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Beware of Unsafe Pet Toys

With the holiday season upon us, many people are thinking about their gift lists – and that includes toys for their cats and dogs.
While the sentiment is great, remember that not all toys are created equally, and some can be downright dangerous. A walk down the pet store’s toy aisle can be overwhelming! Let’s take a look at what not to buy, keeping in mind that swallowing and choking hazards are a primary concern.

  • Bones -real bones (and not just poultry bones) have fallen out of favor because of the splintering hazard. Swallowed bone splinters can cause real problems.
  • Rope toys – avoid all rope toys for dogs. The rope can unravel into small pieces that could be swallowed and lodge in the intestinal tract, possibly requiring emergency surgery.
  • Pig’s ears – these can harbor bacteria, the coating can cause an upset stomach, and they can also stain your carpet. Same deal with rawhide bones and other edible chew toys.
  • Foam-filled soft toys – these are problematic because they can be ripped apart and the foam pieces swallowed.
When it comes to cat toys, always avoid any that have a string, elastic yarn, or ribbon. All can be swallowed and end up in your cat’s intestines. Also, put away any soft pounce and play toys when your cat is unsupervised, just in case they decide to chew on them.
  • Jingle ball toys – these are unsafe because the plastic toy can crack if stepped on and the bell inside is small enough to be swallowed. Watch out for detached feathers, which might have sharp edges.
  • Small toys with eyes – the plastic eyes can come loose and become a choking hazard.
So, what can you buy your pet that will be safe?
Nylabone dog bones and toys are virtually indestructible!
KONG toys, for cats and dogs, are great for putting treats in and are free of Bisphenol A (BPA).
Qwizl and Toppl treat toys are similarly effective and indestructible.
Da Bird and wand toys for cats satisfy their instinct to prey.
Plush stuffed toys can mimic prey and cats love to catch and carry these.
Food puzzles are good for both dogs and cats to help pass the time.
Cats can also be entertained by simple things, such as a paper bag with any handles removed or an empty cardboard roll. Ping pong balls and practice golf balls are popular, too.
In summary, before buying any toy, consider the worst possible outcome the toy might have and, if that is a real threat to your pet, consider something else.
AG
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