One of my favourite jobs at Vet-n-Pet DIRECT is unpacking and looking at all the awesome toys that come in to the warehouse. There are so many toys available for your pets, some things that don’t even look like pet toys and some that you would never think they would like, but they do.
Toys play a very significant role in keeping your pet happy and healthy. Most importantly they provide stimulation which is important for enriching your pets development both mentally and physically. Toys provide boredom relief and help ease some of the mischievous and destructive behaviour like digging, chewing or scratching, which often happens when owners aren’t home. Toys are a great tool to encourage bonding between a owner and a pet and also for socialisation with other pets, as they make play time and interaction fun. Toys are a great way for pets to get exercise and they can also help comfort your pet when they are lonely or going to sleep.
There are a lot of different toys available for your pets and they have each been designed with a different purpose in mind. So when choosing a toy for your four-legged friend think about what it is they need in a toy. There are a few different purposes for toys including distraction and boredom relief, active and interactive toys and comfort toys.
Distraction Toys or Boredom Relief Toys are great for keeping your pet entertained and hopefully out of mischief. They are particularly good for when you are not home as they help distract them and lower separation anxiety. I think the best kind of distraction toys are toys with treats. Treat Toys are great as they have to roll them around and play with them for treats to fall out and reward them and when they finally get a treat it gives them a sense of accomplishment. My dog Lilly isn’t really into toys these days but she loves Kong Toys which we stuff with little treats and it keeps her happy while we go out and. Any toys that your pet plays with for a long time will help keep your pet from getting into too much mischief and destroying your house, yard or furniture. Chew toys and rubber toys are great for dogs that like to chew things, like shoes. Chew toys can also be good for your pet’s oral health especially ones like Good Breathe Bones. The Tuffy Toy range is good for dogs that are hard on toys and like to chew, tug and throw their toys around, and they come in a variety of great designs. Another fantastic toy is the Aussie Dog Home Alone Toy, this is great for dogs to play tug-a-war by themselves. There are also a number of cat toys available including scratching posts are a great way to hopefully save you furniture from being scratched as they may use the post instead. My mum’s cats love little balls with feathers like their Cataction Feather Ball with Bell. Cats also like to play with laser toys that flash light/lasers around for them to pounce on, like the FroliCat Laser Toys.
A great way to interact and bond with your pet is through play using toys. Active and interactive toys provide great stimulation for your pet and are a good opportunity for you to play with them, exercise with them and also train them. Fetch toys and tug toys create a great game and exercise your pet and they can play with you or another animal. There are a lot of suitable toys on the market but some popular ones that I like include the Kong Wubba range, Starmark Easy Glider, and the cute Stretchin’ and Fetchin’ range. There are also some great interactive toys for cats available. My mum’s cats favourite toy is the Kat Tickler/Teaser Cat Toy.
Pets are just like people in that sometimes they need something familiar or comforting and this is when Comfort Toys are great. These are the soft and cuddly toys made for comforting your pet. They might cuddle up to when sleeping or when lonely or use them to keep them warm. You can get soft toys, with or without stuffing and some with squeakers.
Also, don’t forget your birds as they love and desperately need toys to play with and keep them entertained. There are many bird toys available for stimulation, to chew on and to play with. Popular choices include Bird Kabobs for them chew on, the Peekaboo Perch Tent for them to hide in and the Rings of Fortune is a great treat toy.
It is also a good idea to supply your pet with a variety or toys that you can interchange or rotate for them. This is especially important for boredom relief as when your pet has been playing with them non-stop for months they can sometimes lose the sense or challenge and excitement. Changing the toys around will keep them entertained for longer and provide new stimulation.
When picking a toy for your pet safety must be foremost in your mind so make sure it is safe and suitable for your pet. Check your toys regularly to make sure nothing has come loose or becoming a choking or injury hazard for your pet. Make sure that you choose toys that are a suitable size for them. If they are too small they can be a choking hazard and if they are too big they can be too heavy for your pet or too hard for them to play with.
Overall toys are a very important part of your pets happiness and well being and should not be overlooked. Not only will your pet have fun playing with them you will also have fun watching them play or joining in with them.
Until next time,