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Selecting Safe Pet Toys For Your Furry Friends

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping, and that includes gifts for your pets! Pet merchandise is expected to be one of the top gift-giving categories for the 2020 holiday season. According to one survey by Deloitte, Americans plan to spend an average of $90 on pet products this year. 

Pet toys will undoubtedly be on the holiday shopping list of any animal lover. The good news is there are plenty of options when it comes to entertaining your pet. But while it can be fun to pick the cutest or silliest toy you can find, it is important to consider your pet’s safety when you are buying toys.

Size Matters
When you are buying toys for your pet, be sure to think about the size of your animal. Small toys can be a choking hazard for larger pets, and large toys may be hard for a smaller pet to carry around.

Look Closely
Even appropriately sized pet toys can be hazardous because of the way they are made. Common hazards include “eyes” on soft toys, strings, ribbons, or any part of a toy that can easily be chewed off and ingested. 

When in Doubt, Test it Out
Whenever possible, it is a good idea to supervise your pet with new toys. You’ll quickly realize whether your dog has a tendency to tear the stuffing out of soft toys and eat it or your cat often gets string or feathers stuck in his mouth. You may find that you have two categories of toys in your home: ones that can be left for your pet to play with at any time, and others that are put away and only used when under your close supervision to prevent any safety issues.

Choose Your Chews Wisely
Dogs naturally like to chew, but edible chews can be extremely dangerous. As your pup chews off pieces of the treat, it can get lodged in his throat or digestive tract. Carefully choose the size and shape of any edible chew, and only let your pet have it when you can watch them. 

If you’re looking for something you can leave with your pets when you are not home, treat-dispensing toys can be a great option. You may also want to consider chew toys made of hard rubber, which are much less likely to become a choking hazard.

By thinking through your pet’s play behaviors and closely looking at the toys you buy, you’ll be able to enjoy playtime and worry less about unexpected trips to the veterinarian.