Are Rope Toys Safe For Dogs To Chew And Play With?


Toys are some of the best things for our pups to have. They create a bonding experience between dogs and owners. They also help stimulate their minds while allowing them to have fun and exercise!

For those of you with energetic breeds having toys and playtime is crucial for burning through their endless energy supply. However, toys can become dangerous in certain situations. In this article we are going to be answering the question, “are rope toys safe for dogs to chew?”.

For those of you who just want the quick answer, it’s yes. Rope toys can be extremely dangerous for dogs when not used properly. Rope is made of multiple strands of fabric all woven and twisted together.  Once these strands are ripped apart and broken off they can get ingested by your dog and this can damage your dog’s digestive tract and intestine, causing harm to your dog.

Are rope toys safe for dogs

Are Rope Toys Dangerous?

Rope toys can seem very innocent when seeing them. They look like a classic dog toy that most dogs love.

They are usually colourful coming in all different shapes, sizes, chew levels, etc.

There are so many reasons that make people think that rope toys are the ultimate entertaining and interactive toy for dogs.

However, even with all the benefits they appear to have science shows us that they are arguably the most dangerous toy.

Whenever toys are being chewed, small particles are constantly being chewed off and likely ingested into their stomach.

This is why we want to make sure any toy we get for our pups is non-toxic, safe, and FDA approved. Regardless of toys having these features there is still risk.

When it comes to rope toys, they tend to fray and break apart easier than other toys. When this happens the small fibers of rope can be swallowed.

This is not detrimental in itself since they are small fibers typically rope toys are made of safe material. However, this starts to become a problem when these fibers turn into strands, as they can cause significant damage or death.

How Are Rope Toys Dangerous?

The danger of rope toys come from what are called Linear Foreign Bodies.

This refers to long thin objects that can move through the digestive tract. Some examples would be string, certain carpets, and yarn.

The danger with these objects comes when it is passing through the stomach and into the intestines. These objects, when digested, occasionally end up in two places at the same time.

This is extremely dangerous because as part of the rope stays in the stomach the other part begins to stretch in the intestines. At this point the dog is unable to pass the string through.

As the digestive tract continues trying to push the string out, it starts to act like a drawstring tightening around the intestines.

At this point your dog can be in severe pain and can potentially kill them.

So are rope toys safe for dogs?

Lets see.

Are There Safe Rope Toys?

There are some great companies that make some great rope toys. Ones that are strong, durable, and made with materials that are non toxic.

We recently made a list of the best rope dog toys that you can check out. Just keep in mind we only use these types of toys when following the safety tips we list below.

However, even with the best rope toys they can still cause these problems, so you’ll always want to use rope toys with caution.

Here are the main ways you can still have rope toys for your dog to use.

  • Supervised Rope Play! If your pup loves rope toys then it’s okay for them to play with them as long as you are supervising them when playing. If you only allow your pup to play with this toy when YOU control it and not as a chew toy this will keep them much safer. Just remember even with supervision small fibers will still be ingested.
  • Suitable Rope Strength. Make sure the toy you get is the proper strength to withstand your dogs chompers. Otherwise breaking apart the rope will be too easy for them, allowing them to eat large pieces of rope.
  • Invest in High Quality Rope Toys. You always want to make sure to give your pup the best quality rope toys. Ones that dont fray easily. Do not find the discount rope toys, these typically won’t be the right choice.
  • Renew Ropes Frequently. When you start to see wear and tear, the rope weakening and fraying, it’s time for a new rope toy for your dog.

Is It Wrong To Let Your Dog Have a Rope Toy?

I know some of you are reading this and are now considering getting rid of every rope toy you currently have. If you are just learning about the dangers of rope toys do not beat yourself up for not knowing!

The fact you are taking the time to read this and learn about the dangers with toys for your dog tells me you are an amazing pet parent.

As a pet parent you have a lot of choices you can make to keep your pet safe. IT is definitely not wrong to still let your dog play with these toys. My dog LOVES rope toys so we occasionally play with them still, we just make sure to be responsible when doing so.

Make sure you follow some safety steps:

1. Monitor their play with it
2. Make sure its the right size and durability for them

3. Inspect toy after play
4. Play together with the toy so you know exactly how much chewing is happening
5. Do not let them use it as a chew toy
6. Take the toy away after playtime and put it out of reach

Following these safety guidelines when playing I find our pup actually really looking forward to playing with the toy. Even though he is upset when I put it away, it’s something he looks forward to later on.

Having a dog it’s up to you to keep them safe. They look to us for protection and safety, so you need to make sure whatever you decide to take care of them.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! Are rope toys safe for dogs? The answer is yes and no! They are without a doubt one of the more dangerous toys you can get but with supervision and the appropriate safety steps you can make sure your pet is safe playing with a rope toy.

More dog owners need to understand the risks associated with certain toys and we hope this was helpful for you in keeping your pup safe.

Share this post with other dogs owners so they know! We need to spread this around so pet parents know how dangerous rope toys can be for their pups.

Alec Littlejohn

Founder and Reviewer at Pawscessories. He is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! He grew up in a family of vets and to this day he helps out around the family clinic and shares his learnings on Pawscessories. Learn more about Alec's story here

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