Sunday, September 11, 2016

Product Review: Starmark Rubbertuff Treat Stump

I'm ridiculously excited about Starmark's new RubberTuff toys. These are supposed to be a bit tougher than some of the Everlasting Treat toys (see the edit below, they're actually not). They're made out of a different material, they don't specify but it looks like natural rubber to me. The whole Rubber Tuff line is made to work with Starmark's new Lock & Block treats. The new toys come in three sizes, and three shapes. I have the Rubber Tuff Stump, there is also a ball and a bone. While I did purchase my toy, I was given a discount at SuperZoo.
Tough rubber toy for powerful chewers, with new Lock and Block treats
Photo by Erin Koski

I am a big fan of Starmark's Everlasting Treat toys, but that design has a weakness that some dogs figure out how to exploit immediately. Whether it's the Bento Ball, Wheeler, Groovy Ball, or the original Treat Ball, Everlasting Treats are inserted into the toy by popping them under a rim. That rim is an ideal point of entry for dogs that like to rip off chunks of toy with their front teeth.

The new Rubber Tuff toys still use a rim to hold the treat in place, but now the top of the treat covers that vulnerable spot. There aren't any obvious weak points in the toy itself when the treat is inserted. However, I am interested to see if any of my product testers manages to get their teeth under the treat in order to pull it straight out. It took a lot of force to get it in there, so hopefully the designers at Starmark have already planned for that possibility.
Durable rubber chew toy with edible treat insert
Photo by Erin Koski

The inside of the toy is hollow, with Starmark's usual lobed openings on either end. The Stump can hold two Lock and Block long-lasting edible chews, and smaller treats can be stuffed into the middle.

Pros: Dishwasher safe. More chew-resistant design than previous Starmark treat-holding chew toys. Textured surface may help clean teeth if your dog chews it just right. My dogs find it a little more appealing than the Everlasting Treat toys. The treats are made in the USA.

Cons: Lock & Block treats only come in one flavor right now.

Bottom Line: I must admit, this toy really looks like the unholy offspring of an Everlasting Treat Ball and a Kong.
The Rubber Tuff Stump after some gentle chewing


I just put our second round of Lock and Block treats in the Rubber Tuff Stump, and it appears this toy's durability is severely lacking. Sisci has managed to gnaw chunks out of it just by eating the treats. She's not a deliberate toy shredder, so I'm surprised that the Stump didn't hold up to the amount of chewing it appears to be designed for. I am going to contact Starmark to share my experience, and will report their response. 

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