Many pets (like their owners) need to lose weight. Laser pointers can offer a fun way for pets to exercise and provide both pets and owners amusement as pets scramble to catch the ever-elusive dot. Although a fun toy, laser lights offer safety tips. It’s important for your pet’s safety to abide by the laser pointer’s rules.

Laser pointers sold in the US for pet use (not industrial or commercial laser devices) are generally low enough in wattage to not cause eye damage through accidental exposure to the eye. So if your kitty abruptly turns his head and the beam shines into his eye for a moment, he’ll probably be just fine. 

But just the same, it’s important to avoid shining into pets’ eyes for prolonged periods of time. A dog sitting and staring into the light a while would be more likely to sustain damage than one that looks at the light for a moment. 

Don’t allow children to play with laser lights. It’s very difficult for them to resist looking at the light themselves or shining it into pets’ eyes to see what will happen. Children who ordinarily show good judgment may break the rule when introduced to a fun and possibly dangerous toy.

Laser lights may distract drivers (the beams travel quite far), so don’t shine them through a window into traffic.

Pets can become very fascinated by laser lights, so don’t lead them into dangerous situations. It may seem hilarious to some people that the cat will chase the dot right down the stairs, or into the wall, but think of the pet’s safety first. 

Laser pointers over five milliwats are not legal in the United States. If you buy one over the Internet, don’t get one higher powered than this. 

Let your pet sitter know if you have a laser light so she can use it to give your cat or dog a romp while you’re gone.

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant