March 10

Dog Toys to Avoid

All Posts, Toy Information


You already know that there are a plethora of dog toys that you can purchase for Fido. However, what you might not know is that there are many dog toys out there which in one way or another can be quite dangerous for your dog. Dog toys to avoid is the theme of the day, so let’s get at it. If you’re looking for dog toy selections, head over to our Dog Toy Reviews section.

Toys with Bells

Bells might sound a like a whole lot fun, and dogs like them sometimes just because they’re noisy. You might think that only cat toys have bells inside of them, but there are also dog toys with bells, but these should be avoided.

The reason for this is simply because dogs, in the grand scheme of things, generally aren’t too bright and they’ll often end up eating the bell.

The bell can be a choking hazard and it could also become lodged in the intestines, thus leading to blockages and some very serious health concerns. At the very least, you’ll end up with a dog that jingles whenever it moves.

Latex Chew Toys

There are a lot of chew toys out made out of latex, a lot of them actually. Now, latex is not inherently bad for dogs per se; it, in itself, is not poisonous, and even if eaten it really shouldn’t cause much harm. However, that said, latex allergies are very real and quite common.

You may have never considered this, but humans aren’t the only beings that can be allergic to latex. In some dogs, especially in severe cases, latex can cause rashes, hives, digestive issues, headaches, respiratory issues and worse. For this reason, if you are unsure, latex toys are best avoided.

Hard Plastic and Hard Rubber Toys

Another type of dog toy that should be avoided is any kind of hard plastic or hard rubber toy. It might surprise you to hear this, especially seeing as so many dog toys are made out of these materials, but the fact of the matter is that they really aren’t very safe for dogs at all.

If you have a dog that likes to carry toys around and give them a bit of a chew every now and again, this isn’t a huge problem. The problem arises if you have a destructive dog that really enjoys shredding its toys. Hard plastic and hard rubber toys, when attacked by an aggressive chewer, can splinter into pieces, shards to be exact.

These shards can damage the gums, get lodged in the airways, and get stuck in the intestines too, plus the sharp edges may poke through internal membranes, thus causing internal damage and bleeding, which can be fatal.

Some Squeaky Toys

This is a bit more difficult because so many dog toys out there squeak or have some sort of noisemaker on the inside, and yes, dogs absolutely love them. Now, the problem is that squeaky toys, if things go wrong, can break open, thus exposing the squeaky part.

As established, dogs aren’t too brilliant and they can eat that noisemaker, which can get lodged in the throat, cause oral damage, and intestinal blockages. Therefore, some squeaky toys may be ok for dogs that don’t really break and shred their toys, but if you have a destruction-oriented pooch, these types of squeaky toys are best avoided.

Poly-Fil Stuffed Toys

The next type of dog toy that should be avoided is anything stuffed with Poly-Fil. Poly-Fil is that white cotton-like stuffing used in many stuffed animals. While Poly-Fil itself is not poisonous, it can cause problems.

For one, dogs that love destroying their toys, if the stuffed animal is large, will end up making a heck of a mess in your home. Worse than that, in some cases, that stuffing doesn’t come apart well and is often connected by little strings, which can then be a choking hazard when your dog goes to swallow a chunk of filling that is attached to another chunk by a string.

Moreover, although some dogs can pass it just fine, there have been cases where Poly-Fil clumps up in the digestive system, causing serious blockages and health issues.

Cowhide and Pig Ears

It is unfortunate but true, cowhide and pig’s ears are not great toys or snacks for dogs. Of course, they’re fun to chew on, and a dried pig’s ear does have a heck of a good flavor — no dog is going to turn away a pig’s ear.

However, the problem with these is that they are extremely dry and hard. When dogs chew on them for prolonged periods of time, sharp splinters can break off. These sharp splinters can wreak all sorts of havoc on the insides of a dog, from its mouth all the way to the back end.

Tennis Balls

This is another weird one, because after all, so many people give their dogs tennis balls, although it’s really not a good thing. The main issue with tennis balls once again comes when you have a destructive dog.

Many dogs will attempt to eat the pieces of the tennis ball as they break them off, and once again, this is a choking hazard. Moreover, if you have a very large dog with a big mouth, it might actually be able to fit the whole thing in its mouth, which could mean that the whole tennis ball may get lodged in their throat.


The bottom line is that unfortunately, there seem to be more a bad dog toys out there than good ones, toys that in one way or another can be quite dangerous for dogs. When it comes to selecting the right dog toys, a lot of it does depend on whether or not you have a dog that is bent on destruction. That said, anything that can splinter into sharp pieces, anything which poses a choking hazard, and anything which can cause intestinal blockages should be avoided.

About the author 

Evan Roberts

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