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The Magic of Chew Toys

KONG®: Made of Ultra-Flex, puncture resistant, natural rubber. The hollow center can be stuffed with food or treats to keep your dog busy. Kong toys are unmatched for resilience, durability and bounce. Nontoxic.

Premier Football®: Constructed of heavy-duty materials and a protected squeaker designed to withstand rigorous play. Perfect for the park or pool – it floats!

Buster Cube®: Stimulates your dog with food, fun & puzzle. Appeals to dogs’ foraging instincts, dog is rewarded with food or treats. Easy to clean & fill made of high impact plastic.

Molecule Ball®:
Keeps your dog mentally stimulated, physically active and very happy. Reduces boredom and destructive behavior. Treats come out in a controlled manner rather than all at once. It is easy to clean and refill. Durable & soft, it won't damage carpets, wood floors or furniture.

How to stuff a chew toy
Stuffing chew toys is another wonderful thing we can do for our dogs. By stuffing hollow toys with the dogs’ daily ration, we help them to settle down quietly with an exciting project and develop a strong preference for those toys (so that, when they are bored at home, they will chew on the toy rather than the sofa or the most expensive shoes in the house).

How to “Stuff It”
a. Get a hollow toy made of a natural product, like bone or rubber.

b. Soak a portion of the dog’s daily ration overnight, so that it expands and becomes mushy.

c. Smear honey around the inside of the toy. This makes the toy even more delicious, and also acts as an antibacterial agent.

d. Fill the chew toy just shy of the end with soaked kibble.

e. Seal the end(s) of the toy with some wet dog food or peanut butter.

f. Present the toy to your dog.

Once the dog has gotten very good at chewing the toy, you can begin freezing it: not only does it take the dog longer to get all of the food out (giving the dog a longer period of calm, engaged activity), but the cold is very soothing on the teeth and gums.

Isn’t it mean/teasing the dog to make it so hard to get her food?

On the contrary, it’s much kinder than giving him/her all her food at once in a bowl. In the wild, much of an animal’s time is taken up with finding food. If you give an animal food in a bowl, his/her activity for the morning and evening lasts a minute or two, and s/he has nothing to do for the rest of the day. Giving food in a chew toy gives your dog an activity that is engaging but calming, and keeps him/her quietly busy for quite some time. Dogs that are bored who eat out of bowls quickly gobble their food and then entertain themselves by barking, pacing, whining or through destructive activities. Dogs who eat out of stuffed chew toys settle down happily for twenty or forty minutes for a good chew, and then, relaxed and sleepy, take a nap.

Chew toys stuffed with food are obviously the most alluring objects around to chew on, and the dogs quickly develop a strong preference for those toys. When they need a chew during the day, while you are absent, they’ll seek out their chew toys rather than the myriad inappropriate objects they could chew on in the house. Good dog! (Of course, a new dog should never be given the run of the house until s/he is fully trained).

Click here for a printable PDF version of this article.

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