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Check it Twice: Take Dangerous Pet Gifts Off Your List

pet giftsIf you’re like over half of all U.S. pet owners, you’ll be giving your pet at least one gift this holiday season. The store shelves are lined with countless options, and it’s easy to think that just because something is found in a pet supply store, that it must be safe.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of dangerous pet gifts out there, and it’s important to keep safety at the forefront when shopping for furry family members.

Dangerous Pet Gifts

You may be surprised to find out that many common pet products can be hazardous, such as:

  • Tennis balls – Tennis balls are especially dangerous to dogs with stronger jaws; tennis balls can be compressed and then pop open in the back of the mouth, posing a risk of choking. The fuzz covering the ball’s surface is also abrasive and can wear down the teeth of heavy chewers.
  • Rope toys – Rope toys can be shredded and swallowed by pets, causing a dangerous intestinal blockage. Rope toys are among the most common foreign bodies found inside pets.
  • Stuffed animals – Many stuffed animals contain beads, stuffing, and/or squeakers that can be swallowed and contribute to intestinal blockage.
  • Pig ears/rawhide – Pig ears and rawhide can easily be torn into pieces, presenting a choking hazard. These items can also cultivate bacteria that can make your pet sick, such as salmonella.

Playing it Safe

Because pet toys aren’t regulated by any government agency, it’s up to us to make sure we do our research regarding potentially dangerous pet gifts. Keep the following safety tips in mind as you shop for your fur friend this year:

  • Choose a gift that’s the appropriate size for your pet and does not pose a risk of choking.
  • When selecting a toy, keep your pet’s energy level and playing style in mind.
  • Avoid any ball or rubber toy with only one hole; a vacuum can be created when a dog’s tongue goes in the hole, causing the tongue to become stuck.
  • Watch out for items with small parts or pieces that can be chewed off, such as catnip mice.
  • Items with string, ribbon, or tinsel should never be given to pets, as these can be swallowed and become lodged in the intestine.
  • Make sure the toy you choose is designed with pets, not people, in mind.
  • Always supervise your pet while playing with or chewing on any item.

What’s under the tree for your pet this year? We look forward to hearing about it at their next wellness visit. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact the staff at Pet Medical Center and Spa.