Dog Toys…Are They Safe?


The Holiday shopping season has started and some dog toys are as dangerous as ever. We took a sample of some of the toys and gave them to our product testing focus group….that’s right, the pack.

The male dogs seem to have had the easiest time of ripping the toys to shreds including some whose packaging mentioned as indestructible.

We did not include ANY rawhide toys as we feel are just not safe considering the ingredients found in most of them. Almost all the toys tested were made in China.

We found that Kong toys have the greatest longevity. Remembering that the instincts of a dog are stalk, chase, and capture, these can make ideal gifts.

Nylabones are also tops on our list of acceptable toys. Even with these good toys, the packages carry a warning that dog toys should be used while being supervised.

Some dogs like to push around large balls like soccer balls, volleyballs, and regulation-sized footballs. The footballs, like Kong toys, bounce irregularly adding to the fun of the stalk, chase, capture that dogs seem to enjoy.

Squeakers were in most of the toys. When the dogs pull out the stuffing, they can easily chew and/or swallow the plastic squeaker creating a very dangerous situation.

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One can only guess what chemicals are in the stuffing itself as well as the outer shell of the toy.

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Rope toys are popular and one can play tug-of-war with your pet or, if you have more than one dog,one can watch the pups play tug-of-war.

A word of caution though. Be careful that your dog doesn’t mistakenly bite you when you are pulling on the rope. Dogs do tend to “strip” the rope causing it to unwind and they might swallow the long threads.


Tennis balls are popular gifts, but, as our team demonstrated, the skin can be pulled off (as a dog would when tearing the meat away from a real bone) chewed, and swallowed. An even greater danger is that the ball itself can be chewed and swallowed.

Stuffed animals and stuffed toys are problematic, especially if they have plastic eyes and other pieces that can be easily swallowed. Again, the stuffing can also be hazardous to your pets.

Do your homework. Buy toys that you consider safe. Your pet should be supervised when playing with toys, a warning that is on most packaging.