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Are Pet Toys Made in China Safe?

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Are Pet Toys Made in China Safe?

Are dog toys made in China dangerous?

There have been safety concerns with toys made in China because they may contain harmful chemicals or materials that are toxic to dogs. "That's why it's important to choose toys made by reputable manufacturers who use quality materials and follow safety standards," notes Randall. While Dr. Ilam Sharma admits that some Chinese-made products use dangerous toxic materials, that doesn't mean all dog toys from China are dangerous.


"The fact that toys are made in China doesn't necessarily mean they are of poor quality," she told Rover. "There are many Chinese manufacturers selling high-quality products in the U.S. market."


Potential Toxic Substances in Dog Toys

According to our experts, pet parents may encounter some toxins in dog toys, especially cheap or counterfeit toys that are widely available at online retailers. This requires us to carefully identify and select. Here are some potentially harmful products.

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PVC and Phthalates

PVC (aka vinyl) is a type of plastic commonly used to make toys and other pet products. On the surface, PVC is not dangerous. However, it is a very hard material, which is why manufacturers often add phthalates to vinyl dog toys and chews. "PVC may contain phthalates, which are chemicals used to soften plastic and make it more pliable," Randall explains.


The more your dog plays and chews vinyl, the more phthalates will leach. These toxins are freely mobile and can be absorbed by the dog's gums or skin. Additionally, PVC contains chlorine. When dogs chew toys made of PVC, chlorine is released over time.


Unfortunately, phthalates have been linked to reproductive and developmental problems, so it's especially important to avoid giving vinyl toys to growing puppies and kittens.


Bisphenol A (BPA)

“BPA is another chemical commonly found in plastics that has been linked to health problems such as cancer and hormone disruption,” Randall told us.


A 2017 article in Science Direct also showed that BPA disrupts the canine endocrine system and may lead to metabolic disorders in dogs.


Heavy metal - lead

Lead is another metal most commonly found in toy paint. "While lead will not be found in dog toys produced under strict safety regulations, countries with less stringent regulations are likely to have this toxic ingredient in their products," Dr. Sharma noted. “Lead can cause serious neurological consequences in dogs that are regularly exposed to lead.”


Puppies and kittens are most susceptible to lead poisoning. But any animal exposed to lead can become poisoned, damaging multiple organs, including the nervous system and gastrointestinal tract.

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Chromium and Cadmium

These two chemicals are found in dyes found in some types of plastics. Trace amounts of chromium are an essential dietary mineral. However, high levels of chromium can be toxic.


Dog and cat toys made in China and sold at Walmart showed elevated levels of chromium in a test conducted by Consumer Affairs forensic toxicologists. The same toxicology tests also found high levels of cadmium, a carcinogenic metal that can interfere with dogs' joints, hearts and lungs.


formaldehyde

“Formaldehyde is a chemical that is banned in many countries,” Dr. Sharma assures us. "Unfortunately, some manufacturers include this harmful ingredient in dog toys, which can cause skin irritation and respiratory problems," she added. Typically, this chemical is found in the adhesives used to hold toy parts together.


Facts have proved that it does not mean that toys made in China are unsafe, and we must learn to identify harmful products. We cannot deny their existence with certain tinted glasses just because China is a major manufacturing country.


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