“ Brand: Petstages / Type: Dog Toy „
We have had this for years, someone bought it for Alf when he was a few months old, he has always carried it around in his mouth, he has a habit of nearly always carrying something.
We have always just assumed it was a beanbag style toy because its very thin and has beans inside, however when I just had a search for cost I have just discovered something I did not realised about it! oops!
Under the tummy is a very strongly sealed velcro strip that allows you to open it and inside the part I thought was a bean bag is a little buckwheat sack for heating in the microwave. I can not comment on how well this works because it has never been used but I can confirm in 3 years of owning this Alf has never managed to open the velcro! I actually had to go and check this was the same toy I was that puzzled to discover we had not realised it heated up and I tried the velcro and it was very very stiff to open.
This toy did have a little tail on it but he chewed that off about a year ago, it came off without tearing the toy though, he did eat it which I was not impressed with but it was fairly small. He has also eaten part of one of the ears but all in all its managed 3 years of play without too much wear and tear.
This is one of his more dirty toys as we have never put it through the wash due to the beans but it has always dried out alright when its been left in the rain.
This is a fairly small toy it's only about 7 inches in length, the feet are made of a material that feels like its water proof. The fur is nor overly soft but more a flat fluffy feel. Ours is red with orange spots and there appears to be a blue one with green spots also.
Cost for this little fella appears to start at around £4 online.
All in all this still appears to be one of his comfort toys as he carries it around a lot, I would warn about the tail coming off but it really was tiny but that is the only reason I have dropped a heart. I have to say I find the strength of the velcro very impressive in this toy!
My last concern is if you had a dog that chewed then I would not like to see the state this would make if they got into the buckwheat sack. Once inside the velcro they are just in a small white sack which most dogs would make easy work of it!
Petstages cuddle pal is another of this firms developmental toys for dogs. The cuddle pal is priced at around £4 on www.ebay.co.uk £10 on www.amazon.co.uk mine was around £7 from a local pet shop so prices do vary.
A cute little thing this toy is with it's bright red soft furry body similar to that of standard teddy bear toys, which has big orange spots for decoration. Each of the four feet are a mixture of blues, purples, greens and yellows with alternate colour spots. These feet along with a tiny stripy tail are in a smooth rain coat type material.
The head part is filled with stuffing and quite firm, whilst the body makes a crunchy noise when picked up as it has a separate bag of filling inside neatly covered by a small Velcro seam on the underside of the belly. The Velcro is very sticky and holds in the contents very well and is much more suitable for dogs than say a zip which could be eaten.
So what's inside my cuddle pals belly?
A neat little stitched bag of buckwheat. Buckwheat? I hear you wonder, why buckwheat?
Buckwheat contains no gluten and is the fruit of the buckwheat plant used for making buckwheat flour and noodles with the biggest producers being China. It can also be found in beer too for the purposes of gluten free beverages.
So here's the thing - is it toxic or not?
When I purchased the toy I was a little concerned what would happen if my dog chewed it up and ate the buckwheat. Would this be harmful? The pet shop said no so I bought it. However being cautious I looked on the internet some said it was toxic to dogs! I did some more research and found some quite conflicting statements some saying it is toxic and others saying it is perfectly safe. So in my hour of need I rang my vet. Apparently the buckwheat seed itself is NOT toxic and if eaten will just cause a case of the tummy upset, however the plant IS toxic to dogs. Saying that I don't believe buckwheat plants are widely growing in the wild of the UK if at all as it is a plant found originally in Asia and China, that said it is grown here in the UK for manufacturing purpose.
Petstages obviously feel that it is safe or they would not manufacture it and as they are a reputable company I am quite happy with that.
So at the end of the day I guess it is up to you to decide and do your own research should you feel the need. I feel the toy is safe for my dog and I just make sure that I check the sachet of seeds regularly for any breaks, if this happened I will throw them out, but you still have a cute toy in any case.
So what is so different with this toy from your average dog teddy?
Well the buck wheat has the answer. This little pal can be microwaved for 30 seconds making it gloriously toasty and comforting to a new puppy missing it's mummy or as I have used it as a comforter for my dog when she is in season. She carries it around as somewhat of a surrogate puppy. The idea is very similar to that of your human hand/neck warmers that are placed in the microwave and give relief and comfort; this is apparently similar for the dog. I have to say at first my dog was a little unsure of this heat treated pal and just wandered around it in circles for a while, then slowly she began to push at it with her nose. Maybe she just wondered where it can from as clearly she had not had a pup! Not long after though she was carrying it in her mouth and snuggling up to it on the sofa. It stays warm for about 30-40 minutes which is often enough time to relax my flustered pooch.
The teddy minus the buckwheat sachet can be hand washed and hung out to dry which is great for those of us with mud loving dogs and I have found that even after several washes it has maintained both its bright colour and shape.
As it measure 7 inches by 4 inches it is suitable for pretty much any breed.
Overall, a great bright comfort toy for your new puppy which can last and provide ease to adult dogs.
Information taken from various websites regarding buckwheat including www.wikipedia.org , www.aspca.org , www.petstages.com ,
Review maybe posted on dooyoo and ciao under the same username