How to Choose the Right Toys for your Dog

Photo by Josh Sorenson on

When it comes to dogs, almost anything can be a toy. An old shoe, a piece of wood, or a spare glove are often a dog’s favorite chew toy. But buying a toy for your dog can be a different story.

There are several kinds of toys available for dogs. Playing fetch with a stick or ball are a classic favorite. But, there are many other toys to choose from. Tug toys, plush toys, chew toys, interactive toys, and rubber toys that squeak are several kinds to consider.

How do you decide? The first thing to keep in mind while shopping for dog toys is your dog’s size and age. Some toys a especially for puppies, while others are for grown dogs of all different sizes. Read the toy’s label or packaging for this information.

Another thing to think about is if your dog tends to chew or tear apart its toys. Tough dog toys are made to withstand your dogs sharp teeth and will not tear apart as easily.

Some toys, such as tug toys and interactive toys, are fun for both you and your dog. Some interactive toys keep your dog busy by dispensing treats, and some are like puzzles for dogs.

If you’re not sure what kind of toys your dog likes, try several different kinds to see which ones grab your dog’s attention. Chew toys, as well as ball toys, are almost always a good choice.

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How to Choose the Right Toys for Your Cat

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Recently, I’ve done a few blog posts about making cat toys. But, when you’re at the store shopping for cat toys, you often have a very large selection to choose from. How do you know which toys to buy for your cat?

You might notice that there are different kinds of cat toys. There are toy mice, balls, catnip toys, teasers, and interactive toys. If you don’t already know what kind of toy your cat prefers, you might want to try several different kinds to see what your cat responds to most. Take note of what what your cat likes to play with and consider buying the same kind of toy again. Also, make sure to keep an eye out for any toys your cat seems to destroy or tear apart. Be sure not to buy this kind of toy for you cat again.

Each kind of toy is a little different from the other. Balls roll and bounce, teasers, like feathers and ribbons, are fun for a cat to bat around, and interactive toys are fun for both you and your cat. Other toys make noise, and are different textures and sizes. Therefore, some toys can be more appealing to your cat than others.

Don’t forget to buy toys according to your cats age and size. Read the toy’s packaging for the correct information. Some toys are suitable for kittens while others are better for adult cats. Another way to tell is if the toy appears to large or bulky for your cat, or if it is very small in comparison to your cat.

While keeping your cat entertained can be as easy as tossing around a catnip ball, some newer toys are a little more high tech. Some use laser pointers that your cat and chase around the room. Others twirl feathers, and some are even remote controlled.

Don’t be overwhelmed by all of the choices of cat toys. As always, your cat’s favorite toy could be as simple as a spare shoe string or a paper bag.

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DIY Catnip Yarn Balls

Photo by Kathleen Quandt

Balls of yarn have always been toys for cats. Add a little catnip with some glue and a styrofoam ball, and you have an enticing new toy for your cat.

I used 3 inch styrofoam balls and 22 yards of yarn to make the toys, although feel free to use smaller styrofoam balls for smaller cats.

You will be handling the styrofoam balls while they are covered in glue, so you might want to keep paper towels near by.

What you need:

  • styrofoam balls
  • yarn
  • catnip
  • glue
  • paintbrush
  • paper plate or other surface for catnip


  1. Place some catnip in a paper plate.
  2. Coat the styrofoam ball in glue using a paint brush.
  3. Roll the styrofoam ball in the catnip until it is mostly covered.

4. To begin wrapping the styrofoam ball in yarn, hold the end of the yarn against the ball and wrap the yarn around so it holds the first piece in place.

5. Continue to wrap the ball in yarn until it is covered.

6. Tuck the end of the yarn into the yarn wrapped around the ball. Use a dab of glue to keep it in place.

7. You’re done!

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