Posted Jan 11, 2019 in Fun Dog Stuff
Playtime is an everyday event for our dogs. While all dogs love playtime, every dog is different. Depending on their breed and health conditions, the level of of excitement and endurance always varies. Part of our role as our dog’s steward is to find out “what cranks their scooter.” Is it tug of war, is it fetch, is it wrestling, is it tag? Whatever it is, we need to feed that desire for both their mental and physical health.
Naturally we have to be mindful of heat exhaustion not only for the short nosed and long hair breeds, but all breeds in general. Along with that, we need to ensure hydration is intermittent, meaning we give our dogs short frequent sips verse 3 minutes at the water bowl. Allow time (10-15 minutes) for a cool down (walking without the presence of any toys or games going on) before returning the crate, kennel, or house. Here are some toys and games that are bound to keep your dog happy and having fun.
Tossing & retrieving is probably one of a dog’s most natural drives. For best results, find a fenced in area and have a specific line where you can bring your dog back to after they fetch the object. A good trick is to use two of the same objects to entice the dog to come back. Once they go fetch one object, entice them back by showing them you have the other one back at the main line.
Tug of war can truly be played anywhere. Most dogs love a challenge and tug-able dog toys will fulfill that desire. As always, be constantly aware of your surroundings. Your pup is stronger than you may think, but your game play needs to be smooth and free of any sudden harsh yanks on the toy.
Flirt Poles are easy to make and are great for the dogs. While you can buy them, they’re not too hard to DIY. What you need is an old broom handle, line or rope, and a small hand towel. Attach the rope or line to the handle and the small towel to the other end of the rope. There you have it! To use the flirt pole, quickly drag it back and forth a few times. Your dog will follow the towel at the end, probably missing at first. Then allow your dog to grab it and start a soft game of tug.
Some pups love to snuggle and need that little bit of extra attention. For them security dog toys are your best bet. Plush stuffed animals and characters are ideal, and your furry friend may attach a strong bond to them that will be comforting in times of stress or anxiety, similarly to how children do.
If your canine seems to chew almost everything in sight, some large raw bones or quality solid toys are excellent. (be careful of the cheaper rubber toys with bells in them, because they are too easily ingested and cause problems down the road.) The raw bone and quality chew toys give your dog an ample amount of distraction and keep them occupied while some are also providing dental benefits.
Let us know what toys make your dog happy! Happy New Year and enjoying playing with your pup this season.
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