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  • Writer's pictureClinique Vet LaSalle

Safe toys for puppies

Updated: May 24, 2023

Toys are an important part of a dog’s development. They learn to spend their masticatory needs on stuffed and suitable toys, instead of damaging any belongings in your house. At around 4 to 7 months, the adult teeth start erupting in the puppy’s mouth, causing some discomfort. We must offer them a safe outlet to deal with that discomfort. The toys may make sounds, they may be colorful and textured, but most importantly, they should be safe! A lot of available toys on the market are too hard and risk fracturing teeth and soft ones can end up swallowed. Here are things to think about when buying toys for your dog.

Better toys :

  • Nylon chewing toys (ex : Nylabone)

  • Hard rubber chewing toys or balls (ex : Kong)

  • Vinyl or plastic toys (for light chewers)

  • Food puzzles (starting at 6-8 weeks of age)

Toys to avoid :

  • Tennis balls: cause abrasion, damaging the teeth

  • Antlers: too hard, can cause dental fractures

  • Cow hooves or pig ears: can splinter and lead to intestinal perforation

  • Toys made of long cords or wool: linear foreign body

  • Cooked bones (although not a toy, they make the list): can easily splinter and perforate intestines

Golden rule to determine the hardness of a toy: If you wouldn’t want to get hit in the kneecap with the toy, do not give it to your dog.

Don’t forget :

  • Toys should be allowed under supervision, in case of a preventable accident

  • Do not let puppies hang from a toy by their teeth

  • Taking away all your dog’s toys will lead to your dog finding himself something to play with around the house, which can be more dangerous.

Recap: Use toys of an appropriate size for your dog, not too hard and under supervision.

Picture #1 : Pluto T-L. / Picture #2 : Malibu L. / Picture #3 : Inconnu

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