This article was medically reviewed by Sorin McKnight, DVM, a veterinarian at Wellborn Road Veterinary Medical Center in College Station, Texas.
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Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, but some pups love to gnaw more than others. If your pup is a super chewer, you'll want to provide them with a collection of the best dog toys for aggressive chewers. There's no such thing as an indestructible dog toy, some options are tougher than others.
We spoke to veterinarians and dog trainers and tested and researched dozens of options to find the best dog toys for super chewers. Our top pick is the Goughnuts .75 Black Ring Pro 50, an extra tough rubber toy that holds up to repeated gnawing without breaking into small or sharp pieces. Our experts say fabric toys also have their place. Our top stuffed toy pick, Kong Cozie Marvin the Moose, has two layers of durable fabric and minimal stuffing for less mess.
Whatever toy you give your dog, it's important to supervise them. Being aware of your pup's tendencies is key, says Dr. Kelly Ballantyne, a veterinary behaviorist at Insight Animal Behavior Services. Some dogs tend to gobble up what they destroy, a dangerous habit that may result in serious medical emergencies due to intestinal blockage.
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Best overall: Goughnuts .75 Black Ring Pro 50 - See at Amazon
Best plush: GoDog Furballz Plush Squeaker Ball - See at Chewy
Best stuffed: Kong Cozie Marvin the Moose - See at Chewy
Best squeaky ball: Chuckit! Ultra Squeaker Ball - See at Chewy
Best fetch ball: Kong Extreme Ball - See at Chewy
Best ring: Kong Ring - See at Chewy
Best rope: Mammoth Cottonblend 3 Knot Rope Toy - See at Chewy
Best bone-shaped: Pet Qwerks BarkBone - See at Chewy
Best stick: Petstages Dogwood Calming Chew - See at Chewy
Best stuffable: Kong Extreme - See at Chewy
Best for tug: Kong Wubba - See at Chewy
Best disc: Kong Flyer - See at Chewy
Best big ball: Jolly Pets Teaser Ball - See at Chewy
Best interactive: Fable The Game - See at Fable
Best rubber: Kong Extreme Goodie Bone - See at Chewy
Best for puppies: Kong Puppy Tires - See at Chewy
Best subscription box: Barkbox Super Chewer Box - See at Barkbox
Durability is vital, says Ivan Petersel, a professional dog trainer and founder of Dog Wizardry. That's even more important when dealing with an aggressive chewer. Strong jaws can easily rip through materials like fabric, but a toy that's too hard can damage your dog's teeth.
Toys made of natural rubber, like the Goughnuts 0.75 Black Ring Pro 50, are some of the best dog toys for aggressive chewers. They are durable yet gentle on a dog's teeth and gums. And since no toy is completely chew-proof, the Goughnuts Ring has a helpful red indicator that lets you know when to take it away from your pup. If you notice the ring's indicator changing from yellow to red, the toy's rubber is wearing thin and it's time for a replacement. This toy is for dogs between 10 and 40 pounds, but the brand also sells toys for different breeds and chew strengths.
"Destuffing a plushy toy is a joyous, satisfying, and perfectly safe activity for some dogs, where a very durable toy would sort of defeat the purpose," says Patrick Flynn, a professional dog trainer and founder of Patrick's Pet Care. However, direct supervision is always necessary. Flynn also cautions against allowing puppies and dogs known to eat toy parts to destroy plushies. These pups could ingest the material and potentially choke or experience a bowel obstruction.
Thankfully, some stuffed toys survive a little longer than others. The Furballz Plush Squeaker Ball is a round purple-colored plush toy with a fuzzy exterior that squeaks when chewed hard. The toy consists of two layers of fabric with a thick underlayer for added durability. Double-stitched, reinforced seams help protect the toy against repeated chewing.
Like humans, dogs have individual preferences when it comes to texture. Some dogs prefer stuffed toys, whether to chew on, snuggle, or sink their teeth into them. Puppies, in particular, are often attracted to soft, plush toys, says Petersel.
If your super chewer is stuff-obsessed, we recommend Marvin the Moose. The cuddly stuffed animal has an interior squeaker for more stimulating play. It has an extra layer of tough material and contains less filling than typical stuffed toys, so there's less mess to clean up when your dog eventually rips it to shreds.
Many dogs can't resist chasing balls, especially one as bouncy and squeaky as the Ultra Squeaker Ball. The high-pitched noise of a squeaker can trigger a dog's prey drive and stimulate natural hunting instincts, says Petersel.
With a textured surface, the rubber ball is easy for both humans and dogs to grip. Its excellent bounce makes for unpredictable movement to challenge dogs. The ball is compatible with the brand's Classic Launcher to help you throw farther. It also floats, making it great for dogs who enjoy playing in the water.
The best dog toys for aggressive chewers are, of course, ones they love. Toys that bounce are typically great for fetch because they mimic the movement of prey, keeping your dog engaged, says Petersel. The extremely bouncy Extreme Ball allows dogs to satisfy their innate prey drive. And it's made of ultra-durable rubber that's ideal for fetching or chewing.
As always, keep in mind that dogs are individuals, says Ballantyne. Some might go wild for balls, but others might prefer playing fetch with toys that combine materials like ropes and balls. Additionally, being aware of potential hazards while playing fetch is important. Flynn says throwing a super bouncy ball too hard might lead dogs to injure themselves while trying to catch it.
The Kong Ring encourages appropriate chewing behavior and keeps chew-focused dogs busy and away from things like sofa cushions and chair legs. The toy's durable rubber will last a while, and its nubs may help clean teeth. "Ridges, nubs, and grooves on a chew toy may help prevent plaque and tartar buildup," says Dr. Bradley Quest, an expert in pet oral health and principal of veterinary services at BSM Partners.
Even with the toughest chew toys for dogs, a super chewer is likely to eventually destroy whatever you offer them, so supervision is crucial, says Ballantyne.
The Mammoth rope toy is a durable natural cotton rope toy that's great for interactive play, like tug. The tough, tightly wound fibers held up best among the rope toys we tested.
As with other rope and fabric toys, make sure to closely supervise your aggressive chewer to ensure they're not ingesting any fibers while playing. If you spot your dog munching on rope pieces, Ballantyne recommends making a trade instead of taking the toy away outright. "A lot of dogs will develop resource guarding because things keep getting taken away from them," she says. "A really easy way to prevent this from happening is to make sure they trade up for something like a treat."
Made of tough, durable nylon, the BarkBone is a good choice for dogs that love to chew. The toy's bone-like design and strong bacon flavor are extra enticing.
While nylon toys are sturdy, they're not forever toys. "Whether [a toy] be rubber or some sort of synthetic material, it's likely that if you have a dog who's a really intense chewer, they're going to be able to destroy it," says Ballantyne. So when the bone begins to fray, it's time to replace it.
While durability is an important concern for aggressive chewers, Ballantyne cautions against offering things like antlers or bones. "There's a really high risk of them breaking their teeth on those, especially if they're a really aggressive chewer," she says. Wood sticks also pose a risk and can get stuck between a dog's teeth or the roof of their mouth, sometimes even damaging the intestinal tract, she adds.
With a natural texture from hemp and wood, Dogwood Calming Chews are a safe alternative to branches and sticks that can splinter. Plus, for dogs who love water play, these toys float.
Pet experts frequently recommend toys from Kong, a brand that makes some of the toughest chew toys for dogs. The Extreme has the same design as the Kong Classic you may know and love but with a souped-up, heavy-duty rubber made to withstand the toughest chewers. The bobble-shaped toy is also a great introductory food puzzle that dogs can enjoy chewing long after emptying it of treats. You can fill it with peanut butter, the best dog treats, kibble, or the brand's Easy Treats.
When opting for a food toy like a Kong, Petersel says you'll want to be sure the toy is the appropriate size. Make sure the biggest part of the toy can't make it to the back of your dog's mouth. Kong brand has a handy sizing chart to help you choose the right size for your dog.
The Wubba isn't a chew toy, but it's a tough toy for games of tug. The ball and tail design also works well for fetch. The Wubba comprises two balls wrapped in durable ballistic nylon with reinforced stitching for added longevity. One of the balls squeaks, and the other has plenty of bounce.
By paying attention to what your dog likes, whether a game of tug or fetch, you can find the right toys to keep them busy and happy, says Flynn. Ultimately, that might mean caring a bit less about whether a toy lasts for months on end. He also says what dogs like may change over time. "Once they've played with their favorite toy for the hundredth time, they may be understandably bored and want to move on," says Flynn.
The ideal fetch toy for your dog depends on their unique play style, says Ballantyne. The Kong Flyer is a solid choice if you're introducing your pup to a game of toss and retrieve. The flexible rubber disc is suitable for indoor and outdoor play. And the soft rubber won't hurt your dog's teeth or gums when they try to catch it.
While this toy is great for outdoor play, it's ultimately made for fetch and not intended for use as a chew toy. Ultimately, we recommend it because it's gentle on teeth, unlike hard plastic discs.
Because this big ball is made of high-density polyethylene plastic, it's one of the best dog toys for aggressive chewers who may get mouthy during play. However, the real purpose of this toy is to encourage active play and provide mental stimulation. With a ball-in-ball design, the toy's erratic rolling action will keep dogs guessing. To make things even more interesting for your pup, try spreading peanut butter on the interior ball, or if your dog is a swimmer, you can toss the floatable ball into the pool.
Ballantyne points out that when you give a large breed dog a small toy, there's a risk that they may swallow it. The Jolly Ball comes in multiple diameters, up to 10 inches, to suit different-sized dog breeds.
"Puzzle toys are beneficial for the dogs who like them because they satisfy the innate need to work, have purpose, and solve problems," says Flynn. He adds that puzzle toys can also help slow down eaters who scarf down their food too quickly.
The Game provides all these benefits. The toy is oval-shaped but with a tapered top. Unscrew the top and bottom pieces and fill it with up to 1.5 cups of dry food or treats. The toy's weighted base keeps it upright while lending itself to a bobbing movement. While it is the most durable treat dispenser we've tested, it's still important to supervise super chewers with this toy, which has separate interior components.
In our experience, Kong's Extreme line is perfect for aggressive chewers. The Goodie Bone's ultra-durable rubber is tough yet gentle on gums and teeth. And, unlike a real bone, you can also stuff it with treats or the best dog food.
Keep in mind that it's good to mix up toy textures from time to time. Some dogs just don't love certain textures, says Petersel. If you're offering something with a bit more give to a super chewer dog, you'll also want to keep a close eye on them and remove the toy if it starts to fall apart.
It can take some time to figure out what your puppy likes. When trying out the best puppy toys, Ballantyne recommends getting a small variety of toys to offer the dog, including rubber, plush, and interactive options.
One possible option for a chew-friendly puppy toy is the Kong Puppy Tires, which is one of the best puppy teething toys for larger breeds. Its durable yet flexible rubber can withstand punctures from sharp puppy teeth while soothing gums. Like an actual tire, the toy has a hollow interior that you can stuff with treats, transforming it into a simple food puzzle.
One way to maintain a steady supply of the best dog toys for aggressive chewers is to sign up for a subscription box. The Super Chewer Box is specifically for dogs who tend to destroy everything as soon as they get their jaws on it.
You can choose from three box sizes: small, medium, and large breeds. Each box includes two tough toys, two full-sized packages of treats, and tasty edible chews. Examples of toys that might show up at your doorstep include textured toys for dental health, plush toys with rubber cores, nylon and rubber toys, and treat dispensing toys.
What to look for in dog toys for aggressive chewers
When you're shopping for the best toys for aggressive chewers, here's what our experts say to keep in mind:
- Safety: Above all, a quality toy should be safe. When it comes to the best chew toys for dogs, Quest says you should be able to make an indentation in its material if you press it with your fingernail. If the toy doesn't indent, it's probably too hard and could damage your dog's teeth. Ballantyne recommends toys made of dense rubber for super chewers, but remember that almost anything can break into tiny, potentially ingestible pieces.
- Durability: The toughest chew toys should withstand the strength of an aggressive chewer's jaws. However, Flynn says indulging your dog's penchant for ripping apart toys is also okay if you provide direct supervision.
- Size: You'll want to look at a toy's sizing guidelines to ensure it's the appropriate size for your dog. If a toy is too small, your dog is at risk of swallowing it, which could create an intestinal blockage and be fatal. If you're unsure a toy is the right size for your dog, your vet can provide guidance.
- Materials: Ballantyne recommends materials like rubber when purchasing toys for a super chewer. If you're looking for soft toys, extra-durable options typically have two layers of fabric and reinforced seams. Different dogs may appreciate different textures, so it can be beneficial to mix things up, says Petersel.
How we selected the best dog toys for aggressive chewers
When putting together our picks for the toughest chew toys, we based our selections on a combination of testing, brand reputation, and the advice of the veterinarians and professional dog trainers we interviewed. We determined a brand's reputation through firsthand experience and customer reviews.
Toys for aggressive-chewer dogs FAQs
The Kong Extreme line of toys is a good place to start if you're looking for the toughest chew toys for dogs. These durable rubber toys are for strong chewers and lengthy chew sessions. No toy is totally indestructible. However, our experts say rubber toys like those from Kong's Extreme line are typically very durable and safe for a dog's teeth and gums.
Toys that are made of dense rubber are ideal for super chewers, says Ballantyne. However, she says some dogs get a kick out of ripping up plush toys. If that's the case, you'll need to provide constant supervision while they tear it to shreds.
It's essential to provide safe toys that don't pose a risk of ingestion or damage to teeth, but it's also crucial to satisfy your dog's personal preferences, says Petersel. If you give your dog a durable toy that it finds ultra-boring, it might opt to chew inappropriate items. The bottom line is that the perfect chew toy depends on your dog's personality, says Ballantyne. For example, if your dog loves to chew for long periods but tends to ingest pieces of whatever they're gnawing on, giving them an edible chew might be a safer alternative than synthetic toys.
Inappropriate chewing might be due to boredom or anxiety, but your dog might just think it's fun. It's natural for dogs to chew things, but some dogs are more into chewing than others. Ultimately, aggressive chewing is only a problem if your dog is chewing on things they shouldn't, like furniture and shoes.
Steph Coelho is a freelance writer and homebody with a passion for home and kitchen goods. She's always on the hunt for the best home and kitchen gadgets and is determined to help people sort the treasure from the trash. As someone who works from home 365 days a year, she's well versed in how to make a space feel cozy and comfortable for every activity on her to-do list. Steph is currently based in the Montreal area, where she lives in a 70s-style bungalow with her husband, two dogs, and a parrot named Felix. Say hello at [email protected] or @seestephrunmtl on Twitter and @frontyardharvest on Instagram
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Disclosure: Written and researched by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partners. We may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected].
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