Thursday, August 28, 2014

Product Review: Dogzilla Bone

Petmate's Dogzilla toys are durable rubber chew toys that come in various shapes and sizes. Most can be stuffed with peanut butter or treats. Dogzilla toys are available at Walmart and various other retailers.
"Here Briz, hold this."
Photo by Erin Koski

Let's be honest here, these are direct competitors to the Kong toys, and that's ok. The durable chew market has been around for a long time, and we have everything from Nylabones to Bionic toys to choose from. The Dogzilla toys aren't niche products by small companies driven to create products inspired by their own dogs, though. These are large-scale mass-produced for big box stores, and I often wonder if any of the people involved in the design and production process have ever actually used them with their own dogs. I get that these are supposed to be a low-cost option for people to grab while they're at Walmart, my local OSH sells them too.

Photo by Erin Koski

My beef with the Dogzilla toys is just that they feel like someone came up with an idea that looked good on paper, someone else signed off on it, and they went ahead and produced it. The result is our Dogzilla bone. One end has a wide triangular opening, the other end is completely closed except for an air hole. The two ends are connected by a passage just wide enough to fit very small kibbles through. This toy is impossible to clean, impossible to stuff with normal kibble, and impossible to get anything out of once it has been lost down the tube.

I kind of think the idea was to make a toy that could be stuffed with kibble and then emptied out, but the passage in our large toy is too narrow for most kibbles to fit. I can't make treats tiny enough to fit easily into the tube of the toy, and when I tried stuffing kibble down it I couldn't get it back out until I soaked it into oblivion and just rinsed it. The dogs can't get anything out of it either.

With two-thirds of the toy being unusable, that leaves the big open end for stuffing with peanut butter and other treats. I can fit a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter in there, but the opening is so wide I may as well be spreading it in a bowl. I have tried freezing it, but there's no way to turn this into a long-lasting challenge.

Pros: An affordable chew toy that is widely available. The current ones are blue, dogs are supposed to be able to see the color blue really well. Some of the shapes are better designed than this one.

Cons: Not as durable as Kong, Nylabone, or Bionic toys. Design flaws make me feel like this was designed by a committee who wasn't planning to give this toy to their own dogs. Impossible to clean, and either ridiculously easy or impossible to unstuff depending on where the food is placed.

Bottom Line: I bought this toy on a trip when I realized I needed to entertain Brisbane in a crate for several hours and had forgotten all of our puzzle toys. It sort of served its purpose, but I would have bought a different Dogzilla toy or a Kong if either of these options had been available. The Dogzilla bone has fallen out of our freezer toy rotation because it is just kind of useless.

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