December is Safe Toys And Gifts Month. This is definitely a relevant topic around the holidays, as so many people are buying toys not just for their kids, but also for their pets. Buying dog toys isn’t rocket science, but there are things to consider. An Omaha, NE vet offers some tips on choosing safe dog toys below.
There are many different aspects to dog toy safety. It’s important to realize that these may vary from pooch to pooch, depending on Fido’s age, size, and breed. A puppy may chew up a toy that an older dog may consider a comfort toy. Toys that were made for small dogs pose serious choking risks to bigger pups. Always choose things that are appropriate for your canine pal’s age, habits, and lifestyle.
Choosing toys that are made of materials you know are safe will go a long way. Many modern toys contain harmful chemicals and/or heavy metals. Some are made with colorful dyes, or have been treated with fire retardants or stain guards. Get into the habit of reading labels. Go for things made from natural materials. (Tip: rice and corn husks are good options.)
We can’t discuss dog toy safety without touching on a few repeat offenders. Avoid anything with a big hole in the middle: these can become suction traps, and catch dogs’ tongues. Anything with ribbons or string on it is also a potential risk. Next on the list? Squeaky toys. Many pups try to remove the squeaker. That definitely isn’t safe for Fido to eat. Last but not least, be careful with rawhide: it can present a choking hazard, and may also cause severe intestinal blockages if ingested. Ask your vet for more information.
Fido does need toys, and he will benefit from having a nice variety. What do you pick? Hard rubber toys are a good bet, as they are usually quite sturdy and durable. Tennis balls are fine for small and medium-sized dogs, but present choking risks for large breeds. Your furry pal may also benefit from things that offer mental stimulation, such as puzzle toys and snuffle mats. Pay attention to what Fido likes! Also, keep an eye on his toys: routinely discard and replace very worn ones.Happy Holidays from Omaha Animal Medical Group, your local Omaha, NE pet clinic. Contact us anytime!