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Pet Peeves: How Do I Know If My Dog's Toy Is Too Small?

Pet Peeves: How Do I Know If My Dog's Toy Is Too Small?

Q: I was soooo excited for my new dog, I went out and bought a ton of "puppy" toys . . . but now I'm wondering if he's outgrown them since he's almost one year old now. How can I tell if his playthings are the right size?

A: Ahh, new-puppy-mom syndrome — happens to the best of us! Not sure what kind of dog you have, but if he's a larger breed that grew significantly in size, there's a chance you may need to remove some of his old toys. Also, many puppy toys have a softer consistency so his adult teeth could tear them to shreds in no time at all.

My quick and easy rule is that if your dog can fit the entire toy easily is his mouth, it's too small. If you have a small dog, you may want to use the method some parents recommend — make sure it doesn't fit inside a toilet paper tube. Regardless, stay alert and promptly discard any tiny, torn bits or other possibly choking hazards. Don't forget, the same thing rings true for multiple pet homes (Saint Bernards could easily choke on a Chihuahua-sized toy) as well as those houses with tiny kitty toys laying about.

Source: Flickr User flygraphix

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JeanninePC99 JeanninePC99 6 years
My golden loves tennis balls, but especially loves the mini-tennis balls. I know they are a possible problem, but he loves them so, so much that I let him have a few around. Thankfully, he just likes to carry them in his teeth to squeak them and doesn't catch them in the air, which is what he does with normal sized tennis balls.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 6 years
This is a constant concern in our household. Although my two dogs are similar in size (42 lbs and 65 lbs) my smaller female is very delicate/dainty and will not play with anything that is not puppy sized. She won't pick up a tennis ball/catch it, or play with any normal dog toys - it has to be soft and for puppies. Her brother is rough on toys and he needs bigger toys. He's the type torun with a soccer ball in his mouth. He would swallow all her toys (whole) if we didn't have them out only under strict supervision.'s a constant battle in our house.
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