In a rush and just want my recommendation? I think the KONG – Extreme Dog Toy is a great choice.
Why do dogs chew? In the wild, dogs and wolves have to chew to survive. They use their jaws to catch and kill. Then use them some more to rip the flesh and grind bones. It’s just what they do. There are many reasons why our beloved domesticated hounds feel the need to chew. They don’t have to hunt prey to survive, but they do have to keep their teeth and gums healthy and strong. Puppies chew to help with teething, and older dogs may do it for entertainment or an activity. It really is in their DNA. It’s a perfectly normal behavior for dogs of all ages.
In this article, I’m reviewing the following dog toys for chewers.
- Benebone Maplestick/Bacon Stick
- Pet Qwerks BarkBone
- YARBEE Dog Chew Toys for Aggressive Chewers
- KONG – Extreme Dog Toy
- Nylabone Power Chew
Other Reasons For Chewing
Destructive chewing can be devastating and may require some training. Presenting your hound with a chew toy may not solve that problem. In this instance, your dog is chewing to relieve stress and it can be very damaging to your house and possessions. Read ‘how you can help your dog with separation anxiety’.
If your dog is on a diet, then anything that smells good will be attractive. In this case, a chew or toy that can hold its own for an hour or two (or more) may be helpful.
When Should I Replace My Dog’s Chew Toy?
As soon as it wears down and becomes too small to chew safely. At this stage it is a choking hazard.
What Is The Safest Chew Toy For A Dog?
There are many chew toys that are made to last a while, but if your hound is an aggressive chewer they may get through it quickly. There’s no perfect chew toy. If there was an indestructible chew toy, I expect the results would be broken dog teeth. The main thing is not to leave your dog on their own with a chew. Once it’s chewed right down, remove the last fragment before there is a choking problem.
Are There Any Chew Toys That Are Actually Tough?
Absolutely. You just might have to try a few before you get the right match for your hound. It’s fair to say that there is no magic chew that will keep your hound happy for weeks, or even days. If the product is hard enough to withstand that amount of punishment, it may be a teeth-breaking threat.
Are All Dog Chews And Toys Safety Tested?
Unfortunately not. A consumer affairs investigation revealed that some Chinese-made pet toys contained what a forensic toxicologist called, elevated levels of lead and other toxins.
The director of the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), run by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, claimed testing should be encouraged and urged pet toy makers to publicly disclose their findings.
Are Rawhide Chews Bad For Dogs?
Rawhide treats are made from the inner hides of cows and horses. The hides are cleaned and ground up, then pressed into a mold to create a chew. Some of these will then have flavorings added to make them more appealing to the dog. Dogs consume an enormous amount of rawhide each year, so any risks attached to them are relatively small.
There have been concerns about hide chews causing digestive irritation, as well as other reports of contamination due to traces of toxic chemicals. These are all legitimate concerns, but the biggest risk is that of the dog choking on small pieces.
Is It Safe For Dogs To Eat Bones?
This is a controversial topic. Many people claim it is safe to feed uncooked, solid bones. ‘Dogs and wolves eat bones in the wild so it must be natural’. The fact is that bones can, and do, break teeth. They also splinter, which can lead to mouth injuries or digestive irritation or puncture. The FDA does not recommend bones or bone treats under any circumstances.
As long as dogs are fed a complete and balanced diet, they don’t need bones for nutrition. Look for foods with AAFCO approval.
How Do I Tell If A Chew Is Safe For My Dog?
If the chew doesn’t compress slightly when you press it with your thumbnail, then it’s too hard for your dog and could break their teeth.
Your dog shouldn’t be able to rip small fragments or chunks off the chew which could cause them to choke.
It should not be so small that your dog could choke on it or swallow it whole.
These chews are made in the USA. The advertising says they are made from real maple wood. Dig a little deeper into the Benebone safety page and they are actually made from nylon. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s worth knowing. Nylon is a hard material which could damage your hound’s teeth.
The Benebone safety page makes a good job of warning potential buyers of the dangers of their chews. They also have a handy visual guide which shows the level of wear at which the chew should be replaced.
I really like the shape of the Benebone sticks. Makes it easy for my hound to pick it up off the floor, and hold on to it while chewing.
Four sizes is a big plus, and means you can buy the appropriate chew for your dog without the worry of them swallowing it whole.
- Good customer service. Not happy? Give them a call
- Made in the USA
- Good safety advice
- Hard material
- Possibility of splintering
This is a stick for aggressive chewers. Just like the Benebone, it’s made of FDA approved nylon. These chews come in three sizes and two flavors, mint and peanut butter.
Apart from the slightly higher price point, the Pet Qwerks BarkBone is a comparable product to the Benebone stick.
Some customers have reported dogs having bleeding gums after chewing these, others are absolutely delighted that their hound is loving them.
These are a good shape for dogs to deal with. They contain flavoring and a bit of grain.
- Made in the USA
- Good customer service
- Does not contain peanuts
- Can have sharp edges after chewing
The Yarbee dog chew is made from natural rubber and has a milk flavoring. It is a Y-shape design with multiple knobbly projections to add texture and interest for the dog. The rubber is fairly soft and the chew is hollow, so a really aggressive chewer may destroy it quite rapidly.
I like the soft, natural rubber because I know it won’t splinter.
These are popular with people whose hounds are gentler on a chew.
- Easy on dogs teeth
- Good customer service
- Not durable
- Higher price point
Made from natural rubber, the Kong toy is made in the USA. It comes in five sizes, from small to XX-large so there should be a Kong to suit your hound.
There are four grades of rubber for you to choose from. Softer for puppies and senior dogs, then more durable models for average and extreme chewers. I think that’s a great feature. You can really tailor your choice to suit your dog.
Another aspect of the Kong that I really appreciate is the ability to stuff the inside with treats, or a smear of peanut butter. You can also freeze it so it lasts longer.
This toy is good for throwing round the yard. It’s odd shape means an unpredictable bounce will keep your dog guessing.
Some users of this product have reported a decline in quality and size since 2019. Overall though, it rates very highly for durability and longevity.
- Made in the USA
- Great size and rubber grade choices
- Dual purpose toy/chew
- Possible durability issues
These chews are made from durable nylon and have various flavors. The extensive size choices are a great feature, and range from puppy dimensions to dogs over 50lb. There are flavors, shapes, and textures for every kind of dog and chewing strength.
Nylabone has been making dog chews and toys in the USA since 1955. Set at a higher price point, but a company with years of successful experience means that you’re buying good quality products.
- Made in the USA
- Very durable
- Good value for price
- Established company
- Excellent quality
- Sizing may be on large side
- Extreme chewers may consume product
In this article, I haven’t reviewed any chews that I am not prepared to give my own dog. It’s been hard to pick the best, and personally, I always have a few different ones for variety.
There are great features with all these chews, but the clear winner for me is the KONG – Extreme Dog Toy. I really like the fact that it’s designed as a chew, and a throwing toy. Being able to stuff it with healthy treats of my choosing is another big plus.
The durability factor is of paramount importance. I want it to last, but I want it to be as safe as possible for my hound. The choice of grades of rubber is impressive. It gives me more control over what I’m buying.