You’d think that commercially available pet toys would be vetted to ensure they’re not only fun, but also safe. Some manufacturers go the extra mile, but it’s incredibly common for dogs to destroy toys that are intended to last a long time (or at least longer than 24 hours!).

Since dogs love to chew, their owners are highly invested in finding the right products. This begs the question: are there indestructible toys? If so, does this mean they can be considered safe pet toys?

Safe Pet Toys

After rounding up all your pet’s toys, there could be a few that shouldn’t be there. Take a look at this go-to checklist to see if your pet’s toys pass the test:

  • Size – Safe pet toys are ones that can’t be swallowed or choked on. Likewise, toys that are too big may lead to overstraining or jaw injury.
  • Shape – Toys that look like bones, rodents, or birds are usually big hits. However, if your pet broke the toy somehow, make sure their mouth, face, or body won’t get caught up on any pieces.
  • Texture – Naturally, pet owners want to protect their pets from chemical coatings or flavorings. Some textures can also encourage bacteria growth.
  • Cleanliness – Speaking of bacteria, safe pet toys should be easily cleaned in the sink or washing machine.
  • Durability – Safe pet toys aren’t easily torn apart. If a toy is too soft or is made from fabric or stuffing, the durability rate is pretty low. Pets can ingest parts of destroyed toys, leading to discomfort or injury. Toys that are too hard should be tossed out; dog toys should have a bit of give so they don’t break your pet’s teeth.  
  • Fun factor – Purchasing the right toys for your pet is a big investment. When you find ones that entertain them for long periods of time, you’ve hit a goldmine!

Common Culprits

While not all dogs will become injured by the following items, it’s important to know it could happen.

  • Bones, sticks, antlers, or cow hooves pose a risk for splinters, broken teeth, GI upset, obstruction, or internal punctures.
  • Cheese blocks/bones present a similar threat, but they can also cause choking.
  • Hard plastic chew toys can be risky for the teeth and digestive system if parts are broken off and swallowed.

Solid Suggestions

Pets typically enjoy toys that offer a food reward in exchange for time and effort. Kong is an excellent non-toxic alternative that allows you to stuff goodies inside (like peanut butter!). Also check out The Link and the Orbee Tuff Snoop. Products sold by WestPaw are durable, as well.  

Remember, even safe pet toys should be closely monitored when playing with your pet. There’s no substitution for owner interaction and supervision!

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns related to safe pet toys. The team at Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital is always here for you!