Hi Everyone. Welcome to Unleashed's Dog Blog! This first post is a supplement to the webinar (and FB live video) that we recently posted. Most of you are wrapping up at least one week of social distancing due to COVID and chances are that your dog's routine has changed a bit. I've put together a list of all of my favorite tools for helping our dogs stay mentally stimulated and decrease boredom. Starting with a pic of my two favorite things on this planet. (Beau, 4 & Layne, 9)
Things that will take a while for your dog to eat: Kongs & Frozen Raw Bones. In my opinion, these are the best doggy sitters. I recommend introducing Kongs that are very easy to empty at first (perhaps just putting a bit kibble in them so your dog can easily tip them over and dump the food). Then, begin adding something like peanut butter or cream cheese around the outside of the hole & a little bit inside of the kong. Next, start filling most of the kong with kibble and cap it peanut butter or cream cheese. Once they are confidently eating that style of fill, then you are ready to fill the kong, cap it (w/PB, Cheese, Pumpkin, Yogurt, Applesauce, etc.) and freeze it. I recommend having a handful of kongs in your loaded and ready to go in the freezer.
Treat Dispensing Toys - I prefer balls that dispense treats when knocked around over complicated toy puzzles. In my experience, once dogs learn the puzzles, they do not take them very long to empty. Treat dispensing toys that need to be chaotically knocked around to dispense food tend to entertain my dog for longer. Here are my favorites:
3. My favorite plush toys for mental stimulation:
BarkBox Purse - this one surprised me when it became one of Layne's favorites. (She loves it!) It looks like it is out of stock, so here are my two BarkBox honorable mentions: Dumplings and a different "purse-like" toy.
4. Miscellaneous Favorites in out house:
Idig - I saw this at the last seminar I attended. This is the first toy on the market that requires the dog to dig. I timed my own dog with this after hiding 4 small treats - it lasted her nearly 20 minutes!
Snuffle Mat - our dog and both cats LOVE this. Highly recommend replacing your dog's food bowl with this if they eat dry dog food/kibble.
Pullers Tug (and overall fitness) toy - We have not tugged with another toy since these two entered our home.
No-Pull Harness: 2 Hounds Design gets my #1 vote.
Easy on/Easy off Harness goes to Brilliant K9's Speed Clip - so cool! ***This Harness DOES NOT prevent pulling. ***
Bold Lead Designs Atlas Leash - I have been wanting this leash for a couple of years and finally splurged on it with a holiday gift card. It is long (9ft), vegan (yay!) or leather, easily can clip around my waist for hands-free walking or across my body like a purse for trips to and from the car when my hands are full.