Just because you see a toy in your local pet supply store does not mean that it is safe for your dog! There are many toys that can be dangerous for your pet yet most pet owners are unaware of the damage they can cause. The top five toys to keep away from your dog are, the tennis ball, tug toys, cat toys, squeaky toys, and plush toys. This article explains what to avoid and why.
It’s Not All Fun and Games – Potentially Dangerous Dog Toys
Many commonly used dog toys can be dangerous if not properly maintained or play is not supervised. Toys can be homemade, purchased or “found.” Make sure you inspect the toy because some toys sold in pet shops and supermarkets feature small parts and decorations that fall off or can be chewed off. These toys can choke your dog, so beware as you make your purchases, and be sure to replace toys immediately if they have parts that appear to be loosening or wearing out.
Dog Ball Toys
Balls can be deadly choke hazards, depending on the size of the ball and the size of your dog. Smaller sized balls can become very slimy and can slip down your dog’s throat and cause her to choke. Tennis balls are among the safest balls for your dog to play with because their size and fuzzy sides make them unlikely to be a choking hazard for most dogs.
Before giving any bones to your dog, make sure that they are big enough to prevent swallowing whole. Poultry and rib bones are a bad idea because they tend to break and splinter. The best bet is to buy a natural bone that is specially treated to be safe for your dog. Always supervise your dog while he is chewing a bone because bones can splinter and choke your pet, or cut the inside of her mouth and throat. If you think your dog may have ingested part of a bone, seek veterinary attention for treatment.
Stuffed Dog Toys
If your dog likes to rip and tear, stuffed toys can be dangerous. If the toy has button eyes or other small parts that can come off, your dog can swallow or choke on them. Also, even if the toy is labeled safe for children (and therefore for pets) the stuffing inside can be another choking hazard and possible intestinal problem if your dog swallows the cotton stuffing.
It’s important to be aware of your dog’s chewing habits; depending on the quality of the rawhide and your dog’s enthusiasm, larger pieces can break off and be swallowed. If the pieces are too large they can cause intestinal blockages. Rawhide that is not made in North America can also contain chemical residues that can be harmful to your dog’s health. Always supervise your dog when he’s enjoying a rawhide chew. When the size of the rawhide gets small enough that he can put the entire piece in his mouth, it is time to throw it away in order to avoid accidental ingestion.
When providing toys for your dog:
- Purchase only pet-safe or child-safe toys. Visually inspect the toy for small parts that could pose a choking hazard. Be certain that all toys are sturdy and securely sewn together, and replace any toys with parts that look loose or damaged.
- Avoid toys that have ribbons, feathers, strings, eyes or other small parts that could fall off, be removed, chewed or eaten.
- Do not allow the dog to play with any object that could easily be swallowed.
- Use nothing smaller than a ping-pong ball as a dog toy to avoid the possibility of choking.
- Avoid toys with sharp parts or corners.
- Consider soft, stuffed toys, which should be machine washable. Check labels for child safety; a stuffed toy labeled as safe for children under three years old cannot contain dangerous fillings.
When it comes to dog toys, what is safe for one dog may be unsafe for yours, so always buy toys appropriate to your dog’s strength and activity level. Strong dogs may rip apart a nylon bone in a matter of minutes, while another may chew on it for years.
Small toys can be unsafe. All of your dog’s toys should be large enough that your dog cannot swallow them, so a good rule to follow is that the toy should be bigger than your dog’s mouth. Always watch over dogs playing with a new toy to make sure it is an appropriate size.
Old or worn toys may be dangerous for your dog to chew on as pieces, even strings, may become lodged in your dog’s throat or intestines. As squeakers fall out, rubber crumbles or seams shred, the toy becomes a choking hazard.
Rawhide and Greenies can also be unsafe toys for your dog. While not dangerous for all dogs, some pets cannot digest the pieces of the chews, which can cause intestinal blockage.
Before purchasing a dog toy, look for unsafe parts by gently pulling on pieces to make sure nothing falls off easily. Squeeze rubber balls and toys to see how durable the material feels and try to avoid flimsy construction.
Don’t let dogs play with your child’s or non-pet toys, as they often have parts that can be swallowed, such as plastic eyes, bean stuffing or removable pieces. Instead, look for toys that have embroidered eyes and nothing plastic sewed on or attached.
Don’t purchase tennis balls as a play toy for large dogs. The tennis ball is dangerous for large breed dogs because their mouths are large enough that they could potentially swallow the ball. Also, the glue used can damage a dog’s tooth enamel.
Play tug with your dog!! Tug toys do not encourage dominance. They are a healthy way of playing with a dog. The rules are you start the game, not the dog and the dog should have a good “Drop it” command. Teaching a dog to let go when aroused can be very helpful.
Do not give your dog plush toys. Plush toys are not sold in pet supply stores. They are intended to be played with by children, not dogs. Although many of us feel like our pets are our children, they should not be given toys meant for humans.
Do not use plastic toys. Most Dogs have sharp teeth which can break and sharpen the toy causing possible bleeding and damage to your Dog’s teeth and gums,and a broken toy may suffocate the dog or get swallowed into the dogs digestive track and hurt it
Do not give your dog raw-hide.
Do not give your dog any small toy’s that are smaller than a tennis ball and keep those items secure. Items such as marbles and bouncy balls can choke dogs or if eaten harm their health.
Avoid balloons,although they may seem fun for dogs they have several drawbacks.
- when popped they may damage the dogs hearing,eyes,nose,and mouth.
- when the popped remains are swallowed and harm the dog’s health and digestive track.
- when the popped remains are swallowed it may cause the dogs to choke.