Durable Dog Toys – Dog Toys Recommended By Owners Of Large Breed Dogs
By Rachele Baker, DVM – I was talking with one of my friends the other day and she expressed frustration with trying to find durable dog toys for her Labrador Retriever. Her lab typically destroys the toys that she purchases for him within a matter of minutes. So I decided to reach out to some pet bloggers that own large breed dogs and ask them for their recommendations. I asked them for recommendations for toys that are safe as well as long lasting. I specified that the toy they recommend should not be so hard that a dog could fracture or break their teeth on it and, additionally, should not be able to be chewed into chunks which could be swallowed and potentially cause intestinal obstruction.
While the dog toys recommended here have been found to be very durable by the pet bloggers in this post, you should be aware that it is possible that a dog could destroy any one of these toys. It is always recommended that you supervise your dog when he or she is playing with toys and take away any toy that sustains damage before your dog has a chance to ingest pieces of it.
Here are the recommendations that I received from the pet bloggers I contacted followed by my personal recommendation:
Website: Love Is Being Owned By A Husky
Jenna is the proud parent of three Siberian Huskies. Koda, her male Siberian Husky, weighs about 50 pounds and he is an aggressive chewer. Here is Jenna’s recommendation:
Jolly Ball Romp-N-Roll made by Jolly Pets
My male husky loves to chew. He will chew and chew until he destroys the toy. Jolly Ball has lasted through playtime at the lake, tug of war, and so much more. I still have yet to see damage after six months of play.
Jolly Ball is a virtually indestructible toy. The Romp-N-Roll version is my favorite as it has a rope with the Jolly Ball attached to it. This is great for my male husky because he loves his ropes and the Jolly Ball has held up beautifully! This toy is absolutely safe for chewers.
The Jolly Ball Romp-N-Roll is available at retail stores and online stores including Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Click here for a link to purchase Jolly Ball Romp-N-Roll at Amazon.com.
Website: Sand Spring Chesapeakes
Sand Spring Chesapeakes is a small kennel in south central Wisconsin specializing in breeding Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. In addition to breeding dogs, JoAnn has been a veterinary technician for over twenty years. She has three Chesapeake Bay Retrievers that weigh about 68 to 72 pounds each. Here is JoAnn’s recommendation:
Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug made by PetSafe
This is a meal dispensing dog toy which is made of durable plastic. The bottom of the jug unscrews and you put food or treats in it. The dog needs to pull on the rope to dispense the kibble.
I have two of these jugs for three large breed dogs that play with them and toss them around for long periods of time. The dogs drop these toys on the wooden deck and on concrete and have not been able to break them. There are some scratches on the jugs but no other damage.
I got these toys to put in the kennels when I go out to give the dogs something to do while I am gone to keep their anxiety at bay. The dogs will chew on the ball on the end of the toy to try and get the food out and they learn that they have to pull the rope to get the treats out. The jugs’ screw-on lids stay closed through all the play. These toys have lasted about two and a half years.
I have not had any problems with these toys. They are made of hard plastic that seems to be indestructible. The jugs have a rubber nubby ball on the end for the dogs to chew on. My dogs have not broken rubber pieces off the balls. These toys also have heavy-duty braided ropes that have held up really well.
The Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug is available at retail stores and online stores including Store.PetSafe.net, Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk. Click here for a link to purchase Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug at Amazon.com.
Kevin and Rachael Sando have two Golden Retrievers: Harley, who is eight years old and weighs about 90 pounds, and Charlie, who is one year old and weighs about 65 pounds. Here is Kevin’s recommendation:
Both of my goldens were made to chew! Though Harley is past the stage of wanting to destroy things, he can take a standard rawhide bone down to nothing in a matter of minutes. Charlie is very much in the “destroy all things” stage and can demolish a toy in minutes when left unattended. Here is my recommendation for a very durable dog toy:
Tizzi Dog Toy made by West Paw Design
The Tizzi is one of West Paw Design’s Zogoflex dog toys. These toys are extremely tough but also safe. We have tried several toys in this line including the Hurley Dog Bone and Būmi Tug Toy but our new favorite is the Tizzi Dog Toy.
The Tizzi is a uniquely shaped dog toy that lends itself to some very interesting play possibilities. Its general form is a ball with two “legs” extending from it. These two legs can be twisted together or left apart during play. When the legs are twisted together and the toy is thrown, it will spiral and fly like a football. This configuration also helps to hold a treat in the center and you will have a blast watching your dog try to get the treat out.
When the legs of the Tizzi are separated, the Tizzi makes an excellent tug toy. The Tizzi is also excellent for fetch and bounces unpredictably for added stimulation. The Tizzi even floats for play in water (a huge plus for a pair of Golden Retrievers).
The Tizzi was one of the first toys that we bought for our new puppy Charlie after we found out that we no longer had the type of toys in the house that could withstand a growing Golden. The Tizzi has been a favorite ever since and looks as good as new. What really makes the Tizzi great is the variety of ways it can be played with. This allows each play session to be unique and helps keep your dog interested. This toy has lasted approximately one year.
The Tizzi is made of a non-toxic and FDA compliant material. If your dog does manage to break off pieces it should certainly be taken away (and can be sent back to West Paw Design for a replacement or refund), but in our case, our dogs have yet to put a scratch in it!
The Tizzi Dog Toy is available at select retail stores and online stores including WestPawDesign.com, Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk. Click here for a link to purchase the Tizzi Dog Toy at Amazon.com.
Here is Rachael’s recommendation:
Tuffy Alligator made by VIP Products
Tuffy brand carries a large selection of “hard to destroy” plush toys. Their handy Tuff-Scale helps you to figure out which toy in the line is most appropriate for your dog. While our Tuffy Alligator is rated as a 5/10 on the Tuff-Scale, there are much tougher options out there. There is a video of tigers playing with these toys on the VIP Products’ site!
The Tuffy Alligator is great because it has many of the features of a plush toy but can withstand some heavy play and even chewing. It is a firm plush, made of three layers (fleece, luggage material, and a plastic core). Squeakers are sewn into pouches as an added layer of safety. The multiple layers are bonded and sewn together multiple times and finished off with webbing around the edges. VIP Products has a wide variety of toys available ranging in toughness and even some without any stuffing. These toys float too!
It is important to keep in mind that while these toys are tough, they are still able to be destroyed over time if a dog is left unsupervised. For us, it was helpful to take the toy away briefly when it stopped being playtime and turned into destruction mode.
Harley has had this alligator for four years. At the time we purchased it, we got him a 5/10 Tuff-Scale toy because he was past the point where he wanted to destroy his toys. With our puppy Charlie in the mix now, our Tuffy Alligator has seen a lot more heavy-duty play and chewing and has held up remarkably well.
The Tuffy Alligator is available at select retail stores and online stores including VIPproducts.com, Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk. Click here for a link to purchase the Tuffy Alligator at Amazon.com.
Website: Damien’s Best Dog Toys
Mark Scott makes dog toys at his home in Vermont. Mark and his wife Sallie have three dogs. Ava is a boxer mix that weighs about 65 pounds. Ava is a fairly aggressive chewer and will chew on sticks she finds in the yard until they are gone. Steeler is a pitbull mix puppy that Mark and Sallie are fostering. He weighs about 40 pounds and chews on everything including the things he is not supposed to chew like shoes and table legs. Although Steeler is still a puppy, he can really tear apart a dog toy. Veruca is a Shepherd mix that weighs about 70 pounds.
Here is Mark’s story and his recommendation for a durable dog toy:
In November of 2012, my wife Sallie and I began talking about the challenges faced by our local animal shelters. We were both aware that many animal shelters depend on donations from the public in order to provide food and veterinary care and that often enrichment items such as toys are overlooked. I had already been thinking about ways to make more rugged toys for our own dogs so I decided that I would begin to make toys for our dogs as well as for dogs and cats in shelters and that we would donate some of the toys that I made to shelters. In December 2012, Damien’s Best Dog Toys was born and the first batch of ten toys was donated to North Country Animal League in Morrisville, Vermont. As of September 2014, we have donated 449 dog toys and 6512 cat toys to fourteen different shelters in five states and in Puerto Rico.
Damien, the company’s namesake, was the oldest dog in our pack. Damien passed away in 2014. He was adopted as a puppy from North Country Animal League in 1999 and lived a life full of joy, play, and mischief. All our toys are named after dogs that have been a part of our lives. Here is my recommendation:
Ava Rope Toy from Damien’s Best Dog Toys Online Store on Etsy
The Ava Rope Toy is a handmade 100% cotton rope toy which incorporates traditional knot tying techniques into a toy that is both interactive and rugged. The toy is about twelve inches long and is made of half inch rope with a three and a half inch monkey fist knot as a handle. The monkey fist knot contains close to ten feet of cotton rope which makes this toy a durable chew item. The handle makes it really easy to use the toy for fetch or tug. Ava loves her rope toys and often greets me at the door with the toy in her mouth.
It is hard to say how long this toy has lasted because we have several of these toys. However, we do still have one of the first toys we made close to a year ago. Ava does chew the handle off the toys eventually.
Besides the Ava style toy, I also make a solid rope ball toy with no handle, two styles of rope toys with single tennis balls, and a two tennis ball tug toy.
The Ava Rope Toy is available at Damien’s Best Dog Toys Online Store on Etsy. These handmade toys are currently only available in the United States. Click here for a link to purchase the Ava Rope Toy on Etsy.
Here is my recommendation:
Kong Classic Toy made by Kong Company
I have a Golden Retriever named Savanna who is the love of my life. Savanna weighs about 90 pounds. She has been known to totally shred stuffed dog toys, rope dog toys, and tennis balls. The Kong Classic Toy is the only toy that she has been unable to destroy. Despite aggressive chewing, the Kong Classic Toy has sustained no damage whatsoever. Kong toys are very durable. Savanna has had her Kong Classic Toy for over five years.
Kong toys are made from a proprietary rubber and have a soft mouth feel. The Kong Classic Toy can be thrown for a game of fetch and will always bounce unpredictably. The Kong Classic Toy is hollow inside and can be used as a food puzzle and treat dispensing toy. You can put dog cookies or other treats inside and then watch your dog be thoroughly entertained while trying to get the treats out.
The Kong Classic Toy is available at retail stores and online stores including Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Click here for a link to purchase the Kong Classic Toy at Amazon.com.
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