Safety & Your Pet

A Veterinarian’s Caution on Toy Selection
By Martha Gearhart, DVM

When it comes to pet entertainment, you can go crazy trying to decide what items to stock. They all look tempting and fun, so it’s hard to make a choice about what products deserve to take up precious shelf space.

But as a veterinarian, I can tell you that you ought to choose carefully. There really are bad toys, good toys and great toys out there, and unfortunately the lines separating these three categories are sometimes blurred.

For example, when a good toy is given to the wrong pet, it automatically becomes a bad toy … for that particular pet. Do you see what I mean about blurred lines?

A truly great toy is one that is safe for pets of both the feline and the canine persuasion. I can think of one product in particular, a cat toy that consists of flexible wire with fire-cracker-like papers attached to the end. The product is inexpensive, cats and kittens love it, disabled people can manipulate it, and young puppies who discover and destroy it can’t get sick by eating the little paper wads.

Dr. Martha Gearhart, a columnist for The Pet Dealer operates her New York clinical practice on a consulting basis, with emphasis in small animal care.

(Reprinted from THE PET DEALER. May 1994)

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