Monday, January 12, 2015

Kong Marathon vs Everlasting Treat Ball

Now that we've had the Kong Marathon and Starmark's Everlasting Treat Ball for a while, I think it's time to compare them directly and see how they stack up. We currently have two Kong Marathon toys, a large green ball and a small blue bone. Our Everlasting Treat Ball lineup includes one large Everlasting Treat Ball, one medium Everlasting Bento Ball, one medium Everlasting Groovy Ball, and a small Everlasting Treat Wheeler.

The Facts
Both the Starmark and Kong edible chew refills come in packs of two. At Petsmart a pack of large Kong Marathon refills costs $8.99 and a pack of small refills costs $6.99. A small pack of Everlasting Treats is $4.99, medium is $5.99 and large Everlasting Treats are $8.99. Everlasting Treats come in a variety of flavors, including chicken, hickory, vanilla mint, bacon, liver, and a chicken flavor that is wheat, corn, and soy-free. Kong Marathon treats only come in one flavor. Kong Marathon toys are available in two sizes, Starmark's Everlasting Treats and toys come in three.

Taste Test
While my dogs will eat almost anything, they definitely prefer the Kong Marathon treats to the Everlasting Treats. A Kong Marathon treat placed in the Kong Marathon ball or bone will inevitably be finished in one sitting. The Everlasting Treats aren't quite so irresistible, they can hang around for several days depending on the flavor, and sometimes I have to resort to bribery to get them to finish.

Ease of Use
It might be easier to pop treats into the Kong Marathon toys, I originally used a spoon to help pop the lip of the toy over the treat. As the ball gets chewed up, it has become much easier to get the treat into it. The Starmark Everlasting Treats can be tough to get into any of the toys, the trick is to get the treat a tiny bit wet first. Even a little bit of water spread across the treat with my finger works, as does spritzing the toy itself. Still, the loaded toy is supposed to dry before being given to the dog.

Not only do Kong Marathon and Everlasting Treat toys hold durable edible chews, they also have space to hold kibble, peanut butter, and other small treats. The large Kong Marathon ball holds about 3/4 a cup of kibble, the small bone holds about 1/4 cup. The large Everlasting Treat Ball holds a quarter cup of kibble and two Everlasting Treats. The medium Everlasting Bento Ball holds less than 1/4 cup.

After about eight refills, our green Kong Marathon ball is looking pretty sad. The edges are getting all crumbly and I can easily pull bits off with my fingers. The Everlasting Treat Ball has had at least that many refills, the Everlasting Bento Ball has been used a dozen times or more. Both of the Starmark toys are still holding up just fine. They have some small splits around the edges of the treat hole now, and those make it easier to get the treat itself loaded. The splits do not appear to be getting any larger at this point.

Bottom Line
According to Brisbane and Ru, the Kong Marathon edible chews taste better. According to me, the Everlasting Treat Ball is infinitely more durable. The Starmark Everlasting toys show little to no wear after a lot more refills, while the large Kong Marathon ball is already falling apart. I've seen the Kong Marathon toys on clearance recently, I'm really hoping the Kong Company is taking this idea back to the drawing board and will come out with a more durable version in the future.

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