Posts Tagged ‘dog toys’

Spoiled but not Spoiled Rotten

August 8, 2014

Big Bone Jones Natural Chews 003

Do people tell you your dogs are spoiled? I hear it so much that I’ve actually told people my dogs are spoiled. But I think the word ‘spoiled’ when referring to our pets can have two different meanings. The Google definition is to “harm the character of (a child) by being too lenient or indulgent.” I imagine that this is what some people mean when they tell me I spoil my dogs. But when I say it, I simply mean to care for in a generous way. And I think this less harsh (albeit incorrect) definition of spoiled is what most people mean. Here’s why.

By the standards of many non-dog-lovers, it can certainly seem that I go overboard with all the things I do for my dogs. Maya and Pierson have lots of dog toys, nice plush beds, get quality food. They get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation with learning tricks. And I buy lots of dog products to promote their health and safety.

Dogs Maya & Pierson on Pet Dek in Car

This kind of treatment is easily perceived as spoiling by those who only get their dogs the basic supplies. But I am not lenient or indulgent with Maya and Pierson.

Spoiling My Dogs with Food?
For one, my dogs are not overfed. They have set meal times and are only fed a certain amount. They get treats ever so often, but I don’t overdo it. Sometimes I give treats to be indulgent. But most other times, Maya and Pierson get treats when we do fun training time.

Spoiling My Dogs by Training Them?
That’s right, I train them. It can’t be called spoiling by the true definition if I’ve taken the time to train my dogs manners. Maya and Pierson don’t get to run amuck. They are not allowed in certain rooms. They sit and stay in certain situations. And they come when called.

I can be lenient (or lazy) when it comes to certain training aspects. I am terrible about being consistent with leash walking habits. While I do cross the street when we see another dog in order to help with Maya and Pierson’s leash reactive behaviors, I do not make it a point to specifically train for modifying leash behaviors on a daily or even weekly basis. Because I still try to be responsible about their behaviors, I do not see this leniency as spoiling my dogs.

Maya and Pierson Cuddle on Couch 2

Allowing Dogs on the Furniture?
Some people believe that allowing your dogs on the furniture is spoiling them. They say this could lead to certain behavior issues. I’m not going to dispute that here. While Maya and Pierson are not generally allowed on the furniture (a personal preference), I’ve allowed it in the past and on some special occasions. And it certainly hasn’t harmed their character.

Spoiling with Love?
Perhaps allowing my dogs to live in the house where I can pet them every five minutes if I want can seem indulgent. Maybe it is, in a way. But this action does not harm their character. It is actually a benefit for both of us. They get to relax. I get to relax.

Maya Getting Nails Cut

Cutting doggy toenails.

Spoiling with Care?
While I do spend a lot of quality enjoyment time with my dogs, I also do things to them that they do not enjoy. Things like brush their teeth, cut their nails, and comb their hair. Is this spoiling? I think not.

Dog Toys All Over the Floor 001

Spoiling with Lots of Dog Toys?
When I buy Maya and Pierson a bunch of toys it can be perceived as spoiling. I beg to differ, though. Having toys to stimulate the mind and to get exercise is not going to harm their character. It’s going to help it.

Spoiling with Dog Clothes?
If your dog wears cute clothes, people will probably stop and tell your dog in a cooing voice that he’s spoiled. But they certainly couldn’t mean spoiling as in harming their character because how can dog clothes harm their character? Dogs don’t get the uppity attitude that some people can get regarding attire. They don’t think, “OMD, that dog looks like she’s wearing a hand-me-down. What a loser.” Right?

Buying the Best for My Dogs?
Spending money on quality dog food, safety gear, and veterinary care can be seen as spoiling a dog by people who do not do these things for their own pet. But it’s not spoiling them if these things are beneficial.

So if someone tells me I spoil my dogs and they mean I spend a lot of money on them, then yes, I do spoil my dogs. But if someone tells me this and they mean I overdo it to the point of harming my dogs’ characters, then I completely disagree. Maya and Pierson have their faults (who doesn’t). But overall they are very good dogs. Pampered, yes. Spoiled, perhaps by my less harsh definition. Spoiled rotten, no way!

What do you think most people mean whey they say your dog is spoiled?

Wordless Wednesday – Toys All Over the House

February 19, 2014
Pierson Kibble Drop Dog Toy 1

One dog, three dog toys. Two dogs, thirty dog toys… maybe more.

No, I don’t have children. But one might think so with all these toys all over the place. It never fails that the moment I put them all away, Maya or Pierson suddenly want the dog toy on the bottom. Sillies. 😀

Dog Toys All Over the Floor 001

De-stuffed bunny, piggy bottle buddy, two red owl blanket toys from Petco with the owl heads torn off, invincibles gecko, and a homemade dog toy made form a scarf and a tennis ball.

Dog Toys All Over the Floor 002

That green thing in the background is the toy box. There are lots of toys piled around it. On the dog bed is an antler horn and the orange invincibles gecko. That brown thing is the blanket. Pierson sometimes considers the blanket a toy.

Do your dogs leave their stuff all over your house?

If you thought this was a fun post, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop link below for more fun pet photos:

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Make Your Own Dog Toys

December 9, 2013

Need to stretch your budget this holiday? Or tired of buying expensive toys only to have your dog tear them up in less than 5 minutes? Your dog doesn’t care how colorful or cute his dog toys are. So why not just make your own? Here are some ideas I like to do for Maya & Pierson:

Tennis Sock Toy

I wear socks all the time. And as such, I ruin socks all the time. While they may be no good for me to wear on my feet anymore, they might still be good for Maya to play with. Maya absolutely loves the tennis sock toy.

Maya's Tennis Ball Sock Toy

Maya loves playing with a handmade tennis ball sock toy.

The first thing I do is wash the socks. I either take a tennis ball and put it inside an old sock, or I stuff the old sock with other old stocks rolled into a ball shape. I then tie a knot at the base of the tennis ball or wad of socks. And ta-da! Maya has a tennis sock toy. My friend Joanne says I should call this toy the Barkypop. What do you think? 🙂

Tennis Ball Sock Toy

Make this great dog toy with just a tennis ball and an old sock.

Bottle Sock Toy

With knee-high socks, you can also make a bottle sock dog toy. Just stuff the old sock with a used water or soda bottle, and tie a knot at the base. Maya would love a bottle sock toy too, but I don’t wear knee-high socks. My ankle socks are too short to stuff a bottle in.

Handmade Fleece Toys

Have an old dingy fleece blanket? Rather than just throw it away, wash it and use it to make a variety of dog toys. Cut it into strips. Take three or six strips and tie a knot on one end. Braid them together and tie a knot on the other end.

Handmade Fleece Dog Toy

This handmade fleece dog toy is made from an old fleece blanket.

You can also use four strips and tie knots, one onto the other, to make a knot toy. If you’re fancy at different kind of braids, it can be fun to experiment to see what kind of different shapes you can make.

Maya Pierson Handmade Dog Toy 1

Maya and Pierson love their new fleece dog toy.

Maya Pierson Fleece Dog Toy 2

Maya says, “I want the dog toy!” and Pierson says, “No I want it!”

If you don’t mind sewing, you can sew the fleece into cool shapes. Don’t put in any stuffing of your dog likes to de-stuff his toys. Make sure your sewing is durable. Use yarn and double-stitch.

You can use other material too, such as from old shirts or old jeans. I, personally, don’t like to use other material because of the threads. Maya can be so destructive sometimes, she eats the threads and makes colorful poop! This is a concern for the sock toys too, so her sock toys are only given to her when I can supervise.

Maya Playing with Hand Made Dog Toy

This is a handmade dog toy made by some friends of mine. It is made by tearing material into strips, then braiding and knotting them together.

Bandana Ball Toy

Maya & Pierson won some stuff from Pruven some time back. It was fantastic stuff. One of the items received was a bandana with the Pruven logo on it. Bandanas were my dog Sephi’s thing and since she has gone over the rainbow bridge, I don’t feel like passing on that torch to another dog. So I have this wonderful unused bandana that I decided to put to good use:

Handmade Dog Toys 002

Cut from the four sides of the bandana towards the ball in the center.

Handmade Dog Toys 003

Tie the opposite corners together in a knot around the tennis ball.

Handmade Dog Toys 004

A fantastic dog toy made by tying a bandana around a tennis ball.

Handmade Dog Toys 009

Maya absolutely loves the bandana ball toy.

Handmade Dog Toys 008

I mean she really loves it.

Handmade Dog Toys 007

A lot.

Handmade Dog Toys 006

Did I mention how much Maya loves the bandana ball dog toy?

Handmade Dog Toys 005

Pierson likes it too, but Maya won’t let him have it.

A quick note on washing clothes you’re going to use to make dog toys – Consider the kind of laundry soap you use. You don’t want something with a bunch of chemicals. If you’re not sure about your laundry soap, just wash without soap. Add a touch of bleach to the load to disinfect.

So that’s all my ideas for handmade dog toys. Do you make some of your dog’s toys? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Maya & Pierson’s Favorite Dog Toys

November 18, 2013

Maya and Pierson have a TON of dog toys. But there are only a few they play with regularly. Most are plush or felt toys. (They don’t care for the rubber toys as much.) Maya and Pierson will destroy a stuffed plush dog toy, but I’ve found a few that don’t get destroyed so easily. Here is a review of their favorite dog toys that have lasted longer than a month:

Pierson Invincibles Gecko Dog Toy

Pierson loves the squeak of the Invincibles Gecko dog toy.

Maya Invincibles Gecko Dog Toy

Maya likes to play with her Invincibles Gecko dog toy while on her back.

One thing I love about the Invincibles Gecko dog toy from Kyjen is there is no stuffing to tear out. The squeakies are big enough that if the dog takes them out, they can’t swallow them whole. And the squeakies work even after your dog punctures holes in them with their teeth. The first Invincibles Gecko I bought for Maya and Pierson was the small orange one. It lasted a little over a month. Maya eventually took the squeaker out, so I threw it all away. Then my friend Joanne in the UK bought them the large blue Invincibles Gecko from Kyjen a couple of months ago. It is still intact and Maya and Pierson play with it regularly.

Maya & her Tuffy's Dog Toy

Maya enjoys her Tuffy’s octopus dog toy.

Pierson with His Tuffy's Dog Toy

Pierson still has this Tuffy’s dog toy from nearly two years ago when I first brought him home.

The first large Tuffy’s I bought was the purple octopus. Sephi was the first to get the stuffing out of the top of the octopus’ head. But as of today, the octopus arms are still undamaged and still have their squeakers. Maya and Pierson don’t play with the octopus so much anymore. They mostly play with the large Tuffy’s gear. Actually, Pierson plays with it more than Maya. It was one of the first toys Pierson played with when I first brought him to his new home. After almost two years, the Tuffy’s gear dog toy is still completely intact.

Squeaker mats are another product from Kyjen. Maya and Pierson love the squeaks. Every single square has a squeaker in it. That is 16 squeakers!!! The first squeakers Maya and Pierson were able to get out were the ones on the four corners. Today, 10 squeakers are still embedded in the mat but only one squeaker still squeaks. I don’t have a good photo of Maya and Pierson playing with this because now it is mostly a raggedy square. But they do still play with it.

Pierson and Mr. Monkey Dog Toy

The Mr. Monkey dog toy in this photo caption is the Kong Braidz.

Maya and Pierson love felt toys as much as plush dog toys. The Kong Braidz is their most favorite. The first one I bought was the pink dog. Of course, the very first thing Maya did was pull off the stuffing filled head. Now it is just a knot of pink felt. I bought the monkey Kong Braidz next. Again, it didn’t take long for the head to be destuffed. The legs are gone too. But Maya and Pierson still love to play with it. Pierson most of all.

The bottle buddy dog toy is yet another toy from Kyjen. It has no stuffing in it, which is great. It comes with a plastic bottle inside that makes crinkle noises when the dogs chomp on it. Maya LOVES this toy. It didn’t take her long to chew off the ears and feet or to crunch the bottle down flat, but the case is still in one piece. And it is easy to put in a new plastic bottle. This video has Sephi in it, so it is a bit older. But it shows how much Maya loves the bottle buddy dog toy. Pierson likes this toy too, but not as much as Maya.

What is your dog’s favorite dog toy?

I was not paid for this post. However, the links above go to my Amazon a-store which is an Amazon hosted store that gives me a small commission for purchases originating through my a-store. The a-store is a smaller version of the full Amazon site, but it is still an Amazon site.

Nearly Wordless Wednesday – Dog Logic Problem Puzzle Solved

July 11, 2012

Last Saturday (July 7th) I had a fun Logic Problem Puzzle to solve. In the logic problem puzzle, 6 clues were given so that you could try to figure out which dog of which breed had which dog toy and where. Before reading this, you might want to check it out. Below, you can also check out photos of my dogs with various dog toys.

Here are the answers:
Zoe, Tuffy’s, indoors, Labrador
Daisy, rope toy, under the tree, Staffordshire Terrier
Bandit, puzzle toy, pool, Shepherd
Lucky, Nylabone, dog bed, Chihuahua
Max, Kong, dog house, Rottweiler

Daisy is the Staffordshire Terrier (clue 4). The Tuffy’s dog toy was brought by the Labrador (clue 2). Bandit had the puzzle toy (clue 5), so he isn’t the Labrador. Bandit wasn’t the Rottweiler or Chihuahua (clue 6) so he must be the Shepherd. Max isn’t the Labrador (clue 1), Staffordshire Terrier (because Daisy is), or Shepherd (because Max is). He went to the dog house (clue 1). He also wasn’t the Chihuahua (clue 1), so he must be the Rottweiler. By elimination, Lucky is the Chihuahua. Lucky didn’t have the Tuffy’s dog toy (clue 2), so Zoe, by elimination, must have it. The rope toy was neither Max’s (clue 1) nor Lucky’s (clue 2); it was Daisy’s. The dog with the Nylabone went to the dog bed (clue 3), so Lucky went there since the dog toy or place eliminates the others. By elimination, Max had the Kong dog toy. Bandit wasn’t found under the tree or indoors (clue 5); so he must have been playing in the pool. Daisy wasn’t found indoors (clue 4); Zoe was, and by elimination, Daisy was found under the tree.

Pierson playing with a Tuffy’s. They still haven’t torn this dog toy up!

Maya playing with one of her Kong dog toys.

Pierson playing with a fleece rope toy.

For more fun pet photos, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop on my other blog, Today, the Pet Auto Safety blog doesn’t feature pet travel, it features photos of Shiera, a lost dog who reunited with her owner after being lost on the 4th of July.

Rover, Pick up All Your Dog Toys!

June 16, 2012

Maya is playing with a homemade sock toy.

If you’re like me, you buy a new dog toy at least once every couple of weeks. That is a lot of dog toys. And it is expensive too. So how can you save money and what do you do with them all?

Make Your Own Toys (Recycle)
When my dog Sephi passed on, I was left with a bunch of pet bandanas. Maya and Pierson didn’t look good in them so I gave them to someone so they could make dog toys with them instead. I got some of those toys and the rest are being sold for $1 each and each $1 gets donated to a good cause. So if you have old clothes which are not in good shape to donate, cut them up to make braided dog ropes or other dog toys. One which I like to do with old socks is put a tennis ball or even a plastic water bottle inside and tie the end.

The Old Switch-a-Roo
If you not only buy toys and make them too, you could be completely overwhelmed with toys. I find that the newer my dogs’ toys are, the more they play with them. So to keep them interested in all their toys, I let them play with new toys for a few days, put them away, then take out some older toys. Since the dogs haven’t played with the older toys in a while, they are like new! I do this with about five sets of dog toys over a monthly period.

Be careful about letting your dog chew on certain toys when you are not home. Homemade toys are great but they can be easily ingested if your dog is allowed to tear them up. Always watch your dog when he is playing with a destructible dog toy and put it away when he is not playing with it.

A Toy Box
In order to keep yourself or other people in the household from falling and tripping over all the dog toys, put them in a dog toy box. I use an inexpensive laundry basket as a toy box. It works great and I can put it in a room where the dogs are not allowed so that they can’t take all the toys out at once and leave them all over the house.

How often do you buy your dog toys? Do you make your own dog toys too? Where do you put them all?

How to Keep Your Dog from Chewing

January 17, 2012


Pierson is about a year old. For a dog his size, that means he is still a puppy. And a puppy means chewing. In my experience, dogs tend to love to chew for the first two years of their lives. Pierson has been no exception. Here are some tips to keep your dog from chewing that I am also using for Pierson.

Crate Training
The thing that best helped to keep my other dog Maya from chewing was crate training. Maya did very well in a crate so it was easy to teach her which things were hers to chew on. And crate training was an easy way to prevent her from chewing on things when we were not home. But crate training is not always easy, as we have found with Pierson. So if your dog hasn’t gotten used to his crate yet, there are still other things you can do to keep your dog from chewing.

Don’t Leave Stuff Lying Around
Putting things away out of your dog’s reach is a great way to keep your dog from chewing them. Put your shoes in the closet and close the closet door. Make sure small chewable things like toys or remote controls are put up. Put away his dog bowls when he is done eating. If your dog can’t get to these things, he can’t chew them.

Use Positive Reinforcement
If your dog still manages to find something he is not supposed to chew on, take it away and say ‘no’ in a firm voice. Then give him a toy he can chew on. Whenever he chews on his own dog toys, tell him he is a good dog. Give him praise or even a treat.

Make Sure Your Dog Has Plenty of Toys to Choose From
When your dog is in his crate, only give him indestructible dog toys to chew. But when he is out of his crate and you are able to keep an eye on him, give him lots of dog toys to choose from. Pierson has fleecy dog toys, Kong dog toys, other hard dog toys, a Tuffy’s dog toy, and a hard unbleached beef shin bone purchased from the pet store. We don’t recommend rawhides because if your dog tears off and swallows a big chunk, it can get lodged in his stomach causing great pain and even death. Be careful with any dog toy you give your dog. Make sure pieces cannot be torn off and swallowed. Watch him as best you can.

Squirt Bottle or Loud Noise
I have to admit that using a squirt bottle or loud noise to keep your dog from chewing is not a method I have used. I haven’t needed to. But this is what I have heard about how it works. When your dog chews on something he is not supposed to, squirt him with water or shake a can full of coins to make a loud noise.

Bitter Apple, Peppermint, or Cayenne Spray Chew Deterrent
To keep your dog from chewing things like furniture legs, pillows, plants, or other things which are not easy for you to keep out of his reach, try spraying these things with Bitter Apple spray deterrent or another spray chew deterrent. Bitter Apple and other chew deterrent brands can be purchased online or at a pet store. But if you have peppermint extract or cayenne pepper, you can make your own spray chew deterrent. Peppermint might be best for things you and your family touch regularly.

Having a young dog can be a lot of work. By being diligent, consistent, and patient, your young dog will grow up and out of these bad habits. My older dog Maya knows exactly which toys are hers (although she does get stuffed animals confused with her plush dog toys). If Maya can learn, your dog can too. You can keep your dog from chewing his way through your personal things.

Great Christmas Toys for Dogs

December 6, 2011

Maya and her Tuffy's Dog Toy

Christmas is coming and we dog-lovers can’t help but to give gifts to our beloved four-legged family members too. I’ve already gotten my dog Maya some great dog toys. And some of those I couldn’t wait until Christmas to give to her.

Revisit some of our blog posts about dog toys reviews.

Tuffy’s Dog Toys
The smaller star-shaped Tuffy’s dog toy I had bought Maya some time back didn’t last but a few days. But I got her the larger purple octopus a few months ago and she still has it! It has a few hole punctures but the squeaker in the octopus head and all eight squeakers in the arms are still there!!!

Kyjen Puzzle Dog Toys
Maya loves the Kyjen Puzzle dog toys. But she does chew them to pieces if I let her. By only giving her the toys when I am able to supervise, they have lasted a few months.

Bottle Buddy Dog Toys
Maya still hasn’t chewed one up completely. I’ve replaced the plastic bottle inside several times but the plush bottle buddy dog toy is still in decent shape. It shows some obvious chewing and I have washed it a couple times, but otherwise it has easily lasted her several months (with supervised play only).

Kong Dog Toys
The Kong dog toy has lasted years. I loved the classic red Kong so much that I also bought the Kong Flier. There is not a single dent or chew mark on the Kong dog toys even though Maya plays with them all the time.

Tug of War with Dogs?

October 15, 2011

Playing Tug-of-War with Dogs

I keep hearing that tug of war is not a good game to play with your dog. However, I have to disagree. While there are many good points about why you shouldn’t play tug of war with your dog, I believe that if you play the game properly none of those reasons matter.

Why do people say that tug of war is not a good game to play with your dog? Many people think that tug of war can encourage aggressiveness in your dog. By allowing your dog to play tug of war, your dog may think it is okay to grab something he wants. And if your dog wins at tug of war then you may be allowing him to think that he is the dominant one instead of you. Another reason people say tug of war is bad for your dog is because it may hurt his teeth.

New Kyjen Fleecy Clean Bone Dog Toy Large 14 Inch Soft Nontoxic Helps Clean Teeth Gums

To prevent damage to your dog’s teeth, don’t play to rough and stay in control of the game. Also play with gentler tug toys like the Fleecy Clean dog toy by Kyjen. Sephi and Maya love fleecy toys and play with them for both tug and chew. Because the Fleecy Clean dog toys don’t break up into stringy pieces, I feel better about them chewing on and playing with them.

By establishing rules when you play tug of war with your dog, all these issues can be avoided. The first rule is that you control the game, not your dog. Tug of war should only be allowed when you initiate the game. And the game is over when you say it is over. Don’t let your dog goad you into playing more when you are done. It is okay for your dog to decide he is done playing first, but when you are done that’s it – no more.

The second rule to playing tug of war is that your dog must let go when you tell him to. Teach your dog the ‘drop it’ command before allowing him to play tug of war. You want to be sure when playing tug of war with your dog that when you say ‘drop it’ he lets go. If your dog is not consistently good at letting go when you say ‘drop it’ you are going to have a more difficult time being in control of the game if he doesn’t let go when he is supposed to.

By being in control when you play tug of war with your dog, you can stop the game if it gets too aggressive or if you think your dog may hurt his teeth. You are also making sure your dog understands you are his leader. He is less likely to exhibit dangerous dominance issues if it is perceived that you are in control.

To check out other dog blogs for the Saturday Blog Hop visit AllThingsDogBlog.

Product Feature – Tuffy’s Dog Toys

August 24, 2011

Tuffy's The General Sea Creature's Dog Toy

Tuffys dog toys are not indestructible but they are much more durable than regular plush dog toys.

Sephi and Maya love their plush squeaky dog toys.  The problem is that they chew them up and pull out all the stuffing within a matter of minutes.  A plush dog toy is lucky if it lasts more than ten minutes.

If your dogs are like mine, then you probably hate buying dog toys that won’t last long.  The solution:  get dog toys which are more difficult to tear up.  Sephi and Maya have Kong dog toys, Buster Food Cubes, and Fire Hose dog toys.  But none of these dog toys are plush.  Sephi and Maya like these toys, but they LOVE plush.

One particular brand of dog toys that I like are made by Tuffys.  Tuffys dog toys are plush dog toys but they are made with four layers and sewn with a total of seven seams, making this plush toy far more durable.

I have to admit that Maya was still able to destroy one of these Tuffys dog toys, but it took her several days instead of several minutes.  To minimize her ability to chew her dog toys into pieces, I supervise her when she plays.  If her chewing gets too intense, then I take her dog toys away and give her something else.  Now her Tuffys dog toys last several weeks.  Sephi and Maya’s love for plush dog toys is satisfied and so is my wallet.

As you can see, Tuffys dog toys come in lots of different colors and shapes.

Tuffy's Polly Pig Dog Toy

Tuffy's LIL Oscar Sea Creature's Dog Toy