a cute dog playing with the rope toy

Are Rope Toys Safe for Dogs?

We call them man’s best friend, and in many ways, this is true.

Dogs are there for us when we need them; they protect our homes, and they are lots of fun, not to mention that they can sense when we are feeling blue. So, are rope toys safe for dogs?

However, dogs are not as mentally mature as humans, with one big difference is that they love to play all day, particularly when it comes to chewing and pulling on things. This is why many people get their dog rope toys.

With the rope toys that you can find in virtually every pet store, supermarket, and dollar bargain shop, you would think they’re perfectly safe for dogs to play with.

Yet, think again, because, for more than one reason, this is not the case. There are a few safety concerns about rope toys that you should be aware of.

Are Rope Toys Safe?

Whether rope toys are safe for your dog depends on the dog more than anything else. Rope toys are OK to chew on lightly and to carry around, even to tug on a little bit.

However, the issue arises when the rope starts to come apart into strands.

Dogs who love to chew on their toys and do their best to rip them apart should not play with rope toys.

Heavy chewers and destruction machines, such as many dogs are, face many more risks from rope toys than dogs who play with them casually.

Rope Toy Risks

Let’s take a look at the main concerns when thinking about getting a rope toy for your dog.

Possible Chemicals

This is a risk whether your dog is a heavy chewer or not. The cheaper rope toys you find in bargain shops are often treated with harsh chemicals and may contain dyes that shouldn’t be ingested.

So, in this sense, go for a pricier rope toy that you can guarantee is non-toxic. You’d be surprised at some of the poisons that dog toy manufacturers get away with putting in these toys.

Risk of Suffocation

a blue and red rope toys for dog

As mentioned above, rope toys become dangerous when they start to come apart. These rope toys, when they break apart, they have long strands.

Sometimes those strands hang loose, and sometimes they hold together large sections of the toy (the more dangerous thing). When this happens, if your dog tries to swallow a strand, it poses a serious risk of suffocation.

This article’s writer has personally had to pull rope toys out his own dog’s throats on about a dozen separate occasions!

Intestinal Blockages


If that rope manages to pass through your dog’s throat without causing issues, the dog still is not out of danger.

The pieces of cloth rope, especially the larger chunks, can clump up, tangle around food, and form nearly solid balls that can cause intestinal blockages.

These blockages, if left untreated, can be fatal. If you notice that your dog swallowed a big piece of a rope toy, make sure it comes out the other end, and if it doesn’t, you should go see a vet.


Risk of Damaging the Teeth dog brushing his teeth

If your dog is just chewing on the rope toy, this should not be an issue. As soon as your dog starts pulling on the toy with their teeth, this is when it gets dangerous. Although dogs have pretty strong teeth, there is always a chance that a tooth can get caught in the rope, and if either you or another dog pulls too hard, it could cause damage to the tooth. It’s not a big risk, but it is a possibility.



Although this is another minimal risk, the fact is that dirt, saliva, water, bacteria, and more, all stick in that rope. After a while, bacteria multiply and then eventually get into your dog’s system. Dogs generally have robust immune systems, so it’s not a massive issue but also a possibility.


Now you know five reasons why it is best to get your dog toys other than those made of rope. They just aren’t that safe, and let’s face it, they can become super gross and smelly.

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