Our dogs deserve to play and have fun. But, as pet parents, we are responsible for ensuring they do so safely. Unfortunately, many dog chew toys can be harmful, not only to your pet but also to our planet. Read on to discover why we stay clear of nylon chew toys and some of our favorite natural alternatives.
What is a Nylon Chew Toy?
A nylon dog toy is the term used to describe a hard, generally non-edible plastic toy. Available in all textures, sizes, and chewing strengths, there's something for puppies, small dogs, and large dogs alike. Designed to keep your dog entertained for hours, they're built to be incredibly long-lasting and durable for even the most aggressive chewers.
But what are nylon chew toys really made from? Well, nylon is a silk-like thermoplastic. Nylon is typically made from petroleum that can be melt-processed into fibers, films, or shapes. Nylabones are a typical example of nylon dog chew toys.
The Danger of Nylon Dog Toys
Nylon dog toys are made from hard materials. Unfortunately, chewing hard toys can damage your dog's teeth. Dentists and vets often see fractured, chipped, and broken teeth - all because dogs have been gnawing on rock-hard chew toys.
It gets even more dangerous: Extra hard chew toys, like bones and antlers, can splinter. Again, this can affect your dog's safety. For example, the pointed section can cut your dog's mouth, hurting the tongue and gums. Small pieces can also break off, becoming a choking hazard if your pooch happens to swallow it.
The Effects of Microplastic
Microplastics are tiny plastic fragments that pollute the environment. While they're microscopic in size, the environmental impact is anything but small. They find their way into our food supply, water, and body...and our pets are no exception. Studies on pet food and pet feces found high levels of microplastic. One way that microplastics find their way into your dog's body is by chewing on hard toys. For example, tennis balls or other nylon chew toys can break down in your dog's mouth, causing them to find their way into your dog's body.
In addition to being unsafe for your dog's health, the microplastics found in hard chew toys are also harmful to our planet. Opting for sustainable dog toys from materials like cotton, hemp, or bamboo is better, as these won't break down in your pet's mouth.
In general, we recommend staying away from plastic as much as possible both for you and your pets. Consider stainless food bowls instead of plastic bowls, bulk buying or home-cooking dog food to avoid multi-layer plastic kibble bags, avoid poly-filled pet beds and more. There are many ways to move away from plastic, and no change is too small.
The Best Dog Chew Toys for Your Pet and Our Planet
Your dog deserves a chew toy that it can gnaw on without risking its safety or harming our earth. Check out our favorite sustainable toys for dogs that are safe for both your pet and our planet.
This soft, organic dog bone is made from hemp and 100% organic cotton stuffing and thread. Plus, it's 100% compostable. It's safe for our planet, too, as it contains zero toxic dyes and is entirely squeaker free. Your dog can play the day away in peace with this safe chew toy.
This rope chew toy is made in the USA from sustainable organic cotton farms. It's perfect for a game of tug of war, tossing, fetching, or just flossing. Available in 2 sizes, it's excellent for large breed dogs and smaller dogs too. Its plastic-free construction makes it a healthy choice for your pup and our planet.
If you have an aggressive chewer, then we have the bone for you! Better Bone has come up with a sustainable, plastic-free alternative to plastic-based Nylabones. Their first version tended to fall apart rather easily, but their new Tough Bones are outstanding and very tough and are up to 10% stronger than Nylabones! The coolest part, they are made with only two ingredients: PEFC sustainably forested wood flour and renewable sugarcane oil.
As you can see, it's easy to avoid nylon dog toys and microplastic pollution because there are great alternatives out there that your dog will love.