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Why Picking the Safest (and most durable) Dog Toys isn't as Easy as You Think

Posted by Monster K9 on

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.

 

Avoid:

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

 

Look For:

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.

 

Hope to see you around!

 

Quinn

Owner

Monster K9 Dog Toys

 

 

 


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Truly Industructible

Due to their high quality and great customer service, I own all Monster K9 toys they have. We have a 2 year old Belgian Malinois that requires daily activities due to his breed. Thus, high-quality, low price toys are an absolute must.

We use this as our back up toy when his Frisbee is out of commission. If you throw this overhanded with your palm facing towards you and flick your wrist, it rolls AMAZINGLY on the ground. While our Malinois loves playing with it the most, all of our dogs love chasing it as speeds across the ground.

To top it off, once you're done with playtime, if you want to your dog have it for the rest of the afternoon, there's almost no chance they're going to destroy it. It's a very high-quality rubber that is very similar to the rubber used in reusable rubber firearm targets. When punctures or cuts are introduced, the rubber material instantly and naturally 'self-fills' the gaps so you can barely notice it's even there. This dramatically reduces the chance of open gashes, spaces, or weak points for your dog to grab a hold of to rip it apart.

We've owned ours for 5 months now and haven't had to replace it. For $13 plus free shipping, this puts other "tough" dog toys to shame.

The best there is!

While it may not be entirely 'indestructible', which is stated in the guarantee information, for $14 this is by far the best and most durable Frisbee on the market. Other companies will charge $20-$30 for "tough" Frisbees or cloth Frisbees and they'll last a week or two tops. This Frisbee lasts 1-2 months with our 70lb Belgian Malinois and is made with thick high-quality rubber.

I'll take that ANY day over spending $20-$30/wk on Frisbees, in which some are hard plastics that produces very sharp edges that are dangerous if ingested.

If you let your dog chew on it daily, you might see a slightly reduced life on this Frisbee. But if you keep it put up and only take it out only during play time, you'll easily get a few months or more out of it. Because of it's high durability, we let our Malinois have WAY longer than any other Frisbee we've bought in the past; and it still lasts longer than a multitude of other brands we've bought. Plus, he absolutely loves it!

Loved and Destroyed Frisbee

Rebel loved the frisbee. It last about 2 weeks. Can we get a ball as a replacement? We’very had much better results with the ball.

Ultra Durable ChewRing

Has been a GREAT CHEW, FETCH, OR TUG OF WAR TOY. The ring makes it difficult for my 85lb aggressive chewer to destroy unlike the stick whereas he can do damage to the end. Would like a ring in a large diameter. This inside hole size makes it harder to play tag of war with lager size dogs.

1 x Ultra Durable ChewStick Tug of war Toy

My two dogs enjoy playing with this stick together but playing time is limited because my aggressive chewer wants it to himself. The straight shape makes it easier for him to chew on the end and has put some sizable pits at the end. My fear is that with continued chewing he'll do enough damage to bite through and swallow a large chunk. It has to be taken away and put up when playing time "together" is over. No chew time alone.