Most dogs love toys, but could your dog’s favorite toys hurt or can they be dangerous?
In short, the answer is Yes. Dog toys can cause a number of injuries that may result in paying huge money for the treatment or it may even go worse.
However, this does not imply that you should deprive your dog of all fun toys. All you have to do now is to reduce the threats they cause.
Our top priority is your dog’s safety, and we want you to have fun while playing. So, below, we’ll discuss dog toy protection and how to avoid issues with your pooch’s toy set. Also see our recommendations like best dog accessories, best dog muzzles, best retractable dog leashes, best dog gadgets for dog owners.
General Dog Toy Dangers
The dangers of dog toys, like the objects themselves, come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from obvious risks to hidden issues. The following are the most common injuries caused by toys:
The dog may swallow the toy whole or chew a piece off, such as a knot on a rope toy, and end up with the object wedged in his throat. This is obviously life-threatening, and the canine Heimlich manoeuvre could be needed.
If the dog eats a toy, it can get stuck in his digestive tract, resulting in a painful (and possibly deadly) obstruction. Every dog that swallows a piece of plastic, a toy, or any other foreign object should be taken to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Mouth or tooth injuries:
This may occur from a variety of sources, including sharp edges and hard objects. Lacerations, broken teeth, and bloodied gums are only a few of the possible injuries caused by the wrong toy.
One of the most risky dangers associated with dog toys is toxic exposure. Unfortunately, not all manufacturing processes are safe in any country, and some factories use hazardous chemicals or additives such as lead or arsenic.
Something that is chewed or slobbered on repeatedly will develop into a bacterial time bomb. This requires regular toy cleaning in order to prevent illness in you or your dog.
Despite the dangers, toys are important for keeping your four-legged pet comfortable and active, and we want him to have his favorite. Fortunately, by keeping these risks in mind, you will reduce the likelihood of any issues by taking the necessary precautions.
Dangers Presented by Specific Types of Toys
Every toy comes with its own set of dangers, and when we dig deeper into your dog’s bin, we’ll see that some highly distinctive dangers than others.
You’ll also notice that certain dangers are exclusive to certain types of toys. While these dangers do not completely eliminate a toy, they are necessary to keep in mind while playing.
Here are the most common dog toys and their associated risks:
Chew toys have everything from cow hooves and pig snouts to Himalayan yak chews and nylon bones, but they all present the same risks. Some are much too strong and can snap your dog’s teeth, causing pain and possibly tooth loss. If swallowed, chews can cause choking or obstruction, and sharp edges can cause mouth injuries or stomach perforations.
Plush or fleece toys are sweet and cuddly, but they’re still pretty easy for your dog to pull down. If ingested, some of the tattered pieces and stuffing can lead to digestive issues, including obstructions or even poisoning.
Squeaker toys are popular among dogs, but the high-pitched squeal poses a serious obstructive danger. Any puppies are capable of excising and swallowing their food whole in a couple of seconds. However, not every squeaking toy has a conventional plastic squeaker design; others have a rubbery part that makes the sound. Unfortunately, these can also be quickly chewed and ingested, putting you at risk of poisoning or digestive problems.
While fun and bouncy, balls can be difficult to dislodge from the throat if swallowed, presenting a serious choking risk. Some stomach obstructions are caused by balls. Tennis balls may be too abrasive in some situations, causing tooth damage.
Many interactive dog toys are made of hard plastics, which are not only easily harmful to your dog’s teeth if chewed, but can even cut your dog’s mouth. If ingested, hard plastic can cause stomach damage or rectal injury, resulting in more damage (and pain).
Rope toys shred quickly and can cause choking or intestinal obstructions if swallowed. Ropes may also contain toxic substances that make dogs sick, depending on where they’re made. Ropes are a hotbed for bacterial buildup, too.
Heavy chewers can eat into some treat-dispensing toy types rapidly, ingesting bits that can cause digestive problems or blockages.
Keeping Your Canine Safe: How to Reduce the Risks of Dog Toys
If the following section made you nervous and made you want to throw out all of your dog’s favourite toys, don’t worry!
Although there is still a danger of injury when playing with your dog’s toys, you can greatly reduce your pup’s chances of harm by following a few safety precautions, such as:
Purchase only high-quality toys. Cheap toys can be appealing (especially if your dog consumes them quickly), but they may be much more expensive in the long run, not just in terms of vet bills, but also in terms of the possible loss of your best fur friend due to poisoning or injury.
Before giving your dog a toy, check it carefully. Before each use, inspect for any loose parts, sharp edges, or damage. This will prevent mouth infections, choking, and accidental ingestion of your dog.
During toy time, keep a close eye on your dog. This is especially important when it comes to puppies and when showing your four-legged buddy a new toy. When you can’t give them your full attention, anything that presents a choking hazard (balls) should never be provided for play.
When toys begin to display signs of damage, they should be replaced. A broken toy is an unnecessary risk to have in the home. They can get jagged and cut the dog’s mouth, but if swallowed, they can cause choking, obstructions, and perforations, both of which can be deadly.
Check to see if the toys are the right size. A toy that is too small presents a choke or obstruction danger, but a toy that is too big poses a risk for your dog’s teeth if it is made of a hard material. Stick to toys that are appropriate in size and can be chewed and enjoyed without being entirely put in the mouth (risking swallowing).
Perform a thumbnail test. Press the nail into the material of chew toys. If it’s too difficult for you to make an indentation with your fingernail, it’s likely too difficult for your dog to chew.
Clean toys on a daily basis. Cleaning toys with a gentle dish soap and good rinsing on a daily basis can help to prevent bacterial growth and buildup.
Purchase toys manufactured in the United States. Imported toys have a long history of containing toxic substances that can harm your dog. Although they could be less expensive in some situations, the risk is just not worth it. On the package of Made in the USA toys, there is usually a seal. If you can’t find the country of origin for a toy, it’s probably best to move.
Toys provide the ideal outlet for a dog’s energy and mental stimulation. Toys, in addition to daily exercise such as walks or backyard playing, are beneficial to your dog’s mental and physical health.
While there is always the risk of injury when playing with your dog’s toys, you can significantly reduce your pup’s chances of harm by following a few safety precautions.