Please note that some posts contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links Find out More

Ask Amy: Choosing Safe Dog Toys

by | Dec 18, 2013 | 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. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.”

      Reply
      • 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

        Reply
        • 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?”

          Reply
          • 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

  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!

    Reply
    • 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. 🙂

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
        • 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!

          Reply
  3. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • Wayne Borean

        Hey, just like us humans. The older the toy, the more it sticks with us 🙂

        Wayne

        Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Categories:

Recent Posts

National Love Your Pet Day: 15 Ways How Pets Show Love

At my house, I see how pets show love every day. If you wonder, how do I make my cat love me, it’s easy! February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day, but Valentine’s Day comes in just a few days. At my house, pet love happens EVERY day. Whether you love your pet with special attention, treats and toys or lap snuggles, pet love has become a given in our pet-friendly society.

In mid-2020, we multiplied our pet-love quotient by welcoming Shadow-Pup into the house. He arrived at a time when we really had no plans for another pet and struggled with the reality of dealing with Bravo-Dawg-s cancer (sadly, he lost his battle, but his love lives on). And Karma-Kat welcomed the pup, too–but for Bravo, the added attention/distraction helped enormously as he went through scary treatment, losing a leg, dealing with pain, and more. So I’m adding another way pets show love–by showing up when you need them!

Valentine’s Day: Pet Danger Advice

I’m often interviewed by media about various cat behavior and dog training issues, and of course, Valentine’s pet dangers top the list this week. Pet hazards are common when our normal routine goes out the window, so pet parents are vigilant around the holidays. Refer to this post about Easter dangers for pets.  And don’t forget that pet safety issues for Christmas are similar to those for Valentine’s Day but it’s always good to refresh our watch list.

Spoil Your Cat: How to Show Cats You Love Them

Cats are great actors and try to convince pet parents they’re already purr-fectly healthy and happy. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s a good time to think “outside the litter box” and find special ways to love your cat.

Recently, I’ve received a boatload of emails with product suggestions for spoiling cats with healthy fun. So check out some of the offerings–and in the comments, add suggestions of your own! Then share the blog far and wide to spread the kitty love!

Pet Music Therapy? The Sound of Success!

Pet music therapy can help solve dog and cat behavior problems as well as offer physical therapeutic benefits. Our pets are attuned to sound and are incredibly sensitive to noises, including music. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, some pets with “stranger danger” issues are in for a rough ride. Pet music therapy can help. Read on for more tips.

Carbon Monoxide Danger for You and Your Pets

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas. It’s a natural by-product of fuel combustion present in car exhaust and improperly vented furnaces, space heaters, water heaters, fireplaces, and tobacco smoke. It can quickly kill people as well as their pets. Children and pets have died in as little as 15 minutes inside running cars while parents shoveled snow outside the vehicle, unaware of the blocked tailpipe.

Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself…and your pets.

UPDATED AGING CAT BOOK DISCOUNTED!

I’m delighted to announce the release of the 2024 edition of COMPLETE CARE FOR YOUR AGING CAT. This book, when released, received multiple awards from the prestigious Cat Writer’s Association. I got the rights back after the first edition, published by New American Library/Penguin Books, and released an updated version first in 2010, and again in 2017. But the latest 2024 version offers the most comprehensive revisions and updated material.

Learn more–and how to get deep discounts on the Ebook, Paperback, and Hardcover editions!

6 Easy Fresh Breath Tips & How to Brush Doggy & Kitty Teeth (Without Getting Bit!)

Do you brush dog teeth? How about brushing cat teeth? The AVMA sponsors National Pet Dental Health Month every February to help prevent pet dental problems.

According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3.

But it’s never too late (or too soon) to get your pets’ pearly whites checked out by your veterinarian. Often the doctor has some great tips for keeping cat teeth clean and dog breath at bay, including how to brush doggy teeth.

Does the thought of brushing dog teeth make you cringe, roll your eyes, whimper, slink away–and feel guilty? You’re not alone. But once that puppy-sweet breath morphs into curl-your-eyebrows stench, it’s long past the time to address that stink-icity.

Pet Dental Problems: 9 Dental Issues You Share With Your Cats and Dogs

Pet dental problems rate as important to cats and dogs as your own dental issues are for you. Could your dog’s breath melt your glasses? Does your cat’s smile look like five miles of bad road? Pet dental problems are surprisingly similar to their owners’ dental issues. You may wonder how much does teeth cleaning cost for dogs and cats? February is National Pet Dental Health Month and a good time to check out your pets’ pearly whites. You can even learn how to brush your pet’s teeth in this post.

I write about pet dental health every year. These days I pay closer attention to Shadow-Pup because, for some weird reason, he likes rocks. That is, he picks up rocks whenever we go outside, brings them in, and then wants to play with and chew them. Shadow-Pup also raids the fireplace for lava rock embers, to do the same–and the pup wants to chew sticks! Oy! They already have lots of “legal” and safe chews, but he wants to play keep-away with rocks–and of course, I fear a broken tooth, or a tummy full of blocked foreign objects, or choking or worse. Urk!

While some cats drool when happy during petting, drooling cats and dogs point to dental problems. Hopefully, you won’t have that issue. Here are common dental issues you share with your cats and dogs (hopefully NOT eating rocks!), as well as ways to avoid them.

Steve Dale EveryCat Health Foundation Communications Award Now Open!

Wyckoff, New Jersey – EveryCat Health Foundation announced that nominations are open for the Steve Dale EveryCat Health Foundation Communications Award.

The award, named in honor of long time EveryCat Board member Steve Dale, CABC, is presented annually, to recognize a person or group who utilizes various media outlets to educate and inform others about cat health and/or behavior for the purpose of promoting the human-cat bond, and the welfare of cats.

As a past recipient of the (then-named) Winn Feline Foundation Media Appreciation Award, this opportunity makes me PURR. We have so many worthy communicators who champion cats. Read more to learn how to nominate someone (or yourself!) but don’t delay: Deadline is end of February!

How to Choose the Best Herbal Medicine for Pets: What’s Safe, What’s Dangerous for Dogs and Cats

In today’s world of cutting-edge medicine, we consider herbs for pets and herbal medicine to be old-fashioned. But holistic veterinarians continue to use herbs for pets because many of these plants are the foundation of modern drugs and medications, but don’t cause the same side effects.

Chinese herbal medicine has regained popularity for both human and pet care treatments. I learned a lot about them while researching my book NEW CHOICES IN NATURAL HEALING FOR DOGS AND CATS. And when the vet diagnosed Bravo-Dawg with hemangiosarcoma, I learned about I’m-Yunity, a Chinese herbal medicine treatment shown helpful in veterinary studies of the herb. Here are some things you need to know about using herbs with pets.

Visit Amy's Website

Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

On Demand Writer Coaching

AmyShojai.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com http://amazon.com/.

Awards

Memberships