20141022_103320We’ve all been there—we come home after a long day and the dog toy stuffing is strewn all about the living room. Or maybe Rover’s favorite rope toy is no more, and its components strung all along your couch. Maybe you’ve found a favorite, hard toy that seems more durable than all the rest—but only until a chunk goes missing and, coincidentally, Rover stops eating. (When that happens, it’s time to call the vet).

Despite all the advertising—“indestructible,” “world’s toughest,” “most durable”—any owner of a dog that loves to chew knows that nothing is guaranteed when it comes to the everlasting dog toy. (But some companies do offer a guarantee—if your dog destroys the toy, they’ll replace it for free).

Finding the dog toy that will outlast any other seems like a quest many of us are on—start typing “indestructible” into Google, and “indestructible dog toys” is among the first phrases to pop us. And while I’m sure many a dog toy manufacturer is working on it, there are a few things you should keep in mind until the elusive, truly indestructible dog toy appears:

  1. No dog toy is indestructible.

This means that you should always keep an eye on Rover—make sure all the toys are accounted for at the end of the day, and if a chunk of toy goes missing, try to find it. If you can’t find it, it just may turn up in a puppy pile in the backyard. If not, keep a close eye on Rover. If he stops eating or drinking, defecating, or just generally acting odd—give your veterinarian a call.

  1. Some toys should never be left alone with your dog.

Once upon a time, when my dog was very young and I was a new dog owner, I felt guilty going to work all day and leaving her in her kennel (and she loves her kennel). So I put a comfy blanket in there, a couple of toys, and a treat. When I came home, the blanket was shredded, one toy was left intact, and the treat was untouched. After that, she only got one toy in her kennel that was fairly trust worthy (a rubber-like toy that I stuffed with peanut butter), and no blankets until she was a bit older and more reliable. I still tossed the occasional treat in—but I expected that to be gone at the end of the day.

Some toys can be more dangerous than others—rope toys, for example, can unravel, and be eaten piece by piece. Dogs have died from obstructions after doing just that.

Rawhides, while a favorite of many dogs, should either not be allowed, or allowed only under supervision. Depending on your dog’s voracity, chunks of rawhide can be pulled off and swallowed whole. The chunk can swell in the moist digestive system, and cause an obstruction. 

The same can happen with stuffed toys, if the stuffing is eaten. Many dogs can’t resist the stuffed toys, tearing them open and leaving innards all across the house. Plastic eyes and buttons on these toys can also become choking hazards. Any toys, and toy parts, small enough for your dog to swallow can become a choking hazard.

  1. Cooked bones from the kitchen are always a “no.” 

Cooked bones can splinter and choke your pet, or cut the insides of his mouth and throat. If your dog loves bones, check out the selection at your local pet store—these have been specially treated to be safe for chewing. Antlers and bully horns make great alternatives, too.

No toy will (likely) ever be 100% indestructible. So let your dog have fun with his toys, but know which to put away and which to keep a watchful eye on. And if you ever find this holy grail of dog toys, spread the good news and let us know.

By Rachel Leisemann Immel

Fluffs of Luv Pet Care offers an array of customized pet care services, including in home pet sitting, dog walking, cat only pet sitting, overnight visits and cat and dog grooming and more. As the most reputable pet sitters and dog walkers in Charlotte and the surrounding area, Fluffs of Luv has put countless clients at ease by caring for their cherished companions while they were away.  Give Fluffs of Luv a call for a free in home consultation for pet care or to set up a grooming appointment 704-421-3492 or visit www.fluffsofluv.com.