Safe Dog Toys

We are often asked what kinds of toys we use for our dogs that will keep them busy, happy and are at the same time safe.

It is an easy but not so easy question in that dogs of different ages, sizes and breeds will have an affinity for different types of toys and the safety factor is often a product of the strength of their teeth and ability to chew up and "eat" the toy.

On the other hand, there are certain criteria which are universal and should be kept in mind when selecting and providing any toy for your best  friend.

So What Makes Any of Fido's Toys Dangerous?

Is it easy for Fido to swallow or choke on the dog toy? Items such as small balls,toy soldiers, dice, jacks, game pieces, marbles and in general anything smaller than a tennis ball may cause Fido to choke  or break a tooth.

Watch out for sharp edges on some small toys which can cause injury to teeth and gums. Be certain that none of Fido's toys can be swallowed or "eaten."

What are Fido's toys made of? Are they soft and easy  for Fido to chew them up in a few minutes?  Inexpensive plastic and some children's' plush toys  may be quickly ripped apart and swallowed in a flash. The result may be a gastrointestinal blockage that can be fatal.

Toxicity, a horrible dilemma.  An article from October 2007  at Consumers  demonstrated that in some items high levels of lead, cadmium and other toxic materials were discovered.

If Chinese produced dog food ingredients have been proven to include melamine(the material used to make plastic spoons and forks) which causes renal failure and is fatal when eaten, what do you think the possibility is that toxic material from China or anywhere in the world including the U.S., may end up in your dogs toys which are not designed to eat and have even fewer regulations in production?

For example, Fido's toys may be "hiding"  BPA, melamine, lead,  or other unknown toxic chemicals dangerous to your dog's health.

So What Toys are Safe to Use for Fido's Entertainment?

Toys that are clearly labeled, strong and durable. Avoid inexpensive or small items that can be chewed and swallowed.

This includes the biggest perhaps of all culprits..RAWHIDE,which should NEVER be given to Fido unless you are watching every single minute (and that is only if you insist on this potentially very dangerous "toy")... and I mean every minute.

In less than 60 seconds a piece of rawhide can be chewed and swallowed choking Fido and become fatal....the same result may occur if he swallows a piece and it becomes lodged in his intestine.

One option is deer and elk antlers. They are naturally 'dropped' by the animal so no wildlife is harmed. They are very hard and cannot be chewed and swallowed by they are safe and last seemingly "forever".

They are more expensive than some less desireable alternatives but since they last and last and last you will, I believe, save money and certainly grief in the long run. Check them out at your local pet store .

And if you exercise and play with Fido that is the best recreation he can have and is good for both of you.


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