Friday, December 7, 2012

Adam's Christmas Toy Picks (For your dog of course)

          So, I typed this up a little while ago thinking that I wanted to wait until at least Thanksgiving to post it, and yikes I forgot until now! I hope you haven’t done all your Christmas shopping yet because I’m sure your dog would love one of these items.

          A lot of my clients ask me what type of toys I let my dogs play with, and I love telling them about my favorites. There are a lot of junk toys out there that are not only boring for your dog, but some are just plain dangerous. Since I’ve had so much curiosity about the topic I figured I’d better write about it. I’ve decided to make my "Top Five" list just in time for Christmas. You’ll notice that I really prefer toys that can get a dog working. I don’t like a toy that the dog just picks up and carries around every now and then. I like the toys that will make my dogs use their brains and figure out how to get a nice reward for doing so. I hope you appreciate this article because I’m sure your dogs will (if you pick them out a nice item from the list of course)!

                                                      Number Five: The Chuckit!®

          If your dogs love playing fetch as much as mine then this is an absolute necessity! This thing will out throw even the greatest major league pitcher with very little effort on your part. All you have to do is lock a standard tennis ball (or one of the included balls) into the cup, raise your arm, flick your wrist, and this ball is launched. My dogs love the extra thrill of getting to run further than what I am capable of throwing a ball, and I love not having a sore arm!

Number Four: The Dog Pyramid™

          This treat dispensing toy is a must have for very intelligent dogs who just get bored while your watching TV or something. It’s unique from other treat dispensers because of the weight in the bottom. Each time your dog tips it over a treat falls out, but then the toy immediately stands back up. The result is that it becomes very challenging for your dog to get the treats out. This can be a great benefit if you have a dog that has a tendency of figuring out other treat dispensers really fast. The beauty of this product is its difficulty, but this is also its biggest flaw. I’ve met a few dogs that just didn’t feel like the work was worth the reward. These dogs got bored with the toy and would only play with it sporadically. However, the other dogs I’ve had play with this toy have thought that it was the best thing since sliced bacon. So if you’ve got a four-legged genius at home that seems to be bored a lot, I would definitely pick this up for him/her.

Number Three: The Everlasting Fun Ball (This is hands down Zane’s favorite toy of all time.)
          The first time I ever got my hands on an Everlasting Fun Ball I thought it wouldn’t last a day in my house. My dogs are mega chewers when it comes to their toys. This ball feels like soft squishy rubber compared to some of the other toys out there that claim durability, but somehow this one holds up great! This ball can also be filled with treats so it’s not just for fetch or chewing, but rather it can also be a great brain activity as your dog tries to figure out how to get the goodies.
          As a word of caution, I have seen a few dogs that I would put in the category of “nibblers” who have been able to chew this toy up. My dogs are more full mouth chewers as opposed to the mouse like chewing of some breeds, so this toy works great for us. If your dog is a “nibbler” and uses more of his front teeth on toys then you might want to consider one of the other options.

                                         Number Two: The Buster Cube

          If you want to make sure your dog never has a dull moment again, then the Buster Cube is definitely the right product for you. It has internal chambers that are basically shaped like a little maze. You fill it up with food and your dog has a blast knocking it around and trying to figure out how to get all the food out. It’s pretty easy to break down and clean as well which is one of the reasons I love it. Some treat dispensing toys end up with really gross internal parts due to the difficulty of getting them cleaned out. With this toy you just put your thumb in the chamber, twist it out, and you’re ready to put the whole thing in the dishwasher.

Number One: The Kong®

          I LOVE THE KONG PRODUCT LINE! They are a great value because of their durability, versatility, and price.
          Kongs make great chew toys for all stages of a dogs life, they are fun to play fetch with because of their erratic behavior, they can be filled with treats, and the list goes on. I have several Kongs that have lasted five years in my shop. That’s saying a lot considering the powerful jaws that have been wrapped around them!
          I’m actually in the process right now of devoting an entire article about all the ways that I like to use the original Kongs (the snowman shape). Look for it coming up soon. 

          I hope this list has helped any of you who might have been stressing about what to get your dog for Christmas. I know they can be tough to shop for since they always fail to give us a list. 

As always, feel free to get in touch with us if you're having any trouble selecting the right toy for your pet.

Merry Christmas,


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for this! We have a Rat Terrier and had a Kong at one point but gave it away to a friend. I didn't even know about some of these :) Thank you!