Since you were a child, you’ve been dreaming of having a pet. Whenever you see cats and dogs, you always tell yourself, “Aww, I can’t handle the cuteness!” You feel like hugging all of them every time. You love their soft fur, how it tickles your skin and gives you warmth. You love those cute puppy eyes staring at you as if begging you to love him.
You can’t help giggling at the sweet kitty’s affection as it brushes its head against your leg. And remember that funny face the cat makes every time it gets curious at every strange thing it sees or hears? Indeed, they’re so adorable, you just can’t stop looking at them. They take all the stress away and lift up anyone’s mood.
Pets make us happy. Well, taking care of them makes us happy no matter how challenging it can be. This is why we want them in our homes. Now that you finally have one, you surely want to be the best pet parent you can be. You have so much joy and love for your fur baby—enough to motivate you to take care of it to the best that you can. Read some basic tips from this article so you’ll have a better idea on how to do it.
It’s actually a little intimidating though if you’re a newbie pet parent. Just when you thought all your doggie or feline cutie needs are food, water, comfortable shelter, vaccines and occasional visits to the vet’s office and of course, your tender love and care, you didn’t realize that pets need toys too just like kids do!
Why Dogs and Cats Need Toys
As mentioned, just like kids, dogs and cats need toys they can play with. It keeps them active as it stimulates them physically and mentally. Of course, animals can’t have the same mental capabilities that humans have. But they can be smart with constant training. In fact, they enjoy spending quality time with their owners by learning new tricks, playing and exploring their environment. And oh, don’t be afraid to talk to them. They love it.
Dogs and cats naturally have playful moods. Although cats may seem a bit aloof and introverted, they are also very affectionate and they wish to play with you. They also want to satisfy their curiosity and improve their hunting skills. Playing is one way they are able to achieve these things.
On the other hand, dog toys are very effective training tools. Yes, it’s easy to remember those “fetch, doggie” games that pet parents do with their fur baby. Aside from this, dogs need to spend their energy on something else when you’re not around or when you leave them for a moment on their own.
They need toys they can play with. Otherwise, they might turn to destructive activities such as biting and chewing things around the house to expend their energy. You know, things like your shoes are their prime target. But worse, they could also end up destroying important wires and cables of your gadgets and appliances when left unsupervised!
Choosing What Your Fur Babies Can Play With
Being a new pet parent comes with a few challenges like weighing in which toys should you give your pet. To help you decide, you need to check the options available based on these qualities:
- Of course, you would want to choose something that your pet would enjoy. After all, it’s the main purpose why you buy one.
- Always check the durability of the product so that you can get the best quality out of what you paid for. There’s one mistake that some pet owners do—giving the previously destroyed item as a toy. For example, your dog got bored yesterday, found your shoe and chewed on it until it’s torn.
To your dismay, you’ve told Fido you hated what he did. But later, you thought, “Hmm, this shoe is of no use for me now. I’ll just give it to him so he has something he could be busy with.” The next day though, you found him biting another shoe! What went wrong? You may have thought that strategy will work but you actually impressed a wrong message to Fido—that it’s okay to chew on shoes because it’s actually fun and you gave him permission to do so. What you did is like consenting a misbehavior.
- What’s your budget for this? It’s easier to search if you clearly define your budget.
- Safety is an important factor to consider. Don’t buy something that’s too small or has small parts that could be easily detached and become a choking hazard. Some toys are also made with harmful chemicals that could potentially cause health problems. Steer clear from products that contain toxic levels of phthalates or lead. It is also advised to avoid those that contain a strong scent of herbs because animals are sensitive to those.
Now, what are the usual choices for dog and cat toys? There are various kinds you can invest on for your pup and kitty. Cats are less demanding—they’re happy with those yarns and faux furry mouse. But you can also find more game ideas with your cat here: https://pets.webmd.com/cats/cat-toys#1
Meanwhile, dogs needs more exercise. They have high energy levels that they should burn by running, jumping and chasing around the yard. Toys you can play with them are those they can chase and retrieve. Examples are balls and frisbee. When you leave them alone and unsupervised, give them something to chew on such as dental chew toys and kongs.
It’s important to have a variety so that your pet won’t get bored from the same toy they play with every day. No, it doesn’t mean you have to buy too many. You only need several pieces that you can switch up a bit every other day of the week so that your pet would think it’s always new all the time.
Fur parents, the most important thing though is to play with them. They’d love spending time with you. And oh, it’s a great stress-reliever!