We certainly love ’em, but many pit bulls (as well as American Staffordshire terriers and other bully breeds) present a big challenge: They are often power chewers who’re incredibly hard on their toys.
They make quick work of most mainstream dog toys, and they may even tear apart your car/couch/bomb shelter if you leave them alone for a half hour.
So, if you’ve got a pit bull with a steel-trap set of chompers, you’ll need to give him a toy befitting his impressive jaws and tenacious demeanor.
We’ll help you do exactly that below with our list of the best chew toys for pit bulls and other power chewers!
How to Pick a Chew Toy for Your Pit Bull
Selecting chew toys for your power-chewing pit bull can be difficult, as you want something durable enough to withstand a house hippo’s mighty jaws but not hard enough to risk injury. You also need to focus on aspects like size, dog-safe construction, and how enriching a particular toy’s style is to your dog to ensure a good fit.
When browsing chew toys for your pit bull, consider:
Chew toys come in a variety of styles, with bone-shaped pieces intended for strictly chewing, while interactive chew toys like wobblers keep canines busy by dispensing treats as your pit chews, paws at, and nudges the device. Keeping a mix of chew toy styles on hand to rotate keeps your pibble engaged in every play session (and helps prevent him from creating his own mischievous fun!)
Pit bulls have big, broad mouths that are great for inhaling treats but also a little too good at fitting toys inside. Always purchase chew toys your pittie can’t stuff entirely into his mouth to prevent choking or ingestion.
A good practice before purchasing any chew is to search customer reviews for input from another pit bull owner or someone with another bully breed for their experience. They may even include photos for added peace of mind about product sizing.
Only select chew toys made with dog-safe materials, like natural rubber or BPA-free plastic.
Materials should also pass the fingernail test to ensure they won’t injure your dog’s teeth. To perform the test, push your fingernail into the chew toy. If it leaves a mark, it’s safe for your pup to gnaw. If it doesn’t leave a mark, opt for a different product.
Chew toys are often made of non-edible materials not meant for ingestion, but you can also find edible chews, like yak cheese and bully sticks. These are great for a snack here and there but can cause tummy issues or weight gain if given in excess.
Picking a chew toy with a tough assembly is just as important as one with quality, dog-safe materials, as a poorly-formed plaything can quickly become a choking or ingestion hazard if smaller pieces are broken or chewed off. Avoid chews with sharp edges, too, as they can injure your pit’s mouth. A well-made, long-lasting dog chew can keep your pittie busy for hours.
While it isn’t a must, it’s nice to have toys that can be used for various types of play, such as a stick-shaped chew that can double as a fetch toy. Other chews can be gnawed on their own or stuffed with something tasty, leaving your pup licking and chewing away with gusto. Multifunctional chew toys offer fun in several forms without leaving your dog’s toy basket overflowing.
Some brands are so confident in their product’s quality that they offer a money-back guarantee or warranty if your pup damages the toy to a certain degree or destroys it within a certain time period. If you have a super chewer of a pit, these warranties are worth looking for to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck in a chew toy.
Most chew toys are made with rubber or nylon, which isn’t that tasty, making them a tough sell to picky pits who’d rather chew something else. You could always feed an edible chew, but these don’t always withstand heavy chewing for long and quickly pack pounds onto your pit. Luckily, some chew toys feature delicious flavors like bacon, chicken, or peanut butter, tempting your pup into giving them a try.
The 11 Best Chew Toys for Pit Bulls: Tough Stuff!
While no toy should ever be considered truly indestructible (I’ve seen dogs chew through a chain-link fence before), the following are among the toughest and most durable on the market. Check out these pit-perfect chew toys.
1. Goughnuts MAXX Pro 50 Ring
About: The Goughnuts MAXX Pro 50 Ring is the king of chew toys with its tough rubber construction and unbeatable lifetime replacement guarantee. The manufacturer is so sure this ring is tough that they’ll replace it for free if your pittie manages to damage it.
- Made with dog-safe, non-toxic natural rubber
- Wide, solid shape doesn’t allow strong chewers to gnaw off pieces, keeping them safe
- Available in 4 sizes, with pitties and bully breeds best suited for the large HD Pro 50
- Made in the USA
- Made of tough, dog-safe natural rubber that can withstand powerful chewing
- Center is small enough that pittie jaws shouldn’t be able to slip in and get caught
- Comes with a lifetime replacement warranty if your pup destroys it
- Some pet parents aren’t a fan of the rubber smell, though it does lessen with time
- Pricier than most chews
2. KONG Extreme
About: Up your pit’s chew game with KONG Extreme, an ultra-enriching toy you can stuff with your pup’s favorite goodies, whether it’s cookies he can paw and chew out or dog-safe peanut butter he can lick at. You can also use this bouncy plaything for games of fetch or freeze it with stuffing inside to keep your pit bull busy for longer.
- Crafted with non-toxic, natural rubber
- Dishwasher safe for convenient cleaning
- Rubber construction has an unpredictable bounce when thrown, keeping your pittie on his toes during play
- Made in the USA with globally sourced materials
- One of the toughest, most versatile chew toys for strong chewers
- Dishwasher-safe cleaning allows for easy cleanup
- Most pet parents are pleased with the product’s durability
- Determined extreme chewers may gnaw the top bauble off (always supervise!)
- Some dogs dislike the rubbery texture and smell
3. KONG Extreme Goodie Bone
About: KONG is one of the more popular manufacturers of durable dog toys, and their Extreme Goodie Bone is one of their most durable products. Made from KONG’s legendary Extreme Black Rubber, these chews are built to stand up to your pit bull’s teeth for hours of chewing fun.
- The iconic bone shape is appealing to most dogs (and makes for super-cute photos!)
- Each end features a space in which you can stuff treats or flavored pastes
- Available in both medium and large sizes
- Made in the USA
- Most pawrents report this chew can handle super chewers
- Stuffable nature keeps canines intrigued with tasty additions
- Pricing is more than reasonable for the quality
- Strong rubber smell can be off-putting to some owners
- In rare instances, these couldn’t withstand the most hardcore chewers
4. Outward Hound Invincibles Green Snake
About: Plush-loving pits will have a blast with Outward Hound Invincibles Stuffingless Snake, a tough toy made for fetching, tugging, and cuddling. Featuring reinforced stitching, a Dura-Tuff lining, and zero stuffing, it’s the perfect pick for dogs who are wild about plushes but a little rougher on toys.
- Made of polyester
- Hidden squeakers up the fun
- Comes in 3 sizes (Large, X-Large, and XX-Large)
- Made in China
- One of the toughest plush-type toys out there
- Shape great for pitties who love whippin’ toys around
- Affordably priced, especially for the size
- Made in China
- Not strong enough for heavy chewers or squeaker assassins
5. Goughnuts MAXX Tug HD
About: Enjoy matches of tug-o-woof with your pit bull using Goughnuts MAXX Tug HD, a tough-as-nails chew toy designed specifically with aggressive chewers in mind. Molded in a classic figure-8 pattern, each participant in a game of tug has their own handle with plenty of room in the middle, keeping the fun alive and your fingers safe.
- Made with dog-friendly, durable rubber
- Manufacturer offers a lifetime guarantee of replacing the product if your pup damages it
- Available in large and medium sizes
- Made in the USA
- Pet parents praise the chewable tug as being high-quality and durable (including many pit owners!)
- Sizing great for tugs between dogs or doggo and owner
- Comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee
- More expensive than others, but it offers an unbeatable quality guarantee
- Rubber smell can be an issue for some
6. Hound Games Hide N’ Treat
About: Put your pittie’s mind to work with Hound Games Hide N’ Treat, a treat-dispensing toy puzzle with five difficulty levels for challenging your pup and providing vital mental stimulation. Each pack comes with four pieces; just follow the numbers on each to create the puzzle that best suits your pup’s puzzle mastery.
- Made with tough, non-toxic rubber that helps clean teeth
- Large treat stowage area fits most pup goodies
- Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
- Made in China
- Puzzle nature challenges pups to chew, paw, and play until they score the treats inside
- Excellent choice for pit puppies and seniors alike (and a great rainy day activity!)
- Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Made in China
- Rubber scent is too strong for some pet parents
7. Benebone Wishbone
About: The Benebone Wishbone is a great option for pit bulls who are picky about chew toys. These nylon-based bones are not only extremely durable, but they are also flavored, with palate-pleasing options of bacon, chicken, and peanut.
- Wishbone shape allows dogs to prop up one of the ends for serious chewing action
- Nylon material bristles as your dog chews, aiding in doggy dental health
- Available in small, medium, large, and giant sizes
- Made in the USA
- Most pups seem to enjoy the taste and texture
- Shape works great, allowing dogs to “hold” the bone while chewing
- Affordably priced
- A few pups managed to break off large pieces
- Pickier pups weren’t a fan of the taste
8. PetSafe Chilly Penguin
About: Have some frozen chewing fun with the PetSafe Chilly Penguin, a freezer-friendly chewable you can fill with your dog’s favorite snacks, from dog-safe peanut butter to yogurt to savory bone broth. Just fill the center treat compartment with the good stuff, freeze, and serve to your pit bull for a cool treat.
- Made of vanilla-scented natural rubber
- Offered in two sizes: small and pit-friendly medium/large
- Dishwasher safe for top-shelf cleaning
- Made in China
- Great way to beat the heat during the dog days of summer
- Compatible with a number of dog goodies, including liquids and solids
- Super affordable
- Some dogs manage to gobble down the frozen treats fast
- Made in China
9. Tuff Pupper SuperChewy Tough Flying Disc
About: Play fur Frisbee with your pit bull using Tuff Pupper’s SuperChewy Tough Flying Disc, a rubber toy made with powerful chewers in mind. It can withstand heavy-duty play but remains gentle on your pup’s teeth.
- Made with non-toxic, food-grade natural rubber
- Easily rinses clean with soap and water
- Comes with a lifetime one-time replacement or refund if damaged
- Made in China
- Durability is a win with most owners
- Easy to keep clean between play sessions
- Company offers a one-time replacement or refund if damaged
- Made in China
- Rubber scent is too potent for some pet parents
10. West Paw Design Jive Zogoflex Durable Ball
About: The West Paw Design Jive Ball is a super-tough ball toy that can hold up to the “love” of your pit bull’s pout, and it has an extra bonus: Thanks to the ball’s unique design, it bounces in crazy, unpredictable ways, which will drive your dog nuts. Despite being unusually shaped, the Jive Ball still fits in a standard tennis ball thrower for ongoing fun with your favorite gear.
- 100% guaranteed by the manufacturer against dog damage
- Dishwasher safe, making it easy to keep the ball clean and safe for your dog to chew on
- Available in three sizes: 2-inch, 2.6-inch and 3.25-inch to suit pits of different sizes
- Made in the USA with BPA-free, latex-free recyclable plastic
- Quality and durability won rave reviews from pet parents
- Versatility is a win, along with its ease of cleaning
- Comes with a manufacturer’s Love It Guarantee against damage
- Heavy, so it can be tricky for older pits or puppies to carry
- Rarely, some dogs managed to destroy the ball
West Paw makes tons of other awesome, ultra-durable toys too. Check out our video below reviewing some of West Paw’s most popular puzzle toys:
11. Goughnuts Maxx Stick HD
About: Goughnuts produces a number of super-durable chew toys, and the Maxx Stick HD is the toughest one in their product line. Great for chewin’, chompin’, fetchin’, and more, this a great multi-purpose chew toy to try with your pit bull.
- Because the Maxx 50 Stick floats, it is a great toy to take to the pool, lake, or beach
- Made with 50% more carbon than Goughnut’s standard chew toys for increased durability
- Measuring 9 inches long and 2 inches thick, the Maxx Stick HD is designed for large dogs
- Made in the USA
- Quality and durability receive high marks from pet parents
- Can be used as a chew on land or games of fetch in the water
- Comes with a lifetime replacement warranty
- Some dogs aren’t a fan of the taste
- On the pricier side
That finishes up our recommended list of pit bull-worthy dog toys. However, if none of the toys mentioned above seem right for your pit, be sure to check out our article about indestructible dog toys. Most of the products discussed should work for your pit bull too!
Other Breeds Who Need Super Tough Chew Toys
Pit bulls aren’t the only power chewers with paws, with plenty of other breeds also having an incredible knack for chewing up a storm. They come in all shapes and sizes, too.
Here are some other breeds that benefit from tough chew toys:
- Labrador Retriever
- Golden Retriever
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Great Dane
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Border Collie
- German Shepherd
Remember: Any breed can be a power chewer. It all depends on your dog’s unique chew style.
The Problem with Power Chewers
Almost all dogs love to chew on stuff – it is a hard-wired instinctual behavior that probably traces back to their wolf-like ancestors, who chewed bones to satisfy their nutritional needs. Despite the fact that modern dogs benefit from complete nutrition in a bag, most still need an outlet for their compulsion to chomp. It’s a critical form of canine mental stimulation and enrichment.
That being said, there is a big difference in the chewing tendencies of a run-of-the-mill pooch and a “power-chewer.” These dogs are willing and able to inflict an entirely different level of destruction on their toys, and they’ll make quick work of toys that would last normal pups years.
This causes two problems. The first and least consequential is that power-chewing pit bulls and other breeds will go through more toys than normal dogs. This will tend to cause you equal parts money and frustration. But more importantly, aggressive chewers often suffer very serious health problems when they swallow pieces of toys.
In a worst-case scenario, pieces of plastic or any other poorly digested material can accumulate in the intestinal tract, leading to potentially lethal obstructions. Even in the fortunate cases in which the blockage can be successfully removed, your dog will be looking at a lengthy and painful recovery, and you’ll be looking at an empty bank account.
I know what you’re thinking: I just won’t give my pit bull a toy. That way, he won’t destroy it, swallow the pieces and escort us into the poor house.
But this won’t work either.
Power chewers simply must chew. And if you don’t give them something to chew, they’ll find something on their own, like your shoes or phone. Both of these things can be just as dangerous as a chew toy, and they’re much more expensive.
So, it still makes sense to give them a chew toy. You just need to give your dog one that can withstand his impressive mouth.
What Makes Pit Bulls Such Power-Chewing Pooches?
Let’s be clear: Individuals of any breed can exhibit super-intense chewing instincts.
There are Jack Russell terriers that will chew through a flimsy toy as quickly as your pit bull. But pit bulls do seem to exhibit power-chewing tendencies more reliably than many other breeds.
The question is: Why?
First of all, let’s dispense with a few myths.
Pit bulls are not “vicious,” “bloodthirsty,” or any other hyperbolic adjective commonly associated with the breed.
Further – and it pains me to have to actually explain this — pit bull jaws do not “lock.”
That is an anatomically absurd suggestion that is not only untrue but logically ridiculous – how would they eat? Wouldn’t their jaws just keep locking?
But forgetting silly myths and wives’ tales, pits do have three different traits which combine to help make them the power-chewers they are.
1. Most pit bulls have relatively large heads.
While some small dogs can dismantle a rugged toy in a matter of minutes, most problematic power chewers have large heads.
Even relatively small pit bulls in the 40- to 50-pound range often have heads that are the size of dogs weighing twice this much. These larger heads mean larger teeth, jaws, and muscles, which usually spell doom for fragile toys.
2. Many pit bulls have exceptionally wide jaws.
While the larger proportions of many pit bull heads provide increased jaw power, the mechanical advantage supplied by the relatively wide jaws of pit bulls also plays a part in their power-chewing prowess.
Because pits often have wider jaws, they can apply more leverage and torque on their toys (or whatever happens to suit their fancy), which allows them to make quick work of even the most durable items.
3. Most pit bulls exhibit remarkable tenacity.
Early pit bulls were selected for their willingness to complete the task at hand, regardless of negative stimuli – a characteristic called “gameness.”
In the old (and tragic) days, this meant that pit bulls were selected for their willingness to fight, despite any pain or injury they had suffered. Of course, few chew toys fight back, so even a run-of-the-mill pit bull is often willing to persevere until a toy is utterly destroyed.
Safe Use of Toys: Keeping Your Pit Bull Safe
No matter what types of claims a manufacturer makes, understand that no toy is truly “indestructible.” Sufficiently motivated dogs can often chew through bones, metal, or just about anything else you throw at them.
Accordingly, it is important to keep a few safety guidelines in mind whenever you give your pit bull (or power-chewing dog of any other breed) a new toy.
Never leave an unattended dog with a new toy. No matter how carefully you scrutinize a product or how much you pay for it, you’ll never know how it will hold up to your dog until you try it out. Always wait to leave your pit bull alone with a toy until you have seen how well the toy takes what your dog gives.
Immediately take any broken toy away from your dog. The strength of a good chew toy is greater than the sum of its parts, which is to say that a good toy is more resilient when completely intact than it is once your dog rips out a big chunk. These types of pieces can lead to intestinal obstruction, so you’ll want to take away broken toys at once.
Avoid giving your dog a toy small enough to be swallowed. In general, it’s always safer to give your dog a toy that is too large than one that is too small. In fact, it is almost wise to always err on the large size when selecting chew toys.
Use caution providing toys with large gaps. For example, some of the ring-style toys may fit over your dog’s muzzle, where they could potentially become stuck. While this may not cause any serious problems in itself (assuming you remove it quickly enough), sensitive or nervous dogs may panic, leading to stress and potential injuries.
As with any toy, try to purchase products made in places with high quality-control standards. Poor-quality toys are occasionally tainted with toxic substances, which can make your dog sick. There is no way to ensure complete safety, but by purchasing dog toys made in the USA, you’ll significantly reduce the chances of purchasing tainted products.
Pay attention to safety or wear indicators. Some of the best toys change colors or present some other type of visual cue that alerts you that the toy should be replaced. Always err on the side of caution, and replace such toys immediately – the cost of a new toy is far less than an expensive veterinary surgery.
Clean your dog’s toys regularly. All that slobber isn’t just gross — it’s also smelly and potentially dangerous. Dog toys are havens for bacteria and potentially mold that can make your dog sick, especially if the toys are stuffed with food. Clean your pit bull’s toys regularly with mild soap and water or after every use if filled with a food item.
Have you found a toy deserving of the “indestructible” moniker? Or do you have any experience with the other toys we’ve covered? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below (be sure to describe your dog’s breed or type and approximate size).
And I know all of this talk of pit bulls and their incredible chewing powers has riled up some of you with other breeds that could chew through the side of a submarine. Let’s hear about them!