Archive for November, 2010

27 Nov 2010

Top 10 Durable Dog Toys for 2010

1 Comment Chew Toys, Chuckit, Kong, Nylabone, Planet Dog, Pool Toys, Rubber Toys, Ruff Toy Recommended, Stuffies, Throw Toys, VIP Products, Zanies

Here is Ruff Toy Reviews 2010 Top 10 Durable Dog Toys List of the most durable, safe and fun dog toys out there for dogs who love their toys to death.  We have personally tried all of these toys with our dogs, and wanted to share the top dog toys under $20 that would make a great holiday gift for any dog that loves to play rough! Here are our favorite dog toys… in no particular order.

  1. Zanies Rubber Chicken

    The Zanies Rubber Chicken is a surprisingly durable toy that is silly and floppy.  Stands up to shaking and tugging.  We’ve had this toy for about a year, and it’s still going strong.  The dogs love it.  Beware of slobber.  Full review

  2. Nylabone Double Action Chew

    The Double Action Chew by Nylabone is a very long lasting chew that doubles as a rubber toy.  As with all Nylabone products, look for the “for aggressive chewers” label for the toughest chewers. Full review

  3. Planet Dog Orbee Bone

    The Planet Dog Orbee Bone is a wiggly rubber bone that is soft on the mouth, but very durable.  You can fill the hollow center with treats. This bone also floats and makes a great pool toy. Full Review

  4. Tuffy's Ultimate Tug of War

    Tuffy’s Ultimate Tug-O-War Dog Toy takes a lot of abuse in our house, and is still going strong after two years of rough play.  This is a big toy at 22 inches long, and the dogs love carrying such a big toy around.  This one is on our own list for replacement this year.  Shh, don’t tell the dogs! Full review

  5. KONG Snugga Wubba Dog Toy

    The Snugga Wubba Dog Toy by KONG was one of the first stuffing free dog toys out there, and it was a big hit with the dogs and with me because it lasted a long time without leaving a stuffing mess all over the house. The Snugga Wubbas are fleecy soft, although they also come in classic rip stop material.  But our dogs love the Snuggas best.  This is one Cassie’s security blankets. A great tug toy and snuggie. Full review coming soon.

  6. QT Dog Deer Antler Chews

    QT Dog All Natural Chew Toy Antlers Deer Antlers are an all natural chew that you can feel good about. It’s not made from dead things, so if you are squeamish about pigs ears, hooves and other nasty sounding (and smelling) chews, deer antlers are a great alternative, plus they last a long, long time. These are harvested from from 100-percent naturally shed deer antlers, and are not smelly or slimy at all even after a good long chew.  Full review coming soon.

  7. Chuckit Ball Launcher

    Chuckit! Ball Launcher Your best friend if you have a dog that needs to run! When we go to the beach, there are so many people there with Chuckit’s, I’m pretty sure we never come home with the same tennis ball.  Moxie will chase a tennis ball until the cows come home and the Chuckit makes my arm almost bionic when it comes to really getting a long and accurate throw.  You can’t go wrong with this toy.  Get extra balls, though.  You will need them. Full review

  8. Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Zoom Flyer

    Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Zoom Flyer
    We think Moxie was a Frisbee Dog in another life and we’re hoping to teach her to catch this fun toy like a pro. This toy is soft on the mouth, but very tough, and it floats, making it a favorite pool toy. Full review

  9. Tuffy's Mega Square Ball

    Tuffy’s Mega Square Ball Our dogs love stuffie toys, but they tear them to shreds… except for the Mega Series from VIP products. We now have several of these toys and the dogs love them. Equally important, I love them because they really do hold up. They are more expensive than other stuffed toys, but you really do get your money’s worth out of them. Full review

  10. Zanies Rip Stop Training Dummy

    Zanies Ripstop Training Dummy We got two of these for pool toys, thinking they wouldn’t last very long. We were wrong! Both of them are still going strong even though they are hands down, the absolute favorite pool toy. They float of course, but they are also easy to through and you can swing them around to get a nice long toss from them. An all around great throw toy. Full review

All of these products are available online and we’ve provided links to purchase. If you already have these toys, let us know what you think. And please tell us your own top durable toy favorites too, for future reviews. Happy holidays!

22 Nov 2010

Chuckit! Ball & Launcher

No Comments Chuckit, Ruff Toy Recommended, Throw Toys
Chuckit! Ultra Grip Launcher

The Chuckit! Ultra Grip Launcher with Tennis Ball

Durability Rating: (5/5)

Someone thought it was a good idea to invent a way to throw a tennis ball without actually touching it. Normally that would sound like a solution looking for a problem, but in the case of a dog toy, it’s a great idea. The Chuckit! series of ball launchers and balls allow you to throw a ball as far as you want, pick it up while avoiding slobbery/sandy balls, and keep on throwing with minimal effort.

The Chuckit! launchers come in a variety of models ranging from small to large, and designed for a variety of balls of different sizes (for different sized dogs). Check out the range of models at www.chuckit.com. We use the Ultra Grip launcher. Its the longest of the launchers at 25″, has a padded hand grip, and launches the Chuckit! Medium size (2.5″) balls. Conveniently that’s the same size as a “normal” tennis ball. The length of this launcher allows you to throw the ball very far – sometimes too far to keep the testers interested. Pictured is our go to ball, the Chuckit! Tennis ball, which is advertised as “extra wall thickness”. However there are other balls ranging from glow in the dark, to erratic flight, to high bounce that are also worth a future test.

While the Ultra Grip launcher cost us approximately $15 with a ball, I’ve seen the basic launchers for under $10 many places. Keeping one in the car with a sleeve of normal tennis balls is a great idea.

Bottom line – the launcher itself isn’t the toy – the ball is – and dogs love chasing balls. But the launcher makes it much easier to play fetch. I’d recommend getting a launcher that uses medium balls and having extra balls on hand in case a random pooch steals your ball or it goes too far out to sea at the beach.

22 Nov 2010

Hyper Pet Flying Series Slingshot Dog Toy

7 Comments Hyper Pet

Durability Rating: (2/5)

Hyper Pet Flying Fish Slingshot

Hyper Pet Flying Fish Slingshot

A flying fish slinghot toy!  Oh boy! This Flying Series Slingshot dog toy with squeaker was on sale at Home Goods for $6.99, so I thought it was worth a shot.  The package states “HEAVY DUTY AND IT FLOATS!”  along with “BUNGY NECK LAUNCHES FISH UP TO 100 FEET!”  The package showed a photo of a kid playing with the toy outside, so I assumed this would be a good toy for the yard… we took the bait.

At home, I read on the back of the package, “WARNING: PET SHOULD BE SUPERVISED WHEN PLAYING WITH THIS TOY.  REMOVE TOY FROM PET IF ANY PART BECOMES LOOSE OR DETACHED.  INTENDED FOR PETS ONLY, KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.”  Huh?  How could a dog toy harm a child?  And why was there a child pictured on the front of the package using the toy?  I was stumped.

Hyper Pet Flying Fish

The Hyper Pet Flying Fish was a flop that didn't last long

The toy itself is basically a stuffie toy with a  bungee cord through the center, a rope end to pull on one end, and a finger loop on the other.  You pull the two ends, aim and shoot.  It sounds simple.  It made me feel stupid.  I’m glad nobody was watching as I tried to get this toy to soar “up to 100 feet” as promised.  I never got to 100 feet. I doubt I got to 25 feet.  The dogs were happy to retrieve it every time I flubbed a shot.  Each throw got a little better, but I never really achieved any distance.  As the dogs retrieved it, they naturally tried to get it from each other, and it wasn’t long before it was slobbery, and we began to have tearing in the toy.  It also got dirty pretty fast, being used outside and getting wet.

As we tried using the toy more, a plastic tube began to protrude from the center of the toy, where the bungee cord passed through.  At this point, I had to remove the toy from circulation.  First of all the tube prevented the toy from flying at all, and it was just begging to be chewed.  I guess that’s what they meant by”REMOVE TOY FROM PET IF ANY PART BECOMES LOOSE OR DETACHED. ”

So, bottom line, we were unimpressed with this toy.  It didn’t last long, it didn’t fly far, and it really wasn’t worth the price, even on sale.  This is our first try with the Hyper Pet products.  If you have used other products with better success, please let us know.  Meanwhile, we’ll go back to our old standby, the Chukit… which we love, and based on how many people we see at the beach with Chuckits, that’s the toy worth getting.

19 Nov 2010

Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Orbee Bone

1 Comment Planet Dog, Pool Toys, Rubber Toys, Ruff Toy Recommended

Durability Rating: (5/5)

Cassie's version of a security blankie

Planet Dog toys are a big hit in our pack.  The Orbee-Tuff Orbee Bone is no exception.  This toy goes from the house to the yard to the pool, even to bed with Cassie.  She loves the feel of this toy in her mouth, it’s absolutely indestructible, and (despite how it looks in the photo) it cleans up easily with soap and water, or a run through the dishwasher.

We love that this toy floats in the pool, and the two dogs have a great time fetching this toy, because it initially sinks on impact, but then floats up to the top.  And, unlike hollow toys that eventually fill up with water, we’ve never had to dig this one from the bottom of the pool.

The bone is fairly soft and flexible… almost jiggly, and it bounces when tossed onto a hard surface, as in our tile kitchen.  This gives them an extra challenge to grab it on the bounce up.  We have the size large, which is big enough for them to use as a tug toy.  In the yard, it’s heavy enough that you can give it a good long throw to tire them out with a game of fetch.

Like all rubber toys, though, beware of the slime factor!  The surface of the bone is particularly smooth, making it extra slippery when slobbery.  Ugh.  But oh, they do love it.

Makes a great pool toy too.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, Cassie needs something in her mouth whenever she’s excited or anxious.  A deer in the yard, the UPS guy, somebody in the neighbor’s yard all require something in the mouth! Any guest at our door is greeted by a wiggly golden with a toy in her mouth.  She usually goes for a stuffie toy, but this bone is makes the cut for her “security blanket,” I suppose because it is so soft in the mouth.

We’ve had this toy now for several years.  The logo on the toy is hard to read and there is some tooth wear on the bone, but other than that it’s holding up great.  Highly recommended!

17 Nov 2010

Double Action® Chew by Nylabone

2 Comments Chew Toys, Nylabone, Ruff Toy Recommended

Durability Rating: (5/5)

My first dog Seamus, could care less about Nylabones.  He wasn’t much of a chewer, although he loved real meat bones and Greenies.  Seamus was a Rough Collie and a very mellow boy.  His trainer, and my good friend, Gerilyn Bielakiewicz of Canine University used to tease us that Seamus was a reincarnation of a gentleman, and not a real dog.  So, when Cassie came along, I finally had a “real dog” and she is very INTO chewing.  She loves Nylabones, and so does Moxie.  It took a while to figure out how to shop for the right Nylabone, but it was worth the effort.

When Cassie was six months old, we took her on a two week sailing trip to Rhode Island.  I was asking a lot for a puppy to be confined to a 32′ sailboat and to curb her enthusiasm while at sea, especially when we were under sail, or in rough conditions.  We kept her safe with a good life jacket and flexible tether so we could harness her to the boat while we were underway, and she did great.  To help keep her occupied during times when she needed to stay low and quiet, I brought a variety of Nylabones.  Cassie must have been at that pivotal period between puppy chews and adult chews, because the Nylabones I bought for her weren’t lasting any time at all!

At one point in the trip, I gave her a rubber Nylabone, and within 5 minutes we had to take it away from her when she ripped a corner of rubber right off the bone.  Another time, when we were motoring through the Cape Cod Canal in fog so heavy, we couldn’t see either side, I gave her a standard Nylabone to keep her busy for the time when we all had to be on watch duty.  The bone barely lasted 20 minutes!  What the heck!?!

So when we got home, I sent a note off to Nylabone and got a great email back from them suggesting I return the packaging and rubber bone back to them, and in return, they would send me some bones that were more appropriate for her.  NICE!  What we got were all labeled “Non Edible for Powerful Chewers” in the Wolf size.  These bones made all the difference, and lasted for months until the “nubs” were worn down and the bones got replaced.  Kudos to the great Customer Service at Nylabone.

The Double Action Chew is a favorite in the Nylabone family

Now on to the Double Action Chew.  The one pictured here is our second in three years.  We’ll need to replace this soon.  This is a very hard chew on the ends, with a rubber center that is perforated.  Cassie likes to carry the bone in her mouth while playing with the rubber part (she likes that it squeaks a little from the rubber friction on her teeth), but she chews on the ends, which gets rough with splinters as she chews, and satisfies her need to gnaw.  This bone is well chewed already, and as soon as we see the hollow core in the center, the bone will be replaced.  Nylabones don’t replace real meat bones, but they are a lot cleaner than real bones, and if you want bones that are allowed in the living room, Nylabones are great.

So, when looking for the right Nylabone, follow the guidelines on the packaging… Edible means the bone is made to be digested, and these bones won’t last long at all.  We choose the ones labeled “for aggressive chewers” and also look for ones that match our dogs’ weight.  We also really like the DuraBones and will review them later.  Unlike some of the specialty toys we’ve reviewed, you can get Nylabones almost anyplace that sells pet products, even the grocery store.   Plus you can print out a coupon for $2.00 off your purchase by going to http://www.nylabone.com/about/coupons/.  The coupon featured now (expires 12/31/10) is for their new line of Dura Toys, which we haven’t tried yet.  We’ll let you know how they do!   I also signed up for their “Club Nylabone” newsletter to get more coupons and offers while at their site.

If you are already using Nylabones, tell us which ones you and your dog like best.

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