“Indestructible” Test Post vs Proven Safe Pet Toys
Having some great toys available for your pet is an excellent way to provide mental stimulation, promote exercise, and decrease behavioral problems. Not all items in every aisle at the pet store are created equal, however. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to shopping for safe pet toys, Carriage Hills Animal Hospital can help!
The Pitfalls of Pet Toys – H2
It would be impossible to go through and review every single pet toy on the market for safety, but there are certain things that you should view as red flags when perusing the shelves.
Avoid or proceed with caution if a toy:
- Has small parts such as eyes or other accessories that can be chewed off and swallowed
- Contains stuffing (even if it’s labeled as digestible)
- Has ribbon or strings attached
- Is a toy for children, but not specifically pets
- Contain a squeaker
- Can be easily chewed apart
- Is marketed for a smaller pet
Safety First – H3
Safety is hugely important when it comes to pets and toys. Keep the following safety precautions in mind while selecting a toy and when your dog is playing:
- Although some dogs do well with unsafe toys, you should never assume that your pet is in this club. Toys are common foreign bodies, so be sure to look at them from this perspective.
- Beware of toys that can be damaging to teeth. Hard chewing items like antlers can break teeth, and even tennis balls can be abrasive to enamel.
- Some toys can also be choking hazards. Be sure that any ball or toy is large enough not to be swallowed. Even tennis-ball sized balls are too small for larger breeds.
- Supervise play with any toy, even those labeled as indestructible. This is especially important until you know how your dog or cat interacts with them. Also be sure to throw away any toy that is broken or has pieces missing.
Selecting Safe Pet Toys – H4
There are plenty of safe pet toys out there, you just have to know what you’re looking for! Appropriate selections can include:
- Hard rubber toys that encourage activity (Kongs, appropriately sized rubber balls, etc.)
- Rope/knotted tugs and toys when appropriately maintained
- Interactive puzzle type toys
- Puzzle feeders – Puzzle based toys and feeders are based on the premise that the pet must interact with them to elicit a response. They range from balls with strategically based holes that dispense treats, to mazes, to motion sensing toys. These types of toys provide social and environmental enrichment. They also encourage an active lifestyle and can help prevent obesity.
If you have questions about choosing the best toy for your pet, please ask. We are happy to help and always enjoy participating in activities that better the lives of our favorite patients.