PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The search for engaging and entertaining toys for your dog is over. From puppyhood to adulthood, toys are fundamental to a pet’s mental, psychological, and emotional development. The new Toys“R”Us® PetsTM collection, exclusive to PetSmart® (NASDAQ: PETM), helps stimulate a pet’s intellectual growth.
Launching on May 21, the line will be available in the new Toy Chest dog toy aisle only at PetSmart stores and online at www.PetSmart.com. PetSmart has worked with Dr. Sophia Yin, veterinarian and applied animal behaviorist, to provide insights on how toys and play help develop a happy, healthy pet.
From the beginning, toys play a crucial role, but which toy is right for your pet? PetSmart has created the new Toy Chest aisle, which groups 100 whimsical Toys“R”Us Pets items and 1,000 other toys, allowing for easy exploration. Here’s what to look for:
The Early Years
Puppyhood is the most formative stage for health and cognitive growth, and “it’s important for puppies to have many different experiences because neurons are forming,” Dr. Yin said. To help a puppy reach his full potential, engage pets with toys with varied textures, such as:
- Toys“R”Us Pets Tubular Body Animals: With a tubular rubber center, this toy is ideal for puppy chewing. “Soft rubber toys are the best chew surface,” Dr. Yin said.
- Toys“R”Us Pets Vinyl Tire and Rope Animal: This crunchy squeaky toy can entertain pets with short attention spans. “Having a toy with different textures and surfaces will keep your puppy engaged for longer periods of time,” Dr. Yin said.
Incorporating problem-solving toys is crucial. “Research indicates that dogs who were given intelligence toys could learn positive reinforcement faster – like crossword puzzles for adults,” Dr. Yin said. Tug and fetch games encourage exercise while teaching impulse control. Try the:
- Toys“R”Us Pets Flying Disc: Durable and bright, this cloth disc is perfect for a game of fetch. “Fetch is one of the most efficient ways to exercise your dog and spend quality time,” Dr. Yin said.
- Toys“R”Us Pets Bungee Tire Animal: This fun tug toy has two grip options for comfortable game-playing. “The location of the tug holding areas allows the pet parent and dog to play together safely,” said Dr. Yin.
As dogs’ physical capabilities wane in senior years, opt for enrichment tools. “Dogs enjoy playing with toys less and less as they get older,” Dr. Yin said. Toys that encourage interaction and those they have previously associated with play are good choices. Examples include:
- Toys“R”Us Pets Squeaker Mat Dog Toy: This six-squeaker fleece toy is safe to throw and tug. “For older dogs who like squeakers but need more encouragement to play, a toy with five or six loud squeakers may be just right,” Dr. Yin said.
- Toys“R”Us Pets Dumbbell Treat: This toy allows treats to be hidden inside. “Toys such as food dispensers can improve brain development in puppies and slow down brain aging and onset of cognitive dysfunction in adult dogs,” Dr. Yin said.
Ultimately, the science behind play comes down to providing a range of options for healthy development. Pet parents can start in PetSmart’s Toy Chest aisle and easily select toys for their dogs’ needs. For more information and store locations, visit www.petsmart.com.
PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETM) is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. The company employs approximately 50,000 associates and operates more than 1,232 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, over 192 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities and is a leading online provider of pet supplies and pet care information (http://www.petsmart.com). PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products; and offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day CampSM day care services and pet adoption services. Since 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit animal welfare organization and the largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, has provided more than $165 million in grants and programs benefiting animal welfare organizations. Through its in-store pet adoption partnership with PetSmart Charities®, PetSmart has helped save the lives of nearly 5 million pets.
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