A recent spate of ‘shoe-nappings’ and ’tissue box explosions’ had me running to the grocery store to purchase some dog toys for Molly and Beans, who had totally been up to mischief around here! – sometimes it’s not until the furry family members start chewing up our own belongings that we realise they have eaten through their own stash of play items. It’s so important for pets to have something to play with – especially if their owners are out at work leaving them alone all day. When your pet starts chewing or digging up the garden and your shoes are no longer safe on the floor it’s probably time to go shopping for some toys! Here are my tips for pet toys:
Durable enough for them to play with all day long Dog toys can be expensive, especially if they get demolished quickly, so during the day I hide the less durable toys like tennis balls (they are literally torn apart within a day around here) and bring them back out when we throw the ball, making sure there are enough fun toys they can play with still scattered around the yard. The toys also need to be the right size for the dog, some can be too big or heavy to fit within their jaws.
Not so durable that they are no fun The ‘Kong’ toys are known to be ultra durable but we have a couple that sit around here untouched. The novelty wore off really quickly with them because the dogs were unable to make a sizeable enough dent when chewing them, they are good to have around because they still get played with occasionally but when they figure out that they can’t make a lot of progress (to demolishing them) the chewing eventually stops.
Keep them thinking Dogs are pretty intelligent so they need to have toys that will satisfy their need to explore and problem solve, if they are not using their brains to play they will start using them to dig up plant roots or figure out ways to escape the yard. I like to have toys around at all times that will keep our dogs interested (Beans digs ‘ankle breakers’ – holes that look like rabbit caves in the grass that you don’t see until you fall into them!!). You can purchase pretty snazzy toys now that have holes to put dog treats in where the dog has to figure out a way to get the treat out, or even just a squeeze toy with a funny sound can keep them amused. We always have a few bones around to keep their teeth clean – and they can spend hours trying to lick the marrow out of the middle. *Just a note about raw bones (don’t give cooked), too many can cause them to build up inside the dog and they become impacted, so keep an eye on how many you are giving to your friend.
Give them a mixture Some dogs like to have teddys they can take to bed with them (Molly takes her teddy – a toy dog called ‘Benji’ around with her everywhere she goes, and cries if he is not with her at night!). I tend to put him away during the day because the dogs start to rip Benji apart when they are bored. But they do need a mixture of toys to keep them entertained as they can go through cycles during the day of being excited / energetic to just wanting something to chew on or a soft toy to carry around with them that they have an emotional attachment with (strange I know). Perhaps this ‘attachment’ is more for dogs who haven’t been fixed? If you have the same thing with your dog I would love to know – Beans doesn’t have any ‘teddy’ attachment, only Molly!
Keep them in a basket I like to have a basket to pack the toys away into, that way they are not sitting out on the lawn all night getting wet or deteriorating in the sun. If the basket is accessible to the pets they can go and take the toy they want out (usually all of them by the end of the day), just tipping the basket over and seeing them all fall out can be enough of a job for them and getting the toys out can be a part of their play routine.
Thanks for reading, and if anyone comes up with a decent automatic dog-ball thrower let me know – I seriously want one for Beans, who has an insatiable ball-catching appetite OR a ball that doesn’t leave marks on white painted walls. – Just some invention ideas for the entrepreneurial types out there lol!!!
Follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin and Twitter if you like! – See you there.
Love Sarah | M&B x
← I just love this joke (found on Pinterest) – it’s good to know I am not the only one who is constantly picking up napkins and used tissues that have been scrounged from the bin and torn up!!?