Monday, November 8, 2010

Use Interactive Dog Toys to Beat Boredom

By Linda Cole

A bored dog can become a destructive pet when he's left alone. Leaving your dog with his favorite toys can help him pass the time. Better yet, provide some interactive dog toys that give him something to do – they will challenge him to think and “problem solve” to get what he wants. An active and focused mind means your furniture, shoes and household items won’t get destroyed when you're away from home.

Some dogs are just fine when no one is home; they entertain themselves by sleeping all day. Other dogs want more action in their life whether anyone's home or not. They spend the day chewing, barking, shredding and any other activity they can find to entertain themselves. The problem with letting a dog find something to do on his own is that he ends up getting in trouble once his owner gets home.

Dog toys have come a long way from the simple squeaky toys and rawhide chews that most canines quickly grow tired of. After all, there’s only so many times can you squeak a toy before it gets boring, and once the rawhide chew is gone, it's back to mischief making. If your dog needs something to do to keep him out of trouble, consider toys that can stimulate him and give him something to focus on. What you need are interactive dog toys that require your dog to think if he wants to get to the treat.

Wooden dog puzzles come in a variety of skill levels that can give your dog hours of stimulating problem solving to get to the treats hidden inside. They have to figure out how to slide blocks or pegs to find what they're looking for. Some are harder than others, but all of these dog toys challenge the smartest dogs. One of the harder dog puzzles has four layers that spin. The dog has to rotate the layers to get to pockets that hold his favorite CANIDAE® treat.

For dogs who inhale their food, you might want to consider an interactive dog bowl that's designed to slow down how fast they eat. Dogs who wolf down their supper can have digestive problems, and certain dog breeds have a higher risk of developing bloat if they eat too fast. The interactive dog bowl slows down their eating by making them work for their supper in a fun way that stimulates their mind. It also helps your dog learn good eating habits by teaching him to not inhale his food. You can use the interactive dog bowl for treats instead of dog food to keep him entertained and stimulated when you're gone.

Interactive dog toys come in a variety of shapes and sizes. All of them require the dog to use his brain to get to the hidden treats. They are designed to hold up to the dog who likes to chew – but why chew on the outside when there's a treat inside? Figuring how to get the treat out is stimulating and satisfying.

You can also find interactive chew toys for dogs. They can give your dog hours of entertainment as they push, chew, tug or pull on the toy to get the treat. Some are designed to make the dog roll the toy around to get the treats to fall out. Others have the treat in plain sight and the dog has to figure out how to get the food prize out of a pouch. For more on chew toys, read “The Best Chew Toys for Dogs.

Treat toys are an excellent way to provide a game of hide-and-seek dog for your dog while you're away. Fill three or four toys with CANIDAE Snap-Bits™ treats and hide them around the house where he can easily find them. When he's finished with one toy, he can search for another one, which helps keep his mind focused on the treats instead of the temptation to destroy your couch cushions.

When buying an interactive treat toy for your dog, make sure to get the appropriate size for them. You can even get one for your cat! Puzzle dog toys and interactive games are designed so any size dog can work the pegs or twists and turns they have to maneuver through to get to the treats. If you have a dog who gets into mischief every time you leave the house, providing him with an interactive dog toy can help him beat the boredom of being left alone.

Read more articles by Linda Cole


  1. Where do I find these interactive toys? We need both, chew toys and interactive food bowls for our Weimaraners, both rescued, neutered males, one is 2, the other just at a year. I have bowls for them that have dividers to slow them down, but that's it.

  2. Hi Janet,

    Here's some websites that have a nice variety of interactive toys. The first link is to a website for the interactive food bowl.


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