Do you know where your inexpensive dog toys were made? This is a factor you may not have considered when picking out those toys, but it is something you should consider from this moment forward. While toys for children and many products made for adults have strict regulations that limit or eliminate the inclusion of potentially-dangerous ingredients, those regulations aren’t extended to the pet care industry.
The toys your dog uses to play fetch, chew or romp around the living room with could very well include substances that are toxic to their bodies. You may assume that cheap dog toys purchased at dollar stores are more likely to contain harmful substances, but any toy sold at any price point could contain potentially-toxic ingredients.
If this concerns you, there are some things that you can do right now and in the future to limit the risk for your pet. It starts by reading this page so that you are aware of ways to protect your dog.
You can’t assume that a dog toy made in the U.S. or UK is completely safe, but you have to accept the fact that imported toys are more likely to contain substances that are not readily used by manufacturers within the U.S. or UK.
For instance, China announced to their residents not too long ago that they shouldn’t allow children to put Chinese-made toys in their mouths. This was a result of testing that revealed more than half of the toys made in the country contained dangerous phthalates which could damage a child’s liver and kidneys.
Since many dog toys sold throughout the world are made in China, you have to assume that at least half of them may contain those dangerous phthalates as well. If Chinese practices for producing toys for human babies included the use of those dangerous chemicals, they more than likely used those chemicals in pet toys created for the U.S., UK and other countries as well.
While paying attention to where your inexpensive dog toys were made is a start to protecting their health, the problem isn’t entirely China’s fault. Studies conducted on pet toys have shown that some toys made in many different countries contain dangerous ingredients that could negatively affect the health of your pet. For instance, BPA and lead are commonly found in many dog toys regardless of where they were created.
The solution is to carefully read packaging labels and pay attention to the materials used to make your dog toys. For starters, the healthiest plastic toys are made from 100% natural rubber. You may see some labels that use terms like “safe, natural rubber” to emphasize the higher safety level of their products.
Another label to look for is “BPA free” or “Phthalate free.” These labels let you know that those products are made without those dangerous chemicals and are thus safer for your dog.
You may find that the healthiest dog toys are a bit more expensive than the dollar toys found in budget stores. The prices shouldn’t be too much higher, but it is worth paying a bit more for toys that you know aren’t toxic to your dog. It is similar to purchasing organic or natural foods in order to avoid the chemicals that are commonly used to create prepackaged foods for humans.