Recommendations?

>> 7.30.2010

I know that plenty of you have dogs, but I'm sure at least a few of you have little semi-professional toy destroyers, right?

I'm pretty sure Hugo is on a mission to take down all the squeaks of the world. The pig toy from above died within an hour. At $3+ each, my wallet can't keep up with his hobby!

I've had the worst luck with the super cheap toys- the dollar store's stuffed toy lasted minutes. The best luck I had was with an AKC toy- it took him a week to rip it apart and then become bored, but the thing cost $8. Any recommendations for affordable and long-lasting dog toys?

PS Because it might be relevant to all of you thrifty pet owners out there, I wanted to mention a comment I received from Jane @ The Borrowed Abode on Tuesday:
Regarding the heartworm and flea prevention - I used to be a vet tech, and my best friend is a vet. In my vet hospital days I learned a lot about the "good" lower-cost options for mail-order heartworm meds, vs the "bad" ones. The bad ones (usually ones with the insanely cheaper prices) get their products (in identical packaging) from questionable sources, and in lab testing the products have not always turned out to contain the real medicine. 1-800 Pet Meds is pretty bad. Avoid at all costs! On the other hand, Drs. Foster and Smith is reliable, and often has free shipping or other sales, and is usually one of the most reasonable prices for a safe mail-order company for that stuff.

Thanks for bringing this up Jane! We're not really "saving" money if the quality of the product goes down!!

32 comments:

Kate@TwentySixToLife July 30, 2010 8:49 AM  

One word: Kong.

They're more expensive up front, but last forever. We have the regular kongs (http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2750604), a kong ball (http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2750593), and just bought a kong frisbee (http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3882652).

You can even fill them with treats, or freeze stuff in the regular kongs (yogurt, pumpkin, peanut butter, etc.) They last forever and the dogs love them!

Fianna July 30, 2010 9:00 AM  

I stopped buying stuffed animals and ropes a long time ago as they lasted for an hour or two, if I am lucky.

We also buy Kongs, they take a couple months to destroy them. The lowest prices I have found is on horseloverz.com. When I buy, I buy a ton of them to reduce the cost of shipping.

Recently, we have had great luck with Hartz Chew N' Clean bones. http://www.amazon.com/Hartz-Clean-Dental-Mighty-Colors/dp/B000084F80
My dogs are ridiculously heavy chewers and these bones have lasted a couple weeks, which is impressive.

I also pick up tennis balls from garage sales and thrift stores when I find them. They destroy these relatively quickly if they sit and chew, but we might get a round of fetch in first. For a quarter or less each, I don't mind the immediate destruction as much.

Julie,  July 30, 2010 9:00 AM  

Our Murphy was a Destroyer of All Things Stuffed when he was a puppy. We went through countless toys and still have a triage of toys we mean to sew up on top of our fridge. Fortunately, he grew out of it, but in the meantime, we gave him Kongs and Kong-like rubber toys, or other toys that were advertised as being for strong chewers. We also found some soft toys at Petsmart that don't have stuffing. He still chewed the tail a bit, but wasn't tempted to tear the whole thing apart.

Also note that Petsmart usually allows you to return their toys in a reasonable amount of time (look on the tag) -- we did that a lot with ones he destroyed. We would keep the tags and receipts, though I don't know if that's critical. Good luck!

micah @ the yellow front door July 30, 2010 9:02 AM  

The only toys our dogs haven't been able to destroy are Kongs.

Danielle and Clint July 30, 2010 9:09 AM  

I tried everything! My one dog, Fatty, loves to get the squeeks out of toys. He wouldn't touch other toys unless they were stuffed animals. So, What I learned to do is watch him with it. When I saw him start to destroy it, it went into a closet. I would sew up the holes and then bring it out in a couple days to try again. This took a couple months to work on, but he learned that he didn't get his toy if he ripped it up. Hope this helps!

Kristi W @ life with a camera July 30, 2010 9:13 AM  

Our dog is the same way! We also like the Kong toys. In fact, we got Murphy something called a Kong Wubba. It's a Kong with a stuffed animal around it. There isn't really any stuffing or a squeaker. He loves it and hasn't destroyed it yet (and he's had it since Christmas time). He usually destroys things within hours. We also have a rope toy with a hard rubber middle. I should just take a picture to show you, but he really loves it. These toys are all more expensive but they do last. You have to be careful with stuffed toys that like the one in the pic. If dogs eat the stuffing, it's really hard to digest and can get caught in their intestines. Dangerous stuff. Anyway good luck!

Sue,  July 30, 2010 9:16 AM  

I'm a cat person so I have no personal knowledge of the following but my vet swears that each of these are excellent, long lasting dog toys:

The Mighty Kong: Introduced in 1976 this toy established the standard in the dog toy industry for durability. Enthusiastically endorsed by veterinarians, dog breeders, and dog trainers, Kong leads the market in dog toys. Able too last through years of vigorous play and action, Kong was created by a dog owner whose German Shepherd (Fritz) loved to chew on rocks.

Hurley Indestructible Dog Toy: This dog toy comes in three shapes, a ball, a bone and a stick. True to its claim, this toy is indestructible, made of a soft material called Zogoflex. The Hurley can be thrown, bounced, and floated.

Sqwuggies Squeak ‘n Tug Toy: Made from the recycled fire hoses, Sqwuggies are toys that dogs can tug on, squeak and the toys do float. What impressed me most is that the squeak is not annoying to human ears, but a higher frequency that a dog’s excellent hearing can pick up.

Goofy Ball: Goofy Ball by Top Paw is just that, it’s goofy. No frills here, this dog toy is simply designed to challenge your dog’s mind, Goofy Ball is not a chew toy, but an interactive toy between owner and dog. Because of the way it is shaped, when you throw it, you have no idea where it is going to land. The design causes the Goofy ball to bounce in all directions. Goofy ball also makes a gurgling noise when thrown and when it impacts.

Multipet Petigues Camouflage Canvas Toys: Made of thick, durable canvas, these dog toys come in several shapes and sizes; Bones, water canteens, jeeps, planes, tanks and helicopters, all in keeping with the camouflage Army theme. The dog toys come equipped with squeakers and a sound box.

Hope one of these helps.

Sue

Audreya July 30, 2010 9:55 AM  

Yes, Bruiser also thinks it's his life's work to rid the world of all squeakers! We've had decent luck with rope toys (the thicker, the better). Eventually, he will destroy anything... but the ropes seem to be around for a few months at least. Also, I saw a toy at Target the other day the was plush outside but instead of stuffing inside, you put an empty water bottle. I'm curious, but undecided.

Jacquelin Seybert July 30, 2010 9:58 AM  

CLEARLY, my dog is a destroyer! He can only have rubber toys and tennis balls. Tennis balls at Target are $1.50 for 3. If we want to give him something soft, we will knot a sock or an old dishtowel.

Kerry July 30, 2010 10:03 AM  

Seems your little man is a pretty agressive chewer (as is ours). I'm with the above, Kongs are great. My boyfriend is also a fan of the nyla-bones for the dogs. It's the one thing our Harley hasn't been able to destroy (he even rips off chunks of the Kong and eats it).

Life in Rehab July 30, 2010 10:12 AM  

I find that bowling balls or anything made completely out of wrought iron is a good bet. Tungsten steel is also a safe bet, as are pro wrestlers.

Oddly, Arwen will not destroy this one stuffed toy that we refer to as her "biggie bone." It's a 28 inch long faux sheepskin squeaker that she cuddles and nibbles. Anything else is a flurry of stuffing.

The Brick Cottage July 30, 2010 10:33 AM  

Ha! I love reading all the comments...it seems like a lot of our dogs are squeaker lovers. Our dog goes crazy over stuffed toys w/ squeakers so we tend to just buy a couple of them a year (usually around Christmas when you can buy a large stuffed animal w/ several squeakers for $5 or less) and they take about a week for her to destroy them. She then loves to cart around the "carcass" of her toy and ultimately it gets torn to shreds over time (but she LOVES those pieces--she even takes them to her food bowl and set it inside while she eats, then removes it to continue to play).

I also second all of the Kong comments--she can't destroy it no matter how hard she tries. I also found a squeaky ball (about the size of a soft ball) for about $3 at Pet Supply Plus that's made of a hard plastic w/ a lot of little "nubs" on it that has held up for a few months now. But a word of caution if you buy a similar toy, the squeaker is loud!

Another suggestion is a larger bone that's stuffed w/ peanut butter or marrow--that keeps our dog busy for a month or two plus it's great for their teeth and gums.

Good luck toy shopping!

Meredith Travels July 30, 2010 11:41 AM  

My grandmother takes her dog to garage sales and lets her choose a stuffed animal or two. usually they are priced are 25 cents and totally wonderful to tear apart!

Carly July 30, 2010 11:50 AM  

Both of our puppies, the Great Dane and the Boston Terrier alike, love to destroy stuffed toys. We've pretty much just stopped buying the stuffed things and sticking to things like the Kongs that everyone has mentioned. We also buy a lot of the toy ropes, they make some that are made from actual rope and I've found a few that are made out of what feels like felt. They still feel soft and good on the teeth, but aren't as easily torn.

Good luck!

Deborah July 30, 2010 12:48 PM  

I'll repeat the advice about Kong. Kong anything!

I have an AmStaff and when he was a puppy he actually ate a loveseat! Bad dog.

Now, his favorite chew toys are kong balls or any good, hard ball, Nylabone items - my George LOVES anything Nylabone, these hard bones that are stuffed with some kind of dog treat - I get them at Fleet Farm.

And I wouldn't get any more toys with squeekers in them. Dogs with high prey-drives will rip them to pieces until the toy is quiet. Ask me how I know. :)

Kravey July 30, 2010 1:12 PM  

Another fan of the KONG toys. I have a one-year-old Border Collie who I like to call "the seam ripper". He won't immediately destroy stuffed toys, but instead, he slowly tortures them by ripping the seams out and once he has a hole large enough, he guts them -- stuffing, squeakers and all. Its kind of creepy actually.

So we have forbade him from ever having stuffed toys. If we want to give him something soft we knot up an old towel (super cheap at thrift-stores), which he loves!

chacha July 30, 2010 3:14 PM  

I've had a dog like this and she didn't get over the destructive phase until she was two. There was little I could give her that she wanted to chew that wasn't destructible (she wouldn't bother chewing Kongs - they were not interesting enough to her). You can try Kongs - they may work for him.

Luckily, our current puppy has been really good about chewing. So much that I'm wondering when hell will break loose.

Also, since you're in TX this probably doesn't apply, but in dry places were mosquitoes are not common - heartworm meds are really optional. I have skipped all heartworm related things for the last 7 years and most vets corroborate that it's not a necessity in southern California. Some vets will try to sell you on it, but it's more to make $$$ than truly essential.

Erin @ Slipcover Your Life July 30, 2010 3:26 PM  

Bailey can destroy all toys, cheap, expensive, EVERYTHING in under 5 minutes with the exception of the Good Cuz Hard Rubber balls (the only thing she can rip off them is their feet). HIGHLY recommend it.

Devon July 30, 2010 5:47 PM  

Kongs are great...if your dog actually likes them. We have three dogs and only one will deal with Kongs, and that's only when they're stuffed with peanut butter (which gets all over the rug). Banking on the odds that your dog may actually like the squeak toys because they squeak, the most indestructible toys we have are made of bamboo fabric like this one:
http://www.dogtoys.com/littlehulagirl.html
The material is crazy strong, and the only way they've gotten near destroying one is pulling up the edging a bit (but haven't gotten to the stuffing). Eventually the squeaker wears out, but we've had them for a couple years now and they're still alive!

Tran July 30, 2010 11:27 PM  

Kong all the way. Stuff with peanut butter, they love it. Or marrow bones or bully sticks, keep them busy.

When my dogs destuff and desqueak their toys (http://homeowned.blogspot.com/2009/07/canine-conquests.html) I just empty them out and leave them the floppy toy (I may or may not sew up the opening).

Aside from health risks of them swallowing the squeaker, I allow my dogs to destuff their toys because it is their toys, so long as they are not destroying clothing or furniture, I feel it is theirs for the chewing :)

Kelly July 31, 2010 6:25 PM  

Aw sorry I thought I could help because we got an otter that has survived about 6 dogs [playing together, we don't go through dogs that quick] but I went to check the tag and I must have cut it off so they didn't chew it off. I'll check around online and let you know if I remember where I got it.

KellyMichelle July 31, 2010 6:30 PM  

oh I think it is from the american kennel club. Try that! We love it

Nancy August 1, 2010 7:01 PM  

1. Kong Toys

2. More frequent trips to dog day care or dog parks

Kim at Yellow Brick Home August 2, 2010 10:39 AM  

Kong and NYLA BONE!

Those are the only 2 toys Jack gets. And he LOVES them. He's a pit, so he can destroy like none other. Those 2 toys are built tough as nails.

Good luck!

Babs August 2, 2010 11:29 AM  

We bought a squeaker recently that was made out of durable nylon (backpack material) but still fairly soft. The older husky killed the squeaker almost instantly, but we've had it for well over a month, and neither our husky or our lab puppy have been able to tear it apart, and they constantly play tug of war!

Best part is I got it at Walmart for a whopping $4. Plus the dogs prefer the softness to the kong we also have laying around. I'd totally recommend checking out walmart's pet toy section for this kind!

Carole August 2, 2010 2:55 PM  

Kongs, of course, but we've also had good luck with inflated rubber balls (smaller versions of the ones we used to play dodgeball with) for outside play. Our Bichon plays soccer with it outside, and will lie on top of it when he gets tired.

we've avoided stuffed toys to prevent confusion with the kids' things. we gave the pup an old hand towel, and he treats it like a stuffed toy (carries it around with him, snuggles with it in his bed). talk about thrifty! :)

Emily @ Waldobungie August 2, 2010 8:16 PM  

Kongs are definitely the best - esp when you put a little peanut butter or cheese in them and then freeze it (like other people have said). There is also a toy called a Huck that is supposedly indestructable and if your dog DOES for some reason destroy it, they will replace it once for free. Also, we've had great luck with deer antlers (which you can buy at specialty dog stores for a reasonable price). They take a long time to get through and can keep my dogs interested for hours. Good luck!

Christie, Describe Happy August 3, 2010 12:13 PM  

I second using old socks, towel, or pillow cases tied together or just knotted. If the dog rips them up you don't panic. Also, you can wet the sock stick it in a freezer bag and toss it in the freezer for a nice hard chewy (outdoor) toy. The ice helps sooth the pups gums and is it possible he's teething?

I have also bought toys that have no stuffing. The pup could still kill the squeakers, but there is less risk of the pup eating stuffing.

I also agree with just plain 'ole teaching them not to do that to their toys... as soon as they start ripping the toy take it away and give it back to them days later. It requires watching them like a hawk, but they catch on quick not to do that since they don't want the toy taken away. Good luck!

Livinia Redlips August 3, 2010 2:57 PM  

Some dogs just tear up their toys - despite getting adequate exercise and trying to teach them not to.

I've bought some stuffed animals from the thrift store and let them rip them up (they aren't stuffing eaters), or they really like these as well: Everlasting treat ball http://www.amazon.com/Everlasting-Treat-Ball-Medium-Blue/dp/B000GZ0XVA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1280865145&sr=8-3

It's a silicone? rubber ball with a space that holds a solid treat (treats are replacable). The dog works on it and scrapes off little bits of treat at a time. My dogs will lay around chewing this thing all day if I would let them. They are much cheaper at Petco (Washington chain store), so you can likely find them less expensive than via amazon (link) - but, they last a LONG time, so I think they are totally worth the expense.

And the ball iteslf - shows no wear whatsoever after major chewing.

RJ @ A Life Designed August 5, 2010 10:42 AM  

Kongs are great, but aren't indestructable {with my brother's dog at least}.

My brother's dog goes through a few a year, but that's still much less than a stuffie a minute! *lol*

Cat@BudgetBlonde August 8, 2010 6:29 PM  

Get him a kong! My dog destroys every toy but it took her several months to take the top off of the kong! Also Nyla bones are great too!

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