Just because you see a toy in your local pet supply store does not mean that it is safe for your dog! Many toys that can be dangerous for your pet yet most pet owners are unaware of the damage they can cause.
- Sticks and chicken bones can splinter and cause choking or vomiting. They can perforate the mouth, throat or intestine. Hard bones can damage teeth; bone is harder than the enamel on the teeth. Instead, use hard, non-splintering chew toys to play fetch or to allow your pet to gnaw.
- Soft, latex toys can be shredded by a chewing pet. If the toy includes a squeaking mechanism, the squeaker can be easily swallowed or cause choking.
- Towels, socks, underwear and other similar clothing or materials can be swallowed by a rambunctious pet, causing intestinal obstruction.
- Some dogs like to chew on or eat rocks-bad idea! Rocks can cause broken teeth and serious intestinal obstruction if swallowed.
- Be careful if you offer your pet rawhide, as these can also cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed, and some are preserved with arsenic, which is toxic to pets. Try using CET Enzymatic chews, great for chewing and keepstheir breath fresh and teeth clean.
- String, yarn, thread, feathers and rubber bands often offer enticing play for cats, but these can be swallowed whole, possibly lodging in the intestinal tract and causing blockage. If only partially swallowed, this, too, can result in severe problems. If you ever see your kitty with string (or a similar object) caught in its mouth, NEVER try to pull it out. If the string is lodged internally, pulling it can cut the cat’s intestines, killing him. Instead, see your veterinarian immediately.
- For birds, bells can be problematic. Most medium-sized or larger parrots can take apart a bell and choke on the clapper.
If you notice anything unusual about your pet’s behavior or health, call Steinway Court Vet right away. If a toy or part of a toy is swallowed, signs of problems (like intestinal upset or blockage) may occur within minutes or hours; other times, you may not notice anything unusual for days. The obstruction may pass through with no more signs than vomiting or diarrhea. Or it may cause blockage, in which case your pet may be constipated or not want to eat. If you even suspect that your pet has swallowed a foreign object, call us immediately. It’s also a good idea to bring with you any left over pieces of the swallowed/chewed up toy.
Used appropriately, many household and store-bought pet toys can provide hours of entertainment and exercise for your pet. It’s a good idea, however, to supervise your pet during play. Not only will this minimize the chance of accidents happening, but you’ll also be providing your pet with quality time spent with his or her favorite toy.