If your dog is very hyper and excitable and driving you crazy, redirecting that energy is a great way to get some relief, and interactive dog toys make very effective redirection tools. A properly prepared food toy can keep a dog occupied for hours.
An important consideration with interactive toys is getting the right level of difficulty for your dog. They should be difficult enough to be a challenge for the dog, but not so difficult that the dog gives up or loses interest
This video is Elijah, our 2 year old Belgian Malinois, an extremely high-energy breed. The video shows him working very hard to get peanut butter out of a Jolly Pets Monster Mouth food toy.
This video shows Cali, a fairly hyper Lab-mix, with the same toy. She normally gets very hyper when someone speaks to her, but you can see here that when she was spoken to here, she very briefly engaged with the person, then quickly returned to the toy.
KONG products are a great choice for these types of toys. They come in lots of sizes, shapes and styles so you can pick toys you know your dog will like. They can be filled with virtually any dog-safe food item, they can be used in a variety of ways, and you can also find hundreds of recipe ideas for stuffing your dog’s KONG toy(s) online. Following are just a few possible ways to use these products.
- Use as a feeder you can use for all of your dogs meals (very effective for slowing down fast eaters)
- Use as a brief distraction to calm the dog (and give you some peace) for a few minutes
- Use frozen as a longer-term distraction for when the dog needs to be occupied for a longer time (crated alone at home)
- Use simply as tough and durable dog toy
Note that some pet parents aren’t comfortable with leaving a toy in their dog’s crate when the dog will be unsupervised for more than a few minutes, fearing they may choke on the toy. If the toy is properly sized for your dog and in good condition, the risk of choking is minimized.
Thanks for reading this post, and I hope you found it interesting and useful. Feel free to leave you comments below.
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