Did you know that not all toys advertised for dogs are safe dog toys? You read that right, not all dog toys are safe for your dogs. Some may even harm your dogs.
How to Pick Safe Dog Toys?
Consider the Size of Your Dog
Be careful in buying toys for your dogs. See to it that you’re buying the right size for your dogs, not too small. Small toys have a high risk of being swallowed and even get lodged in your dog’s throat.
Look Out for Small Parts that Can Be Ingested
Another thing you should look out for are toys with small parts. These small parts may get destroyed and ingested by your dog is definitely not safe.
Safe Dog Toys: Which Toys Should You Use?
SAFE Dog Toys: Puzzle Toys for Enrichment
Dogs, especially the active and the working type of dogs require mental stimulation. They need to get their brains going to prevent them from getting bored. There are a lot of toys (and even treats) that you can use to stimulate your dog’s brain. You can use these toys and treats as a positive reinforcement.
Some of these toys are:
- Buster Cubes
- Snuffle Mat
SAFE Dog Toys: Dental Chews with Veterinary Oral Health Council’s Seal of Approval (VOHC)
Giving your toys Dental Chews is not only fun for your dog, it can also prevent them from accumulating plaques and tartar. This way, you can ensure that your dogs are not only having fun, it’s also protecting your dog’s teeth from getting destroyed.
Some of these are:
- CET Hextra Rawhide Chews
- Oravet Chews
Note: Ask for your veterinarian’s opinion before you introduce them to your dog
SAFE Dog Toys: Fetch Toys
Playing fetch is a great exercise for your dog. It’s mentally stimulating, it allows them to move around, and most importantly, you get to bond with your dog. Let’s get this straight, fetch Toys are for playing fetch, and NOT for chewing. If you’re giving your dog fetch toys for chewing, please look for other alternatives.
Some of these fetch toys are:
- Jolly Ball
- Bumi Toy
- King Jumbler Ball
SAFE Dog Toys: Tug Toys
Toys such as a flirt pole or a 4-foot long snake type toy are excellent possibilities for tug game. This game is beneficial for keeping sharp puppy teeth away from a kid’s hand when they play. However, if you are unsure about playing tug with your dogs and teaching them how to properly play tug with them, You can work with a positive reinforcement behavior professional.
NOT SAFE Dog Toys: Which Toys Should NOT Introduce to Your Dogs
NOT SAFE Dog Toys: Chew Toys Harder than Your Dog’s Teeth
Think of your dog’s teeth. Much like yours, your dog’s teeth may also break if they play with toys that are hard to chew. Giving your dog a hard chew toy is similar to asking for your dog’s teeth to break. Dogs can’t control their urge to chew, so even if you have good intentions, if you give your dog a hard-to-chew toy, chances are, your dog’s teeth are going to break.
Some of these toys are:
- Natural Bones
Aside from breaking their teeth, they may also damage their stomach lining when they accidentally ingest their toy. Sometimes, especially when you don’t pay that much attention to your dog’s toy, they eat the toy. One way to test whether your dog’s chew toy is safe for chewing is doing the nail test. If your fingernails can’t press through the toy, that means the toy is too hard.
NOT SAFE Dog Toys: Chew Toys May Get Contaminated with Bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella
You should be careful when giving your dog chew toys, especially since your dog is going to obviously- chew them. Giving them chew toys that can easily get contaminated is like asking for your dog to get sick. We definitely do NOT want our dogs to get sick.
Some of the chew toys your that can easily get contaminated are:
- Jerky Chews
- Bully Sticks
- Pig Ears
If you really insist on giving your dogs these chew toy, make sure your source of the toy keeps their products clean. To add to that, you as the owner should also make sure you’re giving your dog toys that are not contaminated. Make sure that you give your chew toy to your dog right away to avoid contamination.
But for your dog’s safety, it’s better if you don’t give them these toys.
NOT SAFE Dog Toys: Toys with Small Ingestible Pieces
Sometimes dog toys that come in small ingestible pieces is not a good thing for your dogs. Remember, you dog doesn’t know what’s bad and good for them. While playing, your dog may ingest small pieces without your supervision which can cause intestinal blockages and more.
Some example of these are:
- Rope toys
- Stuffed toys
- Small tennis balls
I’m not saying you should not use them. I’m saying you should be responsible and pay attention to your dog if you’re giving them these kinds of toys. I’m 100% sure you don’t want to see your dog suffer from intestinal blockages. Better safe than sorry.
NOT SAFE Dog Toys: Sticks
Just because it comes from nature and you see them everywhere, doesn’t give you the free pass to give it as a toy. Sticks can give your dogs splinters which may get stuck in your dog’s throat. Although sticks are biodegradable, it doesn’t mean it’s not painful. It still takes time before it gets fully digested.
In some cases, sticks can lead to a mouth, heart, or even intestinal injury. As mentioned earlier, potential toys with small details is definitely not a good idea.
Think twice before buying your dog a new toy. Does it have a small part? Does it get contaminated right away? Is the dog toy too hard? Can you press your nails on the toy? These are some of the questions you ask yourself before you proceed to buy these toys.