1. Digging Games
If your dog is outside during the day, a plastic paddling pool can be great for somewhere to dig. (Blue plastic clamshell pools are usually available at The Warehouse.) You can bury some favourite toys in there and give your dog a treasure hunt to do. Simply fill the sandpit with kid-safe sand and make sure it is covered at night so that cats don’t get in and use it as a toilet. You will need to ensure you spend some time training your dog that this is where he can dig.
2. Food Puzzles
Put some of your dog’s food in to a food puzzle toy or food ball. Various toys are available with various levels of difficulty. Petxcite.co.nz have ‘Ruff & Tumble Chew Tyres’ that are perfect for this activity. In summer time, you can put wet food in to the sidewalls and freeze it overnight for hours of fun the next day.
These can also be stuffed with your pet’s regular food, steamed sweet potato, or leftovers from dinner! The options are endless and even the strongest chewer is usually safe with a Kong. Chewing offers great stress relief for dogs, they get lots of happy hormones released when they chew, which is often why they chew things that we don’t want them to.
4. Rotate Toys
Rotate toys every few days to keep your dog interested in them. Toys don’t all have to be expensive; you can try recycled plastic bottles, tennis balls and clothing. Simply Google ‘Home-made dog toys’ and you will find hundreds of ideas.