With Christmas just days away, you may be scrambling for last-minute gift ideas for your dog or cat. Unfortunately, feeling rushed can cause you to choose toys for your pets with safety hazards that you might not have considered. Since the last thing you want to deal with on a holiday is finding emergency care for a sick or injured pet, we have highlighted some toys for both dogs and cats to avoid giving as gifts this holiday season.
Potentially Hazardous Dog Toys
What dog doesn’t love a nice meaty bone, especially one containing chicken, turkey, or another type of meat? According to the Consumer Affairs Division, all types of bones can splitter or shatter inside of your dog’s intestinal tract and cause a serious blockage. This goes for both raw and cooked meat on a bone. Fragmented bones can also present a choking hazard. It’s better to stick to toy bones to help satisfy your dog’s instinct to chew.
Balls are another toy that help to satisfy a dog’s urge to chew. However, you need to take special care to ensure that the ball is not so small compared to your dog’s mouth size that he could swallow it. Dog toys filled with beans or beads could easily cause a choking hazard if your dog rips one open.
Tug toys for dogs have come under some debate in the last few years. Some people feel they make dogs too aggressive and damage their teeth, while others feel it’s a good toy to teach dogs to share. Many pet owners feel that tug toys help to keep large breeds under control when they become overly excited. We encourage you to consider your dog’s size and temperament before giving this toy.
In regard to these or any toys, feel free to ask one of our veterinarians at your next visit if you have questions about the best options to help keep your pet's mind sharp and body physically active.
Potentially Hazardous Cat Toys
Cats love to bat at string, yarn, and ribbon, but these items can create a choking hazard unless someone is closely supervising. They can also become lodged in your cat’s intestines if he or she accidentally swallows them. If you choose to give your cat a toy with plastic eyes, a plastic nose, or any type of dangling ribbon attached, be sure to remove these items first.
Scratching posts for cats are an excellent way for them to sharpen their claws and relieve stress while saving your furniture at the same time. However, you need to ensure that the post is firmly secure and has enough weight at the top not to topple over on your cat when used.
Instead of these toys that present hazards, consider toys that help complement your cat's hunting instincts. For example, toys that hide food and make them "work" for their meal can help keep minds sharp and bodies fit. Keep in mind, that just like children, a cat may have preferences for one toy or another, so it is important to try a variety of options, and even change out the options as you discover your cat's preferences.
What Your Pet Wants the Most is You
Giving your pet safe toys this holiday season is certainly a loving thing to do. From a pet’s perspective, your love and attention are better than anything they could find wrapped up under the tree. At this busy time of year, be sure to take the time to spend uninterrupted time with your dog or cat simply snuggling or playing together. If you have any concerns about his or her health or simply want to schedule a check-up, contact Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo at your convenience. We hope you have a happy holiday and safe winter season.
Photo Credit: Pixabay