Dog owners usually provide toys for their dogs. But, are these toys safe? How can a dog owner tell if they are safe?
- Toys that are good for retrieving and/or chasing will stimulate the dog’s natural instincts to retrieve. Balls and Frisbees are excellent for this type of play. Oftentimes though, balls will have a squeaker inside them which will almost always attract the dog’s attention, but unfortunately, toys with squeakers are not necessarily safe for dogs because dog’s can swallow the squeaker if the dog were to chew the toy and the squeaker fell out. If your dog has a tendency to chew up their toys, then they should not have access to this type of toy, especially if there is no supervision.
- Chewy toys are good for allowing a dog to chew to their “heart’s content.” Rawhide chews fall among these types of dog toys. Rawhide chews come various types and are called many things, such as pig ears. Dogs that are prone to eat their rawhide chews could develop diarrhea from ingesting the rawhide toy. These toys can also cause other digestive problems for dogs that ingest them so dog owners who allow their dogs to have these types of dog toys should make sure that they are either small enough for them to pass properly through the dog’s digestive system or that they are large enough that the dog cannot eat them.
- Toys are also available that allow the dog owner to place a treat inside it and the dog is supposed to remove the treat. These toys keep the dog busy while they are trying to get to their treat. These types of toys can also be dangerous to dogs if the treat that is awaiting in the toy is peanut butter and the dog has an allergy to the peanut butter, or if the toy is not the appropriate size for the dog.
- Stuffed toys, usually some sort of animal, are traditionally dog toys. These can be very good for some dogs, but not for others. Some dogs will treat their stuffed “baby” with care while others will tear it up as soon as they can, usually shaking it to pieces. If your dog is one of those that tears up their stuffed animals, they should either not be allowed to have this type of toy or they should only be allowed to have them while being supervised, as eating the stuffing in these toys could make the dog ill.