Safe Toys

Toys for Your Dog

We would never intentionally bring home an unsafe toy that could harm our dog.  Our pet’s health is a priority and we want to ensure that they live a long and pain free life.  Knowledge is needed when we choose their toys.  Unfortunately the toys we purchase, either from a pet store or a garage sale could hurt or even cause death if they are unsafe.  These unsafe toys could result in hours spent at the Veterinarians office, $ spent in Vet bills, and pain to your dog.  We will look at many types of toys, their construction and use to aid you in the purchase of dog toys.

Research is again a priority before purchasing toys for your dog.  In choosing a toy, pick it up and examine it, all the while thinking of any way that your dog could be injured by this toy. Consider your dog/s activity level, age, breed and the size of your dog before you purchase the toy.  Are there any buttons, plastic parts sewn on, or easily chewed and swallowed parts that, when ingested, could cause stomach problems?  Is the toy well made or will it easily fall apart and be a hazard to your dog?  Is the toy durable, will it keep your dog entertained or will it be boring and cast aside?  Don’t let the price of the toy be a priority as a sale now could cost you a Vet bill later.

Dogs should not be playing with rubber gloves, old shoes, your children’s toys, old socks, women’s panty hose or any object that a dog could ingest on purpose or by accident.  Just as you prepare your home to be safe when you entertain little children, you must also prepare your home to be safe when you obtain a pet.  Young puppies, especially, need not just your “now” attention but your “before” and “after” attention to provide a safe environment for them.  Your examination of existing toys could also avoid an accident.  Even adult dogs are not with out high energy, and the breed of dog that you acquire might also determine if they are a precocious pet.

Purchasing toys that are interactive are important to stimulate brain function in your dog.  Look for toys that you and your dog can play with together.  Balls come to mind here.  Make sure the ball is the appropriate size for your dog.  If it is too small your pet could choke on it and if it is too large your dog might not be able to properly bite it.  This type of playing not only develops a pattern of spending quality time together but also fosters a bond between you and your dog.  Quality time that you and the family spend playing with your pet is healthy for everyone.

Pay close attention to squeaky toys that are made with plastic or rubber.  These are often made in China and use lead in the dyes and paints. When purchasing plastic or rubber toys choose toys made in countries that don’t use lead in any thing they manufacture.  These countries can be researched on the internet.  When playing with plastic or rubber toys make sure that the dog is not going to chew off pieces.  Most plastic and/or rubber toys should only be used when you are playing with them.  These toys should be placed out of reach when play time is over. Even older dogs should not be playing with plastic and/or rubber toys with out you being present.

Avoid toys that have stuffing, filling, nutshells or polystyrene beads in them.  Should you already have this type of toy, only use them when you are going to supervise their use.  Pups as young as 2 months old are ready for playing with toys and you don’t want them to open up and ingest the stuffing or filling.  This could block their intestines or be a choking hazard.  Nutshells and polystyrene beads can make your pet very sick and if eaten in large quantities can block their intestines.  The best procedure is to purchase toys that have no filling in them at all.  Dogs enjoy them and these toys are more difficult to rip apart.

Never purchase raw hide or raw hide toys for your pet.  Dogs die daily because they were given raw hide to chew on.  Raw hide will swell and get stuck in a dog’s throat, blocking the air passage, eventually suffocating your dog.  Raw hide has also been known to swell up in the intestines and block the dog’s bowel movements.  It not treated this can be deadly!

Some toys also have nylon rope on them and if chewed off, can lead to intestinal blockage.  IF lead has been used in the coloring of the rope this can poison your dog.  Cotton ropes are a better choice as they will help to floss the dog’s teeth.

Squeaky toys that have a squeaker inside must be supervised when played with and taken away as soon as your dog tries to rip the fabric and remove the squeaky inside.  Once the squeaky is removed you can return it to them.

These are hints and suggestions to help you in the purchase of safe toys, the safer the play time for you and your pet, the better the experience in being a pet owner.