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The secret to a happy dog is one that is well cared for, and just one aspect of puppy care is keeping your pooch occupied and entertained. When a dog is left to its own devices, it is likely to become bored and in turn, destroy various things around your home. Unless you’re planning on never wearing your shoes again, or constantly having to hide them to prevent your dog chowing down on them, you will need to provide a variety of toys for entertainment.
Thankfully, toys these days aren’t just toys. Most of them serve a purpose. Whether it’s to serve up a tasty treat, help with healthy teeth, or even just provide you both with a bit of amusement, they all help with dog care. Just check out these top 5 toys for dogs:
1 – The Kong
A dog toy that has shown to be just as popular in the states as it has over here, the Kong range of toys are both durable and fun. The most basic design involves a tough rubber exterior with quite an odd shape, but has the added bonus of a small crevice hidden inside so that treats can be stuffed just out of reach. The pup will need to learn to move the toy around in order to get to the tasty delights inside and although frustrating, will keep them amused for hours!
A great toy to use in training, the irregular shape means it bounces all over the place when thrown and will give your pooch hours of entertainment. Plus the tough makeup takes a bit of chewing before it starts to fall apart (unlike other dog toys) so it’ll last a while too!
With toys such as this, especially with food or treats hidden inside, your dog is forced to be productive as such. Their pent up energy and frustration can be used trying to work out how to get the tasty treats out, and can provide a welcome distraction to any pup left on his own while you’re out the house.
2 – The Tennis Ball
Come on – it’s the easiest toy in the world! No dog home would be complete with a host of tennis balls randomly hidden in the garden and all over the house!
Playing fetch with your dog is a great way to give it plenty of exercise plus you’ll be burning calories too! These balls are cheap to buy and you can pick them up pretty much anywhere, and it also means that they are easily replaced when your pup gnaws through them.
One thing you will need to bear in mind is these aren’t the most durable of toys so if you have a big dog or one that likes to chew a lot, they may not last that long!
3 – Rope Toys
These are great toys if you enjoy interacting with your pooch and they seem to love rope style toys!
There are so many types of these on the market for pets and again, you can pick these up quite cheaply. Puppies love to chew and rope is a relatively durable material if you don’t mine the odd strands scattered over the floor of your house. You do need to buy the right size rope however… You can’t play with a thin rope toy with your dog and then not expect it to go after your shoe laces!
4 – Squeaky Toys
As annoying as these dog toys are, they certainly offer a lot to a bored pooch! The whole idea of pet toys is to give your furry friends something “legal” as such to play with. When they have toys of their own, they will be less inclined to chew on your belongings and various things around the home.
A squeaky toy is great for an energetic dog! Listening to the squeak gives them something to work towards, and most of them will also offer teeth health and cleaning properties too. The only problem with these types of toys is that rather destructive pups will dig into the toy to try and remove the squeak element inside which they can then choke on or swallow. With these types of toy, it is best to only use them when the pup can be supervised to avoid any problems.
5 – Bones
Dog bones are ideal for entertainment, and also brings out some of the primitive traits of your dog, leaving it less inclined to go for your shoes, bags, cushions, etc.
You shouldn’t feed your pup animal bones because they may not be safe. They easily splinter and can damage your dogs teeth, gums and digestive tract whereas with specific dog treat bones, this is less likely to happen. You also have the option of going for brands that offer teeth cleaning and anti-plaque dog chews like this to kill two birds with one stone!
Dentastix and rawhide bones are great, so give them a try!
Dog toys are important for good development of your pup and if you choose not to supply a steady stream of educational and amusing playthings, the dog will run crazy. Chewing, barking, howling and general misbehaving are all traits shown by bored dogs and if you provide enough toys, you can keep the disruptive behaviour to a minimum!
Adam & Laura
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