Recently, I took my dog, Layla, to the vet for her regular check up but had to ask about her left front leg. There’s nothing wrong with it. She just licks it, almost compulsively. It’s a relatively new thing so I thought maybe she had a skin condition.
Nope. Not a thing wrong with her or her paw and my vet confirmed what I suspected might be the problem: boredom.
Yes, pets get bored just like the rest of us. They just don’t have the ability to whine and say, “Mom, I’m sooooooooooooo bored.”
Boredom is a real thing and when I sat in on a call with an expert veterinarian about keeping my pets healthy, it was one of the topics of discussion.
First of all, our pets don’t need that much from us. Food, water, attention, love. And it really only takes about 20 dedicated minutes a day to keep your pets happy. The other tip to keeping them happy is to surprise them.
If you’re like me, you have dog and cat toys scattered throughout the house. That’s a bad thing and not just because it makes your house messy. While it’s fun for your pets to choose which toys they like, it’s recommended that you only keep about five toys out at a time. Each day, swap out those five with different toys and watch your pets get excited as if they’re seeing them for the first time!
Want to know what the hottest toys are right now? I have many to show you (and tell you which ones stood the test of time and the test of Layla!).
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Toys for Dogs
My dogs Roscoe and Layla love plush toys. And they love plush toys that are small enough to fit in their mouth. And plush toys that squeak and squeak and squeak. In fact, Layla will practically go INSANE the day she gets a new plush toy. Her goal: seek and destroy.
She loves to fish out the squeaker, literally destroy the squeaker (both things she can do with hours or even minutes of receiving a new toy), and continue to dismantle the toy limb by limb over the next few months. Let’s see how these goDog® toys fared since the all have Chew Guard Technology to stand up to heavy duty chewers).
I love that it comes in two sizes so my small dogs can enjoy it. But the verdict? Squeaker silenced but not removed and all limbs still visible!
Apparently, Layla has it in for dragons because this one did do as well either. I think she liked the shape a little better. While the Dragon Flats are good for tugging, the Dragon Grunters are perfect for throwing and fetching indoors. The verdict? Squeaker removed and destroyed very quickly. And only one limb is missing!
I have to admit that I have a soft spot for chameleons so I’m pretty happy that this plush is still fully intact (with the exception of the string loop at the top). The verdict? A little dirty (man, what do dogs put in their mouths) but it still squeaks and is fully intact!
This one might look a little familiar to you because we’ve reviewed a Hear Doggy! toy before. It’s a squeaky toy that only dogs can hear! The sound is ultrasonic so that dogs like it and humans can’t hear it! For whatever reason, this one didn’t make Layla go nuts. So the verdict? Everything is still intact! Maybe it simply got lost in her toy basket.
Now, at this point, you might be thinking that I shouldn’t bother with the plush toys if Layla likes to chew so much. Roscoe actually does too but Layla is a big of a hog when it comes to new toys. So we were excited to try something from the new line of RhinoPlay toys. They are extremely durable for even the toughest chewers.
We opted for the Vexo Jr. (I love that it comes in large and small sizes) and I expected them to go to town. Instead, both of my dogs turned their noses up at this toy and it sits virtually untouched. Just goes to show that every dog is different!
Also from their Retrieval line is this gloBone that serves two purposes: it’s a bone for chewing and a ball for bouncing! Unfortunately, we couldn’t figure out the best way to play with this one so in the end, the dogs saw it as a bone with a hard-to-reach, but deliciously chewable center.
Toys for Cats
The great thing about cats is that they don’t need much to play. They find joy in hunting everyday objects (like the fly that made it in or the rubber band you left on the floor). But since my cats have quarantined themselves to the unfinished basement (to avoid the dogs), I feel like I need to go out of my way for human contact and stimulation!
Unfortunately, my cats prove the idea that felines are finicky. Let me show you how finicky.
While you can’t tell it from this picture, this is actually a round play area filled with ribbon and catnip. It crinkles! It has burlap for clawing! It’s a perfect little hideaway for any adorable cat like this one:
One problem: that’s not my cat. And neither of my cats wanted anything to do with this even when I placed it in the exact spot where they lay every day.
This is another one that’s hard to see in the picture. It’s basically a dream mat for cats. It’s got a soft, plushy section for lounging, a burlap section for kneading, and a cute little hideaway section for playing. And there’s room for hypernip (a pure & potent certified organic catnip). Basically, your cat is supposed to look like this:
Yeah, that’s not my cat either. I’ve never seen either of my cats anywhere near the mat BUT…
I always lay it in a place that I think will be perfect. And when I go down to the basement, it’s in a crumpled ball on the other side of the room. So I suspect someone is having fun with it. My bet is on Beamer.
This is a battery powered toy that works best on hard surfaces. It vibrates around on bristles with unpredictable movements to stimulate your kitty’s interest. I got Beamer to look at it. And he looked at it like he might go after it… if he felt like it. But apparently, he doesn’t feel like it. The dogs, however, thought it was kind of scary.
Look, if I were a cat and could only pick one toy, this would be it. It’s another battery power toy that randomly twirls and spins with lots of delicious strips hanging out of the top. Beamer did attack it a few times and the dogs gave it a weird look. I’m convinced I can eventually get Beamer to sign up for this one. It mesmerizes me!
Pet Stuff for YOU
I had a chance to check out a few other products that aren’t directly for your pets but might help make pet life easier.
Yes, it’s a dog bowl (or cat bowl, depending on the size you choose). But I am in love with these bowls! They are lightweight stainless steel bowls with a ceramic-like interior that’s bacteria resistant and doesn’t retain odors. I have the Lilac for Layla and Chartreuse for Roscoe. And the best part? They are dishwasher safe.
Whether you’re traveling to the vet or traveling across the country, a pet carrier is always recommended for safety. This carrier glides easily, can be carried with a shoulder strap or pulled, and has a seatbelt strap. And if your pet is a frequent flier, it’s good to know that SHERPA is the only line of carriers that is backed by the Guaranteed On-Board® promise.
Did you find something new you want to try? Were you hoping to see more of my pets? Did you want to see some of these products in action? You got it. Here’s a quick rundown of everything I just told you!
All products shown here were sent as complimentary samples for review. All opinions are my own.