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Ask Marc: Pet Toys and Playtime

Animal expert Marc Morrone explains how we can help our pets stay active and healthy.
Martha Stewart Living Television

Can a ferret get bored? Also, what is the average life span of a ferret?
Ferrets are active creatures that love to play. Should you be unable to give your ferret the needed playtime, pair him or her with a companion. As for life span, a ferret only lives for about eight years.

I have had my lovebird Mickey for seven years. I'd like to spend more time playing with him, but he gets nervous and flies back to his cage. What can I do?
If after seven years your lovebird prefers the cage to playing with you, there's little likelihood he'll change his mind now. Lovebirds are animals that like company, so it might be a good idea to acquire another lovebird as a companion.

My dog keeps taking my children's toys and burying them in the yard. How can I teach him to play with his own toys?
Because dogs have no way of differentiating between their toys and those that don't belong to them, the only sure-fire solution is to limit access to your kids' toys.

I have a calico cat named Bella who is about 1 1/2 and very lazy. We've tried feathers on a stick, balls, catnip, and other toys, but she's not interested. Do you have any suggestions on how we can get her moving?
Just as I've suggested to others who've written in for this segment, a companion -- preferably a kitten -- is the best idea for motivating your cat.

I have a hamster named Wizkaz. Am I supposed to play with him every day?
An active hamster is a happy hamster, so the more you play with him, the better off he'll be.

My 5-year-old golden retriever Toby loves soft stuffed toys, but rips them to pieces. I've tried rubber toys, but he only likes the stuffed ones. What do you suggest?
Try a braided cloth or rope toy; it will have the texture he likes, but be durable enough to withstand rough play.

Comments (5)

  • 6 Jun, 2012

    What is that pet in the picture?, I just think it is too cute

  • 8 Aug, 2011

    This is Kati123
    And our dog keeps itching and we heard to put flaxseed oil on the pet could u put it shright on to their skin???

  • 28 Jan, 2011

    I have Cockatiels and I would like to make my own perchs but I'm not sure of what kind of branches that I can and can not use. Also how can I get the ones that bites to stop biteing.

  • 20 Jan, 2011

    I know Marc will prob never see this post but: I have a 4# $yr toy poodle, she does not like treats or toys. She will tear apart a TP tube. what can I use to train her. I also have a peeing prob. she ahs a dog door but if i put dwn a throw rug she will pee on it. We thought she would do this when we left her home or as we came home. However I pick up rugs an she will pee on the tile floor. We see she seems to do this when she doesnt want to take time to go to her door thinking she may miss somet

  • 15 Mar, 2010

    Per your advice for the lovebird Mickey. I would suggest a wing clipping to begin with. Once you do that you'll take away his independence. Take him out and away from his cage and work with him. Once he realizes that he cannot get away from you he should settle down. It will take time and patience but this might help. I would suggest a buddy only as a last resort. Once you put him with another lovebird you'll lose his "tameness" for sure. If you want a pet keep him alone and work with him.