Ultimately, sometime around Christmas, we find ourselves at the local pet store, hoping to find that special something for our precious furry one. But beware, as many of these “special somethings” can be hazardous to your pet’s health. Any toy, by the way, can be unsafe when your dog is unsupervised. Take a look on the tag. You will be hard pressed to find a label that does not include the warning that your pet should be supervised when playing with said toy. Stuffing can be particularly hazardous. And just because the toy is rubber does not mean it is not filled with polyester stuffing. This stuffing is very easy to ingest, but it is not so easy to pass, often becoming lodged in the stomach and necessitating surgery. Another common hazard involves toys or bones that splinter or toys with small parts, which can become detached and pose a choking danger. And looks can be deceiving. Who would suspect that a heavy duty rubber ball could be chewed up and ingested by an eight month old pit bull in less than 15 minutes? Neither did his owner, Tim, a client of Lil’ Buddies Pet Sitters in Matthews, NC. While playing with his dog Truman he left the room only briefly. The consumption of the ball evolved into a $400.00 veterinary bill to cover the cost of x-rays and monitoring over the course of four days until the pieces passed. Fortunately, surgery was not necessary, but it did look like a real possibility for a time. As pet sitters, we at Lil’ Buddies hear these kind of horror stories all too often. So, are there suggestions we can give Santa for our buddies’ stockings? According to the folks at Matthews Animal Clinic located in Matthews, NC, Kong brand, appropriately sized, is a safe bet. Long Nylabones, as well as dental chews (again appropriate in size) are good choices. Again, be sure to properly supervise your dog when they have access to chew toys. As a side, they do advise that toys resembling a shoe or a sock should be avoided. We certainly don’t want to encourage that fascination. ^..^~~ So, here’s to a Merry and safe Christmas for our canine loved ones.