Saturday, March 7, 2015

Buying Safe Dog Toys

Rubber or rope? Stuffed or squeaky? Dog toys come in a variety of shapes, sizes, sounds and colors. The type of toys I choose for my furry friends usually depends on their chewing or playing habits.

Brody enjoys a game of fetch and loves to chew. I usually buy him hard rubber toys that are easy to toss across the yard and able to withstand hours of gnawing.

Brody loves to play with toys.

On the other hand, Suzy savors her stuffed toys and cuddles with them every night. Her toys would last forever if Brody didn't slyly steal her favorite ones and unstuff them in seconds.

Suzy with a mound of stuffed toys in her bed.
A couple years ago I never gave it any thought about the materials used to make dog toys. It wasn't until I heard about how children's toys made in China were being recalled for using toxic materials, I began researching what dog toys were made out of.

I discovered that toys made in China have high amounts of lead, cadmium and chromium. Toys can also be made out of reprocessed fabrics that contain toxic materials.  Dogs ingest these toxins when they lick and chew on the toys. If a dog ingests too much, they can be severely poisoned and die.

Owners also need to be aware of small pieces that can break off cheaply made toys and cause choking. Fuzz from tennis balls can become lodged in a dog's throat. As a result, there have been many cases where a dog chokes to death right in front of their owner.

So what toys are safe?

Here are a few safe dog toys I found at Petco which are highly rated in an article on the Bark's website.

Go Dog features a line of stuffed toys that have a durable lining and double stitching. In each toy there is only a small amount of stuffing to minimize choking hazards. All there toys are made from new materials.

Kong toys are made of tough rubber or thick fabric material. The toys come in many different shapes including frisbees and dumbbells. All the rubber toys are made in the U.S.
Kong makes flavored spreads and treats that you can stuff inside the rubber toy's hollow center. My dogs go crazy over it.

Dogs need toys for stimulation and to satisfy their desire to chew. No federal regulations are put on dog toys so owners have to take responsibility and make sure to buy safe ones. Buying from reputable companies that use quality materials, will ensure your dog has a fun and safe experience with their new toy.

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