I used to give my dogs a ton of toys. They would get damaged but since Piper and Jack usually just tossed them around and played the odd sedate game of tug, the toys lasted for a bit. Then along came Leo and he seemed intent on destroying all of them. Not just destroying them but completely and utterly annihilating them. I was worried that he would swallow rope fibres and bits of fabric so all soft toys went into the garbage with the odd rope toy that would only come out when I was there to supervise.
After reading some reviews about West Paw toys, I set out to test a few of these myself. Or rather, give them to the dogs to test out for me.
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Now I want to state for the record that I have received absolutely no compensation or consideration for these products. These are items that I have purchased myself or the dogs have received as a gift.
According to their website, West Paw Design is based in Montana and was founded in 1996 when the owner, Spencer Williams, purchased a small pet toy company with the goal to make safe dog and cat toys of the highest quality. In 2016, Forbes named the company “One of the Best Small Companies” in America. I have noticed that most pet toys are made in China. I’m not looking at it from a protectionist standpoint (I am Canadian after all) but from a quality control standpoint. I like the fact that the toys are made from recycled materials and can then be recycled at the end of their lifespan. With not being shipped halfway around the planet, I would hope the carbon footprint would also be just a little smaller.
I have three models of toys from West Paw Design: the Bumi (shaped like a “Z”) and the Hurley (shaped like a bone) from the Zogoflex line and the Wox (which looks like a 3-legged stool) from the Zogoflex Air line. Rather than three posts that will basically say the same thing, I have reviewed all three toys together.
These aren’t the cheapest toys out there but I would rather spend a bit more for a toy that’s going to last and not hurt my pups. Given that less robust toys have to be replaced much more frequently, I feel that it balances out.
We got the Wox about six months before I reviewed it and it shows no damage even though it has been in the middle of some serious games of tug. The Hurley is too small for tug but gets lots of chew time from all three of them.
The only one that does have some damage to it is the Bumi: there are some small splits forming on the tip of one end but not deep enough to retire the toy. In fact the splits are just on the surface at this point. Considering that Jack and Leo play absolutely ferocious games of tug with it, it’s not surprising that there would be some damage to it. When I say they play tug, they put every ounce of their little bodies behind it. I have stood on other toys and Leo has pulled hard enough to move me so imagine two of them tugging like that in opposite directions.
Give up the Funk: 5/5
The toys get a bit grubby from being on the floor but the material does not get the funk that rope or other rubber or plastic toys get. If I had a dishwasher I would test the assertion that they are dishwasher-safe but I have tossed them in the sink and cleaned them up in no time.
Fun Factor: Crank that up to 11!
I have been know to occasionally toss the toys through the house (ahem). They bounce in unpredictable directions, especially the Wox, which adds to the fun. These toys apparently float although I haven’t taken them outside to test that but since they are so easy to clean, I would not be concerned about it.
The soft material is also gentle on teeth during vigorous chew sessions and doesn’t make lots of noise if they get tossed or dropped inside. Another bonus is that if you’re playing tug with Leo and pretend to be biting one end of the Wox in your mouth, when he thrashes his head and clubs you in the eye with the third leg, there’s a good chance that you won’t have a black eye.
Overall Impression: A great series of toys that can hold up to rough play and is well worth the expense.
If you want to get in on the fun, click here to read my review of West Paw Design’s Zisc toy.