As pet owners, we all love to play with our furry best friends whenever possible, yet sometimes when our availability waivers, some animal toys are required to help keep our pet content and occupied. There are many options to choose from, coming in all shapes and sizes, but there can only be a few gadgets that can truly be considered the cream of the crop. In order to identify which toys are truly the best of the best, multiple factors must be taken into account. These variables include popularity, practicality, durability, affordability, and creativity. Based on this criteria, at the end of each entry, there will be a rough estimate rating ranging from 1-10. So without further ado, here are 5 of the best toys/gadgets to keep your fur baby happy and occupied.
- Squeaky Plush Toys
In the latter part of our list, comes the generic plush dog toy. Nearly every dog goes bananas whenever the first squeak is released from the toy, yet tends to lose interest after a short period of time. These plushies do earn points for their creative designs, as well as being very affordable compared to their competitors, yet to lose some credibility in regards to practicality and durability. Anyone who has ever owned a plush dog toy is aware of the mess that they make, or should I say, the mess that is made… of them. We would like to give it a 7/10.
- Interactive ball launchers
From the outside looking in, an automatic ball launcher seems like the perfect gadget to keep your dog busy for hours at a time, the only issue being the excessive price for the machine itself (ranging from $90-$110 dollars on Amazon.com). Although, if you are willing to spend a little bit more on your furry friend, this may be one of the best options out there. This machine is very durable, creative, and popular, and only loses brownie points because of its affordability and practicality. We would rate it a 7.5/10
- Laser Pointer
Ah, the good ol’ reliable. The laser pointer is one of the most well known and effective pet toys out there. This absolute rockstar of the toy world is a great option in keeping your pet busy for hours on end. Laser pointers can be VERY inexpensive, insanely portable, and perfectly effective, so why is it only 3rd on our list you ask? Well, although everything seems to be perfect with this gadget, the biggest knock on it is practicality. It requires a person to maneuver the laser around in order to keep your pet entertained, which goes against the initial problem erected in the introduction. Because it checks all but one box on our criteria, we shall deem it a 8.9/10 as a measure of keeping your pal entertained.
- Bones/ Artificial Bones
This is as natural as a pastime can get for your furry friend. Large, strong bones provide a consistent chewing and teething tool, preventing plaque buildup, while also providing the dog with nutrients. Dogs who chew on bones are a lot less likely to scratch or bite at other things around the house, because the flavor in the bone is a lot more enticing for them to gnaw on. The only issue with bones, is that sometimes, owners purchase a bone not fit for their dog, rather that be because of size or sturdiness, which may end up harming the dog as a result. Although, as long as the owner looks into what bone will suit their fur baby the best, there should be no issues whatsoever. Authors at American Kennel Club go into more details regarding this in an article titled, “Can Dogs Eat Bones?” (https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/exercise-caution-when-giving-your-dog-a-bone/). Overall, because this is a naturally sourced form of entertainment, our rating system doesn’t really apply here, but if we had to put it somewhere, it would be here at the number 2 spot.
- A durable ball
The original, effective, and most popular pet toy in history. According to an article put together by authors at Pet Age, the ball has been reigning over its competition since the early 1950s/(https://www.petage.com/the-evolution-of-the-pet-toy/). Nothing can top one of the most basic, well known, and inexpensive contraptions ever introduced into the realm of pet owners. There are many websites that sell cheap, “indestructible” dog balls, including Chewy.com. Because of its pure originality and ingenuity, the ball receives, an almost perfect 9.9/10
The only thing holding the ball back from it’s true 10/10 potential, is the fact that oftentimes, your pet will give you the puppy eyes, ball in mouth, in an attempt to distract you from your menial tasks. Remember, no matter what toy you purchase for your pet, nothing can ever surpass the enjoyment they will receive from playing with their owner.