A dog can never have too many chew toys (and if they feel that they don’t have enough, they’ll make their own out of the most valuable items in your house). Chew toys satisfy your dog’s primal need to chew, while also staving off boredom and giving them a healthy outlet for anxiety.
However, many of the options you see on shelves at the pet store are little more than overpriced junk that will fall apart in seconds.
In the reviews below, we looked at a variety of toys and rated them on durability, fun, and more. Our top picks should entertain your dog for hours at a time, while also ensuring that your shoes and couch stay protected from their chompers.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||KONG Extreme||
|Best Value||Petstages Dogwood Stick||
|Premium Choice||Starmark Treat Wheeler||
|Nylabone DuraChew Dinosaur||
|USA Bones & Chews Cotton Rope||
The 10 Best Dog Chew Toys — Reviews 2021
1. KONG Extreme Goodie Bone Dog Toy — Best Overall
KONG is the first name in dog chew toys, and for good reason: Their stuff is nearly indestructible. That’s true of the Extreme Goodie Bone as well, as it’s made of thick, tough rubber. Your pup can gnaw on this for ages without making a dent — and it won’t make a dent in their chompers, either, as it’s gentle on both teeth and gums. It’s designed for power chewers, and it’s one of the few toys that may actually be able to stand up to them (you’ll still need to monitor your dog, of course).
The bone-like design should pique their curiosity, and like most KONG toys, it bounces erratically when thrown, making it good for games of fetch.
There are holes at each end, so you can stuff it with a treat or fill it with peanut butter to ensure that it captures your dog’s attention. Just be sure to wash it out when they’re done, because it can grow mold if left alone for too long.
It may not have as many bells and whistles as other chew toys, but if you want something that will give you the most value for your buck, you can’t go wrong with the KONG Extreme Goodie Bone.
2. Petstages Dogwood Stick Dog Chew Toy — Best Value
Owning a dog causes you to do all sorts of wild things, and we can understand if you think paying for a stick is one of them. After all, there are thousands of sticks outside for free.
The Petstages Dogwood Stick is better than your average branch, though. It’s made of real wood, combined with a synthetic material that makes it more durable and less likely to splinter. It’s totally safe if it gets ingested, and it also has a real wood smell to it, ensuring that it will attract your dog’s attention. It’s great for outdoor fun, as it’s easy to throw and catch, and it will even float if it lands in water.
Its low price point makes it the best dog chew toy for the money. If your dog isn’t already interested in chewing on sticks, though, this toy is unlikely to change their mind. It’s also not the most durable toy in the world, which isn’t surprising, given its low price.
The Starmark Treat Wheeler gives your dog added incentive in the form of a dental treat stuffed inside the toy itself. This ensures that they’ll give the toy their undivided attention whenever it comes out.
Once they’ve successfully eaten it, you can replace it with another of the company’s treats or fill it with kibble if you prefer. This gives it a ton of replay value.
If it gets nasty from all that chewing and licking, simply pop it in the dishwasher, as the entire thing is dishwasher-safe. It makes the whole thing incredibly easy (not to mention sanitary).
The material is rubber-like, but it’s not actually rubber — it’s stronger. In fact, it’s virtually indestructible, making this toy perfect for any determined chewer.
Of course, that also means it’s not cheap, but given how much use you’ll get out of it, it’s worth every penny. Also, smarter pups may not have much of an issue getting the treat out in a hurry (if you have a Great Dane, then this obviously doesn’t apply to you).
The Starmark Treat Wheeler is one of the toughest, most engaging toys on the planet, and if it were a little bit cheaper, it’d be a strong contender for our top spot. As it is, though, it will have to settle for third.
4. Nylabone DuraChew Dinosaur Dog Toy
Your dog may think you’ve given them the Nylabone DuraChew Dinosaur because you want them to be entertained, but we know the truth: It’s actually great for cleaning their teeth while they gnaw on it.
Shaped like a little thunder lizard, it’s covered in nubs that dig in between the teeth and gums to clear away plaque and tartar while they munch on it. This serves to increase blood flow to the gums as well, which should help keep the entire area healthy.
The strange shape also keeps dogs entertained, as there’s a variety of corners and crevices to explore. This sets it apart from traditional bones and sticks.
The DuraChew doesn’t simply rely on its distinctive shape to get your dog’s attention, though. It has a slight chicken flavor, so your pup should have every reason to pop it in their mouth.
It’s not edible, though, so you need to be sure to pick up any loose pieces that pop off. It has a few sharp edges as well, and it could potentially jab your dog and cause bleeding if they’re not careful.
One other issue we had is that it’s quite small, even in the larger sizes, so it may not be the best idea for a giant dog.
The Nylabone DuraChew Dinosaur is a fun and healthy diversion for most dogs, but it’s not without its flaws. We like it — just not enough to rank it in the top three.
5. USA Bones & Chews Cotton Rope Dog Toy
This rope toy from USA Bones & Chews has something that sets it apart from all the other cotton ropes out there: two hunks of bone wrapped around the middle.
As a result, this toy is great for both chewing and playing tug-of-war, giving you a little more bang for your buck. Just be careful, as the bones can be painful if your dog whacks you with them.
The two bits of bone have been specially cooked to minimize the risk of splintering, and they don’t have any chemicals or other artificial ingredients in them.
We can’t say the same for the rope, however, so if your mutt decides to focus their energy on that, you’ll have a mess on your hands. You’ll also need to be constantly picking string out of their mouth to ensure that they don’t swallow it.
The bone pieces are fairly small, which isn’t an issue as long as they stay on the rope. If your dog destroys the cotton, though, they can also work the bones off and potentially choke on them.
The USA Bones & Chews Rope is a fun and versatile toy, but it’s not something you can just give your dog without supervision.
6. Nylabone DuraChew Textured Ring Dog Toy
The Nylabone DuraChew Textured Ring basically looks like a big treat, albeit one that your dog isn’t supposed to eat. It’s strictly for gnawing on.
It’s not just for chewing, though. You can toss it or roll it, making it fun for games of fetch. Also, when your pooch brings it back, you can grab one end of the ring and enjoy a spirited game of tug-of-war.
It has multiple raised edges, allowing it to dig in deep between your dog’s teeth and gums. This also gives it an unpredictable texture that your mutt should love.
Don’t expect it to last long, especially if your dog is a power chewer. It can break off in sizable chunks, so smaller dogs need to be monitored, as those chunks can serve as choking hazards. While it’s chicken-flavored, many dogs don’t seem to care for the taste.
All in all, the Nylabone DuraChew Textured Ring is a fun toy for some dogs, but it doesn’t quite have the staying power to warrant a higher ranking here.
7. Benebone Bacon Flavored Wishbone Dog Chew Toy
The Benebone Wishbone has a bacon flavor, so you can imagine how your pet will likely feel about that.
That flavor comes from real bacon, so you don’t have to worry about the use of strange chemicals or artificial additives. The real flavor definitely seems to be a hit with most dogs — but it’s a tease, as this thing isn’t supposed to be eaten.
There’s more to it than just its taste, though. It has a fun design that lets you and your pup both get a good grip on it, making it ideal for tug games.
The Wishbone won’t last that long, though, and that’s likely to be exacerbated by its addictive flavor, so you might not feel like you get your money’s worth out of this toy. You’ll also need to watch your dog like a hawk while they chew on it.
Each toy is fairly large and heavy, even the small ones, so toy breeds may be overwhelmed.
The Benebone Wishbone is a fun toy with a great flavor, but it may not provide enough entertainment to warrant you parting with your hard-earned money.
8. Busy Buddy Bristle Bone Tough Dog Chew Toy
The Busy Buddy Bristle Bone (say that five times fast) has a variety of textures that should keep your dog entertained, but it also has serious flaws that make it difficult to recommend.
The two bone-shaped ends are made of hard plastic, and they unscrew to give you access to the bristles, rubber rings, and rawhide treats inside. The idea is that your dog will chomp on the treats, while cleaning their teeth on the rings and bristles in the process.
The problem is that it’s easy for your dog to take this thing apart, and once they do, you have multiple choking hazards on your hands. You have to watch them extremely closely while they’re playing with this thing.
The treats don’t last long, either, and once they’re gone, there’s little to hold your pooch’s interest. You’ll either have to continually replace the rings (which is both expensive and fattening) or find a new toy after a few minutes.
We appreciate what the manufacturers of the Busy Buddy Bristle Bone were trying to do, and it’s actually fantastic for cleaning teeth — for as long as it lasts, anyway. It just has too many design flaws for us to consider ranking it higher.
9. Outward Hound Triple Jack Chew Dog Toy
The Outward Hound Triple Jack is colorful and enticing, but unfortunately, it can’t quite live up to its lively exterior.
It looks like a giant jack and has multiple protruding handles. There are three squeakers inside, which makes it quite tempting. The squeakers all make a different sound as well, so your pup should have a different sensation every time they chomp on it.
Of course, none of these will last that long, as the thing is made of flimsy plastic. Serious chewers will have it deconstructed in minutes, and squeaker-hunters will likely be able to rip out every single one in about the same amount of time.
It makes a mess when it’s destroyed, and you’ll have to vacuum up a ton of plastic pieces because you don’t want your dog to swallow them. The plastic has a strong odor to it as well.
We wanted to love the Outward Hound Triple Jack, as it’s incredibly fun and colorful. The durability just isn’t there, though, and it won’t last long enough for you to get your money’s worth out of it.
10. JW Pet Dogs in Action Dog Toy
Chewing is in your dog’s DNA, so what better way to celebrate that than with this double helix-shaped dog toy from JW Pet? As it turns out, there are quite a few better ways to celebrate that fact, as this toy has more than its fair share of problems.
It’s made of thin strips of rubber, so it won’t take your dog long to wrap their teeth around it and snap it in two. Expect to find large chunks of rubber strewn across your carpet minutes after giving it to your pup.
It’s a small toy, so it’s not suitable for larger breeds. It does have stretch to it for tug-of-war, but just know that it will snap back with a vengeance whenever one of you lets go.
You can’t really put treats inside it either, so if your dog doesn’t take to it immediately, there’s not much you can do. We suppose that you could smear peanut butter on it, but even then, it shouldn’t provide much in the way of entertainment.
This JW Pet toy may be fun for a few minutes, but don’t expect to get much more than that.
If you can only buy your dog one chew toy, we think it should be the KONG Extreme Goodie Bone (of course, we also think you should buy your dog dozens of chew toys). It’s incredibly durable while also being gentle on teeth and gums, and there are plenty of ways to have fun with it.
A close second is the Petstages Dogwood Stick. It’s made of material that’s safe to ingest, while also being less likely to splinter than an actual stick. It’s fairly inexpensive as well.
Giving your dog a new toy is one of the great joys in life, but it can quickly evaporate if your dog destroys it in seconds or refuses to play with it. We hope that our reviews will make it less likely that will happen to you, as several of the toys above have been given canine seals of approval.
Remember, even if you get a dud, your dog can always have a blast destroying the packaging.
Featured image credit: Myriams-Fotos, Pixabay
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Dog Chew Toys — Reviews 2021
- 1. KONG Extreme Goodie Bone Dog Toy — Best Overall
- 2. Petstages Dogwood Stick Dog Chew Toy — Best Value
- 3. Starmark Treat Wheeler Tough Dog Chew Toy — Premium Choice
- 4. Nylabone DuraChew Dinosaur Dog Toy
- 5. USA Bones & Chews Cotton Rope Dog Toy
- 6. Nylabone DuraChew Textured Ring Dog Toy
- 7. Benebone Bacon Flavored Wishbone Dog Chew Toy
- 8. Busy Buddy Bristle Bone Tough Dog Chew Toy
- 9. Outward Hound Triple Jack Chew Dog Toy
- 10. JW Pet Dogs in Action Dog Toy