LUV My dogs: toys

LUV My dogs

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Showing posts with label toys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label toys. Show all posts

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ideas For Homemade Dog Toys

Ideas For Homemade Dog Toys
  Buying commercial dog toys can be very expensive at times. You are also not 100% sure if they are safe to your canine pet. Some dog toys contain deadly toxins and chemicals that may be detrimental to your dog's health. Other pet chews and toys also have lead components that can cause vomiting, poor appetite and dog's diarrhea. Don't waste money on dog toys that last barely a half hour, make better and cheaper toys that your dog will enjoy just as much, if not more than the store-bought toys.
  Dog toys can come in all shapes and sizes. Good dog toys don't have to come for the pet store; you can make great toys for your best friend at home.
  Though dog toys are not a necessity, they can play an important role in sustaining your dog agility while training him to be independent and boosting his confidence. They can also provide entertainment and keep your dog preoccupied and physically active all day long. 
  To make sure that the toys you give to your canine are safe and non-toxic, why not make simple homemade dog toys yourself?

Sock Toys
  Old socks make great dog toys. Watch out that your pup doesn't think every sock is a toy, but it's easier to put socks away than to buy dozens of expensive chew toys. Be creative and make some great toys with your old tube socks. Just remember to take any small pieces so the dog doesn't eat the sock.
  Stuff multiple socks inside one main sock. Tie the end and hand it off. Your dog has a great new chew toy without the stuffing that becomes such a problem. She can peel the layers off like an onion or chew all day. If you have a young pup, make the sock toy before washing the sock. We might not like the smell, but your puppy will appreciate your scent when you're away from home.
  Double layer socks by stuffing one inside another. Then, fill the inside sock with sawdust. It's a different type of chew toy for a less aggressive chewer. If sawdust isn't available, use small animal bedding or a similar product.
   The tug rope is the greatest toy to have when playing with a dog. Instead of purchasing a knotted rope at the pet store, make your own with old socks or t-shirts. Hold two socks together and knot them with other socks to create length. Make the knots tight so they don't give way while playing.

Water Bottles
  Recycle in a whole new way with bottled water. After visiting the pet store for one more dog toy, I found an expensive but innovative toy. It was a stuffed raccoon, but instead of stuffing inside there was an empty water bottle. It made a pleasing crunching sound, and when the bottle was crushed a Velcro opening allowed it to be replaced. This gave me an idea, and I started to raid the recycling bin.
Combine the sock and the water bottle to recreate this toy. Place an empty plastic water bottle inside an old sock. Knot the sock and watch the fun.
Poke holes in the water bottle and remove the cap. Then, fill it with small or crushed dog treats. It works like the well-known Kong, allowing the dog to pester the bottle until small pieces of treats come out of the opening. If she destroys the bottle and gets the snacks, take the plastic before she can eat it and use a new bottle tomorrow.
  On hot days fill the water bottle half way with water and lay it on its side in the freezer. Your dog has a solid chewing toy that will cool him in the hot weather, but it isn't too hard for his teeth.
Our pup invented the water bottle toy on her own. I left an empty bottle on the floor only to find her running through the house in absolute joy at her newly found toy. I did nothing to it, and it was just as pleasing to her.

Rope Dog Toy
  To make this simple homemade dog toy, an old towel or handkerchief and scissors will be needed. Cut about 4 inches of strips of towel along the end then bundle the strips together to create a knot. Afterwards, braid your strips together and until 3 inches from the end. Voila, as simple as that, you have a nice little rope dog toy!

Tennis Ball Toys
  This toy is super easy to make and is nice for non-chewing small dogs, but probably isn’t safe for large dogs or ones that chew up their toys. Wad up newspaper into a ball, then cover the outside of the ball with duct tape, making sure not to leave any sticky sides facing out. You can use other items for the stuffing, including rags or other paper. Make sure you make the ball big enough that your dog can’t swallow it.


Gutless Fleece Dog Toy
  You will need 9 feet of rope and a can of 3 tennis balls. Begin by placing one tennis ball in a clamp. With the use of a drill, make a hole through the tennis ball. Next, thread the rope through the holes. Tie a simple knot near the ball. Knot the ends of the rope to avoid fraying. Finally, tie a second knot near the ends of the rope.


Rope Dog Chews
If you have old ropes that are not being used, tie several knots at each end to make a homemade dog toy for fetching and chewing.

A Fun Fleece Braid
If you have some leftover fleece from another project or have an old blanket ready to be used for rags, this toy is quick and easy to make, and is especially good for kids to make. Cut fleece into three strips, tie the ends into a knot, then braid the fleece pieces together. Tie off the other ends, and you have a fast and fun dog toy.

Add Sound to Toys
  To make a toy that makes sounds, but is a bit safer than squeakers, put some dry beans in a clean prescription bottle with a child-proof lid. Place the bottle inside homemade stuffed toys or in an old, clean sock for a fun toy that will attract those dogs who like a bit of noise out of their prey.

Create a Cardboard Box Dog Toy
  Any smallish and clean cardboard box can be used as a dog toy. Old cereal boxes, boxes from Hamburger Helper, or just about anything about that size or smaller will work.. Cut a few, one-inch holes (depending on the size of your dog) in the box, then spread a bit of peanut butter inside and tape close the open end of the box. Your dog will spend lots of time trying to lick out the peanut butter, pushing the box all over the room to do so. Just watch carefully to ensure your dog doesn’t get her tongue stuck inside any of the holes. She may also rip apart the cardboard to try and get at the peanut butter, so it’s best to use this dog toy in an easy to clean up area.


The abovementioned ideas for homemade dog toys can help you save a great deal of money. Bear in mind, however, that you need to supervise your dog whenever he plays with these homemade dog toys. Check them for any damage to avoid choking or the ingestion of parts.
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Thursday, May 1, 2014

How to Calm Your Hyper Dog

How to Calm Your Hyper Dog
  Got a crazy, hyper dog? These dogs can be quite a challenge – they never calm down, they never listen. They pull on leash, they destroy things. They have a hard time focusing on what you tell them, because everything else is so much more exciting! If you’re living with a crazy hyper psycho dog like this and you haven’t lost your mind yet, you’ve got my respect and admiration.
  Unfortunately, many hyper crazy psycho dogs end up in the shelter when their owners lose patience with them. I’m sure you don’t want to give your dog up, so check out the training videos and articles on this page. You’ll learn why your dog is out of control, and you’ll learn some effective ways to calm your crazy dog down.
  True hyperactivity, or hyperkinesis, is a rare condition in dogs. In order for a clinical diagnosis to be made, most or all of the following symptoms should be present:
  • Increased resting heart and respiratory rates;
  • Failure to adjust to common stimuli like everyday household noises and activities;
  • Agitation;
  • Reactivity;
  • Sustained emotional arousal and an inability to settle down;
  • Paradoxical calming response to amphetamines.
Ignore the hyper dog behavior.
  Dogs seek attention from you. By paying attention to the hyper dog during outbursts, you’re reinforcing the very dog problem behavior that you're trying to eliminate. The next time your dog is jumping or nipping at you in an overexcited way, give it a try - no touch, no talk, no eye contact - and see how you fare. You might be surprised how quickly the dog settles down.

Give your dog a job.

  Having a task to focus on can help tremendously. Hyperactivity in dogs can come from psychological needs as easily as it can from physical needs. By giving your dog a job to do, you are removing his hyperactive dog behavior and are redirecting his energy elsewhere. For instance, having your dog wear a backpack with extra weight will keep your dog focused on carrying instead of getting distracted by squirrels and other things.

Exercise
  If you want a well behaved dog, you need to exercise him. A long walk in the morning, 30-60 minutes, and then a shorter walk in the evening after work is ideal. You don’t need to regiment it quite as strictly like Millan does; you can let Fido stop and smell the roses. In addition to stretching his legs, all the fascinating smells will stretch his brain, too. Helps keep him from going stir crazy at home.
  During the day, play a vigorous game of fetch or frisbee to really wear Fido out. If no one is home during the day to play with him, consider hiring a dog walker or even a doggy daycare so that Fido doesn’t lose his marbles while you’re gone.

Build a routine
  Hyperactivity is often a result of insecurity on the dog’s part. This is especially true of adopted dogs who may have moved around a lot in their past and have had little if any structure in their lives. Dogs thrive on routine. Developing a daily routine gives your dog an idea of what to expect life to be like and can calm his nerves. A routine might go something like this:
  Early morning: walk, breakfast, a game of fetch, then inside for a few hours while everyone is at work or school.
  Afternoon: Someone, either owner or dog walker, comes to let Fido out and play a quick game with him.
  Evening: Family eats dinner, dog eats dinner, then a walk.

Smart toys
  Put your dog’s brain power to good use. Get a few toys that require your dog to think. Toys like Kongs and Buster Cubes allow you to load them up with your dog’s kibble or favorite treats, keeping him occupied for a while while he manipulates the toy to make it dispense his food. You can feed your dog his entire meal this way.

Obedience or trick training
  Obedience training builds a common language between you and your dog. It’s another way to calm his nerves, as it teaches him how the world expects him to behave. Learning new skills is also a great way to exercise Fido’s brain.

Learn a new sport or game
  Getting involved in a dog sport like agility, flyball, freestyle or disc dog is a great way to build the bond between you and Fido. It provides physical and mental exercise all at once. However, formal training for some sports can be expensive and time-consuming.
  If you want the benefits without getting seriously involved in a sport, you can set up home built agility obstacle courses in the backyard, play Frisbee just for fun, or teach your dog to play games like hide and go seek (especially fun to play with kids).

Try out aromatherapy.
  Don’t forget that dogs experience the world primarily by scent! Just as the smell of lavender is said to relax human beings, a soothing smell can also have a very calming effect on your pet. Talk to your veterinarian or consult a holistic professional to find out what smells may work for your dog and which dispersal methods are the safest for him.

Be Careful Not to Reinforce Unwanted Behavior
  Many parents of highly active dogs unintentionally reward their pets for excessive behavior.
  Some dogs - especially hyper what-about-me types – regard any attention, positive or negative, as better than no attention at all.
  Attention-seeking behaviors can run the gamut from non-stop barking every time you take a phone call, to games of “keep away” involving your cell phone or watch. There have even been reported cases of dogs feigning lameness or illness in a bid for attention.
  The way to put a stop to unwanted behavior in your dog is to ignore it. Depending on the behavior this can be a challenge, but if you remain consistent and determined, your dog will ultimately lose interest because his bid for attention is having the opposite effect.
  The first few times you ignore him when he’s performing an attention-seeking activity, understand that your dog will most likely escalate the behavior temporarily.
  But if you continue to ignore him, and only pay attention to him when he’s not engaged in unwanted behavior, eventually his attention-seeking antics will grind to a halt. His goal is to get your attention, which is the opposite of being ignored, so he’ll soon learn which behaviors are getting him the opposite of what he wants.
  Meantime, be sure to lavish attention on him with petting, praise, food treats and shared activities when he’s behaving as you want him to. Remember - attention to good behavior begets good behavior, and ignoring unwanted behavior extinguishes it.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
  If you’re at the end of your rope with your energetic pooch and your efforts to properly socialize, train and exercise him don’t seem to be helping, it’s time to visit your veterinarian for a consultation and workup.
  Certain drugs, especially bronchodilator medicines and thyroid hormone supplements, can contribute to symptoms of hyperactivity. Aging can also be a factor, as can diseases of the central nervous system.
  And of course it’s possible your dog really is clinically hyperactive, in which case all your best efforts to modify his behavior may not have much effect without simultaneous drug therapy or treatment with natural remedies.
  If your vet determines there’s no physiologic basis for your pup’s hyperactivity, the next step is to consult a dog trainer or other animal behaviorist.
  What you don’t want to do is become overwhelmed or completely exhausted trying to modify your dog’s behavior on your own.
  Commit to finding answers for your dog’s behavior, and seek the help you need from knowledgeable sources. This will strengthen the bond and long-term relationship between you and your best furry friend.


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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What Are The Best Dog Toys?

What Are The Best Dog Toys?
  Dogs are just like us; they need to be kept busy, mentality stimulated and in tip-top health. There are a huge range of toys that can help. We’ve taken expert advice to find the best out there for canines of all breeds, ages and sizes. From the innovative alternative to potentially harmful wood, Safestix, to fun novelty-shaped squeakers like the Ruff and Tuff Mallard, there’s something to take all dogs’ – and their owners’ – fancy.

Importance of Dog Toys
  Exercise is the primary reason why many dog owners invest in toys. Having a ball to throw for a dog helps not only to keep exercise rigorous, but also makes it fun for both the dog and the owner. Exercise is a crucial part of having a healthy dog because without adequate exercise a dog will become obese and will fall prey to a number of illnesses. Obesity in dogs is a serious concern not only due to an increased risk for illnesses like diabetes, but also because it puts additional strain on their joints and their internal organs.

Intellectual Stimulation - All dogs require exercise not only to help to keep them at a healthy weight, but also to ensure that they stay stimulated. Despite being “domesticated,” dogs can easily become bored. There is a saying that a “tired dog is a good dog” and this is particularly true for working breeds such as border collies. Without adequate intellectual stimulation dogs can become destructive, disobedient and downright impossible to handle. With a combination of exercise and intellectual stimulation, however, it is possible for even the most high energy dog to relax.

Bonding - Dogs are pack animals by nature and they have a need to bond with other members of their pack and feel accepted. A great way to bond with your dog is to engage in play time that involves their favorite toys. Not only does your dog benefit from the time you spend together bonding, but researchers have found a proven link between better health and dog owners!
Toys are also a great way to encourage bonding in multiple-dog households. If you have more than one dog, toys can encourage interactive playing and help dogs to bond with each other as well as understand their place in the hierarchy of the home.

Dental Health - Dental health is a difficult concern for many dog owners. It is crucial to a dog’s overall health to have clean teeth. Poor dental hygiene can lead to malnutrition as well as infections, absences and bad breath. Brushing a dog’s teeth can be particularly difficult, especially with dogs that don’t like to have their teeth cleaned. Surgical cleanings can be particularly difficult as well since they involve a significant financial burden and putting your dog under anesthesia. A great way to improve dental health and reduce the need for surgical cleanings, however, is to invest in toys that are designed to clean teeth as your dog plays. These toys encourage chewing which stimulates saliva and helps to diminish plaque and reduce its occurrence.

Top Dog Toys

KONG Chew Toy
  The granddaddy of all work-to-eat toys, the Kong is a chew toy made of nearly indestructible rubber. It was originally based on a part of a Volkswagen bus' suspension device that the creator's German Shepherd found particularly irresistible. Kongs can be stuffed with a wide variety of yummies. Kong sells especially shaped treats and different things you can squeeze inside, but you can stuff it with whatever your dogs' weakness might be: cream cheese, Cheez Whiz, wet dog food, peanut butter, liverwurst, frozen blueberries, hamburger meat. Yummers.
  There used to be a great product that operated on a timer and dispensed Kongs at intervals, so you could stuff four of them and then leave for the day and your dog would get them doled out at neat intervals. The product was discontinued a few years ago, but you can occasionally find a used one on Ebay, and they're well worth the $100 or so that they usually sell for. Search the ‘Bay for Dogopolis KongTime Automatic Dog Toy Dispenser.

"It's a super-durable chew toy, but its true value is its ability to occupy your dog for hours on end."- Kathy Santo

Wainwright’s Ruff and Tuff Mallard
  This fun squeaker toy from the pet specialists is designed to be tougher than your average canine plaything. With its added rope, this one’s good for a dog’s dental health – when they chew, it acts almost like dental floss.

The Bob-a-Lot
 This genius little Bob-a-Lot is weighted on the bottom, so it wobbles all around like those inflatable "bop bags" we had as kids. It comes in a few different sizes. The yellow part at the top screws off, allowing you to put kibble inside, or any kind of small and fairly hard treats. If you feed your dog kibble, you can put his entire meal in this thing. It makes mealtime last ten times as long, which is a good thing for reasons both behavioral and healthful.
Kong makes a similar to, the Wobbler, which is just as good except that there are no doors or flaps, so the levels can't be changed.

 Sergeant’s Powzer Glow Ball Toy For Dogs
  The Sergeant’s Powzer Glow Ball Toy is a glowing ball that makes fetch fun and easy even in the dark! So if you prefer to get out and about early or after you get home from work, fetch no longer has to wait because this ball can be seen anywhere. The Powzer ball comes in four different colors including pink, green, yellow and orange as well as two different sizes: large which is 3.25” and small or junior which is 2.25”. Benefits include high visibility, dental health and two sizes of balls for play.
The Sergeant’s Powzer Glow Ball Toy is made from rubber by the Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc. Company. This is an American made product.
The Sergeant’s Powzer Glow Ball Toy makes a great fetch toy no matter the time of day but it is important to remove the ball after playing since it can be damaged by rough play.

The Tricky Treat Ball
 The Tricky Treat Ball is similar to the Bob-A-Lot. There's a single hole in which you put in kibble or treats and they fall out as the dog pushes it. Much enjoyment will ensue. Your dog will continue to play with the ball after all the treats are gone–he'll be holding out hope that maybe there's still one lodged in there somewhere. He'll also keep playing with it because, like so many humans, dogs like balls.

Orbee Tuff Woof Ball
  
Dogs can gnaw on this ball to their heart’s content, it’s mint-scented, bouncy and will float. It’ll keep even the most persistent chewers busy.



Nylabone Dental Dinosaurs
  Nylabone Dental Dinosaurs are another great toy idea from Nylabone and they come in three shapes – Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex. These chew toys are naturally flavor-enhanced to encourage chewing and small nubs make great dental cleaners as the clean teeth and massage your dog’s gums. Benefits to the Nylabone Dental Dinosaurs include dental health, healthy chewing activity and better breath for your dog!
Nylabone Dental Dinosaurs are made from nylon as are other popular Nylabone products.
Always be sure to keep an eye on the condition of your dogs Nylabone Dental Dinosaurs toy and as the toy wears down replace it with a new one.

The Tug-a-Jug
  Here, the human puts dry food (kibble, treats, Cheerios, whatever) into the Tug-a-Jug , which unscrews at the bottom. The food comes out of a narrow hole at the top, which has a rope sticking into it. As the dog pulls on the rope, some food gets dragged out. Your pup will have crazy amounts of fun swinging this around and tugging at it. It comes in several sizes to accommodate different size dog mouths. I find that the rope usually doesn't last too long, but Premier does sell replacements–and sticking an old knotted sock halfway in pretty much does the same job. 

Busy Buddy Kibble Nibble Feed Ball
  A good one for medium and large dogs (think Labradors rather than Jack Russells), you put the dried food in the middle and it dispenses as they play. It has rubber bumpers, so it won’t damage the furniture or make too much of a racket when it’s used inside.




The Waggle
Stuff dry food into the sides of the barbell-shaped Waggle and the bits will fall out intermittently as your dog holds the middle part in his mouth and shakes it. Well, that's supposed to be how it works, at least–my dog prefers to just kind of roll it around with his paws until the treats come out. That works too. There are rubber teeth in the holes on the sides that can be snipped out in order to reduce the level of difficulty. Premier also makes the Chuckle, which is similar but a little sturdier and has a squeaker inside.

Safestix
  Wooden sticks can cause injury to dogs’ teeth, gums and mouths, yet they love to play with them. Available in three sizes, these are a safer alternative. They’re durable, comfortable to hold and will float – just the thing for a game of fetch on the beach.


Home of Paws Rotator Ball and Rope

This ball-on-a-rope toy is made from recyclable resin which the makers say is stronger, lighter and longer-lasting than rubber or plastic. The rope helps condition teeth, too. Available in two sizes of ball, 10 per cent of the cost goes to the Dogs Trust. 



The Dog Casino
  The Dog Casino is a one of the many fine toys by Nina Ottosson, a genius Swedish pioneer in the world of interactive dog puzzle toys. Her offerings come in a variety of levels of difficulty and in both plastic and wood. 


Mungo and Maud Pull My Leg Monkey Toy



  Dogs love to pull playthings apart. This toy from the luxury pet accessories store is designed with that instinct in mind. The fleece monkey’s limbs are attached with velcro, so will come off when tussled with, and it squeaks when squeezed. It’s not cheap, so this is one for pampered pooches.




Aerobie Dogobie disc
  Many dogs love a game of Frisbee, but plastic flyers often have hard rims which can damage teeth. This softer rubber alternative from the (mostly human) sports toy specialists is easy to throw and flexible, but durable enough to last many a game of fetch. It’s tear and puncture resistant but try to stop your dog chewing on it.

Good Boy Rubber Ball

  If you struggle throwing a ball or stick far, this good-value toy will make it easier to lob a decent distance and the rubber ball will stand up to some serious gnawing. Use for fetch or for tugging games. 




Pet Brands Rubba Guma Dental Dog Toy
  Dogs need to keep their teeth clean and their gums healthy. This innovative toy’s on hand to help; they chew and it helps with teeth cleaning, plaque removal and the spearmint flavour helps freshen breath. Available in three sizes.




  While your dog would likely choose every one of these toys as their favorite, choosing the right one is up to you. Only you know your dog’s likes and dislikes as well as their destructive tendencies. For example if you have a dog who loves to play ball then a Nylabone isn’t going to do the trick. If, however, you have a dog that adores plush toys but can get a little carried away then the SPOT Skinneeez Stuffing Free Plush Fox Dog Toy might be the right choice for you. If you keep your dog’s preferences in mind you won’t go wrong with any of these dog toy choices.
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