We all love our pets, they are part of the family and as such, we just gotta spoil them! The most common method for pet owners to treat their pups is by providing an assortment of delightfully colorful toys!
With so many toys on the shelves in today's market, it can be difficult to know which options are chemical free and which ones may cause our furry friends’ bellies to become upset. Unfortunately, dog toys are not properly regulated by the FDA, and instead, it’s up to the manufacturer to check themselves and ensure they are providing our pups with a satisfactory toy that won’t cause them any harm. Keeping that in mind, there really are several pet-product manufacturers who genuinely care about our furbabies health. It never works out if a bunch of pets gets sick from a toy after all!
When looking for that perfect toy, it counts to be diligent and take an extra moment or two to read the labels before we buy. Toys and chews that say they are BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free are the go-to options!
If you’re finding labels are less than helpful, use your senses! Examine toys with your eyes, touch, and smell to get a better idea of if it is right for your pet. Answer questions like
- Is this toy the right size for my pet? -- It helps to always ensure you get an appropriately sized toy for your pup! We don’t want the risk of a choking hazard after all!
- Is this toy unnecessarily bright with a strong dye? -- Often brightly dyed cloth and fabrics will contain toxic ingredients and may leach dye when wet, and if your pup is a drooler then this dye will go directly into their mouth and potentially be swallowed!
- Does the toy feel ‘off’ in a sense that it is greasy, rough, or just plain unnatural? - Toys that have been treated with stain fighting chemicals or fire retardants will often feel unnatural to the touch, that’s because these have often been treated with formaldehyde among other chemicals.
- Does the toy have a chemical odor? - If it smells like chemicals then there is a strong guarantee that the toy you’re looking at has been treated and still has leftover chemical residue. Not like the Kong rubber toys, that typically have a strong rubber smell to them. These particular toys can be run in the dishwasher for a quick cleansing and rubber smell removal before stuffing the toy with healthy treats and giving it to your pup!
Trust your senses and your own sense of judgment! This is your pup after all and a good toy manufacturer will be transparent about their process and what their products contain.
If you find yourself fawning over a particular toy or brand, but just aren’t sure about it, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your veterinarian to hear their thoughts and recommendations!