As the proud dog mom of two border collie mixes, I can attest that having durable dog toys is an absolute must to save my shoes and furniture from being eaten. Finding more than one toy that lasts more than a week (or even a day) can be a challenge, but I finally have a collection of toys that allows my dogs to chew all day long without getting bored. The best part is they’re all available on Amazon at affordable prices, so after normal wear-and-tear, I can easily find a replacement.
My secret to finding quality toys that are chew-proof and won’t harm my dogs’ teeth is looking for materials, like hard rubber and silicone, that are sturdy yet flexible. A rule I like to follow: If I can't indent my fingernail into the toy, it becomes an occasional treat they can chew on while I’m home to supervise. After doing some research, I found that chewing on hard plastics like the Nylabone for extended periods of time can cause tooth damage, but with limited use, the bone’s small ridges can actually help clean their teeth while keeping them entertained. Otherwise, they can play with the toys as they please whether I’m home or not.
Below are the dog toys I always have in my arsenal to keep my avid chewers satisfied without jeopardizing their health—or my home.
Description: Kong classic is a favorite for my two dogs, especially when I treat them with a dollop of peanut butter inside. I love this toy for its versatility. It can be used as a chew toy, to play fetch, and as an afternoon snack in between meals. It’s made with natural rubber that has withstood everyday chewing for two months (and counting) and is my go-to for entertaining the pups while I’m out running errands.
Buy It: Kong XL Classic Dog Toy, $19 (originally $22)
The DuraSqueak was an impulse purchase for me, but it has been well worth the small investment. My dogs liked it so much that they were fighting over who got to play with it, so of course, I had to order a second one. I often take my dogs to a lake in the summer, and this is the one dog toy I bring with me. It floats, which makes it great for playing fetch in the water, and I love that it helped my more skittish dog learn that water isn’t so scary after all. Plus, the bright color makes it easy to find when it inevitably gets buried in the brush and sand.
Buy It: Hyper Pet DuraSqueaks Dog Toy, $10 (originally $13)
The Nylabone is a great alternative to meat bones, which can splinter and cause health problems. Each bone is flavored, making it just as much a treat as it is a toy that can also be beneficial for training. Not to mention it helps clean their teeth, too! Due to its hard plastic construction, I only let my dogs play with it while I’m home and able to supervise them. Once the bone is chewed down and starts flaking, I know it’s time for a replacement. With limited use, these bones usually last up to three months for my two dogs.
Buy It: Nylabone Flavored Durable Dog Chew Toy, $10 (originally $14)
One of my dogs could play fetch for hours, and the Nerf dog tire ball is her number one choice (and thanks to the squeaker, I always know when she’s ready to play). It’s lightweight and weather-resistant, making it ideal for indoor or outdoor play, and it has a textured exterior for added grip. Not only does this toy hold up during games of fetch, but my dog also frequently chews on it while lounging on the couch. After almost a year of use, it still looks as good as new.
Buy It: Nerf Dog Tire Squeak Ball, $9
A rope is a great toy for multiple dogs to play with each other, and this one is made with mint-scented dental rope to support good dental hygiene. My mom bought this rope for our family dog more than five years ago, and it's still completely intact. Now, it’s my dogs’ favorite toy to play with while we’re visiting, and it keeps them entertained while I catch up with my parents. It’s always the center of a good game of tug-of-war and has held up surprisingly well for all three dogs.
Buy It: Booda Fresh N Floss Rug Rope Dog Toy, $10
When I bought this spiny dog-ring more than six months ago, I never anticipated that it would last this long. My dogs can’t get enough of its unique texture, and it’s one of my personal favorites because it keeps them engaged without making any noise. It’s the ideal toy for when my husband and I are watching a movie and aren’t in the mood for fetch.
Buy It: Leaps & Bounds Romp and Run Spiny Ring Dog Toy, $10
I’ve purchased multiple types of balls from pet stores over the years, and none of them compare to the durability of a traditional tennis ball. One of my dogs adores stuffed toys, but the other tears them apart in an hour or less. I’ve found that tennis balls offer a soft yet durable middle ground to meet both of their needs. For not being actual dog toys, they sure do make my pups happy, and they’re super affordable to replace if they get lost.
Buy It: Penn Championship Tennis Balls, $7 (originally $11)