Boredom Busters for Dogs

We love a good dog toy at Love That Pet and we also love recycling and home made toys.

Many dogs really churn through the toys, with the smarter dogs in particular soon working out how to solve problems. If you are out at work all day or you have a dog that could do with some mental exercise as well as physical exercise, you might find something useful here.

A NOTE FOR DOGS WHO LIKE TO CHEW

For dogs who love to tear apart their toys, always make sure they are not accidentally (or on purpose) ingesting pieces along the way. The surgery to remove a foreign body is costly and dangerous for your pooch and is easily avoided by ensuring you only give your determined chewer safe toys or supervise them closely.  That being said, chewing is great for the mind and soul of a dog, as well as those pearly white teeth.

UPCYCLED T-SHIRT TOY

For a great use for an old T-shirt, why not upcycle an old shirt by cutting it into strips and channelling your inner teenage girl and braiding it into a tight plait.

TENNIS BALL PUZZLES

This tennis ball treat puzzle from Stacie at Bark Post is brilliant for those dogs that like to problem solve and chew.  Simply use a sharp knife to cut a slit in the tennis ball and pop your treat inside, as your dog chews the hole should open to reveal the treat.

The great thing with puzzle toys is that they can be used as a distraction for when you leave the house. They are great for smart dogs to keep their mind occupied during periods of absence and many behavioural problems can be assisted by giving your dog activities and problems to solve.

This one is also great, just using a muffin tin, just place some treats under the tennis balls.

RECYCLED DRINK BOTTLE TOY

This is a great easy-to-make toy from something we all have around the home, an old plastic bottle. Many dogs love that crinkly, cracking sound of chewing on a plastic bottle. Always remove the lid and the plastic ring around the neck before giving a drink bottle to your dog.  Also be careful to supervise those serious chewers, plastic can easily form sharp corners that can cut delicate gums and if pieces come off they can easily be swallowed.

Some more ideas to recycle plastic bottles:

  • Remove the lid then fill an old bottle with dry biscuits and allow your pet to roll it around to get the food out.
  • Pierce some holes in an old drink bottle and fill it with crushed food so it comes out through the little holes when rolled around.
  • Half-fill a bottle with water then freeze the bottle on it’s side to make a great frozen chew toy for hot days.

KONGS

Kongscan be great for chewers. Chewing is a great stress-reliever for pets and leads to the release of feel-good endorphins. Kongs can be filled with broth and frozen (pop a small square of bread or a treat in the hole at the bottom to fill with liquid), or you can just put in wet food, sweet potato or regular dry food. Ideally get a few and rotate them, so they seem novel and exciting.

FROZEN TREATS

On hot days you can make your dog an iceblock using an old ice-cream container. Either freeze some broth or onion-free stock then leave it out for your dog to feast on, or hide a chew or toy within a block of ice so your dog can work at it during the day.

DIGGING

If you have an outdoor area (or you don’t mind sand all over the place), you can set up a digging pit using a children’s clam-shell pool. Hide some toys in there and Voila! a fun place to play. You can also fill it with water if your dog loves water.

MUFFIN TIN TOY

Using a muffin tin is a great way to feed your dog his dry food or mke

 

WHY EAT FROM A BOWL?

Feeding from a bowl is a bit of a wasted opportunity for fun. You can put your dog’s food in a food ball so it must be rolled around to get the food out, or use a Kong. This idea using PVC pipes is also great.

Also experiment with hiding your dog’s food around the house or using a timed feeder device to spread out mealtimes a little. Anything that makes food last a little longer and makes it into a game.