The answer to this is very dog-dependent! There are so many variations in dog size and abilities, it’s hard to say for certain one type of toy is safe and one is not. A small breed could easily play with a tennis type ball endlessly with no safety concerns and a large retriever can shred through one and swallow pieces within seconds!

The key is to determine what is an appropriate fit for your pup. Keep in mind, you may have to consider what is safe for dogs with varying size and abilities if you have multiple dogs with differing breeds at home.

Inspect the toys carefully for areas of weakness before deciding on a purchase. Are the seams sewn well? How easily will the squeaker find it’s way out to be swallowed by your pup?

Other things that fall in danger zone category include cow hooves and antlers. Many pet parents are looking for a toy that will last and hold their pup’s interest, but hooves and antlers are incredibly hard and are known to cause broken teeth, which can lead to an expensive vet visit.

Knotted rope toys are ones to watch out for. As the knots can come apart easily, this can lead to rope material being swallowed. Rope material can then cause intestinal blockage which can lead to sudden and severe illness and an expensive surgery.

The key is to make sure you are supervising play with toys!