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It is usually late in the evening when I get back home. I am usually dead tired. Selling Pet Products in Indian market is no simple job. As I trudge back, there are a million things still swirling around my head. I am still riling at the breeder who would rather sell a crappy product than hurt his ‘margins’. In my head, I am still venting at the Vet whose knowledge of pet nutrition was abysmal. Then I meet buddy. Or rather he runs mad cap and collides with me. He is beside himself with joy. Dancing with his tail held high he runs circles around me. Then suddenly he darts off and brings his favorite tug toy in his mouth. I am usually not even allowed to take off my shoes before we indulge in a game of tug. We circle and dart and pull and shake. It is test of will in which neither would back down. It goes on for a good 5 minutes. Then he lets go and rolls over panting. I give him a belly rub and suddenly realize that my mind is not buzzing any more. The world outside the little act of our ceases to exist and affect. I am in my home again. And I am happy.
The reason why I shared this small anecdote is to show you how deeply can a little session of play time with our pooches. It allows a pet to connect to his primeval instincts and deepens the bond between a man and his dog.
Why Dogs Do What They Do
So your dog loves to chew. He is doing what his wild ancestors did. Get a bone of the deer they brought down and chew on it at leisure. How about that game of tug that I described above. Your dog is killing a prey, bringing it down on its knees so that the pack can feast. Ever seen a GSD trying to herd it’s humans. Or a Beagle busy round the clock sniffing around the house. Each canine behavior in these examples is a manifestation of what the wolves did in the wild. Your cute Pomeranian is a primeval hunter with wolf written all over his DNA.
How Toys Help
A good toy must allow the dog to give an outlet to his natural instincts in a way that it is safe and fun – both for humans and his dog. It can be something as simple as a stout rope or a ball. It keeps your pet mentally and physically active and keeps it out of trouble. It can be used to solve a lot of behavioral issues if used correctly. Some toys can even be used to feed your dog the regular portion of its meals.
Choosing the right toy
1. Does your dog like to chew?
Rope toys, bone-hard chew toys and dental chew toys are all designed for low- to medium-grade chewers.
Dog toys made of rubber are great for aggressive chewers because of their durability. They're built to last and give your dog a good chewing workout. Plus, their interesting shapes will cause them to bounce unpredictably for extra fun.
If your dog is a moderate to heavy chewer, choose extreme dog toys that are made for durability and can’t be quickly chewed into bits that could be a hazard to your pet.
Soft, smooth and squishy, vinyl or latex toys are great for older dogs because they're easy on sensitive teeth and gums. Younger dogs who aren't aggressive chewers will also enjoy them from time to time.
2. Does your dog like to chase?
Choose retrieving toys that fly or bounce erratically to exercise and entertain your dog without completely tiring you out.
Invest in a flying disc made specifically for pets that is constructed with soft plastic or cloth. These are easier on dogs’ sensitive mouth, teeth, and gums, which is especially important for those extra athletic pups that enjoy catching flying discs in mid air!
Look for retrieving dog toys constructed with rope (or floss) that are good for teeth and gums
3. Does your dog like to carry & cuddle?
Choose soft toys made of fleece or plush fabric.
The more your dog plays with these toys, the more they’ll smell familiar to your pet, making them enjoyable for play over long periods of time.
They also make great companions when your dog is in the mood for quiet snuggle time. Soft toys often squeak or make other noises that capture and keep your dog's attention.
4. Does your dog like to be rewarded?
Choose interactive toys that are great for "boredom busting."
Balls or other shapes designed with hollow areas can be filled with treats. They're great for keeping your dog occupied for long periods of time, as they usually won't give up until every last bit of treat is retrieved. You can use moist food or soft dog treats and push them inside the toys. Pets love to work out the snacks!
Interactive toys provide both mental and well as physical stimulation.
Dog toys that conceal one or more smaller toys also challenge and reward dogs.