By Robin, Health Fanatic
Ran into a fellow dog owner at the park a few days ago and he said something that reinforces my belief that Hong Kong is a step behind on pet toy safety. He was referring with admiration to a toy that lights up and at the same time can't be destroyed by any amount of chewing! Hmm. Well, clearly this toy has electronic components inside - which wouldn't be a problem if indeed chewing has no effect. But skepticism about its indestructible quality aside, I'm more concerned with why said indestructibility is such a big deal?
I get that dog owners are worried about whether a toy will last long or not...but let me ask you this: would you put it in your own mouth and lick, bite and chew on it everyday? NO. Why not? Because you would be concerned about what substances you would be ingesting. So why should our dogs be exempt from this worry? You should be less worried about indestructibility and more about safety!
The other thing is, dogs like toys that can be destroyed and chased. The concept of a toy to dogs is not the same as it is to us...to them toys are are basically prey. The more a toy exhibits prey like characteristics (such as sound, movement, comfortable biting texture, ability to be ripped or nibbled apart), the more the dog will like it. If you are all about indestructibility then might as well give your dog a rock. We've never had a problem with soft toys that our dog destroys with ease...we actually like it! Because our dog likes it. We just make sure we pick up any pieces that have been torn away. If we were to cry about the toy being destroyed so easily, then we would just go and find a random tough piece of plastic or rubber, likely to be full of strange chemicals.
I can hear some of you complaining that you don't have time to continually supervise the dog and just want to leave a toy around that it can chew on the whole day. Ok. First, nothing on this earth is indestructible. Even for the toughest plastic toy, there's a chance your dog tears off a piece and swallows it. Second, if you're pretty much never around, then perhaps you should revisit the reason why you got a dog in the first place, and either make some time or find someone to help you exercise and spend time with your dog.
If the above sounded like a rant, then good, because it is. A lot of dog owners in Hong Kong are plenty knowledgeable about high quality, healthy, natural (even organic) dog food options, but sadly for some reason have not extended this thinking to toys. Toys go into your dog's mouth too!