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  • Writer's pictureMeileen Yee

6 Dog Toys You Should Watch Out For

With all of the dog toys out on the market, it can be hard to decide what kind to get. Different dogs have different tastes, but it's even more important to keep in mind the safety of your dog. Some types of toys have been known to be toxic or choking hazards, among other things. The following is a list of types of toys to avoid due to potential hazards. While some of them can be safe and aren't automatically no-go's, it's important to know the potential risks they can pose to your dog if they are chewed up or if your dog is if left unattended with them.


Some rawhide contains chemicals that are toxic to your dog, like formaldehyde. Because it is made from cow or horsehide, it can also have salmonella contamination (though note that this is rare). Even rawhide that is non-toxic can still be a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages if your dog chews off and swallow pieces. Rawhide toys are common causes of veterinary visits for dogs, so know that it's commonly cited as a hazardous toy for dogs.

Stuffed Animals

Don't worry if your dog loves stuffed animals (like my dog); not all stuffed animals are necessarily bad for your dog. Just be mindful of your dog's chewing abilities. Avoid giving your dog old stuffed animals of yours or your children, and instead, get sturdy ones made for dogs that are machine washable. Stuffing can be a choking hazard, so get sturdy stuffed animals and keep an eye on your dog so that it doesn't try to eat the stuffing.

Small Balls

Depending on the size of your dog, small balls can be a choking hazard. And be sure to look for hard rubber balls or ones made of sturdy material so that your dog doesn't swallow small pieces.

Toys With Phthalates

Phthalates are toxic to dogs, so check the product information to ensure that the toy is phthalate-free.

Toys With Paint

Paint can easily come off of toys and be swallowed, which can be toxic for your dog.


While shoes aren't necessarily toxic or dangerous for your dog to chew on (though they can be, depending on the material), giving your dog an old shoe is probably opening a door for your dog to chew on your good shoes. Don't expect your dog to only chew the old shoe without thinking other shoes are game.

While keeping in mind this list of types of toys to watch out for, know that it's not a one-size-fits-all process. Use your best judgment when choosing what to get based on what you know about your dog, its size, its chewing abilities, and its likes and dislikes. We hope this was helpful!


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All proceeds from Thousand Hills Pet Resort support New Life K9s. New Life K9s provides service dogs to veterans and first responders with PTSD at no cost to them.





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