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Healthy Dogs

Enriching Your Dog's Life

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K-9 to 5: Will Work for Food continued...

Hunting for dinner

You can make your dog hunt for her meals by hiding stuffed food puzzle toys or small piles of her kibble around your house. Hide one of your dog’s meals right before you leave her home alone, and she’ll have great fun hunting her chow while you’re away. To try a variation on this activity, scatter a couple handfuls of kibble around your yard so your dog can search for the pieces in the grass. Most dogs love this game!

Chew Time

Dogs of all ages need to chew. Both wild and domestic dogs spend hours chewing to keep their jaws strong and their teeth clean. They also chew for fun, for stimulation and to relieve anxiety. Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, it’s important to provide a variety of appropriate and attractive chew toys, like Nylabones® and hard rubber toys, natural marrow bones, rawhide and pig ears.

Although chewing behavior is normal, dogs sometimes chew on things we don’t want them to. Giving your dog plenty of her own toys and chewies will help prevent her from gnawing on your things. However, if she’s still confused and you need help teaching her what’s okay to chew and what isn’t, please see our article entitled Destructive Chewing.

Social Opportunities

Just like people, dogs are social animals, and many enjoy spending time with members of their own species. Off-leash play with other dogs serves multiple purposes. It can give your dog opportunities to practice her social skills with other dogs, wear her out mentally and tire her physically. If your dog enjoys romping with dog buddies, give her regular opportunities to do so. Try taking her to a local dog park or doggie daycare. If you have friends or family with dogs, you can also arrange “play dates” at your respective houses.

Things to Do Together

In addition to fun activities when you’re not around, your dog also benefits from spending plenty of quality time with you. There are many fun and exciting things you and your dog can do together. Read on for some suggestions.

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