Toys For Dogs

Mental stimulation is one of the most important aspects to remember when dealing with dogs and puppies. A bored pet generally leads to destruction and unhappiness from both the owner and the animal. Toys are a great way to keep your pet busy while you're out and also work well and tiring them out if you cannot take them for a walk. Mental stimulation and physical stimulation are imperative to a happy pet.

There are hundreds of kinds of toys and it's easy to become confused, so we'll be discussing a few of the types of toys to help you make the right decision.

Your first type of toy is the chew toy. This doesn't mean the squeaky kind. We're talking about the chewable, edible and digestible kind. These toys are a great way to keep your pup busy and they can be really satisfying taste-wise at the same time.

Cow Hooves

 

Cow Hooves - These can be chewed on their own or you can stuff them with canned food, freeze them and then give them to your pup. This works fantastically well at feeding, entertaining and cooling down your pup on a hot day. Just remember to be careful of the sharp edges that some of them have as these can cut your pup's tongue or mouth.

 

 

 

 

Rawhide Bones

 

Rawhide Bones - This is the most common type of chew toy. They look like bones with knots of rawhide on each end. I don't recommend this chew toy if your pup is alone because it's very easy for one of the knots to come apart from the rest of the chew and this can get stuck in your pup's throat. Parental supervision is advised when using this type of chew toy.

 

 

 

 

 

Ostrich Chews - these are great chew toys. They are easily digestible, tasty and can keep a pup buys for a good while. They don't get stuck in the throat like the bone chews, but it's always recommended to make sure that you take away a chew when it gets to a point where your dog could swallow it whole.

 

 

All the above chew toys are available at your vets and most shops as well. They are not expensive and a must have when looking at keeping your pet busy.

If you are going to be using the chew toys to distract your pup so that you can leave without them crying, remember that if they really struggle to be apart from you, they might learn to associate the receiving of a chew toy with you leaving them alone. Because of this, it's always a good idea to give your pup a chew or two while you stay at home, so that they do not make a negative connection with the toys.

The next type of toy is called the brain toy. These toys are specifically designed to get your pet's brain thinking. They aren't really for when you leave your pup alone, but more for teaching and mentally stimulating them.

Try cutting holed in a plastic bottle and filling the bottle with pellets. The pup has to learn to move the bottle so that the pellets will fall out. He'll be confused at first, but once he's learned the secret, he'll be kept busy for ages.

Kongs are a great way of keeping your pup busy by making him use his brain. You can fill them with treats, put a little bit of peanut butter inside or freeze them. Whichever way you decide to use them, they really make your pup think about the best way to get the food out.

 

 

 

 

Other brain toys include your pup having to "paw" out a black to get the treat underneath or to roll the "Buster Cube" to get what's inside. Have a look at the websites listed below for some more brain toys.

 

The last category of toys are the interactive toys. Balls, ropes, Frisbees and the like all require a second player. Another dog can join in for a game of tug-of-war, but a human is generally needed to take part when it comes to balls and Frisbees. Don't fall into the trap of saying "my dog has so many toys but still chews the furniture", when all you have are balls and ropes lying around.

 

 

The trick when it comes to keeping your pup stimulated is creativity and imagination. Getting him to search for his food or to have to perform commands to get treats are all great ways of mentally stimulating them. The more busy they are kept, the less damage they'll do!

Some websites regarding brain toys:

http://www.kongcompany.com/
http://www.petstages.com/
http://www.activedogtoys.com/