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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Prevent Swallowing Disasters Avoid These Tempting Chewables

Prevent Swallowing Disasters: Avoid These Tempting Chewables

PetSmart Trish Spencer / PetSmart Charities

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Chewing is a normal behavior for dogs that also relieves boredom or stress. It is a fun part of exploration and play, too. However, some dogs chew and swallow objects they shouldn’t which could result in a life-or-death issue for your dog if the object creates an internal obstruction, like inside his digestive tract.

This is what happened to a Buddy Luv, a Mastiff that was turned in to a rescue group in Phoenix, Ariz. The dog was sick and emaciated, pacing and panting. It was discovered that the dog had swallowed a well-chewed, regulation softball. It took a $2,500 surgery to remove the softball and the yards of unraveled string. He survived, but just barely. Read Buddy Luv's story next month on Pets.com

Help prevent your pup from swallowing things he shouldn't be keeping him away from these items and by following the tips below:


  • Socks  
  • Underwear 
  • Rocks  
  • C-clamps  
  • Racquetballs 
  • String
  • Rubber bands  
  • Dog & cat toys  
  • Fabric and stuffing from furniture
  • Child’s toys
  • Shoes
  • Flip Flops
  • Dish towels 
  • Wheels off furniture
  • Baby diapers
  • Trash

What You Can Do To Prevent Obstructions

Pet experts suggest the following:

  • Monitor the toys in your home. Know number of dog toys you have and keep track of them.
  • Supervise chewing sessions with new toys. Remove the toy if the pet is able to rip or shred it.
  • Keep possible items a dog could swallow off the floor and out of reach of your pet.  Keep small items such as tinsel, string and rubber bands picked up and safely in a drawer. 
  • Don’t allow a dog that is known to eat rocks outside unsupervised.
  • Startle your pooch with a spray of water or a loud noise should you catch him “in the act” of destroying a foreign object. Then praise him when he leaves the item alone.
  • Don’t verbally scold your dog when chewing - it may teach him to chew only when alone. Instead, replace the forbidden object with a safe toy that doesn't shred and can be chewed apart.
  • Spend time exercising and playing with your dog each day, and keep plenty of safe toys available.
  • Watch for trouble signs such as eating less or not eating, pacing, panting or straining. If these symptoms persist, take your dog to your vet immediately.





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