When it comes to toys, there's one basic rule: never give them something so small that they can swallow it whole. This could cause choking or an intestinal obstruction, which could mean expensive emergency surgery for the little guy. Of course, the smaller your dog, the more careful you need to be -- for small dogs, many innocent-looking toys can become dangerous.
Tip #1 - Find balls and squeaky bouncing toys made especially for small dogs. A tennis ball might be a great toy for a Labrador or a cocker spaniel, but a chihuahua's mouth is too small for it. He'll end up being frustrated by the size of it and go look for other things to chew, like your favorite shoe or your fingers.
Tip #2 - Choose toys with no detachable parts. For example, the beady eyes of a teddy bear might not be too dangerous for a big dog, even if he manages to get them detached and swallows them. However, a small dog could choke or suffer an intestinal obstruction on the same teddy bear eyes.
Tip #3 - Choose squeaky and stuffed toys that are tear-resistant. Some dogs love to destroy toys so they can get to the squeaky or the stuffing inside. Trouble comes when Doggie ends up swallowing the squeaky or the stuffing, something just as dangerous as swallowing tiny teddy bear eyes.
By Tammy Dray
About the Author
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.