An Engaged Canine is a Well-Behaved Canine ~ Ashley, RVT

A very common reason for people to seek trainers, come to the vet for advice, or even to surrender their dog is destructive behavior. One question I usually lead with is, “Is your dog giving you a hard time, or is it your dog that is having a hard time?”

Sometimes we get so caught up in making sure our companions fit into our routine that we forget about their needs as well. In this blog, we’ll meet Freyja, a cocker spaniel/staffordshire terrier mix that gave me a new perspective.

If you can, start early! A destructive dog might be a bored dog. Over the years, I’ve learned Freyja’s quirks. If she’s left alone too long with nothing to do or no one to play with, she will find anything to get my attention. At first I would get frustrated; no one wants to come home after a long day of work to a mess!

On my days off, I started taking her with me on little adventures. Hiking, biking, kayaking, coffee runs– even just running to Home Depot to pick something up would get her tail going a mile a minute. I noticed that the more we would go out, the less destructive she would be at home. To help keep up this good behavior, I had to find something to keep her occupied during the day while I was gone as well.

Enter interactive pet toys! There are tons of options out there, and my dog has been a very willing tester for most of them (no animals were harmed during this extensive product testing). Puzzle toys, treat dispensers, snuffle mats, kongs, easter egg hunts–the list goes on. I’ve also found healthy snacks to give, such as dehydrated sweet potato, frozen ground chicken/sweet potato baby food, and dehydrated beef liver/heart. If you ever have any questions about interactive pet toys, please don’t hesitate to contact us.