How Can You Know Your Pet’s Toys Are Safe?
Pet toy safety is often overlooked, we see an adorable pet toy and are eager to see our pet happy and playing. Did you know? Currently, the government does not have in place regulations for pet toy safety precautions.
Many larger pet retailers now enforce standards similar to those for children’s toys to help ensure pet amusements are safe and durable. Still, there are steps you can take to evaluate each product to make sure it’s OK for your special pal. Start by checking the manufacturer’s website to find out:
- Where it’s made. Many toys are manufactured in China. If that’s the case for your pet toys, get more information such as
- Testing methods – third party or in-house, standards of acceptability
- Does it meet the federal toy safety standard ASTM-F963-11 for children?
- Does it meet California’s Prop 65 standards regarding certain harmful chemicals?
If you’re shopping in a store or have access to the toy before your purchase one, inspect it personally. Check for:
- Strong chemical odors
- Heavy dyes
- Parts that could break off or be chewed off and become a hazard
- Broken parts or sharp, jagged edges
- Flammability and presence of buttons, ribbons, or other attached items
- Filling – are the materials potentially dangerous like polystyrene beads
Pet Toy Hazards
Before we talk about specific toys, we need to discuss potential pet toy hazards. While it’s important to examine the structure, this is about more than outward appearances. What’s on the inside may be far more interesting to your furbaby. Take it from someone who’s owned pups that wouldn’t rest until they could get the squeaker out of the stuffed squirrel!
Remember that our furry companions rely on their mouths to explore and communicate with their world. That means they’ll be mouthing or gnawing on their toys. It’s important to know what chemicals are in your pal’s gadgets to make sure there are no hazardous chemicals such as heavy metals or phthalates.
When Do Chemicals Become Toxic?
Many pet toys have potentially toxic chemicals in them. When do they become a problem? In most cases, you need to ingest or absorb a specified amount of a substance for it to be toxic. A substance is poisonous when you have a high enough concentration, the opportunity for absorption or ingestion, and an animal that’s sensitive to the chemical because of its size or health condition.
So, if your dog or cat spends time licking or chewing on a toy, you may need to worry about the types and amounts of chemicals in the product. Of particular concern are toys that have coatings or surfaces that leach or peel off easily.
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