Toys! Toys! Toys!
Every dog loves a good toy! Some toys are for more than just playing with, they provide your dog with mental stimulation and a task to complete. These are called interactive toys because a portion of your dog’s meal can be placed inside them and your dog will have to work order to get it. Providing your dog with a great variety of toys to engage with helps them keep busy when you are away, prevents boredom barking, aids dogs that take down their food in one gulp and gives chewers of household items something to do.
There are 3 main categories of toys:
These are typically soft and have squeakers. Most dogs do a good job at keeping their toys intact, but some will shred and demolish their plush toys instead. I like to consider these as a “play with me” item. You can monitor how your dog plays with the toy and if he becomes too engulfed with it and start pulling it apart, you can intervene and take the toy away.
These are made of sturdy materials or malleable soft plastic. We can also include sterilized marrow bones, deer antlers, and hooves into this category. These toys are great for heavy chewers and provide them with something appropriate to chew on. Another great benefit is that these toys help keep up with dental heath by breaking off built up tartar.
These allow us to place treats and kibble inside the toy and have the dog push it around in order to get the food out. Interactive toys provide a great way to burn off energy and keep the dog busy while you are preoccupied or at work. There are also a variety of ways to stuff your dog’s Kong or marrow bone using yummy fillings like peanut butter, cream cheese, yoghurt and freezing them with kibble or canned dog food. It would take your dog quite some time to get the food out! Frozen treats also help ease a teething puppy’s gums.
Here is a list of and links to our favorite dog toys: