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Make a Reusable Toy for Your Hard-Chewing Dog

Updated on September 19, 2014

Does your dog love to disembowel, chew, and destroy toys? So does mine, and here's how I made a great re-usable toy that he loves.

Badger's a big dog, and he likes to work delicately and persistently until he has all the stuffing out of a toy. Even heavy canvas won't stop him. And he can crunch up hard plastic. It became too expensive--and hazardous--to keep buying him toys that only lasted a few minutes, so he's been chewing on hooves and rawhides. But I still wanted him to have something a bit challenging to play with.

Then I heard this great idea about stuffing a Hol-ee Roller toy full of rags and few treats, and letting the dog pull them out. That sounded like something Badger would enjoy (he likes to steal rags and chew them) so I bought one and tried it out.

I cut an old T-shirt into wide strips and wrapped a few treats up in one end of each strip. Then I stuffed them into the holes in the toy, leaving the other ends sticking out so Badger could get started. He loves it! He grabbed the ball and carried it off to his mat, where he worked and tugged until he got all the cloth out and found the treats.

Note that the Hol-ee Roller toy by itself, while durable, is not indestructible--nothing is! I wouldn't just throw it empty to a hard chewer and leave him alone with it. But since Badger first saw it filled with rags, he doesn't try to chew on the toy itself. He just pulls the stuffing out and drops the toy. Then I can stuff it again for next time.

This looks like it may well be a long-term, reusable toy!

Treats in the Hol-ee Roller Toy

Sometimes I just push some dog cookies through the holes in the toy, with maybe a couple of strips of dog jerky. These won't come back out unless Badger can break or tear them, which is a challenge in the soft flexible ball. The exercise is good for him mentally and emotionally, and it's lots of fun for me to watch, too!

More Tough Toys

More tough-long lasting toys for dogs who love to tear things up! Please remember that NO toy is indestructible - if your dog is strong and destructive, use them under supervision. Organic chewies like hooves, antlers and rawhides are good for a hard chewer; just make sure he isn't swallowing large bits.

Dean and Tyler Small Bite Tug, Fire Hose, Size 8-Inch by 4-Inch
Dean and Tyler Small Bite Tug, Fire Hose, Size 8-Inch by 4-Inch

Fire hose has the reputation of being extremely tough and makes a good tug toy for a hard chewer.

Chuckit! Ultra Ball
Chuckit! Ultra Ball

Bouncy rubber balls that are much tougher than tennis balls. You can use them with a tennis ball thrower.


Badger Playing

KONG Extreme Dog Toy, Large, Black
KONG Extreme Dog Toy, Large, Black

The classic chew toy! Soak your dog's dry kibble in water, then stuff it inside the Kong and freeze. Your pooch will spend all day chewing.


© 2014 Valerie Proctor Davis


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    • profile image

      Angie 3 years ago

      Thank you! I found this post a while ago and right away ordered the Hol - ee roller ball for my lab. He loved it from the moment he first got it! We put treats in it and cut up t-shirts and even just play ball w/ it. I loved it so much that the next time I saw the breeder we got our lab from I told them about it.


    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      Your Badger sounds like my Buster - death on stuffies! I will absolutely give this clever idea a try, thank you!

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 4 years ago from California

      Your dog sure looks like he's having fun with this.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      I love all kinds of toys that help with chewing - it can be a big problem with dogs.