People ask me on a regular basis what kind of toy they should give their dog to chew on. We go through the usual: Bully sticks, rawhides, Greenies, Kongs (each with distinct advantages and disadvantages.) We eliminate the problem items I never recommend: pigs ears, cow hooves, dried femur bones. For the most part, we can find something that most dogs can use.
Sticks, by the way? I don’t recommend them. (My husband took this picture when I wasn’t around.)
About once a week, an owner asks about their Super Duper Nutty Chewer. The kind who eats a bully stick in 10 minutes. The kind who demolishes the heavy duty Black Kongs. And to those owners, I say: Good Luck.
There are Blue Kongs- they’re like the secret menu item at In N Out, hardly anyone knows about them. Did you? They’re a little harder to find (some vets carry them.) They are even stronger than Black Kongs, and impregnated with barium so if Cujo manages to rip some off, you can at least see where it wound up.
I haven’t found someone who’s used one yet, though, so please let me know if you have any thoughts on them. Or if you have an insane hardcore chewer and have some other idea, let me know. I’d like to have more constructive advice for these owners than “hide your shoes and pray for the best.”
Jenn D. says
I have a 45 lb lab/greyhound mix who chews like a 150 lb monster dog. He ate the drywall in my living room down to the studs, the bathroom baseboards, the legs on my furniture … you get the picture. When he was a puppy, there wasn’t enough Bitter Apple in the world to keep him from destroying things. The only thing I’ve found that helps is to exhaust him as often as possible. Up until he was about 2 years old, he went to doggie daycare three times a week. Now (at 3.5 yrs) he goes twice a week. The money we spend there is a small drop in the bucket compared to what we would have to spend replacing everything he would eat, if he were to stay at home every day.
I didn’t know about the blue Kongs! Thanks for the rec, I’m off to purchase one.
Blue Kongs huh? Never heard of them… I definitely have a friend or two that need to try them!
What do you recommend for the dog who steals your shoes- doesn’t eat them, just steals and hides them? 😉 Topaz is such a stinker.
Clyde steals shoes too! Only slippers, not “outside” shoes. And he doesn’t eat them either. He just takes him to his spot for safekeeping. Glad to know we’re not the only ones!
I have the blue KONG for my 90 pound Boxer and it’s great! I got it on EBay from a Vet. store and it is harder. Wonderful and different!
I’ve got a super duper heavy chewer- a one and a half year old rescue pit bull who loves the noise toys make when you chew on them. I’ve been buying toys from West Paw Design. While not completely indestructible, they come with a guarantee, so they’ll replace them when they’ve been chewed. She’s also a fan of Jolly Balls. They’re so big she can’t really chew them, but she loves chasing hers around the yard.
Susan Montgomery says
We have the blue Kong, and it’s the only thing Finn hasn’t been able to shred. Everything else is pieces in 3-4 minutes. Fortunately he doesn’t go after household things to chew, or we wouldn’t have a house left. As for the slipper issue, slippers smell very much like you, and only you. (outside shoes smell like whatever you walked through) Dogs that hoard slippers want to keep your scent for comfort.
Max loves to steal socks and hide them , never chews them just hides them.
(drags them in his cubby ) Always my husbands socks , never mine hmmmm They are all content with kongs and chewy sticks and toys.Stanley is the gobbler though , can tear through a chew in seconds. So far my shoes are safe .
I had a dog (Lab ) many many years ago , who loved to chew buttons off shirts and steal underwear ( yeah I know, ewwwww ) LOLOL since then everything goes in a hamper. I learned that lesson the hard way , after a Vet visit where the Vet said ” your lab had some buttons and something silky in his excrement . I was mortified LOLOL
I’m very glad Pru is not a crazy chewer. She can devour a cow tail in like 15 minutes (when she’s extremely motivated), but that happens very rarely. And she only damaged one shoe as a pup. Oddly enough, she was only really interested in the inside of the slipper. 😀
On our third crazy chewer. Kong toys (so far the black is good enough), also nylabones, but sometimes have to take the newer ones away from her as she will chew so hard on them that her gums bleed. No rawhides unless strictly supervised — they are like potato chips to her. Learned our lesson about hard chewers with our previous dogs. One of them chewed up a tennis ball, and ended up swallowing it. After lodging in his intestine, and rather expensive surgery to remove it (it didn’t show up on either xrays or sonograms — too much like body tissue), he didn’t get tennis balls unless we were with him.
when i was working with a vet dentist in LA, we had one owner tell us that he gave deer antlers to his dog to chew on (needless to say the dog was in for some fractured teeth)
I’ve seen more deer antler being sold in the specialty dog stores and have wondered if they are really worth the huge price tag.
Karen Friesecke says
Impregnating the blue kongs with barium is a super idea! Easy to find with the x-ray incase if something goes wrong!
Elizabeth and The Lab Crew says
I have three labs and two are very aggressive chewers. I won’t go into the list of things destroyed just suffice it to say it is a long list… But Hurley’s at WestPaw Design are incredible… not one ever returned and they are guaranteed.
I’ve got a beagle who every once in a very great while likes to chew something. HE loves the stuffed femurs but once all the stuff is gone he starts to chip away methodically at the ends and we have to toss ’em. A friend recommended galileo bones and I love them (and the pups do too). They are really tough for hard chewers and after a few years of really hard chewing I have yet to see a chunk fall off. Toby can destroy a regular nylabone in a few hours and there will be pieces everywhere – not the galileo bone, though. They also are shaped in such a way that there’s three different ‘knobs’ to chew on, all different sizes. Pretty neat – I recommend these often
Wow. We have a blue Kong (and a red one and a black one), but I did not know of its super powers! Good to know. My dogs love Kongs. They only get them when I leave, so it is a big treat and good distraction. Although… Sophie the smart one, will sneak back and ‘steal’ any Kong she can find to work on as she pleases after I am home.
Hate to say it, but the blue kongs only slow my 11 year old labX down by about 30 minutes. He can destroy a black one in 10 and a blue in 40 minutes. Once the nummy frozen treats inside the kong are almost gone, we have to take the kong away. I use the kibble nibble by premier as a food dispensing toy. He hasn’t been able to destroy it yet and he gets two meals a day in it. We live on a farm so my dog has access to lots of things to chew on that I would prefer he didn’t. His favorite chew toys are logs of firewood (bad for teeth!). He chooses the ones with lots of bark and at least 8″ in diameter. He delights in selecting just the right log. He peels the logs and then leaves them laying where we are sure to trip over them. We finally had to surround the log pile with fencing so we have firewood to burn without having to hunt for it all over the farm.