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Cruisin' Canines

Finding Durable Toys for Your Aggressive-Chewer Dog

For strong chewers, try long lasting chew treats like elk antler chews or bully sticks

If you’re one of the lucky ones out there, you can buy just about any dog toy and expect it to last around your house for more than a few hours. Some dog owners, however, know the all-too-real feeling of feeling like buying some dog toys is lighting money on fire—paying for it, bringing it home, and watching the dog tear it to shreds in 20 minutes. For these more aggressive dogs, finding dog toys is a little bit more complicated. Thankfully, there are some manufacturers out there that understand that some dogs need a bit tougher of a toy to play with—and not just big dogs! Some small breed dogs are tough cookies when it comes to playtime, and we’ve compiled a few brands of toys that can stand up to your pup’s chompers. Elk Antler or Bully Stick Chews If your pooch is a fan of pig ears or rawhide, you know all too well that they disappear far too quickly. For strong chewers, elk antler chews or bully sticks are a good option for dogs that like chewing. Unlike rawhide, elk antlers are not a choking hazard, have no odor, and are less messy. However, be careful to still supervise your dog, as they do have the potential for hurting your dog’s teeth—make sure they’re not chewing too hard or for too long. If you prefer a more natural chew “toy,” marrow bones (beef bones) are a great choice, and your dogs will probably go nuts for them. West Paw Design’s Zogoflex Toys Branded and reviewed as some of the most durable dog toys on the market, these toys are made of a super-strong material called Zogoflex. They’re non-toxic and dishwasher safe, and if you need something even tougher, they offer a line of toys called Black Zogoflex, toys made from recycled remnants of old toys. Kong Toys Kong is a well-known brand for offering toys and chews that are built tough. Their famous rubber chew toys are made in a way that allows for putting treats inside, and the toys bounce and have a soft mouth feel, perfect for chew-happy pups. This brand also offers plush toys that are made with an additional layer to prevent tears, as well as plush toys that have ropes as “skeletons” for additional toughness. Tuffy Dog Toys Though not indestructible, these dogs are made to be very durable. They’re made with multiple layers of material and seven layers of stitching, making them some of the toughest choices around for your dog’s playtime. Their line of Mega Toys are constructed with seven layers of fabric. One thing to be aware of: products like some flavored-rubber bones can entice your dog to actually eat the toy, which can be extremely harmful for them—try to avoid products like that, that encourage the dog to ingest the toy completely. Do you have any favorite toys that your dog plays with and doesn’t destroy immediately? Let us know!

Different Types of Dog Toys

Different dogs like to play with different types of dog toys. Likewise, different dogs will have different needs when it comes to playtime. Some pets will like to play fetch, while others prefer tug of war, while some dogs may only enjoy chewing. In order to make sure your dog is entertained, it’s important to have a variety of toys that your dog will enjoy. There area few different categories that you can choose from. Stuffed Toys Stuffed toys are great for dogs who like cuddling or light playing. Many dogs will adopt these toys as their own “little spoon,” so don’t be surprised if you find your pet snuggling with a stuffed animal in his bed. However, it’s important to make sure your dog doesn’t eat the stuffing from the toys, as it can be harmful to them. Some “stuffed toys” are simply plush on the outside, and do not have stuffing inside. Balls Tennis balls and other, smaller versions of them are great for dogs who like to chase things. Since they are easy for the dog to carry back and forth, these are ideal for playing fetch. Some toys even include a “thrower,” which is perfect if you don’t want to touch a slobbery tennis ball after your dog’s been playing with it for a while. Squeaky Toys Dogs love the squeaky noise that some toys make. Morbid as it may sound, it has been said that it has something to do with the shrill tone mimicking a dying animal, and the dog’s natural instincts to kill their food come into play here. If that creeps you out, you’re not alone—but most dogs like chasing these toys and flailing them around. They key here is to find one with a squeaker that isn’t too annoying to your ears. Tug of War Toys Practically self-explanatory, tug of war toys are meant for playing tug of war with your dog. They are typically rope, and have two ends for easy play for two dogs, or with you and your dog. Chew Toys Chew toys are great for puppies or dogs who tend to get bored. KONG makes great toys for keeping your dog occupied, due to their durability.  It’s important to make sure to supervise your dog when they’ve got a chew toy, however, because if they’re a strong chewer they might tear the toy apart and try to eat it. Particularly in the case of rubber bones that are meant to smell or taste like chicken, this can be very dangerous for your dog. “Thinking,” or Reward Toys Some treats are like chew toys in that they keep dogs entertained and busy, but in such a way that the dog has to work harder or solve a problem in order to get a treat. These toys are great for dogs when you need to do something like mop the floor or vacuum, particularly if you just want them to mind their business for a few minutes while you get something done. In order to keep your dog happy, it’s ideal to have an assortment of toys on hand, as they won’t always want the same kind of entertainment.

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