Last post I introduced you to my parent’s dog Cassie who is the 70mph Collie I am supposed to “keep calm” as I pet sit her. One more thing I can share about trying to non-physically exercise a dog with a boat load of energy is give ‘em something to chew!
Chewing is a natural dog thing to do. It’s an all around favorite pastime for just about every dog I have ever met. Cassie is no exception. She gets herself into this memorized methodical chewing rhythm and closes her eyes. (I’m sure it’s doggie bliss.) And she can do this with any toy, she’s not picky. Typically she is not offered stuffed toys. This is simply because she surgically de-squeaks them and the inner fluff guts are shared throughout my parent’s entire home. Don’t get me wrong, she has plenty of other toys to play with at her home and is in no way toy deprived. Fluff toys that squeak however, are a delicacy when she visits my house.
Some dogs are simply not OK with stuffed, fluff toys. Instead of leaving a giant stuffing mess, they prefer to eat it. Which means a possible blockage and possible surgery in your dog’s horoscope. Thankfully there are a zillion toys out there right now you can choose from for your dog’s chewing pleasure. Some are safer than others, however there is no such thing as a 100% “safe toy! I can not stress that enough. Especially when you’re talking about puppies chewing. Those wonderful little monsters will chew anything and everything to try and pacify painful teething, explore the world, and get energy out.
My favorite are interactive toys like the Buster Cube, the Kibble Nibble, or the Kong. But that’s just because I am a behavior dork and like toys that require some brain power. My personal opinion is the Buster Cube is the toughest, while the Kibble Nibble is the easiest to clean. And if you don’t know what a Kong is, you need to buy one right now. The Kong is one of the best toys out there. There are “Kong stuffing recipes,” but you can use your imagination. Just use common sense too. Don’t fill it with chocolate covered raisins, or anything else “doggie toxic.” My dog’s favorite is to put the leftover mac-n-cheese in his Kong and throw it in a bag in the freezer. The other thing I love about the Kong toy (and no, I’m not getting paid for this blog post from Kong), is you can throw them into the dishwasher! Presto! Cleano! However, I do still give my dog credit for the pre-wash, because he’ll work on it until it’s empty.
Regardless of what toy you want your dog to play with, remember that the dog’s opinion counts too. Just because the toy is $20 at the fancy hoity-toity store doesn’t mean the dog will like that over your empty bottled water bottle. Just make sure he doesn’t eat the shiny new empty plastic bottled water bottle.
One more trick I will leave you with is to rotate toys. Usually people keep 1/3 on the ground, and 2/3 hidden away. Each week just rotate them. It’s funny how toys seem new, fun, and exciting this way.