Monday, September 8, 2014

Product Review: Starmark Everlasting Treat Ball

The Starmark Everlasting Treat Ball is a durable rubber chew toy designed to hold two of Starmark's Everlasting Treats. It comes in three sizes to fit every dog.

Photo by Erin Koski
I bought Brisbane an Everlasting Treat Ball when he was a puppy. It was the first Starmark toy I had  ever seen, and I loved it. Brisbane was a bit on the fence, though. He loves Everlasting Treats, but putting them in a toy makes them somehow less attractive. The center of the ball has a chamber for holding kibble and other small treats, and Briz is also unenthusiastic about retrieving those treats.

The Everlasting Treat Ball comes in small, medium, and large sizes, and the medium size is intended for dogs under 40 pounds. Brisbane's ideal weight is 40 pounds, and Ulysses is currently around 42 pounds, so the two of them can use medium and large Starmark toys. Brisbane's original medium Everlasting Treat Ball gave us 5 years of service before it went missing in action. We now have two large Everlasting Treat Balls. So far they are more durable than the Everlasting Bento Ball and our extremely short-lived Everlasting Fire Plug. I can fit nearly a quarter cut of kibble inside of them. Neither Brisbane nor Ulysses thinks a chicken Everlasting Treat is worth gnawing out of them except in the most desperate circumstances, but vanilla, hickory, or liver flavors are worth more consideration.

Starmark has lots of suggestions for making their toys more challenging and exciting. If my boys were serious chewers and pros at popping the treats loose from the ball, I could put the Everlasting Treats in upside down to give them a new problem to solve. There are also Everlocking Treats made from the same material, but with a threaded treat rod to prevent the treat discs from popping out at all.

Pros: Extremely durable, has not developed any of the cracks found around the edges of our Bento Ball. Holds two Everlasting Treat chews plus additional goodies in the center. Holds up to all but the heaviest chewers. Dishwasher safe. I believe that even tiny power chewers can play with the large size safely.

Cons: Presents enough of a challenge that my dogs don't always consider the Everlasting Treat chew a big enough reward, so the ball and treat sit around untouched until I do something drastic like pour fish oil on it. Dedicated toy demolishers can probably demolish this one with enough effort, so it needs to be a supervision-only toy until the owner is comfortable with the way their dog plays with the toy. Treat refills can be expensive and non-chicken flavors can be hard to find in stores. I have to order Everlocking Treats online.

Bottom Line: I obviously like this toy enough to have bought a second one. It's handy to have around, especially for foster dogs as I determine their chewing style and which toys they can play with safely. Not as tough as a Black Kong, but definitely high on the durability scale. Power chewers should always size up, and I sometimes wish there was a extra large Everlasting Treat Ball.

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