Did you know that December is Safe Toys And Gifts Month? If you’re planning to put a few new playthings in your canine companion’s stocking, as many of you likely are, this is something to keep in mind as you shop. In this article from Fairfield Animal Hospital, your Cypress, TX animal clinic, a local vet offers some advice on dog toy safety.

Beware Marketing

Don’t be fooled by brightly colored packaging. Bright colors are typically achieved through dyes, paint, or stain, which aren’t exactly part of Fido’s recommended diet. Toys that have been treated with stain prevention or fire retardants may also be unsafe. It’s not a bad idea to sniff the potential toy; if it has a strong chemical smell, it may not be safe.

Regulation

One reason it’s important to be aware of potential pitfalls is the fact that, though it may issue food recalls, the FDA does not officially regulate pet toys. Research done by ConsumerAffairs.com discovered that many mainstream dog toys contained dangerous heavy metals, such as lead and chromium, which posed risks of neurological damage (via poison) and cancer risks. Latex is another common culprit. It contains phthalates and BPA, which are hormone disruptors. 

Regulation aside, It doesn’t help that pups use their mouths to play. Another complication is the sheer variation in our canine pals’ sizes. Something that may be safe for a Saint Bernard could be deadly to a Chihuahua.

Safe Materials

So what materials are safe? Rice husk and natural rubber are two good options: these materials aren’t toxic and are safe to ingest, though of course you’d still need to call us if your canine buddy were to eat an entire toy. Ask your vet for more information.

Knowing Your Dog

Your furry friend’s personality comes into play here as well. A puppy or a dog that loves to chew is going to need sturdy toys. Don’t offer Fido anything that is small enough for him to choke on, or anything that could easily break into small pieces. To keep that tail going, it’s also important to make sure your pooch always has a variety of playthings. Last but not least, take time to play with Fido daily!

 

Season’s Greetings from all of us here at Fairfield Animal Hospital, your Cypress, TX animal clinic. We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.