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The Ultimate Guide to Safe Dog Toys - Part 4

Welcome to Part IV of our Safer Dog Toy series. If you missed any of the previous discussions, you can find the links below. Otherwise, let's get started discussing some of the most common dog toys and chews that are prone to cause choking.


· Part I: Proper dog toy size, proper dog toy shape

· Part II: Toy construction – how a toy is built, where it is made, why it matters!

· Part III: Common toy materials and common material risks

· Part IV: Common items prone to cause choking


Part IV: Common dog toys and chews that are prone to cause choking:

According to Doghealth, the items and toys below are the most prone to cause choking or other hazards.


Sticks

Dogs love to chew on them; however, they splinter easily and can impale their chests when retrieving. Dogs love to break off pieces which can get caught in throats and cause problems when swallowed. Additionally, sticks can puncture:

· Esophagus

· Stomach

· Tissues in the mouth

They can also get caught in the back molars of dogs' mouths and make an emergency trip to the vet a necessity.





Bones

These are an extreme choking hazard because, literally, dogs will often bite off more than they can chew and attempt to swallow pieces bigger than their esophagus.

Pieces can lodge themselves in the lower jaw, and are also potential for:

· Intestinal blockages which are medical emergencies

· Stomach punctures

· Intestinal punctures

· Punctures to the mouth


Even hollow bones aren't a safe choice for dogs because they can splinter and cause intestinal upset.


Rawhides

Unfortunately, these are widespread choking hazards for dogs. Dogs work at one part on the bone and soften it until it loosens. Once part of the rawhide is loose, dogs often swallow the piece whole, which is the perfect size for a choking threat. These pieces can result in necessary surgery due to blockages in the GI tract.

Give plain rawhides under direct supervision only. Remove the rawhide by "trading" it for something of equal value to your dog—lay small pieces of something interesting like cheese. Place a breadcrumb trail away from the rawhide, wait for your dog to get the cheese, and remove the rawhide.


Tennis Balls

In addition to the tennis ball risks we covered earlier, a tennis ball's structure can break down when a dog chews leading to small felt pieces being swallowed. These pieces can cause choking and blockages in a dog’s intestines that are difficult to remove. We highly recommend you do not let your dog chew or retrieve tennis balls. Instead, teach your dog to fetch with a non-tennis dog toy launcher and toys.


Tiny Toys and Toys with Squeakers

Choking risks also include small toys with squeakers because they're broken down quickly and can shrink when chewed. Reduce the choking hazard and:

· Choose the correct toy size and shape for your dog. For help refer to Part 1 of our series.

· Get rid of toys with squeakers

· Remove toys with missing or broken pieces

· Choose plush toys with reinforced seams and tough materials.

· Choose plush toys specifically marked as no-stuffing


Toys for Tots

Kids and dogs can make a great mix, except when it comes to their toys. Younger kids usually have small toys, toys with small parts that easily come off and are swallowed, and toys with loose stuffing. The best plush toys made for dogs have reinforced seams and stuffing that doesn't easily come out. Kids toys may not have these extra precautions and present a higher risk for your dog.


There are many fun and safe dog toys out there; however, there are also many more unsafe toys. Please do your research, supervise your dog whenever you give it a new toy, and replace damaged toys immediately. If you're looking for a fun, safer, higher-quality dog toy made in the USA, we’d love it if you gave fetchfix a try!



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