A too-small toy is too easy to choke on. Before you buy, look for sizing guidelines by weight on packaging. If none are listed, watch your dog's yawn, when his throat is opened wide, and opt for a toy at least 10% larger.
How To Play It Safe: For an ultradurable option with two sizes, we love the nontoxic formulation of West Paw Design's Huck ball ($10 to $14; westpawdesign.com).
There's no government organization that oversees the manufacturing of chew toys. "Big retailers—PetSmart, Walmart, Petco, etc.—set their own standards for filling their shelves," explains Ed Rod, vice president of government affairs for the American Pet Product Association. While each retailer is different, most regulations are strict, often mimicking those for children's toys. If you have questions about a store's policy, ask before you buy.
Brain Games For Kitty
One of the worst hazards for today's indoor cats is a lack of stimulation, says Barbara Sherman, DVM and behavior specialist at North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine. To get your cat's neurons firing, add 5 to 10 minutes, once or twice daily, of these new, high-tech options.
Tablet Toys: Friskies has launched three interactive games available as free apps for iPad or Android tablets. Load them and watch your cat paw at colors, fish, and birds racing across the screen (without damaging your tablet). For more, check out gamesforcats.com.
Laser Swat: Hold the FroliCat Bolt in your hand or place it on a flat surface and watch as your cat swipes, pounces, and chases the exciting laser patterns. This toy will automatically shut off after 15 minutes ($20; frolicat.com).