We recently packed up 7 dogs for a 4000 km road trip, and brought and 7 Everlasting Fun Balls to help the dogs relax. All of the balls made it home, unlike several collars. I can’t imagine travelling without investing in some durable and entertaining chew toys. Don’t travel without them!
Dogs love to chew. Chewing is relaxing, it helps keep their teeth clean, and it can help keep them quietly occupied in their crate or ex-pen when you’re busy. It’s important to balance exciting play and stressful work with calming rest and relaxation. In addition to training your dog to lie down and relax, and providing age-appropriate exercise, chew toys are an invaluable tool to help dogs settle calmly.
One problem is that many dogs shred toys in no time. On the other hand, when you don’t offer suitable chew toys, the consequences may be memorable. (Does your dog prefer chomping on slippers or rearranging your upholstery?)
Whichever toy you choose, never leave your dog unattended and replace worn or damaged toys. Otherwise, your dog may ingest pieces that can cause choking, gastro-intestinal obstruction, serious injury, or even death. No toy lasts forever. But in this list, we’ve weeded out many toys that didn’t outlast repeated testing. Most of the toys are available online at Amazon.
Here are our chewiest picks:
- StarMark Everlasting Fun Ball – Our dogs enjoy eating dinner or treats from this green ball (large is shown in the photo), which has survived strong chewers who previously destroyed Kongs. The openings have rubber pieces you can cut out with scissors if you want the food to come out more easily. For puppies, the small size is easier to retrieve.
- Kong Classic – Kongs are easy to find in most pet stores, economical and clean up conveniently in the dishwasher. We prefer the stronger varieties: red and black. Get a size bigger than you think you need. Put a plug in the bottom e.g. a chunk of cheese, then stuff the remaining space and freeze. As your dog chews, it will gradually thaw and leisurely release the food. Once your dog is interested in Kongs, they’re also a great choice for indication training for scent dogs.
- Bully sticks are 100% digestible, natural parts of bulls (except if you opt for the “odor free” products). Negatives include a strong odor (that dogs enjoy but humans may not), and they are not as long lasting as some of the stuffable toys. Try braided bully sticks to increase the lifespan.
- West Paw Zogoflex Qwizl Tough Puzzle Treat Toy for Dogs – Although newer to the scene, Westpaw’s high quality toys are durable, albeit expensive. Place a bully stick inside the middle hole and it will take your dog far longer to devour.
- Nylabone is one of the most popular toys on amazon, and it certainly works. When it’s new, try scratching up the smooth surface and rubbing in some pate or peanut butter and your dog will find it more attractive to lick and chew. Select the flavored options for an added bonus.
- PetSafe Busy Buddy Squirrel – Similar to Kongs, this durable toy can also be stuffed with kibble, and the adjustable rubber around the exits helps make it adjustable for your dog.
- Outward Hound Kyjen Hard Boiled Softies Dog Toy – These penguin, hedgehog or bee toys feature a fabric skin around a large, tough, round squeaker in the middle. They make a low-pitched groan, delighting our testers. You may find the noise irritating, and don’t expect them to last as long as rubber toys.
- Tuffy plush toys incorporate industrial luggage material into multiple layers, covered with soft fleece, to produce the longest lasting fabric toys we’ve found. Our dogs enjoy tugging them together, carrying them around and they also make surprisingly comfortable pillows. For avid retrievers, try giving your dog one of these toys to carry during a walk, and hopefully less garbage will be returned to you. Tuffy toys come in a variety of shapes (e.g. dinosaurs, boomerangs) and each is rated on a scale from 1 to 10, to help you select appropriately for your unique dog.
- Our search continues for tough chew toys that we return to, again and again. If we missed your favorite, let us know in the comments below.
For the ultimate in chewiness, give one of our top-rated dog chew toys a try, and enjoy some calm rest and relaxation with your dog.