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So, how to know if your dog is bored? While some emotions may be harder to determine, boredom is one that most dogs display quite clearly. While different dogs will exhibit various reactions to boredom, the solutions are the same: find activities your dog will find challenging and spend time providing the stimulation the dog needs. Please, Note: Signs of boredom will be different for every dog, and severity is often breed-dependent! Few of these signs could show Stress and / or Separation Anxiety. Please, consult with your vet or dog trainer if you are unsure!
1. Destructive Behavior Is your dog chewing on shoes, the couch, etc? He may be bored. Too much energy and not enough outlet equals a nice chew fest.
2. Digging If you have a digger in the backyard, you guessed it, he is probably bored! Digging is a self-rewarding behavior and is a great energy releaser or at least your dog things so. You, probably not so much.
3. Tail Chasing Though there are other reasons dogs may do this obsessive behavior, pent up energy can be one of them.
4. Demand or Excessive Barking Does your dog bark at you incessantly? Guess what? He IS trying to tell you something. Possibly, I am bored, play with me!
5. Listlessness On the other side of the coin, your dog may just lie there or act "listless." She may have "given up" on life, so to speak, and figures there is no end to her boredom. She may even be depressed.
6. Biting Is your dog following you around, biting your clothes, ankles, anything he can reach? This "puppish" behavior could be a sign he has nothing to do with all that energy he has, and biting you seemed like a good idea to him. Probably not to you, however.
7. Whining While apparently random whining can be caused by stress, it can also be caused by boredom. Especially in young dogs, you may find them whining at the door when they just went to the bathroom, sitting and whining, or following you around whining. Take this as a clear sign that they are begging for something to do.
8. Harassing Other Dogs If you have more than one dog, your bored pup may decide a good diversion is to attack one of your other dogs. While it is all in fun to the harasser, the victim may not agree. Best to keep your dog occupied than to chance what may turn into a fight.
9. Getting Into Trouble Aside from chewing, your bored dog may pull all of your clothes out of the laundry basket, strew garbage everywhere, or decide all your pillows should be off your bed.
10. Getting in Your Face Dogs understand body language better than we do. Does your dog force himself in your lap and put his face right in yours, staring at you? He is probably asking for attention or something to do.
11. Pacing Is your dog pacing your floor and won't sit still? He is probably bored and is looking for something to do. Some will even get the "zoomies" and run full tilt through your house.
12. Excessive Licking or Chewing Some dogs, if bored enough, may over-groom or chew on their paws just for something to do. This could also be a sign of an allergy, so be sure to talk to your vet. Some dog's may lick you over and over too.
13. Constantly Seeking Attention Although you may enjoy structured activities with your dog, he may need more time. Does your dog try to climb onto your lap when you are using the computer? Does she bark or whine to get your attention? There is a message there.
14. Obsessive or Compulsive behaviors. A really bored dog may develop serious, destructive behaviors such as chewing his feet, continuous scratching, or tail chasing. These signs of boredom are often missed because owners attribute them to other causes, and the dog may have more than one problem. Parasites could cause itching and biting or scratching, for example. Report these signs to your veterinarian, who may be able to prescribe drugs that can help with these problems while you look for ways to keep your dog busy.
15. Stealing Food If your dog is getting the right nutrition, but is still breaking into the biscuit container or stealing food off the counter, take note. Many people eat more when they are bored, and our pets do the same - a dog who may not normally dig through the trash, when bored, can become a counter-surfing, trash-eating monster. One way to counteract this bad habit is by making their mealtimes more fun. Giving a bowl full of dry kibble is boring. Putting the meal in a puzzle toy, maze, slow feeder, instituting the meal into a training session, hiding it around the house, sticking the meal in a treat ball - there are a ton of great options for more fun dinners.
16. Pawing At You For Attention! Most dogs want attention from their owners, and will do whatever they can to get it. This may include normal stuff like sitting in your lap, following you around the house, and so on. When a dog is bored, though, they will take it to the extreme. Pawing, jumping up, extra licking, and neediness are all things to watch out for. Going to their human friend and the one who provides the entertainment, is a natural next step when your pup is looking for something to do. If your dog is getting desperate, do not brush them off or push them away. Mental stimulation is critical, especially for the super-smart, high-drive breeds. Puzzle toys are a great way to provide entertainment, especially for food-driven dogs. Mental stimulation is a fantastic add-on once your pup is exercised well!
17. Trying To Escape If your otherwise well-behaved dog has taken to escaping the yard, or slipping out the front door, it may be their way of telling you they need more fun in their life. They may also dig under fences, chew or scratch at the door, or leap over gates, all of which are signs something needs to change. You can start by making the outside world less appealing by taking them out into it more often. Letting them interact with other dogs and people can help, too. Your dog wants friends.
18. Exsessive Sleeping Just like people, many dogs take a nap when they are feeling bored, simply because they have nothing better to do. It is common for dogs to spend about 50% of the day asleep, 30% resting, and 20% being active. But if your dog is lazing about more than necessary, you may want to play games and get them out of the house more often. Do, however, consult a vet if they are lethargic or won't get up, as this may be a sign of a health issue.
Firstly, the very fact that your dog has your company to enjoy means they are already happier than when knowing that they are being left home alone.
Being indoors doesn't have to be dull. Dogs are social animals and they really enjoy being with us. Play is good for your dog physically, mentally and emotionally. Boredom makes dogs destructive. Keeping your dog entertained can be a challenge. Give Your Dog Mental & Physical Exercise! To keep your dog mentally and physically challenged give them some fun activities to do.
Spending a little bit of extra time making sure your dog gets some meaningful interaction leads to a happy, healthy dog. Dogs are not natural couch potatoes. They have been bred to work alongside humans. Relieve dog boredom by giving them something to do. With a little bit of imagination you can come up with all sorts of ways to help keep them entertained and busy. Make your pup busy with these easy & simple ways to entertain your dog indoors, during the coronavirus quarantine:
1. Play Some Nose Games With Your Dog Hiding treats around the house or playing a game of hide and seek with your dog is a fun way to add in some extra mental stimulation to their routine. It's one of the most versatile games you can teach your dog. Start off with a simple game of "guess which hand" to get them started. It can be played anywhere, with toys or treats you already have. Grab some treats and have your dog watch as you place them around the room. Give your dog the cue to "find the treats" and encourage your dog to pick them up, remembering to praise them every time they find one. After your confident that your dog understands what "find the treats" means you can making it a bit more challenging. Have them stay in another room as you hide the treats, and start hiding them in spots they have to sniff out such as under a rug.
2. Play Some Tug of War With Your Dog Tug is a great way to mentally & physically challenge your dog. Short games of tug work wonders for tiring out our canine friends. Minute for minute a nice game of tug is one of the most physically & mentally challenging games you can play. And contrary to myth playing tug of war with your dog will not make him aggressive. If you do not have a tug toy you can make your own with some fleece or old t-shirts. Tug is a great interactive game for dogs, but there are a few basic rules to follow to keep it safe and fun.
3. Use Interactive Dog Toys Using food dispensing toys, such as the Kong Wobbler and Bob-A-Lot Treat Dispenser, are an easy way to give your dog some more mental stimulation and relieve dog boredom at the same time. There is also a lot of great DIY toys you can make from items around your house like the great dog bottle game. Interactive dog toys are a great way to keep your dog occupied and mentally stimulated.
4. Work on Some Simple Obedience Training Training your dog any new command gives their brain a workout. A few 10 minute sessions a day working with your dog on new tricks or commands burns a lot of mental energy. Teaching your dog a reliable recall & working on impulse control are some of the important basics to master - it's always a great starting point. Sit, lay down, shake, stay and come here are the basic commands to start with.
5. Give Your Dog a Simple Job Have them help out with your chores or everyday routines. Teach your dog how to do some chores around the house. He can load laundry baskets, he can know how to clean up dog toys, he will carry sticks and logs out to our wood pile. Incorporating your dog into everyday tasks can help relieve boredom. It also helps build their confidence. A dog that feels useful is a happy, confident dog!
6. Give Your Dog a Not So Simple Job Find jobs for your dog that fulfill their breed tendencies. Retrievers tend to love fetching and Border Collies usually excel in agility. Find out what your dog absolutely loves doing and make it into a job for them. I personally love lure coursing for dogs - you can even set up a simple coursing track in your own yard. It's a great way to burn off a lot of mental and physical energy, and if your dog loves to chase they will love lure coursing. If your dog likes to pull and you are handy consider building him his own dog cart.
7. Build a Digging Box For Your Dog If your dog loves digging build them their own personal digging box in your yard. Bury toys in it and let them find it - some dogs love digging so much this can keep them entertained for hours.
8. Get Your Dog a Jolly Ball Any big ball toy can be a lot of fun, and jolly balls just tend to be more durable than a soccer ball - if your dog is a tough chewer make sure you get one without a handle. Some dogs love playing with these all by themselves, but of course you can always make it more interesting by playing with them. The allure of these magical items is not understandable by human, but many dogs go insane for their jolly ball.
9. Work on Clicker Training Your Dog Clicker training your dog can be used for training new behaviors and rewarding ones you did not even ask for. It's a way to clearly communicate with your dog the exact moment they perform a desired behavior. All the extra mental stimulation makes for a tired doggie. Dogs are always learning from us - just teaching them where to sit while you prepare dinner is mentally stimulating and enforcing good manners.
10. Practice Some Free Shaping Games Shaping is building a particular behavior by using a series of small steps to achieve it. Letting your dog make their own choices burns an amazing amount of mental energy and helps your dog develop learning behaviors. Studies have found that by using positive training techniques such as shaping help a dog learn to make better decisions in the future. Check out Dr. Sophia Yin's excellent video demonstrating free shaping:
11. Use a Stuffed Kong to Keep Your Dog Busy When you leave your dog at home give him a stuffed Kong or another tough interactive toy to keep his mind occupied. One of dog's favorite things is a frozen peanut butter filled Kong. Usually, dogs can get too busy working on that Kong.
12. Make Some Frozen Treats For Your Dog You can freeze dogs treats in ice or make some ice cubes from broth. Just like a stuffed Kong, frozen dog treats are a great way to occupy your dog when you leave the house or need to do some chores. If you have a full sized Kong it's pretty amazing how long they can keep a dog occupied.
13. Give Your Dog Some Extra Attention Dogs are social creatures, so a nice belly rub, massage, or grooming session is an easy way to create a meaningful interaction with your dog. It is a great way to bond and keep your dog occupied at the same time.
14. Alternate Toys to Keep Your Dogs Interest According to studies dogs get bored with the same old toys. To keep your dog interested in his toys only give him access to a few at a time. Keep them interesting by playing a simple game of fetch or tug, interaction will always make a toy much more desirable. If your dog is a tough chewer like mine consider some Kong or West Paw Zogoflex toys.
15. Provide Your Dog with a Nice Neighbourhood View Dogs like to know what's happening outside so give them a chance to scope out the yard. A lot of dogs love napping in the warm sunlight in front of windows. Of course if you have cats they might have to compete for the nice sun spot.
16. Make Your Dog Work for His Food When it's time for his meals you can use a treat dispensing toy or simply make him do a few tricks to work for it. If you feed kibble you can also try hiding pieces around the house. Studies have found that dogs prefer earning treats to simply being given extras. It goes back to the fact that dogs have been bred to work alongside us, working is not only something to keep the occupied - it gives them a purpose.
17. Teach Your Dog to Relax Not all dogs are naturals at relaxing. The relaxation protocol is a useful technique to teach your dog to sit and stay in a variety of situations. Sometimes a nice simple belly rub is enough to soothe and relax your dog - it's also a great bonding experience.
18. Make a Flirt Pole for Energetic & High Drive Dogs It's a rod with a lure on the end and many dogs love chasing after them. You can make your own with PVC pipe, bungee cord, and a toy for the lure. Word of caution: flirt pole chasing can be really hard on a dogs joints so keep sessions short and do not play with dogs under 1 year of age to avoid growth plate injuries.
19. Make a Simple DIY Puzzle Toy One simple way to relieve dog boredom is by making a DIY puzzle toy for your dog. If you have got a muffin tin and some tennis balls you can make yourself a dog puzzle right at home.
20. Give Something to Chew On Get some chew Toys, bones, or Bully Sticks. Most dogs love chewing, but be sure to keep an eye out for their safety. If they start to break them into pieces they become a choking hazard. Our personal favorite chew toys are Benebones - they are durable, tasty & generally less expensive than antlers or bully sticks.
21. Play the the Shell Game The shell game is a simple problem solving game for dogs. To play the shell game with your dog let your dog watch as you place a treat under one of three cups. You then shuffle the cups around and encourage them to "find the treat." The shell game gives your dog plenty of mental stimulation, and helps them work on their problem solving skills.
TEACHING DOG TO PLAY CUPS GAME22. Teach Your Dog to Clean Up His Toys If your dog's toys are kept in a container you can teach them to put their toys away. It sounds weird to teach your dog to clean up after themselves, but it is actually a lot of fun. Teaching your dog new skills boosts their confidence, and it's a great way to give them more mental stimulation. If your dog already knows "drop it" have them pick up a toy and give them their drop it command once they are standing over the container. Praise them like crazy, then rinse and repeat. Eventually with consistency you will have a dog that will be able to clean up after himself.
23. Play a Game of Tug of War Playing a game of tug of war is one of the best ways to engage in meaningful play with our dogs. It's a great way to mentally and physically exercise your dog. And since it does not require a ton of room you can play it indoors. And contrary to what some people say playing tug will not make your dog aggressive, and letting them win will not make them dominant. Letting your dog win just makes the game more fun for your dog, and it will encourage them to play more. Dogs that play tug with their owners have been found to be more obedient and have higher confidence. Tug is a great way to exercise your dog as long as you have your dog follow a few basic rules such as "the game stops if your teeth touch my hand."
24. Teach Your Dog to Help With Chores Dogs love having a job to do, even if it's something as simple as fetching you your slippers. You can make them feel even more useful by teaching them the names of some items you would not mind having retrieved. If you want to impress all of your friends teach your dog to fetch you something from the fridge. When teaching your dog to open the fridge tie a towel around the handle so it is easy for them to pull open the door. And if you are feeling like a superstar you can teach your dog to help out with daily chores.
25. Play Interactive Games Play with your dog some interactive games such as tug, find the treats, puzzle games and fetch. Interactive games are an easy way to give your dog plenty of mental stimulation, and they can help cut down on problem behaviors such as excessive chewing or barking. If you are going to play fetch indoors use a lightweight ball to avoid breaking all of the things.
26. Teach Your Dog The Names of Their Toys Have you seen Chaser the Border Collie? She knew over 1,000 words and can pick out any given toy among 800 just by it's name. We can not all be overachievers like Chaser, but we can teach our dogs the names of their toys and make some fun games out of it. Start by playing with one specific toy and giving it a name while you do. After some practice & praise your dog will assign that verbal name with the chosen toy. Once your dog has learned that specific toys name you can test their skills by seeing if they can pick it out among their other toys.
27. Teach Your Dog to "Go Find" Their Toys Once your dog knows the names of some of their toys teach them the "go find it" game. Have your dogs toys in a pile or container and tell them to "go find" their favorite toy. As your dog gets better at this game you can make it more challenging by increasing the number of toys they have have to sift through. Keep it fun for them by rewarding them handsomely with a treat or quick game of tug when they succeed. This game will give your dog a great mental workout.
28. Teach Your Dog a New Trick Does your dog know how to weave through your legs and jump through a hoop? There is always a new trick you can teach your dog, and trust me when I say teaching your dog how to weave through your legs is a lot easier than it sounds. Does your dog already know a bunch of tricks? One of the best things about trick training is that there is always room to improvise and make it more challenging. Once your dog knows a bunch of tricks you can step it up a notch and combine their learned behaviors into brand new tricks.
29. Play The Which Hand Game If you have been thinking about teaching your dog some scent work games this is a great game to get you started. The only thing you will need is some dog treats, and if you don't have any on hand - you can use some chopped up fruits & veggies or make your own homemade dog treats. How to Play the Which Hand Game:
Place a treat in one of your hands.
Close your fists and hold them out in front of your dog.
Let the dog choose which hand it's in.
When your dog sniffs or paws the correct hand open it up and give them the treat.
If he chooses incorrectly do not discourage him, it takes a few tries to catch on.
A gentle "touch" command will be helpful.
30. Play a Game of Hide & Seek Hide and seek might not seem all that complex or entertaining to us, but a lot of dogs get a real kick out of it. If your dog does not have a good stay command down you can ask a friend to help by having them distract your dog as you go and hide or you can practice your "stay" before you get started.
31. Get Some Puzzle Toys For Your Dog Keep you dog mentally stimulated by giving them a puzzle to solve. There are a ton of dog puzzle toys available, as well as treat dispensing toys like the Kong Wobbler. There is also a ton of great DIY toys out there you can make. I love the simple muffin tin game - if you have a muffin tin and some tennis balls you are ready to play.
32. Play a Game of Fetch Most of us do have some extra room indoors for a simple game of fetch, but if you live on the 5th floor with a St. Bernard you should probably skip this game. When it comes to playing indoor fetch hallways, stairways, and big living rooms are popular choices. Be careful with heavy toys around anything that's fragile or able to be tipped over, and it's probably not a good idea to play fetch inside the kitchen. If you don't like the idea of playing fetch indoors you could turn it into a simple game of catch.
33. Master The Art of Doggie Massage Learning how to give a dog massage is enriching for owner and dog alike. A nice massage can help soothe and relax nearly any dog. And dog massages are great for older dogs or those with arthritis, since it helps soothe sore and achy joints. Giving your dog a massage reduces anxiety, relieves stress, improves circulation, and creates a great bond between you and your dog. If your dog has a hard time settling down for a massage you can practice the relaxation protocol.
34. Try Some Free Shaping Games If you haven't heard of 101 things to do with a box you have been missing out on some fun training opportunities. It's a great foundation for learning how to practice free shaping techniques, and it only requires a box and a clicker. The basic principle of shaping games is to encourage our dogs to try something new. They get to make their own decisions and increase their mental and physical flexibility. You start out with a box on the ground and without any cues let your dog investigate and decide what to do. Shaping can be used with any item, not just a box. Here is a great video of shape training a dog to crawl under an object.
35. Give Your Dog Regular Grooming Sessions Although your dog won't find a grooming session as exciting as a game of tug it is something that needs to be done from time to time. Our dogs need to be brushed, bathed, have their teeth brushed, and have their nails trimmed when they start to get long. Some dogs tolerate grooming better than others, and the more you practice using positive rewards the easier it will become. Do not be afraid to hand out lots of treats during a grooming session - you want to ensure your dog will associate grooming habits with a positive experience.
36. Play a Game of Tag Playing tag is a fun interactive game for dogs, but it does require a partner. Each of you will sit or stand at one side of the room with a toy or some treats. Take turns calling the dog over and rewarding them when he comes. Make sure your dog is receiving lots of positive reinforcement each time they obey. This is a simple and fun way to reinforce a reliable recall.
37. Create Your Own Indoor Doggie Obstacle Course Create your own obstacle course inside your home. Have your dog jump over some towels, weave through his toys, and then lay down on a blanket. Use your imagination and come up with a set of obstacles for your dog to follow. Once your dog has learned how to jump over the towels you then move onto the toy weave. Building on prior tricks will keep your dog mentally stimulated and encourages focus.
38. Teach Your Dog to Chase Bubbles It's such a simple way to keep my dog happy, entertained & exercised. Some dogs are fascinated by catching bubbles. There is even a wide selection of pet bubble making toys on the market. You don't have to go out and buy special bubbles either - the bubbles that are available for children are nontoxic.
39. Teach Your Dog the "Go To" Command Does your dog know how to go to the couch or to his bed? This trick is simple to teach and it's helpful when you are making dinner or having guests over. If you tell your dog to go to his spot while you are making dinner enough times it will become a habit. No dog in the kitchen while cooking means you won't be finding dog hair in your dinner as often.
40. Teach Your Dog to Grab His Leash Before you go for a walk - teach your dog to go and grab his leash, then he has to fetch your boots and his harness. It's not asking much, but it's enough to keep her focused and busy while your are getting ready. As a bonus teaching your dog to go fetch their leash or harness is a nice way to get in some extra mental stimulation.
41. Teach Your Dog to Turn On / Off Lights This can come in quite handy when it's getting late and you find yourself needing some more light and youare feeling a bit lazy. Instead of having to get up and turn on the light have your dog do it for you. To start with this trick a touch stick or good "touch" it command are handy. If you have a small dog you might have to improvise to make it possible for your dog to reach the light switch. Do not attempt this trick if the occasional scratch mark on your wall will bother you.
42. Make Some Simple Dog Treats Your dog might not be an active participant in the making of dog treats, but he will certainly be reaping the rewards. I love making my own dog treats rather than buying them from the store. It's nice knowing exactly what goes into what our dogs are eating, plus when you make your own you can control the portion size. By making your own dog treats you will not only have a great supply of training rewards on hand, but you will also impress your dog with your excellent culinary expertise.
43. Teach Them To Say Please by Sitting Does your dog come up to you and nudge your hand when they want something? If you don't find this behavior desirable teach your dog that sitting politely is the key to gaining your attention. Do not be afraid to teach your dog how to act - without guidance they develop bad manners. Our dogs look to us for cues all the time, they like to know what's expected of them. Reward polite behaviors handsomely, with consistency your dog will get into the habit of asking for things in a polite manner.
44. Stair Master (Pup Edition) Utilize all areas of your home! If you have a staircase, you can throw a ball up the stairs for your dog to retrieve and return to you at the bottom of the steps. Catch, toss, and have your dog return the ball several times to ensure a tired doggie.
45. Watch Movies For Dogs Yes, that's right. There are movies and TV programs designed especially for dogs. Dogs do not quite see television the way we do, but there are some dogs that seem to recognize the movement on the screen and become very excited. Some dogs will not respond at all to images on the screen. However, the sounds coming from the TV can be heard by most dogs and might interest your dog. It might be worth a try to see if your dog enjoys watching.
46. Run your Dog Up and Down the Stairs In homes with big flights of stairs, running up and down can be a great exercise for your dog. Keep in mind, however, that this is not a good exercise for some dogs. If your dog is old, has health issues, has \ or is prone to arthritis and other joint problems, etc. - don't do this!
47. Play Keep Away Game Also called "Monkey" as well as several other names, Keep away is a game that you can easily play at home if you have some space. You will need someone else to play with you and your dog. Just get a ball, throw it to each other and let the dog have fun trying to get it.
48. Teach your Dog to Use the Treadmill Dogs can use the treadmill, preferably those designed specifically for pets. They need a bit of training, however first get your dog used to a dog treadmill when it's turned off. Then, turn it on at a slow pace. Don't leash your dog on the treadmill - just keep an eye on them and give them treats from the front end of the treadmill.
49. Canine conditioning classes online There are some great online classes for canine conditioning. Similar to online or TV fitness programs for people, classes like E-training for dogs, FitPAWS, Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, and others are a great way to exercise your pooch indoors.
50. Make a Homemade Dog Toy Studies show that dogs get bored with the same old toys. Rather than constantly buying new ones, try rotating them or get creative and make a DIY toy or two! Many can be made from old clothes, towels, water bottles and other items around the house. It's a fun way to pass the time when you are trapped inside, and your pooch will love you for your efforts!
51. Snuggle Up & Relax on the Couch After a nice training session or game there is nothing better than a little bit of relaxation. We all need time to unwind, and many of our dogs love to lounge around with us.
52. Play "Pick a Hand" with Your Dog Right in line with our other nose-based games we have the ever simple, and yet entertaining, pick-a-hand game. First, get your dog's favorite treats. Next, hide one in one of your hands behind your back. Then, present both closed hands to your dog. Allowing them to sniff and inspect your hands. Once your dog paws at, or nudges the correct hand with their sniffer, praise them and allow them to have the treat. Don't scold or get upset if they choose the wrong hand. Remember, praise and showing them what they are doing right, works so much better than focusing on what they did wrong or unwanted. If they don't get it right away, try a couple more times until they do. An easy, fun game.
53. Teach your Dog to Ask for Things the Way you Prefer If your dog used to bark at you any time he wants something - try to teach him to ask you for things in a different way. You can teach him to quietly come up to your and rest his head on your lap. Like this you can know whenever he is hungry, wants to go outside, or wants you to play - he simply will rest his head in your lap. If you have a dog that nudges you with their nose, barks at you or does some other undesirable action when they want something. Teach them how you'd prefer them to ask. Some common ways are, sitting quietly looking at you, licking your hand, resting their heads on you. Your dogs look to you for how you want them to act. They want to please you and if they know you prefer them to ask another way, they will usually strive to make you happy.
54. Laser Pointer Chase A fun game many dogs like is to chase a laser pointer. That's right - it's not just for cats! You can pretty much play this until you are exhausted from playing. It's a great time and will entertain both of you. You can also make a bait stick. It is basically just a stick with a long rope or string attached to it and then some sort of "bait" you think your dog will chase. It can be a small toy of theirs, a smallish ball, or anything you think your dog will want to get. The first time you play this you may have to entice your pooch by waving it in front of their face a few times until they decide to get that thing bouncing and jumping all around. You simply hold the stick on the opposite end as your rope is connected to. Warning! Laser can be Dangerous if you direct it to Dog's eyes.
55. Change up your Dog's Play Time Dogs, just like people, can get bored with the same old thing every day. So make sure you keep your dog's games, tricks, and even routines a bit interesting by switching things up. If your dog plays one particular game with you every couple days, the next time he is bored switch things up and pay something new. When a dog learns a new game or new trick they are mentally stimulated. It's also a good way to make your dog use their brain. Any time they are doing something new they have to concentrate extra hard to be sure they are doing it correctly. It's this level of concentration that allows them to use up some of that mental energy and hold their attention. When their attention is on, whatever new thing they are learning it's not on how bored they are.
57. SHOW THEM LOVE ! You should show them all the love! Engaging with your pups is important, but maybe you want to take funny pictures of them to send to social-distancing relatives or re-create famous movie scenes for a blog. Some extra care and attention are also key because if this coronavirus crisis is stressing you out, they will feel it, too. If your dog loves napping next to you, have a stack of blankets for snuggling. Or if your dog is more like a cat, let him have enough alone time. A bond between human and canine is strong, and fostering that will help everybody through tough times.
PUPPY TOYS FOR THE PLAYFUL NATURE OF YOUR PETS This article proudly presented by WWW.DOGICA.COM
Keeping pets means having responsibilities. They have to be raised with utmost care and love and you have to look after every minute detail of them. This is because pets are very sensitive and hard to treat. In addition to it, one of the major concerns of pet owners is understanding pet psychology. However, the solution can be that you will get to know your pets with time. Further, you can boost your pet's welfare by engaging them in playful activities. These activities are extremely important to resolve your furry partner's behavioral or health issues. Follow the next segment to know about it in detail.
Why Your Pet's Playful Nature is Important? There is nothing more cheerful for a pet lover to watch a pet playing. The way it cheers you up, similarly, it cheers up your pets as well. The importance of the playful nature of your pets is as follows:
Playing stimulates the lethargy of your pet's life
Enough playing is important for better digestion
It is also beneficial for the sleep cycle of your pets
Playing saves your pets from being obese
It reduces behavioral problems, for example, the excessive barking of dogs.
Most importantly, it binds the pets and their owners more strongly
Playing releases extra energy from your pets, therefore, making their physical state calm and streamlined.
It boosts the mental stability and awareness of your pet
Thus, like a little human child, pets also need to play enough for their good state. However, it is not always possible for pet owners to play with their pets. Work pressure or lack of time sometimes makes the bond between the pets and their owners weak. Nevertheless, pet owners can take the help of toys that can help easily to engage their pets in solo playing. The next segment will talk about some of the pet toys and their features.
8 best Puppy Toys and Their Features Puppy toys are helpful not only for dogs but also for other kinds of animals such as cats and rabbits. Some of these toys are:
Tough Rubber Balls Tough rubber balls are a pretty basic toy for your pets. The features of these balls are: these balls are chew proof, bouncy, colorful for grabbing the attention and they are cheap.
Fetch Stick Sticks are the favorite toys of dogs. Whenever you take them out they run after getting sticks. So why don't you give them a replacement with an artificial fetch stick? The features of fetch stick toys are: easily accessible, meat scented, fit to the size of the mouth.
Bones The dogs are fond of bones, be it real or false. However, toy bones are popular for some of the obvious features. These are stuffed with frozen treats, added calcium, healthy for gum and teeth, chew proof.
Squeaky Toys Squeaky toys are mainly for dogs. Other animals may get frightened by noisy toys but dogs enjoy it. The features of squeaky toys are attract the dogs very quickly and satisfy the hunter instinct of the dogs.
Rope Toys These are mingled ropes with harmless fabric. The features of the toys are - soft fabric, chewable, safe for all types of dog breeds.
Square Box Square boxes made of cardboard are a unique playing element for your pet dog. Sometimes you may notice that your pet is trying to destroy things. It is because of their instinct. However, to encourage them the cardboard boxes can be helpful. The features are: it suits for small breed dogs, releases energy and calms down the behavioral issues.
Plush Toys There are pet-friendly plush toys that are very popular nowadays. You can buy these fluffy toys for your pets from PUPPYHEAVEN.COM easily.
The features of these toys: they give comfort and a sense of motherly affection. Also it perfect for snuggling.
LED Lights You may have seen numerous videos of pets playing with an LED light pointer. LED light pointer attracts the animals and instigates them to catch them. Cats are very fond of this toy. The features are: boosts swift action of the pets, engages them,
helps in proper brain functioning.
Conclusion Therefore, to keep your pets happy, especially puppies, you need to engage them in play. It is quite natural that the animals will not behave according to your wishes. However, you can control that with proper training. In addition to it, you also need to take care of their well-being by spending quality time with them. Alternatively you can choose any of the mentioned toys and click visit them.
Puppies have an overwhelming urge to chew from the moment they leave the womb. It's how they first explore and learn about the world around them. It's completely natural. But wow! Does their chewing ever go into serious overdrive when teething begins! It's like an obsession and all they seem to live for.
But again, it's completely natural. They have sore, inflamed gums with teeth breaking through and the only relief they can find is to chew something, anything to soothe the pain. During this teething stage, many owners suffer the heartbreak of seeing their once lovely puppy start to destroy their home, gnawing their way through shoes, remote controls, furniture legs and more.
And anything a puppy can get away with that leads to a rewarding situation can easily turn into a life long habit as they seek that reward out time and time again. One of your jobs then is to manage the situation. To supervise and intervene when they start to chew the wrong things, your things and redirect them onto appropriate toys. So you're going to need a good selection of chew toys for teething puppies.
To help prevent destructive chewing - Your best bet is to invest in some high-quality, durable toys that they can chew on instead. This is not necessarily as easy as it sounds. Labs are often such vigorous chewers that they can destroy your run-of-the-mill chew toys within minutes, even those that market themselves as "indestructible". Discover both how to choose and our recommendations for the best, toughest, durable dog toys suitable for heavy chewers.
First Things First: Safety is Key !!! Although durability and the "fun factor" are obviously important, safety is paramount when it comes to choosing toys, you don't want your Lab ingesting broken pieces of toy and causing themselves internal damage. Toughness is obviously important, so it stays intact while receiving a hammering from your Lab, but it also should not be too hard and put too much pressure on your dog's teeth either. Compromise is everything! Also important is the chew toy's material composition. Always opt for non-toxic materials as the toy will be spending a good amount of time in your dog's mouth. Obviously, we want to avoid swallowing chunks of toy as much as possible, but if they are going to have pieces floating through their digestive system, the toy should be made of non-toxic materials.
Do not try and second-guess your dog's power to destroy when it comes to choosing the best toys for them. That potent mix of boredom, willpower and determination in a Labrador can be destructive so make sure the toys you decide on are more than strong enough to withstand heavy chewing. Small parts dislocating from the toy or a seemingly shrinking size should make you put the toy straight in the bin - your dog should not be allowed to ingest parts of their toys. Huge numbers of toys are touted as "indestructible" nowadays and it's easy to fall for the persuasive sales rhetoric. Chances are, however, it is not indestructible and may even be demolished within mere minutes of meeting your Dog. It's best to take the indestructible moniker with a pinch of salt, and buy those on the advice of others who can attest to their toughness.
Avoid Plush, Vinyl & Lates Toys A soft, brown dog shaped stuffed dog toyMake sure that you avoid stuffed toys or those made of a plush material too. Yes, they are certainly cute, and often very cheap, but there's a reason for this: they will be eaten for breakfast (hopefully not literally!) by a vigorously chewing dog. Their durability is close to non-existent if you have a strong chewer. From a safety perspective too, plush toys are a no-no as an aggressive chewer can easily swallow the stuffing. Tread with even more caution if there is a squeaker stuffed inside, also they may are a clear choking hazard if the toy is pulled apart. Vinyl and Latex Don't Make the Grade Either. Though vinyl is a little tougher than latex, we wouldn't consider either material tough enough to withstand Labs who chew hard. They, too, often come stuffed with squeakers so if your dog is chewing on one, watch carefully that it doesn't come free from the toy.
BEST INDESTRUCTABLE DOG CHEWING TEETH TOYS The Original And Still The Best - Tough Dog Toys From Kong! Undoubtedly the market leaders, Kong toys were invented decades back in response to the founder's German Shepherd needing a tough toy to keep him entertained. The original "indestructible" dog toy brand, Kongs are super tough and ideal for aggressive chewers. There's such a huge variety of different toys on offer in the Kong range - you will certainly be able to find something perfect for your Lab. Many of them can even be stuffed with treats for some added fun!
Touted as the world's strongest chew toy, the Extreme is perfect for the dog who continues to amaze you with how quickly they can destroy. It's universally popular with heavy chewers and is used even by police, drug enforcement and military K-9 teams, as well as the Schutzhund and AKC competition trainers. Made using carbon Black Ultra-Flex(tm), the Extreme is puncture-resistant and about as indestructible as a dog toy can be. It's non-toxic too and can even be stuffed with treats, which is guaranteed to keep your heavy chewer occupied, stave off boredom and ease any separation anxiety they may suffer from. For this reason, the Kong is also recommended for owners about to start crate training with their dogs. The Extreme also doubles up as an interactive toy to help you get involved in playtime, it has an unpredictable bounce on it due to its undulating curved design, which is perfect for games of fetch with playful pups.
Living up to its name, the Wobbler toy is a fantastic plaything for your Lab as they try to control it and stop it wobbling, falling over and rolling away from them. Primarily a food dispenser, the Wobbler can be stuffed with your dog's kibble or favorite treat and occupy your dog for hours on end. This means it's a great toy to use with dogs that eat their food too quickly when it's set out in front of them in a bowl - the challenge of retrieving their food from the Wobbler will be enough to get them to slow down and savor. As always with Kong toys, durability and toughness is guaranteed with the US-made Wobbler. The real stand-out feature, however, is the fact your dog will be mentally and physically stimulated with the effort needed to retrieve the food and treats so boredom and destructive chewing will seem like a lifetime away. As an added bonus, the Wobbler is dishwasher safe and also has an easy twist off dispenser, just because your Lab may have a challenge getting the food out shouldn't mean you have a challenge getting it in!
Moving away from the more traditional chew toys for a moment, here we have the perfect interactive toy for frolicking in the park with your Lab. The Wubba is a "tug'n'toss" toy, whereby you toss it, your pup chases and catches it, fetches it to you when you can then also use it for a game of tug. It's comprised of two balls – one of which is a squeaker and the other a tennis ball and some strong fabric "legs" which your pup will adore pulling and chewing on. Durability and toughness is key as always.
Much like the original Extreme toy, the Extreme Goodie Bone is incredibly durable and tough, therefore perfect for the most aggressive of chewers. Shaped like a bone and made of super strong natural rubber, the Extreme Goodie Bone can also be stuffed with treats to keep a dog's mind busy, trying to work the treats out. This will ease boredom and stave off destructive chewing in your Lab as well as easing any separation anxiety they may suffer from. Made in the US of non-toxic materials, the Extreme Goodie Bone is also puncture resistant. One of the most interesting features of the toy is the patented "Goodie Grippers" to be found at each end of the bone where you can stuff the toy with treats. The "Goodie Grippers" make it harder for your dog to retrieve the food, which serves to increase the effort, both mental and physical, of your dog as they go to town on the toy. You are sure to return home to a tired, yet satisfied dog!
What dog doesn't love a squeaky toy? Earlier we warned against toys with squeakers as they can become choking hazards if a dog manages to rip them apart. Thankfully, Kong toys are tough enough to withstand the most aggressive of chewers and the Squeez Stick, in particular, protects and recesses its squeaker very well. More of an interactive toy than a standard chew toy you would leave your dog at home alone with, the Squeez Stick has enough features to be a truly versatile toy. Made of non-toxic, thermo-plastic rubber, it is the perfect compromise for your Lab of chewy and durable while also able to bounce unpredictably and it floats on water too! This guarantees hours of fun, whether you are inside or outside, on dry land or near water. The Squeezz toys come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors so you have plenty of options to find the perfect one for your dog.
An especially sturdy ball, the "Jolly" brand was initially started up to create ball toys for horses so it has a proven track record of creating products that stand up against strong teeth and hard chewing. After discovering how popular the balls were with heavy-chewing dog owners, a little tinkering helped adapt them to dogs' wants and needs and they have been appreciated by dogs and their owners ever since. The Jolly Ball with Rope is designed to be kicked, tugged, thrown, carried and launched, all of which equals a great ball toy for playing with outside! It won't deflate if your dog does puncture it and it also floats, which is ideal for keen swimmers. Made of non-toxic Polyethylene plastic, safe for both you and your Lab and sturdy rope for "tug and toss" games, this toy is heavy duty and durable. The Jolly Pet Balls are available in a variety of sizes and bright colors so you are sure to find the perfect fit for your pup.
As we discussed earlier, rope toys are perfect for heavy chewers due to their intense durability and safety-conscious material composition. This Nuts for Knots toy is just as tough and substantial as it looks and promises superior durability to other rope ball toys on the market. It has an impressively sturdy handle too so you can get involved in some seriously interactive games of tug of war with your dog. Perfect for large dogs like Labs, this Nuts for Knots Heavy Duty Toy is approximately the size of a shot put so is sure to keep your pup occupied for a serious amount of time.
The clue is in the name with this ball toy - your heavy-chewing dog is not going to have an easy time destroying this virtually indestructible piece of equipment. Made in the US by "West Paw Design" with non-toxic, environmentally friendly and recyclable material, this ball is super tough and ideal for the most destructive of chewers. The manufacturers are so sure of it's durability that it comes with a 100% guarantee. Ideally shaped for an unpredictable roll or bounce, this toy is great for interactive throwing and rolling games. It also fits into the Chuckit Ball Thrower to really exercise your dog. The bright colors also make it stand out and easy to find when thrown on any surface. This ball is bound to be a hit with any pup.
The US made Orbee-Tuff SnowBall is incredibly tough and durable; so much so that Planet Dog are prepared to 100% guarantee its toughness "any time, every time". While you will be delighted at how long it lasts, your Lab will love the ball's captivating mint aroma and rough textured surface that makes chewing and playing with this toy a joy. This strong chew toy has other features that make it the perfect interactive play ball, such as its ability to bounce and float, for Labs that love to fetch and chew hard. Hollow on the inside, the ball has two small ventilation holes on the side that allow the ball to squish down once it's bitten on and then bounce back into position once it is been released so there's no need to worry about your Lab wearing their teeth down on hard plastic.
It's not a ball, but made in the US by mechanical and polymer engineers, this GoughNuts toy is an ideal throw toy for aggressive, powerful chewers. So confident are the inventors in the strength of their product that they guarantee the indestructibility of the toy and are willing to replace it if your dog manages to chew through the tough outer layer. GoughNuts have created a safety system within their product line whereby if your dog is chewing hard on the black colored outer material, that means they can continue to "GoughNuts" safely, but if they manage to chew through the black to the inner red colored material, the toy should be taken away and replaced. And if your dog chews through to the red layer, GoughNuts will replace the toy free of charge! Shaped like a ring donut, this toy will be a firm favorite with your Lab who will love chasing after it, picking it up and carrying it around in their mouth. The toy also floats so is a fun addition to your play routine if your pup is a keen swimmer.
It's cost efficient and safer to start thinking of a chew toy as an investment for a number of months or years so focus on quality materials and fun features that your Lab can't help but love. You can't go wrong with hard rubber and sturdy cotton rope and, if in doubt, always opt for the ultra-durable Kong & Rogz brands!
If your dog has very few teeth (or no teeth), as is often the case with senior dogs, it's still important for your dog to have some toys of his own to play with. While dogs with no teeth may not "play" with toys in quite the same way as other dogs, they still like (and need!) to interact with play things on a regular basis. Following are 10 types of dog toys that are best for dogs with no teeth:
1. Talking dog toys Dogs without teeth may naturally shy away from traditional dog toys, but they will always be intrigued by talking dog toys! The most enjoyment comes from dog toys that make sounds on their own, without any provocation/interaction from the dog required and that make sounds in irregular patterns & unusual tones. Talking dog toys typically run on batteries, for years of fun play.
2. Motion-activated toy dog balls They roll around on their own and make noises, which continues to pique your dog's attention. For dogs, the thrill of the chase is often better than mouthing on these types of toys, which is perfect for dogs with no teeth. Bonus: these toys react differently on hard floors vs carpeted floors, so your dog's playtime will never be the same twice.
3. Long and thin plush dog toys These are soft and they come in various styles that dogs find intriguing. For dogs with no teeth, it's not about the squeakers that are often found inside these dog toys. Instead, it's about the allure of playing with something that's very long, or oddly shaped and very soft. Some plush dog toys are motion-activated as well, for added entertainment value. Dogs with and without teeth enjoy 2 unique versions of these dog toys: unstuffies and stuffingless plush toys.
4. Treat dispensing dog toys As your dog pushes these toys on the floor with his nose, dog treats/kibble fall out. This is a very rewarding form of play for dogs. It challenges your dog and motivates him to play longer. For dogs with few teeth, you will want to use smaller & softer dog treats inside these toys, or your dog's own kibble. Many interactive dog treat toys can be set to dispense more or less treats every time the toy rolls over. Perfectly round treat dispensing balls are typically the easiest for dogs to get the treats out of. And some even have a built-in timer, to reload and begin dispensing dog treats every 15 to 90 minutes.
5. Toys with lots of floppy parts Dogs enjoy this type of toy because of the unexpected motion that results from the protruding arms and legs as your dog is playing with it. As your dog shakes it around in his mouth, the floppy parts gently tap his head, face, and neck which prompts more play. For the ultimate in floppiness, consider a soft octopus dog toy or dog toys with extra long arms and legs. These dog toys are typically soft with few, if any, hard parts on them, which is perfect for dogs with no teeth. Some even make unusual noises!
6. Shaker dog toys Regardless of the shape, it's the sound of these dog toys that captivates your dog's attention. The shaking beads inside create noises similar to baby rattles which piques a dog's natural instincts to chase and play. Here's proof that dogs like rattles, bells, and shakers. Round shaker dog toys, similar to balls, have an even greater appeal since they continue to roll and make noise on their own. For dogs with few teeth, I especially like the ChuckIt Indoor Shaker.
7. Plush interactive dog toys Dogs like puzzles too. Dogs without teeth enjoy the soft puzzle toys best. The idea is to stimulate your dog, challenge his mind, and prevent boredom. Puzzle toys are a great opportunity for you to interact with your dog as well. These dog toys are similar to baby toys where the child is encouraged to put shapes into the correct spaces. Yep, there's a plush interactive dog toy like that!
8. Soft & bouncy toy dog balls The softer the better. The bouncier the better. For dogs with few teeth, toys similar to these would be the best: ChuckIt Indoor Ball lightweight and bouncy, Hear Doggy Toy - Angry Birds Plush Balls With Sound Chip - makes sounds when squeezed and rolls unpredictably, Kyjen Fleecy Clean Ball.
9. Nose-activated dog puzzles With these types of toys, your dog uses his nose more than his mouth to "play". As a bonus, with interactive dog toys your dog is also learning and being rewarded for solving doggie puzzles. If dog treats are involved, choose smaller & softer dog treats as rewards for dogs with few teeth.
10. Squeaker mat dog toys These are a great option for dogs that aren't typically motivated by toys and those with no teeth. Why? Because they have so many squeakers inside them, your dog will "accidentally" bump into fun times with one of these dog mats lying around. And teeth aren't required to make sounds. Your dog's nose alone will active a squeaker. Also, while rolling around or just lying down, your dog's own body will likely activate a squeaker.
1. Recycle an old rope. If you have a large rope, you can simply cut a length of it and tie a few knots in either end. This is one of the simplest and most inexpensive dog toys for chewing and fetching.
There can be endless variations to this, you can create loops in the end to create a great tug toy if you have two dogs. You can combine the rope with a sewn dog toy by sewing the stuffed piece onto the rope.
Be careful of what type of rope you use for this, if your dog happens to swallow long, stringy strands of the rope you could have a medical emergency on your hands. So just be aware!
2. Use your sewing machine to make dog toys. If you have a sewing machine it is a snap to make a simple dog toy. Use scraps of heavy duty fabric, canvas, old clothes, jeans or fleece, and cut squares or other shapes. With the wrong sides of the fabric facing outwards, stitch around the edge of three sides. Turn the fabric inside out so the right side of the fabric is facing outward. Stuff the opening with soft stuffing material and sew the open edge shut. You can get creative with shapes and stuffing material. Try stuffing with crinkled newspaper or bubble wrap for a "crunchy", noisy toy. These toys can be made very quickly by drawing a pattern on the fabric and cutting through several layers of fabric at once.
3. Tennis Ball Toys. You can cut two holes in a tennis ball, thread a rope through and knot the ends of the rope. Now you have a fun rope/tennis ball toy to throw or tug. Or, after threading the rope through, tie both ends of the rope together up close to the ball and you have made a great toss toy. Soak any tennis ball in chicken or beef broth and let it dry, your dog will love chewing on it.
4. Hose Toy. This is a great way to use up a leaky garden hose simply by cutting it into lengths for your dog to chew on. You can use a small stick that fits tightly into the hose end and join the two hose ends together into a loop. Or just tie a single knot in the center of a long piece of hose.
5. Sock Toys. You can put a tennis ball inside a sock and tie a knot to secure it, this makes a great toss and fetch toy. Or take a plastic water bottle or pop bottle and place it inside the sock, tie a knot, and you have a fun crunchy toy. Or snap a carrot in half and place inside the sock. A sock ball can be made out of 2-4 long socks. Use one sock as the base and stuff other socks into it. Tie a firm knot in the base sock above the stuffed area, double the end of the base sock back over the entire ball, tie a knot above the stuffed area again. Continue repeating these steps until you can't anymore, then cut the end of the sock just above the last knot. When using socks, be sure to use new or very clean socks to avoid your dog associating your smell and assuming any socks are fair game. This is where good training comes in too, so your dog understands the difference between your socks and his toys! Yes, it can be done!
6. Tug Toys. You can make a fast and fun tug toy out of any old fabric such as leftover fleece, old blankets, old towels or clothing, etc. Simply cut three long strips from the fabric, tie the ends into one big knot, then braid the three strips together, tie a final knot in the other end and you're done! You can even soak these in water or chicken broth and freeze for a great teething toy. I used an old dingy pillowcase and made a tug toy and my dog loves it! You can take this to another level and create several braids all tied together, connect the ends to form loops, or just simply tie the strips of fleece together without braiding.
7. Plastic Bottle Toys. Plastic water bottles, milk or juice bottles, or two liter pop bottles make fun and noisy toys. Remove the lid, plastic ring and label for safety and you can place these inside socks, or just give to them as is. You can place several small treats inside the bottle to make it more challenging and give it a rattle. If your dog is very destructive, be aware that small pieces of the plastic could pose a choking danger, use supervision and discard when it starts getting torn up. We have some awesome Kongs around here that you can fill with peanut butter or treats. Then I have to go about rolling them and licking at them until I get the goodies out. But you can make something like this at home. Take an old plastic bottle or even a cardboard milk carton, throw away the lid and toss a few treats inside. Your pup will probably spend a good while rolling the bottle around and trying to get the treats out. If you use a cardboard container, you will probably want to put some holes in the sides. But make sure that they aren't left alone with these toys because they might start chewing up the plastic which you definitely don't want them swallowing! And once they get the treats out, they might enjoy just tossing the bottles around and chasing them.
8. Treat Dispensing Toys. You can take a plastic jar or bowl with a lid, or even a small cardboard box, cut one or two small holes in the sides and add some treats or kibble, taping the lid shut if necessary. Your dog will have a fun time trying to get the treats to come out the holes. Use supervision with this if they attempt to eat or destroy the plastic as that could be dangerous.
9. The Whipwhir (stick and rope exercise toy). This is a great idea to provide both fun and exercise for your high-energy dog. It requires your interaction though. Find a long stick such as an old broom or mop stick, or a dowel rod and drill a hole through one end. Get a 5-6 foot long cord or rope, form a large loop at one end, slip the looped end through the hole in the stick and pull the rest of the rope through the loop. You will end up with something that looks like a fishing pole. At the other end of the rope make a small knotted loop that will hold any of a variety of items. You can attach (tie or tape) a sock ball toy, a squeeky toy, strips of fabric, a stuffed animal toy, use your imagination here. Indoors or out, simply swing the Whipwhir stick around and watch your dog go crazy chasing it. Work up to it slowly so as not to injure your dog. More detailed instructions are on the Make & Build Dog Stuff website.
10. Cardboard Tube Toys. Use your old and empty toilet paper or paper towel tubes, poke a few small holes, put treats inside and twist the ends shut. Your dog will be entertained by trying to get at the treats.
11. Noisy Blanket. I love this one! If you have a sewing machine and are crafty, buy a bag of the squeekers that are in dog toys, you can get them on the internet, get a couple large pieces of durable fabric like denim or remnant upholstery fabric, sew the fabric together, sewing squares into it, inserting a squeeky into each square as you go. When the dogs walk, sit or roll on the blanket it will squeek and they will stay busy looking for where the sound is coming from. I've seen fairly inexpensive remnant fabric often at craft or fabric stores.
12. Recycle old stuffed animals I once discovered a huge dinosaur in the trash pile which I quickly claimed as my own and brought home. It was my best friend for a long while and nearly as big as I was. I actually still have him. But some of my favorite toys are my stuffies and since I destroy them anyway, I might as well get the old ones no one wants from Mack's room, at discount stores or from the trash heap
Smart Dogs Deserve Toys that Make 'Em Think!
If your dog is tired of the same old ball and stick then it's probably time for a challenge. Luckily, there are lots of fun dog puzzles and games available that make your pooch use his brainpower. The incentive? Treats of course! Yep, all these dog toys may be different but they all have one thing in common: they all make your dog work in order to find and get at the treats hidden inside.
What's especially nice about dog puzzles and games is that they're so engaging. Dogs play with them longer than with average dog toys because not only is it fun, but the reward incentive is constantly there.
Nina Ottosson Dog Magic
The perfect beginner puzzle for your dog to start with
Nina Ottosson Dog Magic To play with the Nina Ottosson Dog Magic dog puzzle, simply hide dog treats underneath the bones and your dog must figure out how move the bones with his / her nose or paws, in order to win the game.
Nina Ottosson Dog Fighter A great mid-level challenging puzzle for dogs
Nina Ottosson Dog Fighter
With the Nina Ottosson Dog Fighter dog game, dog treats are placed underneath the wooden pegs which your dog must slide through a channel in order to find and eat the treats. The Dog Fighter can also be made more challenging with the addition of two larger pegs used to block the channels.
Buster Cubes Buster Cubes are plastic cubes - coming in small and large sizes, containing a number of internal chambers which hold kibble. The Buster Cube's level of difficulty can be adjusted according to the individual dog's proficiency. Buster Cubes can be very loud when rolling around on hardwood floors (as can TaJs), and are somewhat less easy to clean than Kongs and TaJs.
Nina Ottosson Dog Turbo One of the most challenging dog puzzle games
Nina Ottosson Dog Turbo
Dog treats are placed inside the passages and then your dog needs to move the pegs toward the outside of the Nina Ottosson Dog Turbo dog puzzle. It's a challenge, but once he does he will earn a windfall of yummy treats!
Linkables Adding more pieces increases the challenge
Busy Buddy Linkables dog treat toys come in three shapes: Twist, Elbow and Orb. They can be used alone or with other Linkables. Of course, the more pieces you add, the more difficult it is for your dog to get the treats out. Just put treats inside the Linkables and your dog must shake, roll and move the pieces around for the treats to come out through the holes.
Aikiou Interactive Dog Food Bowl Helps dogs eat their food more slowly
Aikiou Interactive Dog Food Bowl
Just fill up the Aikiou Bowl's different compartments with your dog's favorite food or treats (it can hold up to 3.5 cups worth) and then watch as your dog has fun figuring out how to open the doors and turn the wheel in order to get his / her food.
Dog Pyramid Unique weighted design always puts it back in the upright position
After you fill the Nina Ottosson Dog Pyramid with treats your dog needs to roll, spin, knock and move it around to get the treats out. What makes it really fun is that it wobbles and bops unpredictably and dogs go crazy trying to get it to stay put.
Twist 'N Treat Easy to adjust the difficulty level for dogs
The unique design of the Twist 'N Treat dog toy lets dogs easily smell the treats that are waiting inside. However, it's not that easy - there's only one hole for the treats to come out, but you can decide how large or small you want the treat opening to be for your dog.
Dog Memory Game Dogs need to remember under which colored bone you hid the treat
Dog Memory Game
First hide a treat under one of the colored puzzle pieces while your dog is watching. Then let your dog try to pick the correct puzzle piece by indicating with his nose or paw. The Nina Ottosson Dog Memory game can be made even more challenging by covering up the puzzle (or spinning it a few times) after your dog watches where you put the treat, and then uncovering it to see if he / she can remember where the treat is.
Kyjen Paw Flapper Eight Hidden Dog Treat Chambers Make For One Challenging Dog Puzzle
Kyjen Paw Flapper
What's fun about the Paw Flapper dog gameis that there are lots of scent holes on the top so that your dog won't forget that there's tasty dog treats waiting inside to be found!
DOG MEMORY PUZZLE & GAME by NINA OTTOSSON This article proudly presented by WWW.NINA OTTOSSON.COM and Nina Ottosson
Nina Ottosson Dog Memory dog puzzle. A fun way to test your dog's memory skills. Simply place a dog treat under one of the colored bones, while your dog is watching, and then see if your dog can remember which bone the treat is under. Make the game more difficult by either covering the puzzle or spinning it around a few times before you let your dog guess where the dog treat is hidden.
Test your dog's memory skills to see how well he/she can remember which colored bone the treats are hidden under. Make the game even more difficult by covering it with a towel or spinning it around a few times after showing your dog where the treat is. Then, see if your dog can remember. Great for bonding and spending quality time with your dog.
Have your dog a good memory? Can your dog see colors?
Test your dog's memory by hiding a treat under a piece of a jig-saw puzzle, while the dog is watching. Then let the dog try to choose the right puzzle piece by indicating with its paw or nose, or alternatively lift up the right piece of the puzzle. The game can be used in a number of ways. You can also hide treats under all the puzzle pieces and let the dog work to find the treats.
Tips: Try to teach your dog colors, by the paw or nose mark or lift up the right-colored piece of the puzzle. Begin with two colors, red and blue, hide a treat under the blue puzzle piece, say blue and let the dog try to choose the blue puzzle piece by indicating with its paw or nose, or by lift up the right piece. Practise and practise again until your dog "knows" the colors.
1. West Paw Design Hurley Bone (Large) Our yellow lab has had this bone for years now. It is still her favorite bone and in excellent condition. And bonus - it's a pretty blue color. This would be my first choice if I was invited to a doggy birthday party.
2. Virtually Indestructible Best Ball for Dogs (10 inch) Just as the name implies, this ball is literally indestructible. One thing to note, it is a hard plastic ball so it doesn't really bounce. It works best for fetch in the year and our Maya loves it!
3. Nylabone DuraChew Stick Bone We've had this bone in both sizes and they last a really really long time. My lab loves chewing on the little stick edges. Highly recommend!
4. Benebone Bacon Flavored Wish Bone This was our Maya's favorite Christmas present last year. It's a super durable wish bone that tastes like bacon. What dog wouldn't love that?
5. Planet Dog Soccer Ball This is a must in our house. Our fun-loving dog always wants "in the game" when we are kicking a soccer ball with our daughter. This makes the perfect soccer ball for the whole family to play with!
6. KONG Classic (Large) Nothing is as tried and true as the KONG Classic. We've had one forever. It's a great chew toy, or perfect to fill with peanut butter as a special treat. Definitely a must!
7. Nylabone Dental Dinosaur Chew Toy Our lab loves this chew toy, and bonus, it cleans her teeth! Durable + dental care - kind of a no brainer.
8. Nylabone DuraChew Wishbone This is a great chew toy for a moderate - strong chewer. And, at just $5 it's a great option!
9. Planet Dog Football If soccer isn't your thing (I'm more of an NFL girl myself), consider this aweome and tough football toy. Fun for the family, and your dog!
10. Tennis Balls FORGET all the "tough" or squeaker tennis balls that are supposedly made for dogs. Our lab Maya could get through ALL of them. And who wants a squeaking tennis ball anyway?! We buy this bulk bag on Amazon about once a year. They are great!
Selecting toys for our dogs can be a tough task, especially when we want the right combination of durable, stylish, and sustainably made. These companies have our dogs' best interests at heart, and have come up with adorable and affordable options.
The designs from West Paw Design are cute and whimsical, and they're also environmentally savvy. The rubber toys are made with Zogoflex, a tough, buoyant, and fully recyclable material that is also non-toxic, both BPA and phthalate-free. In other words, strong and safe! The plush toys are filled with IntelliLoft, a soft stuffing made from recycled plastic bottles that uses about eight times less energy than a similar material made from raw resources. An added bonus is that the stuffed toys are also completely machine washable, so you can get the stinky slobber and dirt off of them when needed. The toys range from $8-$16.50.
Eleanor and Milo
For those who like to do their shopping at Etsy, selecting among countless independent artists, I suggest checking out Eleanor and Milo for simple yet beautiful hand-made stuffed toys made with reclaimed materials. Each toy uses remnants or deadstock fabrics from furniture manufacturing companies local to the artist in North Carolina. And even the filling, instead of using fluffy stuffing, is comprised of strips of re-purposed fabric. Each toy is entirely unique, and you can also order customized toys. And as an extra bonus, 5% of all proceeds are donated to animal rescue and rehabilitation organizations. Prices range from $15-$17.
P.L.A.Y. not only makes fantastic dog beds, which we featured here among other great companies, but they also make some adorable stuffed toys. Their "Under the Sea" line of toys includes a giant clam, starfish, giant squid, sea turtle and crab. Each are made with PlanetFill stuffing, which is created out of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, and use AZO-free dye for the fabrics. They are completely washer and dryer safe, and in an extra special move, the company is donating 2% of the purchase price to International Fund for Animal Welfare, whose mission is to "reduce the commercial exploitation of animals, protect wildlife habitats, and assist animals in distress." Prices range from $9-$15.50.
Harry Barker is another favorite company of ours when it comes to canid care. The company has a fantastic selection of toys of all different types, and they keep sustainability in mind during manufacturing. For instance, the rope toys are made from 100% recycled cotton yarns, and are machine washable. They have a selection of super cute Scottie dog stuffed toys that are extra durable and use a filler made from recycled plastic bottles. And the nautical-themed tug toys are made with a hemp exterior is a great choice for a low-impact material and the same recycled filling as the other toys. Prices range from $8-$16.
Honest Pet Products has three simple principles: "To be True to our Pets; to be True to our Planet; to be True to our People." That sounds like our kind of company. The toys from Honest Pet Products are made with organic hemp, which as the company points out is the strongest of all plant fibers and is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. And of course, the toys are compostable, since they skip synthetics, plastics and rubber. Several great designs are available, like the Eco Owl Buddy, which is made with an outer layer of organic hemp and an inner layer of organic wool. Rope tug toys, flyer frisbees, and a long "rattler" with squeekers are also great options. All the toys are machine washable, non-toxic, and are lead and chemical-free.
Sustainability doesn't just mean that earth-friendly materials are used. It can also mean that it's an object that will last for a really, really, really long time, outlasting the competition. For that, we have stuffed toys from Tuffy's Pet Toys. I have to say, we play some serious tug-o-war games around here, and after going through goodness knows how many stuffed toys, with my dog ripping out the stuffing of even the "mighty" stuffed toys within a week or two and having only a sad, floppy carcass of cloth left to play with. I finally found these in a pet store. I bought three about a year ago and haven't had to buy a single new stuffed toy since! They seem to last through the worst abuse, and that includes using them for our rambunctious games of tug-o-war.
There are loads of creatures, both real and mythical, to choose from. We have the shark (tuff scale: 7), the spider (tuff scale: 8), and tug-o-war toy (tuff scale: 9). The shark is now missing some stuffing but still has the squeeker, the spider is intact except for a mangled leg, and the tug-o-war toy is like new. So the company is really on target with their rating system!
The toys may not be made out of recycled or organic materials, but they last and after all, consuming less is part of living sustainably. Prices range from $8-$80 because of the wide variety of size, durability and design, so you'll be able to find something that suits both your taste and budget.
TOP SMART PUZZLE DOG TOYS This article proudly presented by WWW.PAUSEAND PLAY.CO.UK and WWW.DOGICA.COM
15 of the best dog puzzle toys to keep your dog entertain and mentally stimulated. With dog puzzle toys, your pooch can regularly use his natural instinct to hunt and forage for food. All of the dog puzzle toys that we feature here are also slow feeders. So they can help stop your dog from over eating. And finally they also make your dog take time to eat. These puzzle toys are great for keeping your dog happy and healthy. During our research we found the puzzle toys with the best reviews and unique designs. We have compiled this list for you.
This list of dog puzzle toys will hopefully help you decide what options are the best for your dog. There are options for beginners and others up to advanced puzzle boards and toys
Think, play, learn, reward! Doggy Brain Train Quadro is a fascinating game for dogs which will keep you and your four legged friend amused for hours. The strong, high quality wooden playing board has little plastic covers and plugs with integrated air holes, making them easy to clean.
2. P.L.A.Y. Wobble Ball Toy Your pup loves to play, and there is nothing more exciting than when food is part of the equation! The P.L.A.Y. Wobble Ball Toy will provide hours of interactive fun and enrichment for your dog. Simply put a treat in and reward your dog for their persistence and intelligence!
3. DogSmart wood - Level 1 by Nina Ottosson Lift one block after another in order to find the treats underneath. Available in large and small. Hide treats in the compartments underneath some of the hollow blocks. Let the dog search for the treats by letting it use its mouth to lift one block after another in order to find the treats underneath. The dog cannot knock the blocks down with its paw but has to lift them up one by one with its mouth.
4. DogMemory wood - Level 1/2 by Nina Ottosson Test your dog's memory by hiding a treat under a piece of a jig-saw puzzle, while the dog is watching. Then let the dog try to choose the right puzzle piece by indicating with its paw or nose, or alternatively lift up the right piece of the puzzle. The game can be used in a number of ways. You can also hide treats under all the puzzle pieces and let the dog work to find the treats.
5. Trixie Dog Activity Turn Around Trixie Dog Activity Turn Around is perfect for the intermediate canine game player. Your pet is rewarded after correctly turning over the suspended plastic beakers which then release the prize hidden inside. The beakers can be used alone or with a lid. We've included two sets of lids - each with a different set of holes through which your dog must navigate the treat. The non-slip rubber feet keep the game in place as your dog plays and explores.
6. Kyjen Dog Games Treat Wheel Dog Toy Puzzle Hide treats under the paws and your dog will have to learn how to retrieve them. Interactive games are a wonderful way for you to bond with your dog and create a fun way to offer a challenge and a reward. You will love watching your dog make progress and figure out how to dislodge the plastic paws to get to the treats hidden beneath. When you spin the wheel more compartments are revealed for you to stash treats in and prolong the game.
7. Trixie Activity Flip Board Dog Toy The Activity Flip Board Dog Toy is an interactive game which keeps your dog mentally alert and on its toes. Hidden beneath the various flaps are treats and snacks and your dog has to work out how to open them to get at the snack. Some of the flaps open up and some slide away, and you can also hide treats under cones which your dog has to move away. There are various levels of difficulty but if your dog finds the levels too easy or difficult it will become bored or disheartened. The included instruction booklet is full of handy tips on how to keep your pet interested and challenged over a long period of time.
8. iQuties Bone Slots Dog Game iQuties Bone Slots Dog Game is a brilliant bone-shaped board with ten holes for hiding dog treats. The six sliding disks challenge your dog to find the treats by scent. To gain access to the treats, your pet needs to solve the puzzle. It takes a bit of practice but is great for keeping your dog occupied and to develop cognitive skills. This one is better for beginners or maybe for puppies as it's simpler.
9. Dog Tornado Dog Activity Toy - Level 2 by Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado has four layers of rotating discs. In three layers there are compartments where treats can be hidden. The dog/cat has to learn to rotate the different layers in different directions with its nose or paw in order to find the hidden goodies. By placing the white plastic blocks in some of the compartments, the degree of difficulty increases. You can tie a string through the holes in the blocks to make it easier for the dog/cat to lift the blocks away. Great for cats aswell.
10. Aikiou Junior brown and green Aikiou is a dog slow feeder with six different openings to challenge your dog's mind and keep him in shape. It is a food bowl that will challenge your dog mentally. People now call it an interactive feeder since Aikiou invented the category in 2008. On their website there is an extensive range of interactive feeders for both cats and dogs.
11.Green Slow Dog Feeder Green Dog Slow Feeder's design is inspired blades of grass. Green can help slow your dog's eating habit and making feeding time fun. Find out more about Green Slow Dog Feeder on our website here.
12. MixMax Puzzle D - Level 3 by Nina Ottosson Put together several games to one BIG activity board game. Hide treats and let your dog figure out how to find them. Create your own puzzle game by combining several different games, you decide how difficult it will be, from easy to very advance - there are endless possibilities! A completely new and unique concept of activity games for dogs. Use one game by itself, or put together several games to create the ultimate game at the level that your dog needs.
13. DogDomino Wood - Level 3 by Nina Ottosson The dog must pull out one block after the other and thereby finding the hidden treats. He or she'll have to try and place the movable discs into the right position so that the blocks are uncovered and the dog can pull out one block after the other and thereby finding the hidden treats under the blocks.
15. Trixie Dog Activity Tower Trixie Dog Activity Tower is perfect for the beginning canine gamer. Fill each drawer with your pet's favourite treats. With a little practice, they will learn to pull the loops attached to the drawers in the correct order and release the treats. For an added challenge, the game also contains three cones for hiding small rewards within the base compartments. The non-slip rubber feet keep the game in place as your dog plays and explores.
Chew toys are a fantastic thing to place in the crate for any and all dogs as they look forward to time with their chew toys, especially if stuffed with tasty treats. Having chew toys helps to form positive associations with the crate, keeps your dog or puppy's mind occupied preventing boredom and can stop them chewing on the crate or their bedding if they are going through teething.
Here are some party games you can do indoors or out for some pj- inspired fun:
Dog Limbo Using a standard agility hurdle, dogs get their Caribbean groove on with this variation of "How low can you go?" fun. Let the music play while dogs walk under the limbo stick, lowering the bar a notch each round. The last dog to successfully go under the limbo stick without knocking it off wins.
Magical Mutt Have each dog line up for some slight of hand and treat. Place a treat into one closed fist, keeping the other fist empty. Ask each dog, "Which hand?" When your dog touches its nose to the fist that contains the treat, reveal the treat and reward your dog. For a competitive spin, time each dog. The quickest canine is dubbed the winner.
Musical Mats Set up a few mats on the floor, just as you would when playing the human counterpart version. Dogs must go to their mats and sit when the music stops. Before the music starts again, remove one mat. Owners may encourage their dogs, but no pushing or pulling is allowed. The last dog with a mat wins.
Scooby Says Remember the childhood game "Simon Says"? Dogs form a line in front of the "barker". As commands are given, each dog reacts. Use fun, basic commands like "Sit," "Down" and "Stay." The last dog remaining is named the champ.
When a dog loses her eyesight there is a risk that she can become withdrawn. Using toys is a great way to keep your dog entertained and engaged with her surroundings. Just because your dog can't see doesn't mean that she can not have fun with you: There are plenty of games and toys that are perfect for interacting with your blind dog.
Keep your blind dog physically and mentally challenged to avoid him sinking into depression. Walk him often and allow him plenty of sniffing exploration breaks. At first, he may be reluctant to explore new places. If so, keep your walks to familiar routes. Give him time to adjust, and extend your walk by just a little each day. Soon exploring new places and smells will be a favorite activity. Remember that blind dogs enjoy having fun, just like any dog. Because a blind dog relies so heavily on smell and hearing, it will be helpful to select toys that activate those senses.
Most dogs tend only to live in the moment but also be in tune with the dog owner's emotional state. Hence, the blindness may not be a very big issue to them. When the dog owner is either sad or depressed, the dog will still be able to sense it and will try to do what it can to keep the owner happy. Just like any dog, blind dogs love to play with toys and play with you. As stated before, their sense of hearing and smell will grow more acute over time. Consider these when selecting toys. Kongs filled with smelly treats are a wonderful way to keep your dog entertained. You can play fetch with a tennis ball scented with lemon oil or vanilla extract or a ball that makes noise when it bounces, but you may need to limit the distance you are throwing it. Be sure to have a clear space with no obstacles. Tennis balls inside a kiddie pool, with or without water, can be fun for your dog to chase, and they won't be able to get away from him. Look for toys that make sounds.
Try "Hide and Seek" game with your dog. Hiding at close perimeters and slowly expanding is not only a fun game, but also teaches your dog to come. You can also hide small treats and let your dog use his sense of smell to find them. Several treat-dispensing toys are on the market, which are perfect for blind dogs.
The Buster Cube can be stuffed with treats, and when your dog interacts with the toy, treats fall out for him to enjoy.
Similarly, Kong toys are also great for scent games. Fill the inside with peanut butter or any treat your dog loves and he will be occupied for hours.
Scented toys are great for engaging blind dogs in playtime. Jolly Critters Dog Toys are vanilla scented, making them easy to locate in "find it!" games with your dog. Just be sure and select non-toxic scented toys.
KONG SQUEEZE TOYS When it comes to toys, any dog owner with an insurmountable amount of experience can attest to the fact that Kong's are some of the best toys currently on the market for dogs that can see and those that are not able to see. What makes, Kong's stand out from the rest is that they have been designed in a way that the dog owner can be able to stuff in, treats. The treats will not only act as a motivator for the dog but will also offer various aromas which the visually impaired dog can be able to seek and find the toy.
BABBLE BALLS Just like Kong Branded Squeaky toys, Babble Balls are also another great type of interactive toys for the visually impaired dogs. When touched or squeezed, bubble balls tend to talk or make exciting animal noises that can be fun and insightful for the pet. Over the last few years, the technology used on bubble toys has drastically improved in a manner that a dog breathing or vibrations due to the dog's movement can be able to trigger the toy to produce interactive animal noises.
Once the play ends, the babble ball can switch off automatically and will still be ready to produce noise when touched again. Due to the sophistication and the amount of technology used in the toy, most dogs often tend to think that the toy is alive. Currently, babble balls are available in some series such as the animal series or the talking series which is also called the wise-cracking series. The new generation Babble Balls have been amalgamated with a series of features that undeniably makes them stand out from the rest. All Babble Balls come with a durable ABS construction, improved sound quality, triple sounds, and finally replaceable batteries.
ROPE TOYS Rope toys are suitable for playing fetch and tug of war with your visually impaired pet. Apart from being uniquely woven and hand tied with the aim of improving the dental formula of your pet. Each toy design from the leading companies comes with its story and are suitable for chewing and also playing tag for lots of hours. Currently, there are several rope toys designed that are available on Amazon, they include: Daisy the duck from Jax and Bones, The Zanies Menagerie Dog Toy, Coco the Elephant from Jax and Bones, Griggles 10 inch rope Elton and Daphne the Deer from Jax and Bones. As one of the trailblazing toy designs, the Good Karma Rope Toys have been nominated by several magazines as one of the best toys for cats and dogs.
Shaping Games Playing shaping games with your dog will help them build confidence and offer new behaviours.
BELL TOYS Apart from squeaky toys, there are also various toys that have been designed with bells on the inside. The bell toys are ideal for the visually impaired dogs because they tend to produce bell sounds when moved or thrown so as to assist the dog in locating the toy. However, Bell Toys must be given to dogs under strict supervision because the bell in this toys can be easily swallowed if he or she manages to dislodge it from the bell toy. Currently, there are several brands that deal exclusively with bell toys. They include Four Paws, which is the brand that has produced the Four Paw Rough and Rugged Bell Toy, the Four Paws Rough and Rugged Baseball bell toy, the Rubber Ring Bell toy, and many others.
SCENTED TOYS As discussed earlier, use of scents is also an effective way that will assist your visually impaired dog to locate its toy without straining too much. Currently, there are numerous scented toys on the market like the durable rubber toys from Planet Toys which have been mint scented. Other great examples also includes the Orbee Tough which is ideal for the visually impaired dogs and those that are not. The Orbee Tough scent toy has been designed in a way that there is a location where the dog owner can be able to place treats, cheese, and peanut butter. Apart from the Orbee Tough scent toys, the eco-friendly Vanilla Scented toys from BecoThings are also a great choice for blind dogs. If you have already purchased other type of toys, you can also be able to scent them in different ways so that your dog can be able to find them. For the soft toys such as rope toys or plush toys, you can add a small quantity of scented extract like vanilla or mint to the toy. You can also alternatively decide to add different kind of scents to each of the toys so that the pet can be able to differentiate one from the other.
For the squeaky and hard toys, you can choose to place them in an air-tight bag that is filled with strong-smelling food such as dried liver or a pig's ear. After several days, the hard and squeaky toys will have completely absorbed the smell from these pieces of food.
HOMEMADE DIY TOYS FOR BLIND DOGS DIY toys are suitable for individuals who are looking to cut extra costs by making use of what can be found around the house to design and create dog toys. Apart from being cheaper, DIY is also an amazing way to recycle old materials instead of throwing them away. All in all, there are several toy designs for blind dogs that you can be able to design just by sitting down for a few minutes. Also, with DIY you can always decide to get a little bit creative without exhausting your resources or straining your budget. All in all, here are some DIY Toy designs that you should know.
Jiggle balls Apart from purchasing toys for your visually impaired dog, you can alternatively decide to create your homemade toys that will in turn allow you to save a little bit of money. One such toy is the Jiggle Ball which is usually designed in a manner that it can produce noise. When designing the jiggle ball, you will be required to poke a small hall into an old tennis ball. Through the hall, you will insert a small and simple metal ball.
So as to keep the dog interested, you can also insert a few treats through the hole. For the visually impaired dogs and puppies, the scent emitted by the treat inside the ball will allow them to find the toy effectively without straining too much. Finally, you will be expected to reseal the openings with some stitches so that the jiggle ball will not come out very easily.
Sock Ball Toy Sock Ball Toys are also very easy to design and are suitable for all kinds of dogs. When designing a sock ball toy, you will be required to take an old sock then stuff it, with a tennis ball. But before, stuffing the ball inside the socks, you should ensure the socks is clean because your pet is going to have the toy in his or her mouth most of the time. Also, the scent of socks might confuse the dog, and he or she may start to chew other socks or shoes that may be in the house. After inserting the ball into the socks, you can then decide to get creative with the design since you will be designing this socks for a visually impaired dog. You can decide to insert treats into the socks, or you can also insert a jiggle ball inside the sock ball.
Simple Steps to Keep Your Dog Healthy I am sure you have seen commercials where the teacher or parent is cleaning children's toys but what about dog toys? Do dog toys need to be cleaned and if so how can you clean them?
Your dog's toys can be the same way if they are well played with, often becoming quite dirty and a breeding ground for bacteria. Instead of tossing these toys or letting them accumulate germs any further, why not give them a good wash once a week? Doing so is a great way to keep them newer longer, and to keep your dog healthy as well. It is not difficult to do, so take a look below at some simple steps for how to clean dog toys.
Method #1 (by WWW.TWOLITTLE CAVALIERS.COM)
1. Start up the dishwasher. Plastic and rubber toys may be able to go on the top rack of your dishwasher. Use a mild detergent and avoid the heated drying cycle. Dirt and debris will come right off and germs will be washed away with the hot suds. If you worry about the chemicals in the detergent why not opt for something more natural or skip the detergent all together. Let them sit in a pot with some dish soap first and rinse them off and put tin the dishwasher for the regular full cycle just leave out the detergent. All soap scum will be gone and any chance of chemicals will not be an issue.
2. Turn on the laundry machine. Soft toys such as dolls and stuffed animals can be tossed right in your washing machine. Again, use a mild soap and avoid any high temperature drying that may cause damage. The dirt will wash away and your dog's toy will look like new! If you are worried abut the toy breaking apart set the machine to a gentle cycle and place the toys in a sock bag. The toys will get clean and you will worry less that Fifo's favorite toy will get ruined. Want a natural solution that will get rid of the dirt, stains, and food without harming your dog? Check out this DIY Natural Laundry Detergent. If you are still worried put the toys through a second time leaving out any detergent and all remnants will be removed for their toys.
3. Give them a soak. For a milder approach, fill a sink with hot water and let sit. Drain the dirty water and this time add this Simple DIY All Purpose Cleaner that is safe and non toxic. Let the toys soak for about an hour. Remove them and rinse them clean with warm water. You can then let them air dry or dry by hand with a soft cloth.
Method #2 (by WWW.DOMESTICAILITY.COM)
To wash hard plastic toys Place them in an empty dishwasher and run the pots and pan cycle. Do not use any detergent; the dishwasher will sanitize them with the heat.
To wash plush toys Place the plush toys in the washing machine (you can use a garment bag if you feel they may come apart. I chose not to because all of his toys are really durable and HAVE to be to survive his destructive habits). I used VERY LITTLE detergent. Poor Frosty Paws is waving goodbyes.For Toby's plush dog toys I use Ecos Free and Clear Unscented and used 1/4 of a cap full for all of his toys. They came out smelling much nicer and cleaner than before.
To wash antlers and rawhides I rinse the antlers under the faucet and let them dry. As for rawhide, if it's too gross, I throw it away.
See how easy it is to keep your pups toys clean? Give these options a try and enjoy a healthy dog and toys that look like you just bought them.
Wondering what to stuff inside of your dog's Kong toy? The following dog recipes make delicious treats, whether you decide to stuff them inside a Kong toy, or just serve them up as special homemade treats for your dog - anytime! You can either make up your own Kong recipes (based on your dog's personal tastes) using a combination of 2 or more pet friendly foods, or you can rely on pre-tested fillings that have worked well for others.
Following are some great Kong recipes that have worked well for other dog owners. That said, use your own judgment in deciding whether or not to fill your dog's Kong toy with human foods.
Smear some peanut butter on a slice of bread. Fold up the bread and cram it into the Kong. Freeze & serve.
Use your finger to coat the inside of the Kong with something sticky (like peanut butter or honey) then toss medium sized dog treats inside - the kind that barely fit inside the hole and are hard to get out.
Try microwaving some peanut butter or cheese first - this makes it runny and easy to pour into the KONG and leaves very little to waste. Then layer with another food item. Then freeze. The microwaved peanut butter & cheese fills every crack and crevice inside the Kong acting as a glue around the other ingredients making it much more challenging for your dog.
For the simplest Kong treat of all, just smear a little peanut butter or honey around the inside of the Kong. You'd be surprised how long your dog will work at this simple little treat.
Moisten your dog's dry kibble (either with water, or with some much more flavorful low salt broth). Then spoon it into the Kong toy. Freeze & serve.
Cram a small piece of dog biscuit (or a dog liver treat) into the small hole of the Kong. Smear a little honey (or Kong Stuff 'n product) around the inside. Fill it up with dry dog food. Then block the big hole with dog biscuits placed sideways inside. (Make sure they're not impossible for your dog to get out, though.)
More Recipes for Kong Toys CHEESY ELVIS: Combine a ripe banana, 3 spoonfuls of peanut butter, and a slice of cheese. Mix until blended well. Fill the Kong and freeze.
MONSTER MASH: Instant mashed potatoes (without the salt), or leftover mashed potatoes from dinner, mixed with crushed dog biscuits.
DOGGIE OMLET: Combine a scrambled egg, some beef, yogurt, cheese and mashed potatoes all together
FIBER CRUNCH: Combine bran cereal with some peanut butter.
KONGSICLE JERKY POPS: The equivalent of a popsicle. Seal the small hole of the Kong toy with peanut butter. Fill to the rim with water and a pinch of bouillon (or just use chicken broth instead). Place a stick or two of beef jerky inside. Freeze. (This one gets messy in a hurry, so it's recommended only for outdoor use.)
GOOEY CHEERIOS: Combine cheerios and peanut butter. Freeze.
FRUIT KITTY NOODLES: Mix together some dried fruit, cooked pasta, banana and dry cat food.
BANANA YOGURT: Plain yogurt and mashed bananas. (You can also add a little peanut butter or other fruits.) Then freeze it.
PEANUT BUTTER GLUE: Fill Kong 1/3rd full of dog food. Pour in melted peanut butter (after it has cooled from microwaving). Add more dog food, followed by more melted peanut butter until the Kong toy is full. Freeze until solid.
ROCK-HARD KIBBLE: Combine some of your dog's regular food with cream cheese, which acts as a cement, keeping everything inside.
STICKY BREAD: Smear peanut butter on a piece of bread. Fold it over and stuff inside the Kong. Mix together plain yogurt with some fruits or vegetables (carrots, celery) and pour inside. Freeze. The yogurt sticks to the bread holding everything together.
APPLE PIE: Squeeze a small piece of apple into the tiny hole. Fill the Kong with a small amount of plain yogurt. Add a few slices of mashed banana, more apple, yogurt, banana. End with a slice of banana and chunk of peanut butter on the top.
CRUNCH 'N MUNCH: Combine crumbled rice cakes and dried fruit with some cream cheese and plain croutons.
PUMPKIN PIECES: Combine some plain yogurt, canned pumpkin, and cooked rice in a small baggie. Mix well inside the bag, then snip off a corner of the bag and squeeze it into the Kong toy. Freeze.
KIBBLE-SICLE: Put a glob of peanut butter into the Kong first. Then add some dry dog food. Pour in some chicken broth. Add some more peanut butter, followed by more dry dogfood. End with another glob of peanut butter at the very top. Freeze until solid.
OLD STANDBY: Soak some of your dog's regular food in water (or chicken broth) for a brief time before placing it inside a Kong, then freeze.
MUTT & CHEESE: Melt a cube of Velveeta cheese in the microwave, until it's gooey not runny. Fill the Kong toy with cooked noodles. Pour cheese over noodles.
FROZEN BONZ: Mix up some bananas, unsweetened applesauce, oatmeal, peanut butter, and plain yogurt. Freeze.
CHEEZY DELIGHT: Combine small chunks of cheese (or cheese spread) with some dry dogfood and microwave until the cheese melts. Let it cool completely, then pour into the Kong toy. Freeze thoroughly.
DOG TEETHBALL This article proudly presented by WWW.ROGZ.COM
A new creation has put a novel twist on what can sometimes become a tiring game of fetch for a dog owner. The Rogz Grinz ball, designed by Porky Hefer, features large grinning teeth so when the dog runs back with the ball, he will also greet his owner with a warm, toothy grin. Created by South African based company Rogz, the Grinz ball can be stuffed full of a dog's favourite treats, ensuring even the laziest of dogs will go after the toy.
Soft enough not to hurt your dog's teeth, but firm enough to bounce. The funniest, playful treat ball under the sun. It will have Fido grinning from ear to ear.
If you have a pet and work full-time, you likely have some pet parent guilt about leaving them home alone all day. How do you prevent them from just sleeping all day, or worse tearing up your stuff? That's exactly what Petcube aims to change. It's a sleek gadget that connects with your smartphone, allowing you to both see and play with your pet no matter where you are.
the Petcube box contains a wide angle camera, microphone, and speaker, so from the app you can both see and talk to your pet. You'll just have to train them to come to the cube when you call. You can take photos and video directly from the app, which means you can capture all those silly moments even if you aren't home. But this isn't just a gadget for keeping an eye on your pet, you can also use the setup to play with them when you're not home.
The Petcube has a built-in laser pointer that you can control with the app. It's a game for both you and your pet! And if anyone in the office asks what you're doing on your phone during the day, just let them know you're exercising your dog or cat. No one can argue with that!
If you don't have a pet, never fear! You'll actually be able to play with your friends pets by connecting to their Petcube. The founders eventually hope to install Petcubes in animal shelters to connect pet lovers with dogs and cats that are available for adoption. We're fully in support of using technology to connect future pet owners with their furry friends!
To get a full look at Petcube, take a look at their video:
BEST TYPES OF DOG TOYS This article proudly presented by
Are you trying to find great gifts for your dog amongst the millions of dog products on the market? Perhaps you are having difficulty selecting toys your dog will love? A brief introduction to some favorite dog toys and dog supplies will help you choose the best dog toys for your canine companion.
Kongs: A Kong is a snowman-shaped rubber toy that can be stuffed with a variety of treats. Frozen Kongs are long-lasting and great for hot summer days. Kongs can be filled with canned dog food (mixed with kibble, if you like), cottage cheese, yogurt, peanut butter, ground raw meats, biscuits, meatballs, etc. Buy at least two Kongs, so one can be in the freezer at all times. Kongs are made in a variety of sizes and chewing strengths - from puppy to senior, "regular" red Kongs to black Kongs for power chewers (and blue Kongs, for the strongest of chewers), in sizes for dogs from 5 to 200 pounds. Dishwasher safe.
Tug-a-Jug: The Tug-a-Jug (TaJ) is a transparent plastic bottle which is filled with kibble. The bottom of the TaJ has small holes through which the kibble can be scented. At the top of the bottle is an opening through which a rubber rope is threaded, this rope rolls around sporadically as the dog pushes the bottle around, releasing kibble as it goes. Dishwasher safe.
Buster Cubes: Buster Cubes are plastic cubes (coming in small and large sizes) containing a number of internal chambers which hold kibble. The Buster Cube's level of difficulty can be adjusted according to the individual dog's proficiency. Buster Cubes can be very loud when rolling around on hardwood floors (as can TaJs), and are somewhat less easy to clean than Kongs and TaJs.
Nina Ottosson Toys: Nina Ottosson toys are the Cadillac of food dispensing toys. With a relatively diverse product line, the interactive Nina Ottosson toys come in plastic (dishwasher safe) or wood models, and are divided into three different levels of difficulty: easy, medium, hard. Is your dog the destructive type? Don't leave her unsupervised with these great puzzle toys!
DIY TaJ: Only give this toy to your dog when supervised. Drill kibble-sized holes into a clean plastic bottle. Insert kibble, screw on lid, voila! Home made TaJ!
Yard or Home: Throw away those food bowls! Dogs should earn food through training, toys, and scent games. Hide your dog's meal of kibble throughout your living room, home, or yard and let him "hunt" for his meal by sniffing it out!
DIY Tug Toy: One yard of three foot fleece fabric, cut into three strips (smaller strips may be needed for smaller dogs). Knot one end, braid tightly and knot at other end. Tie one additional knot in the middle.
Many worry that tug toys can cause aggression - this will not happen if rules are in place for play. With the DIY tug, one end of the toy is yours and one end is the dog's. If the dog's teeth travel above the knot, game ends. Always initiate play - the tug toy should be sacred and not left around; it is a powerful reward. Train a reliable "out" on cue, and don't be afraid to let your dog win. How long would playing any game be fun for you if you never won?
Tennis Balls: For fetch only, not for chewing. The Kong company has a line of Air Dog toys which are made of tennis ball type-material (in a variety of shapes and sizes) but much friendlier to dog teeth than traditional tennis balls. As a bonus, Air Dog tennis balls squeak!
Frisbees: Consider getting a soft, rubber-like frisbee as opposed to a hard plastic one which may hurt dogs' teeth.
Other Recommendations: Planet Orbee toys, Zogoflex's Huck and Hurley toys.
Chew Toys (Do Not Provide Unsupervised)
Bones: Marrow bones are not recommended for power chewers, and should not be provided to dogs unsupervised. Cooked bones are not recommended for dogs.
Rawhides: Always choose pressed rawhide, preferably made in the U.S.A.
Antlers: Antlers can be expensive, but are long-lasting chew toys.
Nylabones, Bully sticks
Stuffies Some dogs love stuffed animals. If your dog loves stuffies but destroys them, check out Tuffy's dog toys.
DIY Flirt Pole Does your dog have an intense prey drive? Try making a flirt pole, the backyard lure-coursing toy! Check out this thread for great tips from Dogster Nick on how to make your own flirt pole for a quick, fun, and inexpensive DIY toy making project!
Playtime is essential for your senior dog. Not only does he enjoy fun and games, he needs them to keep mentally and physically fit. An active dog is a happy dog. Senior dogs still need exercise to stay healthy, fit and mentally sharp, not to mention that playing with your senior pup and giving him your undivided attention will nurture your bond and help him thrive in his golden years. Even though your dog's puppy years are far behind him, his need to play is still strong.
Playtime provides senior dogs with mental stimulation, keeps their cognitive skills in good shape, and helps them maintain a youthful personality. It is important to engage your senior dog in mentally challenging, age appropriate play. Here are our picks for the best toys and games for senior dogs. Older dogs have reduced activity level and it is easy to overwhelm their aging teeth and joints. Playing also helps prevent weight gain as the metabolism slows, and keeps your senior's brain active, helping to stave off dementia! Besides, just because your pooch is aging, does not mean he can not still enjoy a good toy!
1. Gnawsome Squeaker Soccer Ball Combining a unique spiky texture that is good for his gums and a squeaky sound Richie loves, this versatile and easy to clean toy is great indoors or out. Made from BPA-free rubber, it can stand up to heavy chewing and is also perfect for a game of fetch. As an added bonus, the popular soccer theme has the kids playing with the dog now more than ever. Score! Price: $4
2. Chuckit! Indoor Roller This tire-shaped toy is designed specifically for indoor play. With a durable multilayer construction and a textured chenille fabric cover, the soft toy rolls along the floor just begging to be pounced upon. While the shape makes the Chuckit! a bit awkward for Richie to carry in his mouth, he nevertheless loves chasing the toy around and I like not having to worry about broken lamps. Price: $6
3. Kong Senior Dog Toy Made from all natural rubber, the Kong has a hollow middle that can be stuffed with kibble or peanut butter for hours of canine fun. Turns out the rubber may have been too rough for his aging mouth and gums. Designed specifically for older dogs with softer rubber than the original, the Kong Senior Dog Toy is gentle and comfortable to chew, yet still satisfying. You can throw it in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Price: $12
4. Trixie Mad Scientist Turn Around Interactive Dog Toy For exercising your dog's brain! Place treats in the three beakers, then cover with the lids with holes. The treats are released once your canine gamer figures out how to flip the beakers and balance them upside down. This toy is a bit cumbersome to store. We consider it the doggie version of the Sunday crossword he just needs to stick with it and eventually he will figure it out. Price: $16
5. Frisco 2.5" Tennis Ball with Rubber Sleeve This ball does not just bounce - it squeaks. Even better, it features a knobby, bumpy rubber sleeve that adds a texture Richie can not resist and that is gentle on his teeth and gums. The 2.5" diameter is the right size for him, and the non-abrasive felt around the ball is easier on his mouth than a traditional tennis ball. Price: $3.50
6. Frisco Soft Squeaking Sloth Dog Toy A springy, stretchy construction, stimulating squeakers inside the head and body; and internal crinkle paper for an extra dose of fun. It is perfect for playing, chasing, carrying, tug of war, and snuggling. What more could a pup ask for? Not much. The toy is virtually indestructible to begin with. Plus, as far as dog toys go, the sweet little sloth is pretty darn adorable.
7. Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel Interactive Puzzle Toy For a more interactive indoor adventure, consider this puzzle featuring six adorable squeaky squirrels. Dogs have a challenging time retrieving squirrels hidden in a fabric tree trunk base. It is available in small, large, and extra large. You can buy more squirrels separately. Customers recommended supervising the use of this product to delay squirrel destruction. Though some reviews noted the puzzle does not hold up against aggressive chewing, others love how much fun their dogs have with it. Price: $15
8. ZippyPaws Skinny Peltz No Stuffing Squeaky Plush Dog Toy Featuring a raccoon, fox, and squirrel, these lightweight squeaky toys are sure to provide hours of fun. Best of all, there is less mess - these cute woodland creatures are stuffing free. Measuring 18 inches long, the large size is recommended for medium sized dogs. A small size is available for smaller dogs. This set is Amazon's top choice for squeak toys for dogs. While some reviewers called the animals indestructible, others noted that the toys fell apart quickly. Many customers felt they got a good deal for the price. Price: $9 (3 pack)
9. Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Puzzle For a toy that provides mental stimulation and physical engagement, try this game complete with three ways to play - dogs can flip, slide, and pull bricks apart to reveal treats. With 20 treat compartments, this is sure to keep your dog busy for hours. The plastic toy comes with removable bone pieces but compartments can be filled with both wet and dry food. Owners appreciated the easy-to-clean puzzle for keeping their dogs entertained. Negative reviews say the compartment lids are easily destroyed and the puzzle was easily solved. Price: $18
10. Multipet Duckworth Duck Your dog will love fetching, playing, and cuddling with this soft and squeaky plush duck. The 14 inch length makes it perfect for any sized dog and can be ordered as a set of two. The Multipet Duckworth Duck is Amazon's third favorite bestseller for dog plush toys. Purchasers boast that the oversized toy is long-lasting. However, repeat customers complained they received smaller ducks of lesser quality than what is advertised. Price: $8
11. Playology Pebble Chew Made in the USA, Playology's Pebble Chew uses natural ingredients and protein scents to encourage active playtime. This chewable toy is made with non-toxic, BPA-free, and lead-free foam, comes in bacon, beef, and chicken flavors, and is easy to clean. Several users reported that the toy's odd shape made it bounce, creating a fun game of fetch for their dogs. There are few critiques — a couple of users noted a lack of interest in the product or pieces breaking apart. Price: $15
12. Bird Ball The Bird Ball is the same size as a tennis ball, but brings new life to the old game of fetch! Each ball is two different contrasting colors making it easier for senior eyes to locate. There are 12 unique holes that create whistling bird chirps when it is thrown so dogs can track the sound!
13. Flying Disc Disc-loving seniors do not have to retire just because they have dental problems! The Flexible Flying Disc is made of soft but durable natural rubber to prevent pain or injury. Remember, jumping can be tough on old joints, so be sure your old buddy does not overdo it!
14. Nina Ottosson Puzzle Games & Toys Brain exercises are just as important for 14 year old dogs as they are for 14 week old puppies! Nina Ottosson began designing puzzle toys for her own dogs to improve both their physical and mental health after she had children. Her toys are designed for all ages and intelligence levels so you can choose the best match for your old buddy!
15. Fresh Mint Scented Brushing Ball This intricate chew toy is made of durable rubber, infused with mint scent, and covered in nubs and spikes to help grind away plaque on teeth and gums. The more your senior pup chews and plays, the cleaner his mouth will look and smell!
16. Hear Doggy Plushies Dogs love the satisfying squeak they get when playing with their plushies, but as they age, hearing loss can cause them to lose interest in their favorite squeakers. The products created by Hear Doggy operate at a high frequency that is only audible to dogs. The toys are designed to give owners relief from incessant squeaking, but many dogs with partial hearing loss retain the ability to hear these higher frequencies, making Hear Doggy toys a great choice for senior pups!
17. Booda Tail-Spin Flyer Dog Frisbee Playing Frisbee is a lot of fun for dogs. It could also be hard on your elderly dog's arthritic joints and weak teeth and gums. Any toys thrown to dogs to catch should not be hard or heavy as they can cause damage to front teeth. Booda Tail-Spin Flyer Frisbee is flexible, lightweight and is designed to avoid injury. Jumping and running involved in playing Frisbee and fetch can be too strenuous for your dog. Make sure to monitor his behavior during play. If he is showing signs of fatigue, take frequent breaks.
18. Zogoflex Hurley Dog Bone While regular dental checkups for your senior dog are important, bones are more definitely more fun for them. Hard bones and hooves are responsible for many broken teeth. To go easy on your older dog's teeth and jaws, give him the Zogoflex Dog Toy from West Paw Design. Made from extremely pliable Zogoflex material in the USA, the Hurley is 100% recyclable and buoyant. It comes in three sizes: mini, small and large and bright colors.
Kids love toys, dogs love toys, and there is nothing more beautiful than a child and his dog playing joyfully together. The problem is sometimes the child or the dog may grab a toy belonging to the other and trouble ensues! It is the adult's responsibility to help dogs know the difference between dog toys and kid toys.
Parents must supervise and teach both dogs and kids how to safely cohabitate. Make sure children learn never to take a toy from an animal and never bother the pet while he is sleeping or eating. Teach dogs basic obedience and commands, and help them know the difference between dog toys and kid toys.
A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place A dog does not inherently know the difference between a human child's toys and his own toys. Set it up so that the dog's toys are in his or her own "toy box" and the child's toys are kept in their own location as well. This is a great way to teach kids to clean up after themselves and help them learn consequences when they do not.
Make the Difference Between Dog Toys and Kid Toys Obvious We do not recommend giving dogs soft, plush toys. They love them, especially the squeaky ones, but you could be causing long-term problems. If children have stuffed animals, your dog will not be able to tell his toys from theirs. Plus, you are teaching your dog to chew on soft, fabric items - like your couch pillows, your clothing and even your slippers. Some dogs will rip the "stuffies" to shreds and eat the cotton filling, which is dangerous!
When choosing good toys for dogs, do not purchase ones that look like something else. How will Fido learn not to chew on things he should not if his favorite dog toy is shaped like your boots, purse, phone, newspaper or even a donut, all of which you can find transformed into dog toys these days?! Pay attention from the get-go, by providing only the best dog toys for puppies, and choosing size-appropriate dog toys so that they do not become a choking hazard.
Boundaries & Training – A Part of Life for People & Pets! You can also work a training trick into the clean-up for your dog by teaching him "Put Away," and having him retrieve and drop his toys into his box or basket. Out of sight, out of mind is also a good technique to practice. If the child's toys are kept in a location where the dog can not get them, that solves half the problem. Let the child play in his room with his toys or on the other side of a baby gate, and remind your youngster to clean up when the fun is done.
Teach the dog "Leave it!" when presented with toys that belong to the child and reward the dog heavily for playing with his own. For instance, if it is a ball, show the dog the ball – treat, throw the ball, dog puts mouth on ball – treat, dog gives you the ball – treat. The dog will have a high reinforcement history with the toy. Whenever the dog chooses to play with his or her own toys, reward the dog with praise, petting, and treats so he gets rewarded for making good decisions. When a dog steals a child's toy, parents often yell and reprimand the pet, but when he picks up one of his own toys, do you praise? Usually not! So it is in your dog's best interest to steal something, since that is when he gets attention from you.
To Play or Chew Chew toys satisfy a dog's natural instinct to chew, exercises jaw muscles and cleans the teeth, but the wrong dog toy can fracture teeth, damage the palate or become a choking hazard when pieces break off. Familiarize yourself with your dog's habits, to determine the best toy for your dog or puppy. Keep in mind that naughty or destructive behavior is often performed by bored dogs. Dogs need exercise and depending on their age and breed, they may need a lot. A tired dog is a good dog, so throw that ball, go for walks and exercise as a family. Create an environment where people and pets thrive together, and dogs know the difference between dog toys and kid toys.
That tiny, bright-red dot of light your dog loves to chase after could have unintended consequences for his psyche. According to LiveScience:
"The lack of closure in laser-beam chasing could be messing with your dog's head."
Dr. Nicholas Dodman, animal behavior expert and professor at Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, explains that your dog instinctively chases laser beams simply because, well, they move. Anything that moves like that is begging to be chased. Movement triggers a dog's innate prey drive, which is why smaller prey animals often freeze in their tracks. And while dogs don't see colors all that well, they have a keen ability to detect motion with their eyes.
According to Dr. Dodman, the continuous movement of a laser dot stimulates dogs' predatory systems such that they cannot NOT chase it. "They can't help themselves. They are obliged to chase it" he says.
Chasing "Prey" with No Hope of Catching It Isn't Good for a Dog's Psyche
So the question becomes, is it a good idea to trigger your dog's prey drive using an object she has no chance of catching? Dr. Dodman believes it's not a good plan, because dogs can get so obsessed with chasing the light that they develop behavior problems.
"I've seen light chasing as a pathology where they will just constantly chase around a light or shadow and pounce upon it. They spend their whole lives wishing and waiting," says Dodman.
Never getting to the point of actually catching their "prey" can drive a dog slightly nuts. The same principle applies with bomb or drug sniffing dogs, as well as search and rescue canines. Trainers of these dogs have learned there are psychological consequences when the animals don't find what they're looking for, so their handlers occasionally arrange for them to find a target as a way of keeping them emotionally balanced.
Alternatives to Laser Light Toys
The best way to satisfy your dog's prey instinct at home (short of letting a live mouse or rabbit loose in the house) is with treat-release or puzzle toys that stimulate the canine drive to hunt, and also deliver a reward for your dog's efforts. Another option, if you just can't put the laser toy away, is to first hide a few dog treats around the room, and then occasionally let the laser dot point out a treat your dog is able to actually "catch."
Although cats can be pretty picky about toys, dogs are often more than willing to play with any object they can get their paws on. That means you'll need to be particularly careful when monitoring your dog's playtime to prevent any "unscheduled" activities.
Many factors contribute to the safety or danger of a toy, and a number of them depend upon your dog's size, activity level and preferences. Another factor to be considered is the environment in which your dog spends his time. Although we can't guarantee the safety of any specific toy, we can offer the following guidelines.
The things that are usually most attractive to dogs are often the very things that are the most dangerous. Dog-proof your home by removing string, ribbon, rubber bands, children's toys, pantyhose and anything else that could be swallowed.
Toys should be appropriate for your dog's size. Balls and other toys that are too small can easily be swallowed or become lodged in your dog's throat.
Avoid or alter any toys that aren't "dog-proof" by removing ribbons, strings, eyes or other parts that could be chewed off and/or ingested. Discard toys that start to break into pieces or are torn.
Take note of any toy that contains a "squeaker" buried in its center. Your dog may feel that he must find and destroy the source of the squeaking, and he could ingest it. Supervise your dog's play with squeaky toys.
Check labels for child safety. Look for stuffed toys that are labeled as safe for children under three years of age and that don't contain any dangerous fillings. Problem fillings include nutshells and polystyrene beads, but even "safe" stuffings are not truly digestible. Remember that soft toys are not indestructible, but some are sturdier than others. Soft toys should be machine washable.
A note about rawhide If you're thinking about giving your dog rawhide chew toys, be sure to check with your veterinarian about which ones are safe and appropriate for your dog. Because these toys may pose choking hazards, only give them to your dog when you are there to supervise. Also, be aware that many rawhides are byproducts of the cruel international fur trade. For a humane alternative, consider toys made of very hard rubber, which are safer and last longer.
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