Dogs will chew on just about anything, especially when they are puppies. With that in mind, even some dog toys found at your local pet store may be unsafe your pet. While you can do your best to avoid unsafe toys, supervision is really the key to keeping your pet safe.
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.