The Behavior Benefits
Chew toys and puzzle games provide your dog with physical and mental stimulation. Studies show that dogs with adequate mental and physical exercise are not only healthier, they also have less behavior problems. These toys provide your dog with something to focus on and direct their energy toward which will in turn reduce those unwanted behaviors such as barking, whining, and being destructive.
Decreases Stress, Anxiety, & Boredom
Chewing releases serotonin in your dog's brain which produces a calming effect. When dogs are anxious they will often seek out things to chew to relieve those feelings. Boredom can also lead to these similar unwanted behaviors. When a dog is bored they will find things to fill their time that us humans don’t always approve of like digging up the garden or barking at everyone who passes the house. Having something to entertain themselves with while they are at the same time relieving anxiety is a win-win situation.
Chewing Helps Teething & Prevents Dental Issues
Chewing eases painful gums in teething puppies. Freezing a chew toy is a great way to provide your puppy with a toy to both occupy their time and soothe their gums. Chewing will also provide dental benefits throughout your dog's adult life. Chewing scrapes away tartar and cleans teeth which leads to healthier mouths and better breath.
Picking the Right Chew Toy or Puzzle for Your Dog
Instead of feeding your dog from a food bowl use your dog’s daily kibble in a toy that will provide entertainment for hours. We recommend toys like Kongs, Treat Balls, or Bob-a-Lot toys.
Puzzle games like snuffle mats and puzzle feeders are also fantastic options. Find out which toys your dog really loves. You’ll be able to use these throughout their entire life to help with their behavior and boredom.
Beware of toys with pieces they can chew off and swallow. Monitor the size of chew toys and bones that reduce in size over time. Be sure to take them away when they get small enough to swallow.
Using your dog's daily diet for these toys instead of additional treats is not only cost efficient, it makes your dog's weight easier to maintain.
Keys for Kongs
Kong toys are undoubtedly one of the best chew toys out there. Their design makes them indestructible to most dogs and easy to fill with food.
When stuffing a Kong make sure it’s not packed too tight. You can start with some loose kibble to make it easy for your dog at first.
To create a long lasting chew toy you can stuff it with some of their kibble that’s been moistened with water and then pop it in the freezer overnight. In the morning you’ll have a tasty treat that will last for hours.
Keeping a handful of these toys in the freezer will make leaving them with a self-entertaining toy an easy thing to fit into your morning routine.
Kongs can be stuffed with peanut butter, biscuits, honey, cheese, and many other treats. But keep in mind your dog’s weight management when selecting your stuffing.