Chew toys are a great way to keep your personal property intact as a dog is growing. Even after they are full-grown, a chewing toy can keep teeth healthy. However, even small dogs can destroy many dog toys, and some large dogs can chew their way through almost anything. While makers of Kevlar dog toys advertise them as dog-proof, have dogs found their match?
What is Kevlar?
To better judge the potential indestructibility of dog toys containing Kevlar, it’s important to understand the composition of this material. Kevlar is a nylon polymer, or poly-para-phenylene terephthalamide, which is a molecule. Dupont developed it in the mid-1960s to early 1970s, and its first commercial use was in racing car tires to replace the steel in them.
Far more people know this material because of its ability to resist fire, heatproof quality, and for its bulletproof strength. Many companies use it to make bulletproof vests for law enforcement agencies, the military, and private security firms. Other companies use it to make clothing or hoses for firefighters because of its fire and heat resistant qualities.
Light Weight Components
Although you might expect a material that is five times stronger than steel to be heavy, Kevlar is very lightweight. The fibers of the material are mostly organic, light elements like:
The light elements that this material contains makes it a light fabric that can take on some of the toughest tasks, including not falling apart when it’s between a dog’s teeth. While heavy elements like iron can weigh 7.9 grams per cubic centimeter, the light elements in Kevlar help create a fabric that only weighs 1.4 grams.
Is Kevlar Safe for Dogs?
Scientists align the molecules in the organic elements to make the Kevlar fabric stiff and strong. However, if you’re looking for durable toys for your dog, you may wonder whether Kevlar is safe for your dog. While the fabric is strong and durable, it can unravel, so it is usually not found in most dog products.
If a Kevlar item were to unravel while a dog was chewing a toy made with it, and the dog ingested some of the threads, it could be fatal for the animal. Dogs cannot digest the material, so in an attempt for it to pass through them, it could cause an obstruction in their bowels, which can kill a dog.
The dog toys that contain the material are a composite of both Kevlar and rubber, which helps to keep the fabric from unraveling and provides strength to the rubber. Even though it isn’t toxic to dogs due to its organic make-up, the question remains whether a dog could chew through a toy with Kevlar in it?
To answer this question, it might help to understand all the chewing styles of dogs.
Dog Chewing Styles
It may be difficult to believe, but dogs have different chewing styles. Their chewing style usually depends on a dog’s age and their size, because larger dogs tend to gulp down food, while smaller dogs take smaller bites.
Puppies are not born with teeth, so they, like human babies, need something to soothe swollen gums as their baby teeth begin emerging when they are between two and four weeks old. Teething can be a painful process for a young puppy, so they need something to nibble and chew on to relieve their pain.
If they don’t have toys to chew on, they will use almost anything as a substitute, such as your best pair of shoes.
Any dog of any size can be a nibbler, but most of them are small to medium-size dogs. Not only do they take their time eating their kibble or wet food, but they like to savor their chew toys as well. Always plan to give a dog chew toys from the time they are young to prevent them from chewing on something harmful to them like electrical cords or your personal belongings.
These dogs like to try to tear their chew toys apart. If left without something to chew on, then they chew on the furniture, bedding, and other objects within their reach. Unfortunately, it may be your cell phone if it’s left unattended.
Larger dogs tend to be destroyers, especially if they are left home alone frequently or are bored. However, small dogs can also be destroyers if they don’t like their toys.
Many dogs like chewing their toys or bones when they are bored or relieve their anxiousness or nervousness. Both destroyers and the average chewers need durable chew toys that will last a long time and that don’t easily come apart.
Can Dogs Chew through Kevlar?
Since Kevlar fabric can unravel and is dangerous for dogs, it is rarely found in toys unless it is part of a compound material. Some dog toy manufacturers make chew toys with both Kevlar and hard rubber in them.
Other manufacturers use Kevlar as a composite material to create their toys. The companies that make these toys tout them as “virtually” or “almost” indestructible.
Differences Between Composites and Compounds
Although compound and composite materials are similar, a compound material consists of two or more elements that are chemically bonded in a fixed amount by their weight. It is also something that is able to be split into simple substances.
Composite materials are engineered from two or more components that have different chemical and physical properties. The components remain separate on the macroscopic level when the composite material is complete.
Companies that Produce Kevlar Dog Toys
Although many of the dog toys that contain Kevlar are chew toys, some companies also make dog mats, water toys, and toys that dispense food. Due to the light materials, some of the toy manufacturers have chewing or fetch toys that can bounce or float on the surface of the water. Some of the manufacturers include:
- Zigoo:This company makes Crinkits, which are water bottle toys for dogs. They come in different sizes and can bounce and float on water. These fetch toys are available in several colors.
- Nylabone: These chew toys discourage destructive chewing and keep dogs’ teeth clean. They also make a puppy starter toy pack that has chewing toys, puppy teething toys, and bacon treats.
- Planet Dog: This dog toy company makes Orbee Tuff chew and fetch toys, usually in ball shapes, or some have the form of vegetables.
- Jolly Pets: This company makes mostly dog chew and fetch toys. Some of them are in the shape of footballs, frisbees, round balls, and they also make balls with ropes that are suitable for growing dogs.
- Goughnuts: They make interactive chew toys to play fetch with dogs, and some food dispensing toys as well. Their interactive ball toys bounce, but they are not for chewing on constantly. They are for playing with your pet.
- Kong: Most dog owners know about Kong, especially if they have aggressive or destructive chewers. Kong dog toys come in a snowman shape in several colors, and they are available for different size dogs and different chewing abilities. They have a hole in the middle of the toy to stuff with food.
Dog Toy Buying Tips
When you’re in the market for puppy or dog toys, it’s important to prevent injuries and buy toys with non-toxic materials to keep your pet safe. Here are some tips for buying toys for your canine companion.
Look for Resilient Toys
Although many dogs can destroy almost anything they get their mouths on, some toys are almost impossible for dogs to chew through. Look for toys that contain Kevlar, hard plastic or hard rubber toys. It’s important to inspect them occasionally for sharp edges or missing pieces. If pieces are missing get rid of the toy and get your dog another one.
Avoid Toys that Make Noise
Many pet lovers like buying their dogs toys that squeak or that have bells on them. However, many dogs do not like the noises and will try to find and destroy the noisemakers.
Test out your dog before spending lots of money on toys that have a bell or squeak to find out if he or she will tolerate them.
Rawhide Chews are Not All Bad
If you’re careful about the type of rawhide chew toys that you buy your pooch, they can enjoy them and still stay healthy. When you pick up the package, find out where they originated. The rawhide chews from China are the ones that have made dogs sick, so look for those made in the United States.
Also, pick out rawhide that easily breaks into small pieces that dogs can eat and digest. If they have large rawhide bones that begin to get soft or unravel, then get rid of it and buy your dog some new ones.
Even though Kevlar dog toys are not entirely indestructible, they should last most dogs for several years. If you have a dog that is an aggressive or destructive chewer, try to get the hardest material you can find, like a Kong dog toy, for him or her to chew. Inspect the toy on occasion and get rid of ones that have chunks missing from them.