But waiting too long to get rid of that old toy can actually be dangerous.
Here are some guidelines for when it may be time to upgrade:
If a plush toy has holes in it, exposing the stuffing, it’s time to go. The stuffing itself can be very dangerous if ingested. Most stuffed toys come with a warning explaining that supervision is required while the dog plays with the toy, specifically because of the potential danger of ingested stuffing.
Rope toys are popular with dogs who are considered “chewers.” When the rope starts to unravel, and loose strings are exposed, it’s time for it to go. Much like the stuffing from plush toys, the strings can be dangerous if ingested.
If your dog has chewed off any bits of plastic, you should consider getting rid of the toy. The plastic pieces may cause danger if ingested. Also, plastic pieces have been known to become stuck between the dog’s teeth, causing sharp pain, soreness, and even infection.
Any fabric or soft toy that has been chewed or torn to the point where a squeaker is exposed should be tossed into the trash. The squeakers are a potential choking hazard.
Toys with deep scratches or bite marks need to be addressed. Moisture is typically trapped in the scratches which become a breeding ground for bacteria. The life of these toys may be extended briefly by regular washing or even through a regular cycle in the dishwasher, but ultimately should be discarded.
Thanks for caring!
- Certified Pet Care Specialist
Absolute Pet Care, LLC