How indestructible a dog toy is depends on the dog who’s playing with it. In the end, every toy can be destroyed by the most patient and overzealous canine.
In other words, there’s really no such thing as an “indestructible” toy. However, if a toy’s lifespan can outlast 100 play sessions, then that might just be a toy worth replacing when it finally does bite the dust.
Fabric and Plush Toys
Does this sound familiar? You buy your wiggling girl a new plush toy, pull off the tags, hand it over and — boom! — 20 seconds later, your living room looks like a pillow exploded. And that new plush toy is just another mess to clean up.
Plush toys are popular because they’re easier for dogs to grab and play with than their rigid rubber counterparts. Extending the life of a plush toy can be tricky.
If you’re tired of plushies lasting less than a minute in your home, try these options:
1. Unstuffed Toys
Sometimes it seems that the allure of removing the stuffing is all that makes our fanatic pups so destructive. Plush toys without stuffing allow Sparky to shake and toss a soft toy without the urge to disembowel it.
2. Rope Toys
These have the potential to greatly outlast stuffed toys. Rope toys are tightly braided and knotted, meaning your dog is going to be able to chew through it eventually — but chances are, she’s going to tire out a couple times before destroying it.
The drawback? During your dog’s life, rope toys will leave little strings all over your floors, which means cleaning after each playtime.
3. Extra Durable Stuffed Toys
Some plush toys were created specifically for the overzealous dog and are meant to withstand rigorous abuse. Tuffy brand toys (affiliate link) are made with layers of plastic and luggage material beneath the soft exterior to extend the toy’s life. Other brands have created synthetic canvas materials that are more difficult to rip and puncture.
Although not as soft as traditional stuffed toys, they might be exactly what your pooch needs.
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Rubber and Nylon Toys
More durable and less messy than stuffed dog toys, rubber and nylon toys can be the ideal solution for an aggressive chewer. Although these toys are usually rigid and better for chewing than tossing around and playing, the heavy-duty rubber can withstand a lot and may have the longest life span of Spike’s toys.
If you find that your dog doesn’t like trying a hard toy, you may consider one that is part fabric and part rubber, such as the Kong Wubbas. Or you can begin with softer rubber toys that are easy to toss and shake, then work your way toward the heavier products.
When you’re shopping for durable rubber and nylon toys, look for these well-known brands:
Let’s face it: Dog toys aren’t cheap. And that cost only gets more frustrating when the toys don’t last more than an hour. In many cases, the more durable the toy, the more expensive it becomes. So what do you do to keep Patches busy between buying those super-tough toys?
One option is to make your own toys. Don’t go dusting off the sewing machine. All you need is some old clothes that you don’t want any more:
- Tube socks
First things first. Remove buttons, zippers, drawstrings, etc. You want heavy fabric, and that’s it. Now, take a couple of pieces and tie them into big, tight knots. If you can, attach multiple pieces so that you have a floppy toy with lots of really tight knots. And that’s it!
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It won’t be indestructible but will last a while, especially if you were able to tie many tight knots and had multiple shirts (or whatever clothing) to include. What makes these homemade toys the best, though, is that they’re free.