In addition to friends and relatives on our holiday gift lists, don’t forget those family members who might have chewed up all of last year’s presents. Our pets! Consumer Reports has advice on toys that will bring a wag to your dog’s tail and make your cat purrty happy.
Sure, your pet can play by himself, but his favorite thing to play with is YOU. For dogs, games like catch or tug-of-war give them exercise and satisfy their social needs. Frisbees and rope pulls are also favorites, and who can resist a brand new ball?
Even an aloof cat might spend time with you if you give him the right dangling toys. And he’ll get some exercise.
When your pets are alone, they can stay occupied with a toy that delivers a treat—balls that contain tasty bits or rubber toys with a little peanut butter inside. But be sure to keep them clean.
For cats, catnip is a classic choice. Kittens and older cats aren’t that interested, but the middle set? Watch out! For kitties, little balls with bells inside are fun.
Both cats and dogs find plush animals comforting. Squeaky insides are a plus. But here are some safety cautions. If your dog is aggressive, don’t give him plush animals. He might swallow the stuffing. As for cats, don’t leave out toys with feathers, strings, ribbons, eyeballs, or bells that he can chew off and swallow. And when toys start to fall apart, toss them and buy your kitty something new.
Consumer Reports says there are also cautions about chew toys. If you have a large dog, avoid small toys and balls. He could swallow them. And whatever toys you give, always monitor your pets to ensure they play safely.
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on ConsumerReports.org.