Pet Toys. Due to concerns of lead paint in children’s toys made in China, as well as the massive toy recalls, pet owners and veterinarians alike are becoming concerned about dog and cat toys as well. To date, there have been no scientific studies to determine how lead from toys might affect our pets. Unlike human toys that are tested by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, pet toys are not specifically tested by any organization.
The following website is a detailed article about pet toys sold by Wal-Mart and the on-going battle of words between Wal-Mart and ConsumerAffairs.com (this is NOT an objective article) Click here.
A news station in Phoenix, Arizona had several pet toys tested at a laboratory and found levels of lead that were far below levels that are deemed safe. However, these standards were based on levels of lead in paint and no similar standards have been set for pet toys.
Veterinarians recommend that pet owners use toys designed specifically for dogs or cats and not substitute children’s toys. Avoid the following types of toys:
- Toys that contain squeakers that can be removed by the pet
- Toys that can be chewed into small pieces
- Any toy with rope that can unravel and be swallowed
- Any toy with string or yarn for cats
- Cloth or rubber toys
Consider all toys to be rated “PG” (Parental Guidance) and don’t leave your pet alone with the toy until you are certain that the toy will stand up to your pet’s playing. Be sure to use size appropriate toys. Avoid giving small rubber balls to large breed dogs, because they can easily become lodged in your pets airway. If you suspect that your pet has swallowed all or parts of any toy, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Signs that your pet may have ingested a toy body include retching, vomiting, and/or lethargy. In many cases your vet will take tests, such as x-rays or ultrasound to determine if the toy is indeed the culprit for your pet’s illness. Although some toys or toy pieces may be passed without problem, surgery is often the only option for many pets. In some cases, if the toy is still in the stomach, an endoscope can be used to retrieve the toy, avoiding major surgery. If you have questions about the safety of any pet toy, call your family veterinarian for advice.