Common Pet Toys That Are Dangerous


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Updated On November 22, 2020

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In today's world, we see story after story of how the traditional toys we purchase from the store have been hurting our pets. It is our responsibility as pet parents to stay educated and aware of what we can do to keep our pets safe and healthy. We have rounded up some information for you about very common types of pet toys that could be dangerous.


Squeaky Toys

The first toy on this list is a classic. Pets love to make their toys squeak because it activates that prey drive to catch and kill small rodents that make that same noise. But the problem with squeaky toys is that those little squeakers can be dangerous. For most inexpensive squeaking toys, the squeaker inside the toy is simply a loose item that is shoved into the stuffing or the inside of the toy. That means that if your pet manages to get the toy ripped open, they could easily swallow the small squeaker, and choke.


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Synthetic Ropes

Synthetic ropes can be dangerous for dogs because the threads can fray, and the dogs can swallow those and choke on the heavily dyed nylon or cotton fibers, which may cause major damage to their intestines. However, ropes are a pretty popular toy because they work great for tug of war. Dogs love to tug and pull on toys, especially when you play with them in return. It’s one of the ways that puppies first learn to play with each other and with you. Tugging games also help energetic dogs learn how to direct their energy so that instead of running around, they are being relatively still and working on a game. Finally, tugging games also teach puppies how to share and enjoy the sharing, so it’s a pretty important developmental tool all around. If you would like a tugging rope for your pets, make sure it is made from digestible, untreated fibers.


Pig Ears and Cow Hooves

These are popular “natural” chew toys that many pet owners are giving their dogs who are heavy chewers. It’s true that these toys can help a dog satisfy a deep urge to chew, but both cause big health problems. Pig ears have recently been correlated to a rising case of salmonella poisoning among both pets and their owners. Pig ears can also get lodged in a dog’s throat and cause them to choke. If chewed the wrong way, they can also get very sharp and rip a dog’s esophagus or stomach lining when swallowed. Cow hooves have been shown to crack and fracture teeth time and time again. Dogs don’t really know “when to stop” when it comes to these things, so they’ll keep chewing on that tough hoof despite their teeth being put under strain.


Plastic Chewy Bones

Speaking of chewy bones, however, there are some things you need to consider when you choose these. For the most part, there are some companies that you can trust to make a quality product that won’t be ripped apart. If that happens, your dog could easily choke on the smaller parts. Also, they can swallow the plastic and it can get stuck in their digestive systems causing a blockage or slowly poisoning them. Look for toys that have a lot of reviews online, or name brands that your vet signs off on.



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Vinyl Toys with Phthalates

One very dangerous toxin that can really ruin your pet's day is called phthalates. This toxin is found in soft vinyl toys. These are very bad for your pet's entire system and can be just as dangerous as lead over time. Typically, trusted name brands will say something about not containing this ingredient on the packaging, but if you can’t find any reference to this on the package, it may be time to do some research online before you buy. You definitely don’t want to leave this up to chance.


Tennis Balls

Traditional tennis balls that are made for the courts are not healthy for pets. They are not strong enough to withstand chewing, which means that pieces can come off and get swallowed. Another problem is the “hair” on the balls, which can be ripped off and eaten. This usually contains dye that isn’t good for your pet, and can also lead to a sore throat and digestion issues.


Human Toys

It’s pretty common to see pets being allowed to play with a cute stuffed animal that the owner found in a children’s toy aisle, or something they “borrowed” out of the kids’ toy box. But the problem with this is that safety measures for children and pets are very different. The safety eyes in a stuffed animal that keep little fingers from pulling out the tiny pieces don’t stop a dog from gnawing their way through the animal and swallowing them. The stuffing itself could be dangerous for pets to eat, and if there are other hard plastic parts on the toy, that could also be hard a pet’s stomach.

Rawhides

Finally, let’s talk about rawhide chew toys. Did you know that these are not actually a piece of dehydrated beef? It’s actually a chemically preserved piece of leather that you are giving your dog! They use glues, bleaches, and preservatives like fermaldehyde that don’t break down in your dog’s stomach. Additionally, rawhides have been linked to health problems like pancreatitis, which can be deadly for dogs. These are really best avoided all the way around.

Being A Responsible Pet Parent

At the end of the day, you are able to decide what is best for your pet. But taking a few moments to do some extra research into toy safety can be the difference between a sad day at the vet, and a long and happy life with your furry baby!


Naturally Shed
Antler

The highest grade antler treats and toys available for pets!


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