Blog: Are Your Dog's Toys Deadly?

Newport Beach expert dog trainer Vladislav Roytapel explains the dangers of bad dog toys and the benefits of good ones.

Fido might enjoy pig ears and Rover might like his ball, but pet owners must be cautious when giving their dog a toy because many of them can be dangerous and even deadly. 

- Household Dog Toys: Pieces of clothing your pooch winds up tugging on, with or without your permission, can become extremely dangerous. Towels, socks, underwear and other articles of clothing can be swallowed by a rambunctious pet, causing intestinal obstruction.  

Instead of an old T-shirt or sock, give your dog an empty plastic bottle but be sure to take off the top ring and paper label.

- Dog Bones: Giving your dog a bone can be quite the challenge. Before giving any bones to your dog, make sure they are big enough to prevent your pet from swallowing it whole. Poultry and rib bones are bad ideas because they tend to break and splinter. 

The best way to give a dog a bone, is to buy a natural bone that is specially treated to be safe for your dog. Always supervise your dog while he is chewing a bone because they can splinter, choke your pet and cut their throat or mouth.

If you think your pet has swallowed bone shards, take them to the veterinarian ASAP. A great choice for a dog bone, is nylon bones and hard antler chews. They can be purchased at local pet stores. 

- Stuffed Animals: If your dog likes to rip and tear, stuffed toys can be very dangerous. If the toy has button eyes or other small parts that come off, your dog might swallow or choke on them. Even if the toy is labeled safe for children, and therefore pets, the stuffing inside can be another choking hazard and possible intestinal problem if you dog swallows the cotton stuffing. 

Instead try Tuffie dog toys which are very durable.

-Rawhides: Rawhides are the most controversial dog toy on the market. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard veterinarian's talk about pulling shards of rawhides from a dog's stomach. They also produce a lot of digestive problems like diarrhea. As a behaviorist, I have observed many dog fights and dog bites that have happened around this type of dog toy. 

If you absolutely have to give your dog a rawhide, the best are the compressed ones. They are much safer and long lasting.

Remember: Always supervise your dog when he/she is enjoying a rawhide chew. When the size of the rawhide gets small enough, that's when the entire piece could get into his mouth and stomach so be sure to quickly take it out before an accident happens.

-Vladae Roytapel

Vladae Roytapel is the Russian Dog Wizard from SoCal Dog Training in Newport Beach. He has been featured on the David Letterman Show, CNN, Fox and more major news outlets. He can be reached at 949-274-3445 or via email at socaldogtraining@gmail.com. To learn more tips and secrets from the Russian Dog Wizard, visit www.socaldogtraining.com

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