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    These Human Toys and Gadgets Are Dangerous to Dogs

    • 5 min read

    We all know that look that our dogs give us when they see a human gadget or toy that looks like fun. No matter how many puppy-dog eyes, tail wags, panting, and drooly smiles your doggo may give you, however, you should probably avoid giving your dog most items that aren’t made for dogs. 

    Unless your human toy is equally approved for dog use and is made of durable material, chances are that your dog’s health is at risk from playing with what looks like any old dog toy. Whether it’s a sports ball, stuffed animal, rope, or another alluring replica of our furry friends’ favorite toys, you should think twice before sharing the fun with your dog. 

    With this in mind, let’s dive into the most common human toys and gadgets that are dangerous to dogs.

    Balls

    If you’ve seen one dog chasing a tennis ball, you’ve probably seen 20, but when it comes to your dog’s safety, these seemingly harmless balls are one of many that can hurt your dog. 

    Human sports balls are dangerous for the following reasons:

    • Choking Hazard: This one is especially true for tennis balls. The wool or nylon that surrounds the hollow, rubber core can break off and cause your dog to choke. Other sports balls can also break apart or rip, as they’re not designed to be chew toys for dogs.
    • Upset Stomach: If your dog doesn’t choke on the broken pieces, he is still at risk of swallowing the material, which can lead to an upset stomach or blockage.
    • Toxic Ingredients: The rubber or other materials used in sports balls are often synthetic and contain toxins.
    • Nondurable Materials: Balls are designed for human activities—not dog teeth—meaning your dog is more likely to destroy a sports ball and ingest the fibers. Always opt for a durable dog toy that can withstand your furry friend’s chew strength.

     

    Frisbees

    Let’s be honest: even dog frisbees can be dangerous for dogs. So, you can bet that your colorful, fun, and exciting human frisbee is just as unsafe. But why are most frisbees on the market not suitable for dogs? It all comes down to the materials used. 

    Many frisbees are made using plastic that contains BPA, phthalates, and PVC—all of which are toxins that may increase your dog’s chances of developing cancer or suffering from hormonal dysregulations. Some studies suggest that hormone imbalances can potentially lead to allergies, asthma, and even infertility.

    Keep in mind that even dog frisbees contain these chemicals in some cases, as there’s not a good regulation on the ingredients used in popular dog toy manufacturers. Not to mention, hard frisbees can harm your dog’s teeth and lead to more injuries and dehydration due to the lengths your dog must run in order to catch a heavy, fast-paced flyer. 

    When choosing your dog’s next flyer, be on the lookout for pliable and durable flyers, such as toys made from natural rubber or latex-free plastic. 

    Soda Pup Natural Rubber Dog Frisbee/Flyer Toy

    Tug-of-War

    If your dog loves a round of tug-of-war, then you’ve probably been tempted to use household ropes (or even clothing or towels) to play with your doggo. Substituting durable rope toys for dogs with an industrial rope or random fabric not designed for this purpose, however, can lead to the material ripping and breaking apart. 

    Even traditional dog rope toys might not be safe for your dog. This is especially true if they’re made of synthetic fibers like nylon. Synthetic fibers are more likely to shed and build in your dog’s intestines, causing all kinds of health problems if left untreated, such as lacerations or blockages. It pretty much goes without saying that synthetic ropes of any kind are best left for human use. 

    When it comes to your dog, be on the hunt for environmentally-friendly rope toys, like ones made from hemp or bamboo. These toys are more durable and pose less of a safety risk to your dog if they are shed. 

    And remember—rope toys should never be substituted for chew toys. Always supervise your dog while she uses a rope toy to ensure she’s not accidentally consuming bits and pieces.

    Stuffed Animals

    Whether your kids have grown tired of their stuffed animals or you saw one at a store that you thought your dog might like, don’t be tempted to give one to your dog unless it is designed for pets. 

    Regular stuffed animals for kids aren’t always durable; they’re not sewn with a pup’s strong teeth in mind, and many contain tags that your dog could sink his teeth into and accidentally ingest. 

    What’s worse is their “fur,” “eyes,” and stuffing pose serious harm to your dog if consumed. The little pieces of material can shed and cause indigestion and blocked intestines, and the hard eyes, nose, or ears can choke your dog or fracture a tooth. For small stuffed animals, your dog might even choke on the entire thing.

    Always make sure that you choose stuffed animals that are safe for dogs so that you can relax knowing your dog is playing with a durable snuggle buddy designed just for furry companions. High-quality stuffed animals often have two layers of added toughness, double-stitching, and no external stitches, making them safer for dogs.

    Laser Pointers

    America’s Next Home Video is just one of many shows that has made laser pointers and pets a source of entertainment. Though it might be funny to use lasers to play with your dog, your furry friend might not be experiencing the same delight as you. 

    According to the American Kennel Club, laser pointers can lead to behavioral problems in dogs. This is because your dog never gets the satisfaction of catching his “prey” and may feel frustrated after spending all of his energy trying to catch the light. 

    Your dog might also feel restless and continue to search for the beam once done, leading to confusion and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

     

    Plastic Bottles

    If your dog loves the sound of crushing a plastic bottle, you may want to think twice before handing your furry friend one of these items. 

    Plastic bottles are not safe for dogs; as with frisbees, the plastic used to make these bottles may contain BPA or other toxins that may jeopardize your dog’s health in the long run. The labels and ink on the bottles can also come off and cause digestive issues for dogs, as well as choking hazards. 

    Fortunately for your doggo, the fun doesn’t have to end in you ditching the bottles. Ruffdawg’s sustainable CrinkIt Bottle Cruncher is the perfect alternative to the conventional water bottle. This pliable yet durable natural rubber dog toy goes over the bottle so that your dog can still experience that satisfying crunch as he sinks his teeth into his transformed toy. 

    Just be sure to supervise your dog’s playtime fun and recycle and replace any worn down bottles as needed!

    Otis has fun with CrinkIt Bottle Cruncher

    The Bottom Line

    Unless you’ve spoken with your dog’s vet and are 100% certain your human toy is safe for your dog, human toys are best left for people. 

    On the bright side, this doesn’t mean that your doggo has to sit on the sidelines and forlornly watch you play with human toys and gadgets. There are countless dog toys that are safe for your dog’s playtime fun!

    So, next time you see an alluring human toy or gadget at the store, think twice before sharing it with your furry friend. Instead, consider checking out our ultimate guide to choosing the right toys for your dog when it’s time to get a new and exciting toy for your pet. 

    Until next time--

    Chopper & Otis