March 6, 2011
I've been buying Nylabones for years, and I find them ideal for curbing destructive chewing habits, easing boredom, and keeping teeth in good shape.
There are so many varieties of Nylabone toys that it can sometimes seem overwhelming to anyone purchasing them for their dog(s). Start out by considering your dog; size, personality, & chewing style. (Nylabone provides this chart, if you need extra help.)
I have the best results with plain ol' Nylabones. (Souper size, original flavor. Flavored ones wore out much faster than I liked.) For Isabella, who is an aggressive chewer, I tend to lean toward the Dura Chew sub-type. - (Edit: I do not care for the healthy edibles sub-type. These don't last long for Isabella and we end up with chunks broken off.)
Above is what's known as a Rhino, also made by Nylabones. They are a strong, barely flexible material (not at all like Nylabone's Flexi-chews!) and for whatever reason this was not a hit with Isabella. I paid a decent price for this particular toy and she has ignored it from the get go. I'm not sure of the basis for her dislike of this toy, but she wants nothing to do with it. (Edit: This toy ended up going to one of my parents' dogs. Bubby (A.K.A my main man) simply adores this bone and loves to chase it. To each dog their own, I suppose!
Moving on to safety concerns....
Like any toy, Nylabones carry risks if not used properly. There is no such thing a completely safe toy.
Nylabone says pieces no larger than a grain of rice can be ingested without issue, and in fact, the idea behind Nylabones is to wear down the edges a little bit to better help clean teeth.
Make sure you're buying the appropriate size for your dog. Don't buy one that's too small simply because it's cheaper! If you're providing your dog with a bone that's too small it will increase the chance of your dog biting off pieces that can be harmful.
Aggressive chewers should not be left unattended with any toys - Nylabones included. As another risk commonly associated with these toys are broken teeth. I try to pay close attention to how rough Isabella is chewing, intervening if I think she's getting too overzealous.
As for when to toss Nylabones? I say, listen to your gut. If you feel like it might be worn down a bit too much - toss it! I would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to my dogs.
I have never had a problem with Nylabone products, nor do I know anyone who has. Our vote? They're in our home to stay. (Edit: In my comment section you will find a couple less than positive experiences, don't forget to give those a read as well. Fair is fair, afterall!)