Cat & Dog Toys Buying Guide
Cats and Dogs Toys 101
Toys are an important part of your pet’s life. Through play, puppies and kittens discover and develop their instincts, which help them thrive in their new environment. At every stage of your pet's development, toys promote healthy physical exercise and encourage their minds to stay focused and stimulated. Scratching posts for cats and chew toys for dogs are examples of practical toys that help pets work off natural urges that could cause damage to your belongings. Other toys such as cat wands and fetch toys create opportunities for you to spend quality bonding time with your pet. Whether you're trying to encourage solo play or have some interactive fun, there are plenty of toys to choose, and you and your pet will both benefit.
Types of Cat Toys
Catnip & Food Toys
Give your cat a break from boring food bowls by using food toys. These ball-shaped toys dispense treats after being swiped around. Since food toys encourage your cat’s natural instincts to hunt and play with food, some would argue that it’s a more natural feeding method. Encouraging your feline to chase after food promotes an active, healthy lifestyle, which can mean fewer vet bills for you. Of course, over-feeding should be avoided. For a real treat, sprinkle some catnip inside the toy ball for your cat to eat or smell.
Cat Towers & Scratching Posts
Cats have a natural urge to scratch that can leave your carpet, furniture and even walls in tatters. To protect your home, you need to provide your feline with an acceptable place to scratch. Your options range from basic scratching posts to cat trees to elaborate cat towers and cat condos. Cats pull hard when they scratch, so you’ll want to make sure the scratching post is stable, either by securing it to the floor or wall, or getting a structure that’s heavy enough to stay put. Scratching posts help condition your cat’s claws and encourage stretching and exercise. They can also just be a fun place to hang out.
Wand toys are a great way to get your cat moving and exercising. A wand toy generally has a thin handle and a piece of string that dangles and flicks about when you move your hand. The game of capturing the string simulates the natural behavior of hunting and gives your cat the opportunity to put its lightning-fast reflexes into action. Wand toys made of feathers mimic the natural movements of a bird, while a plain string or a small ball attached to the end is similar to a mouse’s body. Easy to use, inexpensive and compact, wand toys are a classic starter toy for your kitten or adult cat.
Plush Cat Toys
Small plush toys such as fuzzy mice with soft, realistic bodies and light tails are perfect for enticing your cat to pounce and chase. They can look really similar to your cat’s prey, encouraging your feline’s natural instincts to come out. Soft plush toys are usually inexpensive and easy to store. Smaller toys easily get lost behind your furniture though, so it’s best to buy multiples.
Types of Dog Toys
Fetch & Retrieve Toys
It’s part of your dog’s DNA to run and retrieve things. Fetch toys strengthen this instinct and promote good physical and mental health, while creating a closer bond between you and your pet. These toys will also get you and your dog outdoors on a beautiful day, and create more opportunities for you to socialize with other dog lovers in your neighbourhood. There's a wide variety of fetch toys to choose from, including dog balls, squeaky toys and far-flying dog Frisbees.
Dog Chew Toys
All dogs love to chew. Puppies use chew toys to ease the pain of teething, while dogs of all ages can appreciate a tasty dog bone. New dog owners should purchase chew toys right away, since a dog with nothing to chew might ravage your favourite pair of shoes or stuffed animal for relief. Consider your dog’s stage of life when shopping for chew toys. Softer vinyl or latex toys are ideal for older dogs with sensitive teeth, while extra-durable rubber toys are great for strong chewers.
Plush Dog Toys
Soft plush toys are an enticing mouth toy for your pup or adult dog. A benefit of using stuffed toys is that they don’t have sharp pieces that may injure the inside of your dog’s mouth. Furnishing your dog’s bed with plush toys can also keep it feeling warm and cozy. When it’s time to play, colourful plush toys are great for a game of fetch or tug of war. Versatile and safe, plush toys are an affordable option for entertaining your furry friend.
Interactive toys stimulate your dog's mind and help develop intelligence, intuition and natural instincts. They can also keep your dog entertained for longer periods of time and with less effort on your part. There are many different types of interactive toys, but the most popular ones are treat-dispensing toys, toys that emit lights or sounds, ball launchers and puzzle toys.
Cat & Dog Toy Buying Tips:
- The best toy for your pet depends on their own needs and preferences: you might need to try out a few before finding the right ones
- Keep a variety of toys in your home so your pet stays interested and engaged with them
- When buying a scratching post, make sure that the material on the post doesn’t resemble your own carpet, or else your cat might not be able to tell the difference between the two
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Cat & Dog Toy Safety Tips:
- Your pet has strong teeth, jaws and claws that can rip apart some toys: monitor your pet to make sure that nothing dangerous gets pulled out and possibly swallowed
- Dogs and cats can choke on loose strings and stitching from plush toys: always check before offering these toys to your pet to make sure they’re in good condition
- Discard or exchange any toys that have cracks, tears or other forms of wear
- Do not give your dog or cat small toys or objects (such as paper clips, pins or rubber bands) that can be swallowed
- You might want to wear gloves or mittens when playing with your dog or cat, since they can become quite aggressive during playtime
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.