16 /Jan Choosing Safe & Quality Dog Toys Post by Alex Barratt - 1 comment So what do you look for when you buy a new toy for your dog? Today's dog toys must be innovative and keep our dogs stimulated. However with the rise of convenience shopping, dog owners like you and me are now facing the issue of quality design and construction – a choice that can end up having serious consequences for your dog. You’d have to be living under a rock (or at least away from social media) to not notice the rise of big brand supermarkets and shops moving into the world of on-trend, fast fashion – including clothes, homewares, beauty… and you guessed it, pet products. It's not long before these cheaper toys start to rip apart and break down. They simply weren’t made for much play. These toys are easily chewed apart and it's also very easy to inhale the squeakers. Without supervision, dogs can choke and die. Herein lies the issue. While these toys, at first glance, may look like popular pet products, and sound like them – the reason they cost only a fraction of the price is because the purposeful design, quality materials and rigorous testing isn’t there. Which means, not only do you have a safety issue but you also probably have a toy that’s not going to last your dog very long. That in itself lends to a false economy – because in reality you’re better off getting a £20 high quality, safe dog toy that has longevity, rather than buying £5 ‘fast fashion’ toys over and over again – especially with the concern they may cause a safety issue. What to Look for in Quality Dog Toys Durable Materials – Look for strong rubber for chew toys, multi layered fabrics or felt wool for plush toys, and natural cotton for rope toys. Quality Construction – Look for inversed stitching, Z stitching, strong joinery and no small pieces that could be easily broken off and ingested. Non-toxic – Try to avoid BPAs, PVC, Phthalates and unsafe dyes – they can be just as harmful to our pets as they are to us. Machine washable or easily hand washable. Tested to meet safety standards. Unique designs – Don’t forget to bring the fun to playtime! Handy Dog Toy Tips Always select toys that are the right fit for your dog’s age, breed and size. Know your dog’s play habits. Do they love to pull out the stuffing? Do they favour rough and tumble tug of war games? Or do they enjoy more gentle play with squeaker toys? Supervise your dog with their toys and buy toys that suit their needs. Children’s toys, and tennis balls are not designed for dogs – they often have harmful materials for pets. To preserve your quality dog toys, rotate them weekly, having only a few out at the one time. This will keep your dog’s interest and also gives you a chance to repair, wash or discard any worn or broken toys.