When dogs are left at home alone for extended periods with lack of stimulation and exercise, they quickly get bored. Bored dogs can become destructive â€“ as an attempt to amuse themselves, and as a behavioural problem. Providing your dog with toys can help prevent destructive behaviour, such as digging and chewing objects in your garden or house â€“ like the washing, your shoes or the furniture!
Choosing a toy
Direct your dogâ€™s energy onto a toy that is appropriate for his size. Toys for smaller dogs or puppies wonâ€™t be as interesting for a larger dog, and toys that are too small may be swallowed or get stuck at the back of the mouth or throat. Avoid human toys, as they are not designed for dogâ€™s teeth or chewing. Dogs like variety, so have several different toys available. Change them around weekly so your dog doesnâ€™t get sick of them. It will be like a new toy each week! Have a few different toys available at one time for choice. If your dog is particularly attached to one item and displays anxiety when it is taken away, you can keep that one with him.
Dental chew toys
Divert your dogâ€™s natural chewing behaviour onto a chew toy. These are mostly hard rubber and nylon toys that are very durable for aggressive chewers. Nylon bones and hard rubber chew toys come in many sizes and help to clean the teeth and gums. Softer nylon bones are available for less aggressive chewers. Pigsâ€™ ears are also available as a natural chew toy, but will be quickly consumed!
Rubber and nylon toys
As well as being good for the teeth and bouncing to provide chasing fun, some rubber toys come with a hole in the middle to insert treats for added diversion. Others come on ropes for throwing games and some float for playing in the water. Hard and soft nylon Frisbees are great toys for exercise, both for your dog and you!
Vinyl and latex toys
Toys made from vinyl or latex are more suitable for smaller dogs and light chewers. There is a large range of sizes and shapes to keep your dog amused. Many are squeaky toys and there are some with a Christmas theme so your dog doesnâ€™t miss out on a present!
Toys made from cotton rope material are good for the average chewer and can also used as a throw and retrieve, or tug toy device. In addition, they assist in dental care by helping clean between the teeth and massaging the gums.
Usually made from heavy-duty plastic or vinyl, treat-hiding devices are great for providing hours of amusement for your dog. Often in the shape of balls or cubes, treat toys come in all sizes and have a hole in the middle where you can place your dogâ€™s favourite treat! Some have adjustable openings for different sized treats.
Soft or plush toys are perfect for the dog that likes to carry around, or cuddle up to a special friend when you are not there. Some are also squeaky. These toys are not suitable for heavy chewers and should be discarded when torn or damaged to prevent your dog from eating the stuffing. You can find these types of toys and much more at our Pet Superstore on the corner of Enterprise Street and Inglis Court.