Although there is a multitude of toys designed and developed specifically for dogs, the one object that all dogs, regardless of age, size, or breed, show interest in is stuffed dog toys.
For some, the attraction is to cuddle, some like to toss stuffed toys around, and then there are dogs that have a stronger tendency toward hunting and killing prey that actually tear toys of this type open to remove all the stuffing. Although stuffed dog toys have been and probably always will be one of the favorites, when buying there are specific things to consider.
Obviously, from the outside most stuffed dog toys look the same but in truth, these toys are made from various materials, they have unique construction, and the inside could be any number of materials, as well as objects.
Because dogs typically love to play rough with anything stuffed, as a dog owner it would be essential to choose wisely for the safety and health of your beloved pet. In this article, we wanted to address some of the things that could pose risk, as well as provide suggestions on some of the higher quality stuffed dog toy manufacturing companies.
Risk Potential of Stuffed Dog Toys
The truth is that stuffed dog toys create a number of risks but knowing what these are would help you keep your animal safe. For instance, quality of workmanship specific to construction would be one of the primary considerations.
Although some dogs will tear into these toys regardless, as mentioned to get to the stuffing or even the squeaker mechanism inside, products with quality workmanship would be somewhat harder to shred.
Therefore, start by looking at toys made by trusted companies and then examine the actual material on the outside, as well as the seams to see if the stitching is tight.
Unfortunately, if a dog were able to get inside stuffed toys, several types of risk would exist. The number one concern is the animal swallowing the stuffing material.
Typically, stuffed dog toys are made with a single layer of fabric that covers the stuffing inside, which could be made of polyester material similar to that used for making pillows, cotton, or even shredded fabric. Because risk of swallowing the material and then choking would be relatively high, along with high quality workmanship anytime your dog is offered playtime with a stuffed toy it should only be under careful supervision.
Sadly, there have been many dogs that have swallowed even a small amount of filling and in some cases, the actual squeaker. As a result, these dogs experienced not only choking but many times, actual intestinal blockage.
While dislodging the filling and a squeaker mechanism from the throat would be possible, in the case of the intestine being blocked the most common solution would involve surgery, which that too would pose serious health risks.
It would also be recommended when buying stuffed dog toys to create a small slit through which the squeaker could be removed and then the toy stitched closed. Of course, you could always purchase a stuffed toy made without the squeaker.
In fact, dangers associated with dogs chocking and swallowing squeakers has become such a serious problem that most reputable veterinarians and dog experts suggest they be avoided completely.
There are even experts that believe stuffed dog toys should never be offered to a dog, even under supervision. You know your dog best so whether you choose a toy such as this or something different would be something to determine.
Safer Stuffed Toy Options
Dogs love stuffed toys but because of growing concern for health and safety reasons, several top manufacturers have come up with great alternatives. Today, you can find a nice selection of stuffed toys that have been made different from most.
These toys are specifically designed to be safer but also to withstand more and rougher play. The following are two companies that have chosen this route. This would allow you to purchase stuffed dog toys but without worry of your pet being serious hurt.
Tuffies – This company developed a full line of durable stuffed dog toys that come in a variety of shapes, as well as sizes. In addition, this line includes several colorful and fun animals such as dinosaurs and even lobsters that dogs love. The toys are extremely well made and deemed safe.
Bamboo – Another company that has moved away from the more traditional type of stuffed dog toys and into a safer zone is called Bamboo. Interestingly, the line of stuffed toys offered by this company has gone through extensive testing for durability, sturdiness, and safety.
The primary difference with what Bamboo offers compared to other pet toy companies is that instead of using a single outside layer, toys are made with several layers but of extremely strong nylon. With this, your dog could still have a blast with his new stuffed toy while you would have peace of mind while he plays.