Watching our dogs play with a special toy, or engaging in a game of catch, Frisbee, or tug-o-war with a favorite chew toy or rope is part of the fun of having a dog. But, some toys may have hidden dangers that could harm your four-legged canine friend.
Here are 7 safety tips for dog toy buying you’ll want to print off and take with you the next time you go shopping for your pet’s toys.
- Not Easily Destroyed – when your dog sees you want to play with a new toy, they won’t mean to tear the thing apart, but they won’t be able to contain their excitement. So, make sure the toy is indestructible. Hard nylon or rubber toys are usually a good choice. But, beware of edges that could become sharp, and always keep an eye on the toy as your dog plays with it to make sure pieces have not broken off. Avoid soft rubber toys that only need one big chomp to be destroyed.
- Rope toys are great for tug-o-war games with your pooch or to throw for them to retrieve. But, keep an eye on them to make sure they are staying intact especially if they have nylon or rubber pieces connected to them.
- While there is not much cuter than watching a small puppy bat a toy around that has a bell inside or listen to them chew on a squeaking toy, be very careful with these kind of toys. Often, the first thing the dog will do is remove the squeaker or the bell, and then it becomes a choking hazard or could end up in their stomach.
- Make sure stuffed animal toys are made out of durable, thick fabric. Otherwise, the fabric can tear or break open at the seams, and stuffing will start to fall out. Some of the stuffing may even end up in your dog’s stomach. At the very least, you’ll have a mess of fluff to clean up.
- Rawhide chews seem like the ideal toy to both keep the dog entertained and clean their teeth at the same time. If you buy the large ones that are made out of single sheets of rawhide, keep a close eye on them. When they become too soft or begin to unravel, throw them away and get your dog a new one. Above all, make sure they are not cheaply made in countries that have lower standards for dog products since they may cause illnesses.
- Dental Chews – Thankfully, most dental chew toys have really come a long way and are considered fairly safe. But, it’s always a good idea to stick with top name brands you know you can trust.
- Proper sized toys are an important consideration. Buy an appropriate size for your individual pet’s mouth. Anything too small can be swallowed whole or become a choking hazard. Worse yet, it could lodge in the intestinal tract. If the toy is too big, the dog may become frustrated trying to latch onto it with a mouth that is too small for the large toy. Never break apart a dog toy to make it smaller, since you could turn it into a huge hazard.