Pet toys and accessories are largely unregulated, which can put your furry friend at risk.
If you are like me, chances are you spend a good amount of time thinking about organic healthy food for your furry babies. But how about healthy toys?
Not all chew toys and stuffed toys with squeakers are created equal. Pet toys are largely unregulated, which means that unless it is labeled chances are it is loaded with chemicals.
There has been a couple a couple of test from ConsumerAffairs.com that shows that a simple little toy filled with catnip coming from China is contain heavy metal like Lead and chromium. This simply means that when you fur baby is playing and carrying the toy in her mouth, there is a good chance that he’s ingesting some of the toxic junk.
Chemicals aren’t the only thing that you need to think about, though. If your pet has a tendency to chomp through or otherwise destroy his toys—even nontoxic ones—he could be at risk for swallowing broken off pieces or stuffing. That could put him at risk for choking or bowel obstruction.
DOS AND DON’TS FOR SAFER TOYS
Despite the potential dangers lurking at the pet store (or in your closet, or your backyard), your pet doesn’t have to live a sad, toy-free existence. Just play by these basic rules:
Look for toys made with safe materials:
Seek out certified nontoxic toys that are labeled BPA-, PVC-, or phthalate-free. Look for plush toys that are certified by Oeko-Tex, which screens for harmful substances in fabrics.
Steer clear of tiny toys:
Smaller toys are more likely to get swallowed, which could put your pet at risk for choking.
Be choosy about chew toys:
Choose softer chew toys over harder ones, which are less likely to break apart. And don’t automatically assume that natural is better: Chew toys like deer or elk antlers are so hard that they could break your dog’s teeth, Hansen says, and rawhide can pose a choking and blockage risk. When in doubt, seek out toys that carry the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of approval. Not only are they designed to be chewed—they do double duty to help slow the development of tartar and plaque.
Don’t let your pet play with things that aren’t toys:
Your pet might delight in those old sneakers, dirty tennis balls, or squeaky bubble wrap. But they’re not meant for playtime.
Always supervise playtime:
Even the safest toys aren’t foolproof, so keep an eye on your pet whenever she plays.
What are some of your favorite toys for your fur babies? Comment below and let us know!