Category Archives: playing

Do Dogs Like to be Teased?

teasing Renee JohnsonBy Linda Cole

Playing with your dog has an important role in building a bond and earning trust. Plus, he gets to spend quality time with you and run off some energy. It’s not uncommon for dog owners to tease their pet, especially when playing fetch. Instead of tossing the ball, you hide it and watch as your dog tries to find the elusive ball. To us it’s all in good fun, but does your dog see teasing as part of play, and is it something he likes?

In some instances, teasing a dog can promote unwanted behavior. I used to have a neighbor kid who thought it was fun to ride his bike towards my dog Jack when he was outside in his pen. The kid raced his bike up to the fence before veering off and hitting his brakes. This infuriated and frustrated Jack to no end, and he would growl and bark whenever he saw the boy. Jack was a very friendly dog to everyone else. Mean-spirited teasing or harassment is never alright for people or pets. If you suspect someone is teasing your dog, it’s up to you to put a stop to it immediately, before your pet resorts to biting.
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6 Fun Homemade Games For Cats

cat games PeteBy Julia Williams

Every cat guardian knows how important play is for a feline’s physical and mental wellbeing. Playtime provides beneficial exercise while stimulating their minds and preventing boredom. If you’re like me, you have an assortment of toys littering your floor. You may have also discovered that a plain cardboard box has as much feline appeal as a new catnip mouse. With that in mind, here are some ideas for homemade games that will entertain your kitty and don’t cost a lot.

Ball Pit

I found a cute video of cats playing in a kiddie pool filled with little plastic balls. Looks like fun! You can also use ping pong balls, and if you don’t have a kiddie pool, just use your bathtub to keeps the balls contained. Rocky loves this game and will play with just one or two balls in the bathtub for quite some time.

Box Jumping

This game takes advantage of a cat’s natural affinity for the box, and their love of jumping. Line up a row or two of boxes as shown in this video. Let your kitty smell a CANIDAE cat treat or piece of kibble, then toss it into the box to start the game. Once they jump into the box and eat that piece, toss another into a different box making sure your cat sees where it goes. Depending upon how food motivated your kitty is and how (ahem) smart they are, you may need to “walk them through” how to play at first. Some kitties enjoy the box jumping game even without the enticing treats.
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5 Simple and Inexpensive Toys for Dogs

dog toy johnBy Laurie Darroch

As much as we love our dogs, the toys they play with can be expensive. We enjoy spoiling them, but sometimes we just have to resist the urge to buy them new toys.  The good news is, you do not have to spend a fortune on dog toys to keep your canine companions entertained. Simple toys can be just as much fun! Here are 5 alternatives to expensive dog toys.


Make or buy some non-toxic bubble solution and use either a battery powered bubble blower that makes a lot of bubbles one right after the other, or a simple inexpensive dollar store bubble wand to make the bubbles one at a time. This is great exercise for your dog as well as being a fun game for them. Watching your dog chase the bubbles is entertaining for you, too! Running, jumping and chasing the bubbles outside gives your dog some good leg stretching and cardio activity. A long session of chasing bubbles will burn off an active dog’s excess energy for a while.


Cats are not the only pet fascinated with boxes and bags and their contents. Dogs can be little nosey Parkers as well, and have to find out what is in those interesting containers.  Take advantage of a dog’s natural curiosity and create a simple toy using an empty cereal box or other small food box. Put some tasty CANIDAE treats in the box, set it on the floor and see how long it takes your dog to find a way to extract the treats from the box. Then repeat to keep your dog entertained. The cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels works, too – simply flatten one end and seal it up with duct tape.

Rag Toys

Not only are these toys simple to make, they recycle old clothes into inexpensive toys for your dog. Cut off the zipper from a worn out pair of jeans. Cut the jeans into strips and tie the strips together in knots with different sized knots. The thick jean material will hold up to dog gnawing.

dog toy LynYou can make something similar with old t-shirts – cut them into thin strips and tie together to make an octopus shaped toy with a knot. This works as a tugging toy and as a throw and fetch toy. The knot gives the toy weight and helps the fabric fly when you toss it.

Put a ball inside a sock and knot the end to keep the ball in the “sock sack.” This can be used as both a tug toy and a throw toy.  If you put a really bouncy ball such as a tennis ball inside the sock, the toy will also bounce on a hard surface when you throw it for your dog to fetch.


The old classic stick is still a favorite fetch “toy” with dogs. Pick a stick that is not too big or thick, but big enough for your dog to grab onto.

Do be aware of what type of plant or tree the stick comes from. Some types are extremely poisonous for your dog and should not be put in their mouth or used as a fetch toy. To keep your dog from swallowing splinters of wood, don’t let them chew on the stick no matter what type of tree it is from.

Plastic Jugs

This may not be a good toy for extreme chewers, although they can play with these with full supervision. Empty and wash out a plastic milk jug or use an empty large plastic water jug. Put some CANIDAE kibble in the jug and leave the cap off. Throw the container across the room. If your dog is a chaser, they will have fun charging after the noisy bottle and running around with the captured prize held by the handle.

Your dog may even play fetch with the bottle the same way they do with a stick or ball. It is humorous to see a dog run around holding the big jug between their teeth. It makes for some funny photo opportunities as well. This toy catches their attention even more when thrown on a tile or wood floor or on a patio where it makes plenty of noise.

As with any toy, store purchased or homemade, keep an eye on your dog when they are playing. Watch out for wear, inappropriate chewing, and broken parts they might ingest. As inexpensive as these homemade toys are, just throw them away or put into the recycling bin if they get too ripped or worn out to play with safely.

Top photo by John Collins/Flickr
Bottom photo by Lyn Lomasi/Flickr

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6 Learning Games to Play with Your Puppy

learning games anatheaBy Linda Cole

Once you get a puppy home, it doesn’t take long to discover that he’s a whirlwind of energy, and dealing with his curiosity and playfulness is no easy task. Playing learning games with your puppy can help him bond with you, work off some of that boundless energy, stimulate his mind and teach him some basic commands. It’s also a good way to learn who your new puppy is as an individual.

A puppy’s education should begin the day you bring him home. Playing games gives your pup physical and mental exercise, as well as the opportunity for positive and fun interaction with you. Learning games can also help curb destructive behavior while your puppy discovers how you want him to behave. Teaching your pup basic commands gives him a solid foundation to build on so he’s ready for more challenging commands when he’s older. Reward him with CANIDAE PURE training treats, lots of positive praise and patience. Here are six learning games:

Come Puppy

Create a circle with family and friends sitting on the floor. Make sure everyone has a supply of treats. Put the puppy in the middle of the circle and take turns calling him to come. When he does, give him a treat, praise and ear scratching. Don’t get too rough with him so he doesn’t get overly excited. This is a good way to teach your puppy the come/recall command, as well as work on socialization.
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5 Reasons Playtime is Important for a Dog

playtime michaelBy Laurie Darroch

Playtime is an important part of caring for and loving your canine family member. Dogs are pack animals, and they enjoy time spent with us and other dogs. Playtime provides benefits for your dog’s physical and mental health as well. Here are 5 ways that playtime will enrich your dog’s life.


One of the benefits of play is that it provides individualized bonding time with your dog. Some dogs enjoy playtime so much that they will bring a favorite toy to their human companion when they want to play, or stand by the place where you store their favorite toys to drop a not-so-subtle hint that they want to play. It is their way of communicating and saying, “Please come play with me now!” Playtime can become a favorite part of a dog’s day. If you have more than one dog in your home, playtime is a good way for them to bond with each other as well.


Every dog needs exercise, whether it is walking, running, or even specific types of playtime activities such as chasing balls or bubbles, playing tug of war, digging for hidden toys or enjoying a rousing game of hide and seek. Exercise is good for physical well-being and maintaining musculature and healthy joints. Your dog burns off calories as well with all the physical activity. Good playtime gives them a healthy appetite for their favorite CANIDAE  grain free PURE dog food when meal time arrives.

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Sharing Playtime with Your Dog (Poem)

By Laurie Darroch

Playtime with your dog is not just playing. Playtime is an ideal time to bond with your canine companion, a chance to continue or reinforce training and a good way to give your dog exercise. Last but not least, playtime is simply a fun way to show your dog you care.

You are, after all, the one they look up to. Your dog trusts you implicitly, and you are who they want to spend time with more than anyone. Take some time each day to play with your dog. Like children, our dogs flourish with positive attention and one-on-one time.

Here’s a poem about playtime, written from a dog’s point of view:

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