Dogs love playing with toys just as much as we do. However, some dogs consider destroying toys to be the best way of playing with them, and this can mean lots of wasted money on your part. If your dog is a serial chewer, they can make their way through even the toughest toys, regardless of whether they’re plush, rubber, or plastic. This is an issue that many dog owners have to deal with, and it can be very difficult to find toys that will last longer than a few days.
Do all dogs chew?
The short answer is yes, all dogs like to chew. There are loads of different reasons why dogs chew on things, but some breeds are known to chew more than others. This will mainly be down to what they were bred for. For example, if you have a breed that was bred for hunting or work, they’ll enjoy chewing more than a lap dog. These are the breeds most known for serial chewing:
- Golden Retriever
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Australian Shepherd
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Siberian Husky
- German Shepherd
- Shiba Inu
As you can see, the dogs on this list are all ones bred for working. Most of them are retrieving or herding animals, and so putting things in their mouth is part of their nature. If you own one of these breeds, expect to deal with a lot of chewing. However, many other breeds enjoy chewing, even if it wasn’t bred into them. Some lap dogs (Pugs, French Bulldogs) enjoy chewing to relieve boredom, or to explore things.
What are the best toys for serial chewers?
Toy manufacturers have caught on to the fact that dogs can chew through normal toys very quickly, and so many have started producing tougher toys. It’s impossible to say any toy is 100% indestructible, but this is because dogs have very powerful jaws and can be very determined. If they want to destroy a toy, they will.
If you’re looking for a tough dog toy, stick to ones made of rubber, rope, or very durable plastic. If your dog is a serial chewer, it’s likely they will end up swallowing some of what they chew. If you know this to be the case with your dog, buy toys made of natural materials. Plastic can be dangerous, mainly because it could damage their insides if a large piece is swallowed. This happens quite rarely however, but if you know they like to swallow then just be more careful with which toys you buy.
These are some of the toughest dog toys currently available:
1. Gucho Durable Dog Chew Toy
This simple chew ring is made of 100% natural rubber, and is completely non-toxic. This makes it a good choice if your dog is known to swallow bits as it chews. The toy has been tested on the most well known chewer breeds (German shepherds, Pitbulls, and Mastiffs) and even comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee! This shows the manufacturers are confident in the quality of their toy.
2. Petfactors Plush Dog Toy
Rather than being filled with stuffing, this toy has a nylon rope inside. This means that even if your dog manages to chew it open, there’s no stuffing for them to choke on. The soft cloth gives the toy a good mouth feel, and is surprisingly durable. There are two squeakers inside to give extra interest, and they’ll keep your dog entertained for hours. If your dog likes playing with soft toys, this is a great choice.
3. Nylabone DuraChew
This ring toy is great for playing fetch or tug of war, and is made from an extremely durable nylon. Its ridges help to clean your dog’s teeth, and the toy is flavored to help keep your dog interested. This is an incredibly tough toy, and will be suitable for even the most aggressive chewers. There’s also a smooth version available if you don’t like the textured one.
4. goDog Plush Dog Toy
goDog have used a special Chew Guard technology on this toy, which makes it last a lot longer than a normal plush toy. It has an extra lining inside to improve durability, along with double stitched seams. This should keep the toy going for ages. There are two squeakers, a grunter, and a crinkly texture inside to give your dog loads of things to play with, and it should keep them interested for hours. There’s no stuffing inside either, so there’s less mess if your dog does manage to break through.
5. Snug Rubber Dog Balls
If your dog loves to play catch, then these are a great investment. Unlike traditional balls, they are made of rubber, and so are virtually indestructible. The rubber is 100% natural and BPA free, so it’s completely safe even if your dog does manage to chew on them. The rubber also makes them really easy to clean, and unlike normal tennis balls, they won’t get smelly and damp.
6. Kong Wubba Dog Toy
Kong know a thing or two about durable dog toys. Nearly every toy they make has some special durability feature, and this one is no exception. It’s a toss and fetch toy, and is made of an extremely durable nylon fabric. Inside are a tennis ball and a squeaker, which should keep your dog amused for hours. The long tail makes it really easy to throw, and means you can have a fun game of tug of war too. This toy floats, so is great for playing in water.
7. West Paw Durable Chew Bone
This toy is made from an incredibly durable plastic that’s BPA free and completely non-toxic. It should last your dog for ages, mainly because its shape means it’s difficult to get their teeth into. It comes in a range of different sizes, so you’ll be able to find one that best suits your dog. And to make it even better, this bone is dishwasher safe.
8. Kong Jumbler Football Toy
Unsurprisingly, this toy is shaped like a football, and so is great for playing fetch. It’s made from plastic, and even though it’s not designed as a chew toy, it can withstand a lot of attention. It has a squeaker inside, along with a tumbling ball, and will keep your dog amused for ages. This is a great choice if your dog loves playing fetch, but manages to destroy their normal toys in record time.
9. Nylabone DuraChew Dog Chew
This toy is bone shaped, and has loads of different textures to keep your dog amused. This also helps to clean their teeth and exercise their jaw. The toy comes in a wide range of flavors that your dog will love. It’s made from nylon and is very tough and durable, and will keep even the worst chewers going for a long time. If you’re looking for an incredibly long-lasting chew toy, this is one of the best on the market.
10. Outward Hound Plush Dog Toy
This plush dog toy has no stuffing, which not only saves on mess, but also means there’s less for your dog to choke on. There are several squeakers inside, and these are designed to last longer than normal ones. Squeakers are usually one of the first parts to break on a toy, and so this will be a great choice if your dog loves a squeak. The toy is made with a chew shield lining and double stitched seams, so even if your dog is an aggressive chewer it should take them a long time to destroy this one.
11. JW Pet Chompion Dog Toy
This toy is made of completely natural rubber, and so is 100% safe and non-toxic. The toy comes in several different sizes, so you should find one that suits your dog. They’re designed specifically for heavy chewers, and provide different textures to clean your dog’s teeth and to keep them amused for hours. It’s incredibly durable, and is great for playing fetch or tug of war.
12. Rocco & Roxie Dog Ball
This ball is suitable for even the most aggressive chewers, and is about the closest to indestructible you can get. It’s made from thermoplastic elastomer, and is completely BPA and latex free. This means it won’t be dangerous if your dog does like to swallow bits of toy, but they’ll have to chew through it first. It’s waterproof and weather-resistant, and so is suitable for playing in all weathers. This also makes it very easy to clean, and so it won’t get smelly like a normal ball. If your dog loves fetch, but also loves chewing, this is your best choice.
Why do dogs chew toys?
There are so many reasons why your dog chews toys. The main reason is that they use their mouth to explore objects, just like small babies do. If an object feels nice to chew on, then the dog will continue until there’s nothing left to chew. This behavior is very common in young dogs, but often persists into adulthood. These are some of the main reasons dogs chew on toys so much:
Young dogs (much like toddlers) will chew on things to relieve pain from teething. This is completely natural, and will likely go away as your dog gets older. If your dog is teething, try and find strong rubber toys that will give them the best mouth feel when they chew. It can also be a good idea to put some peanut butter or pate on the toy to make it more enjoyable for your dog.
Dogs need to keep their teeth and jaw strong, and chewing helps with this. This is mainly a hangover from their pre-domestic days when dogs would need to chew through meat and bone in order to eat. Often, modern dog food doesn’t give them enough exercise, and so dogs will turn to their toys for help. Chewing also helps them keep their teeth clean.
If your dog isn’t getting enough attention, it will start chewing things for something to do. This is often the reason for people finding their kitchen cabinets have been chewed, and so it’s probably preferable for the dog to chew on a toy instead. A quick solution to this is to provide your dog with more entertainment, such as taking them for a walk or playing with them for a while. If your dog remains visibly bored, it might be worth speaking to a vet to see what else you can do.
Dogs, like humans, can become anxious when left on their own for too long. When this happens, many dogs start chewing things as a way of dealing with their anxiety. Chewing isn’t the only sign of separation anxiety though, so watch out for things like whining, barking, and pacing before you jump to conclusions. If your dog does get anxious when you leave it alone, try leaving the TV or radio on for background noise, or spend some time training them so they get used to being on their own.
This one seems like a bit of a no-brainer, but if your dog is hungry they might try chewing things to find food. This is another hangover of their old diets, when they would eat bones and meat instead of dog food. If your dog is on a diet, don’t be concerned if they start chewing toys in search of food.
Chewing is a completely natural behavior for dogs, and there are many different reasons why they might like chewing so much. While this can get irritating if they choose to chew on your furniture, avoid getting too annoyed with them. Instead, just invest in a durable toy and make sure you teach them that’s what they should chew.
If you’re concerned about how much your dog is chewing, or you think it might be a sign of something else, take them to the vet. They will help you to rule out any health issues, and recommend the best way to manage your dog’s aggressive chewing habit.