Most dogs of today have a lovely, relaxing lifestyle, with a warm bed to snuggle up in, food whenever they want it, and a loving family around them. However, this life of luxury often paves the way for boredom, which can bring a whole host of issues to you as the owner. Such problems include:
- excessive barking
- chewing or digging at furniture
- licking or scratching themselves excessively
- struggling to be calm and settle
- destroying their toys
But, there are ways you can keep your dogs occupied, whilst still giving them a fabulous life! We've put together a collection of five toys you can give to your dog to ensure they stay get all the activity they need - helping them to be on their best behaviour.
1) KONG Classic
Truly a classic among dog-owners, every doggo family should have at least one of these in the cupboard. You can give it to your dog as an engaging rubber toy, or you can pop food inside for a fun challenge.
Filling it with dry food will encourage your dog to throw it around and bounce the kibble or dry treats out, or you can fill it with wet foods to encourage your dog to settle down and lick the food out. Licking is also a great soothing behaviour, so will be great for helping your dog to calm down and settle. Perfect wet foods include:
- soaked kibble
- cans of wet food
- raw food
- peanut butter
- natural yoghurt
- your own recipe!
2) KONG Wobbler
A great introduction to puzzle feeders, the KONG Wobbler is easy for most dogs to figure out whilst still offering a great deal of fun, time and time again. You simply unscrew it, pop kibble or dry treats into it, and screw it back up. The bottom is filled with sand to keep it weighted down so, as your dog bashes it around with their nose or paw, it can keep bouncing back up to go again. As it's made of strong plastic, it can put up with a good battering incredibly well!
Once your dog is familiar with it, you can up the challenge by popping a ball inside - making it harder to get the treats out!
3) KONG Gyro
Another good introduction to puzzle feeders, or a natural next step from a Wobbler, the Gyro is relatively easy to figure out but can keep most dogs on their toes.
You can fill up the middle sphere with dry treats or kibble, and then let your dog chase it around. They can push it with their nose, or pat it with their paw, and that middle ball will rotate around, letting treats dribble out as it goes. Again made with strong plastic, this is fantastic for those tough chewers.
4) KONG Lock-It
This is a brilliant option for those smaller dogs, and is really versatile. The small ones come in packs of three, which means you can offer your dog some good variety: one on it's own is nice and simple, two popped together makes it a bit tricker, or all three together present a good little challenge. You can pop dry treats or kibble inside for your dog to bounce about, or you can smear some wet food inside to encourage your dog to lick it and settle down.
If you have a larger dog, you can also find these in a bigger size, which comes in packs of two (click here).
The Treat Spinner is perfect for those dogs experienced with puzzle feeders, as it is a little trickier. Just like the Wobbler and Gyro, it unscrews in the middle ready for you to fill it up with kibble or dry treats. It is generally harder for pups to figure out, as they need to roll it end-over-end to get the treats out, which can feel a little unnatural to start out with. Because of this though, it takes dogs a lot longer to get bored of it, and can present a fun challenge time and time again.
It also comes with a blue plastic maze inside, which is removable. We suggest taking this out whilst your pup learns how to use the Treat Spinner, as this will help stop them getting too frustrated. You can then pop it back inside when your dog needs a bit more of a challenge, and definitely makes this option the most long-lasting!
Do you have any secrets to keeping your dogs entertained? Let us know in the comments below!