Dog ownership comes with responsibilities. We aren’t just responsible for the basics, like feeding our dogs, giving them plenty of water, and making sure they get enough exercise. We are also responsible for their happiness.

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Playtime is an essential part of keeping our pups happy. In many of our homes, we keep toys accessible so our pups can pick and choose what they want to play with. After hearing about Jamie Stumpf and her dog Maximus, the toys WE choose to give them is just as much about safety as it is about fun. Even the toys we assume are safe because we purchased them from a big name store, may not be.

Source: Jamie Stumpf/Facebook

As a responsible pet owner, Jamie purchased a toy ball that didn’t have any small parts Maximus could choke on. She purchased a toy that, from all accounts, looked perfectly fine.

Source: Jamie Stumpf/Facebook

However, when Maximus took the toy into his mouth and squeezed the air out from inside of it, the toy became lodged around his tongue. It caused his tongue to swell, blocking his airway. Maximus couldn’t breathe!

Source: Jamie Stumpf/Facebook

By the time Jamie was able to get Maximus proper medical attention, it was too late. His untimely death is a reminder that no matter how much we try to keep our animals safe, there are still risks out there.

Now Jamie has to go on without her best friend.

Any squeaky toy can pose a similar threat! Please, keep a close eye on your pets at all times when they are trying out a new toy. Or even if they are playing with it for the 20th time! If it looks hinky, throw it away or bring it back for a refund.

Through no fault of her own, Jamie paid the ultimate price when her only goal was to make her dog happy. R.I.P. Dear Maximus!