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I Need Your Help . . . Suggest Toys Not Treats to Pass the Time?

Pups can get mighty bored – and mischievous – when left to their own devices so many dog owners (myself included!) offer up the occasional frozen Kong to occupy furry friends. While in moderation, this isn't a problem, what happens when this turns into a routine and pets become, well, pudgy?!

That's the question posed by TeamSugar member lilegwene who writes:

I feel pretty guilty when I leave my dogs home alone for an extended period of time (anything over a quick trip to the store!) and generally give them Kongs and bones to chew on while I'm away. They're getting a little pudgy around the middle, and I was wondering if there are any other activities that you can suggest to keep them busy that aren't food oriented . . . and they're not interested in non-edible chew toys, balls, or squeaky toys unless someone is around to throw them!

Can we put our heads together and come up with some snack-free solutions?

Join The Conversation
kristints kristints 8 years
My little guy chews on rawhides every time he gets bored, but he also gets a ton of exercise in the backyard and we try to do a 3 mile walk at least 3 times a week so that must be why he doesn't get chubby.
lilegwene lilegwene 8 years
Thank you all so much for the suggestions! I can't tell you how much this has helped me out. I'm heading to Petsmart today to get flavored chew toys, ropes, and a bumble ball! :)
cupcake_ cupcake_ 8 years
I agree with dog loves those!!
psterling psterling 8 years
haha, glad she likes it!
I seriously just went and bought a bumble ball at the local Petsmart for my dog. She has been bugging me to play with it everytime I turn it off! hahaha
sjivs131 sjivs131 8 years
the bumble ball sounds like a great idea...I might try that, I think my pup would love it! I freeze the tug ropes (pour water on them place in a ziploc and keep in the freezer for a few hours) and that usually keeps my little dog occupied for a bit.
Ellenora Ellenora 8 years
psterling--the Bumble Ball is originally a baby toy. I had one as a kid. My mom actually confiscated it because I annoyed her with it for hours! She finally had enough of the Bumble Ball. That and the remote controlled car, police car and fire truck, a motorized dog (it's kinda like the Bumble Ball only it yipped and moved) and a few sesame street toys!
psterling psterling 8 years
Chubstaaa, I think this was originally a baby toy but it works great for Maeby, my border collie. FYI though, if your dog is a big chewer this may not be the toy for him/her because the nubs can be chewed off pretty easily but basicaly its just a ball with an internal motor that jiggles and moves on the floor. My dog will chase it and paw at it and play catch and release for a while. You can get it at petsmart or amazon for around $15. This isn't my dog but this is the bumble ball in action:
psterling, tell me more about this bumble ball? It is something that might keep my dog interested for hours!
tabbcat tabbcat 8 years
My dog loves an old tshirt or a pair of socks tied up... it smells like you, and the socks in particular are hard to tear up :)
psterling psterling 8 years
My dog goes INSANE for the bumble ball. It wiggles around on its own and she just has to chase it. It keeps her occupied for quite a while!
Katydid620 Katydid620 8 years
I feel the same way...very guilty when I have to leave them for a while. I leave the tv on for them. It won't give them excercise or keep them busy but it's background noise that they are used to hearing. I like to hope it helps to relax them...
StefaPie StefaPie 8 years
Do they have tug ropes? Maybe get them used to playing with those with each other.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
Are bully sticks and rawhide a no go? I saw a thing one time where a guy built a machine for his dachshund that the dog put the ball in then it would throw it for him. Wish I knew how to build like that! Oh! How about ropes do they like those? Take a rope and soak it in a pot of stock (like chicken or beef broth) then set it out in the sun to dry. I heard about this for teething dogs and it seemed like a good idea. All the taste and none of the calories haha
wren1 wren1 8 years
What about flavored chew toys? Nylabone makes some and here's another one I found The smell and flavor might attract their interest but not make them gain weight.
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