HOW much do you love your best friend?
Do you pamper your pooch with toys? Do you fatten up your feline with treats? And do you check your affection is not doing more harm than good?
Nambour vet Dr Mark Perissinotto, managing director of online retailer VetShopAustralia, said some retailers were selling toys which were potentially deadly to pets.
He has called for unsafe pet toys to be subject to stricter government controls and removed from shelves after discovering several potentially lethal items for sale.
“I was shocked after a recent visit to a discount shop to find shelves full of toys that can maim or even kill our beloved pets,” Dr Perissinotto said.
“They include plastic tug toys, which can break into pieces that can be swallowed by dogs, causing choking or intestinal obstruction.
“One tug toy that was obviously made for a large dog had a small, round, hard ball attached that was too small for most dogs and could be swallowed whole.
“The rope part was stuck together with inferior glue that would break the first time it was used, allowing the ball to come off in the dog's mouth.”
Dr Perissinotto said dangerous pet toys included those which shattered or splintered, causing sharp shards that pierced the mouth, toys with lead paint, toys with toxic chemicals, and fibrous toys such as teddy bears containing string or stuffing that could be swallowed. “Authorities need to implement more stringent regulations and standards for pet toys, particularly when it comes to cheap imports,” he said.
“Pet toymakers should adopt designing, manufacturing and testing standards from the children's toy industry to protect against unreasonable risks of injuries, while retailers should seek out toys that are durable and stick with manufacturers they trust.”
He said pet owners had to be vigilant about what they bought their pets.
“People may be inclined to buy cheaper toys,” he said.
“But you can't put a price on your pet's safety and we urge people to buy their toys from a reputable retailer.”
Dr Perissinotto said yummy treats made good pet presents, but warned that though food may be the way to their pet's stomach, owners should be aware of what they fed their dog or cat as it could be deadly.
Many foods eaten by humans can cause life-threatening complications in dogs and cats – most often kidney failure.
Just because Rover likes chocolate does not mean his owner should feed it to him.
The RSPCA says chocolate can cause a range of problems, including increased heart rate and seizures. Even 50 grams of chocolate can kill a cat or dog.
Other dangerous foods include onions, garlic, and coffee.
Never feed your pet:
Chocolate, onions, garlic, coffee or caffeine products, avocado, bread dough, grapes, raisins, sultanas, currants, nuts including macadamia nuts, fruit stones (eg mango seeds, apricot stones, avocado stones, fruit seeds), corn cobs, green unripe tomatoes, mushrooms, one type of fish constantly, cooked bones, small pieces of raw bone or fatty trimmings.
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