Christmas is coming and there’s lots to look forward to, but don’t forget the needs of your four-legged friends. With a little planning and preparation, and extra consideration for your dog on the big day, Christmas and be a truly family affair for everybody including our four-legged friends.
How safe are pet toys?
For dogs and other pets, toys are not a luxury, but a necessity.
Toys help fight boredom in a dog you’ve left alone. They can also provide comfort, and toys can help prevent your dog developing certain problem behaviours.
Although cats can be fussy about toys, dogs are often more than willing to play with any object they can get their paws on.
Sadly, we are seeing more unsafe pet toys on the market than ever before, which could end up being fatal to our four-legged friends. Pets toys in general don’t have legislation to stringent checks that human toys have to go through, although their some good, some bad pet businesses out there, but this Christmas, lets be wise about, what toys we buy our pets this Christmas!
Toys and chews
Should always be monitored for wear and tear, as ingestion of small parts and indigestible materials is a major cause of illness and intestinal issues.
(1) Sponges, loofah products are the biggest problems which can cause the items to compress somewhat, so they are easier to swallow, but expand again once in the stomach or intestine – such as a sponge.
(2) Toys with small parts. This would include things such as buttons and plastic eyes, also look out for bells, small plastic pieces, ribbons and other embellishments.
(3) Toys not suitable to the size of your pet. Large dogs, especially, should not have toys designed for small dogs.
(4) Rope toys. Toys with irregular surfaces then to stick to the mucosa (intestinal lining) and get caught. They can create intestinal blockages and major digestive issues. Other examples of such items would be corn cob, sponge toys, etc.
(5) Stuffed toys with squeakers. Dogs love speakers, but these toys tend to tear easily out of stuffed toys, and they can constitute a chocking hazard.
(6) Tennis Balls. Again, dogs love tennis balls, but the outer ‘fuzz’ of a tennis ball can cause problems. They also often chew these thin, hollow balls into small indigestible pieces. A thicker, sturdier rubber ball or a Frisbee is a safer solution, and remember don’t give large dogs tennis balls.
(7) Labels. Check your dog toy labels for child safety testing. Toys labeled as safe for children under three years of age do not contain dangerous fillings or unclear fillings. Though be aware that even fillings that are not dangerous may not be digestible and your dog should still be supervised when playing.
(8) Heavy metals. Toys with printing or scrapeable surface coatings, like printed tennis balls, are especially prone. As in humans, overexposure to high levels of lead, especially when digested, can cause issues with mental and physical development and is toxic to many of the organs of the body.
(9) Bowls and feeding aids. Be sure your bowls are foodware are all tested, because heavy metals can leach into drinking water and food from bowls that are not compliant with the regulations.
(10) Pet Beds and pillows. Stuffing materials should be tested for cleanliness. Look for labels that say “all new materials”. Seams and stitching should be strong.
(11) Rawhide Chews. You might have heard that rawhide is good for your dog’s teeth and helps with their natural instinct to chew, but there are drawbacks, you need to be aware of. Rawhide treats come from the inner layer of cow or horse hides. During manufacturing, the hides are cleaned and cut or ground. Then they’re pressed into chewable dog treats of different shapes and sizes. However rawhide is known to contain traces of toxic chemicals, and, as with other pet (human) foods, Salmonella or E. coli contamination is possible. Even humans can be at risk when coming into contact with these bacteria on rawhide treats.
Some dogs are simply sensitive or allergic to rawhide. Rawhide bones and other edible chews can pose a chock or blocking risk. In fact, this is a much bigger risk than contamination or digestive tract. If your dog swallows large pieces or rawhide, the rawhide can get stuck in the esophagus or other parts of the digestive tract.
(12) Don’t rush out and buy Dog Christmas Stockings full of dog treats. Check the contents.
- Chocolate: Affects the nervous system, could be fatal.
- Onions:(whole, powdered or cooked): Toxic to dogs
- Mushrooms : Toxic to dogs
- Raisins and Grapes: Could cause renal (kidney) failure
- Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches and Plums: Toxic to dogs
- Alcohol: Even a small amount of alcohol can be enough to kill a small dog.
- Nuts: Toxic to Dogs
- Chicken Bones: While not toxic, chick bones or splinters from bones may get lodged in various places, and could be fatal.
- Additives: Same as humans, could bring on various health conditions.
Keep to Thick, durable toys for your dog, plus if your dog does ingest part of them, they can be more easily detected with x-rays. Always monitor your dog and its toys, especially if your dog has destructive tendencies. Toys that show wear, or that they have been ripped open should be thrown away.
You pet gets a lovely Christmas present, not sure how safe, bin it!
Also be prepared this Chistmas, Vet Opening hours, Emergency Telephone numbers, always be prepared. Book yourself or your friends on a Pet First Aid course, in fact what a wonderful idea for a Christmas present.