Category Archives: dog chew toys

Choosing the Right Toys for Your Dog

By Lisa Mason

Your dog will become bored playing with the same old toy day after day. The toy will lay there untouched and he will look at you mournfully. This means he has lost interest in that toy and needs another one. Multiple toys of different shapes, materials and textures will allow your dog to choose the right toy for his mood.

Every Dog Needs a Chew Toy

Chew toys are a must for your dog. Sometimes a dog just wants to chew, and if he doesn’t have a toy, your furniture and shoes may be in trouble. Chew toys will satisfy the need to chew, and it will also exercise your dog’s jaws and help clean his teeth.

Make sure to pick a chew toy that is appropriate for your dog’s size. If the chew toy is too large for your dog to get a good grip on, he will get frustrated and find something else to chew on. If the chew toy is small, a large dog could choke on it.

Other Great Choices for Dog Toys

Balls and Frisbees should be next on your dog’s toy list. Even a small dog will enjoy chasing a ball or a Frisbee, and its great exercise for them. Small dogs that don’t play outside a lot will enjoy rolling the ball around the house and trying to capture it. Give the dog several balls in varying sizes. A ball should just barely fit in the dog’s mouth for him to carry it, or it should be larger for rolling games. Never let a large dog play with a tiny ball as he may choke on it.

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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.

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How to Teach Your Dog the “Drop It” Command

By Linda Cole

Dogs are great at finding things around the home or hidden in the grass. Sometimes they find things they shouldn’t have for one reason or another. Instead of engaging in what he thinks is a game of keep away with you chasing him, the easiest thing you can do is teach your dog to drop it. This is one of the more important commands for your dog to learn, and it can save you a lot of wasted time and energy trying to retrieve whatever your dog has in his mouth.

Anyone who’s raised a puppy knows how inquisitive they are. As far as they’re concerned, anything on the floor or within their grasp is fair game. They have no idea how harmful something they’ve grabbed may be to them. If you try to take the object or food from them, that’s a signal to the pup to run and if they can get you to chase them, all the more fun. Too many times, the puppy ends up swallowing what he had in his mouth.

When one of my dogs was a puppy, she had a hard time understanding what I was trying to teach her. At the same time, one of my cats was very interested in the treats I was using to help teach my dog. The cat would sit beside us, pick up one of the small toys I was using and when I commanded the dog to drop what she had in her mouth, the cat dropped his toy and waited for his treat. I still laugh when I think about the cat sitting there with a frog toy in his mouth waiting patiently for me to tell the dog to drop it. My dog learned to drop it when she saw the cat getting treats. So I was able to teach two at the same time. When the cat wanted a treat, he would bring the frog and sit down in front of me, waiting for the command.

Some dogs learn to drop it easier than others. And, as I found out, cats can also learn the command, even if it’s by accident. It was a good lesson for me because until that training session, I never considered trying to teach a cat to drop it.

Playing catch is more fun when you’ve taken the time to teach your dog to drop it. Instead of having to pry a slobbery ball out of his mouth every time, the drop it command puts it at your feet or directly in your hand. It also keeps you from having to grope around in his mouth searching for something he picked up that was more interesting than the ball.

Stay patient and calm when engaging in any training sessions. If your dog is more interested in playing than learning, put him on a leash to keep him from running away. Let it drag on the ground so you can step on it. Make the training fun and keep it short.

Before you start to teach your dog to drop it, gather several of his favorite toys. The idea is to have your dog take one of the toys in his mouth and play with it for awhile. Give him the command and wait for him to drop what he has in his mouth. Only say it once. Don’t attempt to take the toy because he’ll be more defensive and less willing to drop it if he thinks you’re trying to take it from him.

Entice your dog with a favorite treat, and give it to him as soon as he drops the object. Add lots of praise along with the treat. This might take a little time, especially if he wants the toy more than the treat. Don’t try to teach your dog to drop it right after a meal. If he won’t give up the toy, find something else he might be more willing to trade for a treat. Of course, you want to make sure the treat you use is irresistible to your dog. CANIDAE Snap-Bits and Snap-Biscuit® dog treats are two great choices.

If your dog takes his toy and runs away, don’t chase him. Let him play for awhile and try again later on. It’s not difficult to teach your dog to drop it, but it could take more than one training session. Keep at it because it’s important for him to learn, and it could save him from a trip to the vet and you from an expensive vet bill.

For more information on training your dog to obey basic commands, read Teaching Come and Stay, or Heel and Stand.

Read More Articles by Linda Cole

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Why Do Pets Steal Our Stuff?

By Linda Cole

Are your pets pack rats? Do you find things that belong to you in odd, out of the way places? Does your cat store things under the bed, or does your dog steal socks and you find the tattered remains scattered around the scene of the crime? Do they like the smell of our dirty laundry? Why do pets steal our stuff?

I have a dog who loves to spend the frosty days of winter under a cozy blanket in bed. Her chosen snuggle item is a slipper. Sometimes, she opts for both which makes it easier to find when I want them. Sure, I could put the slippers where she couldn’t get them, but having them around her makes her feel secure, and she has no desire to chew them. Of course she takes the slipper because it has a comforting and familiar smell on it. Sometimes pets steal our stuff because it makes them feel good to have a piece of clothing with our smell on it next to them when we aren’t there. If the pet stealing your clothing is a dog, it could indicate the dog has a mild case of separation anxiety. Stealing something with a familiar smell on it helps keep them calm by reducing their level of anxiety. Our dirty laundry or a slipper works best because that’s where our smell is the strongest, and a sock or slipper is easier to move than the couch.

Unfortunately, there is a problem with a dog who steals clothes if they also enjoy shredding the clothing and chewing up the slipper. That can get expensive! If your dog likes to eat clothes and your dirty laundry is piled on the floor till laundry day, a simple change in habit and using that empty hamper can help save your clothes from destruction. You may need to hide the hamper from the dog, though. A dog who is chewing on clothes is also likely to ingest a certain amount of fabric and that’s not good for them. A better choice to help your pooch deal with a low level of separation anxiety is to give them a chew toy they can’t destroy while you are gone. A treat toy can provide them with hours of entertainment as they work to get the treat out of the toy. Soft chew toys are also good, but make sure your dog isn’t one who likes to eat them as well.

Cats are like pack rats who love anything shining, small and fun that they can chase around the floor. I’m always retrieving items my cats have stolen from somewhere in the house. Pens, spoons, paper clips, wadded up balls of discarded paper, the ring or cap from a milk jug, an entire roll of toilet paper killed in a mighty battle on my bed. Cats steal our stuff just because they ARE cats. They don’t need a reason. They are constantly looking for something to bat around the floor and as long as it can be moved, it’s fair game as far as the cat is concerned.

Cats are like dogs as far as smells go. They like feeling safe and secure, and our smells are everywhere in the home. Cats will steal pieces of clothing just like dogs, although they don’t usually chew them up and spit the pieces out for us to find later. I have found dirty towels and T-shirts hauled up onto my bed or the couch. Of course, the cat is usually still sleeping in the middle of the pile. I had a cat that once emptied my entire laundry basket and arranged all of the clothes on the bed so he could burrow under them and sleep in peace with the smells he loved around him. I’m sure he was tired after rearranging an entire wardrobe.

In the long run, does it really matter why pets steal our stuff? Most pet owners do feel special if they have a pet who steals stuff. In a way, it’s a tribute to how much they want to be with us. If we aren’t there, then anything with our smell on it will do. If my dog feels comfortable sleeping with one of my slippers, or my cat wants to drag a dirty T-shirt on the bed to sleep on, that’s fine with me. It’s just another way they let us know we belong to them.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

The Best Chew Toys for Dogs

By Suzanne Alicie

We have all heard horror stories about dogs who chew. I have lived through this terrible event and after losing several pairs of leather shoes and one really great leather jacket, I learned some hard lessons. The first is that no matter how well behaved your dog is being, you can’t trust them. Don’t leave your valuable chewable items in a dog’s reach, because that is just too much temptation.

The second lesson is that if you provide your dog with good chew toys they may learn to leave your stuff alone. Spending a few bucks on chew toys is preferable to replacing your entire shoe collection. I don’t know why my dogs only chewed on leather and completely ignored my dollar store flip flops. I suppose they have expensive tastes, but the non leather chew toys I found seem to intrigue them just as well.

There are chew toys of all shapes and sizes; some even hold treats which will keep your dog occupied for a long time. Because each dog will have a preference, you may have to try several chew toys before you find the ideal one for your canine friend. When you are choosing a chew toy for your dog, the most important thing to look for is that the chew toy is the right size. If you have a small puppy, a large hard chew toy won’t interest them because they won’t be able to chew on it well, and if you have a large dog a small chew toy can be a choking hazard.

Safety must come first when it comes to entertaining your dog. Chew toys that are flimsy and will get torn into pieces easily are not recommended. You can find chew toys everywhere, from your grocery store pet aisle to pet specialty stores and websites.

Squeaky chew toys are a personal annoyance of mine simply because my dogs can squeak them a hundred times in just a few minutes and drive me crazy. For that reason alone I don’t give my dogs squeaky toys. If the noise doesn’t bother you, be sure to select toys that are well made so the ‘squeaky’ part does not become dislodged and present a choking hazard.

When it comes to choosing a dog chew toy you should follow these suggestions for your dog’s safety and happiness.

• Look for chew toys that are made of durable rubber.

• Avoid strings, buttons and other pieces that can come off and be swallowed by your dog.

• Choose chew toys in an appropriate size for your dog – replace puppy chew toys as the dog grows.

• Purchase more than one shape of chew toy. Dogs prefer having a choice and will use the chew toy that is comfortable for their mouth and teeth.

Keep in mind that chewing is a natural dog activity. By choosing smart chew toys, you can help maintain your dogs dental health and even improve their breath, while preserving your home, furniture and footwear.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.