The best chew toys for aggressive chewers
We rescue dogs and have had a number of Pit Bulls over the years – they remain our favorite. Loving, gentle and great with kids, I think we all know by now that Pit Bulls have gotten a bad rap over the years due to some terrible owners more than them being a terrible breed. A problem we’ve experienced is finding reliable and safe indestructible chew toys for Pit Bulls and other dogs that would be considered “aggressive chewers”.
Seeing our Pitties playing in the yard together, however, can induce a bit of anxiety. They bite, gnash, tackle, pummel, leap and spin around with amazing grace, speed and power. They are capable of doing extreme damage, to be sure, which is why they require the very best dog toys available. Buy them a soft, cushy squeaky toy and it’ll be shredded before it hits the floor. Buy them a stringy toy, one of those ropes that they will eventually pull apart and you are literally putting their lives in danger (see here). But if you don’t give them something to chew on, there’s a better than even chance they’ll end up chewing on something you’d rather you didn’t. One of ours, for example, starting chewing on the window ledges on the inside of the house when we weren’t looking. Took awhile for us to figure it out and you’d be surprised how much damage can be done very quickly! Buying a few indestructible chew toys is cheaper than replacing window frames!
So they need something to chew on.
I shared a link above but in case you didn’t read the entire article, just know that any toy that comes apart in strings…notably the quite popular rope pull toys…can get bound up in their intestines and cause severe injury and even death. We lost a 3 year old, very healthy Lab named Ginger to this so please tread carefully here…no chew toys that will rip or get stringy. If your dog has been chewing on those types of toys for years, that is not a reason to think there is no danger. We’ve been rescuing dogs for years and Ginger is the only one we’ve lost like that – but one was one too many. After, when talking to vets and doing our own research, we found that this is not as uncommon as you would like to think and we had been lucky up to this point. So again, exercise caution here.
Kong – nearly indestructible chew toys for Pit Bulls
We buy almost exclusively Kong toys – you can find them on Amazon here. We’ve tried some of the other ones but we always come back to Kong. We have Kong chew toys that are literally years old. It’s a bit odd in that some they will chew up and others…the exact same toy…don’t get chewed up. We find some of them with little bits and pieces taken out of them and over time, more and more get chewed off, while others stay relatively intact even though they get chewed on just as much. I’ve wondered if perhaps it’s a defect and some are softer than others…not sure. I think, possibly, they get a nick or a tear and then it’s game on and they continue to work on that one. Whatever the case, they are incredibly tough and resilient and although not indestructible, they will last a long time. And when they do come apart, they come apart in small chunks that are harmless if ingested.
Kong chew toys are made specifically for aggressive chewers and come in small, medium, and large. A nice feature of these Kong chews is that they have an opening in the middle where you can stuff treats – our dogs love peanut butter so we fill them with peanut butter on occasion and it’s always a fun time to watch them eating that.
The Kong toys are oddly shaped which gives the dog some interesting angles to work with while chewing but also makes for great fun when thrown. They take unexpected bounces and give the dogs a good time trying to track it down.
Elk Antlers – another nearly indestructible chew toy for aggressive chewers
In addition to the Kong brand of toys, we’ve been buying antler chews lately as well – these are incredibly dense and make great chew toys that last a long time.
One of the top rated antler chew toys that we have found is the “Gnawtlers” – you can find it on Amazon here. These are Elk antlers that you can buy in small, medium, large and extra large size, depending on how big your dogs are.
One tip for these antlers is that if your dog doesn’t love them right away, you can boil them in chicken or beef broth. Given the nature of the antler, it will absorb the taste and smell – dogs love it.
A nice feature of the Gnawtlers is that the care shipped vacuum packed. If you consider that the antlers are, after all, natural and organic, if they sit on a shelf or on a shipping dock for extended periods of time, they can become contaminated unless they are protected. The vacuum wrapping ensures they remain safe and free from contaminants to help ensure the health of your dogs.
A side benefit of antlers is that unlike man-made chew toys, antlers are organic and, as such, contain zinc, calcium, phosphorous and manganese, making them a healthy treat as well.
Many customers compare the antler chews to, perhaps, the different types of rawhide chews you’ll find on the shelves of many stores. You’ll go through a couple of packages of those rawhide chews in the amount of time it takes your pooch to get through a single antler. The other drawback to those rawhides is the smell. I guess the dogs love the smell but it can be a bit strong for most of us and continuous chewing on them leaves the dogs with the same smell.
Lastly, for the eco-warrior in you, it’s important to understand that these antlers are “naturally shed”, meaning they fall off the Elk as a natural course of their lives so the Elk are not killed to obtain the antlers.
Finding good, safe, and reliable indestructible chew toys for Pit Bulls or other aggressive chewing dogs can be tough and you can spend a lot of money in the process – they aren’t cheap. The alternative is spending a bunch of money on easily chewed and digested rawhide type chews you find the in the store. One thing we’ve noticed about the above toys, however, is that the dogs have favorites which, of course, they can’t have when they eat a rawhide rather than chew a toy consistently. Additionally, the chew toys such as those above have a positive effect on the dog’s dental hygiene as well, keep their teeth strong and clean.