When it comes to toys, there's one basic rule: never give them something so small that they can swallow it whole. This could cause choking or an intestinal obstruction, which could mean expensive emergency surgery for the little guy. Of course, the smaller your dog, the more careful you need to be -- for small dogs, many innocent-looking toys can become dangerous.
Find balls and squeaky bouncing toys made especially for small dogs. A tennis ball might be a great toy for a Labrador or a cocker spaniel, but a chihuahua's mouth is too small for it. He'll end up being frustrated by the size of it and go look for other things to chew, like your favorite shoe or your fingers.
Choose toys with no detachable parts. For example, the beady eyes of a teddy bear might not be too dangerous for a big dog, even if he manages to get them detached and swallows them. However, a small dog could choke or suffer an intestinal obstruction on the same teddy bear eyes.
Choose squeaky and stuffed toys that are tear-resistant. Some dogs love to destroy toys so they can get to the squeaky or the stuffing inside. Trouble comes when Doggie ends up swallowing the squeaky or the stuffing, something just as dangerous as swallowing tiny teddy bear eyes.
- Get your tiny dog toys from the pet store, rather than letting him play with small things he finds around the house. A ping pong ball might look similar to a toy, but it's much more dangerous because it could be swallowed whole. On the other hand, toys from the pet store will be labeled by size and made with the right materials to prevent accidents.
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