Pets love to play, and it is really beneficial to them. Toys are a great way to keep them happy and active, and it can even cut down on some problem behaviors! There are all kinds of toys out there. Some are cheap and others really pricey. So what’s good to buy? I’ll give you some ideas on what to look for so you and your pet can enjoy some serious playtime.
- Think about the activities your pet likes. Is your cat a pouncer or a scratcher? Does your dog like to chew, or does he like to chase? If you think about the types of things your pet likes to do, it may narrow the field down a little so that you can get something your pet will really like. Dogs can get frustrated with things like laser pointers because they are never able to actually “catch” the beam (and some have destroyed the wall or floor where their owners pointed the beam), whereas cats might just like pouncing on it. You know your pet best, so trust your instincts.
- Dogs like toys that make them feel like hunters. So they like toys that make noise, can be destroyed, or taste like food. Be sure that anything you get them isn’t toxic if they eat too much of it. Many plush dog toys sold today are made without stuffing and lack beading for eyes and noses, which makes them a lot safer (and less messy) for your dog to play with. Cats on the other hand, like small things they can bat around and chase. They also like things they can explore or hide in.
- Your pets also want to play with you! Many dogs like playing fetch or tug of war with their owners. I have known cats who like to play peek a boo and things that those fishing rod toys with something dangling at the end of a string. Pets love spending time with you, and getting involved in their playtime is the best!
- Something that challenges pets a little (but not to the point where they get frustrated) are great for keeping your pet’s mind engaged in activity or to keep them busy when you are away.
Personally, I like toys that are made from natural materials and free from chemicals and dyes – like rope toys for dogs or sisal balls for cats. I like knowing that the toys I give Sydney are safe.
There are also some things to NOT let your pets play with: rubber bands may be entertaining for cats, but they can be dangerous. Don’t let pets play with string or ribbon unsupervised, either, because you don’t want your pet to eat them. Plastic bags may make appealing sounds for your pets but they cause the same suffocation risk they do with us and are harmful if chewed on or swallowed, so keep your pets away from them.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on toys. Rotating the toys you have will keep your pet interested in them and will bring some excitement back into an old toy.