What’s a dog to chew?

For those who think that “All toys are created equal,” I have news for you.  You are sadly mistaken.  No matter *what* the sexy marketing copy in the dog paraphernalia catalogue says, some items are more desirable than others.  In the informal “Donna & Diablo” survey recently conducted, here’s what we found.

Large hard rubber bone: This item was interesting to Beau….for the first 30 seconds it was out of the package.  He gave it a couple of chomps, one good lick, and then dropped it and walked away. Guess that ‘chicken-flavored plastic’ isn’t as alluring as the manufacturer had imagined.  Donna simply gave it a quick, derisive sniff and looked at me as if to say, “You expect ME to be enamored of a bright red piece of hardened petroleum by-products?!”

Fuzzy Yellow Kong Ring: Beau LOVES this toy, as you can probably gather by its denuded state. It started out life as a squeeky donut that had the same covering as a tennis ball.  Now, as you can see, it’s a pitiful bald ring, but by golly it *still* squeeks (the best and loudest at 1a when Mom has forgotten to put it out of reach for the night).  If you have a big chewer in your family, I would highly recommend Kongs.  My Dobes loved them, too.  The classic Kong is also wonderful.  It comes in various sizes, according to the size of the dog, and is hollow, which means it can be stuffed.  They are *great* attention-grabbers when stuffed (I’ve used everything from peanut butter and bananas, to string cheese, kibble and apple chunks.)

Herbie the Hedgehog:  Herbie is a VERY popular little guy with both Donna and Diablo (and no, he doesn’t have mange, he’s just {ahem} well-loved).  While Beau tends to gravitate toward harder toys, he does enjoy a ‘stuffy’ now and again.  He sort of sucks on it in much the same way a baby uses a pacifier.  Lola Bug, not surprisingly, doesn’t really chew.  Instead she gives Herbie (or her stuffed hotdog, also a perennial favorite) a couple of gentle squeezes and then uses the toy as a throw pillow.  Hey, whatever works…..

Deer antler: This toy was a gift to Beau and he L-O-V-E-S it, as do I.  It’s incredibly resilient, doesn’t splinter (safety plus), doesn’t smell or stain (housekeeping plus) and really holds his attention.  Lola, not surprisingly, is nonplussed.

6 Inch Standard Bully Sticks | Bully SticksBully Sticks: These things are PUPPY CRACK; both Lola & Beau ADORE them.  I’m of two minds.  For starters, they STINK. (odor-free sticks are available, but ya pay a premium and these bad boys are already expensive enough as it is.)  Their origins are a little unappetizing as well. Since there’s no delicate way to say this, I’ll just put it out there–a bully stick is a bull penis.  Yep, that’s what I said, not going to say it again.  Once you get past that visual, chances are you’re gonna love these things (or rather your dog will).

I buy them in bags of 50–sometimes a big bully stick is my only gateway to a few hours of uninterrupted work time. The minute Beau sees one, he gets a dreamy, faraway look in his eyes and will not do anything else but gnaw on that stick until is is a slimy nubbin that’s either taken away and disposed of (if I’m quick) or swallowed (if I’m not).  Much to my surprise, Lola loves them as well.  This is the one hard toy she likes to chew.

And thus ends our short, and entirely unscientific, sampling of dog toys.  I hope that your canine companions enjoy their toys as much as Bug and Beau do, whatever their ‘chew of choice.’

6 comments on “What’s a dog to chew?

  1. kath says:

    You’re so welcome, anytime! I cannot wait to meet the Beaumeister and Lolita-Bugmeister! The weather is a changin’, get ready to head to the coast!

  2. kath says:

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/wspuppyeyes?page1 They also sell them at most pet stores but this site is a tried and true supplier that has a lot of other things too. The antler choices are extensive.

  3. kath says:

    Ah the never ending quest for indestructible toys! Antlers are by far the best for our boys too. I actually buy whole antlers and cut them up because they are so expensive. I do however have a website I can get for you to order them. Bully sticks are SO pricey and gone in minutes for my guys. Love Kongs, I fill them with a mixture of yogurt mixed with peanut butter and banana then freeze them. Sometimes spicing them up with kibble or treats. Keep up the great blog! Kath

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