That moment when you walk into your house to find white fluff and pieces of your dog’s favorite dismembered toy strung throughout the living room…again! Finding a good quality dog toy that can stand up to even the heaviest of chewers and not have the potential for health problems can be frustrating for both you and your veterinarian. The majority of dog toys are marketed by the “cuteness factor”; they are aesthetically appealing but lack the strength to stand up to your Labrador or Staffordshire Terrier, or any dog breed that sees toy destruction as a competitive sport. Some dog toy types are so hard that they may pose a health issue to your dog’s oral and gastro-intestinal health, especially if the dog swallows the toy that he is trying to demolish. So, where do we turn to find good quality, durable dog toys?
The Kong line of treat-based dog toys has been a great addition to the durable toy industry over the past two decades. Not only do Kong toys stand up to some of the heaviest chewers, but an appetizing Kong filling can entertain a pet for hours, especially if the filling is frozen in the Kong toy. The exterior of all Kong rubberized toys is quite durable, though the black Kong toys tend to hold up better than their red counterparts. The Kong line of toys includes other non-rubberized, but equally fun toys that can entertain dogs and provide enrichment throughout the day.
West Paw Design, a company based in Bozeman, MT, created a line of durable toys under the Zogoflex title that are 100% recyclable, BPA and phthalate-free, dishwasher safe and engineered to be “crazy durable”. The company is so certain of their durability that they guarantee the toys; if the toy is destroyed, they will replace it for free! Their toys come in various shapes and sizes and stay afloat in water (perfect for those water dogs!).
For years, used rubber tires have been recommended for heavy chewers. Tires can be indestructible, but care must be taken if you choose to utilize used car tires; the tire may contain metal objects within the tire wall and some tires have toxic components that may make your pet sick. If you choose to use rubberized tires or any other household item for chewing, ensure that the material is safe for your pet. If you are unsure if the item is non-toxic, please consult with your veterinarian.