Monday, 20 June 2011

Dogs and Toys

Dominie (Theakston Terrisa) 25.04.1994 - 13.11.2009
Today I read something rather disturbing on Facebook. A dog that had eaten a child’s teddy bear became very ill. When the veterinary surgeon operated she found a gelatinous mess inside and the dog had no living intestine left – the tissue was black and dead. Of course, the dog could not survive.

Children’s toys are stuffed with flame retardant and mite controlling materials which are highly toxic and designed to become gelatinous. The advice was to not allow dogs access to children’s soft toys.

When I checked this story on Snopes the results were inconclusive. I haven’t read any further reports of such tragic incidents.

Regardless of this, it is never a good idea to allow dogs unsupervised play with any toys, whether they are designed for children or pets. Dogs will chew things to destruction and seem particularly fascinated by the squeakers in toys. Even rawhide chews can be problematic. I remember having to extricate a rolled chew from the late, great Dominie as she struggled and failed to swallow it. The hide had unrolled as she chewed but she had not bitten it into short lengths. It was fortunate that I was there  - I don’t know what would have happened otherwise.


  1. I don't know if this particular story is true or not...but both of my dogs liked to tear up little teddy bears, etc. Once this started, the teddies went into the trash. Yes, they like to get squeakers out of things and work until they do. Or some plastic toys they will just chew ends off of. Dogs really MUST be supervised. I concur.

  2. You are so right, Janice, whether the teddy-bear story is or not. I've told my husband NO MORE rawhide chews for Lindy, because she swallows without thinking. (And what is she to think, anyway? "Better chew this or it will get stuck"??)
    Dogs are opportunists when it comes to eating. They don't nibble and walk away as cats do.
    Even if the teddy-bear story is apocryphal, I have heard of flame-retardant in children's toys. Pity the teething baby.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  3. Interesting. If the stuff in child toys is unsafe for dogs, how safe can it be for kids? Food for thought, indeed.

  4. this is a horribly sad are right. Dogs (and cats) should always be supervised with their toys...also..keep CAT TOYS away from dogs...believe it or not they can be swallowed whole!
    I have baby gates up and keep my cat's toys totally separate from anywhere my dog has access to

  5. Sounds like something out of a horror movie.

    Tossing It Out

  6. Oh, that is a horrible incident... I do hope it will end up on Snopes, but in this day and age, you never know; everything's made cheaper.

    Oh, and I am feeling better. Thanks. I got on some meds today. = )

  7. I hope people read this! :o(

  8. Thanks for passing this on. Our dog, Maggie, likes to tear apart stuffed toys so i buy them for her. I've never seen her actually swallow anything, but she could have. I'll stop buying them for her.

  9. we all know pets are as worrying as children and spouses ...

  10. It just goes to show - how much we don't know about so much! Totally agree about not allowing dogs to chew if we are not around. So glad you were xx

  11. Even if this story proves to be untrue it is a good cautionary tale. Neither pets nor children should be playing with such things unsupervised.


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