We Review PetSmart’s Luv-A-Pet Plush Toys

Chocolates and flowers are out, so I'm giving Ace this line of dog toys that features the Care Bears.


Which holidays do you celebrate with your dog? I think the answer to this question depends upon which holidays are important to you and your family. I love celebrating birthdays, so when Ace’s rolls around each July we break out the party hats and eat a special treat. Christmas is important to my family, so come December you can find Ace tearing open wrapped gifts and snaking underfoot during big family dinners. However, even though I enjoy Halloween, Ace has thus far been less than receptive to donning an intricate costume and running around town.

If you love Valentine’s Day like I love Halloween, you’re probably on the prowl for the sweetest, non-chocolate gift for your canine Valentine. PetSmart thought that Valentine’s Day would be a great time to introduce a new line of stuffed toys featuring an ’80s icon: Care Bears.

The Care Bears plush toys are part of PetSmart’s Luv-A-Pet line of products, which means that 10 percent of the purchase price is donated to PetSmart Charities. Check out the PetSmart Charities website –- it looks like they do a lot of good work by providing funding to animal welfare organizations for pet adoptions, spay/neuter, and emergency services.

Ace and I sampled two Care Bears toys: the Luv-A-Pet Care Bears Dog Toy in Bedtime Bear ($9.99, on sale for $7.99) and the Luv-A-Pet Care Bears Ball Body Dog Toy in Good Luck Bear ($5.99, on sale for $5.39). I was a child in the 1980s, and seeing these toys brought back a rush of fond memories. I recall being drawn to the Care Bears movies and toys because they were colorful and cheerful, making them ideal for dog toys as well.

The Care Bears toys have the details of the original children’s toys, including the symbols on their bellies and the little Care Bears heart insignia on their bottoms. I appreciated these toys’ colorful retro styling. Ace was a big fan of both of these squeaky plush toys too, especially because they each have stubbly little tails that she can chew.

In the spirit of the holiday, Ace and I sampled some other Valentine’s-themed toys from the Luv-A-Pet line. Ace’s favorite was the Luv-A-Pet Fuzzy Love Ball in red ($3.99). In addition to its squeaker, she seemed to enjoy chewing on the embroidered face and mouthing all over its fluffy fur.

These toys are adorable, though the fur shed a bit during play. I’d like to check out the light pink one with its little purple horns –- too cute!

We also tried the Luv-A-Pet Orange Plush Bone and the Luv-A-Pet Green Plush Bone ($2.99 each, on sale for $1.99). PetSmart’s website shows a selection of similar toys, designed in the spirit of those ubiquitous Valentine’s Day heart candies.

Ace seemed to enjoy theses bones, and they were a good length to play tug with a small dog. I didn’t find them to be as cute as the other toys we sampled.

None of the toys we sampled were designed to last very long, but I think adorable, inexpensive novelty plush toys have their own value. They would make fantastic gifts, not only because they are cute and festive, but also because, as Dogster recently reported, dogs really enjoy destroying their toys. What better way to express your love this Valentine’s Day than to give your dog the pleasure of eviscerating a Care Bear?

Dogster Scorecard for Luv-A-Pet Plush Toys by PetSmart

  • Quality: The toys are colorful and have cute detailing, but don’t expect them to last very long with big chewers.
  • Style: Some toys from this selection were irresistibly adorable, particularly the new Care Bears toys.
  • Function: Many of the Luv-A-Pet toys would be appropriate little gifts for Valentine’s Day.
  • Creativity: Children of the ‘80s will appreciate the Care Bears revival.
  • Value: Luv-A-Pet toys are inexpensive, and your purchase helps support animal welfare organizations through PetSmart Charities.

Bottom line

The Luv-A-Pet plush toys at PetSmart would make adorable gifts for your canine Valentine, and your purchase will help spread a little extra love by supporting PetSmart Charities.

Dogster readers, do you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your dog? In lieu of chocolates and flowers, how do you show your love? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Learn more about dogs with Dogster:

About the Author: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its microclimates, farmers’ markets, and secret stairway walks. When she’s not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace’s adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster.

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