brown puppy running through grass with safe blue toy
brown puppy running through grass with safe blue toy

How to Choose the Best & Most Safe Toys for Your Small Dog

Small dog ... big personality!

Your small dog may think like a big dog and bark like a big dog, but when it comes to playing like a big dog, they’ll need your help providing safe, size-appropriate toys they can really sink their teeth into.

Toy Safety Tips for Small Dogs

Dogs of all sizes have the most fun with safe toys that are the right size for them. Here are our top three tips to have in mind when picking out playthings for the small dog in your family:

Toss the Tiny Toys

No matter how big or small your dog is, tiny objects can be a real choking hazard. That’s why you should always keep anything smaller than a ping-pong ball away from them. Dolls, household items or chew toys with small pieces or decorations can break apart, so it’s best to avoid those too.

Check the Soft and Squeaky Dog Toys

Small dogs love to tear apart squeaky soft toys to get at the noisemaker inside. They can easily swallow the stuffing or squeaker in the process. It's a good idea to check all your dog's toys regularly for holes and signs of wear and tear, especially the squeaky ones.

Avoid the Big and Bulky Dog Toys

Small dogs need their exercise! But with small mouths, it’s hard for them to have fun with an oversized toy they can't comfortably chew, pull on or fetch. Try to choose toys that your dog can pick up and play with easily.

The Do's and Don'ts of Dog Toys

Providing safe, interesting playthings that your dog will love doesn’t have to be hard! Here's our essential list of tips for choosing great dog toys:

Best Toys for Small Dogs

  • Rubber, vinyl and soft fabric balls that are the right size for your dog's mouth
  • Tough rubber chews with a hollow center that you fill with treats or peanut butter
  • Sturdy air toys for chasing and fetching, like small-dog tennis balls
  • Nylon bones, which are available in dog-friendly flavors
  • Plush puzzle or hide toys that are designed to help develop your dog’s intelligence while keeping him entertained for hours
  • Braided rope toys that can help clean your dog's teeth

Avoid these Types of Dog Toys:

  • Fleece, plush or canvas toys with small or detachable parts
  • Some rawhide knots, sticks and rings can splinter into small pieces, potentially scratching a dog's throat or puncturing their intestines
  • Household items of any kind that are not made especially for dogs
  • Sticks from trees; they’re best left at the park or out in your dog’s play area of the backyard
  • Poultry or pork bones. These splinter-prone natural bones can be dangerous.

These guidelines should help make it easier to choose toys that will keep your small dog safe and provide hours of fun for you and your pooch!

If you’re ever on the fence about whether a toy is a good one for your dog, ask your veterinarian.

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