5 Interactive Toys to Keep Your Dog Busy

BY | August 31 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY

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Dogs are intelligent and emotional creatures. They are intuitive and sharp which is why their help is often used in law enforcement agencies. Dogs are trained to sniff out cadavers, drugs, and also to protect their owners from harm.Most owners indulge in developing the physical well-being of their dogs by proper feeding, taking them out on long walks, playing with them. But, just as physical health is important, it is important that you pay attention to their intellectual development as well. You might notice your dog gets easily bored at times. Engage your dog in interactive activities and keep him/her busy.There are several enrichment toys that can provide a challenge for your dog. These toys have features that can capture your dog's attention. They have unusual movements, sounds and contents. This helps in keeping your dog focused and he or she will not be growing bored with it anytime soon. Interactive dogs come in different types, shapes and sizes. There are toys that dispense treats at the end of the challenge, toys to enhance your dog's memory, ones that are meant to sharpen their senses and so on.Here are some popular toys.

 

  1. Kong toysThese toys take advantage of the fact that dogs are motivated by food. You can put in treats and snacks in an outlet. The task for your dog is to get the treat out. This engages your dog's mind and instills a sense of victory in him. They are great for your dog's oral health.
  2. Automatic fetch machinesDogs love playing fetch. This machine is a ball launcher that serves the purpose. It comes with a little twist. The machine launches balls in specific trajectories and your dog will have to analyze the path of the ball if he wants to catch the ball.
  3. PuzzlesThey enhance your dog's memory. They are motivated by the treats and end up solving these puzzles to ultimately get to the treats kept within the puzzle.
  4. Mind gamesThese toys will definitely keep your dog busy. There is a hide-and-seek toy which has tops that need to be dislodged to get to the hidden treat and a spin toy which consists of a wheel which has to be spun so that your dog gets his reward.
  5. Food cubesThis is basically a plastic square and a cylinder. The cylinder has to be removed and filled with treats. You can adjust the cylinder for various levels of difficulty. He or she has to move the cube with his cylinder to get to the treat.

All these toys are easy to clean and is excellent for your dog's mental and physical health

Are Laser Toys Bad for Your Dog?

Laser toys

Few things are as entertaining as watching dogs frantically chase after a laser toys. If you need proof, just watch this video.

However, as fun as it is for us to see them go nuts for that elusive red dot, it could be

messing with their head.

THE LASER TOYS STORY

Animal Behaviorist and Tufts Professor Dr. Nicholas Dodman believes that laser toys play on our dogsโ€™ natural instinct to chase, without giving them the reward of catching it. โ€œThey canโ€™t help themselves. They are obliged to chase it,โ€ said Dodman to the Huffington Post

.

Anything that darts around (such as a laser light) triggers our dogsโ€™ inherent need to chase prey -- which, as it happens, is why so many prey animals stop dead in their tracks when they suspect they have been spotted. Dogs are, by nature, highly tuned motion sensors. And when something triggers that impulse, they respond the only way they know how -- by chasing.

But unlike a rabbit or a tennis ball, a beam of light is not something that can be caught, making a game of โ€œchase-the-laserโ€ one devoid of any possibility for winning. This inability to actually catch the laser can end up

wearing on a dogโ€™s psyche. If a dog is constantly chasing after something they canโ€™t catch, it is bound to stress them out. In fact, it may even drive them a little bit crazy." i've seen light chasing as a pathology where they will just constantly chase around a light or shadow and pounce upon it. they spend their whole lives wishing and waiting," says dodman.>

A SUITABLE SUBSTITUTION

Instead of teasing your dog with a laser toy, if you want to work out your dogโ€™s prey instinct, why not simply

play a game of fetch? Rolling a ball across the floor gives them everything they need out of a game -- the anticipation, the chase, and the reward.However, if you simply cannot give up the laser, at least find a way to incorporate treats into the laser experience. Perhaps you leave a treat

on the floor and lure them over to it with the dot. Get creative with it. Just donโ€™t let your dog go unrewarded, or they may develop a complex.

WHAT ABOUT MY KITTY?

Laser it up!

Catโ€™s, Dr. Dodman observed, are less likely to become obsessive and develop behavioral conditions as a consequence of not being rewarded. This is because they generally have a much shorter attention span than their canine counterparts, meaning that they are likely to lose interest in the beam rather than get all worked up over not being able to catch it.

RELATED STORY: Is My Cat Weird? 5 Freaky Feline BehaviorsHowever, there are exceptions to the rule, and if you notice your cat starting to show signs of obsession, stop playing with the laser. But until then, feel free to shine on, you crazy diamond.Will you stop using the laser with your dog? Leave a comment and let us know, and sign up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.Source:Huffington Post - Why Laser Toys Can Be Bad News for Your Pet

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