Planet Dog is one of those how-can-you-not-like-them companies.
The Maine-based pet product firm makes quality dog toys, often using recyclable materials - like old sails - and they give away a lot of dough ($1 million and counting) to good pet rescue causes.
So when they asked us to review a few of their Orbee-Tuff toys we pounced on that.
I enlisted Philly Dawg's home dog, Olivia and two friends to try them out.
Olivia, my 3-year-old Jack Russell mix, is not a big chewer, and fetches only when the mood strikes her. But I liked the idea of the interactive nature of the Orbie-Tuff Glow for Good Ball (retails for $11.95) - a tennis ball-sized toy with openings for treats.
After we deciphered how to best use the treat openings (not too big, not too small treats), we filled them like her Kong and gave it a run. She enjoyed pushing it around. But unlike the Kong with its ridges, the ball more easily rolls under furniture where it stays till a human comes to rescue it. In fact, I'm not exactly sure where the toy is right now. Maybe it needs a GPS.
For a dog who loves chasing I could see the Glow ball being a wonderful multi-purpose toy. With its glow-in-the dark feature you could even play fetch by moonlight.
A friend from the Pennsylvania State Capitol Stacey Witalec - who with her family has raised service dogs - tested the"Lump of Coal" (retails for $11.95) toy on her 2-year-old Boxer Rex, rescued from a Kentucky shelter a day from his euthanasia date.
Rex flipped over the minty taste and while he has proved less than enthusiastic about sharing his toy with their other pets, watch the video and see how Rex at least lets his elderly sibling get a sniff. Stacey reports even a super chewer like Rex hasn't been able to make a dent in the toy.
When we first gave the toy to Rex, he spent a good bit of time smelling it and nudging it with his nose. I would think the smell of the mint was unusual to him.
After finally picking it up, he loved the texture of the ball. Rex loves to chew on bones and Kong toys and really liked the fact that this toy had some shape to it, rather than being smooth and round.
He really enjoyed the size of the toy. Rex loves to carry toys around with him all day and then snuggle up with them when he goes to take a nap or to bed. This toy was the perfect size for him to put in his mouth comfortably and then hide it under his legs while he was sleeping.
Since getting the toy, he hasn't been very willing to share with any of our other pets, including one of our cats who loves to lick the ball, for some reason. He has really grown attached to the toy, taking it in his crate to chew and play when he's looking for something to occupy his time or looking for some time to play fetch with our family. He has done his best to destroy it. Given his size, it usually isn't very hard for him to do but so far, other than the lettering coming off, he hasn't been able to damage it, which is great.
We farmed out the award-winning Orbie-Tuff Snoop,(retails for $17.95) one of a line of brain stimulating and interactive puzzle toys, to James Baer and his wife Melissa to try with their 2-year-old Lab Roxy. Here's their report:
After a few weeks of having the Snoop, Roxy loves it!
Our first try was unsuccessful. Roxy gave up on it not long after we gave it to her. However, we realized that we put treats in it that were too large to come back out on their own. So the next time, we used smaller bites of her food and had much better results. The Snoop works great and becomes a very fun and rewarding game for her.
The toy also has a great shape. Its very soft but still rolls around. Roxy loves to nose it, paw it, bounce it around. She will even pick it up and carry it around. The Snoop seems very durable so far, hardly any signs of wear after a few weeks of daily use.
Just the other day when given the choice of her Kong or the Snoop for us to put treats in, Roxy picked the Snoop!
Thanks for letting us try it. We think it's a keeper.
For extra credit Planet Dog suggests suffing a Glow for Good Ball (or other 2.5” Orbee-Tuff balls) - also stuffed with treats - for a double puzzle.
Planet Dog cautions as seemingly indestructable as they seem, the toys should not be left with dogs unattended. Like all of Planet Dog’s Orbee-Tuff toys, they are made in the USA, non-toxic, recyclable, easy to clean and 100% guaranteed.