Dogs particularly love to chew on things, unaware of the harm it may cause. Well, you can’t blame them for that exactly. Therefore, as a pet owner, it becomes a person’s responsibility to keep a watch on what their pet is chewing on, even more, choose a safe toy to avoid accidents.
But Is It Really That Easy?
The pet section in most supermarkets has tons of different toys from different brands, making it difficult to choose the right one for your dog. Many popular toys and treats have bright packaging, catchy names, and in the name of health benefits like good for teeth, etc. In reality, most of these are not just unhealthy but can also be life-threatening to an extent.
Chew toys can cause issues like tooth damage, digestive obstruction, etc. However, it is not to say that every dog will suffer from such issues, or a dog who hasn’t yet faced a problem with a particular toy will not come across one in the future. Therefore, knowing about the potential health hazard of a toy you buy helps you keep a better tab on how it must and must not be used, apart from steps you must take if in such a situation. The article below discusses dog toys and treats that you must avoid buying for your furry friend, or at the very least, be careful of their potential risks if you happen to have one. Further are ways to choose a healthy dog chew toy and more.
Rawhide is the perfect example of how a popular treat does not have to be the safest.
Many pet owners choose rawhide, given how cost-effective, attractive to most dogs, available in varieties, and long-lasting rawhide toys are. Forms of rawhide toys can range from a full flat sheet to a star, bone-shaped, etc. Sold in the name of encouraging healthy chewing habits( so that your dog leaves the furniture alone) and promoting teeth health with reduced tartar build-up, rawhide has certainly made its place as a top toy choice for pets. But, how much of it is true?
The very fact that rawhide is long-lasting makes the toy hazardous. The toy is tough and chewy and therefore hard to break into, meaning if your dog happens to swallow a large chunk of it, it most likely will end up causing an internal blockage. A study revealed that many rawhide toys passed to the intestines from the stomach are virtually undigested. Furthermore, the study concluded that dogs who had a habit of gulping down food without much chewing happen to be the ones at most risk.
But that’s not it; the entire process of turning skin into rawhide witnesses the use of heavy chemicals. Right from washing the skin from detergents and degreasers to cleaning and bleaching it, the addition of artificial flavors and colors, and not to mention the preservatives a lot of companies use to keep them from rotting. Needless to say, how chewing on these many toxic chemicals can impact your dog’s health.
Bones are yet another popular choice of treats for dogs, and a plethora of online information points to the many benefits of chewing on bones for pets. These include safe and natural chewing, nutrition fulfillments, etc. The process of chewing on a bone is something natural for dogs, given how wild dogs and wolves do the same. So, what is the truth?
While many agree that brittle bones as that of cooked chicken, rib, turkey, etc., can pose a serious health hazard as they can splinter and give rise to many digestive issues. The argument often ends with considering raw and solid bones the ideal ones for the dogs and the safest. However, there is little truth in that. All bones, whether hollow, solid, cooked, or uncooked, can splinter with enough force, and in case they do not, the toughness is enough to cause damage to the teeth of your furry friend. The chances of it causing digestive puncture or irritation are too high to overlook.
Nylon Chew Toys
Hard plastic chew toys or those made of hard nylon are yet again a hazardous chew to bite on for your pet. Such hard toys can easily lead to gum injuries, tooth fractures, among other oral damages. Similar to other toys on the list, if your dog happens to be a good chewer and somehow manages to rip the toy apart, swallowing it can result in digestive obstruction, a choking hazard, among many other health issues. Though hard to tell how true, many claims also suggest that nylon chew toys such as Nylabones are subject to toxins and can result in severe health issues over time, including cancers and seizures.
How To Choose Safe Pet Products For Your Dog
The above are some of the most popular treats and chew toys and the many potential health hazards they may pose to your four-legged furry friend. However, with many new products entering the market every other day, telling if a particular item is safe for your dog or not becomes difficult.
Below are some ways to figure out if the item you picked is safe for your dog or not –
If any toy is too hard to be pressed with your fingers, it is definitely too hard for your dog to chew upon. Such toys and treats include – cow hooves, hard cheese block or bones, bully sticks, elk or deer antlers, etc.
Just like hard toys, a toy that is too soft such that your dog could easily tear it apart and swallow the chunks makes for a bad toy for your pet. You must avoid poorly constructed toys or those with inedible stuffing. Such toys include – stuffed toys, tennis balls, etc.
Though a variety of colors adds to the appeal of a toy, it is best to avoid such toys for a pet. Dogs out of nature will chew on the toys, dyes, and artificial additives, which can seriously impact their health. Intake of toxic chemicals through toys or treats has also been reasoned as the prime cause of cancer in many pets, among other behavioral disorders, allergies, and intolerances.
Size And Shape
Any toy that is too small can be easily gulped down by your dog, resulting in blockages, choking, etc. Whereas any big toy could strain or injure their jaws as they try to hold and tear it apart. Always choose a toy as per the size of your dog, habits, and more.
It is needless to say that the toys that you bring home must be washable. One must toss toys into a dishwasher or a washing machine at regular intervals to rid them of any harmful bacterias, germs, etc.
While several safe pet products and alternatives are available in a pet store, one can always choose to take their vet’s advice to ensure the right choice. Since accompanying one’s pet at all times or keeping a tab on them as they play is not something everyone can manage, therefore, at the very least, take notice of your dog’s chewing habits. Doing so will inform you of the precaution you must take and help you make a better choice as per your dog’s interest.