A kong is a classic dog toy. It’s one of those toy types that your dog can use from their puppy stage to old age – as long as they can chew, they can use it. After all, kongs come in a variety of sizes and can be washed easily. You can just toss them in the dishwasher or use some warm water, dish soap, and a bottle brush to get them clean.
Stuffing them is a breeze, too – just fill them with something your dog loves to eat, and you’re good to go. Ultimately, kongs are great for dealing with issues like teething, separation anxiety, boredom, weight management, and crate training. But as with all chew toys, there’s always a lingering fear that your pet will destroy them in some way and even hurt themselves in the process. This is especially an issue if your dog has a history of eating things like corks and foam balls.
So can your dog destroy a kong? Can they end up eating it? And if so, what should you do if this happens? Well, these are all questions we are going to answer today.
Can Dogs Destroy Kongs?
Yes, dogs can destroy kongs. This is particularly common with dogs who are power chewers. These are dogs with strong jaws which are aggressive with their chewing and can shred through most toys quickly.
Because of the existence of power chewers and light chewers, kongs come in a variety of types, depending on rubber strength. For instance, the puppy kong is made of soft rubber that is only suitable for puppies, beginners, and light chewers. On the other hand, the senior kong is made of rubber that is a little tougher and is designed for light chewers and aging dogs. And as expected, the classic kong is made of regular durable rubber that is great for most adult dogs and average chewers.
So if your dog is a power chewer, they will quickly shred through any of the above-mentioned toys. Ultimately, the only option for you is the Extreme kong – this aggressive chewer dog toy is made of tougher, more durable, and less malleable rubber. In the rare occurrence that your dog can still chew through this toy and destroy it, you will need to give up on kongs altogether, at least for now.
What Happens if A Dog Eats a Kong Toy?
If your dog eats a kong toy, it can choke them or cause a bowel obstruction. This can cause them pain, nausea, diarrhea, dehydration, loss of appetite, bloating, and vomiting. If left untreated, this can be life-threatening.
In cases where your dog successfully swallows the kong toy and has an obstructed bowel, neither solids nor liquids will be able to pass through their gastrointestinal tract. This blockage will reduce blood flow to the region and cause some parts to deteriorate. Also, it will lead to absorption of the toy’s contents. Fortunately, kong toys are free of toxins like bisphenol A (BPA).
While it’s rare for a dog to eat an entire kong toy in the first place, it can happen when large dogs play with small kongs. That’s why it’s important to buy a suitable size of toy for your dog and quickly replace it when your dog outgrows it. The kong website even has a size guide to help you out.
What Should I Do if My Dog Swallows a Part of A Kong?
If your dog swallows a part of a kong, take them to the vet immediately. The vet will try to retrieve the object or induce vomiting before things get too far. Never try to induce vomiting on your own at home, though – this can choke your dog.
If your vet discovers that they can see the part of the toy that your dog swallowed, they will safely pull it out by hand – if your dog is fussy, they may need to sedate them, though. But if the foreign object has already made it to your dog’s stomach, they will give them an injection that will induce vomiting or opt for endoscopic removal. On the other hand, if it’s blocking the intestines, they may opt for surgery.
Before they do anything, though, they will have to ascertain where exactly the kong piece is in your dog’s body. To do so, they will do a physical exam, ultrasound, X-ray, or endoscope. So the sooner you get your dog to the vet, the better. Also, to avoid this situation altogether, don’t let your dog play with a kong when you’re not around to supervise – keep the toys away when you leave the house.
What Dog Toy Is Stronger than A Kong?
While kongs are pretty strong, they aren’t the strongest options available. Stronger toys include Goughnuts MAXX 50 Ring, West Paw Tux Stuffable Treat Toy, and Arm & Hammer Treadz Gorilla. The first one is not only the strongest but also the healthiest option for your dog.
West Paw Tux Stuffable Treat Toy is one of the strongest and most versatile toys out there. Not only is it made of tough rubber that is suitable for aggressive chewers, but it also has a treat-dispensing design that will keep your dog amused for hours. Also, its shape makes it a great toy for dogs to fetch. On the other hand, the Arm & Hammer Treadz Gorilla is strong, dishwasher safe, and infused with baking soda that reduces plaque and freshens your dog’s breath.
There are several reasons why the Goughnuts MAXX 50 Ring is the best kong alternative, though. For one, it is made of the same type of reinforced rubber that astronauts use. Also, it is designed to keep your dog’s mouth open as they chew it, reducing leverage on the jaw and maintaining the healthiest position. Beyond that, it comes with a lifetime warranty – you just have to send it back to the manufacturers when it’s time for a replacement.
While they aren’t perfect, kongs are pretty strong and reliable toys – this is why they have been the golden standard for decades. So if your dog destroyed a kong toy once, it doesn’t mean you need to stop buying these toys altogether – your dog could have eaten any other toy. Instead, it could be more effective to ensure your dog has the right size of toys and train them against swallowing them. If worst comes to worst, though, try out the Goughnuts MAXX 50 Ring – it could be just what you and your dog need!