Let Your Dog Play With Their Food

You're at work all day, and you come home, tired and hungry yourself. But your dog, who spent the whole day napping, is well rested and ready for play time. As much as you love your dog, you really just want her to entertain herself while you have a relaxing dinner. Sound familiar? Most dog owners have been in this situation at some point, and only feel guilt that they just can't entertain their dogs at that moment when their dogs need it most. But here's a fun trick ? you can teach your dog to play with her food using food dispensing toys.

A food dispensing toy is just like any other toy, but you can put your dog's whole meal in it, and let her play with and toy until she figures out how to get all the food out. It's a great way for your dog to burn some physical and mental energy, and gives you a few minutes of peace and quiet. Some people may argue that it's cruel to make your dog work for her food ? isn't she entitled to eat? The truth is, though, dogs like to hunt and play with their food. It is an instinctual drive, and if you don't give them something to hunt for, they will invent their own hunting games ? hunting for rabbit poop in your yard, for used tissues in your garbage can, even for dirty underwear in your clothes basket! Most pet stores now carry several different styles of food dispensing toys. The toys can be either hard plastic or fabric.

Generally the hard toys, which are more durable, require your dog to push or throw the toy for the food to fall out, and the plush toys require the dog to reach in and pull the food out, which is more mentally difficult. You can also make your own food dispensers. Empty plastic bottles make great dispensers. Juice or sports drink bottles are usually a strong plastic and work well for heavier dogs who like to pounce on the bottles. Water bottles also work, but are not as durable (if your dog literally crushes the bottle, it can be impossible to get the food out). If your dog has trouble learning how to use the food dispensing bottles, you can cut the top off so that the opening is bigger and it will be easier to get the food out.

As she learns how to use the bottle with a large opening, you can switch to a bottle with a regular opening, which will be slower and more challenging for her. Cardboard boxes also make good food dispensers. Simply put the food in the box (you can even smear some peanut butter on the sides, and add some tasty treats), then close up the lid. Your dog will figure out that she has to tear into the box to get the food out. These boxes are great because they give your dog an outlet for her tearing and shredding instincts, instead of tearing up your carpet or your furniture.

Of course this can become very messy, so it's best done outside, or in an enclosed room or crate. You can also get creative and invent your own food dispensers ? different shapes and sizes of boxes, paper bags, plastic food containers, etc. You can even put food in your old socks or gloves and let your dog tear them up to get all the food out! Just supervise your dog whenever you give her a new type of dispenser ? make sure that she is not swallowing chunks of plastic or fabric. The more creative you are, the more creative your dog will have to be ? equating to more quiet time for you! by Elizabeth Morgan, CPDT.

Elizabeth Morgan is a Certified Dog Trainer and a contributing author at Lucy's Dog House has a great selection of treat stiks, a type of food dispensing toy, and other fun dog toys as well as a variety of great products for you and your dog.

Women's Issues

How to Feel Good With Family - Are you feeling frustrated, resentful, or angry around some members of your family? Do you have mixed feelings about spending time with or calling parents, siblings, children, or relatives? Well, you are not alone.

The Journey to Becoming Yourself - The basic truths included in this article are unifying principles the author has learned in her work with the spirits.

How Can You Meet with SuccessGuaranteed - Let me share with you what HISTORY has proven to be the only guaranteed way to meet with success.

Natural Cure for Depression - This tells about a cure, without drugs, for depression by a former president of the American Psychological Association.

Why Do People Dream - Learn why people dream and little about learning to control your dreams.

Serenity Source
Here you can find resources that explains what Serenity Source is all about and how you can read and find serenity yourself.

Also, we have advice and articles regarding women's health and women's issues on a wide range of topics.