7 Dog Toys to Avoid (and 7 to Try Instead)

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Play Safe: Avoid These 7 Risky Dog Toys

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Dogs are known for their boundless energy and enthusiasm for playtime. As responsible pet owners, we often shower our furry companions with toys to keep them entertained. However, not all dog toys are created equal, and some can pose risks to your canine friend.

Educate yourself about seven types of dog toys that you should avoid due to safety concerns. But don’t worry, we won’t leave you empty-handed. For each dangerous toy category, we’ll also recommend a safer alternative that your pup will love.

Toy to Avoid: Tennis Ball

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While tennis balls may be a classic choice for fetch, they’re not as safe as you might think. The American Kennel Club warns that dogs with strong jaws can easily break tennis balls, potentially leading to choking hazards. Moreover, the felt on tennis balls can wear down a dog’s teeth over time, causing dental problems.

Alternative: West Paw Jive Ball With Zogoflex

For avid fetchers, consider the West Paw Jive Ball. Its unpredictable bounce keeps dogs engaged, and it’s made from durable, FDA-compliant, latex-free plastic that’s safe for your furry friend. Plus, it’s dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.

Toy to Avoid: Sticks

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Chewing on real sticks is a risky choice for dogs. Wood splinters can easily cause mouth injuries, bleeding, or infections. If ingested, the splinters can lead to intestinal blockages, a potentially life-threatening condition.

Alternative: Playology Silver Dental Chew Stick

These dental sticks feature deep grooves for teeth cleaning. On top of that, Playology utilizes Encapsiscent Technology, embedding all-natural scents at a microscopic level, enhancing your pup’s playtime experience. Easy to clean, these toys ensure dental health and scent retention without washing away. Safety is a top priority, meeting ASTM and CPSIA standards with all-natural scents derived from real food, free from harmful chemicals.

Toy to Avoid: Synthetic Stuffing

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Toys with synthetic stuffing may seem harmless, but even “safe” fillings can pose dangers. These non-digestible materials can get stuck in your dog’s teeth or throat and may require costly surgery to remove.

Alternative: SPOT Skinneeez Chipmunk

For cuddly playtime without the stuffing risk, consider SPOT’s Skinneeez. These dog toys contain no stuffing, making them a safe choice. Dogs of all sizes will enjoy fetching and snuggling with these durable options.

Toy to Avoid: Kids’ Toys

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Kids’ toys aren’t designed to withstand the rigors of canine play. They often contain parts that can be easily dismantled by dogs, posing choking hazards or injury risks.

Alternative: Kong Classic Treat-Dispensing Dog Toy

The Kong Dog Toy is a veterinarian-recommended choice that provides both physical and mental stimulation. You can stuff it with treats like peanut butter to keep your dog engaged. Plus, it’s dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.

Toy to Avoid: Cheap Squeaky Toys

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Inexpensive squeaky toys often have loosely floating plastic squeakers that can become choking hazards if your dog manages to remove them.

Alternative: Sugelary Squeaky Pineapple

With over 3,000 positive pet owner reviews, The Sugelary Squeaky Pineapple is a popular dog toy worthy of replacing the cheaper generic squeak toys. Made from high-quality natural rubber, it features a built-in squeaker that captures dogs’ interest in interactive play like fetch. The toy is non-toxic and food-grade, ensuring your puppy’s safety. This unique pineapple-shaped toy from Sugelary is not only entertaining but also adds a touch of fun to your pet’s playtime.

Toy to Avoid: Rope Toys

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If your dog tends to destroy toys, avoid rope toys. When ingested, rope can create life-threatening obstructions in your dog’s digestive system. While safe for interactive one-on-one time, we don’t recommend using them for long periods of time or unsupervised play.

Alternative: Zogoflex Bumi Tug Toy: 

This tug toy is perfect for interactive playtime with your furry friend. It is made from a durable and flexible material that can withstand tough play and is gentle on your dog’s teeth. The unique shape of the toy makes it easy to grip, and the bright colors make it easy to spot in the grass or snow.

Toy to Avoid: Plastic Toys

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Plastic toys are a common choice for dog owners due to their affordability and availability. However, not all plastic toys are safe for your furry friend. Some cheap plastic toys may contain harmful chemicals or easily break into small, sharp pieces that can injure your dog.

Alternative: Natural Rubber Toys, Such as the Kong Classic Dog Toy

For a safer and more durable option, consider natural rubber toys like the Kong Classic Dog Toy. Unlike flimsy plastic toys, natural rubber toys are free from harmful chemicals and designed to withstand heavy chewing. The Kong Classic Dog Toy provides mental stimulation and can be filled with treats to keep your dog engaged for hours. Plus, it’s a breeze to clean – simply toss it in the dishwasher. Switch to natural rubber toys for a worry-free and enjoyable playtime experience with your canine companion.

Protecting Your Pup: Make Safe Toy Choices for Your Furry Friend

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By avoiding these risky dog toys and opting for safer alternatives, you can ensure that playtime remains enjoyable and safe for your beloved canine companion. Remember that a well-informed choice is the best choice when it comes to your pet’s happiness and health.

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Corey Turner
Corey Turner, owner of FurBallFun.com, draws on a lifelong love for dogs and extensive pet ownership to offer a unique perspective in the pet industry. With a successful background in project management, he excels in critical analysis, precise attention to detail, and quality assurance. This expertise allows him to effectively differentiate true value from marketing hype in the pet sector. Corey’s contributions have been featured in various publications including Rockery Press Guide Books and WealthofGeeks.com. During his free time, he enjoys disc golfing, rock climbing, and bonding with his cherished FurBall friend, Harvey.