Did you know that December is Safe Toys and Gift Month? As the holiday season draws close, it’s important to make sure that the gifts you’re giving will not only be liked, but be enjoyed safely. If you’re purchasing something for your furry little loved one, here are a few tips and recommendations to make finding the perfect gift even easier!
Make Sure It Is Soft Enough
Animal bones and hard plastic toys can actually damage your dog’s teeth and even potentially cause chipping! Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on emergency veterinary fees, make sure to buy toys that are soft enough that you can make an indent in it with your thumbnail. Additionally, make sure they aren’t too soft or they could get easily torn apart.
Is It The Right Size Toy?
Often times, dogs’ toys are not necessarily appropriate to their size. Small dogs with gigantic plush animals may be funny, but the opposite is dangerous. Toys that are too small can be swallowed or become lodged in your dog’s throat. If the entire thing can fit in your dog’s mouth, it’s too small.
Check If Your Gift Is Non-Toxic
Research by The Ecology Project showed that nearly 50% of tested pet products contain detectable levels of lead and other hazardous toxins! PVC can often be treated with chemical additives like phthalates, arsenic, and formaldehyde which can be absorbed through the bloodstream even if nothing is swallowed. Although few and far between, online resources can tell you whether a product has been tested and whether or not it’s safe for your dog.
“Dog-Proof” Your Toys
The most common form of surgery for larger dogs involve removing foreign body obstructions from their intestines. Remove any strings and bands, check if they contain stuffing like polystyrene beads, and keep an eye out if your toy squeaks; your dog might try to destroy the source of the squeaking and end up ingesting it.
Some Safe Dog Toy Companies
Kong – These chew toys and feeders are some of the most popular products on the market. They’re made from seemingly indestructible rubber, are vigorously tested for toxins, and come in a large variety of sizes for breeds big and small.
Go Dog – If your dog is a chewer, one of these plush toys might be the trick. Made using a proprietary process called Chew Guard Technology, they last significantly longer than your average toy.
Nina Ottosson Zoo Active – Make your dog work for their grub with these unique puzzle feeders. These games and toys are available in different levels of complexity to exercise your dog’s mind, help reduce behavior problems, and prevent boredom.
Preventive Vet – Along with providing health and safety tip books for your pets, this company also sells a unique product simply called The Best Fetch Toy For Dogs. Made from non-toxic resin, it’s durable, easy to throw, washable, and even resembles a stick! Your dog won’t be able to tell the difference, but they’ll appreciate it nonetheless.