We love our pets, and they love us. We want them to live long, happy lives, and that includes a fulfilling playtime, whether it’s when we’re home with them or away from the house. This type of pet care is just as important as regular vet visits and ensuring proper dietary needs, as playtime helps keep their bodies and joints active while stimulating the brain. We’ll help you choose the right toy for your pet. After all, your pet depends on you. We’re here to help.
Evaluate Your Pet’s Needs
Pet toys may not seem too important at first glance, but they are one of the most significant health-related pet care items your pet will come into contact with on a daily basis. First, think about the type of pet you have. Do you have a cat or kitten? Dog or puppy? Would small dog toys or larger toys make more sense for your dog? What about toys for cats?
Determine the Best Toy Types
Think about what your pet likes. If your dog likes to chew, maybe chewable toys for dogs make sense. Cats often like to hunt and chase things. What pet toys would satisfy their needs and wants? Types of toys include interactive toys like rope and fetch toys that are best paired with human friends. Chew toys encourage chewing a toy rather than household belongings, and dental chew toys are good for oral health. Comfort toys, like plushies, offer your pet the comfort of a toy friend but are not safe if your pet is a heavy chewer or tends to tear toys apart.
When thinking about the best toys for your pet, it’s also important to think about toy safety. Make sure that the toy isn’t too big — or too small — for your pet. For example, a small ball for a big dog could be a choking hazard, and rawhide for any pet can become lodged in the throat and block airways or can create an intestinal blockage resulting in a costly surgery. Similarly, be mindful of giving a string toy to a cat, as ribbons and strings can be fatal if accidentally ingested.
Shopping online is incredibly convenient, and online retail stores like Chewy make it easy to search for toys your pet might like. Brick and mortar retail stores like PetSmart, Pet Supermarket and Petco also offer convenient online shopping. Online pet toys and other goods are usually categorized first by pet, then size of pet, and then by type of toy, allowing you to find something specific that a particular type of pet will love. Reviews on certain pet toys may be available to read before making a purchase. Online browsing options, such as viewing related toys that similar pet owners have purchased, also gives a good window into what your pet may love based on what other pets love. Keep in mind, though, that while this 24-hour accessibility is a comfortable way for pet owners to shop, it doesn’t guarantee that your pet will love what you purchase. For the best way to determine the pet toys your pet will love, read on to the next section.
Let Your Pet Choose
Many physical pet stores and humane societies with retail areas now offer pet owners the ability to bring cats and dogs into the store to experience the shopping trip firsthand. This unique experience has a huge advantage over shopping online as pet owners are able to introduce a toy or other goods to their pet before purchase. For example, dog owners can determine which kind of chew toy or stuffed animal their pup likes before bringing the toy home. The same goes for other types of toys as well. Give it a try! You’ll both be glad you did.
When considering your next pet toy purchase, consider your pet’s wants and needs, and take a look online or bring your pet with you to the pet store. They’ll be happy you’re taking the time to give them the best pet care possible, and it’ll show during playtime and beyond. Keep their brains and bodies active, and you’ll both enjoy a lifetime of love together.
Here are some additional links for more tips on safe toys for pets:
Humane Society of the United States – HSUS
The Bark Magazine – My Dog is My CoPilot