Dog Tip: Safe Toys
Updated: Aug 25, 2022
For your dog, toys are a necessity. "Playtime" may sounds frivolous, but it is anything but! Toys helps your dog stave off boredom, burn off extra energy, provide mental stimulation and provide comfort when they are nervous. And of course, toys facilitate bonding time with other dogs and people. Fetch, anyone?
Most dogs are not picky about their toys, and will play with anything that sparks their interest, especially when they are young and inexperienced. This means that they can sometimes play with objects that are not safe for them, such as electrical cords, items made from plastic that can splinter in their mouth, or items such as bones or rawhide chews that they can choke if they swallow pieces that are too large.
Here are a few pointers to help you spoil your pet with toys they love, without risking their safety:
Buy toys that are the appropriate size. Consider what's right for YOUR dog. The right type of toy for your dog will depend on their size, breed and temperament. For example, a ball that is not a choking hazard for a Pomeranian may be hazardous for a Mastiff.
Remove hazardous items from your dog's environment. Many of the items your dog may want to play with are dangerous for them. Your dog may play with and try to swallow string, ribbon, rubber bands, children's toys, pantyhose and other inedible items found around your home. They may also find unsafe objects while they are out walking with you.
Supervise your dog's play with squeaky toys. your dog may feel that they must find and destroy the source of the squeaking, which means they could ingest it if left unsupervised.
Beware of rawhide. If you're thinking about giving your dog rawhide chew toys, be sure to check with your veterinarian about which ones are safe and appropriate for your dog, since these toys are choking hazards. Many rawhides are byproducts of the inhumane international fur trade. For a humane alternative, consider toys made of very hard rubber, which are safer and last longer.