What Is The Best Toy For Your Pet?

LAST UPDATED 7 November 2023

This article is written by Pet Circle veterinarian, Dr Carla Paszkowski BVSc (Hons)

Play is hugely beneficial for dogs and cats on both a psychological and physical level. Not only does playtime keep their mind stimulated and happy, but it helps to keep them occupied and away from other objects (such as your shoes!). Play can also increase your pet's fitness, and is an important form of exercise.

With so many pet toys available, it can be hard to know which one is best to give to your furry friend. For those who aren't sure what toy to buy for their pet, we've compiled a list of typecast sample dogs and cats. Simply choose which animal profile is most like your pet, and check out our recommendation!

Bella: The Teething Puppy

Puppies like Bella just love to chew, chew, and chew a bit more! With new adult teeth coming through, you can hardly blame them. Unfortunately, sometimes a shoe looks just as good as a chew toy. Chewing is a natural and healthy instinct and instead of punishing your pup for it, try to redirect them onto something that we want them to chew!

Our Vets Recommend: Rubber chew toys

Strong rubber chew toys are great for chewing on, as they are harder to destroy, fairly soft so won't cause injury or break puppy teeth, and will provide hours of chewing fun. Brands that make excellent chew toys for puppies include KONG, Nylabone, All For Paws and Rufus and Coco.

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Leo: The Hyperactive Kitten

Kittens like Leo have an abundance of energy, and will play with anything. They are ever-learning and curious little mischief-makers. Piece of string? Awesome. Plastic bag? Super exciting! Electrical cords? Fun maze!

To keep kittens like Leo safe and occupied, it's important to provide a range of toys. Just like children, they will find joy in new toys, so keep them busy with a fresh new toy every so often.

Our Vets Recommend: Chase Toys

Help them expend that everlasting energy with things they can chase, such as balls, teaser toys, or even an interactive toy such as a laser pointer. With hyperactive kittens, it really is true that the more toys, the merrier!

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Oscar: The Large Breed Dog Who Destroys Everything

Oscar is one of those dogs with whom toys do not last long. He destroys every toy his owners lovingly buy for him, and really needs something tough and durable to keep him occupied.

What we recommend:Toys Made For Durability

A number of toy brands make extra-tough toys for determined pooches. KONG Extreme Range, West Paw and Aussie Dog are designed to be extra tough for destructive dogs. For some great soft toys that will last, Tuffy makes a durable fabric range of toys, and even has a 'Tuffy' scale to grade how tough a toy is.

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Specially designed by our vets with your dog or cat in mind, The Curious Box contains a selection of premium quality enrichment toys and treats, to keep your pet mentally and physically stimulated. Excellent value for money, The Curious Box is the perfect gift for birthdays, Christmas or just to spoil your furry family member.

Why not keep the fun coming with a Curious Box Subscription? Conveniently delivered straight to your door and with a new theme every 6 weeks, your pet will receive a regular and delightful surprise. Simply select Auto Delivery when you place your order and choose the frequency that suits you and your pet.

Simba: The Cat Who Needs To Work On His 'Figure'

Overweight cats like Simba are all too common in today's world, what with easy access to high quality nutrition, humans tendency to overfeed, and desexing being so common (desexing tends to slow your cat's metabolism). While chubby cats might be adorable, they are in danger of developing some seriously grim health issues and weight loss is absolutely vital.

Playing with toys is an extremely effective form of exercise for cats. Overweight cats are usually less keen on being active, so it's important to do everything you can to encourage them to get off the couch and move their pudgy butt.

What we recommend: Puzzle Feeders and Interactive Toys

Puzzle Feeders are designed to feed your cat slowly and only after they have put in some effort.

Interactive toys are great to get your cat active. Balls or fetch toys are great, but it nothing gets them moving quite like a teaser toy, ball circuit, or an automated laser pointer.

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Buddy: The Working Breed Who Needs Maximum Exercise

Buddy, like most working breed dogs, needs a whole lot of exercise. He's got tonnes of energy to burn and loves to keep busy and play.

What we recommend: Fetch toys

Fetch toys are great for dogs who need to burn some energy. Try a ball launcher to extend your throwing distance and get the maximum exercise for your dog. Fetching isn't all about balls though - why not try a frisbee-type flyer or rope toy to keep things varied?

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Luna: The Cat Who's Home Alone Indoors A Lot

Cats like Luna are kept mostly indoors and are often home alone while their owner is out for the day. Luna needs toys that keeps her entertained and occupied, and ensures her time indoors alone is stimulating and enjoyable.

What we recommend: Interactive toys and scratchers

Interactive toys are great as they stimulate your cat to play when no-one else is around. Catit makes a great range of interactive toys, with excellent ball-in-circuit toys. The range from Frolicat and Cheerble is also full of self-moving or electronic toys that provide entertainment for cats home alone.

Cat scratcher toys are a must for indoor cats, so they don't get bored and scratch your furniture. Most cat furniture comes equipped with scratching surfaces, or you can buy small scratchers made from carpet, wood, or cardboard.

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Molly: The Dog Who Needs To Lose Some Pudge

Molly is a dog who needs to shed some of that pudgy chub. Overweight dogs are in danger of developing some seriously grim health issues and weight loss is absolutely vital. Unfortunately, many overweight dogs aren't overly playful, especially if they are in their senior stage of life. It's all well and good to buy chase or fetch toys for your dog, but if they are too lazy to chase it, it's of no benefit.

What we recommend: Walking Accessories.

Yes, a bit of huffing and puffing is the best option for helping your chubby pup lose weight - especially if they don't like playing fetch. To get you motivated, it can help to buy some swish new walking accessories, such as a new colourful harness (the new donut harness is perfect for a dog who loves their food a little too much!).

For those who like to walk their dog at night, there are a great range of light-up and glow in the dark walking products.

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Mia: The Older Cat Who Doesn't Play Much Anymore

Like Mia, all cats will become less playful as they age. However, sometimes a cat will develop a strong preference for the type of toy they want to play with. For example, a cat that used to love all toys might only get excited in their old age by toys with feathers, or really high-interaction play toys.

What we recommend: Interactive Toys

Interactive toys that have an independent moving component encourage your cat to play. Catit and Frolicat both have a great range of interactive toys with moving parts. Laser pointers are great, as are toys that encourage a cats natural hunting instinct.

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Toby: The Dog With The Stinky Breath

Toby has tartar on teeth and is starting to get gingivitis, leading to a nasty case of dog breath! Like Toby, most dogs will experience some degree of dental disease as they age. It is a vicious circle - the worse your dog's dentition, the less they want to chew on beneficial dental treats and toys. The more we can encourage our dogs to chew, the better, as this helps keep their teeth clean.

What we recommend: Dental Toys

Dental toys are designed to encourage chewing. Many are scented or contain a palatable taste to keep your dog focused on cleaning their teeth by chewing. The Hartz Chew n Clean Bone is bacon scented, and the Sporn Marrow Bone contains a tasty jerky flavour down the centre.

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Further Reading

Budget Better Tips For Pet Owners

Pet First Aid Tips

How To Calm an Anxious Pet

Real Cost of Supermarket Food

Best Sensitive Stomach Food For Dogs and Cats

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