Truth be told, buying pet toys is like buying toys for your child. There are things you need to carefully take into account to ensure you don’t get something that poses threats or dangers, regardless of how harmless it appears. After all, it is your fur baby’s safety that you are after.
Okay, now we choose safe pet toys. Yes, cats enjoy plushies, catnip, and cat scratching posts. Dogs, on the other hand, enjoy tearing apart any stuffed animal. As for guinea pigs, they just love a little exercise wheel in their cages. Although all these pet toys seem harmless, you can never conclude by their looks.
As much as we hate to say this, the truth is, even the safest-looking plushy can be considered a safety risk for your pet. So, if you are a responsible pet owner, you should always choose nothing but safe pet toys. Don’t worry. We’ll help you in the process. Below are some factors to consider.
1. Pointed and Sharp Parts
Ferrets, cats, and dogs enjoy chasing and reaching out toys that hang from a string or are attached to sticks. More often than not, the stick that holds the toys appear like fishing rods, stiff and pointed. While the toy itself is great to play with, the stick might cause harm, especially when you leave your pets playing unsupervised. It does not only represent a risk for their eyes, it is also a threat to the body and mouth. Hence, if you happen to have bought a toy that has a stick, it is a better idea to get rid of it and just give the toy as is.
2. Strings and Yarns
Congratulations, the toy you got does not have any stick. But it does not mean it is safe. There could be parts that are made of strings and yarns. These things may cause your pets to choke or strangle while playing. Worse, if they are swallowed, the vet might just have to cut open your four-legged pal’s intestines. It is a medical emergency that requires serious attention as it may end your pet’s life.
Aside from strings and yarns, tinsels like those that are used on Christmas trees are dangerous. The same goes with the cellophane glasses used in Easter egg baskets.
Have you been listening to the news in the recent years? If yes, then you should have heard about the incidents wherein the toys for kids are recalled because of their mercury, cobalt, lead, and cadmium content. Sad to say, these toys still exist in the market. And they aren’t only for kids. Some of them are for our pets, so you have to be extra cautious.
If ever you purchase pet toys that come with painted designs, might as well hide it. Chances are, the paint will come off and end up in your pet’s stomach. Perhaps, the safest pet toy you can offer is one that is painted with food-grade dyes.
Many companies and manufacturers these days continue to make stuffed plushy pet toys. While they seem too soft and cute to harm your pets, little Fido can still rip and tear them apart. And if that does happen, he could accidentally ingest and swallow the stuffing, which is again a serious emergency.
Most stuffing used in these plushies are made of substances like polyester fiber, plastic beads, and cotton. All these materials are risky once they come out from the plushies. While beads can be a major choking hazard, the cotton can cause blockage in the digestive tract.
Of course, you can still offer these stuffed plushies to your pets as toys. However, you have to keep a close eye on them. Once they start to tear apart, replace them.
5. Small Parts
Apart from the plastic bead stuffing of pet toys, the eyes and noses of the plushies can cause choking. Usually, these parts are just glued. Therefore, they will easily come off when played with.
In most instances, they will be lost. But the worst case is that they might already been swallowed. If they break apart in the digestive tract, they can cut the tummies of your fur buddies.
Well, if a plushy needs to have a face, it would be safer to use a food-grade dye to paint it. Better yet, depend on sturdy embroidery.
Always remember that pet safety begins with you. It’s like keeping your baby safe, too! As much as possible, check the toy if any of its part can be considered a serious threat to your pet’s health. Or maybe make your own pet toy at home. You should be responsible enough and make the safety of everybody in the house a priority.
If you think we missed something, please feel free to comment below. We’d be very happy to hear from you as well.