Your dog is your baby and your job is to offer care and protection, but no matter how hard you try, accidents happen.
They’re quite curious creatures, and they love to chew on anything that stimulates them, even their toys. Unfortunately, these toys can break and end up getting swallowed. Before you start panicking, here’s what you should know:
The consequences of eating a toy
Dogs have pretty strong teeth and jaws and can lay some toys to waste in no time. Sometimes, smaller pieces can be swallowed, and these are likely passed through the intestines and pooped out.
In other cases, where there are big sharp pieces, surgery may be required as it can obstruct the gastrointestinal tract.
If you notice any diarrhea, lethargy, vomiting, or anorexia, contact your veterinarian right away. He/she will conduct an ultrasound or X-ray to discover the source of the blockage.
Does the type of toy matter?
Yes. Toys made of hard materials such as bone can turn into splinters which can cause tears in the gastrointestinal tract. Fabric or rope toys may get stuck and cause the intestines to collapse (intussusception).
It is usually difficult to tell if the toy will eventually pass through, so keep a close eye on your dog and contact your vet to be safe.
How to prevent your dog from swallowing toys
The best way to do this is to monitor your dog as he/she plays with toys. If it breaks, try to remove all particles before it is swallowed, and give him/her water in case you missed anything.
The next best thing is to buy heavy-duty toys that are less likely to break or get chewed into smaller pieces. This way, you’ll prevent the issue from ever happening.