Almost all pet parents including myself have bought their pups a rope toy or two… Most dogs love them, I know mine do. They throw them around, they play tug-a-war, or they just sit there and teeth on them for a while.
The caution I wanted to share is what happens when they break through the knot and the strings become loose… Some dogs get really excited as they start to chew into things, they get this motivation to keep going until they destroy it. As a pet parent with two very big busy mastiff’s, having their minds occupied for a couple hours chewing on their toys is a wonderful break. It is really important though to still keep an eye on them.
I experienced a potential close call a few times with my puppy mastiff. Bourbon is a serious chewer, sometimes I think he should work for a dog toy company as a tester to see if their toys are really chew resistant lol… I’m serious, almost every toy that a pet store has said is made for major chewers, usually lasts a day or two, sometimes less…
His first big knot rope toy was like christmas day for him. He was throwing it up in the air, he was rolling on it, and finally he found a spot on the couch and just went to town chewing on it. This was a routine for him for a few days, after play time he would get the rope toy and spend some time on the couch trying to rip through it. this routine worked well until one day I noticed he had pulled some long strands off and then he ingested them. I tried not to get to worried, I called my vet and he told me to keep an eye on him. The next day while he was going to the bathroom he was having a hard time pooping, he started freaking out… Turns out the string was stuck causing problems for him, and he didn’t k now what to do. I had to help him and pull it out, he laid on the floor for a bit after and didn’t want to move, I through out the rope toy. I spoke to the vet and he told me a was lucky, that a long enough strand could get trapped in his body as he passes it through… I was pretty shocked when he told me this. Bourbon is okay, he was back to normal after about 10-15min and I haven’t had any issues since. The vet also did tell me that although it is a caution, it’s not something that happens often, I just need to keep an eye on him when he plays.
That was not his last rope toy, he has had a few more since then, I just make sure I take them away from him before he can ripe off long strands of rope.
Rope toys come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I strongly caution you to get the right size for you pup. I only get the biggest toughest ones I can find, this way they will last a bit longer and the risk is reduced. For a medium breed I would look for one that is better suited for a larger breed, and for a small breed use the size that is best suited for a medium. That or only use these toys on supervised play time.
I pulled a few examples of the variety you can get rope toys in now. Just click on any of the images and it will take you to the full page with details and pricing for each. The great thing is, you can get these toys almost anywhere that sells pet supplies.
I really hope I was able to illustrate some caution that should be taken when we give our pups new toys. It’s great to give them things to stimulate their minds and to keep them busy… Stops them from looking for your shoes or socks to chew on. Just keep an eye on them, and it they were to ingest something they aren’t suppose to at least then you will know and will be able to act accordingly.