Nothing makes me happier than seeing my dog Rooney, run around the house with a toy in his mouth.
He loves toys and I love buying him new ones. Although dog toys represent fun and play time, as pet parents we need to consider our dog’s safety when choosing dog toys.
For example, Rooney loves squeaky toys. However, his mission is to find and destroy the squeeker inside the toy. Turns out, after living with Rooney for 3 years, I have learned that his mission is to destroy any toy that crosses his path.
After realizing how Rooney valued his toys, and what his intentions were, I knew I had to consider his safety in regards to toy selection and play time.
Here are a few things to consider in regards to Dog Toy Safety:
What are your dog’s intentions?
Find out what motivates your dog to play with their toys. Typically, a dog will have a preference, and they may even play with some toys differently than they do with others. Take the time to observe how they interact with their toys.
If your dog is like mine, and wants to destroy every toy, I suggest monitoring their playtime with toys. Additionally, I would store them safely out of reach while you are gone for the day, or doing other things at home.
What is the toy made of?
Most dogs are exposed to a variety of different toys. Dog toys can be made of a variety of materials, including rubber, plastic, foam, rope, or stuffing. As a pet parent, it is important to consider the durability of each of these materials, and how your dog typically plays with each toy.
Rubber Toys can be strong and very durable. Many people fill rubber toys with treats in order to make playtime extra fun.
Stuffed Toys may be lots of fun to tear apart, but can be very dangerous if any of the pieces, or stuffing, are ingested. This is especially true for squeeky toys.
Rope Toys can be great for tug-of-war, but can quickly become unraveled and lead to serious problems if the rope is ingested.
Plastic Toys can be great for interactive games, but can break easily, especially if your dog is a tough chewer. Tiny pieces can cause serious issues if they are ingested, so be sure to select your toy carefully.
Can this toy be safe if I monitor my dog while they play with it?
The safety of many dog toys increases in your presence. If you are providing your dog with a certain type of toy for the first time, you might consider monitoring their play and interaction with the toy. With many dogs and especially tough chewers, there are certain types of toys that should always be monitored.
What size should the toy be?
If you have a large breed dog, please consider that it is possible for your dog to swallow small toys. Be sure to select the appropriate size tennis balls, or other toys, for your dog to play with. If you are ever unsure if a toy is not the right one for your dog, feel free to consult with your veterinarian.
Although a new toy can be the highlight of your dog’s day, please consider the safety and durability of any new toy you bring into your home. Additionally, don’t forget to use playtime as a way to interact and bond with your dog.
What is your dog’s favorite toy?
Also, even though you love it when your dog has fun, you still want to keep your house and car clean from their “fun” mess. Be sure and check out the 4Knines Dog Seat Covers to protect your seats from fur, dirt and claws.
Rachel Sheppard is the author and founder of My Kid Has Paws. She is a Social Media Manager, blogger, corgi mom, animal lover, volunteer, graduate student, and shoe collector.
After graduating from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science & Management, she worked as a Veterinary Assistant for 3 years. Her daily interactions with pet parents inspired her to start her blog focused on pet health, pet rescue, and pet products. She has a true enthusiasm for veterinary medicine and animal science, and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences with pet parents.