Winter time is here, it’s cold outside, and if your furry family members are anything like mine, they are a bit reluctant when it comes to going outside.
Well, Nola is, especially since she has almost no body fat. Margeaux does a little better because she has a little extra “junk in the trunk.” We affectionately refer to her as Extra Cargo Margeaux (just more of her to love!).
With temperatures often being too low to take them to the park and let them run and play (a wind chill of nine degrees just doesn’t sound safe to me), and with my own human unwillingness to be outside for more than the time it takes me to walk to the car or subway station, we are left with two dogs with a serious case of cabin fever (or shoebox-sized apartment fever, in this case).
Cabin/apartment/whatever-small-space fever does not suit dogs very well, particularly mine.
See Exhibit A: My wedding shoes.
I’d show you a pic of the other one, but it was chewed to smithereens.
Now, this type of destruction is rare, especially since our dogs are no longer puppies, but I still keep the shoe on our entertainment center as a constant reminder of the raw power of an unstimulated dog.
Of course, you don’t have to go spend a bunch of money on dog toys (though those are good too — try Dollar Tree and Rite Aid for $1-3 toys). Dog toys can be made from many common household items! You may remember my first post of this nature from a few months ago where we made a dog toy out of a plastic water bottle.
Today’s toy is also free and made from a material that you would otherwise trash or recycle: empty toilet paper rolls!
The method is super fast, easy, and — one more time, y’all — it’s free!
First take an empty toilet paper roll.
Fold it in at one end with your hands, making a triangle shape.
Fill with a treat(s) and close the other end in the same fashion.
Present to your dog and watch them work it out!
As with the plastic bottle dog toy, some dogs may struggle with it at first; others may open it immediately and find the treat.
If your dog is like Margeaux, she’ll use her paws and teeth to actually open the end of the toilet paper roll and daintily remove the treat (and then not so daintily eat it).
If your dog is like Nola, she’ll eviscerate the toilet paper roll, as well as the food inside, then she’ll try to eat the cardboard as well.
Yeah, we have to keep an eye on her.
While I’ve read from many sources that this kind of cardboard is relatively harmless if ingested, it’s always best to avoid it, so if you have a more Nola kind of dog, just throw away the rest when he or she is done with the actual edible components. Hooray! It’s a good brain workout for dogs, a confidence booster (once they actually succeed in removing the treat, that is), and definitely helps to expend a little bottled up energy And it costs zero dollars (also known as free. Hope your dogs enjoy it as much as mine do!
And in case you hadn’t gotten enough pictures of my dogs…