There are a number of household toys, foods, and other items that may be lurking about your home that are actually deadly for your canine companion. Let's jump right into it!
Rope Toys. I have been telling clients for years to throw away the rope toys! Not only are they a low quality, easily destroyed toy, but the strings and fibers are capable of creating intestinal blockages. I have personally known 2 people whose dogs have passed away due to chewing on a rope toy. They're not worth it!
Rawhide. If you're ever interested, the next time you're at the veterinarian's office, ask how often they perform emergency intestinal blockage surgeries on dogs who have swallowed portions of rawhide. It's not pretty! Rawhides on their own are actually not inherently dangerous. However, when chewed, rawhides soften considerably, and dogs will bite off pieces in large chunks. These chunks are indigestible, and will create a blockage, which will require surgery.
Children's Stuffed Toys. This one might come as a surprise, but actually, not all stuffed toys are created equal. For one, children's toys are not meant to withstand the sharp teeth and heavy chewing of a dog. For two, children's toys are far more government regulated than a dog's toy. Often, a children's toy will contain chemicals and flame retardants that are fatal if consumed by a dog.
Xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is safe for humans, but even in small doses, is deadly for dogs. It can be found in gum, sugar-free foods, and, worst of all, peanut butter. Whenever shopping for peanut butter as a kong stuffing for your dog, always check the ingredients first for Xylitol. Even if you have bought the same brand several times in a row, it never hurts to double check. Companies change their formulas all the time.
Tennis Balls. This one won't likely kill your dog, but Tennis Balls are notoriously bad for your dog's teeth. The felt of a tennis ball is extremely abrasive, and just a little bit of tennis ball chew time can wear your dog's teeth down considerably. Dogs who have been chewing tennis balls for a while will have nothing but stubby teeth left. One source also claims approximately 48% of tennis balls contain lead.
The ASPCA has written a very comprehensive list of common household foods that are toxic for your dog. Click HERE to read more.
If your dog is ever showing questionable symptoms after consuming a toy, household product, or questionable food, do not hesitate to call your local emergency veterinarian. Many times, the veterinarian can give you a list of symptoms over the phone to watch out for. It is always better to act early than to act too late.