Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Keep Your Dog Busy with a Kong

If you have a high energy dog, you're on the constant lookout for "busy" activities to keep your pooch occupied. One of the best inventions in the history of dog toys is the rubber Kong. Not only is it virtually indestructible (even for extreme chewers), it's also ideal for keeping your dog busy.

Kongs come in a variety of types, and while all of these toys are excellent in durability, the one we're highlighting here is the classic Kong toy for dogs. This comes in various sizes, as well as models for extreme chewers, puppies and senior dogs.

While you can certainly give a Kong to a dog to play fetch or merely chew on, the true capabilities of this rubber toy are best utilized with treats.

All dogs have "food drive" – meaning all dogs eat, and at some point are food motivated – plus they also have the need to "work," or keep themselves busy. This means for those dogs left home during the day the hours draw out and they might find amusement in chewing on items they're not supposed to. Of course, exercising your dog properly is always the first and foremost "remedy." But, even with abundant exercise, some dogs still need a lot of mental stimulation.

Enter the Kong. Before you leave for the day, stuff your dog's Kong with treats - hard ones work well since they're harder to extricate than softer varieties. Your dog will have to work with his tongue and teeth in order to get all the treats out, which can take quite a long time. The mental stimulation factor is when the dog learns to drop the Kong in order to make treats fall out – it's also fun to see the "a-ha" moment when Fido realizes dropping it down the stairs works well!

An even better way to keep your dog occupied is to use peanut butter and freeze the Kong. This is a safe and effective way to keep your dog occupied - sometimes for hours!

Another great treat dispenser is the molecuball. While you shouldn't ever freeze food in this toy, it's excellent for dispensing small treats or dog food slowly, so can be used to feed a dog – either to keep it busy or to help with dogs who wolf their food too quickly.

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