While it’s fun to watch your pet engage with her toys, it’s also important to remember that dogs and cats need toys for physical activity, entertainment, comfort, distraction, and mental stimulation. It’s not spoiling your dog or cat to buy or make what she needs to lead a happy life. However, not all pet toys are entirely safe for them. It’s up to you to consider the safety of a toy before allowing your pet to play with it. Below are several things to think about for both dog and cat toys.
Choosing Safe Dog Toys
Dog breeds vary considerably, which means that you need to carefully consider the size of your dog’s mouth before giving him a new toy. A poodle, for example, would not be able to handle a chew bone in the same way that a Great Dane would. Some dog toys contain parts they could swallow easily, including buttons, plastic eyes, strings, polystyrene beads, or nutshells.
As a dog owner, you already know that your dog has a built-in need to chew. Safe choices for toys that help to fulfill this desire include a Kong, a busy box with a treat hidden inside, a small rope with a knot on each end, and tennis balls. Busy boxes are an especially good idea because they motivate your dog to keep interacting with the toy to release a treat.
At Grantsburg Animal Hospital and Wild River Veterinary clinic, we offer several safe dog toy options in our online store. Some of these include:
- Large squeaky balls
- Nylon bones
- Kong toys
- Rawhide rings
Choosing Safe Cat Toys
While a dog’s primary instinct is chewing, a cat’s is to hunt and stalk. Something as simple as a chasing a rubber band across the floor can entertain a cat for hours. However, this could present a choking hazard. When selecting toys for your cat, choose items that she can bat at and that allow her to interact with her human family. Be sure to watch for choking hazards, including small pieces that your cat can easily chew off. Some safe toys for cats that we recommend from MyVetStoreOnline include:
- Egg-cercizer treat dispenser
- Doorway dangler
- Kong cat wobbler
- Incline scratcher
Toys are especially important for indoor cats who may become bored and destructive without them.
Rotate Your Pet’s Toys Frequently
We encourage you to rotate your pet’s toys on a regular basis to keep him interested in them. When you put a toy into storage for a while and then re-introduce it to your pet, he will think the toy is new. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with additional questions about toy safety or MyVetStoreOnline.
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