Thursday, September 11, 2014

Product Review: Busy Buddy Build-a-Bone

The PetSafe Busy Buddy Build-a-Bone is a durable plastic chew toy with ends that unscrew to allow various rubber and rawhide discs to be added to the center post. It comes in two sizes for medium and large dogs.
Photo by Erin Koski
The Busy Buddy products are an extensive line of puzzle toys by PetSafe. They last a long time, I had a Busy Buddy Twist'n'Treat for over a decade before I decided it was kind of gross and tossed it. It was a favorite of my late cocker spaniel Oakley.

The Build-a-Bone is similar to several other Busy Buddy toys. The Bouncy Bone and Bristle Bone have the same twist-off ends. All of these toys use the Busy Buddy rawhide rings. These are made from ground and pressed rawhide, so they are digestible even if swallowed whole. They come in different sizes to fit the different Busy Buddy toys, and PetSafe also makes extra-thick rings.
"You want me to do what?!"
Photo by Erin Koski

The Build-a-Bone is a special Busy Buddy toy that is custom assembled from a selection of parts at a special store kiosk. There are two different sizes of bone ends and center posts to choose from, and then various rubber shapes to go in the middle. Busy Buddy rawhide discs can also be added to the center to entice dogs to chew and play. The toy in the picture features a pink heart, a yellow flower, and two purple teeth-cleaning shapes. It also has at least one rawhide disc between the purple spikeys,

Photo by Erin Koski

We a have a lime green ring and another pink heart on our second Build-a-Bone. The video on the Busy Buddy website also shows a red spiked disc and a blue textured disc, but I have yet to see these in a store. Our bones came from Lemos, a local pet store with a fantastically helpful staff. Both of our Build-a-Bones are the smaller size, these don't come in tiny-little-ratdog size and Ru ignores them. Brisbane only finds them interesting when they have rawhide rings on them, and like the Everlasting Treat Ball will often ignore them for weeks before suddenly deciding to chew.
Photo by Erin Koski

Pros: Fun and customizable, buying a second bone gave us more options. Far more durable than the Busy Buddy Bristle Bone, and more challenging than the Bouncy Bone. Brisbane enjoys gnawing this thing, and he doesn't care for Nylabones or other durable chew toys unless they are stuffed with tasty food. The Build-a-Bone provides a different type of puzzle for him to solve.

Cons: Brisbane tends to solve this puzzle by unscrewing one end and sliding off all the rings. Sometimes I can tighten it enough to prevent him from taking it apart. The reason I bought the second bone was because one day he decided the gnaw the end of the center post after disassembly. This seems to be a pretty common issue for users, others have had issues with the end of the post shearing off while tightening. The hard bone ends can develop jagged ridges that can cut the dog's gums.

Bottom Line: Obviously I like this toy enough to have purchased a second one. I usually have a package of rawhide rings for it in the cupboard. It's not a particularly high value item around here, but the dogs enjoy it. Definitely a toy for some dogs and not others, this is not a toy for serious power chewers.

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