Most Dura Chew “bones” are made from tough nylon plastic-like material. Ranked on the “Chew-Style Meter,” these are on the extreme chewing end and come in many shapes, sizes, and flavors. Every dog is different and sometimes it’s hard to know what they’ll like.
When it comes to a chew toy and how effective your dog will be at destroying it, we find that the larger Dura Chew toys are most effective and will last the longest. Nylabone recommends smaller bones for smaller dogs but we find that even our min-pin happily is able to pull off a victory lap, running away from the other pups with the giant Power Chew XL Turkey Leg or the Chicken Monster Bone clenched in his jaws.
After a few months of intermittent use, they’ve chewed the narrow knuckle end off but there’s still plenty of life left in this one as shown below:
The classic Nylabone Power Chew (usually sold in a twin pack) is shaped like a bone and many dogs love how easy it is to chew these but we found they wore down pretty fast. Our dogs loved them even when they were wearing down and sharp on one end. We discovered just how painful they were when they were found the usual way you find things buried in the couch, chewed into sharp little prison shanks. However, they are a good introduction to harder bone toys for smaller to medium sized dogs and if you limit the amount of time your dog chews on them, you may find they last a little longer.
If your dog just loves the classic long bone shape, a more durable Dura Chew option is the Flavored X-Large Souper. We recommend the bacon flavor, it was consistently chosen over the chicken or peanut butter. This one has a gnarled knuckle like shape on the end with nubs below it on one side and ridges on the other.
The Dura Chew Rawhide Alternative Femur Toy was also a huge hit with our pups. These have a textured element on the outside but are molded in one piece. It looks a little odd, but these are attractive to dogs you are weaning off rawhides who might like a little extra flavor and texture. Again, we recommend the larger sizes of these for most dogs. As you can see, these ones wear down nicely and the textured outer surface wraps around the entire underlayer.
Buy This, Not That
Remember that your dog does not have thumbs and being able to brace or somehow grip the bone to get a good solid chewing session going plays a big part in how much he’ll like it. The “ergonomic” category of Dura Chew bones had some real duds.
Getting a bone our dog could hang onto was our intention with the Nylabone Double Bone Power Chew Long-Lasting Toy, but it was cumbersome and we realized quickly that the design was seriously weak- the “bone” tan portion of the bone was on the verge of coming off. Most Nylabones are made in the US, but upon closer observation, we realized this one was made in China. Have a look at the weak points. Fellow consumers had similar issues and worse when this toy broke apart. This Dura Chew is a majorly flawed design so please do not buy it!
Buy this instead: The Nylabone Ergonomic Hold & Chew Wishbone offers a shape your dog can grip between his paws and a safer design.
Of course we all like the idea of our dog getting his teeth brushed while he’s chewing. Unfortunately, the Nylabone Double Action Power Chew Durable Toy dropped the ball. A “bacon” flavored bone with an “EZ Carry Minty-Fresh Center” initially had our test dogs looking at us like we’d lost our minds. This one has a weird odor. Once somebody did have the courage to (reluctantly and only because it was the only bone around) give it a try, the Minty Fresh Center was in bits within 15 minutes and we had to clean up all the pieces as fast as we could before the dog could eat them. This one is made in China too, unfortunately. Avoid!
Tips for Use:
- When considering harder chew toys for your dogs, you’ll want to be sure you’re supervising chew time, and rotate out toys periodically to give their gums, teeth and jaws a break. Some dogs can compulsively grind and chew and excessive grinding on hard toys or surfaces may cause dental problems down the road.
- Choose a large or extra-large Dura Chew Nylabone for your dog if he chews up medium sizes too quickly. Our small 13 lb dog prefers the larger sizes believe it or not.
- If you have multiple sizes of dog in your household, never, ever buy a Dura Chew bone smaller than what the largest dog would chew. The little guys will make it work.
- Dura Chew Nylabones should be washed regularly in hot water.
- If you have multiple dogs, have multiple Dura Chew Nylabones. Dogs love these and will compete for them.
- Have a safe place you can put Nylabones when they are not being used and never leave your dog alone with one in a crate.
- All things in moderation: Be sure to watch your dog closely and see how he chews on these. Pace him if he goes berserk with it and take it away after a short period of time. Some dogs are compulsive/emotional chewers and don’t have the sense to stop chewing even if it makes their mouth bleed and if there are sharp edges chewed into the toy with excessive chewing, it may nick his gums and jowls.
- If your dog is able to break the Nylabone into pieces or shards, take it away. Most Nylabones break down into small chips of the nylon with steady gnawing but some dogs can’t safely chew on them. One of our readers reports that he files sharp edges off his dogs’ Nylabones as they chew to keep them safe and rounded for his pups.
- If your dog has chewed the bone down to where it’s small enough to fit into his mouth (or one end can go far enough into his mouth where it could cause him to choke or be harmed if it’s sharp) it’s time to throw it away (when he’s not looking of course) and replace.