1. An interactive cat toy to captivate your usually bored pet and quickly replace the bin full of other playthings you've bought Alexander Hameowlton over the years...and that he now won't even look at.
Promising review: "My 2-year-old playful and energetic Maine coon is obsessed with this toy. He will chase it nonstop and begs for us to take it out of the cabinet. I’m so happy we found something to burn off some energy aside from climbing the TV and tormenting our senior cat. He’s very strong, so this toy needed replacing after a couple months of hard play. I have no complaints. I’m just happy to have found something he loves." —Kelsey Heroux
Get it from Amazon for $2.95.
2. A Wobble Wag Giggle ball with an internal noisemaker and six pockets because it'll engage your pet's natural curiosity and have them rolling, fetching, and shaking it until they're panting.
Promising review: "I’ve got a high energy, high intelligence, super-demanding goldendoodle puppy, and I couldn’t get any work done (or just have a moment to myself) before I got this. Is it annoying? Yes. Is it loud and obnoxious? You betcha. Would I buy another if it broke? In a heartbeat! He loves it and so do I. I also feel better leaving him at home when I work if he’s got this to play with, rather than just sitting bored. It's a little smaller than a soccer ball, so he wrestles and bats it across the floor for hours, giving me some much-needed me time. It rolls great on carpet, tile, linoleum, and grass. My guy works off so much energy with this; he’ll pick it up, drop it off the couch, chase it through the living room, fight with it in the kitchen, roll it out the door, and go wild on it outside. It’s beyond fantastic! Easy to wipe clean, and hard/rounded so that he doesn’t actually chew it, just attack it." —amy rivera
Get it from Amazon for $11.99.
3. A pack of matatabi chew sticks if you're tired of your cat clawing at the couch legs and chewing through cables. These sticks — matatabi is a plant native to Japan and a catnip alternative (great for kitties who show no interest in catnip!) — will provide an outlet for their destructive energy that isn't something valuable, like your very expensive leather shoes. Plus, the stick format helps keep their teeth clean.
Meowy Janes is a wonderfully named small business based in New Egypt, New Jersey. It specializes in catnip and catnip alternatives.
Promising review: "I have two young Siamese mix cats that chew wires, shoes, wooden spoons. These chew sticks are perfect for them. They sniff the sticks, rub on them, and then start chewing. My two cats that are over 10 years old just rub on them but don't enjoy chewing them. If you have a very active cat that does destructive chewing, these are a great substitute." —JEM4612
Get them from Amazon for $9.97.
4. A hide-and-seek toy so your fur baby can put their brainpower to use rooting through the plush tree trunk to hunt the soft squirrels inside it.
Promising review: "I have the kind of high-energy dog that needs constant stimulation, and he gets bored with toys real quick! Not this one, though. Freddie loves his little hedgehog log puzzle like nothing else. All I have to do is pick it up and he starts flipping out — literally jumping and turning backflips — in his excitement to play with it. It's super durable, too. He's been doing his best to chew and pull on the log, with no discernible effect. The only modification I'd ask for is to add some kind of zipper or other fastener around the top of the log where you put the toys in. Pretty quick, Freddie figured out he could use the leaf on top to pull the lid free and have an easy go at it." —Phillip T. Brettschneider
Get it from Amazon for $12.99+ (available in four sizes).
5. A mounted brush that'll satisfy your cat's desire for endless cheek scratches and help prevent mats. Just mount it to a corner with the included adhesive strips and watch as your beloved babies leave you for the warm embrace of this gray-and-white piece of plastic.
Promising review: "None of my cats like to play with toys and it was driving me nuts! They have so much energy but would get bored with any toy within days. I tried rotating them and interactive toys, anything and everything for hours and at different times. There is nothing that has kept my cats busy like these grooming tools! I have literally never seen any of them sit and mess with something for more than a few minutes, but my cats will rub on this for like 20 minutes at a time. 100% worth the money!" —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $3.74.
6. A hair-removing glove for curbing your dog's shedding as well as satisfying his endless desire for some rubbies. It's great if your dog or cat goes running at the sight of a brush.
My colleague AnaMaria Glavan swears by this thing. In her own words:
"The glove is super comfortable and using it couldn’t be more foolproof: just put it on and run your hands through your pet’s fur. That’s it! The silicone grooves pick up so much fur with ease. Like, my dog looks close to hairless. HOW is he shedding so much?!?! After a few runs, I found that I would have to remove fur from the glove before continuing (you can pick up the fur with your other hand or run the glove under some water — either works) but it’s no biggie. The silicone actually makes it really easy to keep this clean. We got Rockie when he was 5 and he’d been riddled with skin issues and allergies, so I was pretty nervous to use anything that could potentially aggravate his conditions. However! Not only does this *not* bother his skin, but he…loves this. A lot. He starts snoring after exactly two run-throughs on his back. Also, his coat looks SO shiny after each use! TL;DR: this is one of those inexpensive add-ons that any pet owner should have on hand."
Get it from Amazon for $6.79.
7. A Chuckit! ball launcher to help you fling tennis balls farther than you could by hand, meaning your dog gets more of a workout with each throw. Plus you don't have to touch slobbery balls. (...That's what she said...?)
Promising review: "I have a young golden retriever who would retrieve balls and frisbees all day long if my arm could take it. Now I can throw the ball a lot farther and for more throws, so he gets more exercise. Love that I no longer need to bend over to pick up the ball or have to touch a slimy, sandy, filthy ball! It's quite intuitive to use and within about three throws you'll have it down perfectly. You can also use regular tennis balls with it." —Pupspicacious
Get it from Amazon for $7.02.
8. A glow-in-the-dark ball because playtime doesn't have to end when the sun goes down. It's compatible with tennis ball launchers, and reviewers say it's surprisingly durable.
Promising review: "I initially ordered these because my dog loves to play fetch, especially to get her energy out, but by the time I get home from work it is dark outside. I bought these hoping that we could still play fetch in the dark. Sure enough it was the answer I was hoping for! They are very bright and can be seen in the dark. In order for them to be brightly illuminated and glowing, you have to hold them up to a light for a minute or so, but totally worth it. My dog just likes to just chew on them as well. She is an avid chewer, and the ball has not been damaged yet, and she has been playing with them for over a month. Highly recommend!" —Bruce Hathaway
Get it from Amazon for $6.64.
9. An adorable and basically tear-resistant stuffed duck if your furry destroyer usually shreds his toys in approximately 10 seconds. This lil' yellow duck doesn't look like it, but it's built to last and will provide plenty of exhausting entertainment.
Promising review: "Our 6-month-old lab puppy loves her Duckworth duck, carrying it around with her throughout the day, and even play fighting with it when she needs to expend some energy rather rambunctiously. So far, it has received quite a bit of active roughhouse play and is holding up well." —Michael
Get it from Amazon for $4.79+ (available in four styles).
Check out my colleague's Multipet yellow duck toy review for more deets and some adorable photos of her pup and his quacker.
10. A cat tree house so your kitties can have their own hangout space away from their annoying dog brothers. The platform is textured and can withstand your cat's climbing, jumping, relaxing, and scratching.
Promising review: "At first, our cat wouldn't climb onto it, even with coaxing her with treats and catnip. We think it might have had a smell or something about it from the container. But now, it's her FAVORITE part of the house; she's on it all the time! It was pretty easy to assemble and is a really cool cat tree. We didn't want a 'carpet' tree, and the extra foliage fits nicely in our house!" —The Queen of Anneland
Get it from Amazon for $118+ (available in two sizes and two colors).
11. An arched self-groomer brush that'll catch your cat's loose fur before it gets all over your carpet. Just set it down in the living room and watch as your beloved babies leave you for its warm embrace.
Promising review: "My cat likes this a lot! He is timid and was afraid of it at first, but I put some of the catnip on it and a few of his favorite treats to entice him and show it was a good thing. I also rubbed my hands along the bristles and scratched the carpet on the base with my fingers a few times to catch his attention and show him what to do. Now he can be found relaxing on the base, rubbing his face and chin on the bristles, and going under the arch to brush his back and tail at any given time throughout the day. He has had some minor flaking from dry skin, but being able to groom himself using this product even when I'm not home has helped." —Jamie K
Get it from Amazon for $18.99.
12. A nail file board for pups who hate getting their nails trimmed. This is like an emery board for your dog and is so much more fun for the both of y'all than trying to clip their nails or shave them with a Dremel.
Scratchpad for Dogs is a small biz based in Atlanta. Jen Fleming, the store's owner, came up with the idea after adopting a shelter dog named Ripley who absolutely hated having his nails trimmed.
Promising review: "Love this scratch pad! We adopted our dog almost a year ago and he's been terrified of clippers and grinders since day one. We've never been able to maintain his nails due to his super reactive anxiety around nail care. That's all changed since we got the Scratchpad a few weeks ago! He took to it right away and his nails have shown significant improvement in just a few sessions!" —Kira Armajani
13. An elevated dog bed to keep your pupperino cool when they're hanging out with you in the backyard. The mesh allows air to circulate so your pup doesn't overheat from underneath.
Promising review: "I purchased two, one for each of my dogs, several months ago. The cots have held up nicely throughout the spring and summer. I like to do gardening, so I let the dogs run around for a little bit, then send them to their bed (aka: these cots). It provides a good place to stay and follow commands. I can quickly look over to see that they are in place. The cots are also easy to move around, as I have five acres and frequently need to move them for shade or to keep an eye on them as I change my gardening location. My dog trainer also uses these cots. I have a chocolate Lab and a yellow Lab, each weighing between 60–70 pounds." —Cindy
Get it from Wayfair for $29.09 (available in two sizes and three colors).
14. A challenging activity mat because it requires your pet's focus and undivided attention. It's not uncommon for pets who are not getting enough mental stimulation to become destructive and disruptive. With this, you can keep your doggos entertained and engaged, especially if you hide treats and kibble in it.
Dognmat is a small business that makes the cutest snuffle mats and pooch accessories.
Promising review: "My lil' dog absolutely LOVES her snuffle mat. She was flipping, shaking, foraging, pawing it to get every treat. I had to help her get to some of the treats in some hiding places because I put the treats too deep in some places she couldn't get her nose to get them. I'll be ordering another one because another dog I take care of LOVES it too! Exceptional quality, vibrant colors, fun and mentally stimulating for my dog. Excellent customer service. Thank you so much!" —chris Gray
15. A mesh harness if your curious cat clamors for her afternoon walk. It has three layers of security so even the wiggliest cat will have trouble squirming out of it.
Promising review: "I love it! I hate dog collars because I feel they choke my dog out. This harness is amazing. I have a 13.5-pound Pomeranian who has SO MUCH ENERGY and I haven’t had any issues with this so far. I love that it has both the Velcro patch and the clip for better security!" —J
Get it from Amazon for $11+ (available in a sizes XXXS–XL and 29 colors).
16. A ~wheelie~ practical leash extender for your bike so the whole family can stay active together.
Promising review: "I absolutely love this product. We recently adopted a new dog who has endless energy. Walks and jogs weren't enough to keep her exercised. She absolutely loves this product. I can take her on bike rides much faster and longer than I could ever run. Even when she pulls or gets distracted it's not enough to pull my bike off course. Since my dog is on the shorter side (24 pounds) I just bought a short bungee cord with double carabiner ends to attach it to the pole and to her. I keep it short enough that she's not going to get in front of the tires. She stays an appropriate distance away on her own. In the very beginning she was scared of the bike and being that close to it (when we were stationary and I was hooking it up to the bike), but once we got moving she settled in. Now she's over-the-top excited when she sees me in bike clothes or sees my bike helmet. I feel sorry for her when I go on a bike ride by myself. I wound up buying a second bike attachment for my husband's bike, too." —DMA
Get it from Amazon for $79.99.
17. A cat bracelet toy that'll become your kitty's new obsession and convince them to give you back your hair ties. If your feline loves to play with with milk jug rings, this is the toy for them.
Promising review: "When I opened the package I had serious doubts that these were worth the money. Now? Well, I do not fully comprehend the magic involved in creating these ring...things...but they were an instant hit, to the point that I feel certain I will be stocking these babies for the rest of my cat's life. They're not flat; they're a 'wiggly' shape with little nubs sticking up at various intervals. My cat loves flinging them about and carrying them around in her mouth. They're a fairly sturdy plastic, not like the flexible plastic rings off of milk jugs and whatnot. Upside: They're hefty enough that they can easily be tossed a considerable distance, which is a huge plus if you have a fetch-loving kitty. Downside: Stepping on one while stumbling sleepily through the dark will make you pray for death. Both for yourself and others." —