It’s a fact.  Dogs like have jobs to do.  Some of these jobs can be in the form of thinking toys.  Have you tried any of these Thinking Toys for you dog?  Dogs that have positive thinking toys have the benefit of fine tuning their active minds, maintaining a calm attitude, and these toy help to keep them active on the task and not thinking about destructive behavior.

Food puzzle toys:

Food puzzle toys are sturdy containers, usually made of hard rubber or plastic, that hold food or treats inside but don’t give dogs easy access to the food. They usually have holes on each end or on the sides, and dogs must work by shaking, pawing, rolling, nibbling or licking the toy to get the food to come out. Food puzzle toys require time, patience and problem-solving—all skills that are good for your dog and will help her enjoy quiet time alone. Since our dogs’ wild counterparts spend much of their time scavenging for food, food puzzle toys offer a natural solution to pet-dog boredom. Puzzle toys also encourage chewing and licking, which can have a calming effect on dogs.

Examples of food puzzle toys include KONG® Toy, the Buster® Cube, the Tricky Treat Ball, the Tug-a-Jug, the Twist ‘n Treat, the Atomic Treat Ball and the TreatStik®. You can find these toys online or at most major pet stores. Feed your dog at least one meal a day in a food puzzle toy to give their brains and jaws a great workout. You can also stuff these toys with your dog’s favorite treats or a little peanut butter, cottage cheese, cooked oatmeal or yogurt.

When you first introduce your dog to a food puzzle toy, make it really easy for them to empty it. Your dog is probably accustomed to getting  food served in a bowl, so they have some learning to do! Choose a toy with a large dispensing hole and make sure the goodies you put inside the toy are small enough to come out easily. As your dog becomes an expert, you can make it harder and harder for them to get food out of their toys. Use bigger pieces of food to provide an extra challenge, then freeze the toys after stuffing them. You can also place the frozen toys inside a cardboard box or oatmeal tub so that your dog has to rip through the cardboard container to get to their meal.  Visit www.Aspca.org. for more interesting articles on this topic.  Send me your thinking game challenge.

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561167_563516297022639_816738665_n Spring has sprung, and with the change of season, our thoughts inevitably turn to Easter celebrations, spring cleaning and much-needed home improvement projects. But the new balmy weather can prove not-so-sunny for curious pets—or their unwitting parents. Before you embark on seasonal chores or outdoor revelry, take inventory of potential springtime hazards for your delicate, furry friend. To help you out, our ASPCA experts have come up with a few seasonal tips that will help prevent mishaps or misfortunes.

  • Easter Treats and Decorations Keep Easter lilies and candy bunnies in check—chocolate goodies are toxic to cats, dogs and ferrets, and lilies can be fatal if ingested by our furry friends.
  • Buckle Up!
    While every pet parent knows dogs love to feel the wind on their furry faces, allowing them to ride in the bed of pick-up trucks or stick their heads out of moving-car windows is dangerous. Flying debris and insects can cause inner ear or eye injuries and lung infections, and abrupt stops or turns can cause major injury, or worse! Pets in cars should always be secured in a crate or wearing a seatbelt harness designed especially for them.
  • Spring Cleaning 
    Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition in many households, but be sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of your pets’ way! Almost all commercially sold cleaning products contain chemicals that are harmful to pets. The key to using them safely is to read and follow label directions for proper use and storage.
  • Home Improvement 101
    Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pets and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Carefully read all labels to see if the product is safe to use around your furry friends. Also, be cautious of physical hazards, including nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools. It may be wise to confine your dog or cat to a designated pet-friendly room during home improvement projects.
  • Let Your Garden Grow—With Care 
    Pet parents, take care—fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients aren’t meant for four-legged consumption and can be fatal if your pet ingests them.  Always store these poisonous products in out-of-the-way places and follow label instructions carefully.
  • Poisonous Plants
    Time to let your garden grow! But beware, many popular springtime plants—including Easter lilies, rhododendron and azaleas—are highly toxic to pets and can easily prove fatal if eaten.
  • Out and About
    Warmer weather means more trips to the park, longer walks and more chances for your pet to wander off! Make sure your dog or cat has a microchip for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home address, cell phone and any other relevant contact information. Canines should wear flat (never choke!) collars, please.

If you suspect your pet may have come in contact with or ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

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5 Top Toxins That Poison Our Pets

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Cold Weather Tips for our 4 Legged Family Members

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BRRRR It’s Cold Outside Learn how to protect your 4 legged kids by following  these tips when the temperature takes a dip. Keep your kitties indoors! Outside, cats freeze and can become lost, stolen, or injured. Which way do I go?! Never let your dog run around off his leash on snow or ice—especially during [...]

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Halloween Safety Tips for your Dog

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Can you believe it is time to think about Halloween? Well, our friends at the ASPCA have provided some great tips to keep the kids safe this Fall. It’s back-to-school time, and those of you with young children know that means stocking up on fun items like glue sticks, pencils and magic markers. These items are considered [...]

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Top 10 Tips for Safe Air Travel with your Pet

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HOT WEATHER TIPS FOR YOU DOG

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  We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but being overeager in hot weather can spell danger, ASPCA experts warn. “Most people love to spend the warmer days enjoying the outdoors with friends and family, but it is important to remember that some activities can be dangerous [...]

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How To Become A Better Dog Owner

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  We all love our dogs.  They’re apart of our family.  They’re our  best friends, companions, road partners and walking buddies.  So I decided to do some researchon how I could become a better dog owner.  I knew I could improve my relationship with my dogs.  So, I asked my friends, my vets.  I went [...]

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Are You Allergic To Your Pet?

June 5, 2013

Breathe easy—you can still keep your animal companion! Although more and more people are discovering the beneficial effects of owning a furry bundle of joy, the fact remains that roughly 15 to 20 percent of the population is allergic to animals. The result? Countless owners in unhappy, unhealthy situations—and their beloved pets are the cause! [...]

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5 Signs That Your Dog Is Aging

May 13, 2013

I love my dogs so much, and if you’re reading this blog, you’re like me.  We love our dogs probably more than we love most people.  However, there comes a time when we have to wrap our heads around the fact, that our dogs are aging.  This, is the hardness part about being an obsessive dog [...]

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