Toys are important as they to provide your pet with mental stimulation and can help educate pets, as well as relieve boredom and separation anxiety.
The most important point to remember is that NO pet toy is indestructible and NO pet toy is 100% safe. You should always use a pet toy under supervision until you are confident that your pet can use it safely.
Your pet’s safety is your responsibility; if you think your pet has swallowed a part of or even a whole toy, call your veterinarian promptly.
Using the correct size of toy is important. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. If your pet destroys a toy you may need to upgrade to a bigger sized toy or avoid the toy all together. Bigger dogs have a habit of destroying anything and everything and are prone getting life threatening intestinal blockages from swallowing things they shouldn’t. These invariably need to be removed surgically. NEVER provide toys that can be swallowed whole or toys that have small parts.
Clean and inspect toys frequently looking for cracks, separations and missing pieces. Flex the toy and inspect it from all angles. Worn and damaged toys should be thrown out.
Avoid anything with sting attached; cats are prone to swallowing the string as well as the toy. Cat danglers used under supervision are ok.
Some dogs enjoy playing with balls but be aware that these can also be swallowed. Leaving your dog to chew on a tennis ball is NOT recommended as this will wear down teeth.
There are some excellent toys available that are educational as well as stimulating, helping reduce boredom. These are often toys that must be manipulated by your pet to release treats. They are great for puppies and it can be entertaining watching your puppy learn how to get to the treat.