Updated: Dec 1, 2022
With the holidays coming up and a holly jolly man stuffing stockings, we felt it was a perfect time to point out some of the cheap but dangerous toys/treats to avoid this holiday!
Bones, Antlers, and Hooves | These common hard chews are one of the most common reasons our veterinarians see broken teeth in our canine patients. Although popular culture might suggest otherwise, bones and other very hard toys can be very dangerous; their density and roundness produce shearing forces that can break a dog’s teeth. Broken teeth are painful and can cause chronic infection and inflammation that affects more than a dog’s mouth. Additionally, the fatty marrow found in the center of the bones can cause pancreatitis in sensitive dogs. Finally, the shorter-cut marrow bones have been known to become stuck behind the canine teeth of the lower jaw, often requiring surgical removal.
Rubber Balls & Small Toys | Balls and stuffed animals that are small enough to be swallowed are incredibly dangerous. Cat toys are among the most common offenders, but children’s toys can also be tempting. Another common culprit is pieces of larger toys that have been torn apart and are then eaten. Swallowing these things can result in an intestinal blockage that requires emergency surgery to correct. In order to make sure this does not happen to your pet, be sure to choose toys that pose absolutely no risk of being swallowed, and make sure you pick up all toys that have been shredded into smaller pieces. And because our veterinarians are very passionate about dentistry, they want to warn about tennis balls, which pose a risk even when appropriately sized so the dog cannot swallow them. If a dog habitually chews on tennis balls specifically, the fibrous felt covering can wear your dog’s teeth over time, exposing sensitive layers inside his teeth and causing hidden oral pain and abnormal discoloration.