Simplify the toy box
grey cat in a boxdog with tennis ball
1) Don’t buy. Improvise!
Have you ever met a cat who can resist batting around a wadded ball of paper? Or hiding in a paper grocery bag? Toys don’t have to be more expensive than the box they came in. For example, rip an old T-shirt into strips, tie at one end, braid the strips and tie the other end for a great chew toy that smells like you.

With any homemade or improvised pet toy, it is important to pay close attention to the play sessions. Make sure your pet doesn't ingest any stray material, and if a toy starts showing signs of wear, discard it.
2) Fetch some love
For many dogs, a tennis ball and your free time is all they need in their toybox. Well, maybe a dozen tennis balls. If tennis balls aren’t your pet’s jam, look at a Frisbee, a stick, whatever they might be inclined to chase and bring back. It’s not about the toy; it’s about you.
3) Fewer toys; more walks
This is better for the both of you. The health benefits of additional physical activity are obvious, but the mental and emotional benefits are worth the price of admission to the great outdoors. Burning off a little extra energy can help your dog (and don’t overlook the idea of walking your cat!) cut down on hyperactivity during the day while helping them sleep more soundly at night. And any quality time spent with your pet improves that emotional bond. Everybody wins!

We’ve all done it: we buy our pet an expensive catnip-infused perpetual-motion mouse toy or a fully automated ball-thrower and little Mittens would rather just play with the packaging. The point is, your pet’s toy box is one place where you can keep it simple. Here are five ways you can streamline your dog or cat’s toy box.
Three simple ways to streamline your life (with your pet)
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