I made the statement and request without much explanation. One of the "obvious" reasons would be that it eliminates the possibility of fighting for toys or dogs guarding treats or toys and so forth. Whilst those are valid reasons for making the decision it is not the main one...
To get straight to the point: Over the course of about three months I heard one story after the next... A Staffie at the vet who has to have a piece of bone removed surgically, a Boerboel cross also on the vet surgery table with a piece of corn cob obstructing its intestine, a pregnant Beagle beach at the vet with stomach problems due to hoof splinters, a puppy almost choking to death on a piece of raw hide, a Beagle in surgery to have a piece of hoof removed. I had also been noticing more and more (with the growing number of poos - I have to be blunt) what was in their feces.
I found stuffing from soft toys, whole bits of rope, synthetic fibres from "indestructable" toys, bits of plastic from eyes of teddy's and countless other unidentifiable foreign objects. I started reading up and page after page after review and forum post of countless owners having had their dogs in surgery, pets go through incredible discomfort, escalated VET bills and sometimes even the death of their pets due to various toys and treats. The reasons varied from uncomfortable obstructions, choking, poisoning by dyes to allergic reactions and surgery. Even from "safe" (as advertised and talked about) toys and chews.
Below I will post some of the links that I found interesting with regards to this topic. Many of them lead to even more links related to it it. I know all of us want to give our dogs the best whilst being sure they are safe. I know some will say I am being overly paranoid. However - I am not only looking after the safety of Fudge and Bailey any longer and it feels as though the thought behind things such as toys and chews should be given even more consideration now. We would rather be over cautious and "paranoid" about safety than not.
A few main points that I took out of my reading and chatting with people:
- Take into consideration the size of your dog (mouth, throat, jaws) when buying it chews/treats/toys.
- Know your dog's chewing strength
- Take into consideration whether you will be around to supervise
- Try to keep it natural (natural, un-died cotton rope is probably one of the best options)
Here is a small reading list for your interest:
- Nylabone choking/obstruction hazard
- Dogstar Daily tips & suggestions
- My most informative read: Raw hide, toys from China and more
We are looking into natural, safe and eco-friendly toys for the Beagle BnB. Please watch this space or if you would like to be e-mailed please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with Eco Toys in the subject line.