Dogs are like kids; they need something to engage their attention on, give them a good fun tool and keep them busy, and at the same time improve their physical and mental skills. Toys and treats are the perfect solution for dogs that are so bored that they chew on anything and dig on every yard. Toys captivate dogs for a long time and the boon; you get quality time to spend on your commitments.
All pet owners enjoy watching the playful behavior of their pets. In fact, most pet owners consider this one of the most enjoyable aspects of pet ownership. We have bred our pets to have juvenile personalities all their lives. So while puppies and kittens especially love to play, even adult animals will play given the chance.
Many behavior problems in dogs are the result of boredom or excess energy. Toys offer mental and physical stimulation and enrichment. Directing your dog’s energy into play with toys can prevent or help resolve such problems as digging and chewing on furniture, shoes or shrubbery.
Interactive Toys: These are toys that require your participation:
Many dogs enjoy chasing balls and Frisbee. Oddly shaped rubber toys (such as Kongs) bounce erratically and make the game more fun. Flying disks come in many shapes and sizes, including soft versions that are easier on the dog’s mouth. And devices for throwing the ball increase the distance the dog must run to get the toy.
Rope toys, such as Tire Biter toys, are good for tugging. See note below on playing tug-of-war with your dog.
These are toys that keep your dog busy when you don’t have the time to play:
Hard rubber toys that are hollow with holes at both ends, such as Kongs, are good chew toys. To make these toys more attractive, they can be filled with kibble or treats. You can also encourage chewing by putting a small amount of peanut butter or cream cheese inside the toy.
Chew challenge toys are toys that make an edible chewy more challenging for the dog to consume. Examples include Funny Bones, the Kong Goodie Bone, and the Everlasting Treat Ball.
Soft stuffed toys are good for several purposes but are not appropriate for all dogs. For some dogs, the stuffed toy should be small enough to carry around. For dogs that want to shake or “kill” the toy, it should be the size that “prey” would be for that size dog (mouse-size, rabbit-size or duck-size).
Dirty laundry, like an old T-shirt, pillowcase, towel or blanket, can be very comforting to a dog, especially if it smells like you! Be forewarned that the item could be destroyed by industrious fluffing, carrying and nosing.
There are many factors that contribute to the safety or danger of a toy. Many of those factors are dependent upon your dog’s size, activity level, and play style. Toys should be appropriate for your dog’s current size. Balls and other toys that are too small can be easily swallowed or become lodged in your dog’s mouth or throat. Know your dog’s chewing habits before leaving him alone with any toy.