1. Marrow Bones
Marrow bones are often a favorite, inexpensive dog toy. They are all natural and can be found at most butcher shops and grocery stores for just a few dollars. They also last for quite a while and provide a great chewing surface that works wonders to prevent the buildup of tartar on your pet’s teeth. Unfortunately, marrow bones do not come without risk. The fatty marrow found in the center of the bones can cause pancreatitis in sensitive dogs so it is best to scoop most of the center out BEFORE giving it to your pet. In addition, these bones should only be given RAW. Cooking animal bones changes the composition and can cause them to splinter when chewed. Finally, the shorter-cut marrow bones have been known to become stuck behind the canine teeth of the lower jaw, often requiring surgical removal. In order to avoid this problem, you should only buy your dog marrow bones that are longer than their snout.
2. Rubber Balls
There have been several instances lately where rubber or latex balls with only one hole have become stuck on a dog’s lips or tongue. Since the balls have only one hole they are becoming suctioned to the dog’s mouth and there is no way to release the pressure. Extreme suction on one area for an extended period of time can cause extensive tissue damage that is often irreparable. In order to avoid this problem, make sure that all rubber or latex balls chosen for your pet have either multiple holes, or no holes at all.
3. Small Toys
Toys that are too small pose chocking risks as well as the potential to cause an intestinal foreign body. Balls and stuffed animals that are small enough to be swallowed are incredibly dangerous. Cat toys are the most common offenders and are often small enough to be swallowed but too large to make it all the way through the intestines. Another common culprit are pieces of larger toys that have been torn apart and are then eaten. Swallowing these things can result in an intestinal blockage that requires emergency surgery to correct. In order to make sure this does not happen to your pet, be sure to choose toys that pose absolutely no risk of being swallowed and make sure you pick up all toys that have been shredded into smaller pieces.
Rawhide bones are another common dog toy that often result in problems. If your dog chews on rawhide bones but does not eat them they are relatively safe, but if your dog has been known to chew off large pieces of rawhide (especially the end pieces of bones) then rawhides can be extremely dangerous. They are often swallowed and they absorb water and swell within the stomach, growing in size and rendering them unable to pass through the intestines. Foreign body surgery to remove the large chunk of rawhide is then the only way to solve the problem. Pressed rawhide chews that dissolve in the stomach are a much safer option, but no matter what type of rawhide you choose for your pet, the best way to prevent problems is to supervise them while they are chewing on their toy.