Play it safe with your pet

How a simple backyard game turned into an emergency.

One of our patients is lucky to be alive after one of her toys turned deadly.

Miss and her owners were playing with a ball in their backyard one afternoon. At one point Miss had the ball in her mouth and dropped it, she went to pick it up again and as she did, it bounced up and lodged in her throat.

Her owners watched the whole thing unfold! Lucky for Miss they immediately sprung into action.

She was loaded straight into the car while her owners called immediately to advise on the situation and their ETA. This was a crucial step as we were able to prepare for their arrival so our team was able to spring into action as soon as she arrived.

When she arrived she was immediately placed under general anaesthesia so we could safely remove the ball. We are happy to say she made a full recovery.

It is also worth mentioning that Miss would not have made it to our clinic if the ball she was playing with didn’t have a hole in it. The ball was so well lodged that the hole was the only way she could get air in which was just long enough for her to get to the vet.

Real Patient at Snowy Vets.

We love playing with our pets.

Play time is important for our pets but not as important as their safety. As vets we are presented with many ‘play times gone wrong’. There are many things you can do to ensure safe play time. So let’s dive into some key tips. 

What your pets should NOT chew


Splinters can break off and get lodged in your pets mouth or throat. More importantly throwing sticks is a no go!

Cooked bones

While it may seem like a good idea. Cooked bones actually break and splinter a lot easier than raw. They also are more likely to splint with sharp points. If you are going to feed your pet bones, make sure they are raw and size appropriate. Please consult your vet first. 

Tennis Balls

Are easily bought and found, a very common toy however not a safe one. Tennis balls are very rough and can wear your pet’s teeth down. They break up into tiny pieces which your pet can swallow causing an obstruction. The outermost layer can be stripped off and swallowed. 

Other things that can be dangerous

  • Corn cobs 
  • Skewers
  • Children’s toys and plastic
  • Stone fruit and rocks
  • Sanitary products
  • Bedding and blankets

Tips to picking safe toys

Size appropriate  

Make sure you are choosing a toy that is size appropriate for your pet makes a big difference. It can enhances your pets play and make it more enjoyable. Too small and they may become a choking hazard. 

Balls with holes

If you are getting a ball to play with ensure it has a hole, it may just save your pets life. Check out our post at the beginning of the blog if you haven’t already.

Rope toys

Can be fun and are great for tug of war however they can easily be pulled apart and swallowed. Choose a good quality one and make sure you pack it away when play time is over.

Hopefully this will help guide you for some more safe play. The best advice with all toys is to pack them away when playtime is over. Your toys will last longer and you can avoid unsupervised play. Happy playing!

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