He might think he’s a big dog, and play like a big dog, but when it comes to your small dog and his toys, size means safety. The rule of thumb is to keep anything smaller than a ping-pong ball away from your dog.
Never let your small dog play with dolls, chew toys, or household items that have attached pieces like eyes, buttons, ribbons, decorative fabric or other detachable parts that could easily be ingested. And remember, small dogs love to rip at squeaky soft toys and stuffed animals to get at the noisemaker inside. They can easily swallow the stuffing or squeaker in the process. It’s a good idea to check your dog’s toys regularly for holes and signs of wear and tear.
Also, keep in mind that small dogs have small mouths, so they don’t derive much pleasure from an oversized toy that they can’t comfortably chew, pull on, or fetch. Boredom sets in quickly, and your punchy pooch might turn to a nearby shoe for fun.
Avoid these dangerous playthings …
- Fleece, plush or canvas toys with small, detachable parts.
- Some rawhide knots, sticks, and rings that can splinter or splinter into small pieces, potentially scratching a small dog’s throat or puncturing intestines.
- Household items of any sort that are not specially made for dogs.
- Sticks from trees are also best left in the park.
- Poultry or pork bones. These splinter-prone, natural bones are absolute no-no’s.
Keep plenty of these fun, safe toys on hand …
- Rubber, vinyl, and soft fabric balls that are the right size for your dog’s mouth. Dogs have a ball with balls!
- Tough rubber chews, like those made by Kong®, with a hollow center that you fill with treats or peanut butter. Kong® also makes excellent air toys for chasing and fetching, like their small-dog tennis ball.
- 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.
- Small braided rope toys that can help clean your dog's teeth.