Rope toys have been used by dogs for generations. They are one of the most common toy that is in any dog’s toy stash. However, rope toys are not for every dog.
As a veterinarian and as a pet owner, I know that rope toys are not always a good thing. Rope toys can be safe but there are instances in which you should not let your dog have one.
What Are The Good Things About Rope Toys?
Dogs love to chew and toss things around during play. Some dog breeds, such as terriers, use rope toys to simulate shaking “prey” to kill it.
They can also be great for the overall health of the mouth. The fine fibers can act as floss to help clean areas around teeth.
Rope toys can also be shared between dogs. Smaller dogs can play with each other using a rope toy.
When Can Rope Toys Be Bad For Dogs
There are two main issues that any dog owner needs to be aware of when they give their dog a rope toy.
- Rope Toys Can Be Swallowed
Depending on the size of the dog and the size of a rope toy, there is a danger of any dog swallowing the rope toy whole or in pieces and causing a blocking in the GI tract. I’ve personally removed a few rope toys from the stomachs of dogs over my career and it’s never fun.
You must supervise your dog when they are first given a new toy. If your dog shows any signs of wanting to swallow or ingest even smaller pieces of the rope, your dog shouldn’t have a rope toy.
- Rope Toys Can Lead To Injuries For Some Dogs
I would never tell a pet owner to not get their dog a rope toy if the dog was healthy and
Rope toys encourage activities such as vigorous shaking and tug-of-war. In any dog, these activities, if done frequently and over many months and years, can lead to injuries to a dog’s mouth and neck.
I’ve seen patients in my veterinarian practice with the following issues that were thought to at least be partially caused by a rope toy:
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Tooth fracture
- Neck pain
Once your dog has started to have any of the above issues after playing with their rope toy, you should probably find an alternative for play time.
Can I Clean A Rope Toy?
Certainly! You can pop it in the washer with a small amount of detergent to help clean it periodically. I would recommend to not put it in the dryer and simply let it dry by itself before giving it back to your dog.
When Should I Replace A Rope Toy?
Rope toys need to be replaced when they start to shed their pieces frequently. You don’t want to give your dog a chance to swallow even smaller pieces of the toy.
What Are The Best Selling Rope Toys?
Alternatives To Rope Toys
Last update on 2022-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API