A cautionary tale about pet toys


I’ve had a few requests lately asking me to write about certain topics, and I’d like to thank everyone for their help – it really helps little help helps.

Tragically, such a request stems from the loss of a beloved pet to an accident that could happen to anyone.

Jenn Black of Jenn’s Furry Friends Rescue recently lost one of her permanently adopted dogs.

You may recognize his name from some of my previous columns. Jenn has a huge heart and she was the one who sought us out to take in Leia, our Frenchie rescue. She was convinced that we knew what Frenchies needed in terms of special care, for having had one. She knew we had just lost our Stitch and thought we would be the perfect home for Leia and she was right. Leia, despite all her health issues, was the perfect dog for Jackie and a valued member of our family.

Jenn does this with many animals, many of which regular rescues might not want or be able to take. She has rabbits, kittens and dogs looking for homes. Check out her Facebook page or website www.jennsfurryfriendsrescue.org to see if there’s anything you can currently help.

Currently, Jenn’s Furry Friends Rescue is raising money for Gordon, who has bone cancer in his leg, requiring surgery and chemo.

Jenn received a rescue dog some time ago, it was a very special case. Bodhi was an English Bulldog who suffered from “swimmer puppy syndrome” early on, and although breeders tried to fix the problem, they did so incorrectly, causing his legs to fuse together. This made just walking an adventure and Bohdi never reached the adoption process. Instead, he joined Jenn’s menagerie of misfits and became her children’s favorite.

Jenn posted this on her Facebook page and asked me to share it with readers:

“I am beyond devastated posting this but I want people to not make the same mistake we did. Bodhi passed away tonight after a rubber bullet he was gifted lodged in his throat. By the time I found him he was not breathing and limping in. I tried so hard, for so long to get the ball out but it was lodged so far back with his little jaw and the suction made it impossible to get out. I bought them all the bones tonight and bought him a brand new harness because they all had a vet appointment tomorrow. I’m so sorry Bodhi. Me, your girls and your boy will be missed.

We always try to emphasize that consumable items, like bones, should be sized appropriately for your pets, to avoid an incident of accidental choking.

Also, any consumable item should only be consumed under the supervision of the animal, in case something goes wrong, especially with puppies, who, like very young children, will try to swallow inappropriately sized objects. .

In this case, a hollow rubber ball was collapsed and swallowed. Hollow balls are lighter, cheaper, easier to throw, and many dogs prefer the way they can grip them, so this is the most popular type. Some are softer than others, and some can easily be reduced to a choking hazard.

So when you introduce a new toy to your pets for the first time, watch how they interact with it. Make sure they don’t take it completely in their mouth and squeeze it.

Other items can be chewed or gnawed on to a point where they are dangerous. Once shrunk to an unsafe size, they should be removed and either given to a pet that can play with them appropriately, or disposed of.

Choosing toys and treats for our pets is just as important as choosing toys for our children. This can be even more difficult, as baby toys are often rated and sized based on age, which cannot be done for puppies. It is up to us to be responsible for the safety of our pets.

Jeff McFarlane

Jeff McFarlane
Pets are people too

Jeff McFarlane is the owner of Thrive Pet Food Market. Contact him with your questions or ideas.


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