by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
According to the Association for Pet Obesity, our pets are just as fat as we are, and when that happens, it’s time for the both of you to get up and at’em. Dogs love to play, and there are tons of toys that will not only get your dog moving, but you right along with them. When choosing a toy for your dog, be mindful of your dogs breed and character. Not only do you need a toy that will engage their bodies, but their minds also.
Scent-oriented dogs will respond best to games that involve seeking out something that has an odor, so hide treats around the house that they have to locate. Another option is to hide treats inside of a toy that a dog has to roll around to get at it. Intelligent dogs need mental stimulation just as humans do, so a treat sliding puzzle may work. If you’re not sure, ask a vet, and I’m sure they can make some good suggestions.
For big energetic dogs, they would have a "ball" chasing a full size varsity ball of some sort, and if you really want to get a laugh, there’s a toy called "Moody Pet’s Humunga Lips" that’s a moustache-shaped chew toy that when your dog picks it up, will give you a hilarious vision of a dog with a moustache.
And then there’s the old tugging game which is all about who is controlling the game. You decide when the toy must be released, and when it must be dropped. Try attaching a tennis ball to a rope which makes retrieving and throwing easy, and not to mention, no slobbery balls to handle. Some dogs love hide and seek, and believe it or not, they love to chase bubbles which blow bacon or chicken scented bubbles. Did you know that you can also make homemade toys? Try poking some holes in a 2 liter soda bottle, and fill it with a few kibbles. By pawing at the bottle, your dog will randomly release the kibbles.
On hot days, try flavored ice pops. Find a container, then fill it with water or chicken stock, and then freeze it. Now these are just a few suggestions, but I’m sure you can come up with your own ideas. Now I might make one more suggestion, if you leave the house, and you are going to be gone for a long period, do not leave all of your dogs toys out to play with. Limit the number you leave out because dogs are like children, they get bored if every toy they have is right there. And we all knows what happens when children or dogs get bored. Don’t we?
Photo courtesy of creative commons.com
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