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Are Rope Toys Safe for Dogs?

On your most recent trip to the pet store, what kinds of chew toys did you come across? From squeaky stuffed animals to rawhide squares to rope toys, you have many options to choose from. You may purchase a variety of toys and let your dog show you the ones he prefers.

The only problem with this method is that your dog isn’t aware of which toys are safe and which ones could make him very sick if he swallows a large enough portion of it. As a responsible pet owner, it’s your job to learn which toys are safe and which ones to avoid.

The Dangers of Rope Toys

So, are rope toys safe for dogs? Well, if your dog tends to destroy his toys, he’s more likely to swallow a piece of it. It’s important to know that 95% of the time, the foreign objects your pet swallows pass without incident. You probably wouldn’t even know your pooch swallowed something he shouldn’t have. The other 5% of foreign objects that enter your dog’s system are a different story. These can cause serious, even life-threatening digestive problems.

This brings us to a discussion about rope toys. Thin strands of rope are very dangerous when swallowed. Categorized by vets as a “linear foreign body,” rope is just about the most dangerous object your dog can swallow. As one part of a long piece of rope toy remains stuck in the stomach, the other half enters the intestines, cinching like a drawstring on a pair of sweatpants as the digestive system attempts to pass the string through the body.

This causes the intestines to be drawn into a tight ball. As you can imagine, this is very painful for your dog. The tightening can do permanent damage to the intestines, sometimes even creating painful lacerations as the rope cuts into the intestine walls.

Even if your dog only pulls off small pieces of rope at a time, this type of toy can still be dangerous to his digestive system, slowly creating an obstruction like hairs collecting in a shower drain.

Overcoming the Dangers of Rope Toys

Surgery is a path you can pursue if your dog’s digestive tract becomes blocked, but unfortunately, many pets that swallow long piece of rope don’t survive long enough for a vet to determine the problem and perform the necessary life-saving surgery. Pets that do must undergo intense, hours-long surgery to remove the obstruction. Recovery can also be unpleasant until your dog returns to his old self.

Even if you only let your dog play with a rope toy while he’s being supervised, it can be impossible to tell how much rope he’s stripping off and swallowing. In the end, even if rope toys are your dog’s favorite, it’s not worth the potential heartache to let him have one. Your goal as a pet owner is to find and purchase only safe toys. If that’s your intent, then steer clear of rope toys!

Get Medical Help Fast form Our Vets!

If you have a question about the safety of a toy you recently bought for your dog, please contact us online or by phone at (240) 252-7467. If you think your dog may have swallowed a harmful foreign object, visit Germantown Vet Clinic right away for professional advice.

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