Toys are not only cute and fun they play a very significant role in keeping your pet happy and healthy. Toys provide stimulation which is important for enriching your pet’s development both mentally and physically. They reduce boredom and help ease some of the mischievous and destructive behaviour like digging, chewing or scratching. Toys are a great tool to encourage bonding between an owner and a pet and also for socialisation with other pets, as they make playtime 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 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. The following are the different types of toys and their uses and benefits.
Distraction Toys or Boredom Relief Toys are great for keeping your pet entertained and hopefully out of mischief. They are particularly good for when no one is home as they help distract your pet and lower separation anxiety. Treat toys, chew toys and tough toys are great for boredom relief and distraction as they can keep a pet entertained for hours. For cats, scratching posts are a great way to hopefully save you furniture from being scratched as they may use the post instead.
Active and Interactive Toys provide great stimulation for your pet and are a good opportunity for you to play and bond with them as well as exercise with them and also train them. Fetch toys and tug toys create a great game, provide exercise and they can play with you or another animal.
Comfort Toys are the soft and cuddly toys made for comforting your pet when they are nervous, alone or just need something familiar to cuddle up with. Some pets like to cuddle up to something when sleeping or lonely or use them to keep them warm. You can get soft toys, with or without stuffing and with or without squeakers.
It is also a good idea to supply your pet with a variety of 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 of 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. 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. Check your toys regularly to make sure nothing has come loose or may become a choking or injury hazard for your pet.
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.
Toys are a very important part of your pet’s 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.
Click here to view the wide range of toys that vet-n-pet DIRECT have available for dogs, cats, horses, birds and small animals.
Originally published in My Pet Magazine Spring 2016 Issue.
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