Seeking indestructible dog toys

We live with two very heavy chewers, and I’m always on the hunt for indestructible dog toys.

Hard at work

Things that have held up to the shepherd chompers:

  • The black (extreme) Kong products
  • The Planet Dog ball
  • A version of the Kong Wubba that looked like a rabbit (has since died after the head was removed with near-surgical precision)
  • Nylabones

Things we’ve tried and failed with:

  • Rawhides (upset stomachs)
  • Deer antlers (upsets Pyrrha’s stomach)
  • Marrow bones (splinter so easily; also dogs lose interest quickly)
  • Anything remotely stuffed
  • Rope toys (Eden thinks the game is to rip out the threads of the rope and swallow them)

I’d like to try some more products from Planet Dog; I’ve been impressed with the strength of that ball. But I’m always looking for other suggestions!

Do you have heavy-duty chewers in your house? What products have you liked for them?

Weekend with Bo (and the ZoomGroom)

I’m trying to get as much time as possible with Bo before he moves to Florida at the end of June, so I kidnapped him for most of this past weekend.

On Saturday, we walked briskly in the rain and then I brought him back to our apartment to test out the ZoomGroom I recently bought. I know it’s not the most effective brush for hair removal, but I had heard good things about its massaging powers and how much dogs seem to like it.

Pile of my fur
Goofball, with a small pile of fur behind him. (We hadn't really started yet.)

When I pulled the ZoomGroom out, he became extremely excited. I think he thought it was a new chew toy. After he calmed down a bit, I was able to use it and he seemed to enjoy the whole process. The brush did pull off a lot of fur (not nearly as much as a Furminator), but it was still a considerable amount for such a seemingly simple product.

Dog hair
My pants, post-grooming session.

My only critique is that the ZoomGroom seemed like it just loosened up a bunch of fur instead of collecting it. After grooming for about 10 minutes, he was just covered in even more loose fur than when we started. I don’t know if I was using it wrong or what, but I definitely won’t be using that indoors again. There was fur flying everywhere!

Bo baby
He's just happy all the time.

Still, he seemed to enjoy the whole session.

On Sunday, we went back to the trail and hiked briefly with Bo and our friends Matt and Liz. I was just daydreaming the whole time about how soon I’d be able to do this with my OWN dog.

Moving in two weeks and one day! But who’s counting?

Birthday presents

My friends and family know me very well. For my birthday this past weekend, I was showered with lots of fun, new swag for the future dog:

Birthday presents.

Liz (Bo’s mama) gave me a cornucopia of wonderful dog things: The Kong toy I’m calling the “octo-bunny,” on your left, which she says has lasted the longest of any of Bo’s chew toys; the bag dispenser which is discreet and just what I would have picked out myself; the Kong Extreme, able to withstand the most devoted chewer; and the cute PetCo tennis ball.

My dear friend Eva gave me the gift card to PetSmart, which I will definitely put to good use very soon, and the dog breed handbook. We’ve both been dog nerds since childhood and spent a lot of the 10-miler together pointing out and identifying dog breeds together. Along with a lot of mutts, we successfully identified a pair of Clumber spaniels and a Gordon setter around miles 5 and 6. Such geeks.

And then my husband gave me that beautiful leather leash from All K-9, which was recommended to me by Jen from The Elka Almanac!

I am particularly excited about the leash:

Leather leash.

Jen, you’re right, it already feels soft and broken-in and I get the feeling that it will last for a long time to come. I love the brass hardware and the brass ring on the handle. Can’t wait to put this–and all of the other goodies!–to good use for the future pup.

Interactive dog toys

I like the idea of leaving my future dog with some interactive toys when we’re out of the home. I’ve heard many trainers suggest these as a fun alternative to condition a dog out of separation anxiety.

Here are a few of the many toys available that we’ll probably be investing in at some point in the near future:

The Kong

Classic Kongs.

A time-honored classic! I think the Kong may have invented the market for the interactive dog toy and I think few dog owners these days live without them. They’re indispensable to us at the shelter; we fill them with peanut butter or treats for anxious or reactive dogs. Kongs come in a variety of sizes and strengths and can be bought practically anywhere you buy pet supplies. $5.99 to $19.99 at PetsMart.

Olive Green Dog has a wide selection of high-quality interactive dog toys. Here are a few from their site that caught my eye:

Beba Toy

Beba Toy.

So adorable and so squeaky! And 20% of the proceeds go to four charitable causes. What’s not to love? $5.99 at Olive Green Dog.

Nina Ottosson Tornado Game

Nina Ottosson Tornado Game.

This is for the very serious dog with a very serious mind! Nina Ottosson makes a wide range of top-of-the-line interactive dog toys in Sweden. $57.99 from Olive Green Dog.

Tug Zogoflex Dog Toy

Tug Zogoflex Dog Toy.

These spunky toys can also be filled with treats. The Tug Zogoflex toy is nontoxic and recyclable, plus they’re bouncy and durable. They come in the three colors shown above. $15.50 at Olive Green Dog.

The Holee Roller Dog Ball

Holee Roller Dog Ball, 5".

This is a great, flexible ball that dogs seem to naturally love. It’s well-suited for filling with larger treats. On sale for $4.79 now at DogSupplies.

WARE Dog-E-Logic Interactive Game

WARE Dog-E-Logic Interactive Game.

Another fun puzzle for a dog to play with. (Even though this one looks quite complicated. I’m not sure if I could figure it out!) On sale for $23.99 now at PetCo.

Occupi Treat Dispensing Chew Toy

Petstages Occupi Treat Dispensing Chew Toy

This looks like a fun variation on the Kong. $5.99 to $16.99 at PetsMart.

Do you use any interactive toys to keep your dog busy? Any that you’d especially recommend?