White dog with a chew toy in mouth

Every pet owner knows the allure of pet treats and toys. Important assets for training, stimulation and exercise, there are so many different options available that it can be confusing to know what’s right for your pet. Sure, they might like pretty much anything you offer them, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best for their health and safety. 

The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center have your pet’s best interest in mind as we navigate safe pet treats and toys.

Eliminating the Risks

Packaging and marketing are highly effective at convincing pet owners that their best friends will not only enjoy, but benefit from, certain products. Indeed, pet owners simply want to make their pets happy, but not all pet treats and toys are equally safe or healthy. It is up to pet owners to know the risks attached to some products and how they might negatively affect their furry buddies.

Starting Off With a Biggie

Rawhide used to be a popular dog treat, but they are no longer considered safe. Typically made from the inner soft layer of cows, rawhide can cause choking or even gastrointestinal obstruction. What’s worse, some rawhide products can contain toxic chemicals, such as preservatives, glues, dyes and more.

Listen Carefully

Pig’s ears are also used to popular treats for dogs, but they can cause stomach irritation, choking, and digestive blockages if they are swallowed whole or chewed inadequately. Accordingly, it may be best not to offer these or only as an occasional offering under direct supervision.

The Thing About Bones

Dogs (especially puppies) need to chew to work off some of their energy, and it would appear that they sure do enjoy chewing on bones. Some owners swear by natural, or raw bones. Others believe that cooked, dried bones give their dog ultimate satisfaction. Unfortunately, neither is true. 

Because bones can splinter or break into smaller sections, puncture wounds, infections, choking, and obstruction are not unlikely outcomes. Bones can also chip or break teeth

Similarly, antlers and cow hooves are considered too hard to be safe pet treats. Sticks can also subject a pet to cuts in the mouth, choking, or GI problems. 

Safe Pet Treats & Toys

We offer the following safe pet treats:

  • Natural treats made with whole meats (not by-products), fruits, and vegetables
  • Products that contain Omega fatty acids are excellent additions to your pet’s diet
  • Peanut butter (Xylitol-free) stuffed into a Kong
  • Pumpkin treats

As for safe pet toys to avoid, it’s best not to allow your pet unsupervised access to squeaky toys, stuffed animals, toys with bells, tennis balls, vinyl, latex or rubber toys, toys made outside the U.S., and toys with holes on the inside. Tug or pull rope toys with knots can lead to aggressive behavior and, if chewed on too much, may cause serious digestive problems.

Training and Engagement

Safe pet treats and toys are critical to successful training and development. If you have further questions about the best options for your pet, the Pet Experts are always here for you.