9 tips for choosing safe toys for your dog to prevent injuries

Picking a toy for your furry friend is more than just a game.

It’s about ensuring their safety while they have fun.

Making the wrong choice can lead to injuries.

However, the right toy can keep your dog entertained and out of harm’s way.

As a responsible pet owner, your job is to distinguish between safe and dangerous toys.

And believe me, this is easier said than done.

Here are nine tips that can help you choose safe toys for your dog, so playtime remains a joy, not a hazard.

1. Always consider the size

Choosing the right size toy for your dog isn’t just a matter of convenience, it’s a safety concern.

Toys that are too small can be easily swallowed or become lodged in your dog’s throat – a situation no pet owner wants to encounter.

On the other hand, a toy that is too big might be difficult for your pet to handle, leading to frustration and possible injury.

Choosing a toy that aligns with the size of your dog is essential.

It prevents choking hazards and ensures your furry friend can enjoy playtime without any risks.

So, when shopping for a new toy, always keep your dog’s size in mind.

And when in doubt, go for the larger size; it’s safer and will still provide plenty of fun.

2. Avoid toys with small parts

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a dog owner is the potential danger of toys with small, detachable parts.

I once bought my pup, Max, this adorable stuffed bear.

It had these cute little plastic eyes that Max couldn’t resist.

However, within minutes of playing, one of the eyes came off.

I was lucky to have been there and promptly took it away.

If I hadn’t been, Max could have swallowed it, leading to a dangerous situation.

This incident taught me to be extra careful when choosing toys.

Now, I always opt for toys without small parts that can easily be chewed off and swallowed.

Remember, safety should always take precedence over how ‘cute’ or ‘fun’ a toy might look.

3. Choose quality over quantity

While it might be tempting to buy a plethora of cheap toys to keep your dog entertained, it’s not the best route for their safety.

Cheap toys often lack the durability needed for a dog’s aggressive chewing.

They can break apart, creating small chunks that pose a choking hazard.

Emergency vet visits due to toy-related injuries have seen a significant increase over the past few years.

Investing in high-quality, sturdy toys can save you from potential heartache and emergency vet bills.

It might cost more upfront, but it pays off in the long run in terms of your dog’s safety and health.

4. Pay attention to the toy’s material

Not all toys are created equal, especially when it comes to their material.

Some materials might be harmful to your dog, causing allergic reactions or even poisoning.

Toys made from rubber or nylon are generally safe and durable options that can withstand your dog’s chewing.

Plus, they’re often easy to clean, which is a bonus for hygiene.

Avoid toys made of toxic materials like lead, which, unfortunately, can still be found in some pet toys on the market.

Also, stay clear of toys with a strong chemical smell as they may contain harmful substances.

Always check the label before purchasing a toy for your furry friend.

5. Opt for toys that promote dental health

While safety is paramount, dog toys also present an excellent opportunity to improve your dog’s dental health.

Chew toys, in particular, can help clean your dog’s teeth, reduce plaque and tartar buildup, and promote healthier gums.

They can be a great supplement to brushing and professional cleanings.

However, it’s important to choose chew toys wisely.

Some are too hard and can break your dog’s teeth, leading to painful injuries and expensive vet bills.

Opt for chew toys that have been approved by veterinary dental associations.

They’re usually made from materials that are tough enough to clean teeth but soft enough not to cause damage.

6. Consider your dog’s individual needs

Just like us, every dog is unique, with their own preferences, behavior, and health conditions.

For instance, my friend’s dog, a sweet old Golden Retriever named Daisy, struggles with arthritis.

She can’t handle hard toys like she used to.

So, they had to find softer toys that wouldn’t cause her any discomfort or further harm.

Daisy’s story is a reminder that we need to consider our dogs’ individual needs when choosing toys.

It’s not just about what’s safe or popular, but what’s best for them.

7. Be mindful of noise-making toys

Some toys come with bells, squeakers, or other noise-making elements.

While these can be fun and engaging for dogs, they can also pose a safety risk.

My own dog was obsessed with a squeaky toy I bought him once.

One day, in his excitement, se managed to rip the toy apart and get to the squeaker inside.

He could have easily swallowed it or choked on it.

That incident scared me enough to rethink my choices of toys for my dog.

Now, I opt for noiseless toys or those that have securely embedded squeakers that my dog can’t get to. I

t’s better to choose wisely than risk a potential hazard.

8. Regularly inspect and replace old toys

Even the safest toys can become hazardous with time and wear.

Frayed ropes, deflated balls, or cracked rubber toys can lead to small pieces breaking off and causing choking hazards.

Make it a regular habit to inspect your dog’s toys.

Check for any signs of wear and tear that could pose a risk to your pet.

When a toy starts showing signs of damage, it’s time to replace it.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

9. Supervise playtime

Despite all precautions, the safest toy can still pose a risk if your dog is left unsupervised.

Dogs can be unpredictable, and what starts as safe play can quickly turn into a dangerous situation.

Always keep an eye on your dog while they’re playing with toys.

If you notice any aggressive chewing or attempts to swallow large pieces, intervene immediately.

Your presence and attention during playtime are the best safeguards against potential toy-related injuries.

It’s all about love

At the core of our pet care lies a profound love for our furry friends.

This love transcends the joy of playtime and delves into the realm of their safety and well-being.

Selecting safe toys for your dog isn’t merely a task, but a testament to this love.

It’s about acknowledging their individual needs, safeguarding their health, and creating an environment that brings them joy without posing any risks.

So next time you pick up a toy for your dog, remember these tips.

Because every choice you make contributes to a safer, happier life for your pet.

It’s more than just play; it’s an expression of love.

Clifton Kopp

Clifton Kopp

I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

The latest articles and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.

Scroll to Top