It’s easy to see that our fur babies become attached to their toys, just as human children would. Whether it’s squishy and cuddly or squeaky and rubbery, pet toys can only last so long before becoming worn out. It’s important for pet parents to be mindful of their furry family members’ toys and to know when it’s time to replace used (and sometimes abused) toys.
The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the welfare of animals, encourages pet parents to assess Fido and Fluffy’s most-loved toys and make sure they are safe for play.
“Damaged toys with ripped pieces or dangling objects can pose a choking hazard to pets” said John D’Ariano, president of NAPPS. “Evaluate each pet toy and determine if the items are safe, based on the current wear and tear. Knowing when it’s time to replace old toys will help reduce the risk of choking.”
Your pet pal’s favorite toys have weathered slobber, snuggly naps and the sometimes brutal game of tug-of-war. Eventually, these favorite comfort items will reach their limit of love and will need to be replaced. To help keep furry family members safe, NAPPS advises pet parents to throw away ripped toys, toys with missing pieces or toys losing their stuffing.
When it’s time to shop for Fido and Fluffy, consider these tips from NAPPS:
- Make sure toys are proportionate to your pet’s size. Large pets should not have very small toys that can be accidentally inhaled or swallowed.
- Purchase toys made in the United States, to avoid poisoning paints and hazardous materials
- Inspect toys for sharp or lose parts that could easily come off.
- If your pet prefers softer toys, be sure to purchase one with strong materials and reinforced seams, made specifically for animals.
- Check for age restrictions to better select age appropriate for your playful puppy and your mature pooch
- When it comes to puppy toys, keep it simple. Make sure chew toys are not too hard for your puppy’s weaker gums. Opt for softer nylon instead of hard bones.
- Avoid toys with long ropes, as they can be wrapped around a puppy’s small neck.
Watchful pet parents can extend the life of pet toys by rotating them. Keep a variety of toys available for your furry friends, and regularly rotate the selection to reduce the risk of damage.
About NAPPS: NAPPS is the only national nonprofit trade association dedicated to serving the needs of professional pet sitters. The Association aims to help the pet owning public, those interested in pet sitting, and professionals engaged in the in-home pet care industry by fulfilling its vision statement, serving as "the most respected authority in professional pet sitting." It does so by providing the tools and support to foster the success of its members. Additionally, pet parents can benefit from NAPPS' free resources including a disaster preparedness guide, tips on how to select a pet sitter, and a nationwide referral service,. To find a pet sitter in your area, check out NAPPS' nationwide "Pet Sitter Locator" at www.petsitters.org. For more information on NAPPS, please follow @TheNAPPS on Twitter or join us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNAPPS.