tux
Recyclable and Multi-use For Your Convenience
Stuff treats in the small opening; then give the toy to your dog as a puzzle. Some have opted to freeze wet dog food or peanut butter, making the toy more interesting for their pups. It’s very durable and, since it’s in a ball shape, you can also play fetch with it. Though tough, it’s still soft enough to chew on without hurting your dog’s gums. Not only is it easy to wash and dishwasher safe, it’s BPA free, phthalate free, and FDA compliant.
A few have stated that, initially, this toy attracts hair and fur, though that can be remedied after a few washes. The opening is bigger than some treats, causing them to fall out easily, so you’d want to go with bigger biscuits when deciding what to insert in the Zogoflex.
1. Kong Extreme Dog Toy
Tough Durability While Being Easy on the Gums and Teeth
A well-known classic, Kong creates extremely durable toys that you can stuff with treats to entice your dogs. This toy comes in five sizes, from Small to XX-Large. Like the Zogoflex, you can also freeze wet dog food or peanut butter inside to keep your pet’s attention longer. Kong holds up well for powerhouse chewers, and bounces around to exercise your dog.
Some of complained of a strong rubber smell, which puts off some dogs entirely. You also need a bottle brush wand to clean inside. And keep in mind that while this is one of the toughest toys on the market, it’s not indestructible. Supervision is always key to make sure your dog is safe and happy with their new toys.
Have you found a toy that can stand up to your dog? If you’re having trouble with your pup destroying your furniture and other belongings, getting them a chew toy will improve your situation tenfold. Chewing can relieve your dog’s stress and keep them busy, saving your chairs and pillows from certain destruction.
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