The Best Indestructible Dog Toys, According to Hundreds of Tests
Jul 07, 2023
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Aggressive chewers are no match for these tough toys.
Imagine this: you get home from the store, so excited to share with your pup that you just bought him or her a brand new dog toy. Your dog gives their best happy dance and excitedly takes the toy from your hands and runs away to play while you put away whatever else you bought on your shopping trip. When you turn around approximately 10 minutes later, that toy you just bought is nonexistent: it's shredded into tiny pieces of fabric and stuffing all over the floor.
If you've found your way to this article, then there's a pretty good chance you've found yourself in this exact situation. That's because most dog toys aren't made for super tough chewers, and if you've got a dog that's been known to destroy a toy in mere minutes, then you need to invest in truly indestructible dog toys. The problem? There's a good chance you already know this, but many of the toys that are marketed as "indestructible" are no match for truly tough chewers.
For an aggressive chewer, you need to be on the hunt for toys made of rubber, ballistic nylon, or hard plastic, with reinforced stitching and multiple layers of fabric, if possible. But, we've made it easy on you. Instead of spending hours scouring the internet reading about every toy on the market, you can save tons of time by just reading below. We've tested hundreds of dog toys, with testers of all breeds and ages, and, let us tell you — they were brutal. Most toys didn't make it out alive, but a few did. And we're here to share the winners.
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Parents of tough chewers have a love/hate relationship with plush dog toys. Our dogs obviously love them, but finding one that'll last more than 20 minutes can be impossible.
While no plush toy is ever going to be truly indestructible (meaning it'll last years), there are a handful that are better than others. In our home, an indestructible dog toy is one that lasts 6+ weeks. Even though we know our dog will destroy them, they're one of her favorite types of toys, so it's a cost we're willing to eat every couple of months.
Of course, we have to include a disclaimer here: if your dog is prone to eating the stuffing or fabric from plush toys: do not give them these toys. Ingesting stuffing or fabric can lead to a host of gastrointestinal issues, with some including surgical intervention to fix.
With all of that said, Fluff & Tuff toys take the cake for our testers. After weeks of playing, this little rabbit has yet to show even a single hole, and that's because Fluff & Tuff uses double-stitched reinforced seams and a double mesh interior lining. So while the outside is a fuzzy, soft exterior that dogs love, the interior stands up well to gnawing and gnashing.
Additionally, Fluff & Tuff embroiders on eyes, so you won't have to worry about Fido ingesting any beads (which are also harmful). And if they do happen to eat some of the stuffing, Fluff & Tuff uses a non-toxic stuff that should make it easier on dogs to flush out.
For a toy that's guaranteed to tire them out with absolutely 0 effort from you (we know, we're lazy!), the Tree Tugger is what you want in your arsenal. It's a great option for both dogs that love to fetch and/or those who love to play tug-of-war, because it gives them a little bit of both!
Our dog is an intense fetch fanatic and has incredible jaw strength, and this toy has held up to her daily playing for months. The bouncy bungie cord is made of a ballistic nylon that can take even the strongest dogs yanking on it. Trust us, you should be more worried about your tree limb than this cord.
The cord attaches to an includes ball that has a hollow center and a hole running through it. I wouldn't describe this ball as indestructible when used by itself, but, attached to the bungee cord, it won't rip. Also, you can add any ball or toy that you can tie to the bungee cord. So if your dog has another one they love, then add that!
My 9-year-old Lab mix is a very aggressive chewer. We learned early on that anything with stuffing would get destroyed within minutes, and we have tried countless "indestructible" toys that he has managed to destroy. The exception is the black line of Kong toys.
The Kong tire comes in two sizes (small and medium/large). The inside of the tire is designed for filling, whether you stuff it with peanut butter or your favorite Kong treat filler.
We bought it for him in December 2020, and it remains free of any bite marks or blemishes. It's a great fetch toy, but he really just loves to carry it around and chew on it.
My dog loves a hard plastic bone, but we've found that most just don't hold up to her chewing. And while we're okay buying a new Benebone every few weeks, we started to worry about if she might be ingesting actual plastic pieces. Needless to say, we swapped in this trio and they've held up better than any we've had before.
There is absolutely no softness to these bones, so we don't recommend them for young or small dogs. But since there's no softness, they hold up incredibly well to even the toughest chewers. After a full year of use, these definitely have dents and scratches, but they're not at all worn down.
This trio comes in three flavors, and our dog seems to love them all. While the ring and bone have a more smooth feel, the wishbone has a bit of grit in the texture that she seems to prefer. Overall, the design of each is targeted towards different types of chewers. She tends to love the wishbone shape in most chews, so I'm no surprised it's been her favorite with these.
Here's my disclaimer with these: she still prefers a Benebone over these. But these Nylabones have held up much better to her chewing, and they are a close second to her beloved Benebone. So, the switch was worth it.
The classic Kong is a great choice for any dog. It's bouncy, fillable, and durable. But the standard red version was no match for my dog. But the black Extreme version, marketed for serious chewers, has held up really well.
Like the standard version, the Extreme Kong comes in five sizes, from small (for dogs up to 20 pounds) to extra-large (for dogs 85 pounds and up). Kong makes filling for their toys, but you can easily use peanut butter or some kibble. But our dog is happy to chew on it with nothing inside.
According to my Amazon history, we purchased this toy for my Lab mix back in 2019, and it still looks brand new after countless hours of chewing. If you're only looking to buy one indestructible dog toy, this is it.
Sick and tired of your dog ripping that brand new set of tennis balls you just got him? Same, which is why investing in a Goughnuts ball is 100% worth it. And, yes, we say invest because these toys are definitely not cheap. But they do come with a lifetime warranty, and their name of "virtually indestructible" stands true.
No matter how much your pup loves shaking and biting into this ball, there's honestly no way they'll destroy it. It's just that tough, which a feature not all dogs will love. Since this ball is essentially bite-proof, it has very little give. If your dog likes a little bit of chewiness or to have a better grip on their toys, then they might prefer Goughnuts Power Chewer or Power Chewer + balls instead.
Another feature that might be tough for some dogs to get around is that this ball doesn't float due to the dense rubber it's made of. If your dog loves to play fetch in water, then you'll want to opt for the Power Chewer + ball, instead.
Yes, this is the third Kong toy on this list! But when it comes to indestructible dog toys, they are really hard to beat. Buying a dog toy only to have your four-legged friend destroy it within minutes is frustrating (we've been there!), so we stick with what we know will work.
Our recommendation is to look for the black Kong toys labeled "Extreme" if your dog is truly an aggressive chewer. The classic red versions are probably fine for most dogs, but mine really needs the extra durability of the Extreme version.
The hard rubber bone has openings on the ends if you want to fill it with treats, but for my dog, the most fun game is dropping it under the bed so his humans have to crawl down and retrieve it. (Available in two sizes.)
The short answer: it depends on the type of toy you're looking for.
If your dog likes rubber toys that may not squeak and that they can't rip into, then you're in luck: there are some really great rubber dog toys that are truly indestructible (mentioned above!).
But if they prefer plush toys, then it's best to set your expectations before buying: these toys will eventually get destroyed, so it's more about how long they can last before that. Toys that shred too easily are incredibly dangerous for your dog (we'll talk more about that later) and are a total waste of your money, so you'll want to look for a plush toy that's designed for aggressive chewers and de-stuffers. We love Fluff & Tuff brand for these.
Well-constructed rope toys should last a decent amount of time with aggressive chewers, but we wouldn't say a rope toy will last years. For starters, they can get pretty gross over time. It's easy to wipe done a plastic bone or rubber toy, but rope toys are harder to clean. And, more importantly, once they do start to unravel, they are insanely dangerous for your dog, which is why we opted not to include them here.
There are two elements that make a dog toy truly indestructible: the materials and the production process.
Many indestructible dog toys that really hold their weight are made from rubber, sometimes even ballistic rubber. This is incredibly difficult for dogs to rip and shred, but some dogs aren't interested in rubber toys. They are usually hard and have little for dogs to nibble on, so keep that in mind when shopping.
Plush toys, on the other hand, are usually made from a ballistic nylon that stands up against gnawing and gnashing. Additionally, most plush indestructible dog toys have multiple layers of fabric, so your dog will really have to take some time to get to the plush interiors. We also look for reinforced stitching and embroidered eyes and noses on plush toys.
Other than the fact that you're wasting money in the long run constantly buying new toys that your dog destroys in less than a week, it can be incredibly dangerous for your dog to completely destroy a toy.
Ingesting parts of dog toys can pose some major gastrointestinal issues to your pup, some even fatal. The easier your dog can destroy a toy, the less time you have to take it away from them when it becomes unsafe.
Rope and plush toys are notoriously dangerous for tough chewers because they're so easy to pull apart and the contents can be dangerous. Individual threads from rope toys can get tangled in your dog's GI tract and may have to be surgically removed. The same goes for strands of fabric from plush toys, but they pose an additional risk thanks to the stuffing inside — it can gum up in their GI tract and become very difficult for them to pass naturally.
Cheap rubber toys can also be deadly. If your dog easily shreds one and eats some of the rubber pieces, they might not be able to pass it naturally. Without veterinarian intervention, this can completely clog their colon and have fatal results.
We don't say all this to scare you, but to be sure that you're mindful of your dog. If you have a tough chewer, it's more than about saving money — you need to buy indestructible dog toys because they are truly safer for your pet. You may need to ditch the rope and plush toys for a while until your dog knows how to handle them, as well.
Hannah Jones is the Commerce Editor for Country Living. Her eye is always on the next up-and-coming products to include in gift guides and she's ready to test everything from dog beds to garden tools for product reviews. When she’s not scoping out the latest and greatest items on the market, you can find her hanging with her two rescue dogs.
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