Dogs & Cats

Safe Holiday Dog Toys

My dog plays hard and wears out its toys quickly. What toys are safe -- and not so safe -- for dogs?

With the winter holidays now upon us, many dog owners are considering buying new toys for their pets. According to the American Pet Products Association’s (APPA) 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey, 53 percent of dogs and 38 percent of cats receive gifts at Christmas. Pets are more likely to get gifts during the holidays than at any other time of the year, and many of these presents are toys.

For safety reasons, the Humane Society of the United States advises that you avoid toys with the following:

  • String
  • Ribbon
  • Rubber bands
  • Eyes or any other parts that might come out and be ingested
  • Small balls and other small objects that could be swallowed
  • Rawhide (unless you check with your veterinarian to determine which rawhide toys may be safe for your dog)

The Humane Society also reminds us that some rawhide products may be made from byproducts of the “cruel international fur trade.” As an alternative, very hard rubber toys may be safer and last longer.

The APPA shares that the following are some popular presents -- both toys and other useful objects -- appropriate for gift-giving:

  • Booties by Ultra Paws are lightweight and prevent snow from balling up on paws. A single Velcro strap ensures an easy closure, and the Booties feature foam comfort pads to stay snug on paws. Suggested retail: from $12.95.
  • The CinnaMutt bowl by ModaPet is BPA-free and features an Italian-inspired design, adding affordable flare to any style this holiday season. Suggested retail: $24.99.
  • Bags on Board Waste Pick-up Dispensers easily attach to leashes and include 30 disposable bags for on-the-go convenience. Suggested retail: $6.39.
  • Loofa Santa Dogs by MultiPet are elongated plush toys, complete with Santa hats, and are available in different colors and sizes. They also feature squeaky sounds that pets love. Suggested retail: approximately $3.99 to $10.99 online.
  • The Wander Coat by Kurgo features a waterproof top layer for protection from rain, wind and snow, and is combined with inner quilted fleece for warm insulation during winter. Suggested retail: $13.
  • The Reflective Safety System by Petflect includes a leash, vest and collar. It ensures that dogs are safely visible from more than 500 feet away during outdoor activities or winter walks when the days grow shorter. Suggested retail: $35.99.
  • The Bitter Cherry Spray by OUT! International is a safe, alcohol-free taste deterrent that discourages pets from chewing, nibbling and licking certain spots and materials (like the gifts under the tree). Plus, the clear, non-staining formula has a pleasant scent. Suggested retail: $6.28 online.
  • The Good, Bad, Hol-ee and Fuzz Cuz Toys by JW Pet are sure to be a hit. Awarded the Best New Dog Product title at the 2011 Global Pet Expo, the Hol-ee Cuz and the all-new Fuzz Cuz toys feature all-natural rubber for nibbling and soft plush that any dog will love. Suggested retail: $4.59 to $10.99.



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