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7 Dog Items You Should Get Rid of Immediately | Pupford

September 27th, 2023

Filed under Health + Wellness

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You want the best for your dog. So you take the time to look up the most popular toys, treats, and training tools.

But we also want the best for your dog, which is why we feel compelled to let you in on an unfortunate secret: some of the most popular dog items are also some of the most dangerous.

We’ve worked with certified dog trainers and veterinarians to learn which dog products have rightfully earned their popularity -- and which ones don’t deserve the praise.

Here are the 7 common dog items that our team of experts suggest you get rid of and avoid.


Do this, not this swap | Pupford


While we’re sure you know people who have given their dogs rawhide chews without consequence, there’s no reason to take the risk.

The first issue with rawhide is that, despite their name, they are far from “raw” in the traditional sense. They go through multiple rounds of processing and chemical treatments that leave them packed with things you wouldn’t want your dog ingesting.

The second concern is choking. Rawhide easily breaks down into smaller, slippery pieces that can get lodged in your dog’s esophagus or digestive tract. Once the rawhide piece gets small enough, dogs are often tempted to put the whole piece in their mouth to chew it more easily, which is a big choking hazard.

Try this instead: The Pupford Engage Chew, multiple types available.


dog biscuits | Pupford

Biscuit treats are heavily marketed to dog parents, making them household names. But just because they’re well known doesn’t mean they’re the best choice for your dog.

These treats tend to be very high in calories -- some are 100+ calories per treat. This can quickly lead to your dog over consuming calories and put them at risk for obesity. While calorie requirements vary depending on your dog’s size and activity level, treats should never make up the bulk of your dog’s calorie allowance since they are less nutrient dense than regular food.

They are also heavily processed and contain artificial preservatives, sugars, sweeteners, and chemicals that can potentially lead to health issues. Specifically, they contain BHA, which has been recognized as carcinogenic to animals by the Internal Agency for Research on Cancer.

Try this instead: Make your own dog-friendly biscuits using lower-calorie, nutrient dense ingredients like plain Greek yogurt, pumpkin, and apples. For treats you can feed in higher quantities (like for training), try Pupford’s low-calorie, high-value treats.


Some trainers recommend electronic collars (e-collars) as a training method, so people assume they are harmless. But they actually can cause both physical and emotional harm.

Let’s start with the physical. E-collars are shock collars, electronic devices that deliver a shock to your dog when you press a button on a remote (usually in response to an unwanted behavior). The electrical contact points can cause burns, while the electric current can cause damage to your dog’s heart.

Beyond the physical, an e-collar being used as a negative reinforcement method often leads to emotional damage too. Inflicting pain on your dog causes fear, aggression, avoidance, and submission -- damaging the relationship between you and your dog. The Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands found that these negative effects continue even after you stop using an e-collar.

Try this instead: Positive reinforcement training.


Choke collars are another tool some trainers suggest using to correct unwanted behaviors, specifically leash pulling. But similarly to e-collars, they do so by inflicting pain and discomfort on your dog’s neck. They have prongs or chain links that apply pressure to the neck when your dog pulls against the leash.

Try this instead: Freedom No Pull Dog Harness.


Toys with holes for hiding treats are great for engagement. We love enrichment chew toys that make your pup work for their food! However, make sure that toy has a hole on each end before letting your dog go treat hunting.

If only one end has an opening, it can create a suction onto your dog’s mouth or tongue. If the suction is strong enough, it can completely seal around your dog’s mouth causing suffocation.

Try this instead: SodaPup Dog Toys -- or any similar toy with more than one opening!


Plastic bowls might seem like a convenient choice especially if you are on the go, but if your dog is eating out of one, it’s time to swap it for a better choice.

Plastic can easily break when chewed or scratched at by your dog while they eat. This poses two problems:

  • If your dog swallows a splintered-off piece of plastic, it could cause an intestinal blockage or bleed.
  • Even the smallest scratch in plastic can be a place for bacteria to build up.

Also, some types of plastic are made with chemicals that mimic hormones, potentially leading to hormone imbalances or adverse reactions when eaten out of.

Try this instead: A stainless steel dog bowl. If you need a safe option for on-the-go, try the Pupford collapsible dog bowl.

dog metal bowl for water | Pupford


Pet store shelves are packed with different dog shampoo options. It’s tempting to go with the least expensive brand or whatever you saw an ad for that week.

But a lot of cheap dog shampoos are poorly made, using fillers in place of high-quality ingredients. Not only do they expose your dog to toxic chemicals, they do little to support a healthy coat and skin.

If you don’t recognize, or can’t pronounce, most of the ingredients in your dog’s shampoo, it’s time to ditch it for an alternative made from natural sources, essential oils, and nourishing ingredients.

Try this instead: All natural shampoo free of silicone, paraben, sulfates, and artificial fragrances. The Sudsy Shampoo Bar for Dogs is 100% natural, contains no added sulfates or parabens, and is cruelty-free.

If you’re currently using any of these things on your dog, you are NOT a bad dog parent. Just know that there are better alternatives out there that will lead to a happier, healthier pup!


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