Dogs are able to understand human language when we create associations with things or activities, and express themselves with the ways they know how; barking, whining, growling, sighing, and more. By creating associations with activities and a communication tool, we can create a way to communicate with our dogs in daily life.
Chewing is instinctive and necessary for our pups, and treats can be a great distraction while home alone. While bones, rawhides, and other treats are delicious for your pup to enjoy, although they can pose a choking hazard if left unattended. Fractured teeth, oral injuries, airway obstruction, and gastrointestinal complications are all a risk for dogs chewing on a treat. In order to keep your pup safe and happy, consider implementing these treats into your doggo’s diet.
1. Food Puzzle Toy
A dog food puzzle toy is a toy constructed to hold food and treats in various hiding places. Providing your dog's meal in an interactive toy can give him or her a hobby to pass the time and prevent them from resorting to destructive chewing or barking. These food toys create a positive association for the dog with being left at home along and/or in their crate.
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2. Kong or Wobbler Toy
A Kong toy is a durable and stuffable toy that you can fill with doggie kibble and even pumpkin puree to keep your dog busy. There are plenty of sizes and levels of durability so that you can choose one that’s right for you.
We spoke to Alexis Slone who is a veterinary technician in Kentucky, she says,
“I really like to give my dogs yummy high value treats like kongs stuffed with Peanut butter that have been frozen. This gives them something to do that they enjoy while you are gone. Eventually they will be excited to see you go because they get their favorite snack! Be sure if you are a multi dog household like mine to be more careful with leaving treats like this. We don't want to cause a scuffle!”
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3. Snuffle Mat
A snuffle mat is similar to a dog food puzzle toy, as it hides food and treats for your pup to find. The difference is that a snuffle mat brings out your dog’s instinct to burrow, as the layers of fabric require them digging their nose around. You can secure the mat to table or chair legs to ensure the mat doesn’t scoot around.
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4. Frozen Ice Treat
Frozen doggie treats are a great way to cool down your dog during hot summer months, while keeping them occupied with hidden treats. They’ll lick away at the ice block to get peanut butter and yummy treats. These treats should last your pup hours!
5. Furbo Dog Camera
A Furbo Dog Camera is a great solution for not only throwing treats to reward your pup, but also monitoring your dog while they’re chewing on toys or eating ice treats. The Smart Alerts send a notification to your phone to inform you that your pup is getting active, barking, howling, and more!
We spoke to Dr. Christine Bobula who is a veterinarian in California, she says,
“You could even place a treat machine or Furbo dog camera near the kennel to be able to check in periodically with voice or treat rewards for good quiet kennel behavior.
By making your absence associated with fun toys or delicious treats, you can eventually change your dogs feeling about your absence and make it something pleasant. It is also helpful to give a command when leaving. We call this a departure or safety cue. It is used to help allow your dog to know what is happening and to relax while you're gone.”