It’s an undeniable fact that dogs love playing with toys. Dog toys are great because it invites people’s canine companions to chase, bite, and chew something other than their owner’s personal belongings! Of course, dog toys also help to relieve boredom.
The trouble is, some dogs don’t know when to stop, and they’ll just keep chewing and clawing at their toys until they get torn apart. Ask any dog owner, and they’ll lament at the number of times they’ve had to clear up the remains of their pet’s toys!
Why do dogs like to eat their toys?
One fact about dogs that you need to bear in mind is they are curious creatures. They have a strong sense of smell and love exploring their environments. As puppies, dogs chew and eat almost everything to learn what’s edible and what they should avoid.
Some breeds will leave the puppy phase of chewing and eating everything in sight as they become adult dogs. Sadly, that’s not the case with all breeds. If your dog is still in that puppy phase, what attracts them to eating their toys so much?
The usual reasons for over-chewing or eating toys are typically down to boredom, loneliness, and a general lack of mental stimulation. Some dogs like greyhounds are happy to spend their days lazing around. But, other breeds need constant stimulation.
In some cases, dogs might have a medical condition known as “Pica” - an eating disorder - that causes them to crave food and non-food items alike.
Is it a bad idea for dogs to eat their toys?
In a word, yes. Dogs should not be consuming any elements of their dog toys. If your dog eats part or all of their toys, they can end up with a poorly digestive system. In extreme cases, they might need to have their stomach purged by a veterinarian.
Many dogs, unfortunately, eat things like stuffing, rubber, and even plastic from toys. If your dog eats their toys, they can end up feeling lethargic, vomiting, have a loss of appetite, and even have behavioural changes. If your dog has shown signs they’ve ingested part or all of their toys, you should speak with your veterinarian for advice.
How can you stop your dog from eating their toys?
It’s impossible to keep a watchful eye on your canine friend 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But even if you spent most of your time with your dog each day, can you realistically take steps to stop them from eating their toys?
If your dog has a history of obliterating their toys when you’re not around, it makes sense to hide their toys when you’re not there. You should only let your dog play with their toys under your supervision.
You can also purchase durable dog toys - ones that are long-lasting and will stand up to sustained chewing. At Willy & Dilly, our solid ball is developed for the strongest chewer. This is the toughest ball in our range, standing up to the most eager gnashers. Available in a range of delicious flavours, colours and sizes!
Lastly, make sure your dog has plenty of mental stimulation. Take them out for long walks each day, play with them in your local park, and generally wear them out.