We’ve used Kong toys with our family pets for years – over a decade in fact. They’re a brilliant enrichment toy, but even the black extreme range for power chewers is no match for Frank.
When you have two dogs that need the largest sizes available, it can get pretty pricy toy keep buying toys you know your dog will chew the top off in less than half an hour, so we’re always keen to test more affordable alternatives to see what else is on the market.
I spotted some Kong dupes in B&M a few weeks ago, priced at £3 each. The Tough Stuff range claimed to be ‘tough and durable’ with a ‘unique outer texture that helps to remove plaque and tartar build up while chewing’. I picked up two treat dispensers and two tyre toys for Phoebe and Frank to sink their teeth into, to see how they fared against the Kong range.
Now, with Kong, the black rubber toys are tougher than the red, but I couldn’t tell any difference between the durability of the red and black Tough Stuff toys. I bought the Scamps one of each colour – a black and red tyre, and a black and red treat dispenser.
The tyre survived quite well in the durability test – Phoebe and Frank both loved the toys and were pottering around the garden with them. They’re really bouncy (even on grass) so it was easy to get them interested in the toys by bouncing or rolling them on the grass. The tread of the tyres did seem like it would be pretty good for dental hygiene like the packaging suggested, too.
Frank soon decided he was going to pull the tread off the tyres, and quickly did, whereas Phoebe pulled small pieces from the inside of the tyre wall. However, they were still in one piece after half an hour, and were able to be put away for another play time.
The treat dispensers, on the other hand, did not last quite so long. After filling each of the dispensers with a selection of treats from the jar, Phoebe spent the next 10 minutes bouncing the toy around to release the food in a fashion that’s pretty standard for these kind of enrichment products. But for Frank, such a method would have taken him far to long. Instead, he chewed the top off to create a bigger hole to access the treats. I mean, he’s nothing if not innovative, right?
In conclusion, both Kong dupes were well priced and would certainly last a smaller dog a long time. We found the tyres to be much more durable than the treat dispensers, regardless of colour, and would be happy to buy these again in the future too. They seemed to find them more fun, and interacted with them more than the treat dispensers. You could even use these as a treat dispenser by spreading peanut butter inside the tyre and adding treats, which could be frozen for even longer play time.