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Consider a pet’s personality when shopping for new toys

Character traits can help owners pick the right toys for their dogs or cats.

Michelle Martin
for Premier Pet Supply
Here’s how to choose the right toys for your pet.

What pet owner hasn’t experienced the joy of watching their pet play with a new toy — only to see it discarded and left in the corner a few days later?

Dogs and cats enjoy the fun and stimulation they get from playing with new toys. But, just like some kids who prefer certain toys over others, not every toy appeals to every pet.

That’s why it’s important to consider your pet’s personality when choosing a new toy. Does your pet like to hunt? Does it have a lot of energy, or is it laid-back? These personality traits and others can help you pick the right toy that your pet will enjoy for years to come.

Need some ideas? Here are the best toys for every pet’s personality type.

High-energy pets

High-energy dogs and cats are always looking for something to do. One of the best ways to keep them stimulated is by choosing toys that they can share with you.

For dogs, the game of fetch comes naturally. A tennis ball or other soft rubber ball works well. Or, to give your dog more exercise, look for balls that can go a long range: Those that shoot out of a toy cannon or blaster are good options.

Frisbees are another great choice for high-energy dogs — especially for those that like to jump. And for dogs that enjoy being in the water, look for balls that will float in a pool or lake.

Likewise, high-energy cats can benefit from games of chase. Use a laser dot to keep it running and pouncing. A stick that has feathers and bells on the end is another excellent pick to keep your high-energy cat busy.

Hunters

Hone your pet’s hunting skills with toys they can chase.

Many dogs and cats are natural hunters. Whether your dog follows scents in the backyard or your indoor cat hunts for prey, there are toys that can bring out these animal instincts.

Dogs that are hunters, such as beagles and foxhounds, enjoy stuffed fuzzy toys, especially those that resemble a bird or other prey. Hunters particularly like the hunt that the toy provides — that’s why you’ll often see a dog tearing it apart to get to the squeaker. Just be sure to keep an eye on your dog, and take the squeaker away after the hunter gets it out.

Cats are also natural hunters, and fuzzy mouse toys are one way to keep them entertained. Bird toys — many of which look very real — are another favorite. And a Whack-a-Mouse game — similar to the old Whac-A-Mole arcade game — will let them pounce for hours.

Anxiety-ridden pets

Chew toys are a great tool for quelling your pet’s anxious tendencies.

Whether your pet was a stray or there’s just something in its personality that brings on anxiety, certain toys for dogs and cats can help them calm down.

Chew toys are great for dogs that are feeling anxious, and they’re especially helpful for dogs that have a hard time dealing with their owners not being home. There are many types of chew toys: Some of them are even beef- or chicken-flavored. For another tasty option, choose bully sticks or natural chews, such as deer antlers.

For cats that have anxiety, look for puzzle toys that keep their minds off their owners’ absences. A treat maze lets your cat work for its treat — and can help ease any anxiety about being left home alone.

Laid-back pets

Like people, some pets are just more laid-back than others. And while your dog or cat might prefer to curl up on the couch and take a long nap, there are toys that can make the most of its time awake.

Life-size fuzzy toys give laid-back pets a chance to curl up next to a fuzzy friend and, in some cases, feel more relaxed than they already are.

For dogs, Kongs and other treat dispensers can help the day go by more quickly. Stuff the Kong with cheese or peanut butter. The Kong Company also sells stuffing that you can buy pre-made in stores. Premier Pet Supply has a wide variety of stuffing options and Kongs.

Laid-back cats want to relax too, so opt for a cat tunnel that they can crawl through — and, if they’re feeling really laid-back, where they can also take a nap.

Ask an employee at Premier Pet Supply for other great toys to fit your pet’s personality. To find a store location, visit premierpetsupply.com.

Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA TODAY Network were not involved in the creation of this content.