Perhaps you’re sitting at your desk trying to work or if you’re like me, trying to write an academic paper. I’d like to put an emphasis on trying because someone I love very much who is covered in fur doesn’t seem to understand mommy will fail if she doesn’t finish this. It’s already hard enough to work when you’d rather be doing something a lot more let’s say, more engaging. It’s even more excruciating when your canine best friend doesn’t get the hint. Just the sooner they leave you alone though, the quicker you can get this done! They don’t understand that though, so the next best option is a distraction. Some dogs are easy, a bone will keep them occupied for hours, but other dogs need a little more push. So, here are some toys to keep dogs busy. Come on, dang, get your time back!

brown and white whippet running with stick in mouth outside
Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

A Chewing Dog is a Busy Dog

As I said, some dogs really love these. Hardy chew toys can keep a dog busy for hours as they crunch along. Chews also come in different shapes, sizes, flavors, and kinds. There is the traditional rawhide chew from the hide of a cow (not surprising considering the name) and alternative chews. Alternative chews are antlers, raw animal bone, venison ears, frozen carrots, sweet potato chews, Himalayan chews, and fish skin. Unfortunately, not all dogs, like mine, are overly enthusiastic about chewies. Simply, he picks his chewy up about once a week, and it ignores it the other 6 days.

KONG red bone toy with blue background
Photo by Chris Jarvis on Unsplash

Is there Anything Better…

… then a dog with peanut butter stuck at the roof of its mouth? Peanut butter is classic and I know the saying says “goes together like peanut butter and jelly” but for dogs its peanut butter and a KONG, or KONG like products. Anything you can wiggle some peanut butter in will keep your dog busy. There are more complicated ones that can have your dog really building up a sweat for that sweet sticky goodness. If you’d like something a bit more simple, they also make busy mats that you can put anything spreadable on and watch them go to town.

Quick tip:  Always feed your dog natural peanut butter as many other peanut brands’ contain xylitol. Xylitol is an artitifial sweetner and is poisonious to dogs.

kiwi and raspberry frozen pops
via Pixabay

Ice Ice Baby aka Busy Toys for Dogs

Thanks for the suggestion Vanilla Ice. Sometimes we forget the easiest treats are the ones we can make. Feeding your canine friend a frozen treat can make a wet mess on the floor, but it’ll be a wet mess left by one hardworking dog. A lot of dogs enjoy ice cubs all by themselves, so throw in an unattainable attainable snack.

Now Stop Collaborate and Listen

The best part about these last two is that they can be combined! Take your busy mat, spread some peanut butter on it, and pop it in the freezer for a while. When at the perfect frozen temperature, take it out, it’ll last even longer. Two busy dog toys combined for harder to please dogs.

Old red tin with black and white Boston terrier on front that says Dog Biscuits
Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash

Trying to Get in the Cookie Jar

Pet companies make toys that come in odd shapes and sizes where an owner can insert an unremovable treat. A dog must chewy in a distinct way to remove or even get a taste of what they desire with these products. Some are shaped like balls, stumps, and others like domes. It’s kind of like trying to get your hand in a jar it won’t fit in. So you have to wiggle your fingers and maneuver your way to those cookies. Except instead of hands, dogs have mouths.

Chocolate brown mastiff with silver glasses on its face
Photo by William Moreland on Unsplash

Even Doggy Einstein Needs Toys

What’s your dog’s IQ? There isn’t a test for that, but IQ toys can help with that. IQ toys are those that take a little more brainpower to attain a reward. Some are balls or bobs filled with goodies where your canine buddy has to roll it just right to get a snack. They’ll have to use their intelligence to continue this yummy trend and this could, hopefully, take them hours. These kinds of toys are excellent to keep dogs busy and exhaust their mind. A tired dog is a happy dog.

up close image of colorful jigsaw puzzle pieces
Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash

Toys for Interactive Dogs

Some interactive toys could be seen in the same vein as IQ toys, but they are oftentimes puzzles. These puzzles have sliders that you hide treats under or in. Dogs use their snouts to find their reward and do their best to remove the pesky obstacle in front of it. Alas, the slider eventually moves and they have their treat! Regrettably, once a dog has figured their puzzle out a few times, the game may become moot. A silver lining though is that companies usually release three to four different levels of the puzzle toys for savvy dogs.

brown and black brindle dog looking at camera with stuffed reindeer in mouth
Photo by Madalyn Cox on Unsplash

Hidden Toys Dogs Will Love

If your pooch is into stuff animals, there are busy toys for them. Hide and seek toys are plush toys with pockets and holes that hide even smaller plush toys inside. Pups can discover all of the different toys hidden, along with their squeakiness (so don’t put these in the room with you). These products come in several variations and sizes for every unique kind of dog.

brown and tan dog holding dog toy in mouth
via Pixabay

So You’ve Made It

Hopefully, you got to the end of this article without many interruptions. Just tell Buster you’re looking at birthday gifts for him and he shouldn’t be so nosy. Maybe next time, now that you have the information and tools, you can just throw him a chewie or layout a favorite interactive toy for him and get him off your back. Now that you know some good toys to keep dogs busy, go to that pet store or hit that check out button and get your time back from your favorite little/big gremlin!