PetFitness Blog – Pet Exercise, Workouts & Fitness Tips for Dogs

Is Nylabone Good for Dogs?

I’ve searched the Internet near and far in my quest to find the ultimate bite-proof chew toy, and I always come across the chew Nylabone. The name isn’t new to me, in fact, I’m almost always referred to it when I ask for the “strongest chew toy you’ve got” at the local pet store.

So, I finally decided to try it. I have a 1-year-old, 60-plus-pound Goldendoodle called Louis, and he’s got the mouth of a rabid piranha. I was curious to see how long the Nylabone would last my nibbly friend.

For those who haven’t heard about the Nylabone, it’s a hard, plastic toy (often shaped like a bone) that comes in different sizes and flavors. It is meant to provide your dog with a long-lasting chew, keeping them occupied while also helping with stress and anxiety, destructive chewing, weight management, training, and, of course, boredom. 

Nylabone offers 3 different types of chews, depending on how intense your dog’s chewing is. I ordered the strongest one, the Nylabone Power Chew (traditional bone), and patiently waited for Amazon to deliver it. Would it be able to withstand the surprisingly relentless jaws of my sweet Doodle, or would it be obliterated like so many toys we’ve lost along the way? Only time would tell, and so it did… very quickly.

Upon receiving the Nylabone, I made sure to look up the instructions before handing it over to Louis. A general rule of thumb, according to the Nylabone website, is to replace the bone as soon as the knuckles wear down, or as soon as it becomes too small for the dog to chew safely. And so I handed the bone over to Louis, and let him live his best life. Within 10 minutes, I kid you not, I had to take it away from him. This was after catching a glimpse of blood on an edge that, within 10 minutes, had already become perforated by Louis’ teeth.

I began to ask myself, “Why is it a ‘nonedible Nylabone’ anyway if the website says it’s okay for your dog to chew it until it’s small enough to swallow?” “For the knuckles to wear down, Louis would need to gnaw and eat this supposedly ‘nonedible’ bone to get them there. What is this bone even made of?”  As I pondered to myself while staring mortified at the bone’s bloody edges, the Nylabone concept started to feel flawed, and pretty unsafe. 

Upon doing further research, I decided to refrain from the Nylabone altogether, and here’s why:

  • The perforated edges, big or small, can lead to a dog’s gums bleeding as seen with Louis
  • The hard plastic could possibly fracture a dog’s teeth
  • Nylabones are made from thermoplastic polymer nylon, and when plastic is left in the sun, it can become very toxic
  • Your dog could bite off a chunk and ingest it, which could possibly lead to bowel obstruction or backdoor damage
  • Nylabones easily get contaminated with bacteria and need constant and proper cleaning
  • Unfortunately, some Nylabones are made in China, so it’s important to get the ones made in the USA

Sure, there’s guidelines the company gives you to ensure you have a pleasant experience with the bone, but I’d rather be safe than sorry! Plus, besides the Nylabone and other chews, there’s other ways to entertain and tire your dog through physical and mental exercises, which we provide in our ultimate workout plan for dogs.

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