Many dog owners know if their dog stays cooped up inside the house without allowing them to remove the excess energy they have built up, they will see some possible damage to furniture, wood legs on tables and chairs and personal belongings. Your dog requires lots of exercise to burn off that excess energy. How To Use Dog Toys Effectively can help you to accomplish this objective very well and will assist in helping eliminating the chewing and digging behaviors he does around the house and yard. Dog toys also provide mental and physical stimulation and enrichment which is good for your pet.
During the day your pet becomes bored and at the same time is storing up energy that he needs to find a way to release it. You can do this by redirecting your dog’s energy by playing with toys. Your objective is to get toys that will allow your pet to release some of this energy in a productive manner without destroying household items.
Here are the following topics:
- Recommended Toys
- How To Get The Most from Dog Toys
- Dog Toy Safety Tips
First and foremost, not all toys will work with the same breed of dog or dogs. If you have more than one, you will probably need to find toys for both dogs. However, by finding the proper toys for your pet, you should accomplish the goal of him getting enough exercise and removing some of the excess energy he has inside.
Below are some of the dog toys that can be recommended for you to use.
Participation toys are those that require the participation of your dog and you at the same time. You will need to find these types of toys. Here are some examples:
- Toys To Fetch – Dogs like to fetch by chasing balls and Frisbees. Odd shaped rubber toys like KONG Toys that bounce erratically and make this game more fun. Flying disks come in many shapes and sizes, which include soft versions to make it easier on your dog’s mouth. If you have a device that can throws balls, this will increase the distance your dog must run to retrieve the toy. Some examples: KONG Cozies, Chuckit, KONG Rubber Flyer etc.
- Rope Toys – these types of toys are good for tugging and playing tug-of-war.
These are the types of toys that can be used to keep your dog busy when you do not have any time to play with him. Your dog needs them because you will not be able to play with your dog all the time. Remember, he needs to burn off some of that excess energy.
Here are some good toy suggestions to use: KONG treat dispensing toys, KONG rubber toys, and Nylabones.
These toys are designed to be used with kibble or treats. The dog must manipulate the toy using his mouth or paws to get the food to fall out. This exercise will keep him busy for hours. Some examples: Buster Cube, TreatStik, Tug-a-Jug, Kibble Nibble, and Everlasting Fun Ball.
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Allows your pet to chew on a toy instead of your shoes, socks, and other material in the house that is off limits. If your dog is a puppy, he needs something to chew on to help him during the teething process. Here are some examples of toys:
- Hard rubber toys that have holes at both ends, such as KONGS, are good chewable toys. Some of these toys can be filled with kibble or treats which makes them even more fun to play with.
- Dental chewable toys are harder type of toy that dogs can gnaw on and safely ingest small pieces. GREENIES dental chews are an example. Just be observant that your pet does not break off large pieces of these toys to prevent chocking.
- Challenging chew toys are toys that make an edible chewy toy more challenging for your pet to consume. Some examples: KONG Goodie Bone, Everlasting Treat Ball, and Funny Bones.
- Food puzzle toys – requires your dog to solve a puzzle to get the treats or kibble out. Some examples: Nina Ottoson toys, Dog Spinny, and Dog Brick.
- Toy puzzles – requires your pet to solve a puzzle to get the toy. Some examples: Hide-a-Bee, Intellibone, and IQube.
- Soft stuffed toys – are good but not for all dogs. Some dogs, the stuffed toy or toys should be small enough to carry around. Some dogs want to share or kill the toy; the toy should be the size that “prey” would be for that size dog (mouse-size, rabbit-size or duck-size).
- Old Laundry – This can be an old T-shirt, towel, blanket, or pillowcase which has your scent on it. This can be comforting for your dog. Be sure to use an item that you don’t mind having destroyed as your dog will.
Over time, your pet will completely destroy some toys which will need to be replaced. It is cheaper to buy a new toy than having to buy a new couch, chair, shoes, or table.
- Rotate Toys – However, for the toys you have, be sure to rotate them weekly by using four or five toys to be available at a time. Keep a good variety on hand so you can be creative. If you notice your dog liking a specific toy, you may want to leave this one out all the time.
- Variety – Provide toys that offer your dog a variety of uses like one to “carry”, one to “kill”, one to “roll” and one to “baby”.
- Hide-n-Seek – Find toys that will need to be found. This is also a fun game for your dog. This is a great interactive game for him. You can help him use up some of that stored energy by placing some kibble around the yard which will require him to use his nose to find the food.
- Tug of War – For this game, choose a toy that is to be used only for this game. This will help your dog from grabbing or tugging from anything found in your hand.
Teach two commands:
- “Let’s Tug” – Begins the game. Never allow your pet to initiate tug on his own. Before starting the game use this phrase to begin the game.
- “Give” or “Out” – This ends the game. Teach your dog to release the toy by giving him a treat or a better toy in exchange. Do not start tug with your dog until he is consistently releasing the toy on command.
There are some dog toy tips that you should be aware of that can contribute to the safety or danger of a dog toy. Most of these tips are dependent on his size, activity level and play style. Not all toys will guarantee the enthusiasm and safety of your dog; there are some tips that help you recognize them. Here are some:
- All toys should be appropriate to the current size of your dog.
- Be careful of balls and other type of toys that are too small because they can be easily swallowed or become lodged in your dog’s mouth or throat.
- When you purchase a toy be sure they are dog-proof by removing ribbons, strings, eyes and any other part that can be chewed off or ingested.
- Observe and monitor your dog’s toys and remove any toy that starts to break into pieces or has some pieces torn off.
- Verify with your veterinarian about the safety of bones, hooves, pit’s ears and rawhides before giving them to your dog. Hard rubber toys last longer and are safer for play.
- Beware of any toy that has a “squeaker” in it. Your pet may feel that they must find the squeaker source and destroy it or could ingest it. Use squeaker toys only under your control.
- Observe your pets chewing habit before leaving any toy with them.
Some dogs may carry a plush toy around for years. Others will enjoy disemboweling the toy by pulling out all of the stuffing inside the toy. Others will chew it apart and may ingest the pieces, which creates a safety hazard. You should agree that dog toys are good for your pet but there are some toys which will need your supervision.
By observing these safety tips you and your dog will have many happy years together. Providing your pet with enough exercise you will observe your dog burning off his excess energy to your satisfaction.
You should agree that dog toys are good for your pet but there are some toys which will need your supervision. By observing these safety tips you and your dog will have many happy years together. Providing your pet with enough exercise you will observe your dog burning off his excess energy to your satisfaction.
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