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Doggy Toys 101

August 15, 2016

Does your dog sometimes run to you, holding his favorite toy? It’s hard to resist this adorable request for puppy playtime! Fido’s playful streak is definitely one of his more endearing traits. Just make sure that your canine friend’s toy box contains only safe and suitable playthings. A San Jose, CA vet discusses doggy toys in this article.

Choosing Suitable Toys

Doggy toys are definitely not one-size-fits-all. Choosing the right size toy is very important! Larger dogs can choke on toys that are meant for smaller pups, while little pooches can hurt themselves with toys made for bigger dogs. For instance, while tennis balls may make great playthings for medium-sized dogs, they present serious choking hazards to larger breeds. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.


When shopping for your furry pal, always check the labels on doggy toys to find out what they are made of and where they came from. Try to avoid items made overseas. Pet toys are not well-regulated in many places, so imported pet toys could potentially contain harmful substances.


It doesn’t take very long for Fido’s toys to get, well, pretty icky. After all, your canine pal does carry them around in his mouth! Most stuffed animals can go right in the washing machine: just choose a pet-safe detergent, and don’t use too much of it. To clean your furry friend’s rope toys, remove any metal pieces, soak the toy in water, and microwave it for a minute. Be sure to let it cool before giving it back to your playful pooch! Many of Fido’s rubber toys, such as Kong toys, can go right in the dishwasher. Rinse them well first, and don’t use detergent: the hot water and steam will clean and disinfect them. Always check labels for exact cleaning instructions.


Inspect Fido’s toys regularly. Once they start getting worn, toss them out and replace them. You’ll also want to watch for small or sharp pieces that could choke or hurt your pup. The eyes on stuffed animals, for instance, can be serious choking hazards. Another thing to watch for is long threads or strings. If you aren’t sure whether a specific toy is safe, err on the side of caution and give your pooch something else.

Call us, your San Jose, CA veterinary hospital, with any questions or concerns about your pet’s health. We’re here to help!