Super tough, 'indestructible' dog toys can help keep your puppy or dog happy for longer and can save you money and stress.
Safe, sturdy dog toys are a necessity for puppies, and also for older dogs who still love to chew.
The bad news is that no dog toy can be guaranteed to be completely indestructible, however the good news is that several do come very close!
You might think it's just the big dogs who need super tough toys, but that's not the case!
Large breeds such as Labradors, Boxers, Pitbulls and Rottweilers have strong jaws and are known to be dedicated chewers (and destroyers of toys). But other breed types such as herding dogs and terriers can wreak havoc on toys as well, and high energy dogs of all types often use up some of that extra 'oomph' with aggressive chewing.
Anxious or highly-strung dogs also often chew with gusto because it's a natural stress-relieving behavior for them.
I've been a dog-mom to Rottweilers and Italian Mastiffs, and currently have a large German Shepherd and a mid sized herding breed mix, and I can tell you that the majority of dog toys out there are NOT designed for these kind of power chewers.
But those decades of experience have paid off, and on this page I share the super strong dog toys that can go the distance.
It can take some practice to recognize a tough dog toy!
Loads of dog toys look strong and sturdy, and many are marketed as 'chew toys', but the majority will not survive any serious chewing on Fido's part.
So, how do you know if the toy you're buying is tough, or even safe, for your pet?
While there are no 100% guarantees that a specific toy will stand up to what your dog can dish out, here's what to look for if you want a dog toy that is as indestructible as possible..
Some companies are known for manufacturing super durable, safe dog toys which are designed for aggressive chewers.
Of course there are other companies which make tough dog toys, but these are the ones which are well known for the quality of their products.
The material/s a dog toy is constructed from, and how it's put together are very important when it comes to durability.
Toys made from cheap, generic rubber tear easily.
Hard plastic toys can be broken or splintered.
Soft toys which are made from non-durable fabrics with single sewn seams will be torn apart by a power chewer in seconds.
So.. what are indestructible dog toys made from, and how are they put together?
Look for tough durable materials (often trademarked) such as....
With soft toys look for several layers of stitched seams and multiple layers of extra-strong fabrics (preferably with chew-shield plastic or laminate between layers).
Toys that are stuffingless are safer and less messy.
Squeakers should work even when punctured and be firmly embedded in the toy.
Some good choices include.....
If the dog toy you're considering isn't from a recognizable brand like those listed, be wary and do your homework before purchasing.
When you're trying to choose indestructible dog toys, size really does matter.
It's a situation where bigger is always better.
It's pretty easy to get toys which are relatively big for small dogs, not always so easy for the big 'uns... and they're the ones who usually need the toughest playthings.
My rule of thumb is 'if in doubt get the next size up'.
It's stood me in good stead for decades.
If your pup is a large breed, or has especially powerful jaws (like a APBT or Boxer, for example), then it's important to stay away from the cheaper plastic, rubber or soft toys.
Likewise regular tennis balls.
None of these will stand up to Fido's dedicated chewing.
Also, soft/plush/stuffed toys. Even the toughest fabric dog toy will have a limited 'shelf life' compared to other types of indestructible chew toys, and Fido needs constant, and close, supervision while playing with them.
Super tough dog toys come in a variety of materials, shapes, sizes and more. Some are instantly recognizable, others are less so.
Whatever size, age or breed of puppy or dog you're buying for, there's bound to be one (hopefully several) indestructible dog toys here that be perfect for him.
Variety is the spice of life so having a selection of different toys that you can rotate will help to prevent him from becoming bored with his options.
One of the most famous names in indestructible dog toys is Kong.
The original, heavy-duty rubber Kong Toys have been around since the 1970's and are the original tough dog toy designed to stand up to the company founder's German Shepherd.
They're SO good that they're still market leaders today!
There are now a whole host of sizes, shapes and colors to choose from, and it's difficult to find something more entertaining to your dog than an original style rubber Kong stuffed with something tasty and frozen for a few hours.
Now THAT's a tough dog toy!
The product line now also includes 'soft' toys of different descriptions, these aren't as sturdy as the rubber toys, but they're still superior in terms of standing up to wear and tear, than most similar designs.
Here's a look at some of my favorite Kong dog toys.....
Luckily this type of Kong can be stuffed with food or treats, which provides your busy dog with an extra layer of challenge... and a prize for all his chewing!
Peanut butter or Kong's own easy-treat paste are good options, but variety is the spice of life and the more you can vary the filling for your dog's Kong, the more play value and enrichment he will get from it. I have some of the best Kong stuffing ideas on this page and some insider tips for how to use the recipes (all tried, tested and approved by my dogs!).
If your pup or dog loves rubber toys, the unpredictable bounce of an original Kong like this is added play value.
Puncture-resistant, non toxic and dishwasher safe.
Sizes: Small 3" - Medium 3.5" - Large 4" - XLarge 5" - XXLarge 6"
This classic Kong shape is also available in the recognizable red rubber, and it is also available in X-Small (black Kong Extreme does not come in XS).
Made from the same black, extra-durable Ultra-Flex™ rubber, the Kong Extreme Goodie Bone is another great option for chewing, and stuffing!
If your pup or dog just enjoys chewing on rubber toys (with or without tasty treats inside) there are a couple of other Kong choices, including the Kong Extreme Ball , the Kong Extreme Ring, Extreme Tire and the Extreme Dental toy (all available in sizes XS through XXL).
You might also want to check out these two options:
Made from the original red high strength plastic polymer, the Kong Wobbler is a strong, durable chew toy with a fun treat dispenser built right in.
Interactive toys are great for keeping dogs occupied, and this one has the added benefit of being 'Kong tough', a winning combination.
It's very easy to fill and dishwasher safe.
Available in Small 6" or Large 10.5"
However this is not a chew toy as such, and could potentially be broken or destroyed because it's made from a type of plastic rather than rubber. It is a versatile toy and provides mental stimulation as Fido has to figure out how to get the treats/kibble out!
The Kong Wubba is a bit different, it's interactive tug-and-toss toy is made from two balls (a tennis ball and a squeaker ball) covered in extra-tough, heavy duty nylon fabric.
Dogs love to pull and chew on the long legs/tentacles and the fabric can handle a lot of chewing. It's also easy to throw and less messy to get out of your dog's mouth than your average ball.
But, from personal experience I can tell you that the Wubba is not in the same league as the extreme (or even original) fillable Kongs or rubber toys in terms of durability.
My big dogs have yet to destroy one of these, but my smaller herding breed mix chewed off a tentacle within 30 minutes. That is obviously a choking, or blockage, hazard so supervise Fido if he's playing with one of these.
Just about every dog loves to play with a ball, whether it's a soccer ball, a tennis ball or a squeaky ball... they're all hot favorites.
BUT finding a ball that can go the distance with a power chewer is a challenge because some balls can be downright dangerous for them (regular tennis balls or small hard plastic/rubber balls included).
Choosing a very durable ball for Fido to play with is only half the equation, the other half is to make sure it's the right size! A ball that is too small is a choking hazard. Always size up if in doubt.
As a multi dog household we've been through a number of different types and sizes of balls including the Kong Extreme ball featured above, here are the others that get a thumbs up from all of us....
Because the Hol-ee Roller is so flexible, your pooch can't really get a good 'grip' on it, and the unexpectedness of this is half the fun!
Bright colors make this ball easy to find when Fido refuses to bring it back (or maybe it's just my dogs who do that!).
Both balls and launchers are available in a variety of sizes, so there's one to suit every dog.
Planet Dog make a whole host of tough dog balls and toys which come in a variety of shapes, sizes and designs.
For power chewers you need to pick those which have a '5 out of 5' durability rating which includes the original Orbee-Tuff Orbee Ball (also available as Orbee-Tuff Ball with Rope) and the Orbee-Tuff Diamond Plate Orbee Ball
Originally made for horses to play with there is now a range of Jolly Balls designed especially for dogs.
One of our Rottweilers adored this, next to his bowling ball it was his favorite!
These Jolly Pets Ball are available in a variety of sizes (4.5", 6" and 8"), as well as different colors and designs.
The Jolly Pets Tug 'N Toss is made from the same super-tough material and has a molded handle. It's perfect for the biggest dogs and floats too.
Just one caveat with these, the rope is the weak link if you have a power chewer, so always supervise your dog with any toy which has a rope component!
The Jive Zogoflex ball just might be the closest thing you'll ever find to an indestructible dog toy!
Made from West Paw's proprietary Zogoflex material which is super-strong, bouncy, BPA-and-Phthalate-free and totally recyclable,.
This is a ball which truly doubles as a chew toy.
100% guaranteed by manufacturer against damage and available in bright fun colors and three sizes: 2", 2.6" and 3.25"
The extra-tough dog toys featured below are a selection of the ones I think are among the best options and these durable dog chew toys have been tried-and-tested by our multi dog household.
Benebone chew toys are a great alternative to the more well known Nylabone chew toys.
This brand also makes it's dog chew toys from nylon and adds flavor to make them even more attractive to Fido.
Our house favorites are the Wishbone, Bacon Stick, Fishbone, and Tripe bone but there are other options as well, available in a variety of sizes and flavors.
Nylabone Big Chews for Big Dogs are a designed specifically for power chewers.
Made from extra-tough nylon, flavored, and oversized, they're especially suited for dogs over 50lbs... but medium sized aggressive chewers can enjoy them too.
In my experience these are a little too big, and hard, for most puppies but the adult dogs really love them.
Lumabone chew toys are available in six designs, some of them sized for dogs up to 140lbs.
These nylon-based chews are made exclusively in the USA, ergonomically shaped to make it easier for Fido to keep a grip on them and flavored with 100% food grade flavoring.
These are a really great option for those power chewers.
The Lumabone 'Bulkster' is available in sizes small thru Colossal (for dogs up to 140lbs), and in both bacon and beef flavors.
Added venison flavor makes it a win-win.
Personally I'm not a fan of giving my dogs real hooves, bully sticks and pig ears inside the house because they're so smelly and messy so this alternative is good news for me.
Nylabone chew toys are definitely loved by my crew, and they come in a variety of sizes, shapes and flavors so it's easy for me to give them several options to choose from.
The favorites (in addition to the Antler and Big Chew featured just above) include the Chicken Wishbone, the Textured bone, the Chew Ring and the Bison Bone, all of which are made from the rigid nylon. My dogs also love Nylabone's Flavor Frenzy chew and although it's made from softer rubber material, it holds up extremely well and offers a change of texture (which is hard to find when your dog can destroy just about every toy known to man).
Antlers are a healthy, natural source of minerals and don't get smelly or messy the way some other natural options do. Their rough surface also helps to minimize tartar build up.
For the dedicated power chewer I'd suggest whole (unsplit) antlers as they're unlikely to splinter or break. The split antlers tend to be a little more enticing to dogs who really want flavor with their toys, but they're not as durable.
Water Buffalo horns are another great, natural, durable option for power chewers. They're not as messy or smelly as pig ears, bully sticks etc. but they do have a little odor while being chewed, and some of the darker ones may stain light colored fabrics.
Other horns such as lamb horns aren't as durable as water buffalo horns and I wouldn't recommend them for determined dogs who have strong jaws.
Filled natural bones, hooves and horns are very popular with most dogs.
They're a bit messy, and you need to watch out for tummy upset if Fido eats all the filling in one go, but as long as you choose the right size (big enough that your dog can't put it in his mouth whole) they can make a good occasional treat.
This category of indestructible dog toys features a selection of sturdy toys which can give your aggressive chewer hours of fun... but which are not necessarily as super-tough as the Kongs, Nylabones, balls and bones listed above.
As I pointed out towards the top of this page, soft toys simply aren't as durable as many other types of dog toys... sad, because so many big dogs LOVE them.
Here are the last few tough dog toys that I feel deserve to be on this page and will be thoroughly enjoyed by your dog.
This Goughnuts Power Chew Ring is a virtually indestructible dog toy.
Designed by engineers and composed of several layers of proprietary rubber compound.
The outer layer is either orange/yellow/green or black and the inner layer is red.
The black Maxx Goughnuts (like the one featured) contain engineered carbon reinforcement for added durability.
IF your dog manages to chew through the outer layer and reach the 'red means stop!' layer, you can return the toy under the company's 'Lifetime Guarantee' and get a free replacement.
The new PetQuerks Flavorit nylon barkbone is designed specifically for aggressive chewers and has tiny holes which you can fill with peanut butter (or anything else similar that your pup loves).
Although they're already infused with tiny 'flavor cells' which make them super tasty. his gives a boost to play value and taste.
Available in a variety of flavors and three different sizes.
Personally I've noticed that PetQuerks toys are not quite as durable as Nylabone or Benebone, and my dogs are able to chew/scrape pieces off more easily.
Not enough, or big enough pieces, for me to be concerned but an observation.
These chew toys are dishwasher safe and easy enough to clean by hand using a small brush or the kitchen faucet spray attachment.
So, I'll start by saying that over decades of dog ownership I've never found items in this category that came close to being indestructible chew toys in the way the other featured above do.
However, there are some made from super durable materials, with double or reinforced stitching, which have been designed for aggressive chewers.
Just please be aware that they will all be destroyed sooner or later and you're paying for a limited period of enjoyment for Fido! It could be minutes, hours, days or possibly longer and I'm okay with that from time to time :)
Also... ALWAYS SUPERVISE YOUR PUP/DOG WHEN CHEWING ON THESE TYPES OF TOYS.
The basic Kong Wubba toy looks like a bit like an octopus. Made with two balls (one squeaks), covered in tough, ballistic nylon with reinforced stitching, and ending in four dangling 'tentacles'.
It isn't designed to be a chew toy, and is recommended for interactive play with power chewers. For this it is great.
If your dog loves to chew on fabric toys, this one is fairly durable and as long as you supervise that play it can hold it's own for a while.
But do watch out for those tentacles, because if they are chewed off and swallowed they could be very dangerous and cause internal damage or an obstruction.
Outward Hounds' Fire Biterz Lizard is a tough little critter that your dog will love.
Made from multiple layers of tightly woven, rubber coated, super durable material (the same kind used for firehoses).
Stuffingless design limits the eventual clean up for you, and the heavy-duty squeakers which keep squeaking even after being punctured keep Fido happy for longer.
HuggleHound's Knotties Raccoon dog toy belongs to another range of soft dog toys which stand a chance of not being destroyed almost immediately.
Made from several layers or fabric and using HuggleHounds' patent-pending Tuffut Technology process for extra durability.
No external seams, machine washable.
Outward Hounds' Invincibles Plush Snake is one tough guy.
He's made from two layers of super-tough fabric including the Dura-Tuff lining, reinforced double seams and squeakers that keep squeaking long after they've been punctured.
No stuffing which means less mess for you to clean up when he does eventually succumb to your dog's efforts to tear him limb from limb (well, snakes don't have limbs but you know what I mean).