The relationship between pet owner and pet is one of the most rewarding and wholesome bonds there is in this world. Pets are faithful companions. They’re there for you when you’re lonely, they comfort you when you’re sad, and studies have shown they’re even beneficial for your health.
Pets give their owners so much, so it’s only right that they should be repaid by being treated with the love, respect, and thoughtfulness that they deserve. From how they’re treated day to day, to the process of picking out food, bedding, or toys for pets, pet owners can show their appreciation for their furry friends in a number of different ways.
As with anything in life, when it comes to buying supplies for your pets, a little planning and research can go a long way toward ensuring that you make a good investment and pick items that are perfect for your four-legged friend.
As most people who have a pet will be aware, pets are complex creatures that each have their own personalities and peculiarities, which require a unique set of needs. Today we’re going to be talking about toys, and how to pick the best ones for your pet!
7 Factors to Consider When Choosing Toys for Pets
While at first glance it may seem like an easy task, choosing the right toy for your pet can actually be quite tricky. There are so many different types of products out there, trying to pick just one can be a little overwhelming.
You want the best for your pet, but you also don’t want to end up spending a whole lot of money on something your pet doesn’t want or need.
To make the process a little more simple, we’re breaking down the top seven most important factors for a pet owner to consider when choosing toys for pets.
1. What Kind of Pet Have You Got?
This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s a good place to start. Naturally, if you’ve got a hamster, you’re not going to get it a dog toy, and if you’ve got a tortoise, it’s not going to have much use for a birdcage swing.
That said, there are some toys that can work for multiple different types of pets. For example, both cats and dogs may enjoy balls and ropes. You might even find that your pet takes a liking to a toy that is specifically designed for a completely different species. Through trial and error, you can find out what will work best for them.
2. What Age Is Your pet?
This is a very big consideration to factor in when choosing your pet toy. A dog owner might be tempted to just walk into the dog section of the pet store and pick out the first toy they see, but just because it’s made for a dog, that doesn’t mean your dog will like it.
The same goes for any pet. If you’ve got a new arrival that’s boisterous and full of energy, it can be a good idea to pick out something that will help to tire them out. If your pet is on the older side, there are actually a number of popular toy brands that make toys especially for pets that are past their prime and may have slightly different requirements.
3. What Purpose Do You Want the Toy to serve?
Toys can do more than just entertain your pet. They can also serve important purposes and even help with issues your pet might have. For example, if you have a teething puppy or your cat has bad dental hygiene, there are toys that target these specific issues.
Another big reason people may buy a specialist pet toy is if their pet is overweight. Although diet is important, for cats, dogs hamsters, and guinea pigs, toys can play just as big a part in getting them down to a healthy size.
4. What’s Your Pet Toy Budget?
Of course, you always want to give your pet the very best of everything, but there are times when your budget is tight, and buying toys for pets just isn’t that high on your list of priorities. Don’t worry.
If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to remember a few things. First, sometimes the most simple toys are best. You might not have to break the bank to get your pet something that they’ll absolutely love. Second, if your pet toy budget is tight, think about longevity. Investing in a well-made toy will mean that you probably won’t have to replace it for years to come.
5. Does Your Pet Have Any Special Requirements?
When you’re buying anything for your pet, any special needs they may have should always be at the forefront of your mind. Do you have a dog with only three legs? Is your cat particularly skittish? Or are you the owner of a particularly esoteric pet, such as a sugar glider?
Know your pet’s needs, and always make sure any toy you choose takes into account whatever special requirements your particular pet may have.
6. What’s Your Pet’s Personality?
At the end of the day, one of the most important things to keep in mind is what you think your pet would like. After all, who knows your pet better than you? Think about what has worked well before. What’s their favorite thing to do? Or what kind of toy they might be interested in, based on past behaviors?
If you know your pet well, chances are that nine times out of ten you’ll be able to guess what kind of toy might be right for them.
7. Will This Toy Be Safe for Your Pet?
One of the number one reasons to do thorough research before purchasing a pet toy is to make sure that whatever you purchase will be safe for your pet. Just as some toys are suitable for multiple different animals, there are some toys that certain animals absolutely should not use.
A large dog could easily choke on a toy designed for a smaller animal, and a cat could suffer fatal consequences if it accidentally ingested a piece of string. There are countless such cautionary tales, which is why proper research is vital to ensure total pet toy safety.
Have Fun Shopping for Your Pet
Hopefully, these hints will be somewhat helpful next time you’re shopping for your little friend. You can even apply these principles across the board, and keep them in mind when you’re shopping for just about any type of pet supply, not just toys for pets. With just a little research and forethought, you’ll find you’re able to buy the perfect product for your pet every time!