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Ask Amy: Choosing Safe Dog Toys

by | Dec 18, 2013 | Ask Amy Videos, Dog Training & Care | 13 comments

MagicBug

Magic surgically removes squeakers, so I have to diligently supervise playtime. Image Copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

With the holiday season upon us, many dog lovers look forward to “gifting” their dogs with fun toys. But what’s safe, and what isn’t? How do you make sure your pets’ playtime doesn’t turn into tragedy?

Today’s Ask Amy addresses the issue of choking, and I want to also include a link to first aid tips for pet choking. You’ll find lots of other life saving tips in the book The First Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats (hope you’ll never need it!

Has your pet ever choked on something? What did you do? How do you check out toys for your dogs (and cats) before gifting? Do tell!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter.

13 Comments

  1. Wayne Borean

    Ah, squeakers. Magic and Rose should get together, and have a squeaker removal contest. I’ve bought Rose the toughest rated dog toys, and the longest they last is two hours. At which point Rose forgets about the toy.

    Kleo is different. She’ll continually carry her toy everywhere, even after the squeaker is out. If she can’t find her toy, she’ll carry soda cans, potatoes, shoes, or anything else she can find. One toy lasted six months (and is probably still around somewhere – I should look behind the couch).

    Each dog has their own definition of what makes a good toy. Anything Rose has, Kleo will try to steal. If Kleo has something, Rose will ignore it, unless it makes noise.

    Wayne

    • Amy Shojai

      I’ve only found a few “tuff” toys that foil Magic’s teeth for any length of time. But then he amputates the toy’s ear or tail, and tears it up eventually. I need to clean out his kennel. He’s got toys (some terribly maimed and on their last stuffings) that should be permanently retired. *s* Seems the more tattered, the better he likes them.

  2. Patricia

    You know several years ago I was sound asleep one night and my cat woke me up and I heard a gagging noise, turned the light on and he was in the process of swallowing my shoe string. Scared me to death and I immediately just started pulling it out of his throat. Thank goodness it didn’t cause any damage. The other day I had laid a filled insulin needle on the able, turned my back and my newest cat Termite knocked it off the table, grabbed it up with his mouth and off he went. Thank God I was able to get it back before he bit into it. He is a mess!

    • Amy Shojai

      Oh my heavens! Yes, those string things can be really trouble. Once the pet starts swallowing they can’t seem to stop. Good you got it out. Once it goes all the way through, though, it’s best NOT to pull from the other end because it could be “caught” on the inside and cause more damage. *shudder*

      That Termite–swiped a syringe? Holy moly, that’s a first. 🙂

      • Patricia

        Yes, he did swipe a syringe! I perish the thought of what would have happened had he took a bite out of it and ingested any of that insulin. He has a case of nosiness! He’s constantly knocking stuff in the floor or if he hears anyone else drop something he is Johnny on the spot to the rescue to try and see if it’s something small enough for him to put his mouth on and take off.

        • Amy Shojai

          Sounds like he’s invented a fun “chase me” game. *s* Maybe you could find some noisy-drop-able toys and then play “chase” with him, a legal/safe toy. If he’d do it. But then, part of the allure probably is the danger angle and getting you excited, LOL!

  3. Kimberly Gauthier

    No choking here, but Rodrigo has swallowed squeakers and we gave him 2 tablespoons full of hydrogen peroxide to get them back up. Now he plays with these toys under supervision. He understands to drop the squeaker, but if left on his own, he’d swallow it.

    • Amy Shojai

      That’s a great command to train. Magic also knows “drop it” but like Rodrigo, if I’m not there all bets are off. I learned to pick up all of Seren’s sparkle-balls because he eats them…I find sparkly poop, but one time he vomited a couple, too when he was a pup and it scared me to death he’d get blocked. Probably yet another reason Seren is not a fan of “the dawg.”

      • Wayne Borean

        Just curious – does Magic eat Catnip? Both Rose and Kleo do. I think they are jealous, because the cats get it and they don’t!

        Wayne

        • Amy Shojai

          Last night got Seren drunk on some prime ‘nip. Magic was intrigued by her antics but no, he didn’t offer to eat any although he did sniff thoroughly. And got this puzzled expression like, “What’s the big deal?”

          • Wayne Borean

            The dogs may not get high, but if the cats are into the catnip, the dogs will join them. Gets rather funny, watching everybody try to take up the same spot on the floor…

            Wayne

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