Mentally Stimulating Toys for Pets

As pet professionals, we know your top priority is in your pets mental and physical welfare.  Already, you are being proactive by hiring a professional service to care for them while you are at work, but there are other ways you can keep them entertained (and out of the trash bin).  Either through personal use or the grapevine, here are some of our favorite interactive toys for your pets who need some stimulation (our business has not received any compensation for listing these items):

ZippyPaws Burrow Squeaky Hide and Seek:  All fluff and no bite, this toy is a chew resistant trunk in which you poke adorable squeaking squirrels.  Your dog, attracted by the sounds, must tug them out of their hidey-holes in order to play with them.  Once your pets interest has faded in the individual squirrels, it is time to tuck them back into the trunk to play with again.  After involving your dog in this toy with owner-led-play, you can stuff the squirrels and leave it where your dog will find it while you are away at work, and maybe this time he will ignore the pillows on the couch.

Starmark Everlasting Treat Ball:  A personal favorite of mine as my bulldog loved this toy, this allowed me to leave the apartment and return with no destroyed shoes (miraculous!).  It is a bright blue silicon ball with pressed treat insert disks on either side, which stands up to prolonged gnawing for hours of distraction.  The treat inserts come in several flavors, the liver variety allowed my allergy-prone dog to enjoy this item itch-free.

IQ Treat Ball:  Similar to the Starmark Treat Ball, this is a treat dispensing miracle disguised as a hamster exercise ball.  Load it with your cat or dog’s favorite small treat, seal the ball, and release it into your home.  Prodded along by your cat or dog, this ball will release a treat at various frequencies (but only if it’s moving).  Your food-motivated pet will be distracted trying to empty it before you get home, and you will be reassured knowing they are occupied while you’re away.

Hide and Slide Puzzle:  For the extra-curious pets among you, this food-oriented game is appropriate for cats or dogs.  A flat container with small compartments to hide treats, your pet must slide the compartment door open to get the goodie inside.  This item is especially appropriate for shorter nosed pets, as the toy has raised sliding parts.  

Catit Senses 2.0 Digger for Cats:  Specific to our feline loving friends, this toy is perfect for those with cats who are constantly knocking over (or getting stuck in) drinking glasses.  This toy consists of a series of open-topped containers fixed to a base, with varying heights.  With fully removable containers for easy cleaning, drop some tuna into the bottom of each container and watch your cat go crazy trying to get to the bottom.  Less smelly treats can also be used to great success.  This is also the ultimate revenge for your cat hiding all your socks last night, but in the best way possible.

Mental enrichment can be the most important play you can give your pet, it distracts from both destructive behaviors and minimizes stress if they suffer from separation anxiety.  By encouraging self-soothing behaviors through distraction, you can save yourself the headache of acting out on your couch or kids’ toys.  Speak to your pet professional today about ways to introduce interactive toys into your pets’ daily routine.  

Blog author Lauren Pescarus is an admitted Cat Person who admires all pets from afar.  She lives at home in Romania with her husband, and loves to buy things for the pets she will soon convince her lucky spouse to bring home.   For more information about Lauren’s writing services, follow this LINK.

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