Tough Dog Toys for Tough Chewers
Dog toys are an ongoing investment. The investment of time, effort and expense needs to render a satisfactory return for both you and your dog. The never-ending search for safe, durable, enjoyable dog toys is a frustrating and expensive trial and error venture for most families. Bulldogs are the toughest test for any dog toy.
How to choose which toy is a good bet can be overwhelming. There is an endless bounty of dog toy choices. Key aspects of a dog toy search generally include safety, durability, price, and availability. But another, often overlooked, aspect to dog toy choice is personal preference from a human point of view. The aspect of what the human likes is unfortunately, too frequently, the driving force behind a dog toy choice and contributes substantially to financial waste and often jeopardizes the safety of your dog.
Insightout has raised bulldogs for 17 years and through the years we have tested many dog toy brands. Not many toys are safe and durable enough or loved enough to withstand the strength and rigor of the mighty bulldog jaws. We have fallen prey to cute and adorable dog toys on more than one occasion and have seen many pricey dog toys destroyed in under 15 minutes!
Insightout’s dog toy recommendations are based on safety, first-hand experience & our T.E.L.L.S. all test.
Tough Enjoyable Long-lasting Loved Safe (T.E.L.L.S.)
Tough dog toys help keep a dog Safe. Chewed off chunks, broken pieces, strings and sharp edges can pose a potentially life-threatening blockage, obstruction or choking hazard.
Enjoyable dog toys keep you and your dog happy and engaged.
Long lasting dog toys double the pleasure and double the fun. Long lasting stretches your dollar and saves money.
Loved enough by your dog creates a special protection around a toy and keeps it safely in one piece.
*Well-loved is based on a dog loving any toy enough not to destroy it, not based on the cute, adorable human standards that dog toy manufacturers generally target and direct their marketing.
Loved enough by your dog is also a wild card. Well-Loved toys can transcend the hard and fast basic rules of no toy with glued-on parts, no toy with any toxic components, no toy with floating squeaker unsecured, no toy with dense fur, no toy with sharp edges, that helps to minimize avoidable crisis.
Emmett’s “Purple Pete” is one example of transcending the basic rules. During Emmett’s surgery, we gave him a stuffed purple elephant with glued on eyes and 3 floating squeakers. He slept with Purple Pete the night of his surgery and every other night for 10 years. Purple Pete was loved enough not to be destroyed. His personal protection was Emmett’s love. Purple Pete was loved enough to earn universal respect from our entire pack and was never destroyed by anybody.
Every dog is different. Every person is different. And like anything else, personal preference and environment greatly affect which dog toy will work best for you and your dog.
The dog toys that have proven safe, durable and enjoyable for many bulldogs over many years.
Our number one choice:
West Paw Zogoflex Hurley Bone
The Hurley bone is the only toy we’ve found that is tried and true to last consistently every single purchase without fail. This veracious toy is tough enough to withstand multiple bulldogs’ chewing and playtime indoors and out year-round. The Hurley bone even tolerates August heat in Texas without compromise! The density of this bone is hard enough to be durable but soft enough to get a good grab. Our dogs have enjoyed the Hurley bone for 7 years.
Petstages Dogwood Stick
*It is very important to note before recommending this toy that the Petstages real wood stick found at Wal Mart is an inferior product we do not recommend. Although both products look almost identical and the temptation to purchase the real wood stick cheaper from Wal Mart is logical - we want to be clear the two similar products are not the same quality.
Petsatages Dogwood Stick is hard and does not have the pliable give of the Hurley bone. It is one tough toy that allows a bulldog to chew to their heart's content. Over time with multiple bulldogs’ regular use they whittle down the bone very slowly void of pieces, chunks., cracks or splinting, keeping them safe and out of harm's way.
Planet Dog large bones and balls
Unlike most dog toy brands, Planet Dog doesn’t just have one item in their product line that will work for avid chewers. Most Planet Dog products, with a few exceptions, hold up nicely. Planet dog products have a generous lifespan but don’t last as long as the Hurley bone or Dogwood stick. Even the Planet Dog World Ball withstands the vigorous chewing, but you must cut away the continents as the chewing loosens them from the ball. The World ball is not the visually pleasing ball it once was, but still has a lot of life left. Planet Dog toys are also earth-friendly and recycled making them an even better choice.
Nylabone Puppy Keys - Large
These bright primary-colored keys come in three sizes and are absolutely loved by all bulldogs from the smallest puppy to the oldest bulldog. We start all of our puppies with the small size keys. These keys are another excellent example of Loved enough not to destroy them. The Nylabone Keys are labeled as a puppy toy and make no claim for aggressive chewing durability. An adult bulldog can easily destroy them, if they were moved to do so. From experience with our last 7 litters of puppies, none of the puppies have ever destroyed these keys. We recommend them for all of our puppy families. In addition, out of 10 adult bulldogs we only have one bulldog that cannot control himself with his overzealous chewing love for the keys. Even still, if he manages to elude our radar and happen on a set of keys left behind from another bulldog it will take him a couple of days to chew the keys off of the ring one at a time. He does not chew up the keys; he is only obsessed with getting each key off the ring. Like the Hurley bone, we keep several sets of these keys on hand at all times. They are also readily available at many locations and make an excellent traveling pacifier.
Fat Cat fish
This is the only stuffed dog toy we have found that a bulldog does not destroy in less than an hour! The Fat Cat Fish toy is the only toy in their product line that is durable enough for bulldogs. We cut the sewn in tags off before giving the toy to our dogs. The Fat Cat Fish has half the life of the other toys recommended but its deterioration is easily detected in a split in the taut design of the toy. It is also half the price of other toys.
Rope dog toys
Large rope dog toys are safe for supervised chewing, tug-of-war or hung from a tree. The danger of outside rope dog toy play lies in the fact they are easily lost in the grass or dirt if accidentally left behind. After a rain or lawn sprinkling rope toys tend to stick to the ground and become one with the earth until they are unexpectedly rediscovered by a bulldog. By the time they resurface the weather has deteriorated the integrity of the rope and it is easily chewed into dangerous wads of rope fiber. As far as inside bulldog chewing pleasure of large rope toys are concerned, they have a decent lifespan, but it is essential to cut off frayed ends and retie the rope toys as necessary.
Insightout bulldogs never get rawhide anything, bully sticks or like products – ever! Rawhide poses a very real, frequently occurring, choking hazard to dogs. Rawhide is not a toy and should not be attached or incorporated in any toy design considered for a bulldog.
Our bulldogs have their dog toys delivered regularly every four months. Upon arrival of a new shipment of dog toys, we round up all lingering dog toys and weed out any that show even the smallest tired, damaged or compromised issue.
Regularly scheduled toy round-up inspection is imperative for your dog’s safety and protection. We keep an eye on dog toy condition all along the way, but a scheduled inspection catches the early, not very noticeable onset of deterioration.
We would love to add additional dog toys to the list from our readers.
Please share your successful dog toy finds.
Gloria WilbersApril 10, 2018, 6:08 pm
Thank you for this blog!! Very informative :)