The pet market is saturated. The pet industry, this billion euro playground attracts a lot of players. So it is easy to fall for the false economy of cheap toys. They are everywhere, all around you online, in the supermarket at your favorite pet shop. They are cheap. The reason they are cheap is because they are lacking purposeful design, quality materials and rigorous testing. That in itself is false economy. As you are better off buying a well designed, quality product for €20 that the cheap dog toys for €5. Four of them, because they don’t last long enough.
Where do these designs come from anyways
I’m sure you’ve all guessed the obvious. All you need to do is go online and you, as a mere buyer will be bombarded by offers from Aliexpress, Ebay and Amazon. They all sell some cheap products. Cheap products manufactured outside Europe or the US. Manufactured at the cost of children workers and at the expense of small designer brands. Designer brands whose ideas have all been promptly knocked off.
So where does it leave us?
A very valid question. But for argument’s sake, let’s start at the bottom of this problem. And that is the consumer itself. These retailers deliver to a demand. A demand that is growing in size as while we look. Most millennials opt for pets over parenthood, and due to the diligent work of skilled shelter staff and advocates, a lot of them opt for adoption. Phew, at least one issue is evening out. Still, I am certain that young pet parents who are totally willing to give everything to their pets should be educated to make the right choice. The choice of saying no to cheap knockoffs pouring into our markets and support the designer equivalent. So, if you see a high quality dog product on Instagram or in a pet store and then see a cheaper knock-off version elsewhere, for the sake of the original designer and your dog, choose the higher quality one.
How to find the quality dog toys
Not always easy to determine. If your dog is a power chewer, they will rip anything apart. Nonetheless there are signs you could look out for, and I will list a few of them below.
- Durable Materials – Look for strong rubber for chew toys, multi layered fabrics and natural cotton for rope toys.
- Quality Construction – Look for strong stitching, strong joinery and no small pieces that could be easily broken off and ingested.
- Non-toxic – Try to avoid BPAs, PVC, Phthalates and unsafe dyes – they can be just as harmful to our pets as they are to us.
- Machine washable or easily hand washable.
- Tested to meet safety standards.
Besides these handy tips, you should always make sure to select toys appropriate for your dog’s size, age and health. Know your dog’s playing habit. Is he a power chewer? Does he play gently with squeaker toys? You can preserve the lifetime of any product a lot longer if you select them according to your pup’s play habits. And finally consider signing up to a subscription box, to give your pet the most entertainment.