You may remember that I contacted a few suppliers and manufactures with regards to the dog toys that they make and supply. I’ll put a link to those blog posts here:
I was relieved that I did get some responses because after a couple of days I was starting to think that I might not hear anything. But it is important to remember that these are big companies, with lots of customers and lots of emails to go through.
My first response was from Rosewood Pet Products, a company that you will see in many places, including my own, I love their range of products across most pets. It’s important for me to be clear that I’m not attacking these companies, the purpose of my open letter was to raise the question and I am pleased that they did give me a response:
Email from Rosewood
Thank you for your enquiry. For your pets’ safety, examine the toy from time to time for wear and tear and replace it when appropriate – is referring to replace the toys when necessary.
With regard to - no information about what the product is made from or how it should be disposed of – We don’t believe we legally have to declare what the product is made from or how it should be disposed of for pet toys, unless it contains batteries. However, we are looking in to doing this for future products and packaging.
Recycling symbols etc are put on some customer specific products, as per customer specific requests.
We would advise to check locally regarding recycling of the toy. Generally, a plush toy is polyester and squeaker and a vinyl toy is vinyl and squeaker.
It does seem to me that if more dog owners ask companies about what a product is made from and how it can be recycled, then they may take the intuitive to start providing that information in the first place with out all the effort having to be put in on the part of the us the consumer.
I would just also like to point out that by saying they don’t “believe” that they have to label the toy with what it is made off they are creating a back door, in case of any legal issues. Furthermore “Future products” could be next season, next year or in the next decade!
My other response was from Pet retail giant – Pets at home, which kind of says it all really:
Thank you for getting in touch with us,
In regards to the dog toys, if they are in reasonable condition and you think they can still be used by another pet, i would suggest donating it to a rescue center for pets.
If they are too damaged, I would suggest throwing them in the bin.
If you have any more questions, please let me know.
Again I was pleased to receive a response, this was through customer service, which I had to go through the websites live chat customer service in order to get an email address. I did expect to get a reply but perhaps I was expecting too much to think that Pets at Home would already have some sort of plan in the pipeline, at least to be addressing the issue.
You can be sure that this is not the end of the road and I will continue to ask questions and look for solutions. In the meantime you can help by raising the issue with other dog owners, retailers and manufactures, share this blog or even send your own open letter emails.
Think about the toys you buy, if you find a toy you like but it doesn’t say what its made of, snap a picture and share it on social media, how can we make an informed choice without the information
Tweet the company or share it on instagram. The more people who ask, the harder it will be for them to ignore. Remember, we are only asking for transparency so we can choose.