ARGOS have apologised to a pet owner who accused them of selling a “dangerous” dog toy after her puppy almost swallowed elastic bands found inside the product.
Argos are now investigating the issue with their manufacturer, Petface.
Amber Goddard from Medway, Kent says her 18-month-old Cocker Spaniel Tilly was left “coughing and heaving” after getting hold of the small bands inside their £11.99 toy.
Pictures show the construction of the Petface Farmyard Fun Animal horse toy which uses a tube of foam wrapped in plastic and secured with elastic bands.
The picture also shows where Tilly and Amber’s other dog, a Springer Spaniel named Toby, six, had managed to bite through the plastic.
Amber, 26, had given the toy to Tilly and Toby to play with on Christmas Day.
Luckily the student midwife was watching her pets play when she noticed they had got hold of plastic from inside the toy.
She was forced to wrench the bands from Tilly’s mouth, who was left “cowering” before eventually being sick.
A furious Amber took to social media to warn other dog-owners.
She posted the photo with the caption: “Anyone with dogs, do not buy these toys from Argos.
“Can’t believe this plastic with elastic bands was used to stuff the horse toy at the top of the picture!
“Luckily we grabbed it off Toby before he ate any.”
Amber immediately contacted customer service, who initially tried to blame her for not heeding warnings found on the packaging.
However, Amber insists there were no warnings on the packaging.
Speaking today, she said: “We chucked the packaging away before giving it to the dogs.
“And ‘surprisingly’ they’re out of stock now, otherwise we would have bought another to prove it didn’t say anything on it.
“Thankfully, I was watching them when I realised that Toby had a foam tube wrapped in plastic and elastic bands in his mouth.
“I noticed my Cocker Spaniel puppy was coughing and heaving. I managed to prise her mouth open and remove the elastic band from her mouth.
“However, this caused her to become really distressed and began cowering whilst vomiting in the corner of the room.
“I feel shocked at how Argos have disregarded my concerns regarding the safety of their products for pets.
“It has left me feeling anxious when buying future toys for my dogs and feel disheartened.
“I dread to think the detrimental outcome if I had not been fast acting when realising about the dangerous toy.
Argos said they have apologised to Amber.
An Argos spokesman said: “We have apologised to Amber and are investigating her experience with the manufacturer.”
Yet, Amber says: “The only response I have received from Argos is the messages from customer service – where they didn’t even allow me a reply as they left the group chat after leaving me waiting.
“Each ‘apology’ from Argos was quickly followed by an excuse, causing their apologies to come across as insincere. ”
Petface have stood by the composition of their toys.
A Petface spokesman said: “Without having any samples or reference images from Amber to review, it is a little difficult to give a concise response, but it is very possible that the elastic band in question is used as part of the squeaker construction which is the noise making device contained inside some of our dog toys.
“This specific type of squeaker is required for the toy to achieve its distinctive sound.
“We would also add that this type of squeaker is widely used throughout the pet industry and you will see a similar construction used in many other pet toys.
“Our products carry the appropriate warnings which instruct the consumer that they should supervise their pet whilst the pet toy is being used, we correctly advise them that the toy is not indestructible and should be regularly checked for wear and tear and chew damage.
“We warn that the product may contain small parts which could represent a choking hazard. We also warn that the product is not suitable for children.
“As with any pet toy, the responsibility of determining the suitability of the toy for the pet lies with the owner.
“At the risk of stating the obvious LGP ltd take product and pet safety very seriously.
“Many of us here have pets so are fully aware of how important and precious they are to their owners.”