Our four-legged friends can be our best companions, and at times our worst little enemies. When your cute, cuddly dog turns into a chewing ball of destruction it can make even the most patient owner a bit frustrated. There are luckily plenty of things you can do to help alleviate your dog's tendency to chew up your possessions. Finding the best chew toys for dogs is a great place to start.
Here we will help you figure out some of your options concerning chew toys, (some you can even stuff with peanut butter!) but it is important to remember that there are other steps you can take to make sure your dog's chewing doesn't become a nuisance.
WHY DOGS CHEW
That expensive, yet now shredded bed you bought wasn't a bed for aggressive chewers, and now you want to know why dogs chew. Understanding why dogs chew in the first place will go a long way in helping you establish some patience toward them and this habit.
That patience is also added to when you get the dog the right toys to chew, instead of your couch, their tennis balls, their bed, or your shoes.
Dog's chew, first of all, because of instinct. Dog's have an instinctual desire to chew. Your dog's ancestors were hunters—they destroyed things with their mouths. Regardless of how little and cute your dog may be today, the instinct to destroy things still lies in there somewhere.
Teeth and Jaw Health
Another reason dogs chew is to help maintain strong jaws. The chewing action helps build strong jaw muscles. Chewing is also a way to keep teeth clean.
Now, your dog is probably not sitting around thinking, “Oh, hey my teeth feel dirty. I should go chew up Sam's new shoes.” But again, there is an instinct at work here that the dog follows which helps keeps his jaws healthy and his teeth clean.
Very young dogs will also chew when they are teething. That's right, puppies teethe just like human babies. And just like human babies, when they are teething their gums hurt. Chewing on things relieves this pain and helps them break through their new teeth. In the same way that you give a baby a teething ring during teething, puppies need things they can chew on as well.
Boredom and Anxiety
For older dogs who are not teething, this can be the main culprit in excessive chewing. If it appears your dog's chewing has gone to extremes and he is actually destroying your property, then you will want to look into how he is spending his day.
If a dog is not getting enough exercise during the day, then they may begin to translate that unused energy into chewing. The same is true with anxiety. Dogs can become anxious just like people. When humans are anxious, they will often look for ways to distract themselves from the source of their anxiety.
HOW TO ALLEVIATE DESTRUCTIVE CHEWING
The first line of defense toward alleviating destructive chewing is to make sure your dog is getting the appropriate amount of exercise. You will be able to determine the right amount of exercise by doing a little research on the subject. First find out how much exercise your dog needs according to its breed, age, and size. Next, determine your dog's specific needs.
You will find this out by adding a little extra exercise and then observing if your dog seems exhausted or still too full of energy or boredom. You will also at the same time want to introduce good, high-quality chew toys into your dog's life. Your dog needs a toy that will last, which he can feel is all his own possession.
To help you find the best chew toy for your dog, we have prepared an FAQ section. If you are going to invest in a good quality item, you will want to do your research first. This is where you can start.
1. What Is a Chew Toy?
You may think at first that a chew toy is simply anything you give your dog to chew on, but there is more to it than that. If you want your dog to be safe, then they need a chew toy that is made to be indestructible. Allowing your dog to chew on discarded household items does a few negative things.
First, it reinforces to the dog that it's ok to chew up household items. It also puts your dog at risk of choking. Household items are not built to withstand chewing, so your dog will shred these items and possibly swallow parts of it. A good quality chew toy is built to be chewed over and over and over.
2. What Do Dog Toys for Chewing Do?
The best kind of chew toys will provide hours of safe chewing fun for your dog. The item should not shred or come apart in any way that would endanger your dog.
3. What Qualities Should I Look for in a Chew Toy?
You should be looking for a chew toy that is indestructible for your particular breed and age of dog, that is the right size for your dog's mouth. If you buy a chew toy that is too small the dog might swallow it. If you buy a toy that is too big the dog will ignore the toy altogether.
We recommend avoiding anything that is shaped like human stuff -- especially shoes. Buying that cute leather chew toy that looks like shoes is cool and all, right up until your leather shoes follow it into the pup's mouth.
4. Where Can You Buy Chew Toys?
Chew toys can be bought at any pet supply store. However, if you order online through retailers such as Amazon, you will have a great variety of products to choose from. You will also have the option to read reviews from other pet owners who purchased the product.
The same is true with dogs. Their distraction method is often chewing.
HOW WE REVIEWED
The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Warranty. This review can help you to make the best-informed decision when it comes to investing in a quality chew toy. We reviewed the following products based on features, pros, cons, price, where to buy, and durability.
It is important when comparing prices to remember that investing in one quality chew toy may seem expensive at first, but when you buy an inexpensive cheaply made chew toy, you will likely be buying many more. The prices even out for dog owners when you consider this.
What you can expect to spend
The price range for these types of dog toys can vary. There are good quality chew toys starting at around a cup of Starbucks and go up. Price will be dependent on size as well. Larger chew toys will cost more.
Most dog owners know that money spent on quality toys not only makes for happier, healthier dogs -- it pays in the long run. Obviously, we're all on different budgets, but when it comes to Fido, spending a little more is almost always a good idea.
WHAT WE REVIEWED
We looked everywhere, and identified a variety of toys for most breeds and sizes. Below you will find a list of those products, and then our reviews on them.
As we all know, a baby tea cup Chihuahua has needs that are very different from a high-energy large breed dogs. You will find a little bit of everything here. From Kong chews, with their convenient hollow centers making them ideal busy-work toys for dogs that stay home, to soft balls of chewy plush toys for the little dudes.
Nylabone Puppy Teething Keys
- Tough, durable nylon bone keeps powerful chewers busy
- Nubs and ridges help clean teeth and fight plaque and tartar buildup
- Delicious flavor dogs love
Ideal for puppies who are teething. Soft material makes this a great option for puppies' young teeth and gums. Textured material also keeps teeth clean with rubbing action.
The lack of hard points on this will also make it more pleasant to step on than some of the harder ones out there. While that may not be a pro, dog owners everywhere know what stepping on a bone feels like.
Where to buy
KONG Extreme Dog Toy
- Instinctual Needs: The KONG Extreme black rubber toy helps satisfy dogs' instinctual needs and provides mental stimulation. Healthy play is important for dogs' physical and mental development, emotions and behavior. By encouraging healthy play and satisfying instinctual needs, this treat dispensing puzzle toy helps solve chewing, separation anxiety, teething, boredom, weight management, crate training, digging and barking.
- Fetch Toy: The KONG Extreme's unpredictable bounce makes for exciting games of fetch and other interactive play with your pet. This rubber toy is specifically designed for super power chewers and can help them get the exercise they need.
- Great For Stuffing: The stuffable KONG Extreme is even more enticing when treat filled with bits of kibble, peanut butter, KONG Easy Treat, Snacks or Ziggies. Dishwasher safe for easy clean up. Bonus: For an added challenge, freeze stuffed KONG for 4-6 hours before giving to your dog.
This is the ultimate doggie toy. Kong has long been held as the standard in dog chew toys. The reason for this is that the Kong toy is practically indestructible, not to mention that you can stuff it with peanut butter, older dogs or aggressive chewers love them.
Where to buy
Nylabone Dura Chew Plus Wolf Chicken
This is a great option if you want a chew toy that gives your dog the sensation of wearing something down. This chew toy will wear down slowly in rice-sized shavingsthat are safe to ingest and provide a more satisfying chewing experience.
Where to buy
Multipet Chilly Bone Canvas Large - Vanilla Flavor
This is a great option if you want to be able to freeze your chew toy to give your dog extended chew time enjoyment. Cold can help sooth gums while teething, so that's a really great option to have.
Where to buy
Four Fun Rope Chew Toys
- ★FOUR FUN ROPE TOYS: Each of these toys is designed for a different purpose. One of them is perfect for playing tug (our dog’s favorite!), one of them is for teething and gnawing, one of them is all balled up for rolling around, and one of them is a perfect rope “bone” for playing fetch.
- ★YOUR DOG WILL LOVE THEM: These engaging rope chew toys will keep your furry friend occupied for hours. With four different toys, he won’t get bored easily, and they are fun enough to prevent destructive chewing and keep him focused on the things he’s allowed to chew!
- ★JUST THE RIGHT SIZE: We’ve carefully designed these toys to be suitable for dogs of any size, from puppies and small dogs all the way up the largest breeds. Each of them have thick and thin parts, so all dogs can grip firmly to enjoy chewing and playing.
Key features of this product include created super durability and the ability to float. This is great for high energy dogs who like to fetch and swim. While this rope toy is not the best for chewers,
Where to buy
Bionic Ball Durable Tough Fetch & Chew Toy
Key features of this toy include a ballshape for dogs that love tennis balls. This product can also be filled with a treat such as peanut butter and frozen to extend your dog's enjoyment of the toy.
Where to buy
Outward Hound Kyjen Invincibles Tough Seamz Durable Tough Squeaking Plush Dog Toy
- DURABLE, PLUSHY, CRINKLY, & SQUEAKY: Outward Hound Tough Seamz are constructed for rambunctious dogs who enjoy a rough and tumble play session. Various sounds and textures create a multi-sensory experience that are sure to entice your dog.
- K9 TUFF GUARD TECHNOLOGY: Tough Seamz dog toys are constructed with durable inner lining and double-stitched seams to increase the toy's longevity and prevent premature tearing. Note, Tough Seamz dog toys aren't suitable for aggressive chewers.
- KEEPS SQUEAKIN' IF PUNCTURED: Tough Seamz plush dog toys are stuffing-free and include our proprietary Invincible Squeakers that keep squeakin' even when punctured so the fun doesn't end on the first bite!
This product is ideal for puppies as it features soft textures. These products come in fun shapes and styles mimicking animals. These are not built for durability as much as for fun.
Where to buy
Goughnuts - Original Dog Chew Ring
- Medium yellow ring, designed for aggressive chewers from 30-70 by mechanical and polymer engineers.
- Measures 5 inches in diameter with a 1.75 inch cross section. DIfferent sizes available for larger/smaller dogs. If unsure of sizing, size up for safety.
- Original Rubber is tough and durable. Tougher rubber available for extreme chewers. Floats like an ice cube
This toy is intended for intense chewers. The product is so durable that Goughnuts promises to replace any toys which are destroyed by your dog.
Where to buy
ZippyPaws Warriorz Plush Dog Toy
- TO THE RESCUE - Our Warriorz line of toys are inspired by some of our favorite heros. Save the day with a tough chew toy for your furry sidekick.
- HEAVY DUTY - Extra tough reinforced Z-Stitch technology is exclusive to Zippy Paws. Warriorz toys are perfect for aggressive chewers.
- EXCLUSIVE NOISEMAKERS - This fun plushie comes filled with one large blaster for loud noisemaking to keep your best friend entertained for hours.
Key features of this product include fun designs and soft construction. This is great for puppies with young sensitive teeth and gums.
Where to buy
PAWABOO Plush Dog Toys
- PREMIUM MATERIAL - Made of superior super soft dacron and with tricot inside, it is durable enough for biting and dragging.
- ADORABLE APPEARANCE - The cute design, a dinosaur baby breaking from an egg, will certainly attract pet or kids’ attention.
- STAND-UP DESIGN - It contains PP colloidal particle on the base, which helps the plush toy stand up straightly or aslant.
These fun toys are made of soft tennis ball shaped construction and are great for comforting anxious dogs. These products are not built for durability.
Where to buy
If you are looking for the most durable dog toy on the market, then you will want to invest in the Kong Classic Dog Toy. This product is practically indestructible and provides hours of fun for your pet.
Most dog lovers know that pain of losing possessions to a chewer at some stage in their best friend's life. Finding good quality, nearly indestructible toys for your doggo will help you have the piece of mind that not only are you doing the right thing for their health and happiness, but your leather shoes as well.
There are many other options out there, and if we missed your pooch's favorite we'd love to hear which that is so that we can include it in future reviews -- shout them out down in the comments!
Featured image by pexels
Last update on 2021-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API