Are you tripping over squeaky toys, finding chew bones between the couch cushions, and dodging runaway wind-up mice? You may think there's no possible way your pet plays with all of this stuff. Maybe it's too overwhelming for your furry friend. But is it actually possible for your pet to have too many toys?
Does Your Pet Have Too Many Toys?
In the human world, too much stuff often translates to more stress, lower productivity, chaotic environments, and a looming sense of feeling overwhelmed. But does this same thing apply to pets? Does having too many toys send your dog into a tizzy or stress out your cat?
Well, no. Your pup or feline friend likely pays little attention to how many toys they have. However, even if your pet's toys don't stress them out, their growing mountain of playthings can frustrate you.
You're tired of pet toys scattered everywhere and having to clean and tidy them all. So, it's not surprising if you want to eliminate some of the pet clutter. But how do you know which toys need to go?
Deciding Which Pet Toys Need to Go
First, get rid of toys that show heavy signs of wear and are no longer safe for your dog or cat. These are toys with broken parts, squeakers coming out, or loose pieces. Other things to look for are excessive tears, holes, and shedding fabric or fuzz that could get caught in your pet’s throat. Even if a much-loved toy is your fur baby's favorite, it must go if it's no longer safe.
Next, watch your pet with their toys. You'll likely notice there are several they overlook and a few key ones they gravitate toward. Let this be your guide in choosing which pet belongings need to go so you can maintain a manageable amount.
But after getting rid of the unwanted and worn-out toys, which ones should you keep?
Toys Every Pet Should Have
Choose a variety of toys that not only are fun for your pet but serve specific purposes. For example, some toys offer mental stimulation, others are better for encouraging physical activity, and others provide comfort and security. Providing your pet with a varied assortment of toys helps them have what they need in different situations.
1. Pet Toys for Mental Stimulation
Pets need mental stimulation to stay alert, healthy, and happy. When your pet lacks adequate mental stimulation, it leads to boredom and destructive behavior. Keep your dog or cat mentally sharp and engaged with these toys.
- Rolly Cannoli — Fill this interactive toy with your pet’s favorite soft food or treats, enticing them to lick and work to retrieve them from the toy.
- Catstages Tower of Tracks — Multiple levels of spinning balls on different tracks keep cats interested and eager to play.
2. Toys That Encourage Physical Activity
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 61% of cats and 59% of dogs are overweight. Obesity leads to a poorer quality of life and an array of health issues. Make staying active fun for your pet with these toys that encourage lots of movement.
- Frisco Ball Launcher — This ball launcher lets you toss a ball farther than ever before without wearing out your arm. Now you can play longer with your pal and give them even more distance to cover, encouraging lots of exercise.
- Hexbug Robotic Mouse — This realistic mouse will have your cat chasing and stalking it as it moves, pauses, and makes its way around corners. It comes in various colors and features a chase mode or paw mode, which activates when your cat swats it.
3. Soft Pet Toys
Your pets want to feel safe and secure, just like you do. Soft toys give pets something to cuddle, snuggle, and mimic suckling. These actions provide a sense of comfort and turn the toy into a safe haven, like a toddler's cherished blanket or teddy.
- Loofa Dog — Your dog will love to chase this soft, squeaky toy. But they’ll also love to snuggle up and chew on the soft, fuzzy fabric. It comes in various sizes, so you can choose the one that’s the best match for your pup.
- Purr Pillow — This precious pillow makes a soft, purring noise that eases your cat’s stress and encourages them to snuggle.
4. Toys That Help Clean Pets' Teeth
Proper dental hygiene influences your pet's overall health. Although nothing replaces professional teeth cleanings and checkups by a veterinarian, you can help stay on top of your pet's dental health with toys that help reduce tartar buildup and freshen their breath.
- Nylabone Power Chew — Raised bumps on this irresistible chew help reduce plaque and tartar buildup while satisfying your pup’s need to chew.
- Catstages Dental Banana Toy — This cute banana encourages your cat to chew while the mesh material cleans your pet’s teeth.
5. Toys That Help Ease Stress
Just like humans, pets get anxious. Perhaps your dog gets stressed during bath time, or your cat stresses out during thunderstorms. Toys that provide a focused distraction and help soothe your pet are musts for these tense times.
- Neat-Lik Treat Mat — Licking releases endorphins, which help ease anxious feelings and calm your pet. The Neat-Lik Treat Mat is a great way to encourage your pal to lick and self-soothe. It’s perfect for tense situations like an impending nail trim, fireworks, vet visits, and more. Great for dogs and cats!
- Frisco Double-Wide Cat Scratcher — A classic cat scratcher helps keep your cat out of trouble, maintains healthy claws, and provides a stress outlet for your kitty. The included catnip makes things even more fun, helping your feline friend forget their troubles.
Easy Tips for Taking Care of Your Pet’s Toys
Once you know what toys should be in your pet’s collection, it’s important to take care of them. Knowing the best way to clean and organize your pet’s toys ensures they remain safe for your furry friend.
- Clean hard toys by removing caked-on dirt and debris with a bristle brush. Wash the toy in warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Allow the toy to dry well, especially if any water gets inside the toy.
- Many plush toys are machine-washable, so you can simply wash them according to the manufacturer’s directions. Allow the toys to air-dry completely.
- You can wash rope toys in the top rack of your dishwasher, which not only cleans but also sanitizes.
- Keep your pet’s toys in a basket or similar container that helps contain them in one place but is easy for your pet to access.
- Consider alternating some of your pet’s toys to stretch their lifespan. Put a few out for your pet to access and store the others away. Occasionally, rotate them out to give your pet some “new” things to play. Rotating toys also keeps the things you take care of to a more manageable amount.
Let There Be Toys!
Your pet might not think they have too many toys, but that doesn’t mean you need to give them piles and piles of playthings. Pick and choose a few key items to provide them with a well-rounded assortment. And, of course, the best thing you can give your pet to keep them happy is your love and attention.
For more valuable resources and tips on caring for your faithful furry friend, check out the rest of the Neater Pets blog.