Which Dog Toys Are Safe?

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

November 5, 2018

As a parent, it’s a good rule of thumb to stick with brands you trust. Once you decide on brands you trust, it’s easier to ensure the quality standards of your dog’s toys are high.

After you select the brands you love, it’s time to look at their selection of of toys. Each toy is designed with a specific kind of pup in mind. This is because each dog has their own play style and tendencies. For example, a large shepherd who de-fluffs toys shouldn’t get the same toy as a small Maltese who only sleeps with them.

Things to consider when bringing home toys to your dog:


    “Is this toy bigger than my dog’s jaw size? If it comes apart, would they be able to swallow the pieces?” When buying a toy, your dog’s weight isn’t as important as the size of their jaw. Preventing ingestion is the number one priority.


    “Can my dog shred this?” If the new toy is more of a challenge, it’s better for your dog’s health (and your wallet). If your dog has a history of attempting or successfully ingesting toys, consult your vet before purchasing to make sure it’s the right toy.

Play Style

    “Does this cater to my dog’s play style?” Toys with long limbs are great for dogs who like to play tug. Toys with long hair are great for dogs who love to tear the toy apart (and not ingest). Balls are great for dogs who live for fetch. Some dogs also prefer to only play with their human, rather than playing by themselves. If you know how your dog plays, you’ll know the perfect toy.

Responsive mechanism

    “What sound does my dog prefer?” Some toys squeak, others crinkle, rattle, or do nothing at all. Watch your pup to determine their preference. Some dogs like everything and some dogs just want to snuggle on the couch next to your leg 24/7.

white pit bull dog on a beige bed playing with a red toy

Are rope dog toys safe?

They can be! It depends on the dog’s playing style, tendencies, and personal preferences. It is safe as long as your dog has no interest in eating the toy and it is sourced from a reputable company. But, if your dog tears at the hairs of the rope, they are a safety risk.

Are dog toys made in China safe?

Some. Contrary to popular belief, there are vendors in China who are just as obsessed with dog safety as dog parents. Companies, like BARK, use the same standards upheld by children’s toys. Other vendors, though, don’t abide by these high safety standards. Toys can contain toxic chemicals like arsenic, mercury, lead and chromium. When you are purchasing your pup’s toys, it’s important to do your research.

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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

November 5, 2018

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