If you have a dog, you probably know how easily they can get bored. Boredom in dogs quickly leads to behavioral issues such as separation anxiety or destructive tendencies, so it’s important to find ways to keep your dog’s mind and body both occupied as much as possible. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of interactive toys.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the best choices for interactive toys your dog might enjoy. Check out these possibilities and see which ones may interest your dog the most. If you have any questions, call Boughton Square Animal Clinic in Bolingbrook, IL at (630) 759-0093.
Food Dispensing Chew Toys
Easily the most common and most beloved of the interactive dog toys on the market, food dispensing chew toys work well for a number of reasons. They are a high-reward toy variety that gives your dog food or treats immediately just for playing with them, and they are also durable and designed to hold up to a lot of wear and tear.
The most popular of these chew toys is the classic Kong chew. This toy is shaped somewhat like a snowman and is designed to be filled with anything edible for your dog. Dogs can lick, chew, and play with the toy to get the food inside.
Puzzle toys are the second most common type of interactive toys for dogs. They come in a variety of shapes, styles, and ability levels, so you can easily find a puzzle toy that works well for your dog. Some puzzle toys require your dog to flip over puzzle pieces, push pieces around, or figure out how to open containers to get the food and kibble inside.
One of the most popular of these toys is the Outward Hound slider puzzle toy. This toy encourages dogs to push sliders back and forth until they find the treats hidden beneath specific ones.
Tugging toys encourage dogs to tug and pull while also rewarding them with treats or food for getting this behavior right. They usually include a rope element, which is similar to the same type of rope toy intended for tug-o-war between dogs and their owners.
The Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug is a good choice among this category of interactive dog toys. This toy includes a plastic jug at the base, a chew toy topper, and a rope tug that threads through both. Dogs can tug on the rope to dispense kibble from the plastic jug as they work through this problem solving game.
Snuffle toys look like small, shaggy rugs or mats. They are usually made up of very long pile fabric or fabric strips that are tied together to create an extra-fluffy appearance. By using these mats, dogs are encouraged to snuffle and sniff around through the long strands of fabric until they find hidden food or treats.
Although there are a few store-bought variations of snuffle mats for dogs on the market, it’s easy to make a DIY version for a bit less money. There are plenty of DIY guides for making these types of toys for your dog.
Toppling toys work by filling them with treats or kibble and then encouraging your dog to push and knock them around to make the treats fall out. The toys topple and bob back and forth, but they return to their original standing position, making them a little trickier for dogs to figure out.
One good option from this category is the Bob-A-Lot toy. This toy includes a few holes so your dog can determine different ways to get the treats out. It also holds quite a bit of kibble and can be used as a slow food dispenser if you prefer.
Doggie Board Games
The final category of interactive toys to consider for your pet is the doggie board game category. These toys are basically more intense puzzle toys that involve several steps for your dog to find the hidden treats or kibble inside.
The Trixie Mad Scientist toy is a great choice from this category. This unique toy includes three vials with different types of screw-on caps that your dog is encouraged to flip and turn. When your dog turns the vials correctly, treats are dispensed.
With so many excellent interactive dog toys to choose from, it’s easy to see how overwhelming the possibilities might be. If you’re not sure what your dog might like, try with some of the more affordable options from each category and go from there. Once you find the type of interactive toy your dog responds to the best, you can upgrade to even more exciting styles.
Interactive toys can make a world of difference in helping your dog feel less bored throughout the day. They can reduce many behavioral problems and set your dog up for success at the same time. Call us today at (630) 759-0093.
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About Boughton Square Animal Clinic
Since 1979, Boughton Square Animal Clinic has served Bolingbrook, IL and surrounding communities as both a veterinary care provider and a devoted partner in treating your animal family members for life.