So far we’ve talked about ways to be green with choosing cat litter and ways to keep your lawn and dog safe, now let’s talk about the toys we buy for our pets. Toys for dogs and cats are sometimes very colorful, bouncy, and made to increase the “play drive” in our pets. Choosing toys for our pets is usually based on our taste, our pets’ tastes, and price.
5 tips for buying toys:
1: Check the label – What is it made of? Some toys will state it is made from “natural” materials. What natural materials? Toys that are made from “Certified Organic” materials have stricter guidelines and are definitely pet and earth friendly. Does the label also have a blurb about the company’s efforts to be more environmentally conscious and health conscious?
2: Touch and smell the toy – Does it feel weird and smell like chemicals? Pet toys shouldn’t smell funky like it was dipped in formaldehyde or something. It should also feel good since your dog or cat will be biting it, chewing it, and carrying it around. You don’t want harsh plastics or chemically made pieces being ingested by your furry companion.
3: Avoid toys that look heavily dyed – the dye can bleed and be toxic to your pet.
4: Avoid real fur – some toy mice for cats are made from real fur. It’s unlikely this is from a critter that was brushed a lot. Stick with toys that avoid harming the environment or other animals.
5: Avoid toys that are covered in fire retardant chemicals – these can be poisonous to your pet.
There are several places where you can buy eco-friendly toys and your local pet store may also carry them:
ShopGreenPets.com sells toys, beds, and more that are made from natural materials and recycled materials. All the items are eco-friendly.
Olive sells products that are friendly to the environment such as biodegradable cat pan liners and dog waste bags. They also carry a nice line of herbal shampoos.
West Paw Design carries items that are made from recycled materials like soda bottles and reused cotton. They also have a program where they will recycle the dog toys they have sold to customers. The customers simply send back the beaten up toy and West Paw will reuse the materials for new toys.