Metro Pets

By Amy O'Connor

My Cairn terrier loves to run around outside and go for long walks in the suburbs or the countryside; unfortunately, she lives with me in New York City in downtown Manhattan where she dreads going outside on account of all the noise and commotion. While I manage to get her outside for walks despite her resistance, I try to make sure she gets plenty of indoor exercise to supplement her forays outdoors. As with exercise for humans, variety keeps things interesting, and there are a great variety of balls that will keep your dog on the move indoors or out.


The Wiggly Giggly Ball and Wiggly Giggly Bone are colorful, durable vinyl toys that make funny sounds, which I’m not sure how to describe (like sounds a happy baby robot would make?), but there’s no question that my dog loves these toys. The bone is fun because it can be easily chewed or picked up and shaken as well as rolled, both of which trigger the funny noises. I love watching my dog push the ball around barking and growling at it the more noise it makes, her tail wagging the whole time, and she doesn’t even realize how much exercise she’s getting! What’s also great is that unlike squeaker toys which are often easily silenced by a few sharp bites or tears, the Wiggly Giggly toys are made with a thick vinyl that defies my dog’s efforts to mute them.

Available online at Doctors Foster and Smith http://www.drsfostersmith.com and Happy Feet Pet 754 10th Ave (212) 757-8400

If your dog is intrigued by a variety of sounds, an Animal Sounds X-Tire Ball will provide loads of active fun. Two flexi PVC tire treads surround a ball that makes the sounds of more than 20 different animals including a lion, frogs, birds, pigs, cats and more. The sounds are activated when your dog plays with the ball and automatically turn off when not activated, (batteries are replaceable). My dog is a huge fan of this toy.

Available online at DOGtoys http://www.dogtoys.com and at Litter and Leashes locations:
(212) 650-0011 1521 York Ave
(212) 753-7535 896 First Ave (@ E 51st St)
(212) 599-1500 847 Second Ave (@ E 45th St)

Chuckit! Fetch Games is a line of toys designed to promote canine fitness through the game of fetch. The Indoor Launcher is like a plastic arm with a “C”-shaped head that can hold an Indoor Roller, Indoor Ball or Indoor Shaker. Using the launcher, I can easily fling the roller a good distance, and have no worries about breaking anything indoors because the roller is lightweight and made from a soft fabric that looks like chenille terry cloth and is comfortable in a dog’s mouth. While the launcher isn’t necessary for play with the roller or balls, it’s nice to play hands-free fetch, translation, slobber-free fetch. The indoor line of products are also great to look at, beautifully designed in eye-pleasing shades of light blue, orange and lime green.

Available online at Pet Mountain http://www.petmountain.com and at Pet Central http://www.petcentralnyc.com for locations.

The Chuckit! Erratic Ball is a rubber ball that keeps dogs guessing because it has some flat edges that make it bounce in unpredictable directions. With the Erratic Ball, dogs get both a mental and physical workout. It’s perfect for playing Fetch indoors or outdoors and puts a new slant on the game.

Available online at PetSmart http://www.petsmart.com and at Pet Central http://www.petcentralnyc.com for locations.

The last toy I recommend isn’t a ball, but it does involve spherical shapes your dog will enjoy chasing…bubbles! Incredibubbles are peach-flavored non-toxic bubbles that land without popping giving Fido that much longer to pounce. Amusingly, there are quite a few bubbles stuck on my dog’s head when she’s leaping and pouncing to pop bubbles, a great source of entertainment for us both.

Available online at Doggone Good http://www.doggonegood.com and at Litter and Leashes locations:
(212) 650-0011 1521 York Ave
(212) 753-7535 896 First Ave (@ E 51st St)
(212) 599-1500 847 Second Ave (@ E 45th St)

Originally published July 2011
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