Best Dog Chew Toys

Updated July 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

28 Models Considered
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410 Consumers Consulted
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best dog chew toys

Last Updated July 2019

Dogs need exercise and physical activity just like people do, which is why it’s good to have toys on hand that will keep your four-legged friend busy. And because dogs have a natural instinct to chew, a chew toy is a practical investment that will not only keep Fido entertained, but also keep him away from your bedroom slippers and expensive leather shoes.

To meet your dog’s chewing and playing urges, you have to pick the right chew toys. That means considering your pet’s age and size, how aggressive of a chewer he is, what type of toys he prefers, and what others features would make the most entertaining and durable chew toy. There are toy bones, rope chew toys, chewy balls, and chew toys that dispense food.

Our shopping guide has all the tips necessary to choose the ideal dog chew toys for your pooch. We’ve even included some specific toy recommendations for easier shopping.

Chew toys are an ideal alternative to rawhide bones or chews, which some veterinarians advise against due to the possible threat of stomach irritation, choking, or an intestinal blockage.

Considerations

Consideration 1: your dog’s age

While nearly all dogs enjoy chew toys, your pet’s age still plays a significant role in the type of toy he’d prefer.

  • Adult dogs: Adult dogs typically gnaw on toys and other items to satisfy their natural urges to chew. For dogs in this stage of life, durability is usually the main requirement for dog chew toys.

  • Puppies: For puppies, a chew toy shouldn’t be too rugged, or it could hurt the dog’s teeth and gums. Like babies, puppies go through a teething process that can be fairly uncomfortable. A young dog may try to get relief by chomping down on any item he can get his paws on. It may be a good idea to choose puppy chew toys with a few different textures; this will satisfy his need to chew and massage his gums at the same time.

    Many dog chew toys for puppies are labeled as teething toys, so you know that they’re tough enough to hold up to chewing but soft enough that they won’t hurt your puppy’s growing teeth.

  • Senior dogs: If you have a senior dog, you should opt for toys that are a little softer. Older dogs don’t have the same jaw strength as younger dogs, so softer rubber and foam chew toys are better options.

Consideration 2: your dog’s size

If your dog is fully grown, it’s important to consider his size when selecting a chew toy. A small dog like a Chihuahua would be happier with a smaller toy, whereas a Labrador would need something larger. In fact, if you were to purchase a small chew toy for a larger dog, it could pose a choking hazard.

The solution is to choose a chew toy that matches your dog’s size. Most companies post recommended weight ranges for their toys on the packaging. For safety reasons, make sure the toy you choose isn’t small enough to fit behind your dog’s back molars. This will help reduce the risk of choking.

Consideration 3: your dog’s chewing level

There is some variation among dogs in how aggressively they chew. Aggressive chewers can often destroy less-durable chew toys in a matter of minutes, which means you’d need to buy replacement toys often. These toys can also pose a safety risk because the dog could swallow pieces that break off.

For aggressive chewers, opt for toys made of thick, sturdy rubber, which is almost indestructible. Toys made of thick rope can also work well, but be sure to choose those made of natural fibers. Avoid toys made of plush, fleece, latex, or vinyl because an aggressive chewer will have no problem destroying them.

Types of dog chew toys

While all dog chew toys are designed with heavy chewing in mind, they do come in several different varieties. Which would be best for your dog?

Chew toy bones are made of dense nylon or rubber and shaped like bones. They make an effective alternative to chew treats, which can be messy and require frequent replacement. Chew toy bones come in a variety of textures to satisfy different chewing preferences.

Rope chew toys are made of thick natural fibers or nylon and woven into a braid. These toys are good for dogs to chew when they are alone, but ropes can also be used in tug-of-war play.

Chew toy balls are made of thick rubber and can thrown and bounced like any other ball. However, because of the heavy-duty material, they hold up well to repeated chewing from your dog. They’re ideal for active dogs who like to play fetch.

Food-dispensing chew toys are made of thick rubber or dense nylon. They come in a variety of shapes and have a hollow center. You can fill the toy with small treats that fall out when your dog hits, bounces, or chews the toy.

EXPERT TIP

If threads begin to break off your dog’s rope chew toy, take it away. Otherwise, he could swallow the rope pieces, which can cause a gastrointestinal obstruction.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Inspect your dog’s chew toys every few weeks. If you notice any significant signs of damage, throw them away.


Staff  | BestReviews

Dog chew toy features

Interactive

Some chew toys don’t lend themselves to interactive play between you and your pup; they’re designed primarily for your dog to sit and gnaw on. However, there are other toys that create the opportunity for you to play tug-of-war together, such as rope chew toys and rubber chew toys with a handle. Chew toy balls are an ideal option if you and your dog enjoy playing fetch.

Flavor

Dog chew toys aren’t edible; your dog shouldn’t swallow any part of them. However, some chew toys are infused with flavors that will appeal to your dog and make his chewing experience even more satisfying. Chew toy bones are the most common flavored options, though you can find toys in other shapes, too. Bacon, beef, chicken, and peanut butter are some of the more common flavor choices.

Ease of cleaning

It’s easy for dogs to get their toys dirty, and chew toys are at particular risk because they’re usually moist, allowing dirt, dander, dust, and other debris to stick to the surface. For this reason, you may wish to choose dog chew toys that are easy for you to clean.

Chew toys made of rubber or nylon can usually be cleaned with mild dish soap and warm water. If you opt for a rope toy or another option made of a material or fiber, check to see if it’s machine washable.

Dog chew toy prices

Dog chew toys vary in price based on size and the type of chewing they can withstand. Most chew toys cost between $2 and $30.

The most affordable dog chew toys are designed for light or gentle chewers. Small to medium toys in this category range from $2 to $8, while large and extra-large chew toys for light chewers typically cost between $4 and $15.

Mid-range dog chew toys are usually meant for small to medium dogs who are aggressive chewers. They are more durable and usually cost $5 to $18.

The most expensive dog chew toys are designed for large to extra-large dogs who are aggressive chewers. They are extremely thick and durable, so you don’t have to worry about a dog with a strong jaw demolishing them. These chew toys usually cost between $9 and $30.

If your puppy is teething, try putting his chew toy in the freezer to chill for approximately 30 minutes. This can help soothe his sore gums.

Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • Never leave your dog unsupervised while playing with a chew toy. If the toy breaks or any piece falls off, take it away from your pooch immediately, as it may be a choking hazard.

  • If you catch your dog gnawing on something he shouldn’t, such as a piece of furniture or your shoe, direct his attention to a chew toy to help him understand what he can and can’t chew on.

  • It helps to rotate your dog’s chew toys, so he doesn’t become bored with any one particular type or texture. When your dog is bored, he’s more likely to chew on items he shouldn’t.

  • If your dog has a dental issue, such as a broken tooth, don’t allow him to play with chew toys. The toy could cause pain or make the dental issue worse.

Other products we considered

There are so many dog chew toys on the market that you shouldn’t have any trouble finding an option that is safe and entertaining for your dog. The Wangou Interactive Treat Chew Ball is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a treat-dispensing toy. You can add your dog’s favorite treats to its center compartment, so as he chomps down on the textured surface of the ball, he gets a reward.

We also love the Goughnuts TuG Interactive Dog Toy for large dogs who are active chewers. Not only is it extremely durable, but its double-ring design allows you to safely play tug-of-war with your pooch for some quality one-on-one time.

It’s a good idea to have chew toys for your dog in a variety of shapes and textures. Your dog isn’t as likely to get bored if he has a few different types of toys to gnaw on.

FAQ

Q. Why does my dog need chew toys?
A.
With his natural instinct for chewing, your dog will likely start gnawing on items around the house if he doesn’t have an appropriate toy to chomp down on. Chew toys can also keep your pup entertained so he doesn’t become bored and engage in destructive behavior. The toys can help your dog relax, too, by allowing him to release some tension through the act of chewing.

Q. What should I look for in a chew toy for my puppy?
A.
A chew toy for a puppy should be strong enough to hold up to repeated chewing yet soft enough that it won’t hurt your pup’s sore gums. Make sure it’s large enough that he can’t swallow it, and avoid toys that have small pieces that might fall off and be ingested.

Q. Can chew toys prevent my dog from chewing furniture and other items around the house?
A.
A chew toy can help break your dog’s habit of chewing items he shouldn’t if you have patience and are willing to work with him. Every time you catch your dog chewing on something he shouldn’t, tell him “no” firmly, and immediately distract him with a chew toy. If you do this every time you catch your dog chewing, he should eventually be able to distinguish between items he’s not allowed to chew (like your coffee table) and items that he can (like a rope toy).

The team that worked on this review
  • Arnold
    Arnold
    Writer
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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