Sunday, September 14, 2014

Isaac's Top Toy Recommendations

I've frequently said that Isaac is a champion chewer.  He is quite skilled at chewing toys of all types to bits.  Still, we've found a few toys that last a long time and are nearly impossible to destroy.

One of the first toys I bought my dog, before I even brought him home, was a Kong. A Kong Classic, to be exact. Bright red, firm rubber, shaped sort of like a cone. They have a hollow center, perfect for filling with peanut butter or stuffing with treats.  

Isaac now has two Kongs, the classic one and another that looks just like it except it’s made of ever sturdier black rubber. The black one is known as a Kong Extreme, designed for the most powerful chewers. The reason I bought a second Kong is because in the summer when it’s hot out, I fill his Kongs with a mixture of plain Greek yogurt and peanut butter and then freeze them for a cold treat. I bought the second one so he can enjoy one while the other is being frozen for later.

The first Kong I bought now has some tooth marks in it, but he’s yet to chew off a bite, and he’s had that toy for more than a year. I think I spent about $15 on it and that may have been the best $15 I’ve ever spent. Isaac loves his Kong. He loves both of them, really. Sometimes he takes them to bed with him. He’ll gnaw on one for a while before dropping off to sleep and later I’ll see him snuggling up to it while he sleeps.

They are also great for playing fetch with because they bounce in crazy ways. I throw it in one direction but Isaac never knows where it’s going to go. He likes it best when I put some sort of treat in it. Well, I’d have to say he likes it best when I put part of a hotdog in it. It is one of his favorite toys, though.

Nylabone makes a number of toys that are supposed to stand up to powerful chewers. I bought the DuraChew Hollow Stick toy at the same time I bought Isaac’s first Kong, and like that Kong, Isaac still has his Hollow Stick. It’s designed so that tiny bristles are raised during chewing and those bristles are supposed to help clean dogs’ teeth. Both ends of Isaac’s Hollow Stick are sort of squashed from many hours of gnawing, but he still has the Hollow Stick more than a year after I bought it and still likes it.

The Hollow Stick was supposed to be bacon-flavored when I bought it. I imagine some of the flavor must be gone by now. Since it is a hollow toy, treats can be stuffed inside it. This morning I stuck a piece of hotdog in Isaac’s and he spent the whole morning chewing on the stick, trying to get the hotdog out.

I know the thought of a toy pickle for a dog seems ridiculously silly. I was at Petco one day, looking for a specific type of treat dispensing ball for Isaac, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for. I did, however, come across a treat dispensing pickle. It’s made of green rubber and has little pockets in which you can stuff treats or kibble. Isaac likes it best with tiny bits of hotdog in it, but then, Isaac thinks hotdogs are the most wonderful food in the world.

Isaac adores his pickle. I think it is his favorite toy, with his Kong coming in as a close second. When I bought it, I had no idea how much he would love it. He’s had it for several months now and gnaws on it frequently and it doesn’t even have any tooth marks on it. I think it’s truly indestructible.

My only complaint about the pickle is that little bits of food get stuck in the pockets and it’s not real easy to clean the pockets out. I wash the pickle when I’m doing dishes and use a cotton swab to get down inside the pockets. It’s worth the hassle, though, because Isaac loves it so much.

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