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Behavior & training


3 Types of Toys to Keep Your Dog Busy While You’re at Work

As you are getting ready to return to the office, it’s helpful to consider comfort, action and distraction toys, puzzles and games to keep dogs engaged until they hear the key in the door announcing you’re home again. To stock the toy box with both mentally and physically stimulating fun stuff, here’s what you need to know before you go shopping.

1. Comfort Toys

pitbull puppy with cuddle toy
Comfort toys are typically soft, plush cuddly toys. They come in all shapes and sizes and are a doggie essential as they provide a level of security and comfort for our pups.

Toy size doesn’t matter in relation to your pooch; many little dogs love big fluffy cuddly things for company. Place your dog’s comfort toy in a bed or another place where they like to curl up for a snooze.

Because comfort toys usually have squeakers and crinkly materials included in the design, many pooches instead treat them as prey toys and they will enjoy carrying them around, shaking and attempting to subdue them.

Even the toughest comfort toy won’t last forever. And if you don’t like cleaning up mounds of stuffing, consider “flatties” plush comfort toys which are stuffing-free.

2. Distraction Toys and Puzzle Games

dog playing with puzzle toy
These toys are usually made from very durable non-toxic rubber materials that dogs can hold between their paws or play with as they are designed to roll or wobble. Stuff them with treats or a dollop of peanut butter, and be rest-assured your dog will be busy for hours while you are gone as they’re designed for safe, endless chewing. Puzzle games with compartments that can be stuffed with morsels are brainteasers and thus mentally stimulating because your dog has to figure out how to remove the edible delights.

These distraction games come in a variety of challenges and different levels of difficulty. Wellness Wellbites are soft and chewy, making them ideal treats for distraction toys. Wellness WellBites are available in five flavors.

3. Action Toys

dog playing with action toyThese are defined as are anything that you can throw or roll that will instantly put your dog into fetch mode. Hard rubber balls and flying discs rank highly in this category. Many hard rubber toys intertwined with rope or other durable materials that also have a bounce in them will fit into this section. There are lots of toys like ball launchers that allow you to send that ball farther than you can throw it. Tug toys fall in this category too and are ideal for multi-dog households. Most action toys are designed for you to engage directly with your dog, save these for something your dog can look forward to when you’re home.

Tips on Managing the Toy Box

•    Toy boxes that don’t have lids allow your pooch to choose a toy and initiate their own play in your absence.
•    It’s a good idea to switch up the toys in the toy box every couple of weeks. This will keep your pooch’s interest and enjoyment piqued. And no need to buy new toys each time, just rotating which toys are on top will help keep them interested.
•    Consider placing toys all over the house and allow your dog to conduct their own treasure hunt.
•    All toys should be washed regularly and thrown away at the first signs of disintegration. Rubber toys can go on the top shelf of the dishwasher.
•    If your dog really enjoys a particular toy, stock up on these firm favorites.
Toys are more than just play objects. A happy, playful dog is a content and socially well-adjusted one.

Do you use Wellness treats in your pooch’s puzzles and distraction toys? Please share your photos with us by tagging #wellnesspetfood and @wellnesspetfood for a chance to be featured on our website or social pages!

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