There’s quite the controversy when it comes to dog toys lately….
After a study found a surprising number of chemicals in dog toys and related products a few years back (we’ll go over that in a bit), people began to demand the same safety standard for dog products that children toys have.
To this date, there has still been no such standard. The only way to make sure your dogs toys are safe is to educate yourself and know what to look out for when you’re buying them.
After all, you want your dog toys to be just as safe as they are durable (unfortunately, many toys out there are neither). If you want to learn how to find the best dog toys that are both safe and durable for even power chewers, keep reading.
Now time to go over that study I mentioned earlier:
The Michigan-based Ecology Center, a nonprofit environmental organization that analyzes toxins in children’s toys and other consumer goods, tested more than 400 pet products in 2009.
What they found was shocking. 45% of the toys tested had detectable levels of one or more hazardous toxins, including arsenic, chlorine and bromine. These chemicals have been linked to things like developmental and learning disabilities, liver toxicity, cancer, or at the very least reproductive problems.
Even more shocking…of the tennis balls tested, 48% contained detectable levels of lead, and researchers found that tennis balls made specifically for pets were even more likely to contain lead than “sports” tennis balls. One “pet” tennis ball, for example, contained both lead and arsenic in its lettering (arsenic is a known human carcinogen). Of all the “sports” tennis balls tested, not one contained any lead.
This study brought to light some shocking details - that very few dog toys are as safe and non-toxic as we are led to believe. If you educate yourself, follow these steps, and know what to look for, you can make sure your toys are safe and durable.
Cheap Toys - cheap toys often contain unknown fillers, are much more likely to contain harmful chemicals, and will normally not last long at all as they are not typically well-made
Plastic Toys - many plastic toys use phthalates so they’re harder to break and more durable; however, phthalates can be carcinogenic, lead to asthma or allergies, and can disrupt your dog’s hormones
Hard Toys that Splinter - you might think that a lot of hard toys are more durable, but the fact is that they will usually just splinter when they do break, especially if you have an aggressive chewer. Hard toys can also develop sharp edges are they are worn out. These splinters or sharp edges are dangerous for your dog. They can cut their mouths, or even be swallowed, leading to much more serious problems and possibly death.
Toys with holes - while I wouldn’t recommend staying away from toys with holes in them completely, make sure you’re aware of them when you’re buying toys. Be aware of any possible suction that the toy may cause, as these toys have been known to get stuck to the dog’s tongues and in rare situations, kill them.
Unknown Materials - if you don’t know what a toy is made out of, and you cannot find out, it is usually better to just stay away from it
Toys with softer edges - softer edges won’t splinter, won’t cut your dog, and if ingested are likely to be much less harmful
Toys made from natural rubber - natural rubber is not only one of the toughest types of rubber and used for the most demanding industrial uses in the world, it is also one of the safest and most natural (hence the name). Natural Rubber is formed from a milky sap (called latex) that is collected from rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis trees), similar to the milky sap that dandelions give off.
The latex is then made into natural rubber, safer and more durable than almost any man-made rubber. This is why it is used in many industrial settings, such as machines, cars, airplane tires, and more. For these same reasons, it also happens to make the best dog toys. It’s a natural material with soft edges, and more durable than almost any other material you can find, so they will keep you dog occupied for a long time.
Antlers - if you are looking for a hard toy that won’t splinter, deer and elk antlers are about as good as you can get. Even for the strongest, most powerful chewers, they will usually “dissolve” more than they will splinter. You can’t go wrong with these.
If you’ve read everything in this post, I hope you will start to put more thought into the toys you buy for your dog.
A little about us…
We make all our dog toys from 100% safe, non-toxic and industrial-strength natural rubber and back everything up with a ChewProof guarantee, free shipping, free returns, and unbeatable 5-star customer service. Feel free to check out our product collection (we’re small but growing fast!) or reach out to us if you have any questions ;)
I don’t mind if you don’t order from us, as long as you start to look into the toys that you are buying more and make sure they are as safe (and durable) as possible. Your dog counts on you, and I’m sure, like all of ours, is part of your family.
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