December is Safe Toys And Gifts Month! This is definitely a good time for this topic, as many of our patients will be getting toys in their stockings this month. A Fort Myers, FL vet discusses choosing safe toys below.
There are several things to keep in mind when shopping for Fido. Size is a crucial factor. Toys made for small breeds are choking hazards for large pups, while a Chihuahua could hurt themselves playing with something made for a Labrador. Check the label: many dog toys contain toxic chemicals and heavy metals. Opt for things made of natural fibers. Rawhide is another potential hazard, as can cause choking and/or obstruction. We also recommend avoiding anything with holes, as they can catch dogs’ tongues. Ask your vet for specific advice.
With cats, you may find that the issue isn’t so much unsafe toys, as the fact that Fluffy often decides to play with things that aren’t supposed to be toys. Ribbons, plastic film and wrappers, dangerous plants, small or sharp items … the list goes on and on. That said, you do want to be careful with toys that have rope or string on them. Put these away after each use: your kitty could get tangled up trying to use it by herself!
Many of our smaller animal companions have open-rooted teeth, and need to chew to keep their choppers safe. You can offer these little guys many wood, paper, and cardboard items, but you’ll need to be careful. Not all types of wood are safe. For instance, hardwoods, like pine, produce oils that are dangerous to little furballs. Avoid anything made of fabric, soft rubber, thin plastic, or metal.
Toys and perches are both go-to’s for birds. For wooden objects, choose things made of safe materials, such as maple, walnut, ash, elm, and apple wood. For softer objects, choose things made with natural materials, such as cotton and hemp. For dishes, you can use stainless steel. Don’t give Polly anything coated or made with lead or zinc!
here are a few rules of thumb here. Avoid anything small or sharp; items with ropes or cords; and anything coated in paint, stain, or dye. You’ll want to look at material. Ask your vet for more information.
Happy Holidays from your Fort Myers, FL pet hospital. Please contact us anytime!