When you care for a larger than average dog, you’ll need bigger toys made to stand up to the punishment that your dog can dish out. If you settle with something made for a smaller breed, the best case scenario is you’ll need to replace toys often. Worst case scenario, you’ll have created a dangerous choking hazard.
- According to several reputable sources, tennis balls are among the top three choking hazards for dogs, followed closely by cooked bones, sticks and rawhides.
For large dogs and heavy chewers, you’re going to want a toy that is going to stand up to the punishment they can dish out, and not something they are easily able to tear apart into smaller pieces. Forget anything made of thin rubber, like most squeaky toys on the market. The best toys for your powerful chewer will usually be made of a very durable thick rubber, specifically designed for large to giant breeds.
The Nylabone brand designs many types of bones, often very strong, specifically made not to break. Use your best judgment here; they can be dangerous if they do happen to break apart. That being said, most dogs won’t be able to break these.
‘Strong’ Fabric Toys
If you browse the isles at your local pet store, you’ll probably see many different toys made of various types of fabric that are advertised for powerful chewers. In reality, these are rarely as durable as they claim to be and almost certainly won’t last very long in the ‘hands’ of an avid chewing large or giant breed.
Rawhides: Yes or No?
It’s hard to ignore how much our dogs love these sticks of chewable horse/cowhide! They make extraordinarily popular dog toys, and even come scented to improve their appeal. But exactly how safe are they, especially for powerful chewers?
Whereas it is unlikely and the cases are rare, dogs have choked and died from rawhides. They can still be a fantastic toy and a recommended distraction, as long as owners keep a watchful eye on their dogs! For the larger dogs, be sure to provide larger rawhides that come in one piece, and don’t contain smaller portions that can be broken off.
In the end, unless you are in strong favor of rawhides, you can probably find something better and safer for the same price.
Large Rubber Kong: All But Indestructible
Very few dog owners haven’t heard of the ‘Kong’ brand of dog toys, and their signature rubber honeycomb. These come in all kinds of shapes for any sized dog, and even the most powerful chewers in the world would have a very hard time destroying one of the largest ones. Not only are large Kongs great for powerful chewers, you can fill them with treats (peanut butter is great) to increase their appeal!
Chew toys To Avoid for the Strong Chewers:
- Cooked bones of any kind
- Chicken or poultry bones
- Tennis balls present a hazard when torn to small pieces
- Sticks present a choking hazard when broken to small pieces
- Rope toys might become shredded and destroyed quickly