Dog Toys from China – Why We Should Be Worried

dog-with-chew-toy
How many of your dog’s toys come from China? A quick count through Zoe and Fritz’s toy box shows more than 10 – a mixture of plush and plastic [tag-tec]dog chew toys[/tag-tec].

Until I read an article at ConsumerAffairs.com, I hadn’t given too much thought as to whether or not these were safe toys for them to play with.

However, given all the recent health scares about products from China – pet food and treats, children’s toys, toothpaste, etc – I should have known that pet toys would be the next item on the item on warning list.

ConsumerAffairs.com randomly chose 4 Chinese-made pet toys from a Wal-Mart store and tested them for the presence of heavy metals and other toxins.

Here is what they found:

  • A green latex stuffed toy contained high levels of lead and chromium;
  • The same latex toy also showed traces of cadmium, arsenic and mercury;
  • A cloth catnip toy tested positive for cadmium; and
  • Lesser amounts of cadmium were found in a cloth hedgehog dog toy and a plastic dumbbell toy for cats;

How poisonous are lead, chromium and cadmium?

All metals are toxic to body cells because they compete with the nutritional minerals in the body – and win. The nutritional minerals are displaced and cannot be used by the body.

Lead affects the nervous and digestive systems, and poisoning can show itself as vomiting, abdominal pain, lack of appetite, seizures, loss of coordination, blindness, and behavior changes.

Chromium is a known cancer producing agent, causing cancer in the bladder and kidneys, and lungs if it is inhaled.

Cadmium adversely affects the joints, kidneys and lungs.

Lead is the toxin to be most worried about – it isn’t expelled naturally by the body, it just accumulates and so the symptoms, and poisoning, will be progressive.

How much is too much?

According to Cornell University (in the United States), symptoms of nervous system poisoning appears in dogs and cats when the daily intake of lead is 5 mg/kg of body weight.

There’s no readily available information on Chromium and Cadmium, though it’s believed that the intake of these metals has to be higher than lead before they are considered to be toxic.

Does this mean that the dog toys tested are safe?

Two veterinarians approached by ConsumerAffairs.com stated that the amounts of lead, chromium and cadmium were too low to pose any health risk to cats and dogs.

However one of the vets, from Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, stated that the risk of these heavy metals to pet health depended on how much had been absorbed into the body.

What do dogs do with toys? They lick and chew them, they don’t admire them from a distance!

What did the tests find – that the toxic materials easily came off the toys, so if a dog does what comes naturally to him, a few licks and a bit of chewing could easily result in your dog quickly absorbing the heavy metals into his body.

To me, that does not sound safe.

We are constantly exposed to heavy metals through the water we drink and food we eat – why expose ourselves to even more when there are plenty of alternatives?

What’s the alternative?

You can buy toys that aren’t made in China and other countries that still use the same old manufacturing processes that China does, and/or you can make your own.

When Zoe was a puppy she got far more fun from chasing an empty plastic milk bottle around the house than she did from any bought toy – apart from her Kongs (which are manufactured in the United States)!

I’ve just purchased a book on making dog toys, so I’ll share a few ideas with you shortly. In the meantime here are two links to web pages showing you how to make braided dog ropes – they are quick and easy to make, and just as good as any bought dog chew toy:

Fleece Rope Dog Toy

Make a Dog Toy our of Dish Towels

If you have ideas for other homemade toys, please share them.

[tags]lead poisoning, heavy metal poisoning, Wal Mart dog toys, China made dog toys, homemade dog toys[/tags]

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Comments

  1. Wow, every dog owner ought to know that!
    lead, chromium and cadmium…

  2. Have been wondering and worrying about this very thing. Thank you so much for doing the research and offering some alternatives.

  3. Hi Doggie – frightening isn’t it? I read today that Wal Mart are threatening to sue the lab that did the testing, saying they greatly misrepresented their findings. For me, any amount of lead, chromium and cadmium in my dogs toys is too much.

  4. Frenchie MS – Many thanks for your comment. Some home-made dog toy ideas will be published shortly! If you’ve made some yourself, please let me know.

  5. Great post!!!! Hope you don’t mind but I am sending folks over here to read this from my blog soon. When I heard about the children’s toys, I just knew it was a matter of time before the dog’s toys would come to light. Thank you for posting this…..

    Johann

  6. Thanks Johann – the more people hear about this the better.

  7. I had just read this same article and then found this site.

    The day before Thansgiving, my family lost our beloved beagle to liver cancer which had spread to his spleen also. He was only eight years old. We are looking at all environmental factors and had been talking about this very subject earlier today. We frequently bought his toys at Wal-Mart, Sam’s and PetsMart.

    Also want to give a heads up to all dog owners.

    PLEASE when you take your dog in to your vet for their annual shots, have the vet do a blood test for cancers. It will show if there are any. Also for added assurance, please get a ultrasound or MRI done. This will show any tumors or masses that may or may not be cancerous which may not show in the blood. Do not settle for a chest x-ray. We were unaware of all of this and it has cost us our best friends life as it was too late for him. Hopefully this will be of benefit to everyone and if it saves one of our friends lifes it will be worth the effort.

  8. Cindy, thank you for your post and I’m so sorry to hear about your dog, that’s absolutely tragic.

    I totally agree with what you say – we should take every opportunity to have our dogs tested so we have a chance of catching diseases in their early stages. Thanks for the heads up on this.

    Take care, Clare.

  9. It really comes down to the old saying ‘Pick Your Poison’. It has been proven also that Vaccines cause cancer and death in pets a long with many other illnesses. There was just a story on the news about MRI and ultrasounds not being all that healthy. Then back to the 10 million dog food products that were recalled in the early part of the year. God only knows how many dogs and cats survived the poison but will fall to cancer later on because of it.
    Feed your dog an all naturaldiet of raw meaty bones and organs from a variety of animals, make your own toys and stay away from the vets office. Do your homework on the adverse effects of vaccines and other drugs we are supposed to put in and on our animals in the name of ‘health’. NONE of it is healthy.
    Pick your poison!

  10. This is something that needs to be studied and looked at carefully. The U.S. and our people should not support China’s economy. Our family was shocked to see that China won the bid for the olympics. They eat dogs and cats. Inhumane acts on animals are a daily occurence. They make fur coats by skinning dogs alive, among many other horrible things. The Olympics brings in billions of dollars to their ecomomy. Why would we allow China to be blessed with all that money? All the toxins that they are poisening humans and animals with, should be enough to take that right away, let alone how they treat animals. Many American companies are opening up in China because they have little or no regulations on discarding toxic waste. Money talks…… so do not buy anything made in China or support the Olympics that will be held there. Write companies and anyone politically involved. China, big business or our leaders do not care. We care, we care for our beloved animals and loved ones. So lets do something about it! I believe Gandi (spl?) said, “you can judge a nation by the way they treat their animals”. So lets judge China and make them pay with not getting the hard earned money of hard working, tax paying Americans.

  11. I like the idea of braiding your own dog toys. But it occured to me that the fleece you can purchase in a fabric store may be treated with a flame retardent. If this is true, it may be a better idea to braid old towels together instead.

  12. I saw a report on Fox News today about toxic pet toys. Oprah’s vet had commissioned studies on pet toys and although he expected to see lead in these Chines made toys, he was shocked by the amount in them. 30,000 parts per…the high end considered too high for children is 300 parts per…! Two items were shown on TV. One was a ceramic food dish with a painted name in the bottom of the bowl. The other toy was a fleecy, tennis ball with a small paw print painted on the ball. The paint was full of lead! Every time the ball is in the dog’s mouth, it leaches into his system! I removed these very same balls from our dog’s toy box! One was a small tennis size ball, the other was a larger ball. And consider this, every time you handle that wet slobbery ball, you are also exposed to the same toxins!

  13. Kim, Dr Rome and Paula – many thanks for your comments.

    Kim, you’re right, it is pick your poison time, and it’s getting harder to know what’s best for our dogs.

    Paula, that’s a good point about flame retardant on fleece, thanks for bringing that up.

  14. Wow! We were just talking about this very subject. Good stuff. I may be sending a few folks your way.

  15. Denise Fillmore says:

    For the last eight months my Border Collie has been suffering from seizures. Just last week the vet suggested putting him down as he could not stop him from seizing. I took him to a neurologist who increased his phenobarbitol and added Bromide. Also gave him injections of Kempra (human medication for epiepsy) and his seizures have stopped. I became increasing concerned when they found the leg of a stuffed frog in his poop and also rubber bands. Duke has always chewed and swallowed his toys, including rubber chickens, stuffed animals, not to mention $20 dollar bills, socks, dryer sheets, paper towels, basically anything he could get hold of. I have been researching toys from China and am convinced that what you have posted is absolutely true! Most dogs won’t be affected like Duke because they don’t actually swallow their toys. The stuffing used to fill these toys is toxic and when they remain in their body for 24 hours I believe it can do damage to their nervous system and cause seizures. I have thrown away everything made in China, including many dog foods! I had fed him a whole bag of dehydraed chicken breasts that were made in China! I now dehydrate my own chicken breasts from chickens raised in the USA! I also went to PetSmart to buy him a new ball and could not find anything that was made in the USA! All balls, including Kongs are made in China or Taiwan. He loves to play with balls will not have another ball until I can find a USA manufacturer!

  16. Thanks for your comment Denise – so glad to hear you’ve managed to stop your dog seizing, they are frightening things to witness.
    You’re right about the problem with dogs swallowing their toys – their bodies will absorb everything that’s in the stuffing, and it can only do them harm.

  17. i work at a pet food / feed store and i despise the fact that most of the toys come from china, mainly because their reputation has been less than stellar lately…. i have stopped buying chew toys for them and now they only get bison bones and cookies that are made in north america (specifically canada – i am canadian after all). they don’t splinter (bison), the dogs absolutely love them (they can be a bit messy but nothing a vaccuum or broom can’t fix). they don’t look as pretty as those shiny pink plastic balls, etc. but i am confident that a roasted bison bone or baked dog cookie won’t hurt them. dogs will be dogs and will always be looking for gross things to eat / roll in / collect but i can minimize the toxic factor by giving them natural bones…. one bison bone ($2.39) will last way longer than a tennis ball or toy that gets easily destroyed.
    my heart goes out to all of you who have lost pets due to cancer and other “ailments” and i urge you all to boycott the plastic crap that has inundated our society!! if i throw a bone for my dog, she will fetch it… if it’s a stick, she’ll fetch it… why do we need plastic dyed things? they are fetching for our scent anyways….
    by the way, one of her fave balls to fetch is a leather baseball….. made in canada…
    kath

  18. Kath, thanks for your comment.
    I agree that the simple/homemade/natural toys work just as well as any of the plastic fantastic stuff we buy – cheaper too!

  19. Thank you for this article! My 8 yo Jack Russell has been having problems with periodic bouts of vomiting, lethargy, gastrointestinal distress and the runs. Recently in the last 6 months he has started having seizures every once in awhile. The vet did many many expensive tests and couldn’t determine what was definitely wrong with him, but he seemed to be better for the last 6 months other than the seizures. Then I read your article. It seems to make sense! We never thought that it could be his toys! I ran around the house gathering them all up and am throwing EVERYTHING away. Then I am going to make my own toys and see if that helps him. I have a call into the vet, and am hoping to get his blood tested today or tomorrow.

    This article may have saved my dog’s life, and I can’t thank you enough! He has probably 100 toys – who knows which ones are bad or not. Since he doesn’t play with the same one’s every day that may explain why his symptoms have been so sporatic. I know that there is something wrong with him, and it helps to have another possibility in the mix to investigate.

    Thank you, and my dog thanks you. Hopefully we finally have figured out what is wrong so we can help him get better.

  20. Thanks for your comment Angela. So sorry to hear about your JR, and you might be right about his toys causing the problem. His symptoms sound similar to those Denise described in an earlier comment. I hope you can get to the bottom of the problem soon – it’s awful having an ill dog and not knowing for sure what the problem is.
    Have fun making your own toys – I’ve found that the simplest of toys give Zoe and Fritz as much fun as any fancy plush toy.

  21. Joni Bundas says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I came across it from doing a search on google for making my JRT toys that are actually more durable instead of buying the cheap made toys from Walmart. I’m so glad to read this, it sheds a whole new light on the made in China thing. I searched the other day for rawhides and chews(My Max loves to chew and these are helpful and make him happy) at Walmart and also Petsmart and found very few that were made in the USA and ALL the munchie sticks were made in China. So we didn’t get any of them. I was so irritated that I couldn’t find anything safe for my beloved pet. Also I have searched the internet and the sites don’t say whether they are made in USA or not.
    I already buy dog food that is made in the USA with USA ingredients. At least I can still find that. I don’t trust the big name dog food companies.
    Its really tough to find anything anymore that is not made in China and why would they care if they poison our dogs and shame on the companies of the USA for supporting them.
    Even the Dingo bones are made in China.

  22. Joni, I agree it’s virtually impossible to buy a toy from a store that’s not made in China. Hopefully enough people will become aware of the problem of Chinese products and the companies have to do something about it, but I think that time is still some way off.
    Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment.

  23. Barbara Hathaway says:

    When I buy dog pet toys I was concerned about the “china syndrome” that’s going on with our childrens toys. Obviously after reading this article, I’ll be using more scrutiny in picking healthier toys! It’s not often I actually “buy” pet toys. My surrogate rottie who comes to visit often gets one of the simplest made toys from me. I take old worn out jeans and cut as much of the leg off as possible, then tie it in at least one knot where Tank(rottie) can sink his teeth into for a good game of tug of war!

  24. you can always get bones from your grocery store or ask the local pet store if they can get the smoked bison bones… dogs were meant to chew on bones anyways, not fluffy or plastic toys!!! if you really want to get away from the scary toys try the real thing – your dog will love you for it!!

  25. @Barbara – that’s a good alternative toy.

    @ Kath – I think dogs prefer bones too!

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comments.

  26. I have sent this website to everyone I know that has a dog or cat. I have finally found a tennis ball for Duke to play with. I was surprised that PENN is the ONLY tennis ball made in the USA! Spalding, Wilson etc…..all made in China! It is frightening once you start looking at the “Made in China” labels that are on virtually everything we use in our daily lives. Luckily, Duke is doing very well after $2,500 worth of vet bills and his twice daily doses of anti-seizure medications.

  27. Denise, thanks for letting us know about the Penn tennis ball – I’ll make sure people are aware of this.
    Glad to hear Duke is doing well; reading the comments above I’m amazed at the number of dogs that have suffered from seizures and which are probably due to the toys they have been playing with.

  28. Sonja Beaton-Wiker says:

    I have enjoyed reading all this information and agree that the animal toys coming from certain countries are not healthy for our animals. I have started looking for made in USA only when purchasing several different items. They are not easy to find. Denise did find Penn tennis balls that are made in the USA so I know Duke has some of those.

  29. Thanks for your comment Sonja. I thought I’d found the perfect hedgehog toys for Zoe and Fritz – made by nylabone but I turned the tag over and found they were manufactured in China, so they went back on the shelf.

  30. Donald Sheridan says:

    I had a small Italian Greyhound. His name was Tito. He loved me unconditionally. He was a victim of Chicken Jerky treats that he loved that were processed in China. In May of last year the brand was taken off of the market and supposedly removed from shelves, but WalMart put them on shelves in July so I assumed that they were looking out for my dogs welfare and only put on their shelves safe treats for Tito. I was wrong. I could not protect him from illness and death. I have not thrown away the contaminated food. I just wanted to voice my opinion in Tito’s behalf.

  31. Donald, thank you for sharing your story.
    2007 really showed us that almost all pet food/toy manufacturers are only after our dollar, and the health and wellness of our pets comes a distant second on their list of priorities.
    It’s despicable that WalMart would put contaminated food back on the shelves – as you say, you’d assume the product was safe otherwise they wouldn’t do it. Goodness that behaviour makes you angry …

  32. In Decomber of 2007 my four month old puppy became very ill very suddenly. i did not realize what was happening at the time, but my vet thinks that he had a seizure and was starting to slip into a coma on me. Blood work reveiled some sort of infection. We thought at the time from a bad infestation of ear mites. Five days later my large breed dog started to have seizures as well. The vet in emergency thought he was poisoned by antifreeze, but due to circumstances I know that this was absolutely impossible. We treated with charcoal. At the time his temp. was 39.8 degrees.
    We did blood work and were sent home. He worsened and my own vet called in antibiotics. We had been using lactulose on the puppy and when the bigger dog started to go down i gave it to hime as well. By the time he was in to emergency he had improved some. Blood tests reveiled a lipase count of 1000, but a specific test for panreatitous was normal. Had my dog food checked and worming meds. Had a lead test done and are awaiting results presently. I have my hunches about a couple of toys they had destroyed recently. Search of the home and property have come up with nothing. racking my brain trying to come up with what this may be. They are both better, but have diarrhea. They get worse if i stop giving the lactulose. We are also checking for parasites. I lost one dog last year to cancer, and one the year before, both at Christmas time. I am terrified of what this could be and where it is coming from. My poor dogs have nothing left. It seems everything but KONG is made in china. I there is an actual list of toys tested that could be possobly dangerous I would appreciate having it. Theresa

  33. Theresa, thanks for your comment, and I’m so sorry to hear about your dogs – coping with two sick dogs must be hard work (and expensive).
    I’m doing some research into what’s been tested and what hasn’t, and will make a post on this and suggested ‘safe’ dog toys tomorrow.

  34. thanks clare. I really appreciate it. In reading some of the other comments I realized that my KONG products are probably not safe either. All they have left are beds and blankets, and because they just can’t resist they may have to go to. I am still waiting for the results of the blood work. There are two toys that they had destroyed just before they got sick, and i am positive they ingested some. One was a “Hartz HchewO” and they other was a multicolored rope toy that I purchased at Superstore. The label said it could be made in the U.S., china or mexico. Of course they have tons of other toys, but they had destroyed tese two probably about two weeks prior to becoming ill. I also took away some ceramic painted dishes with no label. I really appreciate any kind of feedback. we need to find out what this is in order to correctly treat them. I am presently making their food as well.

  35. Theresa, I found this link to a Hartz Victims web site on Dogster which might be of interest to you.
    I hope you’ve had some good news with the blood work.

  36. Thank you sooo much. This has shed a whole new light on things. Not only did my dogs destroy and most likely ingest a toy made by Hartz within two weeks prior to becoming ill, but the larger dog was given a bath with Zodiac Double Action Flea and tick shampoo only a few hours before he got ill with the same type of symptoms as other animals who either became ill after usage of Hartz flea shampoo, drops sprays etc. I couldn’t find much on toys so I kept digging. In doing so I found out that Zodiac is affilliated with Hartz, and then the light bulb went on. The larger dog started to shakeand tremble, drool, clamp his mouth shut, shrug his shoulders,eyes bugged out and urinate uncontrilably about two hours or so after his bath. He has since had diarrhea and is not drinking on his own. I’ve let my vet know about the site and have printed as much as I can find on Zodiac products. I WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER PRODUCT FROM CHINA FOR EITHER MY DOGS OR MYSELF. The questions are still unanswered, but I think we are getting closer. I’ll let you know how things unfold.

  37. Don’t be fooled brand names that we have come to know as American…..Hartz, Sergeant, etc…all made in CHINA! I was going to buy a Hartz rawhide chew for my dogs and read the label carefully, which I always do now, and in tiny print in the upper right hand corner of the packaging “Made in China” DISTRIBUTED by Hartz!

  38. @ Theresa – I hope you get to the bottom of this soon, do keep us informed.

    @Denise – many thanks for your comment. It is difficult finding products that aren’t made in China was going to buy a Nylabone toy recently until I saw the made in China label, so put it back on the shelf.

  39. When I cut the legs off an old pair of jeans for shorts the legs become toys.
    I tie a tight knot at one end, put a couple of biscuits in and tie a very loose knot at the other end then the fun beguins.

  40. That sounds like fun Linda, thanks for the suggestion!

  41. I got the results of the blood tests for lead back. They were negative. I am not surprised. As I said, after I read about the victims of the Hartz shampoos and sprays it all came to me. My larger dogs bowel movements had started to return to normal. I gave him a bath with lots of Johnson’s baby shampoo to try to get the Zodiac off of him. I could still slightly smell it, but he got a little more diarrhea after the bath so I am going to wait a bit and then bath him again. I am also steam cleaning my carpets as I had used a Zodiac fleas spray in the house in the fall and there may still be a residue there as it kills fleas and eggs for up to seven or eight months. The smaller dog had a tape wrom which may have cause some of the same sort of symptoms, although he is small and alot closer to the ground all of the time. My vet says that these products should not hurt your dog as long as there is nothing wrong with it. Just before I read the stories on the hartz victims site we had x-rayed the large dog. He has a small liver, so due to that he couldn’t handle the pesticides in the shampoo. The small dogs liver may be affected by the worm, so it may be breathing it in off of the carpet and off of the other dog has been hard on him as well. The instructions on the shampoo say to use 8 ml of shampoo per 1 kg of body weight. If I were to have done that I would have used over three quarters of the bottle in one bath. I used only a bit more than I would use to shampoo my own hair. If I had done what they recommended I think I probably would have killed my dog. I don’t know yet if there are any long term affects, for now we are just keeping an eye on them and hoping that we have at least figured it out so that we can get them the proper treatments. The vet that had been helping me out over the holidays while my vet was away found it very interesting. He says he has had the same sort of problems with some other people’s dogs. Small liver or not, I will never use anything but all natural products on my animals again, and as for everything else, I won’t buy a thing from China ever again.

  42. Theresa, thanks for the update, it must be a huge relief to have finally figured out the probable cause of your dogs’ illnesses.

    Here’s a link to a site that I read and which has lots of advice on natural living – Shirley’s Wellness Cafe.

    I hope your dogs return to full health very soon – they’re lucky dogs to have such a diligent owner.

  43. Just a word of advice or warning…

    Not all “natural” products are safe or healthy automatically.
    Think of the number of people who have allergies to things like peanuts or shellfish.

    Here is an interesting but scary example of a natural product that lends itself as proof that even the best of intentions can go awry sometimes.

    http://www.doggienews.com/2006/03/sentry-natural-defense.htm

    and another on the same (or similar) topic…

    http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/reviews/pwr/product-reviews/Flea-Tick-Control/Cats/Sentry/p/207001-Sentry-Natural-Defense-Squeeze-On-for-Cats.html

    Do be aware of what you choose but even after that, use a little common sense… If you are using a new product (one you haven’t used before no matter how long it has been available), try a test on a small area and watch for reaction for a couple of hours so that you can take immediate action if necessary.

    On the subject of making toys… dogs aren’t really snobs (usually), I took two old mismatched socks once and tied them in a knot in the middle (so it looked like an X with a ball in the middle). This gives a “ball” to chase or a tug toy to tug or shake like crazy.

  44. Good advice, thank for posting your comment Ron.

  45. Thanks for the warning Ron. No worries though. I have a holistic vet and have ben using herbs for years with the advice of her. She is really good and knows her stuff. She actually specializes in acupunture for animals. Will check with her from now on before I use anything.

    As for making dog toys with plasic bottles and jeans…..hmmmm…..they tell us now that we should be looking at the code on our plastic containers as plastic is leaching into our food and beverages and I’m quite sure that denim and other materials that are colored contain some sort of dye. Lead has been found in dyes as well. We are sticking to good old fashion sticks and a few icecubes here and there for the teething puppy to champ on. He loves it.

  46. I informed Duke’s nuerologist about this website and he was even amazed, He has seen a huge increase in dogs with seizures and is now warning his patient’s owners about the danger of toys and food made in China. Duke has not had a seizure since December 27th and I attribute that to his lack of toys made in China and also the treament regimen Dr, Levesque has him on, He takes Phenobarbitol and Bromide twice daily. The Dr, stopped his seizing by using Kempra which a medication used for humans with epilepsy. I tell you this in case you are experiencing the same problem with your animals.

  47. Denise, many thanks for the feedback and for letting your vet know how many other dogs are suffering.
    It must be a huge relief that Duke’s seizures have stopped.

  48. Have Just been to see the vet again. My puppy seems to be getting better but my larger dog has had diarrhea now for two months. She says even though the lead test came back neg. that it doesn’t necessarily mean that they were not poisoned by lead. The tests were done at a later date and may not have showed anything at that time. He is still taking lactulose(for the liver) nad also some herbs for his liver and digestion. I have started to give him three tablespoons of pumpkin three times a day and it seems to be helping his bowel movements. The vet says it could take a long time to detoxify and get it out of his system. So……….still not sure what actually cause the seizures and poisoned my dogs, but either way I am looking at either toys made in China , or a shampoo made in China. Bottom line for me is NO CHINA. I am also making their food right now. Rice and boiled chicken. Easy to digest. I think once they are better I am going to add some carrots, barley, spinach and celery and make my own dog food. I used to do it years ago witha Rottie that I had who was very sick for the first four years of his life and then died of cancer. This way I know exactly what my dogs are getting, and if it don’t hurt me, it won’t hurt them. I have also checked withthe vet and as far a bathing goes, I will use baby shampoo or dishsoap from now on.

  49. Theresa, thanks for the update – sounds as if you are making good progress.

  50. My 4 year old yellow Lab has had at least 2 seizures that I know of and both times she had them she had a soft, cloth squeaker toy from China in her mouth. She’s a Retreiver and when they gets a new toy she keeps it in her mouth all day long. She’s usually very motherly with them treating them like puppies and licking them etc. When we got the last batch of toys at Christmas I noticed the toys smelled very srongly of the plastic packaging they came in. It was a few days later that she experienced a seizure with the toy in her mouth. My wife and I usually buy a toy or two when we shop at Walmart, buy no more of that. I’m through using these toys and will pay the extra money to buy toys of reputable quality.

  51. Bob, thanks for your comment and sorry to hear about your Lab; hopefully you’ve managed to get her seizures under control?

  52. I just lost my almost 9 year old golden retriever to cancer. One day he just acted very sick and wouldn’t eat and we felt a huge mass on his side that was NOT there a few days ago. It was literally bulging out his side. We rushed him to the vet and he had a high fever and blood tests showed he was anemic and she though he might have cancer. An x-ray showed the huge tumor on his side so we opted for surgery. I got the horrible call an hour later saying he was full of cancer and it had engolfed his kidney and was growing into the muscle tissue and there was nothing we could do but put him down. This was Thursday. It’s like someone took my child from me. I am so heartbroken. The vet told me she had never seen anything like it before how it was growing inside of him. Just now I was thinking about his diet and he was on a good safe dog food but almost every night he got a Hartz “chewie” stick. I never even though about it and has been getting these almost daily for the last few years. I just went in the pantry and looked and when I saw “Made In China” I was heartbroken wondering if I just killed my baby. I will never ever buy treats or toys or anything outside of the US if I get another dog. I’m just disgusted by this and heartbroken to think it was maybe my fault.

  53. Heidi, I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. It does take a long time to get over the loss – it’s not much consolation now, but 9 years is a good time to have had together (although it’s never long enough).

  54. Hi Heidi

    I am deeply sorry for your loss. I can totally relate to you. It is just as if you have lost your child. In December of 2006 I lost my Rottie to cancer. He WAS still just a babe. Only just four. Just a year and I miss him deeply and think of him everyday. People keep telling me that I need to let him go, but that seems to be a bit of a problem for me. He is alive in my heart forever.
    We have an awesome vet and did everything we could, but it just wasn’t enough. Don’t feel as you are to blame, I know it is difficult as I also have those same feelings about three of my dogs. It may take a little of your time, but I would like to share a story with you.

    In October of 2006 I was taking my Rottie for a walk when two loose dogs approached and circled us. The one dog instantly started to growl and crouch low to the ground as if we were prey. Then in an instant he went for my dog’s throat. The three of them began to battle and I was knocked to the ground and screaming “off” at the other dog’s. The owner(a teenage kid) came out and called the dogs off. I called the SPCA and went home. About a week or so later I noticed a lump on my boy’s throat. At first the vet thought that it was a infection from a small punture wound from the fight. He was on meds four times and would get a little better and then get worse again. We knew tht his sister had cancer so we tested him. It was there. He had a treatment and went into remission, but it didn’t last for long and the cancer was back. My vet is holistic, so instead of hospitalization, I care for my animals at home myself. It was a very long few months. I was worried that the cancer was going to beat the infection and take him, it seems I may have been right. We were waiting to hear from a specialist in the states who does chemo on dogs, but due to the holidays, it was just a little too late for him. I felt for the longest time that if he wouldn’t have gotten into a fight that day he would still be here. If you have looked back at the stories on the site you would know my story for this year, but if you didn’t, I beleive that the two dogs that I have now were either poisoned by a toy from china, or a hartz brand flea shampoo and spray for your home. Again I am feeling like a fool., like it’s my fault. I just about lost them both, and they both are not well still. The large dog has diarrhea all the time, and the puppy can’t poop.

    The worst thing of all is that I used that same shampoo and flea spray in the house when I had my Rottie and the toy that my two dogs destroyed and my have ingested parts of was my Rottie’s favorite toy. Now that has me wondering if I may have contributed even more than I thought. My Rottie always had a weak immune system. I know wonder if all of these other things maybe contributed to his cancer.

    My hubby tells me I can’t think that way, and he is right, I had know knowledge or control of what I was bringing into my home for my dogs, but I do now, and I am being very careful with absolutely everything I purchase for my boys. Since they have been sick I have had them on a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice. I think I will continue to even make my own food for my own piece of mind in the future, and good old natural toys like sticks will do. I used to spoil my dogs with all kinds of toys, now I spoil them with more love!!!!!! They have nothing that they can ingest. Allof the toys and blankets are gone and they are left with abed from Costco that is filled with cedar. I just pray that they have not been damaged permanently from my stupidity. It has been three months now and we just can’t seem to get them on the right track. I have even had feelings such as if these two don’t make it that maybe I was not meant to have dogs. My hubby says it is no fault of ours, and nothing that we have done wrong, but it just feels like I’m not having the greatest luck. I lost my other Rottie to cancer as well a year before the baby. The last two years or so have been very hard on my heart, and I totally understand what you are going through. I have a disability(fibromyalgia) When we got the four year old he was three months old and I could only spend about four or five hours a day out of bed. That good old boy taught me to live again. He showed me that I could live again and that there was so many things that I could do that I had given up on. He was a handful and had some agression issues due to lack of socialization as he was often covered in hot spots around the neck so bad that we could not put on a collar and go out. We did alot of in depth one on one training and just before he passed we were able to go for a walk for an hour and he would see another dog and behave like a perfect gentleman. I owe so much to my trainer who helped me and my dog, because of her my dog and I were able to enjoy our walks in the last six months of his life. He passed at home in my arms, and I just pray that I was able to give him comfort like he always gave me. After he passed I was so devastated. I was so hurt that I told my hubby I didn’t want to have anymore dogs. In the weeks to follow I got really depressed. I would get up in the morning and go back to bed as I just didn’t know what to do with myself. Then I started thinking. I am one of those people who beleives that everything in life happens for a reason, but I just could’t figureout why this would have to happen. I started thinking that maybe I had been through all I had with my dog so that would have the tools to help another, so I started looking on line at the shelter dogs and found a Rottie cross that was very fearful, which is how my dog had been. I felt that I might be able to help this dog, so I went and met him and brought him home. It was probably one of the best things I ever did. It has been a year and he is really coming around, but just as with my other Rottie, I know I never would have made it throught the last year without him. He is not the same, but I really feel like we were supposed to be together and help each other, and that is exactly what has happened. He is a great dog….I’m sure sent straight from heaven!!!
    My husband bought me a locket for Christmas this year. It has a blue topaz in it for the month of December when my four year old was born, and a photo of him inside. It is also engraved “In Loving Memory of Chell-o” “December 2002-January 2006”. I wear it every day and feel like he is even closer to my heart now. He is a dog I will never forget, I owe him my life…my health….I will love him forever. He taught me so much about life and love and so much more!! Don’t get me wrong, no other dog could ever take his place, but my heart has room for more, and my heart actually needed more. My boys are everything to me, and one helped me heal from the loss of another, just as that one helped me heal from my own personal loss.
    I doubt reading this has made you feel any better. Beleive me, I really do understand what you are going through. It is a really hard time and not everyone feels the same way about animals, but they really are a member of the family. Just know that I do understand, and if you want to talk, I am here. I found it difficult, because not everyone understands the grief you are feeling, and people that do understand are limited in numbers. I found my breeder(who lost my boys sister a month before I lost mine)and my vet and trainer to be the most understanding…….go figure. But talk to people and let it out. The pain probalby will never really go away, but it does get alittle easier with time, and you might not want to think about it right now, but keep your heart open.
    Theresa

  55. Hello to everyone.

    On January 29th, 2007 I lost my soul dog Lucky to cardiac hemangiosarcoma (a cancerous tumor in her heart ). She fought for three months but the cancer had spread to her lungs and ultimately was what forced my best friend and I to decide to put her down. It was awful. It’s still awful. However every year, on the anniversary of her death, I go to a beautiful place she had never been and sprinkle some of her ashes. I also have asked friends to sprinkle her ashes in foreign places for me. She has been sprinkled in the ocean near Brisbane Australia, in Denver Colorado, San Diego California at Dog Beach near Del Mar, in Ludlow Vermont at a waterfall, in Boston at the Harbor near the aquarium, at the very tip of cape cod in PTown, in Walden Pond… just because dogs arent allowed there (stick it to the man!) and in Western Mass out in the woods in a little place called Hadley. She left me on the first day of the Chinese New Year… Year of the Dog. Her ashes came back to me on Valentines Day and some photos I had professionally taken of her a day before she passed… they arrived on my birthday a few weeks later.

    Her diagnosis taught me to look deeper into the whys and hows of living with and caring for our pets. I had often followed a more holistic path in my own life but hadn’t thought about it with my pets. Now it seems so obvious. I vowed that if I rescued another dog… it would be a holistically raised dog. I asked questions and delved deeper. Knowledge is a like a floodgate though…. you can drown in it easily and get swept away. I have been swept away and now find myself with a new career in holistic canine health and about to launch a eco and holistically minded pet supply company. Unfortunately I had to lose Lucky to get this knowledge but perhaps she sacrificed herself so that the world would get the knowledge I have learned.

    Good luck out there everyone….

    Michele

    P.s. To the owners of the dogs with diarrhea … I would be really interested to hear what you all are feeding your dogs. Regular food and treats. I may have some suggestions.

  56. theresa says:

    Hi Michelle

    Kind of funny…..I gave my dogs herbs first, and then I started to use them. My dog had suffered from diarrrhea for months after his seizure. He is finally starting to get better. His diet is boiled chicken and oatmeal. He was on rice, but doesn’t tolerate it well. He is on a herb called “quiet digestion” and I find more than anything the acupunture treatments once every three weeks help. I have a holistic vet. It’s been a slow journey, but he seems to be finally coming aound.

  57. poornima says:

    i buy my zoe pressed rawhides from only natural pet on the internet – anyone know about this company?

  58. Back in December 2008, I purchased Christmas dog toys from Wal mart, I don’t typically shop there, but was buying holiday stuff for the exterior of my home. I spotted some toys I thought my two Miniature Pinchers would enjoy. My 13 year old male min pin, began acting strange his coordination was off, he had diahrea, getting stuck between furniture and eventually had a seizure(s), his gait was off, he did not have an appetite. I took my dog Bud to Urgent Care, they ran tests and they had asked me about toxins and at the time I said, “no, he isn’t around any toxins” (my dog is an indoor dog). So, they didn’t do any tests for toxins, but they did other tests and all his vitals came back normal. The Urgent Care doctor checked for neurological disorders and he didn’t pass one visual test. After her quick non-determined analysis for his condition she urged us to put Bud down indicating he most likely had a brain tumor. We took Bud home with us and about 4 hours later he had his first seizure in front of me and I called his regular vets office, they too urged me to put Bud down indicating he must have a brain tumor (again, we never had a MRI or Cat Scan to prove), but unaware of not having done extra research these doctors convinced us that Bud was about to pass away and encouraged us to euthanize him and after watching him walk in circles, confussed, and falling we opted to put him down that morning on the recommendations of two doctors. It has been about 7 weeks since my dog Bud was put to sleep and it has been so incredibly painful to have experienced, but more importantly the loss of life of my most cherished pet. Tonight, I was once again trying to reel in what happened to Bud and it dawned on me to jump on-line to find out about any dog toys from Wal-mart that might have been a problem. Yes, Bud had licked and chewed these toys made in China and I can recall he played with these toys for about a week and things started happening, but I didn’t make the connection until tonight, that it is possible that Bud had toxins in his system due to these damn made in China dog toys. I have the toys and I am going to find out if there is any lab I can take them to for testing (I live in Southern California). I am devastated that his symptoms could have been confused with brain tumor. Even asking a second doctor, she too urged us to put Bud down in fear he would die a horrible ending. Thank you everyone for the information about this. I don’t buy too many toys for my dogs because they prefer my socks. My other dog Daisy, nothing happened to her because she doesn’t play with toys like Bud and only Bud was effected. It is such a deep tragedy that these toys even find their way into our retail stores in the U.S., very disturbing!

  59. I know that this is an old post, but we have been so appalled by the lack of USA made dog toys that we are trying to do something about it.

    Our company was started since our own darling pomeranian became sick from chicken jerky from China.

    Now dog toys are becoming a source of illness and we are offering safe dog toys made in the USA at great prices

    Please check our website for safe treats and dog toys. We are truly committed to saving the innocent lives of America’s dogs.

  60. after reading marthas comment, 14 feb. i have gone through a traumatic experience with my dog jak age 10. after numerous blood tests. scans . x rays, bone marrow. tests. his blood count
    declined rapidly. he had no lumps inside him. his thyroid was clear.
    he was given antibiotics. the vet tried everything. and he wanted to do
    a blood transfusion but that might save him. so said to the vet. i could not put jak my best friend through anymore he was my soulmate not just a dog. so i was heart broken to sit in the vets mourning room with jak on my knee and watch. choking back the tears as he went to rest for good, having said all this. TOXINS were never mentioned by the vet, the main reason iam saying this every week i use to buy a toy from a well known supermarket and i never even gave it one thought until i have visited this web site could have the toys have been the cause of it
    jak use to lick them and chew them some of the toy use to come out in his motions, HIS THERE ANYWHERE I CAN GET THESE TOYS TESTED FOR TOXINS. sadly it wont bring jak but it could prevent other pet owners going through what iam still going through, grieving still graham

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  1. […] poisons and dogs toys So one of the forums that I am on pointed me to this article.   It’s about how many dog toys are made in China and how many of them contain toxic […]

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