We know that pets are parts of the family; they’re children to us, and siblings to our own kids. Likewise, we want to keep them happy and surprise them with new toys from time to time. But beware – this famous toy has the potential to fatally wound your dog and can turn playtime into a tragedy.
One owner named Jamie Stumpf encountered this nightmare when a toy marketed as the “beast” by the highly popular dog toy manufacturer Kong got stuck on her beloved Rottweiler Maximus’ tongue. She revealed in an interview that her son said the ball appeared stuck in Max’s mouth, but that when she checked, all appeared well. She allowed Max to continue playing, but at 1 o’clock in the morning, the dog jumped on his owner and she was horrified to discover that the toy was latched onto his tongue.
Maximus was rushed to the vet, where the toy was cut off. Kong toys are usually popular rubber cones that owners can drop treats into to keep their pups occupied while they’re away, but this model only had a single hole. The result was a section that left Maximus’ tongue quadruple its size, bloody and unable to be saved. Stumpf then had to make the very difficult decision of either letting her Max live without a tongue for the rest of his life or to put him down. She chose the latter, since she didn’t want to see him live a life of suffering and struggle.
Owners should beware that dog toys with a single hole in them – manufactured by Kong or any other brand – should be taken away and disposed of immediately. These toys allow no air to escape once in your pet’s mouth, which can result in a painful suction that vets will have to cut away, or can even suffocate your pet before you can get help. Always look for toys that have a point of entry and exit, and never give your dog anything that is smaller than his mouth size. Toys like tennis balls, frisbees and ropes are all great alternatives to the single-holed rubber balls and Kong toys that cost Jamie Stumpf’s loyal companion his life.