Your two-year-old may enjoy dressing Teddy up for tea parties and playing make-believe with plushies, but if your dog is like most, he probably enjoys chewing them to pieces. Those adorable stuffed animals and plush toys may be a crowd-pleaser among the canine community, but they are laced with hidden dangers! The soft fabric that children love is easy for your pooch to tear into. This can quickly turn into a medical emergency if your dog decides to eat the eyes, stuffing, or limbs they bite off the toys.
Unfortunately, not all toys made for dogs are safe, either, as many possess the same risks. Your dog may go crazy for squeaky toys that play to their prey drive, however; many pups aren’t satisfied until the squeaker is in their stomach. When any part of a toy is swallowed, it is important to contact a veterinarian. Depending on what they ate and the size of your dog, your vet may decide to wait and see if they pass the object on their own or take a series of x-rays with contrast to see where the object is in their digestive tract, and whether it is stuck or progressing towards the exit!
If the toy causes a blockage, your pet will need emergency foreign body surgery to save their life.
If your dog loves a good chew, have no fear! There are plenty of safe toys on the market that will keep your dog happy and healthy. Look for sturdy toys made of strong woven fabric or firm rubber and avoid hard materials like bones and antlers that can break your dog’s teeth. If you give your dog rawhide chews, make sure you take them away once they get small enough to become a choking hazard. If you stick to these guidelines, your and your dog will enjoy more safe, stress-free playtime and less trips to the vet!