Entertaining Your Dog

Dogs are athletic, energetic animals. Puppies especially are little bundles of energy. Without harnessing this steam, it can work against you, or more specifically, your furniture or garden. One of the biggest frustrations for new dog owners is property destruction from their puppies chewing, digging or generally wreaking havoc on their home. Instead of getting frustrated with your dog’s bad habits, you can get smart and learn how to get them to exercise their energy in positive, healthy ways that are fun for them and safe for your shoe collection.

When a dog is being destructive (i.e. chewing or digging), it usually means that it’s bored. Many people work 40 hours a week away from home, leaving their animals with nothing to do for 8 hours a day. One might think a good solution would be to get a second pup to entertain the first. While this might help to an extent, a boring environment to one animal will probably be a boring environment to two. And now you have twice as much digging, chewing and destruction on your hands as before.

Rather than handling the problem this way, a better idea is to pick up some dog toys for your furry buddy. Toys offer positive and fun stimulation for the dog so that it won’t have to resort to finding his fun in ways that will hurt your things, patience and wallet.

You can find dog toys in pet stores across the country and many grocery stores and pharmacies as well. Most toys are relatively inexpensive and there are a wide range of toys to choose from. One thing you must make sure of, however, is that you purchase toys that are size appropriate for your animal. Your dog’s toys shouldn’t be so large that they are intimidating and not fun for the animal to play with, but they should also not be so small that your animal can swallow it whole and that the materials the toy is made of are strong enough that pieces can’t be torn from it and swallowed.

Examine the dog toys before your buy them and make sure that it can stand up to your animal’s jaws without being shredded to bits. Swallowing pieces of plastic would not be healthy for your doggy and could result in injury and vet bills.

Keeping your dog engaged is the key to getting him to expend his energy the way your want him to. If you can hold his attention with dog toys while you are at the office, he is much less likely to seek out fun on his terms. The first obstacle to keep your dog’s attention could be to actually find their toys. Toys can be hidden in specific areas of the yard or house (a corner, sandbox or alcove works well as a good play area).

Aside from that, there are certain toys that take more doggy effort than others. Some toys, for example, are like little canine puzzles that you place treats in, requiring your animal to roll around the floor for the treats to come out. Other toys can be frozen overnight and given to your dog on a summer day when a cool toy would be fun for your dog to lick as it thaws.

The options in your local pet shop are more than likely plenty. There may even be items around your house your animal would love to play with and there’s no reason to not let them as long as they’re safe.

Another idea to keep your puppy engaged is to keep a rotating number of toys that your give to him on different days so that each day your dog thinks the toy is new and fun and won’t quickly tire of his toys. You could also easily put some treats or edible paste in or on your dog’s toys to encourage him to play with them. Broccoli stems, plain yogourt, cheese, bananas, store-bought pastes such as KONG Stuff’N Paste, peanut butter or just plain kibbles are good options. This method is something that animal shelters often use to keep kenneled dogs entertained.

Just a little brainstorming and you can easily keep your puppy entertained with something fun and harmless for hours on end. Check out Bow Meow Pet Centre’s selection for ideas of entertaining and safe dog toys, and feel free to ask the staff for their suggestions.

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