Parents are so aware and careful about avoiding lead based toys for their children. In fact, there are standards and guidelines for lead-free toys that are strictly implemented. There are no such guidelines for pets, on the other hand. And responsible pet owners know that these pets must also be protected the same way as children. One must consider not only the fact that pets normally lick and chew their toys all the time, but also the fact that pets are like family. The wisest thing for a pet owner to do is to look into the same guidelines for children's lead-free toys in choosing toys for their pets.
Below are some precautions you should watch for when buying these for your cats and dogs:
- Painted toys, plastic toys and vinyl toys are most notorious for having traces of lead in them. If you have to buy a toy that is painted or treated, make sure to ask the sales person if the paint used is safe and non-toxic. Dogs or cats love nothing more than to chew on the item and they could helplessly, swallow the pieces. Then the lead deposits will collect inside their bodies and cause health problems later on. Worse, it may even kill the pet instantly.
- As with toddlers, dogs can easily choke on some toys filled with beads, rhinestones or other trinkets so pet parents should avoid that. These items may get dislodged into the throat of your pet, causing him to suffocate and die.
- Look for the brand when purchasing pet toys. Buy only products that you can trust and be comfortable with. As much as China-made products come really cheaper, they are not practical in the long run. Pets can easily destroy these items, and then you would have to continue replacing them, thus costing you a lot more money. Most of these cheaper toys are usually not even approved for non-toxic content. Branded toys, on the other hand, may be expensive and you may not be willing to spend that much for a pet. But purchasing it should get you more value for your dollar in the long run, as the toys are long lasting and are made from high standard materials.
- Similarly, don't just buy pet toys at grocery stores, hardware stores and the like. These products are cheaper, all right, but they may be very toxic. Go to specialty pet shops instead. These stores have a specific target market, thus their products are so much more pet-friendly. Pet shop managers and owners have a more comprehensive idea and understanding of what your pet needs. They are most likely to offer you items you know you can trust for your pets.
- Look into the packaging of the toy carefully and read the label. Check the content thoroughly. When in doubt and if the item have no comprehensive information, do not be afraid to ask the sales person your questions about the item.