We are always on the hunt for new sustainable products. Sometimes we do so because we need a particular product ourselves, but we also like to share our findings with you guys on this blog.
There are countless companies that create products for dogs, yet it isn’t that easy to find items that suit the wishes of people that value sustainability. Now although we already own numerous dog toys, we were kindly sent a wide range of sustainably made products to review.
Today’s review includes a number of products by West Paw, a company that creates toys and other products for dogs whilst caring for the environment.
Here, we share our opinion on one of the ranges of dog toys that West Paw has to offer. These are the three Zogoflex Air toys that we have tried and tested over the past few weeks!
Introducing West Paw
West Paw is a pet company based in the United States. They produce dog beds and blankets, as well as several ranges of dog toys.
Most West Paw toys are shipped worldwide. Their beds and blankets however are solely available in the United States. Products are shipped to a warehouse in Rotterdam, before being distributed throughout Europe.
We were happy to be introduced to the West Paw brand manager here in the Netherlands. She explained the values of their company and there were a few clear focus points throughout our conversation.
West Paw focuses on durability, as well as creating a toy for every individual personality. Yet what we were happy to hear, was that a main focus point of the West Paw team is sustainability.
Sustainability at the core
West Paw is one of the very few companies that make dog toys that are completely recyclable. All Zogoflex Air toys, as well as other ranges of toys, are 100% recyclable. If you live in the USA you even have the possibility to return your toys to the factory after years of fun, where they are put back ‘in the loop’.
If you’re interested in the production method, you can watch a video on the West Paw website. In this video it is clearly visible that once the toys are removed from their molds, any excess material can be put straight back into the machine to create new toys. This creates a production method that is very close to zero waste, as the components can infinitely be recycled.
Regarding safety in use, the Zogoflex Air toys are also BPA free, non-toxic, and free from phthalates and latex. This creates a very healthy and user friendly product!
What’s right for your dog
Prior to talking to the West Paw employees, we had never before witnessed such a focus on our dog’s personality when it comes to buying a new toy.
Toys can only be durable if they are used properly, and matched to the individual dog’s style of play. If a dog is very large, a smaller toy might not be advised to use, and for dogs that easily destroy their toys, their plush toys might not be the best choice.
West Paw joined us for a recent giveaway we organized on Mojo’s instagram account. Although most brands select products prior to the start of the giveaway, West Paw did not want to select random toys before getting to know the winner of the contest. The brand manager in the Netherlands carefully read the information we were sent about our winner, Murphy. She then selected two toys that would fit her size and personality.
Although we were sent all toys within the Zogoflex and Zogoflex Air ranges to try out, the size of each toy was decided not only on Mojo’s height and weight, but also on her style of play and her breed.
If you want to see all the toys that we received, we filmed an unboxing for our YouTube channel which you can watch here.
Something that we missed in dog toys that we already have, is the fact that each type of toy often only came in one color. Although it might not be the most important aspect of toys, we always do prefer products with a nice appearance. A splash of color definitely influences that.
All Zogoflex Air toys come in three different colors: dandelion yellow, currant pink, and peacock blue. All colors are bright, which makes them easily visible in grass or on other surfaces. For us humans that is at least.
An important characteristic of all Zogoflex Air toys is the fact that they are filled with small air pockets. These air pockets, which give this range of toys its name, causes for exceptionally lightweight toys compared to others we’ve had in the past.
More importantly however, the air in these toys makes them great for fetch in water. These Zogoflex Air products, float higher than the usual toy. Due to this, they are more visible for your dog and easier to grab.
We were sadly not able to try out these toys in water yet, since the weather circumstances didn’t allow for Mojo to go swimming! We will definitely try them out when the temperatures allow us to.
The first toy we’ve tested is one of the more normally shaped toys that West Paw has to offer. It is a regular ball called the Boz.
As Mojo is quite small, we received size S, which is similar in size to a tennis ball. This size fits in any regular sized ball launcher, so even if you already have a Chuckit or a similar toy, there’s no need to buy a new launcher.
Like all Zogoflex air toys, the Boz is injected with air. This makes the ball very lightweight as well as extremely squishy. Mojo loves to chew on toys when retrieving them during a game of fetch, so this ball sounds like it’s just the perfect toy for her.
The Boz is known for its amazing squish. Although softer toys might be better suitable for retriever breeds, it has held up to Mojo’s strong jaws quite well. She has a tendency to chew a lot during fetch, but the exterior of this toy only has a few small punctures after many games of fetch.
This toy is cleverly listed for supervised interactive play. We can imagine that this toy is easily destroyed if an unsupervised dog gets the chance to chew on it for a period of time.
The most important aspect of this particular product would be the texture of the exterior. People often use tennis balls to play fetch with their dog, but the abrasive surface on tennis balls can grind down your dog’s teeth over time. Using a toy with a soft and squishy yet smooth exterior is key in maintaining your dog’s dental health.
The Boz is a regular ball that we would recommend to use with most dogs. Since size S is the smallest option available, this toy can’t be used with small dogs like miniature dachshunds and the like. We’d definitely recommend this toy for any dog that loves to squeeze their toys when retrieving and for play in water!
The Wox is the most unique toy out of the three we’re reviewing today. It’s quite large, has three handles, and is very squishy just like the Boz.
The Wox is one of West Paw’s more versatile toys. This toy is designed for playing fetch, water retrieving, tug, and yet also for individual play. When throwing this toy, it wiggles and when it lands, and it bounces in an undecided direction. This adds just an extra touch to the game of fetch for many dogs.
One thing Mojo loves to do with larger toys, is shaking her head when she retrieves them. She sometimes throws her toy into the air and catches it again. Combined with the possibility to squeeze the toy, this is the perfect toy for Mojo!
Mojo loves to play tug of war with us. Because this toy is so versatile, we can combine playing fetch and tug outside with Mojo. The toy does lend itself to play tug with, however we’ve noticed that it is best for short sessions. The shape of the toy does not allow Mojo to have a strong grasp which causes it to slip from her jaws quite often.
Sadly, the toy does already have some damage due to some sessions of tug of war outside. Mojo’s jaws and tendency to chew might be a tad too strong for this toy.
A final aspect of the toy that we sadly did not have a chance to test, is using it for multiple dogs to play together. Mojo is a tad protective over toys towards conspecifics, so we did not use it with other dogs around. If your dog however can safely play with others, the Wox would make a great toy!
We think this would make an extremely fun toy for a litter of large breed pups. They can chew on it, and tug the ends together.
We would recommend this toy for medium sized or larger dogs. It is incredibly versatile, and relatively sturdy. It would be great for dogs that like to shake their heads and throw their toys up in the air. Do keep in mind though that if you want a toy for long games of tug of war, other toys are probably better suited.
The last toy of the Zogoflex Air range is the Dash. This is a disc shaped toy with a hole in the middle, resembling the look of a donut-like frisbee.
Just like the other toys, this one is also injected with air pockets, but solely at the edge. While the middle of this toy is flat, the edge is quite thick and squishy.
The toy is extremely heavy for a frisbee, and doesn’t fly far. Due to its weight, it does not float in the air like a regular frisbee would. It’s flight resembles more that of a regular ball. When playing with the toy, we therefore tend to use it differently than we would a frisbee.
The Dash shines if you have the possibility to use it on a nicely cut flat field of grass. It is great at rolling over the ground due to its thick edge. This does make the toy great at teaching your dog the first steps of the frisbee game. The sport is often learnt by rolling a frisbee on the ground and letting your dog catch it while the toy is still rolling.
One of the benefits of the Dash over normal frisbees is the soft foam-like material. The edge of this toy won’t hurt Mojo’s mouth while our regular plastic frisbees do at times. This makes it perfect for younger dogs that might still be teething and have sensitive jaws.
The hole in the middle of the Dash makes it very easy for the dog to pick up the toy from the ground compared to regular frisbees.
Although not specifically advertised so, we have found the Dash to be a great toy for tug of war with your dog. The thick edge of the Dash combined with its shape allows Mojo to have quite a strong grasp on the toy.
This is the first toy that Mojo has used to invite us to play a game of tug with her whilst playing fetch outdoors. Usually, she is extremely focused on dropping the toy so she can run after it again.
The Dash is a versatile toy that we would recommend rolling on the ground or playing tug with, rather than playing frisbee if you like to throw far distances. It’s also best for larger dogs as it is quite large, and would be great to teach the first steps of frisbee with, in our opinion! Sadly, the Dash only comes in one size, making it suitable for dogs with a shoulder height of 40 cm (16”) and over.
Summary of our findings
All in all, we like the Zogoflex Air range. We especially love the versatility these toys have to offer. It is not often that we see such versatility within a range of toys, and even in the toys themselves. Although there are just three toys within this range, they are all very different.
We personally recommend the Boz to anyone, especially for dogs that like to squeeze their toys. The Woz would be perfect for larger dogs that like to shake their toys around.
The Dash would be great for stronger dogs, and is great to teach the first steps of the frisbee game with. However the Dash does not fly as a regular frisbee would unlike the name of this range might suggest.
We can’t attest to their function as floating toys yet since we were not able to try them out due to the season we are currently in. We will update this blog post once we have more information on the matter.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Amy Schumann and Rita Viel for sharing information about West Paw and for sending us these amazing toys to review.
Zogoflex Air by West Paw
- All toys in the Zogoflex Air range float on water
- Some toys in the Zogoflex Air range are incredibly versatile
- The Zogoflex Air range is very unique
- All toys in the Zogoflex Air range come in three bright color options
- The Boz and Wox are solely available in one size, and are relatively large
- Not incredibly durable