Top 10 Best Dog Chew Toys for Dogs
As dog owners, we want to make sure that our pups are as healthy as possible. We love them to death, though sometimes they drive us completely crazy. One enervating doggy behavior is the chewing. Dogs chew for many reasons. Puppies often chew a lot because they are teething. Incoming teeth can be kind of painful for puppies, so chewing on some of the best dog chew toys usually helps ease some of that pain. Older dogs keep their jaws and teeth strong by chewing. Chewing also serves an emotional purpose, as dogs that have separation anxiety, frustration, or other uncomfortable feelings often chew to relieve themselves.
With this in mind, it’s still hard to be understanding of your dog’s chewing needs when you see that your beautiful shoes are all torn up or that your nice couch has a hole in it. My Australian Shephard, Walter, has a passive-aggressive streak a mile long and he exercises it by chewing on our shoes.
We’re not sure why he does this, but his behavior didn’t stop out of its own volition; we ended up having to hide our shoes from him. Realizing that he could no longer attack our footwear, Walter chose to chew on the legs of the chairs, and then the arms of the couch.
At our wits end and this close to muzzling him, we decided to look into researching best dog chew toys. He already had many of them, but they weren’t heavy-duty enough to withstand his chewing and would often break down after just a few days. Eventually, we found a chew toy that worked for him (which is at the #2 spot on the list below), and so far, he’s left other household items alone.
What are the best dog chew toys and why pets need them
Dogs’ teeth, like humans, need care or else they will build up cavities or other tooth problems. Dogs are susceptible to tooth decay, plaque and tartar buildup, and gum problems much in the same way that humans are.
Routine veterinary cleanings are important, but another way that you can keep your dog's teeth and gums strong and healthy is by giving them dog chew toys to keep them busy. These specific chew toys for dogs as well as other dog chews help keep plaque and tartar from building up because the chews keep rubbing along the surface of their teeth, dismantling and scrubbing away any buildup that is there. They also promote strong jaws and teeth, which is important for dogs.
Dogs are also prone to “dog breath,” which occurs when bacteria builds up in their mouths and makes their breath smell. Some of these best dog chew toys and chews for dogs (which are two separate things, by the way) help that bacteria break apart and can improve your Fido's breath. But, just to be sure, you should take your dog to the vet if he or she has a really bad breath, as that could be a symptom of something more serious, or it could have a cause besides bacterial build-up.
The benefits of chew toys for dogs are numerous, and that’s why I've put together a list of ten best dog chew toys for your precious puppy. I've researched the facts thoroughly and taken a look at the customer reviews on different online platforms to get a better grasp of what pet parents thought of these dog chew toys below. I'll give you a brief overview of the dog product features, followed by what people had to say, and hopefully this will be useful to you before you decide to make any final purchases for your puppy's chewing needs.
Top 10 Best Dog Chew Toys for Dogs in 2017
OVERVIEW: KONG is a brand that is well-known throughout the dog product world. Tons of people have these dog chew toys and for good reason. This amazing toy is shaped a little like a fat snowman and comes in sizes XS to XXL. It is veterinarian recommended as the best dog chew toy and has been a long-term #1 Best Seller on Amazon for Dog Chew Toys category. Made in America, it can be filled with dog treats on the inside and provides hours of entertainment for dogs.
WHY IS IT AT #1? This is number one of the best dog chew toys because it is of the highest quality and dogs love it. The rubber is durable enough to withstand a hard chewer and the size variation is helpful for dog owners with pets that are smaller or larger than the average size. It’s great for playing fetch with and you can even fill the center with peanut butter—it’s easy to clean and, besides, dogs will probably lick it clean. Dogs will quickly become obsessed with this puppy toy, but the sturdy rubberized material won’t allow it to break down on him or her.
Most Helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “The invention of the “Kong” is maybe one of my favorites (second to air conditioning) and I know my dog agrees. I have a greyhound who suffered a slight bout of separation anxiety after I adopted him from the track. I needed something to keep him busy and get him excited about my departure to work. The Kong is the answer. I'm sure this sounds weird, but I bought 5 of them – one for each day of the week I have to…”
OVERVIEW: This doggy toy bone is for large breeds that are aggressive chewers. It advertises as “virtually indestructible.” This is usually for dogs that are over 50 pounds and comes as a beef bone, knotted bone, or turkey bone. It helps reduce buildup of plaque and tartar because the surface of the doggy bone has little invisible bristles on it that act like toothbrushes. Nylabone has been in business since 1955 making best dog chew toys for pets, and they know what they’re doing. This chew toy is constructed of nylon and measures 7.3 inches long and three inches wide. The bone itself weighs about half a pound.
WHY IS IT AT #2? This bone is second on the list of best dog chew toys because it is mainly designed for large canines and, unlike the first puppy toy, it cannot be filled with treats. Other than that, it is still one of the best bones on the market. Customers were most impressed by the durability of these dog bones. People who had previously purchased bones for their dogs that had been billed as indestructible found that they weren’t and that frustrated them. With this Nylabone, the nylon stood up to even the hardiest of chewers and lasted months before the dogs were able to break it down. It’s a great investment and well-worth the price (which isn’t bad either).
Most Helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “My two Labs have devoured in minutes just about every “indestructible” dog chew on the market. I really thought that nothing could stand up to their grinders, until I discovered Big Chews. If you've tried other Nylabone products without long-term success, don't worry. My dogs can easily make a meal of those, but not of Big Chews. They last for months and months. In fact, I'm just about to buy a couple, and…”
OVERVIEW: This wishbone dog toy is constructed of nylon and flavored with real bacon—no artificial substances. It is wishbone shaped, so it’s good for a tug of war between you and your Fido. The Benebone’s wishbone design is actually patented by the LLC, and the proceeds from purchasing this bone go to fund animal shelters in New Orleans and Los Angeles. The bacon flavoring is coated onto the Nylon and is pretty strong.
WHY IS IT AT #3? This is third because it is not for dogs that are over 70 pounds, so the size constraint prevented it from being at the first or second spot on the list of best dog chew toys. Benebone has other products for larger dogs, however, so if you’re bummed about that, you can look up some of their big dog bones. The facility this bone is made in handles products with nuts in them, so if someone has a nut allergy in your family, you shouldn’t purchase this bone as a precaution. Overall, owners were pleased with the quality of the Benebone; the nylon was pretty indestructible and the bone lasted at least a month or two before having to be replaced.
Most Helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “I have a 1 yr old GSD/Black Lab mix and a 10 month old pure GSD. Until a couple of months ago when I bought 2 of these bones my dogs were only interested in deer antlers. They have a wide variety of Nylabones which they will chew on a little and have never really taken an interest to the Kong toys. Although the antlers are good chew toys they are also quite expensive. When we first got the Benebones it didn't…”
OVERVIEW: This rope is made of high-quality fibers that don’t contain any toxic lacquer or coatings on them. The rope is long-lasting and great for playing tug of war or other games with your dogs. The ropes are wound tightly and can withstand even super-strong chewers. There are no chemicals or plastics in them and the ropes are both about twenty inches long (there are two in a pack). They come knotted at the end in two different configurations, one per rope.
WHY IS IT AT #4? This is fourth of the best dog chew toys because some dogs might not feel like playing with the rope because there’s no flavoring or puppy food in it (that’s how my dog is—if there’s no food involved, he doesn’t care). It is fantastic quality and twenty inches is a lot of rope; there are two, so that’s forty inches of product in total, a great value. These dog toys are well-made and hold up to even the most strenuous of tug-of-war games. You can exercise with your dog by knotting it and playing fetch, all the while strengthening your dog’s teeth, gums, and jaws.
Most Helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “I received this product at a discounted rate for my honest & unbiased review. These are GREAT dog chew ropes. My Roxy LOVES them!! She is big into tugging and chewing so these are just perfect for her. When she saw me open these she was so excited to start playing tug. These are the 2nd toys I have purchased from this company and I have to say they are great and NATURAL, so you know it wont hurt…”
OVERVIEW: This rope comes in a 36 inch or 72 inch length (three or six feet, respectively). The rope’s fibers are red, white, and blue and floss your dog’s teeth while he or she is playing with it (hence the “Flossy” in the title). The rope weighs a little under a pound and is heavy-duty. The rope fibers themselves are made from cotton and the knots on them make for a rousing game of tug of war between you and your pet.
WHY IS IT AT #5? This chewy dog toy is fifth because it is a great value. There’s a lot of rope for a reasonable price. Also, the flossing action is important for dogs. Dogs have to floss in order to reduce plaque buildup, and this toy does that while also being great for playtime. Owners were satisfied by it, with one saying, “My dog went crazy as soon as he saw it.” There was one complaint about it that also warrants its placement behind the fourth rope—a few people with aggressive chewers for dogs said that it broke down on them. So if your dog is a tough chewer, that is something to be aware of.
Most Helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “My 60 pound pit loves ropes, but chews most that I can find from the petstore in matter of a couple weeks. This one is twice as thick and 5 times as long as the one from Petsmart for the same price. Good for cutting into shorter ones….”
OVERVIEW: This dog chew toy comes in black and has a variation in sizes, ranging from small to XX-Large. The toy is called “extreme” because – unlike the KONG toy at #1 – it is for heavy duty chewers that destroy all other toys that have the misfortune to be placed in their path. The toy is made of a strong, durable rubber compound that can handle the most determined of gnawers. This toy can be filled with treats and it even bounces if you want to play fetch with it.
WHY IS IT AT #6? This KONG toy is used by police, K-9 teams, and drug dogs, all of which are pretty powerful creatures. It is not a flexible pet toy, which makes sense because if it were, it would get destroyed by its users. Make sure to size up. So, if you think your dog is a medium, get a large size of this KONG dog chew toy. This recommendation was echoed by several customers who found that the size they’d chosen was too small for their dogs. Another customer had a unique recommendation for treat stuffing: stuff the bottom 2/3 with treats and the top 1/3 with peanut butter. This will make for a delicious snack for your dog.
Most Helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “I got the Extreme Kong (black), because my rat terrier had already torn apart a Classic Kong (red). He goes through plush squeaky toys in no time flat. He has chewed pieces out of one Extreme Kong, but not the other two. What have I learned to keep him from shredding Kongs? 1) Always supervise your dog with this toy (at least until you…”
OVERVIEW: This toy is made of 30% real wood that won’t splinter off, making it safer than an actual stick. The sizes range from extra-small to large and they’re pretty cheap, selling at $3 on average for the smallest size and $14 for the largest. The smell is a natural wood fragrance. The rest of the stick is made from a rubberized compound that stands up to gentle to moderate chewers.
WHY IS IT AT #7? This toy is at the lower half of the list of best dog chew toys because it is made in China and imported. Consumers are right to be suspicious about Chinese-made products, as China has had several scares in terms of dog supplies and consumer safety, most of which was covered here on Top Dog Tips. Another customer complained that this stick broke down too quickly, scattering particles when faced with their English Bulldog. However, this is on the list because many customers were very happy with the chew toy, one claiming that her dog was “obsessed” with it. This product is probably best for gentle to moderate chewers that won’t wreak havoc. If you have a rough chewer, you may want to select a different doggy toy from this list (like maybe one of the KONG toys).
Most Helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “I've tried a few toys by Petstages but all have lead to disappointment.The Durable Stick looked like a great idea. It made sense, we have two Old English Bulldogs who are serious Stick addicts. We were hopeful this toy would become a favorite. Durable it is anything but. Within minutes they were eating the toy…”
OVERVIEW: Another KONG product – already third on the list of best dog chew toys – this doggy toy is shaped like the other KONG toys, except it's much larger. It measures 7” by 6” by 10.5” and can be placed in the dishwasher for cleaning. It is American-made and is appropriate for dogs weighing 25 pounds or more. This chew toy for dogs wobbles when your canines hit it, sending doggy treats out of a small hole in the center of the product. The toy is filled at the top and the hole is big enough to dispense small pet treats. The smaller toy fits ½ cup of treats and the larger size fits 1 cup. It is made of polymer that is FDA-approved.
WHY IS IT AT #8? This is eighth of the best dog chew toys because the size constraints limit it to dogs that are 25 pounds or more. Also, dogs might have some trouble figuring it out, as my dog, Walter did. We purchased this chew toy for him and it took him four days to connect the dots and figure out that he was supposed to whack it to get a treat to dispense. But Walter’s a bit of a bonehead, so that might’ve been irregular. It’s an excellent dog toy otherwise, and the rubber is FDA approved, so you know it won’t be toxic for your dog. If he or she can figure it out, they’ll have loads of fun with it.
Most Helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “Our 3 year old Australian Cattle dog mix loves this Kong. Once she got the hang of it ( after about 5 minutes ) she chases this around the house with her paws and her snout, growling at it, trying to get her “reward”. We sometimes use this with her regular dog food to “jump start” her interest in meals. She has a lot of fun with it and it is very entertaining for us and our friends watching her playing. I have attached…”
OVERVIEW: This Nylabone product is flavored with chicken and bacon and ranges in size from small to extra-large. It is made of nylon with tiny bristles that will clean and polish your dog’s teeth. It provides entertainment and fends off boredom. The bones are durable and the two-pack deal is a pretty good one. The bones come in chicken and peanut butter flavored as well.
WHY IS IT AT #9? This is ninth of the best dog chew toys because this bone, while dogs loved it, wasn’t as strongly flavored as the label purported it to be. Several customers commented and said that although their dogs were fans of this dog chew toy, the owners themselves weren’t because it supposedly was flavored and ended up being indistinct enough that it almost was just plain nylon. It also wears down against strong chewers, and when it wears down, it tends to become prickly and bristly. For dogs that are gentle chewers that aren’t finicky about flavor, this is a good buy for them.
Most Helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “I am a vet tech and work in an emergency animal hospital. There are always some dogs that manage to destroy and/or ingest any toy, so monitoring play when a new toy is introduced is always advisable. However, over many years I have yet to see an ER visit related to a nylabone. They are especially good for aggressive chewers and for teething puppies (they make a slightly softer material key ring that…”
OVERVIEW: This bone is shaped like a wishbone, meaning that it can be used in a tug of war game with your pet. It’s a smaller dog toy and the nylon construction stands up to moderate chewing strength. The size makes it better for dogs that aren’t giant dog breeds. The bristles on this bone, as with the other Nylabone products, are raised and serve to clean plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth. The product is made in America, so you don’t have to worry about foreign imports having toxins and lead.
WHY IS IT AT #10? This is tenth because customers who gave this to their large and/or heavy-chewing dog found that it broke down disappointingly quickly; maybe after only two weeks or so. Customers with gentle chewers were satisfied, however, and they liked the way the bone seemed to brush their dog’s teeth for them. Veterinarians were also happy with this product, with one vet tech recommending it for smaller sized dogs as a way to get them gnawing and working on their jaw strength. For bigger dogs, the other Nylabone products we listed near the top of the list might work better.
Most Helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “We have two dogs, both of which would make short work of a large rawhide, completely consuming it in about an hour. Needless to say we were concerned about their health, both the possibility of choking, but also the stomach upset that always followed a rawhide session. We got them hooked on Nylabones as an alternative. Even if your dog is an avid rawhide fan, they can love Nylabone–you just have…”
How to choose the best chew toy for your dog
Pet parents should select the best dog chew toys for their pets based on their canine's jaw strength and general chewing habits. Dogs that chew a lot and are aggressive chewers will need a pet toy that is strong and can withstand their jaws. Otherwise, your Fido will be like my Walter and will just go through everything, making all your purchases pointless. Choose a dog toy for chewing that's made from a sturdy material such as rubber, nylon, or another durable substance that won’t break down.
A feature to consider when selecting a dog chew toy is whether or not the toy of your choosing can be filled with doggy treats. If it can, it will serve as extra entertainment for your pooch. Dogs will be incentivized to chew so that they can get to the treats instead of focusing on destroying the chew toy itself.
Choose a dog chew toy that is non-toxic. Dogs are susceptible to chemicals much in the same way that humans are, and you wouldn’t want to harm your pets by giving them a product that had toxins in the surface. Some studies have found that cheaply made toys are the most likely to contain lead or some other dangerous substance. A chew toy that is strong and won’t break down also is not a choking hazard. If a dog chew toy is easily breakable, parts can get stuck in your dog’s windpipe or digestive tract and wreak havoc. According to the FDA, a dog choking is a cause of death that, while not widely seen, is still an occurrence and a danger to watch out for. Even more prevalent a cause of sickness and death is dogs that ingest something they are not supposed to, such as a chew toy.
If you think that your dog has somehow swallowed a non-food item, take him or her to the vet immediately so that you can get them checked out and make sure that they’re not in danger. Dogs are like children in that way—ridiculously prone to eating things that they shouldn’t eat and having us running scrambling, trying to get them to the doctor. Choose a chew toy that is hard to break and won’t disintegrate easily. You also want one that you can clean. Chew toys get dirty and you may find that you need to clean your dog’s. If you choose to, you will want to do that in a non-toxic way.
Use white vinegar or another non-toxic cleaning product to scrub the chew toy with. Don’t use bleach or anything that, if ingested, will kill your dog because even if you think you’ve washed away the entire residue, there may still be traces lingering that are dangerous for your dog. Hopefully our list above has helped you figure out what you want to buy your dog—heck, get more than one if you want! Your dog can never have too many chew toys.
We want to make sure that our readers are aware that we are NOT sponsored by or affiliated with any of the manufacturers and dog companies mentioned in this article. Please note that we do our best to provide accurate information, but we highly encourage dog owners to always double-check other sources for additional tips on best dog chew toys so that you can make a more accurate decision of what's best for you and your canine. The above overview of best chew toys for dogs should give pet owners a good idea of best rated canine chew toys, but please also make sure that you read the best dog chew toys reviews from multiple customers before you purchase any dog supplies. Sometimes, those reviews from pet parents can provide more information than any dog supplies website ever could. Finally, I hope this list was helpful, and if you tried any of these dog products, please let us know of your experience in the comments below.