Karen B. London
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Accidents With Dog Toys
Sometimes toys aren’t fun
Household hazards that might not look dangerous at first glance

I woke up in the middle of the night with every intention of quietly having a drink of water. Unfortunately, I landed on a particularly loud squeaky toy and managed to disturb everyone’s sleep. A few days before that, I got out of bed and stepped on a dog toy that is not designed for the underside of delicate human feet. I woke everybody up that time, too, and not because the toy was noisy. No, it was me that made the racket as I uttered the sorts of phrases that make films lose their PG ratings.

Ahh, dog toys. I love them except when I don’t, and then I hate them. Obviously, it would be wise to clean them up at night, and we usually do. We are a work in progress, and improving all the time. We’re just not improving fast enough to stop me from causing trouble.

And it’s not just at night that dog toys can be a problem. I am perfectly capable of nearly spraining my ankle on a toy or sliding across the room on one during daylight hours. (I’m just gifted that way.) I don’t know why dogs don’t seem to have this problem. In my experience, when they pounce on toys or make noise with them, they meant to do so.

I’m seeking sympathy. Who else has had an accident with a dog toy?


Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Submitted by Pat Moss | July 17 2014 |

Then there is the time you step on a soft fleece toy but THINK you are about to step on the dog or cat and try to defy gravity and turn yourself into a pretzel trying to undue that step!

Submitted by Karen London | July 21 2014 |

Pat, I know just what you mean! I tend to try to extend the step and end up doing these huge ridiculous lunges just to avoid what wouldn't have been a problem anyway. Sigh.

Submitted by Candace | July 18 2014 |

I've done that, thinking I'd picked up all the toys before bed (or when I got home, or before leaving for work, or.....) and I step on a squeaky or a chewy and do the oh-geez dance!
Mine is a constant battle with Nylabone dinosaurs. They are much beloved by our bunch, but somehow I always seem to end up sitting on one with the gnawed pokey end poking into my sit-upon parts! That, or they end up tangled in the fringe of whatever throw pillow is serving as a throne for his/her royal highness and they can't get it loose and MOM must untangle it.
Then there are the small brownish toys that I invariable step on and immediately twist my body about thinking instead it was one of the Littles under foot and I'm terrified I've broken a dog leg or worse.

Submitted by Karen London | July 21 2014 |

Candace, I hadn't even thought about the dangers of sitting on dog toys. Yikes, thanks for sharing.

Submitted by holly swanson | July 18 2014 |

I stepped on an errant rawhide roll & shattered my leg on April 15th. Had to move out of my house, put my dogs in foster care & now sport an assortment of metal rods, screws & plates in my leg. Approximate recovery time (per doctor): 12 to 18 months. Have graduated from wheelchair & walker to crutches after 3 months. Lesson learned: always look down :-) Wishing you well!

Submitted by Karen London | July 21 2014 |

Holly, I will never step on a dog toy again without thinking of the real danger I have dodged so far. I'm so sorry to hear that you suffered a serious injury. I wish you well in your recovery, and I'm suspecting that your upbeat attitude will serve you well. Take good care!

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