Eastern Riverina Chronicle

Unleash joy: The importance of enrichment toys to keep your dog happy and healthy

Well-designed enrichment toys like PetSafe's Chompin Chicken are crucial for a dog's health and happiness. Picture supplied
Well-designed enrichment toys like PetSafe's Chompin Chicken are crucial for a dog's health and happiness. Picture supplied

This is branded content for PetSafe Australia.

Every dog parent knows the heart-wrenching feeling of seeing your furry family member sigh with boredom or pacing the house restlessly even after exercise. Or of big pleading eyes looking up at you and paws nudging your leg when you need to get some work done.

While physical fitness is essential for our furry friends, it's important for their overall health and wellbeing to also exercise those smart brains of theirs and that means providing an enriched and stimulating environment.

Plenty of walks with sniffing time, socialising with other dogs and having quality moments with their beloved owners provides a lot of valuable stimulus, but when they're at home it's the kinds of toys you choose that play a vital role in keeping life interesting and helping your dog live a longer, healthier and happier life.

Enrichment toys - toys that are specially-designed to engage dogs with challenging activity - are more than just play things. Benefits including mental stimulation, physical exercise, emotional wellbeing and preventing boredom.

"Exercise is really important for our dogs but mental stimulation is equally important; enrichment toys can help provide that," said Sarah Ambler, marketing manager of PetSafe Australia and owner of two energetic dogs, Logan the husky and rescue dog Stanlee, a golden labrador.

"Well-designed enrichment toys are a bridge between a boring routine and an adventurous stimulating life for your canine companions. They're like magical tools that can unleash joy and improve the wellbeing of your pet."

A leading pet products expert, PetSafe has just added four new toys to its beloved Busy Body enrichment range of toys, each with different features to deliver the right combination of fun and benefits to dogs.

"There are just so many benefits that enrichment toys can bring to a dog's life that are really essential," said Sarah.

"Dogs are intelligent creatures that thrive on mental challenges. Enrichment toys engage their minds, encourage problem solving and reduce cognitive decline in senior dogs, and can also provide a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment, as well as alleviate stress and anxiety.

Petafe's Cravin' Corncob challenges your dog's problem-solving skills and has extra sniffability with its butter-scented rubber construction.
Petafe's Cravin' Corncob challenges your dog's problem-solving skills and has extra sniffability with its butter-scented rubber construction.

"Interactive toys also promote physical activity and encourage your pet to stay agile, and they're so good for boredom busting and preventing destructive behaviour by offering a productive way for them to spend time whether you're home or away."

Sarah said she has a large range of the enrichment toys and gives one to her dogs usually once a day.

"I just mix it up a bit so they don't get bored with a particular one," she said. "Sometimes I'll use one that's a slow feeder like the Kibble Nibble that you can fit a whole kibble meal into - that would be for mealtime to make ti more challenging and interesting."

"Or another day they might get one of our Chilly Penguins or Frosty Cones that are freezable treat-dispensing toys - we do lots of different recipes, sometimes it's cream cheese and blueberries or maybe a bit of peanut butter with leftover chicken or grated carrot.

"The toys were especially useful when Logan was a puppy and chewing the furniture and our personal belongings was his favourite pastime - they are a good diversion."

Logan and Stanlee have been hard at work testing out the latest toys in the range for the past few months and have given them the paws up.

"Huskies and labradors are classic breeds known for being strong chewers so anything we give them needs to be very durable," said Sarah, "They've been trying these new toys for three months now and they are still in very good shape.

"Toys that aren't strong enough can be quite dangerous - even a tennis ball they will try to eat the fluff off the outside and then the rubber - they'll eat the whole thing."

PetSafe's enrichment toys like this new Bouncy Bone are tough to survive some serious chewing. Picture supplied.
PetSafe's enrichment toys like this new Bouncy Bone are tough to survive some serious chewing. Picture supplied.

The new toys in the range are multi-functional - as well as being highly engaging they help promote good dental health and feature enclosed rings for treats to be attached to to make accessing them a challenging task for dogs.

There's the Chompin' Chicken that's in the shape of a chicken drumstick and is made from BPA-free chicken-scented rubber, the Bouncy Bone that features a nylon bone and a rubber ball, the Bristle Bone that has three distinct surface textures to stimulate gums and promote teeth cleaning, and the Cravin' Corncob that's in the shape of a corn cob and is made of butter-scented BPA-free rubber.

"Each of the toys has lots of different uses, that's what I really love about them," said Sarah. "And are interesting enough to keep dogs engaged even after the treats have gone."

For more information about the benefits of enrichment toys and how they help make your dog happier, smarter, and less bored visit petsafe.net/au

PetSafe®ANZ currently has an offer across their Enrichment Toy Range. Purchase any two PetSafe®ANZ Busy Buddy Toys and get 10 per cent off. Use the code BUSYBUDDY10 at checkout until December 31. Head to petsafe.net/au