Huskies and Malamutes aren’t the easiest of dogs to buy presents for, are they? No doubt they’d love anything you put before them, but the issue is, most of the traditional dog toys aren’t strong enough for snow dogs jaws. The majority of toys are destroyed within minutes; if they last an hour, then it’s a bonus. We’ve tried and tested just about all there is to offer and here are our top 10 favourite toys/brands, in no particular order.
1. Kong Toys and Food Dispensers
In my house, we have many varieties of Kong Treat dispensing toys and other Kong interactive toys.
To make the grade, they have to be tough enough to stand up to Snow Dog jaws, and they have to provide fun for the dogs.
Some of the Herd’s favourite Kongs are
- Kongs – The good old standby Kongs can be filled with various goodies, and you can free the filings to add an extra dimension of fun for the dog.
- Kong Wobbler – This big boy is a rugged plastic treat dispenser weighted on the bottom and made to it “wobble”, but it always stands back upright. Dogs have to keep nosing and knocking this toy over to get the treats to fall out—the two halves of the toy screw apart for easy filling. My dogs will knock this toy about for an hour trying to get the last treat out.
- Kong Stuff A Ball – A fun ball with lots of slots and a hollow centre to load up with yummy treats, plus the identical Kong sturdiness we have grown to expect from Kong Products.
- Kong Jump’N Jack – This rubber toy bounces around when dropped and has inviting textures to chew. The Herd loves to drop this toy down the stairs into the dog run to watch it bounce wildly. This toy has holes where you can hide some treats for your dog to find. https://www.kongcompany.com/…/rubber-toys/dental…/jumpn-jack/
- Kong Genius Leo – This rubber toy can be picked up, carried, as well as chewing on (with supervision). It also has a hollow middle to hide some yummy treats—a great boredom buster.
These are just a few of the offerings from Kong. Check out their web page to see their full line of toys.
2. Orbee Balls
In my house, Kaya is the ball aficionado. She loves to play with balls. She will fetch, chew, toss, pounce and carry around a ball, BUT they have to be “just right”, or she ignores them.
The “right” ball for Kaya has enough given to it to make it chewy, but when a ball is made too soft, she will destroy it in a blink of an eye. Orbee Ball to the rescue.
This company makes a wide variety of balls and other dog toys made with attention to detail and with our dog’s health in mind. These toys are guaranteed to be 100% made in the U.S.A and made to be toxin-free. No toxins will be found in these products. These balls and toys are created in different sizes; some glow in the dark, some have “flavour” in them, and many float in the water. There is something here sure to please even the fussiest of Snow Dogs.
While no dog toy is completely indestructible, some manufacturers produce tough, durable toys that will stay intact with adequate supervision.
Kaya has had her Orbee ball since the summer, and it is still intact and still one of her favourite balls. As you can see, she has managed to pull some of the continents off of her ball, but that did not affect the integrity of the ball in any way. Ensure you check out their toughness rating and get toys appropriate for your dog’s size and chewing strength.
Aside from making tough toys made with dog safe materials, I recommend this company because they have created their own foundation, where 2% of every sale goes to funding grants for dogs.
Planet Dog Foundation has given over 1 Million dollars for funding the training and placement and the support of service dogs for people in need. You can feel good about buying a good quality toy for your dog and supporting a company that supports such an important cause.
3. Mammoth Pet Toys
For those dogs that love the feel of chewing on something soft and cloth-like, Mammoth Chews have just the thing for your dog.
This company makes a large variety of soft yet durable knotted ropes and rope toys for dogs. There is something here to entice every kind of playstyle.
These rope toys are quite durable, and for the safety of your dog, as the dog chews away at the toy, you can cut off frayed sections and re-knot the toy. This adds to the long life of these toys.
Dogs can chew soft rope toys (it flosses and cleans your dog’s teeth too!), tossed, or tugged. Long rope toys can have multiple knots for chewing or longer lengths that can be tugged between two or more dogs. Some of the toys are even scented or flavoured for dogs.
These toys are also great because you don’t have to worry about your dog wearing his teeth down on a hard surface like with hard bones. Also a great option for senior dogs or dogs who have dental issues and cannot chew on the harder surfaces.
Mammoth Pet also makes rope toys that have been threaded through durable tire toys to add another dimension of chewing pleasure or fun free play.
In our house, we have numerous knotted rope toys, in varying lengths, available to the Herd. If you don’t want your furniture or carpeting chewed, these knotted rope toys a must. It satisfies a Snow Dog’s urge to chew on a softer texture without putting your belongings in jeopardy.
4. Tuffie Toys
As we well know, plush toys and Snow Dogs don’t ordinarily belong together in the same sentence, but Tuffie Toys makes some REALLY tough soft (to the touch) toys. And they even have squeakers in them.
The fun factor in these toys are
- Round saucers shapes for throwing,
- Double-ended tuggers especially designed for tugging.
- And plush animal shapes romping or just cuddling with.
Tuffie Toys soft toys are durable, but;
- Understand that these toys are designed for playing, not for chewing. While these are toys are built quite tough, if you allow your dog to chew, they eventually will get destroyed. In my house, we own many styles of these toys and other than a few gnawed areas of the heavy-duty black binding, these toys are still intact. Some of the toys are several years old! I never allow my dogs to be unsupervised with these toys. If someone starts to chew the toy obsessively, it quickly gets replaced with a toy designed to stand up against their chewing.
- This manufacturer assigns these toys a Tuffness Rating. Not all the models of these toys are designed for tough jaws, so make sure that you look for #10 on the Tuff Scale before choosing one of these fun toys for your Snow Dog.
The Herd gives these toys an enthusiastic Two Paws up rating. So check out their website and look at the selection of soft toys they carry. Make sure you choose a toy with an appropriate toughness rating geared toward Snow Dogs.
5. Interactive Treat-Dispensing Toys from JWPets
Nothing makes a Snow Dog happier than when you incorporate food into their fun time. And because Snow Dogs are so smart, they quickly become bored with the same old treat-dispensing toy, especially if they have already mastered it. So if you have several types of food dispensing toys and rotate them, this keeps the fun factor high for them.
These food dispensers are a big hit at our house.
- Hol-ee™ Treat Ball – It Rolls, Slides, Rotates and outcome the Treats. A fun activity for your dog and great mental stimulation. This ball has the same softer composition that you find in the regular Hole-ee Roller Ball.
- Rockin Treat Ball™ – It Rocks, Rolls, Slides and out come to the TREATS! A Playful Learning Activity. This toy has a tough nylon frame making it perfect for rugged play. Dog-Tested for long-term play!
- Treat Pods™ – Your dog will manipulate the pods and outcome the TREATS! Quiet Playful Learning. Insert treats or peanut butter. The treat pods fit and are held together tightly by the knots. The dog can spend a long time manipulating the pods to lick peanut butter or cream cheese out of these little dispensers.
The Herd gives these toys Two Hardy Paws up because they really like any toy that provides them with a food treat.
6. Treat Balls
Why profile another treat ball? Because two of the most favourite things for a Snow Dogs to do (besides running) is playing and eating treats so when dogs can combine these two activities, this kind of toy is sure to be a hit for your dog.
And these two treat balls are a little different from some of the others because they are both adjustable!! You can adjust how easy or hard it is to get the treats out of the ball, creating an extra challenge for your dog. These balls make for a great boredom buster or a great cerebral workout for your Snow Dog.
This company also makes several other kinds of treat dispensers, making sure that you check out their full line of products.
7. Kyjen Fire Hose
The Kyjen Fire Hose Toy is made from super strong fire hose material. The toy has a very sturdy outer canvas covering, while the inner side has a tough rubber coating applied to it, making for a VERY tough toy. Many of these toys also have multiple pillow squeakers inside them toys adding to the fun value of the toy.
Kyjen company produces two types of fire hose toy; a tugger and a toss and fetch toy.
When chewed, huskies will eventually eat these toys away but:
- It takes a very long time for the toy to be chewed away.
- As the dog gnaws on these toys, they can only reduce the chewed parts to small fine fibres. No large parts of the toy can be ripped off or swallowed. (If you have a toy with pillow squeakers, monitors for exposure and removes the squeaker as it becomes exposed to prevent swallowing).
- Even when parts of the toy sustain chewing damage, the rest of the toy is not compromised in safety or fun factor.
The Herd’s love these toys. We have replaced several of these toys over the years, but they are well worth the investment for durability and the fun factor rating.
8. Kyjen Puzzles
Kyjen makes many interesting dog toys, including a host of puzzling toys that your dog has to solve for a treat to be dispensed. They also make some puzzle toys that dispense balls instead of a food treat.
If the weather is too bad to be outside, if you are looking for something to keep your dog’s nose busy, or if you want to give your dog some mental stimulation, Kyjen makes a large variety of dog puzzles that are sure to keep them busy and happy. These toys are also a great way for you to bond with your dog because it helps train your dog to watch and interact.
At our house, the Kibble Drop and The Mystery Tree are big-time favourite toys.
The Kibble Drop involves dropping kibble or another small treat down through the top, and your dog has to figure out which of the four “arms” the kibble has travelled to and then they have to figure out how to get the kibble out of that chamber.
The Mystery Tree involves dropping the tennis ball down through the top of the toy. The ball then randomly travels down one of the three channels of the tree. Your dog not only has to find the ball, he then has to figure out how to open the different mechanisms to release the ball.
These toys are reasonably tough but are meant to be used with supervision. These are not toys that are meant to be chewed.
9. Nylabone Dog Chews
Before you roll your eyes and announce that you once tried giving your Snow Dog a Nylabone and they did not like it, do you realize how many different types of chews that Nylabone makes? Hard textures, soft textures, knobby textures, flavoured edible bones, and even food dispensing chews. This company is constantly creating new and exciting dog chews to satisfy every type of dog. All dogs need to chew, making sure you provide them with plenty of fun and safe chewing surfaces.
And for all the times this week I mentioned that the toys profiled were not meant to be chewed, this time, I am not going to say that. All of these toys are meant to be chewed, still with supervision, of course.
The herd have numerous products from this company in their toy box. The chews, depending on their individual hardness, hold up quite well to even hard chewing.
The Herd has many favourites, but the MOST favourite by far is the Chewy Keys. This toy was designed as a teething toy, but the Herd still loves playing and chewing on this toy. They are constantly carrying it around, flinging it, or just concentrating on chewing apart the ring that holds the keys. And once the ring has been “opened”, the keys come off and become its own chew toy. Make sure that you buy the X-Large size, so the individual keys are not a swallowing hazard.
Their second favourite Nylabone is anything with texture or nubs to it. These products give you a lot of bang for your buck because they are durable.
10. Jolly Ball
The Tug and Toss Jolly ball is made of a durable rubber bouncy material, and it has a handle made to fit dogs’ mouths. If your dog loves to carry things in his mouth, then he may love playing this ball. The handle also works well for gripping in a game of tug or for tossing this ball. This was Jhett’s favourite toy.
He loved to carry this ball in his mouth and then drop it to watch it bounce around on the deck. The handle can cause the ball to take funny, unexpected bounces and hops when dropped. This element only seems to add to the fun factor of this toy.
It took a lot of chewing time, but Jhett eventually managed to gnaw a break into the handle, BUT it did not affect the integrity of the ball. It still bounced and was still fun to play with. It comes in several sizes so that you can tailor it towards the individual likes and needs of your Snow Dog.
The second toy, also made by Jolly Ball, is called the Romp-N-Roll. It is made from the same durable rubber material as the Tug and Toss, but this ball has a hole through the centre through which durable cotton knotted rope toy has been laced. This rope allows them to pick up the ball and swing it around, and, as the name suggests, romp with it. It also makes a fun toy to tug. The rope is long enough that two dogs can play a game of tug with this ball as the “prize”.
This is one of Skylar’s favourite toy by far. He loves to swing around this ball. He even loves launching this ball through the air and then chasing it. I have seen and heard him out on the deck playing with this ball for an hour or more at a time.
When and if they gnaw through the rope, another cotton rope of similar diameter can be fed through the ball and secured by knotting the ends of the rope.
Jolly Pets makes various shapes and sizes of great quality durable balls that are sure to please even the fussiest Snow Dog. Check out their selection of toys on their site, or you can find out if any stores near you carry this brand of dog toy.
I hope that’s given you some inspiration for toys to buy your Snow Dog this holiday season. Please let us know below in the comments if we’ve mentioned any of your dog’s favourites.
Helping ALL Snow Dogs … one owner at a time.