Dogs are intelligent pets and need mental as well as physical exercise. They can get bored and frustrated if under-stimulated, especially when left alone for periods of time. Read on for more information about great enrichment toys for dogs to keep them happy in mind as well as in body.
Stimulating dog dogs are designed to keep your pooch happy and entertained, whilst exercising their brain. There are lots of different types of interactive games and dog puzzle toys. Understanding the different types will help you decide what might suit your dog.
Dog puzzle feeder – dog puzzle toys are ways to keep your dog occupied and stimulated trying to get food or treats out of a toy by using their brain to solve a puzzle. The puzzles vary in how difficult they are, and once solved a treat or another toy is revealed.
Dog treat balls and snuffle mats for dogs – on a similar theme, dog treat toys and snuffle mats or lick mats require a dog to use their nose and snout to find treats. Treat balls can be filled with dry food or treats, and your dog has to roll them around to get the food out. Snuffle mats are soft, flat mats with various textures of material attached so your dog has to nose around in them to find treats. Lick mats are wipeable and smooth and can be smeared with wet food that your dog will enjoy spending time licking off.
Interactive dog toys – playing with your dog is a great bonding experience. Using stimulating dog toys to engage your dog’s brain is very rewarding. Frisbee, tug of war and other games can have added stimulation by using enriching materials such as light-up balls.
Dogs need both mental and physical stimulation and using enrichment toys for dogs, interactive toys for dogs, puzzle feeders and the like provides them with valuable and time-consuming entertainment. Boredom in dogs can lead to poor behaviour, such as destruction of furniture or excessive barking, so keeping your pooch occupied is a good thing for everyone! Dog puzzle feeders and treat toys are also great for greedy dogs, or those prone to bolting their food, as it slows the eating process and helps them to feel satisfied for longer.
All dogs should have some dog toys for boredom relief, but it’s important to check them over regularly for safety. Some dogs are very vigorous chewers and can damage even the more robust toys. Regular checks to make sure your toys are in good condition with no broken edges or loose pieces that could be swallowed is essential.
Always make sure you play safely with your dog. Never use your hands, feet or clothing as a toy, and use a command to signal the start and end of play. Train your dog to wait patiently for food treats and only give food when they are calm.
This depends on your situation and the personality of your dog. If they are at home for periods alone, get bored easily or require lots of stimulation, having lots of dog toys for boredom relief is necessary. Try and have a few different types of enrichment toys, and rotate them around so that they are seen as ‘new’ when they reappear.