Keeping Your Dog Entertained & Happy

At work all day long or away from the house for extended periods?  Is your dog showing signs of boredom by digging holes or chewing your favourite shoes?  Not sure how to keep your dog entertained?

Maddie-Cattle-XDanielle from Urban Dog Training understands the importance of keeping your dog entertained.  Danielle says, "While most people understand that their dog needs to be physically healthy, few are yet to fully comprehend the important of mental health on their dogs general well being.  Dogs often spend many hours alone these days while humans are at work - this can lead to a bored dog who engages in inappropriate behaviours.  To avoid this it is necessary to provide your dog with a variety of mental exercises as part of your daily routine." 

There are many options available to keep your dog entertained and stimulated - for dogs that like squeaky toys, interactive toys, or toys that offer a nice treat reward - and it won't take you long to work out what it is that stimulates your dog.

Below are a few suggestions for keeping your dog entertained & happy:

Kongs

Kong WobblerStuff your dog's daily food into a Kong and leave them to work the food out while you are at work. Be inventive - try stuffing them with chicken necks, mashed spud, fresh meat bits, anything!  Kongs can also be frozen to create more interest.  They are dishwasher safe too!  There's a range of Kong toys with different chew strengths.  Kong also have a food & treat dispensing toy called the Kong Wobbler that's worth a look too.

Click here to explore our range of Kong toys 

Treat Balls & Food Dispensers

Busy Buddy Dog Toy

There are many treat balls available on the market. We've got the round ball option or the more challenging cube - the Buster Cube.  Simply place your dog's dry food in the opening and let your dog roll it around all day to dislodge the food.  There's also the Busy Buddy range which comes in all shapes and sizes.  Buy a few different kinds of treats balls & food dispensing toys to keep their interest peaked.  Rotate them often and re-introduce them again to keep up the challenge.  Use food dispensing toys to feed your dog a portion of their daily dry food from the toy.

Click here to explore our range of Treat Dispensing Toys

Games and Puzzle Toys

Nina Ottosson PuzzlesGames and puzzles are a great way to provide some mental stimulation for your dog.  Research has shown that 15 minutes of challenging mental stimulation for a dog is like going for a one hour walk.  There's a range of puzzle toys and games available to choose from.  Not all puzzle toys are suitable to be left with your dog whilst you're not home but they're a lot of fun for the both of you when you're together.

Click here to explore our range of Games and Puzzles

Bones and Chews

Orbee Chew ToysOnce or twice a week provide your dog with a recreational bone, rawhide or a pig's ear.  This will help to satisfy your dog's chewing instincts while providing entertainment.  In warmer weather give the bone still partly frozen to prolong the pleasure!  Remember that all food provided as treats must be taken into consideration in your dog's daily diet.  An alternative to bones and chew treats are chew toys.  They wont add too many calories but will give your dog the chew time they love.

Click here to explore our range of chew toys

Pigs EarTreasure Hunts

Hide your dog's daily food in tiny portions around the house or yard.  Make him hunt for it!  We especially like this game since they never know if they've found it all and keep hunting, providing hours of entertainment!  Make them work for their food - it's what they're bred to do!

Dogcicles

Freeze some food into an ice-cream or margarine container with chicken stock or water.  Give it to your dog on a hot day.  You can also freeze a rope into it and tie it from a tree or pergola, your dog will sit under it waiting for the treats to thaw and drop to the ground.

Hide-A-SquirrelSandpit 

Buy a kids clam shell and fill it with dirt or sand.  Bury treats and toys inside to make a legal pit.  Encourage your dog to dig here rather than indiscriminately around your garden.

Rotate their Toys

Buy several dog toys and rotate them daily to keep your dog's interest in them.  Supply 3-5 toys daily.  Have a combination of soft toys, squeaky toys, hard rubber toys, etc.  Keep rotating daily to avoid your dog becoming bored with the same old toys.

Go Dog Go Automatic Fetch MachineOutings

Take your dog with you as you run your errands - simply to get him out of the house for a short while.  If you're popping out to the shop to pick up takeaway for dinner or to pick up the koids from school, take the dog with you for a car ride.  However keep in mind the dangers of dogs in hot cars in the hotter months.

Play Dates

Check among your relatives, friends and colleagues for suitable playmates for your dog.  Organise play dates with these dogs once or twice a week as a way to break up your dogs daily routine.  If you don't know any suitable dogs a few trips to your local dog park should sort that out!

Happy DogDoggy Daycare

There are an increasing number of doggy daycare centres around now.  Consider dropping your dog off once or twice a week as a break from his normal routine.  Many dog walkers will also offer day care as part of their service.  If not, have a friend or relative look after your dog for a day.

Dog Walkers

Consider employing the services of a dog walker to exercise your dog for you.  You may only require their services once or twice a week when you have other activities on.  Dog walkers can come to your home and play or just cuddle with your dog also.

 

** These great ideas sourced from us and the article "Backyard Fun For Dogs" from Danielle and Urban Dog Training - www.urbandogtraining.com.au.

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