Chewing on toys and bones is important for a dog. Not only can it help relieve mild anxiety, frustration, or stress, but it can also help keep your pup’s jaws strong and teeth clean. Chewing is a great outlet for extra energy as it can keep them focused and release endorphins which can increase the sense of well-being and pleasure.
However, if your dog chews through toys like they are nothing, it can make it more difficult to ensure they have this outlet. And while you may want the right toys for your tough chewer, the wrong type won’t last long and can even be dangerous to your dog. That’s why it’s important to find special dog toys built for destructive chewers.
Here are a few of our top picks and some tips for finding the best toy for your canine pal:
Top Recommended Toys for Tough Chewers
The ideal material that will stand up to your dog’s tough teeth will be durable, but not dangerous. While no toys will be 100% destroy-proof, some toys are made to last longer than others, such as those made from rubber.
Generally, look for toys like chew rings, heavy duty toy balls, and chew bones. These different products offer a range of stimulation and entertainment, as well as physical and mental exercise. And, they are designed to withstand tough teeth.
A few of the top toys to check out for your pup include:
- West Paw Zogoflex Hurley Tough Dog Bone: Not only are these toys made in the U.S.A. and easy to clean, but they are also 100% damage free guarantee. So, if your dog does destroy the Hurley, you’ll get a new one sent to you. These dogs are great for chewing and playing fetch, even in water since they float. However, they aren’t hard enough to damage your dog’s teeth.
- Kong: Just about KONG products are designed for chewers, including the KONG Extreme Rubber Ball, Classic KONG, KONG Extreme Goodie Bone, and KONG Flyer. They are tough and durable, made out of natural, non-toxic rubber that is soft on your dog’s teeth but made to withstand chewing. These toys are available in a variety of sizes and shapes and are easy to clean. Plus, they are reasonably priced. Some KONGs can even be stuffed with treats or peanut butter for extra stimulation.
- Goughnuts: Checkout the Original, MaXX, or Buster for a toy that’s tough but fun to play with. Plus, it has a built-in safety net – in the MaXX 50 ring, the outer later is black and the inner layer is red. As long as you don’t see the red, the toy is safe to play with. If you do see red, send it back for a free replacement. These toys are thick, heavy, and durable, but they are gentle on teeth.
- Reinforced plush toys: If your dog likes plush toys but is ripping out the stuffing within seconds, try a plush that doesn’t have stuffing and may be reinforced with tougher material to stand up to your pup’s teeth. Squeakers can also help keep your dog’s interest, and if they do destroy the toy, clean-up is quick and easy. Try this Squeaky Wild Forest Raccoon or Speedy Fox from RexiPets.
- Nylabone or Benebone: If you want to give your dog an actual bone to chew, your best options would be Nylabone or Benebone chews. Be sure to choose one that’s for your dog’s correct weight and only let them chew while supervised, because pieces can break off and be swallowed. However, these brands design their toys out of a durable nylon material that most dogs enjoy chewing. Grooves and shapes can be perfect for your dog to hold and clean their teeth, and yummy flavors can make the bones even more fun to chew.
Tips for Finding the Best Toy for Your Destructive Chewer
Shopping for the best toy for your dog can be tricky, especially if they seem to destroy everything you buy. While starting with the recommended toys above, there are a few other tips to follow to find the best for your pet:
- Choose one for your dog’s weight. Not all chews are made the same. Many toys are marketed as “suitable for dogs that weigh up to XX lbs.” Make sure you don’t buy toys that are made for small dogs if yours is 80 lbs., or vice versa. Not only will it likely be destroyed quickly, but it can also be dangerous.
- Choose hard toys with caution. Really hard chew toys, like antlers, bones, and hooves, are great in moderation and long-lasting. However, these chews can chip, fracture, or break your dog’s teeth, or they can splinter and cut your dog’s tongue and gums. Swallowed pieces can cause internal issues. If you buy your dog a hard toy, be sure to supervise the chewing and only let them chew a little bit at a time. Also, inspect the toy prior to your dog chewing it.
- Shop for durable materials. Rubber is probably the material that’s firm enough to stand up to serious chewing but has enough give that it won’t hurt your pet’s teeth or mouth. It is also easy to clean, and many rubber toys float if your dog likes to play in the water.
- Check the “chewing style” on the packaging. Many toys will list on the packaging what type of chewing style that toy is made for. If your dog is an aggressive chewer, look for “power chew” or “extreme chewing style.” Depending on how much of a destructive chewer your dog is, you may also be able to consider “strong chewing style.” Choosing the best style will not only help your toys last longer but can also help keep your dog safe.