We love our fur babies so much. And we would do anything to make our dogs happy, just like they make us happy. Dog toys are all over the market, so why wouldn’t we want to get some for our friend(s)? Dog toys are specially made for our canine friends, so definitely no big deal, right? Sadly, no. I really am disheartened to have to say this, but the fact that these toys are made for dogs does not automatically mean they are very safe. There can be some real hidden dangers in dog toys and treats that none of us would have ever expected. Who would have thought?
There are loads of toys on the market that could be very harmful to your dog. And surprise, you might even have some of them in your home already. Gasp! A lot of us also love to spoil our furry friends not only with dog toys, but also with dog treats—especially as rewards because why not? Totally saddened to have to break your heart again, but some of the dog treats you give your fur babies are so dangerous that they could even kill them. It’s that serious.
When shopping for toys for your dog, it’s also important to know what type of chewer your dog is. If your dog is a vigorous and heavy chewer, you may need to be more selective on what you give your dogs. And may also need to watch them more closely. Knowing what type of chewer your dog is can benefit your dog’s health and save you money (no point wasting money on something that will only last 5 minutes).
Let’s take a closer look at some hidden dangers hidden in the toys and treats made for our dog friends. And also discuss the possible ways to keep our fur babies safe and away from harm’s way. We sure don’t want treats that will make us have to go treat our dog at the vet.
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Dog toys and treats that hold hidden dangers
Even though lots of dogs love to play with tennis balls or under-sized balls, they can be very dangerous and go wrong very fast. The small sized balls can easily be swallowed by your dog. Or if you have a very chewy dog, they could easily chew the tennis ball apart. And if they swallow the pieces, they could choke. Choking prevents air passage into the lungs and could cause death if help does not come quickly.
Plastic squeak toys
Squeaky plastic pet toys are very cute and your canine companion may love them. But they can pose danger to your dog. These toys can easily be torn into pieces, and swallowing these pieces can cause your pet to choke or have digestive obstructions. Make sure you always inspect your dog’s toys and replace them once they are worn out. And if they remove the squeaker in the toy, throw it away immediately.
Rawhide dog chews and toys
Rawhide chews and toys are highly loved by dogs. Dogs can spend hours just chewing on these rawhides. If pieces break off or it becomes small enough, your dog may just try to swallow it. This can potentially cause intestinal obstruction or choking.
Even worse, many rawhide chews and dog toys made outside of the United States often contain highly toxic chemicals which you want to avoid. The hides are made from the processed skin of cows or sheep, and are a typical byproduct of the leather industry, not the food industry. Their production calls for a lot of not-so-safe chemicals to separate the hide layers, preserve them, cure them, flavor, and color them as well. The presence of all this toxicity in your dog’s body might cause them long-term irritation, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Raw or processed bones and hooves
Always watch your dog while they are chewing any of these. They may carry a risk of fracturing or harming your dog’s teeth. Also, if your dog isn’t used to eating such things, they can cause gastrointestinal problems.
Rope toys are not visibly a threat, but once they begin to shred, your pet might swallow them. It’s very possible the string won’t be able to pass through them, which can cause a life-threatening blockage.
It’s important to pay attention to country of origin when buying treats. Some jerky treats made outside the United States have caused dogs to get sick. It is always best to choose locally sourced, humanely raised jerky treats. And always supervise your dog in case they start to choke.
Pig or lamb ears
These are super popular treats that most of us give to our dogs but, again too much of a good thing isn’t good at all. As they are eaten, they can potentially cause a choking hazard. And may cause gastrointestinal issues. If your dog eats them slowly, there is a chance for bacterial overgrowth, which is very unhealthy for your dog.
Antlers can be a great long-lasting chew for your dog. But it’s very important to choose the right size and variety. You really need to take into account your dog’s chewing habits as well as their size and weight when choosing an antler. A smaller dog can always handle a larger antler (although it could be a risk of breaking a tooth) but an undersized antler for a larger more aggressive chewer will not last very long. And could become a choking hazard. Always supervise your dog while they enjoy their antlers.
If you want more information about what to consider when shopping for new toys, check out our article on safe toy ideas. Remember to consult your dog’s vet if you have specific questions or concerns. And also be mindful, that treats should only be 5–10% of your dogs diet. So, you should adjust their meals accordingly unless you want to deal with an overweight pup. It’s your job to keep your dog out of harm’s way and to be their best happy and healthy self.