Last week, we brought you the 20 most-wanted toys of the upcoming holiday season. I’m back today to tell you that we learned something else while walking through all of those holiday toy fairs: the best new toys and gear for dog and cats. Here’s what everyone’s clamoring for. (And while you’re at it, we’ve also got the best Halloween costumes for dogs and a whole slew of the very best in pet products and accessories.)
Do you love when your dog gets all that extra energy out, but absolutely hate when you have to touch all of the slobbery, gross toys? There is now the Tether Tug. This outdoors-only contraption is much like a tether ball for humans, only it’s for dogs. It toy comes with a base that gets driven into the ground and holds up a fiberglass pole. On that fiberglass pole is a rope with a toy attached to it. The dogs go crazy playing tug-of-war with the toy, and the pole just bends and pulls according to their needs. No more touching gross toys. Extra perk: It’s handmade in the USA.
This cool Wooly Snuffle mat helps dogs practice their sniffing and foraging skills. Owners pour dog food or snacks into what ultimately looks like a really shaggy rug, and then dogs sniff around to find their food. This is a great tool for both dogs who eat too quickly and make themselves sick and dogs who like puzzle games and challenges. The rugs are made by rural families in Thailand and are machine washable.
The goDog RhinoPlay dog toys are a series of toys for the aggressive chewers in your life. The origin story begins with a soccer ball the One World Play Project developed that was more durable than regular soccer balls and made from nontoxic foam that was waterproof, easily washable, and would never puncture. These soccer balls didn’t even need to be inflated. Turned out that was actually the perfect recipe for a dog toy. Despite intense chomping from the most aggressive chewers, these toys retain their shape and won’t pop. They come in four shapes: the Beast (looks like a ball), Flip (looks like a hockey puck that flips up at the edges), Vexo (above, looks like a bone) and Cirq (looks like a doughnut with space for hiding treats).
Match your Pendleton blanket to a Pendleton dog bed, which is made from a material reminiscent of soft and heavy fleece. The bed is so comfortable and full of support that the TTPM dog-product reviewers say it might even stop your pup from curling up on your couch or bed.
For the dog who never touches the ground (or goes on long-distance bike rides with parents) there’s the K9 Sport Sack AIR, one of the few doggy backpacks that carries your pup on your back. This is a plus because it creates a natural barrier between your dog and the too friendly people who might come up from behind and surprise pet him. Once in the backpack, the dog’s paws sit on the wearer’s shoulders and it’s absolutely adorable. The backpack also comes with built-in air vents, pockets for water or treats, and a bottom pad for extra comfort. It’s best for dogs under 30 pounds.
This cat snack gadget infuses cat toys with catnip. Place the toys in the center of the box and pour catnip into the compartments along the edges. The nip then infuses the toys through lots of little holes, and your cats will forever be interested in playing with her toys, no matter how old.
Cats love the texture and feathers on the Wuggles Wool ball. It’s made from all-natural, felted wool, which gives off a scent and texture cats just so happen to love (it also kind of looks like this Chinese hacky sack we once wrote about). It comes as just the ball, which cats can play with and paw at on their own or, for something a little more interactive, there’s the teaser wand, which you can bounce up and down to make your cat go crazy.
The Ripple Rug is one of the most versatile cat activity mats. It almost looks like a regular rug, but with more volume and some holes that cats can hide under, crawl through, and then pop their heads and paws out of. This helps them engage with all their natural feline behaviors — like hiding, stalking, and pouncing — in a contained space that you can roll up and put away afterward. It’s made out of recycled materials designed to withstand clawing, climbing, and biting that’s also mold- and stain-resistant. A win-win for you and kitty.
Cats typically drink more water when it’s coming out of a fountain, and the Watering Hole is your cat’s very own personal water fountain. A frog sits above a small basin and, much like a cherub outside of a museum, spouts out water for your cat. It holds 1.7 liters and has a filter to keep liquids clean and refreshed. You can almost even trick yourself into thinking that the frog is a nice glass sculpture.
The Comfy Clamshell is a reversible cat bed with one supersoft plush side and one cooler polyester side. It also has an elastic band that allows the bed to either cinch up into a little hideaway or lie out flat, almost like a play mat. Buy one cat bed, get four cat spaces.
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