December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month! This is definitely a timely topic for this blog, as many of our furry patients will be getting a lot of new playthings this month! However, while one would like to think that any products made for your canine pal are guaranteed to be safe, that just isn’t the case. A local vet offers some helpful tips on choosing safe dog toys below.
One issue with dog toy safety is the fact that many of these products contain toxic chemicals and materials. In fact, one study by Consumer Affairs revealed the presence of heavy metals, such as lead and chromium, in many dog toys. Some dog toys also contain latex, which itself contains BPA. Check the labels, and opt for things made of natural materials. Natural rubber and rice husks are two good options. These are safe to ingest, though of course you’d still want to call your vet if Fido eats a lot of it.
Be sure to choose toys that are the right size. A German Shepherd could choke on a plaything made for small breeds, while a Pomeranian could get hurt playing with something made for a larger pooch. If you have a puppy, remember to toss out little Fido’s smaller toys as he outgrows them.
Many of our canine friends love chewing on rawhide. It is important for Fido to have proper chew toys. However, rawhide can present serious choking risks. It’s also not really something that’s safe to eat. Hard rubber toys are generally going to be a better option. If you do give your canine buddy rawhide, supervise him closely when he’s gnawing on it, and discard it when it starts getting worn. Ask your vet for more information.
It may be cute seeing your furry pal happily running after tennis balls, but be careful. These are extremely dangerous for large dogs, as they present potentially-fatal choking risks. Consider teaching your pet the commands to Leave It and Drop It. Even if you don’t give Fido tennis balls at home, he could find one at the dog park!
Be careful of toys with holes in them. Because of the suction, your canine pal could potentially get his tongue stuck in them. Yikes! Kong toys are quite safe, but again, you’ll need to pick the right size. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Do you have questions about dog toys? Contact us today!