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Dogs are social beings and they require both mental and physical stimulation to be healthy. Interactive dog toys offer a way to stimulate both your pup’s mind and body. There are many other reasons why interactive toys are good for your dog.
These toys can be a great way to bond with your dog, especially if they are very active. Interactive dog toys come in a variety of types, shapes, and sizes, so you can be sure to find something that suits your dog’s preferences.
Such types include puzzles, treat dispensing toys, electronic toys, and sensory toys among many others. This article will highlight the benefits your dog will have when engaging with interactive dog toys.
Do Dogs Like Interactive Toys
Yes, they do. Dogs find interactive toys to be responsive to their games and keep them engaged for many hours.
They use these toys to combat boredom by finding their own ways to create fun without bothering others.
You should try and find out which type of interactive toy makes your dog get the most excitement. Pick the ones that attend more to their natural instincts. This will make them better pets with sharp minds.
You can also introduce them slowly to different types of toys while monitoring their interests and playing skills.
Benefits of Interactive Dog Toys
Interactive dog toys are a bit different from normal toys. The engagement of dogs with these toys is two-way.
There are a ton of benefits that your dog will get from playing with interactive toys. Both the physical abilities (muscles, joints,) and mental abilities (mind) are equally stimulated by these toys.
Here are the 7 reasons why interactive toys are good for your dog:
1. Exercises your dog
Physical exercises are important for dogs because it helps with weight management and to keep them healthy. Interactive dog toys provide your pups with an excellent opportunity to exercise.
Your dog can engage in their daily workouts without needing close supervision or guidance.
Make sure to train and monitor your dog during the first month to ensure they know how to engage with such toys.
The intensity and duration of exercise will defer depending on the dog’s age and size.
2. Mental stimulation
Some interactive toys engage your dog’s problem-solving skills and decision-making. This helps to strengthen your dog’s mental abilities and prevent the possibility of dementia as they grow.
These games will also make your dog more intelligent hence becoming easier to train and obedient to commands.
3. Build the dog’s natural instincts
Interactive dog toys encourage your dog to improve their natural instincts and learn new skills. Such instincts include hunting, foraging, and digging.
4. Improves dental health
Chew toys with treat dispensers can help to clean your pup’s teeth. There are places in the dog’s mouth where brushing may not remove all food particles.
When the dog chews their toys, they also clean the teeth by removing tartar and plaque buildup. These toys will also help your dog to massage their gums and they might prevent some dental diseases.
Chew toys are also good options to help teething puppie.
5. Prevents dementia in elderly dogs
Interactive dog toys will keep your dog occupied and happy for hours. Not only that, but they are great for your dog’s health too.
Older dogs are likely to suffer dementia loss known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD) which is characterized by memory loss.
This will likely occur when they don’t get enough mental exercise. Puzzle interactive dog toys will keep your senior dog mentally active and stimulated.
This exercise will keep their brains in good shape hence preventing the likelihood of suffering dementia.
6. Calms down anxious dogs
Dogs can easily get bored when they don’t get a companion or activity to keep them happy. This dullness might lead to stress. And later develop into depression or anxiety if not checked in good time.
An anxious dog might fret about many things when left alone in the house. This is a recipe for them to engage in destructive behavior.
Interactive dog toys provide a great way to keep your pup distracted from separation anxiety. You can provide your dog with a treat dispensing toy to feed them and keep them active while you are away.
7. Behavior correction
Dogs that don’t get exercise have pent-up energy and emotions which may make them become mischievous.
They may develop destructive behavior such as chewing, digging, scratching, or even disobedience.
Interactive dog toys provide a channel for dogs to avoid this destructive behavior. There are tons of dog toys out there that provide endless fun opportunities for your pup.
You can use these toys to train your dog using positive reinforcement methods.
Types of interactive dog toys
Interactive dog toys are of many types and they all provide continual fun for your furry friend. There are many different types of interactive toys on the market, each designed to suit different needs.
You should carefully take into account the type of interactive toy that will work for your pup. Some factors to have in mind include age, dog size, behavior pattern, playing style, and skill level.
If your dog is a heavy chewer, you can look for a safe rubber toy to keep his jaws active. If they are fast eaters, you can find a treat dispensing toy to train them on slow feeding.
The following are some of the common types of interactive dog toys that you can use to capture your dog’s attention:
1. Puzzle toys
Puzzle dog toys provide opportunities for your doggo to learn persistence, problem-solving, patience, and logic.
These toys are made with knobs and buttons that can only open once your dog makes the right move. Your dog will get a treat as a reward when they figure out the puzzle.
2. Automatic Ball-launching toys
These are electronic devices that throw balls at a set distance to play fetch with your pup. You will first need to train your dog to chase the ball and return it to the machine for another round of fun.
They are good for providing exercise and improving your dog’s natural hunting instincts. Ball launchers are best used outdoors. This gives your dog a bigger ground to run freely.
3. Treat-dispensing toys
Treat dispensers are filled with tasty treats that encourage your dog to engage with them. The pup will be required to tilt and maneuver the toy until it releases a treat.
These toys are good for training fast-eating dogs to slow down on food intake. This slow feeding habit will help them with weight management.
4. Sensory toys
These dog toys are designed to stimulate one or many of your dog’s 5 senses (Sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch).
They work by releasing different sounds, odors, lights, or movements that capture your dog’s attention and desire to interact with the toy.
Some of these toys can be controlled from your smartphone hence making it easier to participate in your dog’s games.
5. Chase toys
As the name sounds, these are electronic toys that invite your dog to chase them along a specific course. Most of them can be controlled remotely and you can choose the speed level appropriate to your pup.
Chase toys are suitable for dogs who love running and it provides exercise for their joints and muscles.
Things To Be Mindful About
Interactive toys are good for your dogs but you need to be cautious on a few things:
1. Monitor your dog when introducing a new interactive toy
All these toys have directions for use. Most of them for example are not meant to be chewed. You need to take your time and train your dog on how to engage with these toys.
Monitor their interactions for the first few weeks before letting them play alone.
2. Toys should not substitute exercises
There is no worthy replacement for walks and runs across the park with your dog. Interactive dog toys provide physical stimulation but they can’t be compared to outdoor exercises.
You should maintain your daily schedule for exercising your pup although you may reduce the intensity.
3. Create time for your pup
No matter how fun the toys are for your dog, do not substitute your quality bonding time with your dog for the toys.
Create some valuable time daily to catch up with them and let them feel your presence and affection at home.
4. Choose quality products
Always go for good quality products made from safe, non-toxic materials. The toys should be strong enough and should not easily break when the dog is playing.
Broken toys can easily injure dogs when they continue engaging with them.
5. Be careful not to overfeed your dog
This only applies if your dog is using treat dispensing toys most of the time. Overfeeding your dog might dispose them to a whole lot of other health issues.
An excellent way to go about this is by letting your dog use these toys during their scheduled meal/snack times.
There is much more that toys do for dogs other than fun. The top reason why interactive toys are good for your dog is because of their positive effects on health.
Always find the best product that blends well with your dog’s character and fun instincts.
Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a pet expert with more than 20 years of experience working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals since a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.
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