3 Reasons Your Dog Chew Toy Fails

Fifteen minutes after she gave it to her dog, it was shredded and scattered across the living room floor. It was a cute poop emoji pillow I found on clearance at a local pharmacy. I bought one for my Labrador puppy, placed it in her crate at bedtime, and she snuggled with it all night. My neighbor bought one for her adult Golden Retriever. She handed it to him after she walked in the door and he immediately loved it to death. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. We should have seen that coming.

Like all retail products, dog toys are created to satisfy a need. Dogs need to chew because it reduces anxiety and boredom. They enjoy time spent chewing on a toy. It is hard to guess exactly how long a chew toy will last, but some factors cause a toy to fail quickly.

Love me long time

When it comes to dog chew toys, I have high expectations. I want it to last forever. Reality is that chew toys are not designed for unlimited abuse. Chew toys have a lifespan that is influenced by the customer. Give a toy to a dog for a 30-minute play session once per day and the toy can last for weeks. Leave the same toy on the floor unattended and it is destroyed in hours.

Size really does matter

If a chew toy is wrecked in one short session, you underestimated your dog and not the toy. Your dog is strong and determined. Be proud. Buy your dog a bigger chew toy. It is hard to choose the right size. You must shop according to a Goldilocks principle, not too small and not too large. If a chew toy is too small, the dog destroys it quickly. If it is too large, the dog loses interest. Come on. Where is the satisfaction in chewing something indestructible?

Not a plaything

Then there are the plushies, a category of toys dog owners treat like Tootsie Pops. Three bites and your dog chews through to the fluffy center. Your dog cannot resist these soft toys that are not really meant to be chewed up. Unfortunately, stuffing material causes serious internal damage when eaten. Plush toys are best used as comfort items, carried like a trophy or snuggled like a pillow. They may even be useful for a game of fetch. If your dog cannot resist chewing up soft items, then game over. Get rid of these toys for good.

So, you misjudged the type of chew toy to buy for your dog. It is disappointing, but not the end of the world. Revisit these three factors the next time you shop and you will do better. Now if only my neighbor had taken these factors to heart. Poop emoji pillow could still be with us. R.I.P. sweet plushie.

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