We tried MANY different toys prior to finally settling on compressed raw hide bones, like the one he is snuggling with above. Most plastic and/or rubber toys he can shred into 1000 tiny bits in 5 minutes or less, thus wasting my time and money. String/knot bones and plush toys are the same way, and he sometimes chokes on the fibers if they get stuck in his mouth and throat. Greenies, Bully sticks, and other bones that are for chewing and eventually swallowing, only last a few minutes as well. He just eats them like they are a snack.
Even the toys that many Petsmart salesman tell me are for "strong chewers," or are "indestructible" are no match for my 14 pound wonder wiener!
Of course, I did my research prior to giving my pup the raw hides, and was met with mixed reviews. Some say that they are somewhat dangerous, because they can contain traces of toxins, left over from the cows. To that I say, OK sure, whatever. He runs around my grandfather's farm and all over our friend's property with cows and other animals. He is a country dog and has been exposed to other animals for most of his life, so I don't worry about that at all!
The other main argument against raw hides, is that they can cause GI or stomach upset when pieces of it break off and are swallowed. Naturally, I don't want to cause him more harm than good, but he only swallows TINY pieces during his one-hour-plus long chew sessions. The boy usually chews himself to sleep, and I check the bone, it doesn't get much smaller with one chew...usually about a 1/2 inch smaller over the course of a week or two. I feel like this is much safer than him chewing and swallowing an entire greenie bone and pooping green for 2 days, or swallowing the fluff out of a plush squeaker toy and hacking up stuffing all day.
All in all, I feel like I make the right choice by giving him these bones. He loves them, and the extent to which he can sit there and just chew for hours on end if he needs to really soothes him. The only complaint that I would have is that they can be very messy. The spot where he sits usually has a thin, slimy layer of goo from his slobber and the bone. If he is on the couch or my bed, I'll just put a towel under him and he is good to go. If he is in his own bed, then he just has at it.
What is your dogs favorite chewy? Anyone else have monster chewers?