What Are The Best Dog Toys For Chewers? What To Get Your Dog If It Really Likes A Good Chew!
Editor's Choice - The Best Dog Toys For Chewers
What are the best dog toys for chewers? For me the best dog toy for chewers has to be from Kong. They make dog toys from quality material and are designed to be not only durable, but also entertaining for your dog. The KONG Classic Dog Toy is durable, fun and can be stuffed with a treat. It also comes in various sizes, so you can choose the best size to suit your dog!
What are the best dog toys for chewers? Dogs like to chew on things. Especially younger dogs that still have itchy gums! That is just the way it is. So rather than your dog destroying your furniture, shoes, pillows and who know what else, a better option is to get a chew toy that will not only satisfy their chewing needs, but also hopefully keep them entertained for a little bit.
Chewing is a natural thing for dog. Puppies chew to learn about the world around them (much like human babies like to put things in their mouths and taste it) and to help itchy gums. Adult dogs chew to keep their masticatory (chewing) muscles strong, help clean their teeth or sometimes just to pass the time. So really, it is in your dog's best health interest that you give it a chew toy that they can chew to their heart's content.
Types Of Chewers
All dogs chew the same, right? Well, apparently not. Dogs can actually be divided into three different categories in terms of their chewing habits.
Gentle Chewers - These are the dogs that are easy on their chew toys. They usually like to lick or even suck on their toys, rather than trying to destroy it!
Average Chewers - Average chewers like most types of chew toys! They usually like their toys so much that they tend to carry the toys with them where ever they go. These dogs might be destructive on softer chew toys, such as plush or fabric toys, but will not necessarily be very destructive on harder toys, such as rubber chew toys.
Power Chewers - These are the dogs that make it their mission to chew things up as quickly and as thoroughly as they can! They are what I like to call determined chewers. For these dogs you will need to choose a dog toy that is durable and interactive. If your dog is a power chewer, you might want to look at something like the KONG Extreme Dog Toy. It is specifically made for dogs that are powerful chewers.
For some tips on how to teach your dog to stop gnawing on everything in site, check out this article from The Humane Society.
How To Choose The Best Dog Toys For Chewers
So it seems chewing is a natural thing for your dog. It is actually even good for them! But how do you choose the best dog toy for a chewer?
Key Characteristics For The Best Dog Toys For Chewers
When I look for a chew toy for my dog, there are a few important things I look for in the toy. Every dog is different of course, so you need to think about how old your dog is, how big it is and how heavy a chewer it is.
Dog Chew Toy Checklist
- Hardness - If your dog is a heavy chewer, you might be tempted to get a chew toy that is really hard, because it will last longer, right? Too hard a toy is not good for your dog as chances are it might actually break its teeth in the toy! To test if a chew toy is too hard, you can employ the "Thumbnail Test". Basically you test the toy by pressing on it with your thumbnail. If there is not a little bit of "give" when you press on the toy, it is too hard and should be avoided.
- Softness and Durability - While a toy that is too hard is bad for your dog, a toy that is too soft is not good either. If it is too soft and not very durable, your dog will chew it apart in no time! But the big problem with too soft toys is that pieces of the toy can come apart, with your dog possibly swallowing it. A piece of chew toy in your dog's digestive tract is not a good thing!
- Coating - Sometimes chew toys have a coating on them for flavoring. However, sometimes these coatings can cause your dog to have an upset stomach.
- Size and Shape - You need to be practical and think about how big your dog is and how big the toy is. If the chew toy is too small, your dog might accidentally swallow it and choke on it. If the chew toy is too large, your dog might not be able to play with it effectively and get bored with it.
- Ease of Cleaning - While my dog is the one enjoying the chew toy, I am the one that needs to make sure it gets cleaned every now and then to keep it hygienic. So typically I like chew toys that you can easily throw in the dishwasher or the laundry washing machine.
- Entertainment Value - A chew toy should just be that, a toy! I want a chew toy that will not only satisfy my dog's desire to chew something, but it needs to also keep them entertained and busy. A bored dog can be a mischievous dog!
Dog Chew Toy Options I Would Avoid
Rawhides and Pig Ears - You probably see a lot of these and they are usually an affordable option to consider. But I would not pick this is the best option when it comes to dog toys for chewers. The simple reason being that these rawhides can get lodged in your dog's trachea ("windpipe"), which could cause choking. A piece of rawhide could also get stuck in your dog's stomach, a resulting in digestive obstruction.
Edible Chew Treats - Your dog will probably really like these, but if you have a serious chewer on your hands then this is not a good option for you either. Simply, it will not last very long! You could however give your dog these as a treat in combination with a more durable/traditional chew toy. The benefit of these treats are that they usually help with your dog's dental health. Give your dog too much of this, and it will of course get fat!
Cow Hooves - Cows hooves are also a common and affordable option for you to find, but as they can be quite hard they can break your dog's teeth or even splinter. Splinters can cause injuries to your dog's mouth or digestive tract. Even though they are affordable, I prefer to stay away from them.
Elk/Deer Antlers - There are some good reasons for antlers being really popular as chew toys for dogs. Antlers are natural (so no need to worry about suspicious chemicals) and are sustainably harvested (Deer and Elk shed their antlers naturally, so no need to feel bad for the Deer or Elk). But...similar to Cow hooves, antlers can break your dog's teeth (antlers are really hard!). In fact, antlers have caused so many injuries to dogs that plenty of veterinarians and veterinary dentists have started issuing warnings to pet owners about antlers as chew toys for dogs.
Bully Sticks - This is another chew toy for dogs that is popular. You will probably see these sticks in most pet stores. Dogs love them and a lot of dog owners swear by them. But, there are some pitfalls to using these sticks. This includes an increase in your dog's calorie intake (making them fatter than they should be). Some of these sticks can also have some nasty bacteria on them that will make your dog sick. Oh and by the way...these "sticks" are actually bull penises!
Dog Chew Toy Options I Would Consider
Rubber Chew Toys - Rubber dog toys are usually the safest and most durable dog toy option for chewers. You need to make sure that if you do go for the rubber option, that the toy is made from quality rubber, and not flimsy cheap rubber. Cheap rubber will not last nearly as long and might contain ingredients that are not very healthy for your dog. There is also a much smaller chance with quality rubber toys that a piece will come loose from the toy and get stuck in your dog's digestive system. I also like that I don't have to worry much that my dog's teeth might break.
I usually like to look for a toy that is hollow so that I can put a treat or maybe some peanut butter inside. You will be pleasantly surprised how long this can keep your dog entertained!
Rope Chew Toys - I like rope chew toys because they are not hard, so less chance of your dog breaking its teeth. It is also the typical toy that your dog enjoys tugging on with you, which makes for fun play time for you and your dog. However, I would be careful to give a rope toy to a younger dog. The simple reason being that I am a little paranoid about a puppy possibly trying to swallow a piece of the rope, which will result in a panicked visit to the vet! If your dog is a heavy chewer, a rope chew toy might come undone quickly.
Our Pick - The Best Dog Toys For Chewers
Okay, so now that we know what to look for in a dog toy for chewers and what kind of chew toys to avoid, we can look at some toys that might be excellent choices for our little chewers!
Kong Classic Dog Toy
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Kong is one of the best known brands in the pet industry and is known for making high quality dog toys. A lot of dog owners only ever buy Kong toys for their dogs.
This particular toy is something that ticks most, if not all, the boxes for what I look for in a dog toy:
- It is made from quality rubber, so it should last you a long time.
- It is not too hard, so you don't have to worry about your dog breaking its teeth when it plays with it.
- It is hollow, so you can stuff treats inside the toy. Your dog will be entertained for a long time as it works to get the treat out of the toy. Some folks like to put peanut butter inside.
- The design of the toys gives it another dimension of being a bouncy toy, allowing you to use it when you play fetch with your dog. So it is a fun toy for the both of you!
- It is easy to clean.
You can order this toy in different sizes, so you can order the size that best suits your dog. What I also like about this toy is that it is specified as being made in the USA!
Dog Chew Rope Toys for Tug of War
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If you want a dog chew toy that you can also use when you play with your dog, this chew rope package is a great option. It is a pack of three, with three ropes of different sizes. So you can pick the size of rope that works best with the size of your dog. The shortest rope is approximately 10 inches, while the longest rope in the pack is approximately 20 inches.
It is made from recycled cotton rope and is designed to not easily fray. As it is made from cotton, it is easily cleaned by throwing it in the washing machine.
I like to play tug-of-war with my dogs, so this rope toy is something I really like. I also like the design of the toy where the knots in the rope helps to clean your dog's teeth while they chew on it.
If you dog is a power chewer, a rope chew toy might not be the best option as they will likely manage to unravel the rope pretty quickly. I would rather get this rope toy for gentle chewers or maybe average chewers.
Benebone Bacon Flavored Wishbone Chew Toy
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Remember how I mentioned in the checklist to be careful of dog chew toys that are coated for flavoring, as it might upset your dog's stomach? If I was looking for a flavored toy for my dog, this is probably the toy I would pick. It is flavored using real ingredients in order to give a real bacon taste! While I cannot guarantee that this toy will not cause your dog an upset tummy, there is little to no feedback from folks who have used this toy that it caused their dog any issues.
The toy is made from nylon to make it strong and durable, while having a curved wishbone design to help your dog get a good chewing position!
Take note that the manufacture does not recommend this toy for dogs that are more than 70 pounds in size.
KONG Rubber Ball Extreme
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One of my favorite things to do on a beautifully sunny day is to play fetch outside with my pup. He gets some exercise and we spend some quality time together.
If your dog is a power chewer, then this rubber ball from Kong is an excellent option to consider. It is from their "Extreme" range, so it is specifically designed for power chewers.
It is made from rubber, which makes it very bouncy....and that makes for a lot of fun! It is 3 inches in total length (making it roughly the size of a tennis ball) and has a hole drilled through the center, which gives your dog some nice grip when it has a chew on it.
This toy is intended for medium/large dogs. So if your dog is still just a tiny puppy or a small dog, then this is perhaps not the best dog toy to consider (it is a little heavy, so a small dog might struggle with it).
What Do You Think - What Is Best Dog Toys For Chewers?
I am sure you have tried a bunch of different toys for your little chewer. What have you found works best? Are there other toys that you think are the best dog toys for chewers, which is not on our list?
Please share your experience of dog chew toys with us by commenting in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!