Thursday, September 4, 2014

Product Review: Black Extreme Kong

The Black Extreme Kong is a durable rubber chew toy by the Kong Company. It comes is several different shapes, including that of the Classic Red Kong. The Extreme Kong is available in five sizes to fit every dog.
Photo by Erin Koski

I purchased our Black Extreme Kong is size XL specifically for my foster dogs. Most of our Kongs are classic red rubber, and size Large. The larger the Kong, the more durable it is, and the company recommends sizing up for dogs that destroy what appears to be an appropriately sized toy. For many power chewers, the black Kongs are the only toys they can enjoy safely.

Brisbane doesn't chew destructively, and only cares about his Kongs when they contain edible things, but I never know what a fresh-from-the-shelter foster dog is going to do when I give them a toy for the first time. Ulysses has been similarly cautious with the food and chew toys, but he could have been an insane power chewer, and devoured the first toy I handed him. Our black Kong is the largest and most durable Kong he can play with safely, and the first few times I carefully supervised him while he licked peanut butter out of it. Uly is getting the hang of the food toys finally, just this week he learned to chomp hard on the Urban Stick to break up biscuits inside. It's possible he will eventually become a destructive chewer, but for now I feel safe giving him nearly anything.

Avoiding chew toys small enough to present a choking hazard is pretty easy for most of us, but fewer dog owners know how to tell when a toy is too large for a dog to play with safely. Some are obvious dangers, like the bigger Starmark Bob-a-Lot being large enough to crush Ru. Others are more subtle, like the hole in TrteaStik puzzle toy, which is large enough to trap the lower jaws of some small dogs. The hole in Kong toys should be too small for an appropriately-sized dog to get their jaw caught, but when sizing up this can become a problem. The XL-sized Kongs are the largest that Brisbane and Ulysses can safely play with, I feel that the XXL size could be dangerous. This isn't a particularly common problem, but when it happens it is terrifying for the dog and can result in injuries. The dog may have to be taken to the vet and sedated so the toy can be cut away. It's not something I'm willing to risk, so I stick to the XL and smaller Kongs.

Pros: Super-duper durable! Often the only toy a truly destructive dog can play with. Made in the USA, and dishwasher safe.

Cons: It's made out of very strong rubber, so it smells like old tires when new. I had to wash it a couple of times and then leave it sitting on the windowsill for a couple of weeks before it stopped being so gross. The hard rubber is less enjoyable to chew for dogs that like the flexible action of the original and blue Kongs. Black color makes it hard to locate on black crate trays and under the couch.

Bottom Line: This is the first chew toy I present a new foster dog with, if they destroy it I know I am dealing with a serious power chewer. The vast majority of dogs will not be able to pull chunks off this and swallow them, but I'm going to supervise just in case. What is more durable than a black Kong? Goughnuts are the only toys I am aware of.

No comments:

Post a Comment