Another trip to the vet just cost me R700 (only!) because my 9 month old puppy chewed off a part of a synthetic fur blanket. This lodged in his stomach and gave him stomach ache for 4 days. When he threw up all his supper the night before and refused to have his breakfast, we knew it was time for him to see the Vet urgently. At the time of taking him to the vet we were not 100% sure what the problem was, but him not eating his food was a big sign that he urgently needs medical attention.
A few injections later to relax the stomach, get rid of the nausea and ease the pain, he finally threw up a chunk of blanket the size of a large mouse. We are relieved because if this did not come out and we had to operate, it would have cost us thousands to have him back to good health.
With all this drama in mind, and gladly no operations needed, I thought it would be a sensible thing to write about toys for your pets. This one was the most expensive pet toy so far. Its called a Kong and costs about R300 for the large black kong, but boy has it been worth it. You can fill this pet toy with hard to get to snacks, add some peanut butter for fun and he is kept busy for a while. This has also been a fun pet toy that bounces around everywhere and seems impossible to break. This pet toy comes highly recommended if your pet likes toys and loves to play and chew.
Please keep the following tips in mind when choosing toys:
1. Safety first, secure your home and remove all potentially dangerous items (eg. string, ribbon, rubber bands, children's toys, pantyhose and anything small that can be ingested) that pets can mistake for toys.
2. Toys that break become sizable and can be ingested into the pets tummy. This can cause choking or get stuck in their tummy. Small balls are especially dangerous for large pets. Tennis balls which are covered in sand can cause the teeth to grind down and cause serious injury or pain.
3. The supermarket favourite is to sell rawhide. They are great for chewing, but they cause various problems which include breaking and lodging in the throat, breaking the pets teeth or injuring their jaws. Another bad thing about raw hide is the fact that they can cause an upset stomach. We all know how bad an upset tummy can be, especially because we are the ones that have to clean up all the accidents. Its best to take this one off your shopping list completely.
4. Squeaky toys are fun, but they last about 30 seconds for most toy-loving and chewing pets. If your pet loves toys and destroys them the moment the get their paws on them, take this one off the list too. The plastic as well as the squeaker can also cause damage when swallowed.
5. Toys with fillings such as that which you get inside of soft toys like foam, polystyrene, plastic balls and nutshells must also be avoided at all costs. They are great fun for your pets, but they cost pet owners a fortune every year.
6. Find a favourite toy and keep it out for your pet to play with all the time. Alternate the other 'not so favourite' toys to keep them interested. We often have a bag of hoofies in the cupboard to fill this need, but keep an eye on them so that they do not get too small and become a problem as mentioned before. As said above, a super almost indestructible toy is the Kong. Each colour Kong represents a different need. Be sure to choose the right one for the right size and type of pet. Ask your vet if you are unsure.
7. Then finally, the best 'toy' for your pet is the time you spend with them. Keep them entertained with a rope or a ball that is played with in a controlled environment. Use this family time to teach them tricks and award them with treats. This time is important for your pet to become social by learning how to be obedient in a controlled manner.
This would have cost us thousands in Pet Medical bills, but we are glad that we are covered with our Pet Insurance for accidents such as these.
For peace of mind and assuring your pets are exposed to the best medical care, we would like to encourage you to consider our Pet Insurance Cover. Click here to apply online today.