26 Useful Things To Help Your Pet Burn Off All That Extra Energy
"Get a pet," they said. "It'll be easy," they said.
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1. An interactive cat toy to get your kitty panting hard like a dog. It'll 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 $2.21.
2. A floating flying disc made of a durable nylon so you can tire out your pup with lots of running back and forth...and back again.
Promising review: "My shollie puppy LOVES this. She is very high energy, and destructive when bored. This toy keeps her happily busy for hours (and gives me exercise!), and has survived for three months now. To put it in perspective, this is the ONLY toy that has survived that long." —ADKhiker
Get it from Amazon for $8.95 (available in five colors).
3. A foam stick toy that floats for making sure your pup gets plenty of exercise no matter the terrain.
Promising review: "My 70-pound golden retriever is 16 months old and full of energy and loves to chew and destroy everything he chews on. I have learned to put up toys after playtime in the yard or pool. The Hyper Pet Chews has lasted a couple weeks and still looks good. A new record!" —Gene Brenner
Get it from Amazon for $5.50+.
4. 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.
MeowyJanes 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, run 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.
5. A mounted brush that'll hold your cat's attention longer than any other toy. 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 $4.99.
6. 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, forging, 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 it. 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
7. A surprisingly time-consuming treat-dispensing ball to keep your dog occupied and put their problem-solving skills to the test. Reviewers even suggest filling it with your dog's kibble if they're fast eaters as this will force them to slow down and may help with their digestion.
Promising review: "My dog is a fast eater. This toy keeps her busy for hours trying to get treats out of the ball. I put larger pieces of treats inside to slow down kibble from coming out of the ball. It's larger than others so it doesn't get stuck under furniture." —Lauren Howroyd
Get it from Amazon for $9.99.
8. 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 carabineer 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 $79.98.
9. Some calming bites for high-strung and high-energy pets that are designed to comfort and soothe without causing drowsiness. Use them before a long car ride if you know travel winds up your dog. Or give them a chew after dinner to help settle them before bed and prevent some 11 p.m. living room zoomies.
Promising review: "We have two Great Dane puppies that get a burst of energy every day around 6 p.m. They run full speed through the house. We send them outside to play but it still doesn’t make them tired. We bought the calming treats and started giving them to the puppies around 6 p.m. and by 6:30 they were laying on the couch sleeping." —Smokey
Get it from Amazon for $29.97.
10. 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 had both the Velcro patch and the clip for better security!" —J
Get it from Amazon for $12.50+ (available in a sizes XS–XL and 16 colors).
11. A Chuckit! ball launcher that'll 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 $4.71+.
12. 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 got 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 $6.57.
13. A calming diffuser kit for helping stressed out pets relax. This is especially useful if your fur baby is having trouble adjusting to new surroundings or has separation anxiety.
Each kit comes with a diffuser and refill. This diffuser emits pheromones, which triggers a cat's endocrine system to release calming chemicals. Cats naturally produce these same pheromones, so you don't have to worry about your cat getting into potentially toxic ingredients.
Promising review: "I can't believe how well this worked! We have a malamute puppy, very high energy, and he doesn't like it when my husband leaves the house. He calmed right down. I'm so amazed. I'm ordering refills now. P.S. it smells really good too!!!" —Jeana
Get it from Amazon for $22.70.
14. A pair of dog leggings (!!!!!) for keeping Fido's legs — not just his paws — protected from all the mysterious mucky stuff outside. Now he can play all day in the puddles and the mud until he tires himself out without you having to worry about your carpets paying the price.
Walkee Paws is a small biz started by pet owner Lisa Baronoff. You may have seen them on Shark Tank! Get 15% off site-wide with the code WALKEEBUZZ.
Promising review: "I love the Walkee Paws. Unlike the other type of dog boots, these stay on her tiny feet. My little girl never liked walking in the rain or snow. The first time I put them on her inside the house, she was hesitant to walk but with a little coaxing she walked off the rug onto the wooden floor. When she realized that she didn't slip, she started acting silly running back and forth in the house. Now she loves walking in the snow and water puddles." —Cynthia C.
Get them from Walkee Paws for $39.99 (available in sizes XS–L and in eight colors).
15. A treat-dispensing toy if your dog is easily bored, food-motived, or both! The geometric design will cause it to roll and bounce in unexpected ways so playtime is always exciting and lasts for hours instead of seconds.
16. A retractable hands-free leash that'll enable Fido to join you on your runs without you getting jerked all over the sidewalk.
Promising review: "I have a 44-pound pit bull and she is just a ball of energy who likes to run with me. I trained her to run with me using a lasso type leash but was tired of holding it when I run and it gave me a slightly sideways gait that was causing some injuries. I bought this product and it is awesome. She stays with me when I run and is attached to my waist. She is still young and she is a firm believer that squirrels are just tennis balls thrown by God, SO occasionally she will make a break for it when we are running. Don't worry with this leash it will not pull you off your feet. The bungee system gives a little but not a lot but it's enough to pull her back into position. Lastly, and this is why I hit 5 stars on versatility, this thing fits me 39-inch waist and my 12-year-old daughter's 22-inch waist and can be adjusted in seconds." —Eric Zack
Get it from Amazon for $19.95 (available for one or two dogs and in six colors).
17. A Wobble Wag Giggle ball with an internal noisemaker and six pockets because it'll engage your pet's natural curiosity and having them rolling, fetching, and shaking it until they're panting.
Promising review: "This has SAVED MY SANITY! I’ve got a high energy, high intelligence, super demanding golden doodle 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+.
18. A cat charmer toy to drive your cat wild with excitement. Oh to be a simple cat who can entertain themselves for hours with a rainbow colored string.
Promising review: "I play 'snake' with my cat every day. When my cat sees this rainbow streamer, immediately he will get into a pounce position and wait for me to wiggle it on the ground. Then he pounces on it. If I twirl it up high, he will jump up to try to catch it. It is a great toy for older cats and younger kittens. If your cat is a kitten, playing with him with this toy will help tame some of that boundless energy kittens have. Even my elderly cat (who doesn't play much any more) will perk up when the rainbow 'snake' comes out. He has to come over to see what is going on and will try to 'catch' it by putting his paw on it to stop it from wiggling. Definitely a must-have for every cat owner. An A+!!!" —Kate
Get it from Amazon for $4.87+.
19. A near indestructible Jolly Ball so a play session with your aggressive chewer doesn't end right after it's started.
Promising review: We have a high-energy, 50-pound Kelpie-Collie (Australian Kelpie and border collie mix) who is ball-bonkers and were looking for something new for her to race after. As a puppy, she had a tug-rope that she loved to chase and the Jolly Ball fit the bill for a replacement. She is absolutely NUTS about this toy and immediately picked up how to play with it. So far, the Jolly Ball has held up to fetch, tug-of-war, and rigorous head-tossing without issue. The rope is woven cotton and the ball is a thin but durable-seeming rubber. My only surprise was how large the ball actually was, as I had expected it to be along the same lines of a tennis ball. We got the small size and, honestly, I think it works perfectly for our medium-size dog. Overall, very satisfied!" —AJ
Get it from Amazon for $9.72+ (available in three sizes and five colors).
20. A Goughnuts chew ring for enthusiastic chewers. It's designed by engineers who made rubber for aircrafts and spaceships so you know it's really, really durable.
Promising review: "They weren't kidding. I adopted another dog last fall and was not prepared for her energy level. She destroyed not only every soft toy we had that our other dog played fine with, but also every other 'indestructible' toy I bought in stores. I bought her tough chewer or large dog labeled toys but each one lasted less than a day. I didn't think this would at all but since they offer a guarantee to replace the toy I thought well I guess they'll just keep replacing it. It's been about 8 months now and no red!!! I bought this at the same time as the Goughnuts Interactive Dog Stick Chew and she hasn't chewed through either. Also, since they're made of something along the lines of rubber they bounce really well which helps keep her interested. Only minor complaint is that as they are smooth and flavorless she does get bored a little easily if she's playing alone, I just make sure to interact and she loves it." —Annie B.
Get it from Amazon for $17.99+ (available in four colors and four toughness levels).
21. 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 rough-house play and is holding up well." —Michael
Get it from Amazon for $5.99+ (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.
22. A life vest that'll keep your pet safe on the water. Swimming is great exercise and can help tire out a high-energy pet, plus it's fantastic for dogs with joint issues as it allows them to exercise without putting strain on their joints and tendons.
Promising review: "Fits my English bully Dolly perfect! She's 30 inches around her thickest part but the straps have room and there is Velcro on the underbelly as well, so I was able to get it to fit her awkward shape! Dolly is a firecracker! She loves to run and swim, but with how short her legs are, she can't keep the majority of her body up in the water. Bought this to help her stuff afloat on her own when we are swimming together! Bought size large and it fits 68-pound Dolly well and also fits our 58-pound boy Craig, I just had to tighten up the belly straps for him! I expect it to function properly based on fit and form! Love that the straps have little Velcro straps on them to hold them against the jacket!" —L
Get it from Amazon for $22.38+ (available in sizes XS–XL and four colors).
23. A purring cat toy so you can finally sleep easy instead of waking every hour because your anxious kitty won't stop meowing. This purple guy has a built-in purring mechanism so your feline can enjoy the sensation of curling up to another purring "cat." It also plays calming, comforting sounds.
Promising review: "We desperately needed something to help our new little guy calm down and redirect his play aggression. Our 5-month rescued kitten has abandonment issues and tons of energy. He plays with his purple baby every day, most often in the evenings. We are all entertained by his toting it around, and tussling with it in his bun by our wood stove. It is just the right softness and weight. The purring sound gets his attention, and he's off with it to races with it. Great toy design! We just ordered two more that we are sending to a local animal shelter to help them with rescues." —Val
Get it from Amazon for $14.99 (available in five styles)
24. An interactive dog toy so your fur baby will spend hours rooting around the trunk for squirrels, and you'll finally have some time to yourself.
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 $9.60+ (available in four sizes).
25. A bacon-flavored wishbone chew toy so your aggressive chewer channels their energy into destroying this and not your shoes. The curved shape makes it easy for lil' paws to grip, plus reviewers say it lasts a long time...a really long time.
Promising review: "I have an American Staffordshire/Huskey mix and he's about 65 pounds and almost two years old. He is very strong and fast and sometimes needs to get some of his excess energy out with some chewing. I don't get regular or ground up and reformed rawhide just because he eats this too easily and I'm worried about him getting an intestinal blockage. This, though, is great because he can chew like mad but it wears down so much more slowly. Because the manufacturer recommends replacing after a certain amount of wear, I've gone to Subscribe and Save so I can get these monthly." —Kathy Jacobs
Get it from Amazon for $6.49+ (available in five sizes and three flavors).
26. A stimulating brain teaser toy for small pets like rabbits, chinchillas, and guinea pigs that'll reward them for using their noggin with delicious treats.
Promising review: "I bought this for my little lop to give her some more stimulation than I can offer her. It took her a while to figure out there were treats inside it but now she loves it! The levels 2 and 3 are supposed to be increased difficulty but were actually easier for her. I put sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in there and a few pellets when I give her dinner and it's fun watching her tear into it and move the disc around and even totally dismantle it sometimes. I started just putting in bird seed because I was worried about her weight LOL. Yeah, she's figured it out but she still has to work for the treats and claws and bites at it and I think it's great for getting some energy out. It's taken some pretty hard abuse from her and it's stood up to it no problem. I even put some treats in there and hide it and she gets into it sometimes during the night so it makes me happy too. I'd for sure get this if you have a curious little destructive bunny :)" —Audreay Knutson
Get it from Amazon for $16.36.