Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dangerous Toys

When cricket was a puppy he was an avid chewer. His favorite "chew toy" was the bushes that were around the yard where we lived in Arkansas. Despite any attempt to change his behavior he continued to pull those bushes out of the ground and chew them to pieces.

The final straw came on the Morning of the BLOOD SOAKED living room. I woke up one morning to find my living room looking like one of the crime scenes from CSI. Blood was splashed everywhere! I thought for sure the dog had had enough of Boot's sneak attacks and killed him. Then I heard a God awful noise coming from behind the couch and there was Cricket throwing up blood. I called the vet and took him over immediately and it turns out the my bush whacking dog had swallowed a piece of wood and had gotten a splinter embedded in his stomach. Well alls well that ends well Cricket is still with us I did have some major clean up to do and that of course brings us to today's topic.

Dangerous Toys

You and your dog may have very different views on what makes an excellent dog toy. Many commonly used dog toys can be quite dangerous, whether they are homemade, purchased or "found" (by your dog, usually without your knowledge). Often, the objects that dogs find most attractive are the very items that can most easily cause harm. In addition, many toys sold in pet shops and supermarkets feature small parts and decorations that fall off or can be chewed off. Such 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.

Here are details on some specific popular dog toys:


Yes that fun time doggy favorite, balls, can be hazardous to your dogs health if they are too small for the dog that is playing with them. If your dog is a slobber hound it can make the ball become slimy and slippery and it can slip down her throat and choke her. A Tennis ball is the best choice for your dog to play with because their size and fuzzy sides make them unlikely to be a choking hazard Check in your local pet store which has several different sizes to match the size of your dog.


If you choose to give your dog a bone from your kitchen, ensure it is big enough to prevent accidentally swallowing, NEVER give them poultry or rib bone that can splinter and get stuck in your dogs throat. 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 notice he has broken the bone make sure you take it and the pieces away. If you think your dog may have ingested part of a bone, call your vet!

Stuffed Toys

If you have small children you should be avoiding stuffed toys all together. Your dog might not tell the difference between his stuffed animal and your child's. It can lead to bad feeling toward the dog is he chews up you young ones best friend. Most stuffed toys don't last long under the sharp teeth of your dog. If the toy has button eyes or other small parts that can come off, your dog can swallow 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.

Rawhide Chews

While your dog loves to chew this stuff, it may not be good for her health. Depending on the quality of the rawhide and your dog's enthusiasm, larger pieces can break off and be swallowed, getting stuck in the intestines and causing blockages. This is especially true in puppies who should never EVER be given rawhide. In addition, if you have ever pick up a well chewed piece of rawhide you'll know it can get soft and slick at this point is can become a choking hazzard. Be careful which Rawhide you chose those not made in North America may have chemical residues that can be harmful to your dog's health. If your dog just can't part with her rawhide then choose the one that are chipped or compressed which will help avoid the broken pieces. The least you can do is make sure that you buy one that is the appropriate size for you dog, and 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. Ensure that the label is clearly marked with those designations and 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, and/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 her choking on it.
  • 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.

1 comment: said...

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Jeanette Huston