Holidays are stressful enough without trying to figure out the best toy to get your pet. Let us help you narrow down the search of the perfect Christmas gift by taking a look down below at our recommendation on toys to get, and toys to avoid.
Avoid body part toys: Bones and other forms of animal body part toys not only form a choking hazard once they are chewed small, but also risk giving your pet salmonella and/or diarrhea.
Avoid hard toys: anything that you can not flex or bend with your hands is a potential danger to your dog’s teeth. Instead give them a softer, bendable toy such as the Kong brand that will not pose as great a threat to your dog’s dental health.
Love tennis balls? Throwing a ball in the yard is great fun that a lot of dogs love. A tennis ball may not be the best toy for your dog. Upon doing an oral exam at your dog’s yearly check-up we can usually tell which dogs play with tennis balls. This is because those dogs typically have a distinct wear on their incisors form chewing on the ball. Tennis balls also do not hold up well to chewing and will often break apart very quickly. There are dog specific balls that are soft enough to bend and flex with your hands but tough enough to last a while in your house. If you are going to still give your dog a tennis ball, we suggest you monitor and remove the ball when it breaks.
Give your dog the appropriate size and style of toys. Anything too small is a potential choking or swallowing hazard. Too large and your dog most likely will not use it. If your dog is a big chewer than avoid plush toys with stuffing and small parts like eyes, ears, or tails and stick with super chewer toys that will not be as easily destroyed.
Monitor your pet when given anything. Just because the toy is labeled as chew proof does not mean that its true. If your dog was to swallow a piece of a toy it puts him/her at risk for a dangerous intestinal blockage.
Cats love toys just as much as dogs do. A good laser toy or feather wand to chase is enough to satisfy that drive to hunt. With that being said, we have had cats swallow the string from the wand toy so be sure to put it away when you are not around.
Cats love jingle balls and stuffed toys too. Got Cat nip? Whether in a spray bottle or dried leaves, cat nip is a fun additive to most cat toys that really grabs their attention.
Scratching is an essential habit for a cat. It helps to sharpen their claws and mark their scent. Try getting your cat a brand-new scratching post for Christmas. They come in all shapes and materials (my cats love cardboard) so give a couple a try and see your cat enjoying her/his new present.
Cats also love to use height to their advantage. Try getting you cat a new kitty condo or tree and watch them run up and down creating a safe space for them to nap.
Whatever the toy, your pet won’t care. The best gift could be just sitting by the fire on Christmas morn.
Please feel free to contact us, your local vet clinic in West Greenwich, RI!