Warning about Kong toys

Warning about Kong toys:

Please be aware that Kong toys are not indestructible and can actually be dangerous. There is a link here that describes the problems with this chew toy.

Some dogs are able to chew off the top ring and swallow them. The item is not radio opaque so is often not seen on X-ray, leading the the dog to become seriously ill before surgery is contemplated. If you wish to continue to use Kongs, please consider the following measures (the list is not definitive):

*** Do not leave your dog unsupervised with them.

  • Purchase the correct size and type.
  • Check the Kong regularly and dispose of it if there are any signs of wear.
  • If the top ring, or any part of it is missing then consult a vet immediately.
  • If the vet cannot find anything on X-ray, ask for further investigations. A barium meal may be needed.
  • Sometimes the ring piece will not cause total obstruction if the food can pass through the hole.
  • Surgery will be needed if the dog is unable to vomit the piece back or if it has moved down into the intestine but is unable to pass it rectally.
  • There are risks associated with surgery but if there is an obstruction there is no choice but to proceed with the operation.
  • If your dog is an ardent chewer it may be best to avoid Kongs entirely.**

I have had recent knowledge of a dog that very nearly died due to this toy and that is why I have started this thread. It’s life was saved by a very experienced vet who located it by deep palpation only - it had been missed by several other vets, leading the dog to become seriously ill.

It may be that pet owners are under the impression that these toys are perfectly safe and are therefore lulled into a false sense of security. Clearly that is not the case. I may be wrong but I wonder if the danger with these toys is
a) that they are associated by the dog with food (including the rubber having the aroma of it). Maybe they confuse it with actual food.
b) the last bit of the food inside it is always at the bottom ring and it is this is the sector that is easier to chew off. It is not difficult to imagine that a determined dog is able to work out that the food would be available if they remove that section.

If you wish to give your dog a Kong, please use with caution.


Thanks for the heads up Dottie.
I usually don’t leave any toys around when we are not home but have to confess I have left Kongs around believing them to be safe.

That said, my dog has managed to get the top off a puppy kong. Luckily we were able to get it away from her. She does tend to associate them with food now. Initially they were used as toys but then she started only to bring them to us when a tasty snack is being eaten.

That is all excellent advice.

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Ranger is not a chewer, so I can leave anything around. He did used to have kongs, but he just leaves them when he cannot get anything out within 2 seconds anymore (he also does not chew them, but throws it around to get food out, which is why he is not having any at the moment as I am renting currently and cannot have flood splashed all over the walls…)

But I will definitely let some of my friends know!

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I have used Kongs for many years. My old Border Collie, Zak, never had food in his as he would never bother to get it out so it would just rot! He was not a chewer at all, but still had it to stay occupied if I went out. He would take it to the top of the stairs and let it go just so he could retrieve it. All day!
However, my little Jackiex, Buzz, got the top of his Kong in quite a short time. which concerned me. In response, I bought him one which is too large for him, so if he should get the top off this time, it will be too large for him to swallow, and if he kets bits off, they will only be very small. This is perhaps worth adding to the list of precautions for fierce chewers, as in real life, you are most likely to give your dog a toy when you are too busy to watch him and you want to keep him occupied.
Incidentally, his is rarely filled, as he refuses to eat most things except a home-cooked diet, which he won’t entertain in the Kong, and I refuse to fill it with pate all the time! Too fattening! He does get it frozen with pate if I will be out for more than a couple of hours.

Always check ANY toy for signs of damage before giving it to your dog. No toy is completely indestructible, but the Kong range come closest in my experience.

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I don’t think my Cavaliers King Charles would eat their Kong toys, but thanks for the tips.

When they were younger, they eat a entire plastic chicken in one hour. I let you imagine what they have done in the garden few hours later… ::slight_smile:

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I can definitely confirm that these are not indestructible. However, it does hold the record for “Longest lasting toy before destruction by my Staffy Thanos” with a whopping 7 minutes haha!

Thanks…Kong user here & happy for this to continue, however, I will keep a closer eye & replace if needed accordingly.

I accept a dog might damage a chew toy but a dog can choke on a number of toys & items, (not least TV controllers containing batteries)…Some crated dogs chew/swallow parts of crate liners &/or bedding.

Dogs or life in general…Risks are all around us. Ideally folk identify relevant risks & consider how best to deal with them. (I.e. avoid, remove, manage or accept)…Some might say this equates to using common sense !

I can definitely confirm that these are not indestructible. However, it does hold the record for "Longest lasting toy before destruction by my Staffy Thanos" with a whopping 7 minutes haha!

Thanks for this information, because i was interested about these toys.

Rhodesian Ridgeback here has had a giant classic kong xtreme XXL for about 8 months…no issues and the only toy he has not destroyed.