Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Product Review: Kong Airdog Off/On Squeaker

The Kong Airdog Off/On Squeaker is a revolutionary new toy that I wish someone had invented years ago. Quite simply, it is a squeaky toy with an off switch. It is also made from that tennis ball material that dogs find so irresistible for some reason.
Photo by Erin Koski
Once upon a time, when he was under a year old, Kong came out with the Airdog products. Originally they were simply tennis ball material toys in various shapes. We had a big bone-shaped toy, and Briz enjoyed tossing it, pouncing on it, and stripping the fuzz from it. The Airdog stayed in our toybox for many years. When I tried to buy another one, I found to my horror that they had added squeakers to every single Airdog product.

Photo by Erin Koski
I've mentioned before that Brisbane has an obsessive compulsion to chomp tennis balls. He also has an obsessive compulsion to squeak things, so squeaky tennis balls are basically crack for him. Once in a while I buy him an Airdog squeaky tennis ball as a special treat. Those things last for about 15 minutes of continuous compulsive squeaking before the squeaker gives out and they become utterly pointless to Brisbane. This is why we need a squeaky toy with an off switch.

All squeaky toys have a hole plugged with a squeaker tube, and a chamber that forces air through the squeaker when compressed.
If you remove the squeaker tube from a squeaker toy, you will find that you can blow through it and make a continuous horrible squeaky noise that will gnaw at the sanity of anything within earshot. The Airdog Off/On Squeaker toys have a little switch that routes the air either through the squeaker tube, or through a plain hole with no squeaking. I am seriously in love with whoever invented this device because it is amazing. We have the rattle-shaped toy, and Brisbane thoroughly enjoy biting it.

Pros: The squeaker can be turned off. THE SQUEAKER CAN BE TURNED OFF!!! These toys come in two sizes and the large ones are big enough for big dogs. The felt is supposed to be nonabrasive and shouldn't wear down the teeth of compulsive toy-biters.

Cons: Although the regular Airdog toys are made in the USA according to Kong's website, the Off/On Squeakers are made in China. They come in a variety of shapes, but "average tennis ball" is not one of the options.

Bottom Line: Brisbane loves this thing, and it's one of the few squeaky toys he's allowed unlimited access to because I can shut it off instead of confiscating it when I'm on the phone with a client and he suddenly needs to make a bunch of noise. It has held up through a whole lot of compulsive biting so far, and I will certainly buy another one if/when this one needs to be retired.

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