Play time is highly recommended for any pet’s mental and physical health. Most pets get a little less destructive with their toys as they age, but some pets never learn to take care of their toys. Many senior pets still want to play, but as they age, may need you to entice them to play. It’s also true that some elderly pets want to play far beyond their physical condition. If your elderly pet has a medical condition, like arthritis, it may take them more time to recover from any injuries they may incur when they play.
Choosing the best possible toys for your elderly pet can be challenging but if you are aware of your pet’s limitations and preferences, it should not be too daunting to find an appropriate toy for your senior pet.
For senior dogs, remember that their teeth may not be as strong as they once were so certain chew toys may no longer be appropriate for an older pet. If you are unsure, have your vet evaluate your pet’s teeth to ensure that the chew toys you are considering are still good. Tug toys are typically good choices for dogs are are plush toys with squeakers, providing your dog doesn’t try to remove the squeaker.
Many older dogs would rather just interact with you than with a toy. Games that stimulate the mind but that don’t ask much of the body are good games to play with your elderly pet. Short walks or car rides may provide the stimulation your dog needs.
Older cats have similar limitations as older dogs. Teeth become more fragile and if they have developed an illness like arthritis, they may not be as active as they once were. It is best to keep toys soft, yet stimulating and just like dogs, cats enjoy interacting with their pet parents.
If you are unsure what type of play toys are appropriate for elderly pets, check out our guides to the best dog and cat toys. .