Doggy Diaries – Gag reflex?

Any time Jayden plays with anything like a tug rope with fabric, he gags. Even the Kong Wubba, not the furry one, the one that’s more like burlap. He plays with it, we play tug or I throw it and we play keep away, he has fun and then all of the sudden he gags and kinda hacks and then he doesn’t want anything to do with the toy and he needs water.

This sucks because he’ll get so excited about the tug rope or the Kong Wubba. He really really loves the Wubba. But I hate that noise. Is this normal? Is it dangerous? Should I throw them out? I inspect both toys for anything choke hazard like and cut off any loose strings or anything because I’m so paranoid, but it still seems like they make him gag. They are his favorite toys though. He’ll play with the Cuz but then get bored of it and want the Wubba.

I just don’t know what to do about toys. Seems the safest ones are Kong type material or Goughnut type stuff. Anything with fabric makes him gag. I just worry about this being normal? Thoughts?

We’ve been doing a lot of play and stuff because I’ve been under the weather and I just hate that I’m scared of his favorite toys. 🙁


Filed under Doggy Diaries, Jayden, NaBloPoMo 2010, sicky sick

14 Responses to Doggy Diaries – Gag reflex?

  1. Ro,

    I would strongly caution you against the rope type toys. It could be that Jaden is pulling the string out of the rope toy and he is swallowing it. A couple of weeks ago Vienna was at my co raisers for a few weeks. She gave Vienna a rope toy and even under supervision Vienna was eating the strings and it caused an obstruction in her stomach. She had to have emergency surgery. Another pup in my old puppy club had the same problem and had to have surgery also. Vienna LOVED that toy, but she will never get it again. It is just not worth it. Be careful with those rope toys! I would suggest throwing them away!

  2. Ro

    Yeah I was leary of them after my uncle told me about a dog he put down because of a tug rope obstruction. He had left it out unsupervised. So I asked around and some said it’s ok if they injest some of the little pieces but we haven’t touched it in about 2 months after a really bad gagging episode. But the Kong Wubba doesn’t have strings, it’s like inch wide pieces of burlap that hang off the thing and they aren’t frayed, though the area on the top of it gets frayed and I cut the strings. So I’m wondering if we shouldn’t play with that too. I’m definitely not doing the tug ropes. The first one we had was a gift and it was ok, well made, but the second one I got, the strings seem to pull out so I don’t trust it. I just don’t know what to get for a tug toy. I got a Kong type material tug toy but he just wants to chew it and not tug. It just seems like all the toys suck.

  3. I got Dublin a tug toy made out of fleece material, it is braided,if not supervised he will chew on it though. But they are a soft tug that strings dont come off of, and he loves it!

  4. Ro

    Does the fleece come loose when you tug with it? Did it ever cause gagging?

  5. I’ve watched Trixie do that with a lot of different toys, I’m pretty sure rope and not rope whenever tugging is involved. With her it seems to be the that’s it bell and nothing more. Now watch, Carin will have an entirely different answer. But watching them play, it seems like as long as you pay good attention and stop when you hear the noise you should be fine.

  6. Jen

    I have a rope tug toy for O.J but wouldn’t leave it unsupervised either. He never makes the gagging sound, and usually only chews nyla bones or plays with his kong, but only outside where I can throw it.

  7. What about the Cressite ring or the figure 8 tug toy? There is also the FrameBall by Pedigree. Try one of those, they are good and safe for Tug.

  8. Dogs don’t have a gag reflex. It’s why you can’t stick your finger down a dog’s throat to make them vomit. Instead you use a tablespoon of H2O2 (hyrdogen peroxide).

  9. Ro

    Weird, I wonder why they make gagging sounds then?

    I think I have the figure 8 toy. The one I have is like a rectangular 8 and it has hard rigged plastic down the sides. It makes me cringe when his teeth scrape the plastic. He won’t really tug with it though. I’ll have to look into the other ones.

  10. Yup I just watch for strings and pull any off. But she has made that gagging noise and been fine, although I’ve never seen her need water after.

  11. The figure 8 toy is all rubber. It doesn’t have and plastic on it. All of my pups LOVED this as a tug toy….especially Reyna!

  12. Ro

    Maybe I just assumed he’d need water after the gagging and offered it lol. I’ll have to look for the figure 8. I gotta find something I’m comfortable with. Thanks!

  13. L^2

    Stella used to make that gagging noise occasionally when she got very excited playing with fabric-covered toys. I always assumed it was either because the material starts to feel weird on the tongue, or she got a big build up of slobber and coughed/choked on that. So, maybe it’s the same thing with Jayden.
    Like everyone else said, I too would be very careful with rope toys. I’ve had too many dogs who would sneakily pull strings out and eat them. However, I don’t think he should be able to get strings out of the wubba without it being obvious to you that he’s chewed it up, since it’s a tough canvass-type covering.

  14. I have a rope thingie that I tug with Ushi. It is like a big loop that I hold onto, then like a big ball type knot at the end. She never gags with it, but she does sometimes after I throw her elephant. It is stuffed, so as soon as it has a tiny whole, I don’t play with it. She loves the kong I got her, but i haven’t put anything in it yet. She loves when it bounces and stuff!

    Ushi sometimes makes that gagging sound for no reason. The first time she did it, I rushed her outside, as I thought she was going to upchuck lol. She gagged this morning after eating, but she was grand. I never let her run around at all after feeding. I usually have the kong lying on the floor, but take it away straight after food just in case! She mostly does that gag thing after I correct her. I use a half check collar which means that as soon as you flick back, it releases again. If you keep pulling though, they choke, so when correcting, I pull back sharply depending on what she has done, then let go. It’s sort of like a little squeeze/pinch.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.