Having a dog in the City is one of the many joys of Urban living. Our dogs bring so much fun and love to our lives, but as City owners we always have the guilt when we leave them alone. Do we as working city dwellers provide our dogs with enough stimulation on a daily basis?
We are luckier than most that we are self employed and work from home the majority of the time. However, there still comes the constant guilt if we have a long day away from the fur monsters and/or can’t give them as much exercise as they want in the hot summers.
On those days, we resort to boredom buster toys to keep the dogs (big and small) mentally and physically engaged. Mentally, they have to work out how to get the food out. Physically, they have to follow the toy where it rolls and manipulate it to get food out. Here are some of our fav boredom buster toys designed to provide mental enrichment to our canine pals.
K9 Connectables are a company we only recently discovered as they were recommended by a good friend. After trying the starter pack they sent us, we are hooked and will be buying more.
The toys are designed to engage and entertain in a different way to a rope toy of tennis ball. We have been stuffing our K9 Connectables with the specially designed treats and smearing the outside with dog safe peanut butter and natural yogurt and they have been working a treat (excuse the pun!!)
Because Chaplin the Saluki finds boredom buster toys difficult and quickly loses interest, we use higher value treats like a little meat paste and cheese to make sure he doesn’t get bored. So far the big dog and all the small dogs love the K9 Connectable toys. We make it even harder by freezing the toys and connecting them together to form endless treat and toy configurations. Really good for dogs of all ages, sizes and difficulty level.
Kong‘s are probably the most well known boredom buster toy on the market. They are available in nearly every pet shop in the world (I even found Kong toys at a pet shop at the end of the world in Argentina!!).
The opening allows you to fill the cavity with treats of various sizes and textures. You can make these as easy or hard as you like. We have 16 Kong’s in our freezer at any one time and they are my preferred method of feeding my dogs their meals instead of in a food bowl.
This little flying saucer shaped toy by Pet Safe is one of our fav mental stimulation toys in our training classes. Similar to the K9 Connectables above, the Busy Buddy Twist n Treat can be adjusted to make it easier or harder for the dog using it. We alternate between dry treats and kibble with it half open (to make it easy), to wet food and having it mostly closed (to make it more difficult). Simply by twisting the two pieces, you can make the treat dispensing toy work for a range of different treats and difficulty levels.