Archive for

Why Dog Toys Are Important

I don’t know about you but I think of my best friend as smart, intelligent and clever. Always there to do whatever I want to do or go where I want to go. I’m sure he has his ideas of fun and my ideas most of the time probably don’t coincide with his. I bet there are lots of times he would prefer to chase a frisbee or a ball than to sit at my feet while I read, but he never complains and goes along with whatever I suggest. He is so loyal and agreeable that I sometimes forget how important playtime is to him. He truly loves his toys but gets so much more enjoyment out of them when I take one outside to play with him and he runs to catch and bring back that toy. I swear I could literally throw a ball for hours and he would continue to fetch and return it to me for another throw!

He loves it when we play throw and fetch but he enjoys his chew toys too. It is not uncommon for him to chew on one of his toy bones or ropes while I curl up with a good book. He is content to lie at my feet and gnaw on one of his chew bones.

Dog toys are an important part of your dog’s health. Dogs love to show us their intelligence by retrieving and returning a ball, a Frisbee or even a stick. They just seem to have a natural instinct to run, chase and return the things that we throw for them. While I’m at work all day, he plays with some of his chew toys to prevent boredom. Walking my dog around for him to do his business is good exercise but he needs more rigorous movement. Those business walks are definitely not enough healthy exercise for him. He needs to run, jump and play. He looks forward to the doggie discs and the balls that I throw for him. He loves to bring the things I throw for him back to me so we can repeat the process. It’s good for him to run and jump to catch the Frisbee or ball and hurry it back to me. He has this look on his face when he drops the toy at my feet, like “gee aren’t I smart and quick too”!

If you’ve ever shopped for dog toys you know how many different types of toys are available. When purchasing a toy for your best friend, consider his size, how much time you devote to playing with him and what sort of toys he could amuse himself with during quiet times. Chew toys are great for those quiet times, balls and throw toys are terrific exercise for your canine friend. Plush toys are fun for your dog if he is not an aggressive chewer.

Your dog should have an assortment of toys that will suit his size and personality for the time he must spend indoors, as well as those interactive toys that will promote the energy outlet that keeps him healthy when he plays outside.

A healthy dog is a happy dog. Dog toys are a small but important part of keeping your clever canine healthy and happy.

Chew Toys For Dogs – A Great Way to Keep Them Busy

Pets, particularly dogs, are restless creatures – playful curiosity and requirement for constant stimulus are inherent in their nature. They like to react to every stimulus. Chewing behavior is also a part of their natural habit. Chew toys for dogs are the best way to keep them busy and protect valuable items such as furniture, sofas, shoes, etc. However, not every toy is safe for them and it needs some thoughtfulness on your part to select the right toys for the dog to play or chew.

The most basic considerations are the size and strength of the toys. The chew toys for dogs should not be too small for the dog’s mouth; the dog will try to swallow them and end up with problems. The chew toy should not easily break or shed splinters from the biting and chewing actions. If the puppy is teething hard artificial bones are good and they also last longer.

Do not estimate a dog’s jaw strength by its size. Some breeds such as terriers are smaller but have tremendous jaw strength. Their jaws may be much stronger than dogs of some other breeds that are twice their size. So, you need to be mindful before parting money for chew toys for dogs.

Toys with moving parts are inherently unsafe; when they fall apart the parts may get stuck in the throat or get caught in the teeth. Even if swallowed successfully they are still undesirable. A typical example of such a toy is a ball that has some bell or noise-making device inside it. Another popular example is squeaking toys. If you or your dog is in love with toys that squeak and can not live without them then go for models where the squeaker is a part of the toy’s mold. Normally the squeaker is made of metal pieces and is put inside the toy.

There are chew toys for dogs that contain some treats like kibble. Such toys keep the dog occupied for much longer time because the pet has to use all its intelligence to get to the treat. Many people consider such toys as ideal chew toys because the pet is busy getting to the treat rather than merely chewing it.

Remember that the best sport for the puppy is playing and running around. So give as much time as you can to your darling buddy. The chew toys for dogs should only be used as a diversion and to safeguard valuable household items from being ravaged. The pet should not “develop” the habit of chewing – be it toys or anything else. A good way to protect items from the pet is to apply some bitter apple spray or commercial chemicals that discourage the pet to chew them.

Finally, you should not view the chew toys for dogs in isolation from the pet’s overall behavior. These toys should serve to supplement your pet’s relationship with you and keep its conduct within acceptable limits. They are definitely a safer way to channelize the excess canine energy provided you picked up the right toys.

The 3 Steps to Teaching Your Bird to Play With Bird Toys

Every bird like every human is an individual with individual likes and dislikes.  Sharing my life with birds for over 20 years, I have found that when I have maintained these three steps I have been able to turn the most finicky birds into to bird toy players.

Demonstrate New Bird Toys to your Birds

I have found the best way to teach a bird to play with toys is to demonstrate how much fun their new parrot toy is to play with by playing with it yourself. Birds are flock animals and in a human home you are their flock. Birds love to play with things that you are using like your pen or the telephone.  This is because they see you do it and they feel it must be fun if all your attention is focused on writing or talking on the phone. Birds see our human nose as an equivalent to their bird beak, so what you want to do is “beak” their new bird toy with your nose. Laugh and have fun while you are playing with it. Laughing and having fun is the key here. If all your attention is focused on their new bird toy then your bird will feel like they want to get in on the action. After all you’re having fun they want to have fun too. If you have another family member that is willing to help you with this then you can have them beak the toy with their nose as well with both of you taking turns “beaking” and having fun. 

Over the years, my flock has varied in playing activity. My Double Yellow Headed Amazon, Kiwi, is what I have termed the “Player”. You can give Kiwi any toy and he will dive right in and play. However, my Cockatoo Marshmellow is what I have called the “Non Player”. Marshmellow was always disinterested in playing with her bird toys. Marshmellow was my first challenge in learning to teach my birds to play. Marshmellow would chew wood but become bored very fast and just sit there. I realized that Marshmellow did not realize how to play with the other bird toys that I provided her with.

I had a toy in her cage that had spinning molecules on an acrylic rod. I thought she would love to have fun spinning the molecules but she never played with it. That is when I realized she did not understand what to do. I took the toy out of her cage and started playing with it. I would twirl the molecules and make them spin with my nose while laughing and having fun.  Within minutes, Marshmellow came over to me to see why I was having so much fun. Marshmellow then tried it for herself. She spun the molecule and ran away and then came back and spun it again. I encouraged her by laughing and in the moments that she walked away, I would spin it again myself. It then became a game that we could both play. I was then able to put the toy back in her cage and now she was having fun spinning the molecules all around by herself in her cage.

I know what you are thinking, you feel kind of silly doing this. I had customer write me after trying this to tell me that he read what I wrote and figured he would give it a try though he did not believe it would work. He then went on to say “I felt so foolish being a 30 year old man giggling and cooing while “beaking” a bird toy while his Cockatiel looks on but this method really works!” He went on to say that “within several minutes his Cockatiel was busy playing.”

Provide Different Types of Bird Toys

This is very important. Just like humans not everyone likes the same flavor ice cream and not every bird will like the same type of bird toy. In fact, sometimes you may get on a chocolate ice cream kick and always have chocolate ice cream. Then one day you are just sick of it and don’t want it again for a while. This doesn’t mean you hate chocolate ice cream it just means you want a change. Birds can also be like that. They may love soft wood and then one day they just decide they are bored with soft wood and don’t want play with a soft wood bird toy for a while. You may be showing your bird how to play with a particular bird toy and he just doesn’t seem interested no matter how many times you try. This doesn’t mean your bird will never play or that he will never play with that particular toy. It simply means that at this point in time he may not want to play with a bird toy consisting of that texture. What you can do is try to peak his interest for a while and then maybe try with a different textured toy and come back to that toy at a different time. This is why it is very important to provide diversity with bird toys. When teaching my birds to play, I provide them with an assortment of different parrot toys consisting of different textures like soft wood, soft chewable plastic, leather and Supreme cotton rope for preening.   Depending on their mood at the time they may like all of these toys or just one of these parrot toys. 


Most importantly when teaching your bird to play is to be patient and not give up. Some birds will get it right away and others will take time. I have found in life that I have a greater appreciation for the things I worked hard for more than I have for the things that came easy to me. Teaching your bird to play is no different. Being dedicated to your goal and finally achieving it has a greater reward for both you and your bird. 

I really cherish the time I spend teaching my birds to play with bird toys. The time I spend with them creates such a close bond of love and companionship.   I really feel that this experience will bring you both closer together and create a deep bond of trust.

So do not ever give up on your feathered friend learning to play. When it happens and it will eventually happen that feeling of satisfaction and love can match no other feeling in the world!