Archive for Chew Toys

26 Sep 2012

Seamsters Rawhide and Rubber Puzzle Toy

3 Comments Chew Toys, Kyjen, Puzzle Toys

Rating: (1/5)
The Kyjen folks sent me a new toy for the dogs to try out recently; Seamsters, The First Rawhide and Rubber Puzzle Toy, by Dog Games Puzzle Toys™.  Touted to be a “Rewarding Long-Lasting Boredom Buster”, I thought this could be a great toy for my dogs.

Seamsters Rawhide and Rubber Puzzle Toy

Seamsters Rawhide and Rubber Puzzle Toy

The package states:

  • Restitchable for repeatable fun
  • Stands up to the toughest chewers
  • Cleans teeth and strengthens gums

It also claims that it is “a toy that’s meant to be ‘destroyed.’” Basically it’s a two piece rubber bone “stitched” together with rawhide stips.  The package comes with two refills for the rawhide stitching.  The bone is hollow so you can also add some kibble to the bone when you restitch it for added interest and fun.

When I gave it to the dogs, Moxie was all over it, and quickly carried off to keep it all to herself.  Cassie wanted that toy too, but Moxie was not feeling very generous.  She worked at the bone for over an hour, happily chomping away at the rawhide stitching and had a great time with it till she had all the stitching off, and the bone was opened up.  After that, she let Cassie take one half of the bone, once the “good stuff” was gone!  She’s nice like that!

Seamsters Rawhide and Rubber Puzzle Toy

Seamsters Bone is not very durable

Within MINUTES of Cassie having the rubber bone to play with, she had chomped right through it and started tearing bits of rubber off the edges. NO!  I was really excited about this toy and not at all expecting it to be destroyed in one night.  But there is was, in pieces on the carpet.  Moxie also had started to pull off pieces from the other half of the bone.

I took the bone away, much to their disappointment. The next day, I tried restitching what was left of the bone, just to get a complete review of the toy…

Soak the rawhide to restitch the bone together

The rawhide refills need to be soaked in warm water for a few minutes to soften them up.  Then you can put some kibble or treats in the middle of the bone, and stitch it up.  I was expecting this to be a messy/slimy process, but it wasn’t slippery at all.  I’m not seamstress, but I got the job done.  Would I want to do this often?  Probably not, even if the toy was more durable.  But it wasn’t the slimy icky project I was anticipating. Once the stitching is complete, you let the rawhide dry and stiffen up before giving it to the dog.

I did want to give Cassie a go at the toy, so the next day I let her have the bone to play with just until the rawhide was gone.  And I watched her like a hawk so I could take away the bone part as soon as she got it pulled apart.  After that, the toy got thrown out.

It’s very disappointing that the rubber part of the bone isn’t at all durable.  The toy itself is a good idea, but I can’t recommend it for enthusiastic chewers.  If your dog is not much of a chewer, it might work out, but do keep a close eye on it for signs of damage.  You can buy it here.

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25 Jan 2011

PawTracks TireBiter by Mammoth Pet Products

15 Comments Chew Toys, Mammoth Pet Products

Durability Rating: (1/5)

PawTracks TireBiter

Important note: We have gotten a lot of comments of dogs becoming sick after playing with this toy!  For more information, see our followup post and comments from other readers.

The PawTracks TireBiter, from Mammoth Pet Products, has been in the dog toy basket since Cassie was a puppy. It’s basically an 8″ mini rubber reinforced tire with lots of nubbys like an actual car tire. It’s very durable, and is one of the oldest toys in the bin.  So from a durability standpoint only, it’s a great choice.  I’m sure there are dogs that absolutely love this toy.  As you can see from the photo, it’s got quite a few teeth marks in it, but it’s in great shape even after 3 years.

Our dogs, however, rarely choose this toy to play with or chew.  They are willing to play with it if I select it and roll it around for them, but they don’t pick it out on their own.  Plus, they’ll switch to another toy if they have the opportunity.

I think the problem with this toy is the rubber smell. It is, after all, a real tire, and has that strong oily petroleum odor that doesn’t go away.  The toy smells like a gas station.  If I think this toy has a strong odor, I can only imagine how a dog’s sensitive nose reacts to it. They just don’t like it!

The TireBiter is also a heavy toy, making it a less than ideal interactive toy to play with in the house… it tends to land hard and bounce when thrown or rolled, so we need to be careful where we toss this toy for the dogs.  It’s a much better outside toy, but because of the nubby texture, it gets filthy from being in the yard, and then I don’t even want to pick it up!

Finally, in researching this toy, I looked at other people’s reviews on this product and saw quite a few people complain that their dogs were sick after chewing this toy, so please do your research before buying.

I’d love to hear if other people have tried this toy and have had a more positive experience with it.  It’s a great idea for a toy, but just not that appealing in our home.

Important note: We have gotten a lot of comments of dogs becoming sick after playing with this toy!  For more information, see our followup post and comments from other readers.

18 Jan 2011

Elk and Deer Antler Dog Chews

16 Comments Chew Toys, Ruff Toy Recommended

Durability Rating: (5/5)

Deer and Elk Antlers - Dog chews you can feel good about, but get the right size for your dog

My sister told us about trying deer antlers for chew toys, so we’ve been experimenting with them at our house since November. Our first try was a 5″ section of antler. At about $10, we decided to buy one and see if they liked it. Of course, we immediately learned that sharing a chewie was not going to bring peace to our household, as both dogs really liked the chew and spent a lot of energy trying to steal it away from each other.  Also, after a few weeks, we took it away, as they had worn it down to a size that gave us some choking concerns.

Our next try, at about 8-9″ and about $19.00 was much better choice for our dogs.  These chews were split down the middle, exposing the antler marrow, which the dogs loved and went after first.  What is left now is the much harder outer section, and these have been in use since November, and still going strong.  The dogs chew on them every night when they are asked to be in a long down stay while we have our dinner.

We’ve tried a lot of different animal based chews before, and the dogs are pretty happy with most of them, but we haven’t been pleased with certain aspects of  animal-based chews, including:

  • Gruesome body parts are not at all appealing and make us feel guilty and a little sick
  • There is often a fairly obnoxious odor when the chews are slobbery
  • Messy, messy on the floors
  • Rawhide and some of the other chews can be dangerous if in ingested
  • Some chews can cause stomach upset and diarrhea

Cassie waited patiently for me to give back her antler

Elk and deer antlers, on the other hand, are naturally shed each year. After shedding the antlers are collected then cut into lengths that are appropriate for various sizes of dogs. All cut edges are sanded smooth for the dog’s safety. Most antler distributors state that their antlers are harvested from natural shedding, however, some companies also use antlers obtained from deer and elk hunting season.

Deer and elk antlers are a great choice for many reasons:

    • Safer for enthusiastic chewers, and far less likely to chip, splinter or peel
    • Available in several different sizes for small and large dogs
    • Great source of calcium, zinc, manganese and potassium
    • Help keep tartar knocked down on teeth
    • Completely natural healthy dog treat—none of the bleaching, chemical processing, or dying typical of traditional rawhide bones or pig ears
  • Great indoor chew, leaves no greasy mess on floors
  • Does not stink, like hooves or bully sticks (especially important for bringing on the boat!)
  • No stomach upset
  • Most distributors will state whether or not the antler was harvested from hunting, or from the forest floor, so you can choose a completely renewable resource chew in which no animal was harmed
  • Very long lasting

Antler dog chews are available online, but we found them at our local pet supply boutique.  By buying directly, you can choose the exact size and shape that is best for your dog, as each antler is unique in size and shape.  However, if nobody sells them near you, there are many buying choices online. Give them a try and please let us know what you think!

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!

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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