Many pet owners would never even think about the size of the treat or toy they are buying for their pet or that they could be fatal if they become logged inside. Any toy or treat that can be swallowed in one gulp should be avoided. It is estimated that Americans will spend over $52 million dollars on their pets in 2012.Of that, many dollars will go towards treats, snacks and toys for our pets to enjoy. Picking the wrong ones could be hazardous to the animal.
“Make sure you don’t give your pet anything to play with that’s small enough for them to swallow” said Dr. Kyle Kerstetter, Chief of Surgery at Michigan Veterinary Specialists, “Another piece of advice would be, keep track of your dog’s toys- don’t just assume if one goes missing that its lost behind the couch or something.”
Sometimes pets can get an internal obstruction from objects like small toys or treats. Veterinarian Dr. Jim Whitehead sees about one to two cases a month. “In some extreme circumstances, major surgery has to take place to try to alleviate the obstruction,” according to Dr. Jim Whitehead.
All pet owners should be aware of recalls on products that could be dangerous to an animal if consumed. There have been several recalls of pet food and pet treats already this year. If your pet shows signs of vomiting, diarrhea, or weight loss you should have them checked out by your vet and stop feeding them the same food until your vet can confirm that it is safe to continue. Pet allergies may also be contributing factor and should never be overlooked.
Some simple tips that might help when choosing a pet’s toy or treat:
• Make sure you are keeping a close eye on your pet after giving them a new toy or treat
• Talk to your vet about the best size treats and toys to buy
• Make sure the treat or toy can’t be swallowed in one piece
• Be aware of toys and treats like rawhide that can splinter and get logged in the throat
As a pet owner, it always best to be informed and vigilant just as you would with any family member.