Are Hard Plastic Chew Toys Safe for Dogs?

Are Hard Plastic Chew Toys Safe for Dogs?

Lots of dog owners are fond of asking the question – Are hard plastic chew toys safe for dogs? Want to get the answer to that? Read on…

One common thing in dogs is their chewing habit, they love chewing, and there is nothing the dog owners can do to stop them from doing this. Like humans have fun activities to engage in, dogs chew for fun.

Puppies especially need to chew something during their teething period, as it will help relieve the pain while keeping them entertained. Adult dogs also love chewing as it can help eliminate boredom and frustration. 

However, it can be frustrating when your dog starts to chew objects and pieces of furniture around the house, and it may even end up chewing your favorite shoe. So the best way to prevent this is by getting chew toys.

Many chew toys are available in the market, and they are made with different materials. Some are made from bamboo, while others are made from nylon, antlers, bones, and others. 

Plastic chew toys are familiar, but most people ask if these toys are safe for dogs. Well, this article will answer the question and many more.


What Are Plastic Chew Toys?

Plastic chew toys are made from synthetic polymers containing polyamides, and this toy has a silk-like texture. They are usually hard and come in many sizes and shapes, depending on your choice and pet. Plastic chew toys may look flexible, but they are hard enough to withstand chewing from even aggressive dogs.

Most manufacturers of plastic chew toys add flavor to the toys; this helps to entice the dogs and keep them glued to the toys. The flavors include chicken, beef, bacon, cheese, and others. 

Plastic chew toys have many sizes and shapes; some come in a circular shape, some come in a bone shape, and others may take other forms.

Are Hard Plastic Chew Toys Safe for Dogs?

Plastic chew toys and dogs’ safety is one common question most dog owners ask concerning chew toys for their pets. Some plastic chew toys may not be safe for dogs due to the following reasons:

1. Ingestion of chemicals

Most plastic chew toys made from vinyl and hard plastic contain harmful chemicals known as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. These chemicals are known to cause many health problems like fertility issues, imbalanced hormones, a decrease in the development of reproductive organs, and cancer. Some countries in the European Union and the United States have banned phthalates’ use in toys for children.

However, no article or study proves a direct relationship or link exists between bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, and dangerous health damage to dogs. Still, we cannot rule out that since this chemical affects humans and rodents, it can also negatively affect dogs.

Some plastic chew toys have synthetic rubber obtained from petrochemicals. Petrochemicals are also harmful to humans and animals, especially if they are exposed to products made from these chemicals from time to time.

2. Allergic reactions

Like humans, dogs can become allergic to some things, and plastic may be one of them. Some dogs develop allergies to plastic, rubbers, and latex, including any product made with these substances. 

Your dog may not develop these allergies from the start, but with time and constant exposure to the toy, the allergies may develop. Allergic reactions may cause hives, rashes, vomiting, itchy eyes and nose, watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. You would not want your furry friend to develop health issues each time it uses chew toys.

3. Damage to the Teeth

To make chew toys durable, chew toys manufacturers use hard plastic in making these toys. Constant chewing of the toys can affect and damage the teeth and gums, especially if the dog is an aggressive chewer. 

Sometimes, these plastic chew toys can wear down the enamel. Wearing down of the enamel can go unnoticed for a long time until dental sensitivity sets in. You would not want your furry friend to suffer dental pain after chewing toys.

4. Swallowing of Toy Pieces

Plastic chew toys may look very hard, but some parts of the toys can dislodge with constant chewing or if the dog is an aggressive chewer. Dislodging chew toys becomes very risky as your dog can ingest and swallow some of these toys, leading to digestive tract obstruction and gastrointestinal issues. 

Sometimes, dogs may ingest the dislodged pieces of these toys, which may lead to choking or blockage of the throat or any respiratory organs. Choking and blockage happen because your dog’s body is not designed to digest pieces of plastic.

How To Choose The Best Chew Toys For Your Dog

1. Know the Type of Chewer your Dog Is

Plastic chew toys are suitable for dogs, but it is better to know your dog’s type of chewer before you get any toy. Dogs have different personalities, and they can be classified under the following:

  • Nibblers

Nibblers love playing with toys and not fighting them; they dedicate much time and attention to their toys, chewing them slowly to savor each bite. They treat each toy with love and respect.

  • Destroyers

These are the direct opposite of nibblers, focusing on destroying any toy they come in contact with. They can easily shred and chew down their toys. Dogs under this category need supervision as they may likely swallow pieces of their destroyed toys. 

  • Inhalers

Inhalers are like destroyers but with extreme personalities. Also known as gulpers, inhalers do not spend time savoring toys or giving them attention; they bite off large pieces of their toys and swallow them quickly. They are best-given rubber and plastic chew toys, which may be difficult to bite off.

2. Select a Toy that Matches the Chewing Personality of your Dog

Based on the above categories, you can know the best chew toy to get for your pet. It is best to get plastic toys and balls for inhalers, destroyers, plastic chew toys, and other edible chews, while nibblers can use any chew toys. 

These toys are safe for each category your dog may belong to. However, it is advised that you supervise your dog and its chew toys from time to time.

3. Choose to Buy Chew Toys with the Best Quality

It is recommended that you get only the best chew toys for your furry friend to ensure their health is secured even while they play with these toys. There are wide varieties of toys from different companies, and you should only go for the best. 

Before choosing any chew toy, press the toy with your thumbnail; if it does not go in a little, do not get it for your dog. You can also hit the toy on your knee; it will be too hard for your dog’s teeth if you feel pain.

4. Consider the Size and Shape

The size of your dog matters when you select any chew toys. If the toy is too small, your dog may swallow it; if too big, it may injure your dog’s mouth. Your dog may stick circular chew toys around their mouth or muzzle, which can lead to health issues.

It would be best if you also considered the coating used for each toy, as some coatings contain toxins that may harm your dog.


The question of if plastic chew toys are safe for dogs is one common question dog owners ask. These toys may not be the best option regarding chemicals used in manufacturing them, allergic reactions, and choking on the pieces that have dislodged.

In conclusion, you should consider the type of chewer your dog is and other factors before choosing any plastic chew toys.

Dr. Rebecca Black

Dr. Rebecca Black is an absolute gem of a Veterinarian. She brings decades of experience to Handy Pets Guide and has overflowing talent and passion for breeding and caring for pets, their people, and the team around her. Dr. Sophia was born and raised in Columbiana, Ohio. She completed her undergraduate studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After earning her DVM from The Ohio State University in 1980. She has experience of over 3 decades and is very happy to share them. Her goal is to give pets all over the world a better life and to recommend the best tips, advice, and also recommend the best product for every pet owner.

Leave a Reply