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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

As April and National Canine Fitness Month is coming to an end, I thought I would give you some canine fitness tips and ideas to keep your dog active all year long!

First, the most important thing with canine fitness is maintaining a consistent routine! It is not only good for our dogs, but for us too. So, you might ask, what does consistent look like? Well, I think that it is different for everyone. Getting a daily exercise in might be almost impossible because of our busy lives, but it is recommended that our four-legged companions get 3 – 4 workouts per week.

Here are some fitness activities to try out:

Get Walking!  The most obvious and easiest exercise for most.  The fresh air is always good for you and your dog! Check out our Weekly Walks that start on May 3, 2018 at Two Bostons, Downtown Naperville!

Active Play. Throw a ball, Frisbee, or another fetch toy in a safe environment.  Run or jog with your pet to retrieve it to get some exercise yourself!

Hide and Seek. Place your pet’s daily allowance of treats behind doors, under bowls and chairs or around the yard for them to run and find.

Yoga! While doing Yoga, incorporate some of your pet’s obedience skills. When you go into cobra, ask your dog to lie down, when you move into downward dog, have him sit.

Obstacle Courses. Creating an obstacle course inside or outside with a small amount of equipment, like using cones, chairs, pool noodles will create a fun workout for both you and your dog.

Shadows. Many of our dogs are our shadows, following us around everywhere we go. Take advantage and encourage them to participate when you put on a cardio or yoga video. When you shuffle across the room, grab a toy and lure them to do the same.

The key is to make movement fun for both of you, to develop a healthier lifestyle and bond with your four-legged family members!

 

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As pet owners, we always want to find great ways to entertain our furry friends. We’ve talked about interactive games and fun puzzle toys in past blogs as ideal winter boredom or busy-day alternatives – but these same options are also a perfect choice during the “dog days” of summer! Interactive games and puzzle toys capture interest and exercise curious minds any time of year. Part of the fun is that they incorporate your pet’s favorite food or treat in a way that challenges them to keep playing.

Food is a prime motivator for my dogs. It encourages them to play with a toy and then play some more, putting in the extra effort to figure out how it works. They love pushing, biting, rolling, and experimenting with different strategies – trying to find the fastest, most efficient way to get at that food! Then they return to the toy again and again, because you never know when there might be a few more yummy rewards in there, just waiting to be found.

As we’ve mentioned before, many interactive games and puzzle toys can be used for entertainment while you’re busy doing other things. Knowing our pups are productively engaged while we’re otherwise occupied gives many of us pet parents extra peace of mind. It also makes the time pass more quickly for our pets – and that means less chance of destructive behavior!

Now your pet is not going to love every single interactive game or puzzle toy out there. So luckily, our Two Bostons stores carry a great variety of options to suit pets of all shapes, sizes, and personalities. Some of these products are durable plastic puzzle games, including several excellent options from Nina Ottosson. These include the Dog Tornado (my dogs’ special favorite), the Dog Twister, Dog Magic, and Dog Treat Maze. We also carry a range of plush puzzle games. These include Kyjen’s squeaky Hide-A-Squirrel, Hide-A-Bird, and Hide-A-Bee, which let your pet hunt for a fuzzy friend. Last but not least are treat balls, which come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Popular customer picks include the Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball and the IQ Treat Ball by Ourpets. Don’t forget that many puzzle toys go all the way from a beginner to an advanced level. This is a big bonus, because it means your pet can stay engaged with the same toy over time — even as they master each new level. Ask anyone on our Team for suggestions.

 

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What’s the best thing about a puzzle toy party? Technically, you only need ONE hors d’oeuvre because those hungry pups just keep trying … and trying … and trying to get at the treat!

 

Like I said earlier, I use the Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado with my three dogs (see pics above) and they love it! The Tornado looks like a giant blue bone with four spinning layers. Inside each layer, there are little pockets to put treats, food, peanut butter, even frozen tidbits (the toy is freezer-safe). To get to the yummy reward, dogs have to turn the layers of the bone. I especially love this toy because my pups don’t usually find all the rewards right away. This keeps them highly entertained as they keep trying to figure out how to get those last few morsels! I would say the Tornado is considered a beginner interactive game, and it’s a great starter option if your dog has never tried this kind of toy before.

Remember that you should never give your pup or kitty a new toy for the first time without supervision. Always watch to see how they react, and if there are parts they might try to gnaw, claw, or pull off. Also, make sure there are no loose pieces that could be chewed apart or swallowed when you’re out of the room.

Stop by any of our locations today, and bring along your furry friend! We’ll be happy to introduce you to our favorite interactive toys, and suggest a few options that are perfect for your pet.