Dog Toy Safety

Why Picking the Safest (and most durable) Dog Toys isn't as Easy as You Think

June 09, 2018

There’s quite the controversy when it comes to dog toys lately….

After a study found a surprising number of chemicals in dog toys and related products a few years back (we’ll go over that in a bit), people began to demand the same safety standard for dog products that children toys have. 

To this date, there has still been no such standard.  The only way to make sure your dogs toys are safe is to educate yourself and know what to look out for when you’re buying them. 

After all, you want your dog toys to be just as safe as they are durable (unfortunately, many toys out there are neither).  If you want to learn how to find the best dog toys that are both safe and durable for even power chewers, keep reading.

Now time to go over that study I mentioned earlier:

The Michigan-based Ecology Center, a nonprofit environmental organization that analyzes toxins in children’s toys and other consumer goods, tested more than 400 pet products in 2009. 

What they found was shocking.  45% of the toys tested had detectable levels of one or more hazardous toxins, including arsenic, chlorine and bromine.  These chemicals have been linked to things like developmental and learning disabilities, liver toxicity, cancer, or at the very least reproductive problems.

Even more shocking…of the tennis balls tested, 48% contained detectable levels of lead, and researchers found that tennis balls made specifically for pets were even more likely to contain lead than “sports” tennis balls.  One “pet” tennis ball, for example, contained both lead and arsenic in its lettering (arsenic is a known human carcinogen).  Of all the “sports” tennis balls tested, not one contained any lead.

This study brought to light some shocking details - that very few dog toys are as safe and non-toxic as we are led to believe.  If you educate yourself, follow these steps, and know what to look for, you can make sure your toys are safe and durable.



Cheap Toys - cheap toys often contain unknown fillers, are much more likely to contain harmful chemicals, and will normally not last long at all as they are not typically well-made

Plastic Toys - many plastic toys use phthalates so they’re harder to break and more durable; however, phthalates can be carcinogenic, lead to asthma or allergies, and can disrupt your dog’s hormones

Hard Toys that Splinter - you might think that a lot of hard toys are more durable, but the fact is that they will usually just splinter when they do break, especially if you have an aggressive chewer.  Hard toys can also develop sharp edges are they are worn out.  These splinters or sharp edges are dangerous for your dog.  They can cut their mouths, or even be swallowed, leading to much more serious problems and possibly death.

Toys with holes - while I wouldn’t recommend staying away from toys with holes in them completely, make sure you’re aware of them when you’re buying toys.  Be aware of any possible suction that the toy may cause, as these toys have been known to get stuck to the dog’s tongues and in rare situations, kill them.

Unknown Materials - if you don’t know what a toy is made out of, and you cannot find out, it is usually better to just stay away from it


Look For:

Toys with softer edges - softer edges won’t splinter, won’t cut your dog, and if ingested are likely to be much less harmful

Toys made from natural rubber - natural rubber is not only one of the toughest types of rubber and used for the most demanding industrial uses in the world, it is also one of the safest and most natural (hence the name).  Natural Rubber is formed from a milky sap (called latex) that is collected from rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis trees), similar to the milky sap that dandelions give off.

The latex is then made into natural rubber, safer and more durable than almost any man-made rubber.  This is why it is used in many industrial settings, such as machines, cars, airplane tires, and more.  For these same reasons, it also happens to make the best dog toys.  It’s a natural material with soft edges, and more durable than almost any other material you can find, so they will keep you dog occupied for a long time.

Antlers - if you are looking for a hard toy that won’t splinter, deer and elk antlers are about as good as you can get.  Even for the strongest, most powerful chewers, they will usually “dissolve” more than they will splinter.  You can’t go wrong with these.

If you’ve read everything in this post, I hope you will start to put more thought into the toys you buy for your dog. 


A little about us…

We make all our dog toys from 100% safe, non-toxic and industrial-strength natural rubber and back everything up with a ChewProof guarantee, free shipping, free returns, and unbeatable 5-star customer service.  Feel free to check out our product collection (we’re small but growing fast!) or reach out to us if you have any questions ;)

I don’t mind if you don’t order from us, as long as you start to look into the toys that you are buying more and make sure they are as safe (and durable) as possible.  Your dog counts on you, and I’m sure, like all of ours, is part of your family. 



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★ Reviews

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329 reviews
Indestructible Dog Ball is indestructible, (so far!)

We had the smaller size for 3 weeks now and the XL for 2. Our Mr. Knightley, a heavy duty chewing 75 lb Pitbull has destroyed the competition Black rubber Heavy chewing products in less than a week. These balls have lasted this time with just little indentations and chew bite marks but the integrity remains. He has not been able to "scissor" bite through them nor "Corn Cob nibble" the rubber off!
We are very impressed and will be Monster K9 customers for ever!

Tough Toys Great price

My wife bought these thinking that they would last longer than most of the toys that we buy for our German Shepherd. To our surprise the frisky and tug stick are just as tough as they are described. Thank you so much.

Got him stumped

He is the type of dog that tries to destroy every toy I buy. The ball and the ring that I purchased from MonsterK9 has got him stumped. He has had these toys the longest out of every other ball I have purchased and they both are still intact without any missing pieces. Well worth the cost. I would recommend along with purchase again.

Malinois Toughness

Anything I bought Overseas, Max ate it or Destroyed it immediately!
Monster K9 Products Rule!
I can finally feel Safe leaving a Chew Toy with my Malinois.
I didn't know what Max was Going to Do with Monster K9s Frisbee?
It's become his Favorite Toy!
He Loves to Fold It in His Mouth like a Big Taco and Go to Town on it!
Any Monster K9 Chew Toy, One is not enough!

Great toy for a power chewer

We have a Dutch Shepherd that is a power chewer and destroys toys designed for a heavy chewers. This toy has held up great. We will be back for other styles.