I'm careful about what Casey eats- we buy a food made in Indiana with human-grade, American ingredients. Thanks to that, I don't have to worry about recalls of Chinese-made dog food, and Casey stays healthier. It's a win-win. Why wouldn't I apply the same standard to his toys, which he also puts in his mouth and (often) eats? Purrfect Play makes organic dog toys right here in Indiana, using fair-trade, dye-free materials. I'm a fan already. But, would Casey be?
I warned Pam of Purrfect Play that no cloth toy stands up to Casey. I've mentioned our trouble with finding Casey toys before. We can give him hard bones (which he'll play with for a while, but then get bored with), heavy-duty toy ropes (which he eventually shreds), Nylabones (which he eventually destroys) or tennis balls (which he pulls the fuzz off, and eventually destroys) and that's it. He doesn't like chewing rubber (Kongs) and he eats rawhide too quickly and it makes him sick. And, techically, though he still plays with it, a plastic pumpkin isn't a dog toy. When we first got Casey, my parents brought over their late dog's old toys, and they all lasted about half an hour. Combined. Seriously. Toys made of cloth do not hold up to my furball.
Pam sent us a cloth toy anyway- a "dumpling" she's developing for heavy chewers. This was a heavy-duty toy. The heavy canvas outer layer was two layers thick, and inside the half-moon-shaped canvas there was a corduroy-like half-moon, with stuffing and a squeaker.
Casey took his testing and reviewing responsibilities very seriously. (See his serious face below)
His first impression: "A new toy?!? This is AWESOME!!"
He decided it was good for throwing (kind of like a boomerang or frisbee) and good for tug-of-war, since it was fairly heavy-duty. Josh helped him test this "feature":
He gave the toy a good workout that first night. he carried it along with him on a walk, the whole way, and wouldn't even put it down for a belly rub:
Above, I mentioned that other cloth toys have lasted about 30 minutes with him- if that. This lasted about 48 times as long. Twenty-four hours later, the canvas layer and inner layer had been chewed through, and squeaker in the core of the toy had been liberated.
I tried to document this with the camera, but Casey would only let me have the toy for a second, and watched me very closely while I held it. Like I said, he took his reviewing job very seriously. This hole appeared after about 15 minutes of play.
Here's his final report:
- Material - This would hold up to most dogs, I truly believe.
- Shape - The flat-ish shape made it good for throwing and tug of war. Also, it only had two corners, which seem to be the parts that get chewed open the fastest.
- Squeaker - With Casey, this is always a Pro
- Organic - When he shred or ate parts of this, I didn't worry about what he was ingesting.
- Really, the only downside is that he chewed through it.
This ball has been amazing. Unlike tennis balls, he hasn't tried to chew through it. Unlike all his other toys he likes us to throw, he'll actually drop this one for us- the rest, he makes us wrench from his mouth. The ball is a great size for him- slightly bigger than a tennis ball- and light, but solid wool. I was afraid he'd try to pull the fuzz apart, and he hasn't! Another thing I like about this is that it came with instructions for washing it- if it does start to get fuzzy, I can wash and dry it to pull it back together, like new! It's going in with our next load, for a test run, in its own little washer bag. This is seriously great, and is holding up beautifully (which is saying a LOT, considering how hard Casey is on toys!)
Casey encourages you to check out Purrfect Play for dog and cat toys, as well as information on why organic, natural toys matter. Because I've learned about healthy toys for Casey, I'll have a hard time going back to the grocery-store variety, because I now know there are other options out there.
What does your pet play with?