Not ready to get your kids a dog or cat this holiday season? We have the next best thing. Toy Insider Editor-in-Chief Marissa DiBartolo stopped by Fox 5 in San Diego to show off some great toy pets that will bring all the fun with none of the mess. For more on the items featured in this segment, check out the product notes below, and for the complete rundown of the best toys of the holiday season, be sure to check our complete Toy Insider Holiday Gift Guide.


  • Keep your stuffed animal friends happy and healthy with your very own pet clinic!
  • The Antsy Pants Build & Play Pet Clinic Kit helps you (pretend) practice to be a vet with your very own themed space.
  • The double-sided cover features a window and a playful environment perfect for imaginations to run wild.
  • Kit includes poles, connectors and fabric cover: a double-sided cover features a window and a playful environment.
  • The kit encourages imaginative play.
  • Age: 4+
  • MSRP: $44.99
  • Available: Target,


  • What makes your pet tick? Find out what it takes to become a veterinary physician and the work that they perform for animals.
  • Simulate veterinary X-ray and sonograms with red and blue Lenses that reveal the insides of animals on four different posters.
  • Close up wounds and cuts with the soft plastic suture training skin, plastic surgical tweezers, needle, and thread.
  • Create a cat anatomy poster with paper parts, mold a plaster pup, and learn how to make casts for broken bones.
  • Mix and make gelly ticks and learn about the four common types of ticks and which ones can cause illness.
  • The kit includes four animal posters, a red x-ray lens, a blue sonogram lens, suture skin, a plastic curved needle, plastic tweezer scissors, a black nylon thread, a cat anatomy poster with fold out sheets, a dog blister mold, plaster powder, muslin fabric, a gelly tick blister mold, gelatin, a beaker, a stir stick, and instructions.
  • Age: 6+
  • MSRP: $19.99
  • Available: Target, Amazon


  • The newest theme on the acclaimed Disney Junior series, Doc McStuffins, is Pet Rescue!
  • Kids can race to save the pets of McStuffinsville – just like Doc!
  • Designed for on-the-go care, the Pet Rescue Mobile is equipped with lights, music, phrases, and play medical tools and accessories, including an electronic EKG reader, talking stethoscope and light & sound control panel!
  • Doc’s adorable pet friend Oliver is included, and kids will love helping Oliver feel better by checking his heartbeat and diagnosing boo-boos with the light-up play X-ray display!
  • Age: 3+
  • MSRP: $49.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target, Walmart, Kmart


  • Rescue Runts need a home to call their own! The super soft plush puppies show up on your doorstep with matted fur, dirty paws, boo boos and fleas
  • Care for your Rescue Runt using the included grooming kit!
  • Use the tweezers to pluck out “fleas”
  • Wipe their tears away and clean their dirty paws with the towel
  • Brush their messy fur with the brush
  • Remove their bandages, perk up their ears and make them smile to complete the transformation from ragged runt into perfect pet!
  • Write their name on the collar and adoption certificate to make the adoption official
  • Rescue Runts’ messy fur, downturned ears, dirty paws, and bandages can be restored for repeat animal rescue play
  • Age: 3+
  • MSRP: $19.99
  • Available: Walmart


  • Each Scruff‐a‐Luv comes as a matted ball of colored fur with only its eyes showing, so it’s a mystery what animal kids are rescuing! The adorable animal is revealed by washing the matted ball in water, towel drying the animal, blast drying it with a hair dryer, and brushing and styling its fur.
  • Each Scruff‐a‐Luv comes with a collar, name tag, adoption certificate, brush and hair clips.
  • Scruff‐a‐luvs can be washed over and over again. This special kind of plush allows kids to play with it in the bath, role play with it, and care for it like a real pet – the possibilities are endless!
  • Age: 4+
  • MSRP: $19.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target


  • Kids can help this clever pup to do fun tricks, from flipping his bone, to shaking “paws,” and even shuffling eagerly for more!
  • Feed him treats to reward him for his tricks, or pet his back for a job well done, but be careful…he might need a bathroom break!
  • This adorable pup responds to sound and touch with more than 100 sound and motion combinations and features sensors on his cheeks, nose, mouth, paw, and back, making interactions with this talented pup awesome!
  • After a day full of fun, Ricky loves to cuddle and give great doggie licks. His poseable legs make him the perfect pup for endless snuggles!
  • Includes a bone accessory, 18 doggie treats, and a treat pouch.
  • Age: 4+
  • MSRP: $129.99
  • Available: major retailers,

About the author

Bill Reese

Bill Reese

Bill Reese is Business Operations Manager at Adventure Media & Events, where he's worked since 2014. A former editor at Playbill and graduate of SUNY–Purchase, he spends most weekends rooting for the New York Red Bulls pro soccer team and making subway systems out of Brio trains with his little boy Jonah.