Tips for Avoiding Dangerous Dog Toys
Some Dog Toys Are Can Be Hazardous to Your Dog’s Health
Although it is important to provide your dog with adequate exercise and stimulation through play, there are some popular types of dog toys that you should either supervise very closely or avoid altogether.
Tennis Balls Do Not Make Good Dog Toys
Dogs love tennis balls. They bounce. They are somewhat chewy. They can be catchable. But tennis balls are bad news for dogs. Smaller tennis balls, like any small toy or ball, can be a choking hazard for big dogs.
Additionally, some veterinarians say that the nylon fuzz on tennis balls is too abrasive for dog’s teeth and can wear down the tooth enamel leading to potentially painful and expensive dental problems down the road.
Moreover, tennis balls can be chewed apart and the pieces swallowed, creating a risk of choking or intestinal blockage, either of which could be deadly.
Any Dog Toy That Is Too Small for the Dog or That Has Small Pieces
Small toys that can fit entirely into the dog’s mouth can create a choking hazard for your dog. That may seem like a no-brainer, but if you have several dogs of different sizes–say a Chihuahua and a Boxer in the same household–you need to think about keeping toys around that are safe for all the dogs. If you keep tiny toys around for your tiny dog, be very careful to keep the small toys away from the bigger dogs in the household.
Prior to purchase, it is important to inspect any dog toys for small parts that could fall off or be chewed off and swallowed. If a dog toy poses a choking hazard for children under the age of three, it is also not safe for your dog.
Stuffed Squeaky Dog Toys May Be Hazardous
Stuffed toys with a squeaky mechanism inside are very popular, and dogs do love to bite them and make them squeal. But stuffed toys are easily chewed apart by rambunctious dogs. Once the toy has developed a hole or two, the stuffing can end up all over the place and both the stuffing and the squeaky mechanism can be pose choking hazards. If swallowed, they can cause potentially deadly intestinal blockage. Any play with stuffed squeaky dog toys should be closely monitored at all times. It can take only a moment for a determined dog to rip up the toy and swallow the insides.
Rawhide chews for dogs are very popular, but they present a couple of potential dangers to your dog’s health. First, if larger pieces break off during chewing, the dog could try to swallow them whole. Large pieces of rawhide pose a real threat of choking or intestinal blockage if swallowed. Carefully supervise your dog as she enjoys her rawhide chew, and be ready to retrieve pieces that break off. When the chew gets small enough to be swallowed whole, take it away from the dog to prevent swallowing.
Second, rawhide chews manufactured in some countries outside the United States may not be safe for your dog at all. As this dog owner’s experience demonstrates, rawhides manufactured outside the U.S. may contain salmonella bacteria, arsenic, lead and pesticides. Health problems from rawhide chews may include sore throat, choking, intestinal blockage and acute pancreatitis. So, if you are going to use rawhide chews, make sure you purchase them from a trusted manufacturer.