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How to create a simple homemade toy for your dog
A toy and a dog. What do they have in common? A whole lot.
Toys and dogs are almost inseparable entities. We need them to keep our dogs occupied while we cook, clean and look after the other members of the family. This is especially true of dogs of a more hyperactive nature; chewing a toy gives it something to do.
Toys are also used for reinforcing good behaviors and to stimulate a dog’s mental development. We cannot do without them when teaching our dogs basic commands of “sit”
“fetch”, and so on. Canines are very much like children, learning through play and toys provide great stimuli.
New pet owners would definitely want to consider a few details when choosing a good toys for their new puppies. Those who are concerned with expense and are inclined to be hands on may also be interested in making simple toys for their dogs.
My dogs’ dependency on toys
When I said that dogs and toys were dependent on each other, I really was not joking. My Westie, Cloudy, has gained dominion over my stuffed bears, pigs, dogs - name any stuffed animal at home and it has probably got her name on it. We even had a huge stuffed dog that she used to sleep on and felt insecure without.
She recently had a flea infestation that forced us to dispose of all her toys, since a few ticks had made the huge stuffed dog their home. Of course, little Cloudy did not take to that kindly and pawed persistently at the side of the bed at night. It took a bit of nose tapping and “nos” before she once again settled down without the toys around.
My older dog, Misty, began whining because the stuffed toys were no longer there. Again, it took a bit of nose tapping and “nos’ before she settled down.
What makes a suitable toy for your dog
It is quite easy and tempting to allow your dog to chew on anything that you may find and give to him. Pet owners, though, have to ask themselves a few questions before buying or giving their dog that toy. These are common sens
Is it safe?
The toy that you choose to allow your dog to chew on should not be something too small. The likelihood of it becoming part of his digestive system is raised with diminished size. Avoid giving him things like old pieces of lego to play with as it would most certainly invite disaster.
What is my dog’s size?
Big dogs would not derive a sense of enjoyment playing with toys designed for smaller dogs and vice versa. They would destroy the toys quickly and become bored.
Is it interactive?
Take into account what your dog enjoys doing. If your dog is the sort who likes playing fetch, a rubber ball is an excellent toy. Some dogs, however, love chewing, like my dog, Cloudy. Chew toys and bones that are safe should be on hand for him to nibble on. These also help reduce instances of bad breath.
Can the toy teach my dog something or keep my dog occupied?
Dog toys with treats in them can be used to both keep a dog occupied and teach the basic obedience prompts (sit, stay, fetch). If your dog is sort of demands a lot of attention, toys with treats can give him something to do for hours on end while you get other things done.
Is it expensive?
Owners who have old toys belonging to their children and wish to pass them to their dogs may do so, but do exercise caution as to WHAT toy you are giving him. Some toys, like beach balls, are suitable for games of fetch and are great for children and dogs to interact with.If the toy is too small it can be easily swallowed.
Alternatively, you may consider making inexpensive toys for your dog. This article will later describe how this can be done.
It is essential to be careful not to let your dog have access to unsafe toys that he can swallow. If you have a more dominant, aggressive dog at home, dominance-aggression games like tug of war should not be played as they tend to encourage the dog to exercise dominance over its owner.
Types of dog toys
You will want to keep your dog busy with a toy while something is being done or when guests who are afraid of dogs come for a visit. These toys will give you the freedom to do other things while keeping your dog distracted, at least for a little while.
The kong is a chew toy made of almost indestructible rubber. It was originally based on a Volkswagen bus suspension device which the creator’s German Shepherd found hard to say no to. These toys can be stuffed with a wide variety of yummies within and your dog can spend hours trying to prise it open for them. These are not widely manufactured now, but you can occasionally search Dogopolis KongTime Automatic Dog Toy Dispenser on ebay.
Amos plays with Bob a lot
Weighted on the bottom, the bob-a-lot wobbles around like inflatable bop bags or toys. The yellow part of it can be screwed off, so you can easily put dog treats within. You may even put entire meals in it and mealtime can last for a long time, occupying Fido while you get the grocery shopping done.
A sheltie playing with a tricky treat ball
Tricky Treat Ball
The tricky treat ball
The tricky treat ball is very similar to the bob-a-lot. A single hole on top allows you to put any treats within. They fall out as your dog pushes it along. He will continue to play with it even after the treats are all finished in the hope that there is still one there.
An akita playing with a tug a jug
Tug a jug
The tug-a-jug unscrews at the bottom, allowing you to put dry food inside. It comes out through a hole at the top with a rope attached. Dogs have fun tugging and eating. When the rope frays, sticking an old unwanted sock for your pup to chew on does the same job too.
Daschund playing with Waggle
Put dry food into the barbell shaped waggle and bits will fall out as your dog shakes it or rolls it about. Again, it keeps Fido occupied for longer stretches.
Dog plays with a dog casino
The dog casino
No, no, we are not encouraging Fido to gamble. Designed by Nina Ottosson, it is an excellent, interactive dog puzzle toy. Your dog has to figure out how to remove the bone shaped light blue pegs by pulling out the drawers. Work with your dog first until he learns how to remove the drawers on his own. Have fun watching him solve puzzles.
Which is your favorite of all the dog toys here?
Making your own dog toy
If you have a small dog and have an instinct for crafts, making this would be ideal for you.
Here are five simple steps you can take to make your own toy.
Get 2 sizes of plastic Easter eggs.
Get plastic eggs of two sizes, making sure that they are not too small for your dog to swallow.
Get your dog’s favorite treat.
Prepare kibble or any dog treat that Fido enjoys to put in the smaller egg.Make sure that he sees that you are about to put the treat into the egg so that he will want to play with it.
Put the smaller egg into the larger one.
Make sure Fido sees you put the small egg into the large one to get him motivated to play.
Tape it shut.
Let your dog chew on it and try to remove it for a while, After a while, remove the tape.
Whether you choose to make them or buy them, toys are a useful way to distract your dog or teach him a skill or two. Have fun preparing a present for Fido if you have not already gotten him one for the season!
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