Zoom & Zoomies: Top Toys to Keep Your Dog Busy While You Work
Since covid hit more than a year ago, more people have been working from home. Even with restrictions of the pandemic dying down, many people will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future. Naturally, our dogs think this is the best thing that could ever happen! But…it’s important they (and we!) understand that us being home doesn’t mean we are there to provide constant entertainment. So, what can we do to tame the zoomies while we have our Zoom meetings? We’ve compiled a few of our favorite ideas for picking their brain while you WFH!
Stuffed Kongs They don’t get popular for no reason! Kongs are the ultimate dog toy that please the vast majority of dogs. These cylindrical toys are made out of thick rubber and have a hole in the center that can be stuffed with all manner of yummy snacks—such as peanut butter, dog EZ cheese, yogurt, and a number of recipes you can find online. If frozen, Kongs can last even longer! Most dogs will settle easily licking and chewing on this for up to an hour or more. Make note that the colors denote how hard the rubber is to chew, so get the proper color for your dog’s chewing level.
iFetch Do you have a dog who spends hours bringing you a toy and then staring at it or barking until you throw it? The iFetch may just be their new best friend. This is an interactive toy where you dog can play fetch all by themselves. We especially love it for keeping your active dog busy without the need for a big yard. With a little instruction and training, your dog can load the ball into the iFetch machine, and then it will shoot the ball out for the dog to chase. Set it up in a hallway and you’re free to get some work done for a good while!
Trixie Mad Scientist Puzzle Toy This is a fun puzzle game with treats where your dog can bat around the plastic vials on a post with their paws or snout until treats fall out. You can adjust levels and there are a few different styles that offer varying levels of difficulty. On a budget and feeling crafty? You can even make a similar one yourself with water bottles and pieces of wood. (PS - cats love this one too!) More info on the Trixie Mad Scientist Puzzle Toy
Furbo Are you actually going back to the office, or just prefer to keep an eye on and treat your pup from another room in the house? Look no further than the Furbo! This combination camera and treat machine is a must-have for pet-parents who want to be there for their pet when they’re not there. You can treat your dog at random times from afar through an app, as well as watch and listen in on your pup, and speak to them live. This is also a device often recommended for dogs (or pet parents!) with separation anxiety. More info on Furbo
Nosework Does your dog always have their nose to the ground looking for something interesting? Then nosework might be for you. Many beginner nosework kits are sold and after reading an instruction book and teaching your dog the basics, you can regularly set up “hunts” for them to find at the end of a scent trail you have set up for them. Did someone say mini detective in the making? This can also be set up when you plan to be out of the house and work as a great activity for your pup to keep busy whether you’re home or not. More info on Nosework Kits
Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Dogs love to chase and catch things that move and make funny noises. This toy does both! Turn the switch on this fuzzy ball on and it begins to wiggle, shake, and make noise, making your dog explode with excitement and prey drive chasing, grabbing and playing with it. Though this one is a bit noisy — you may not want it on during that important staff meeting!
iDig Do you have a pup who wants nothing more than to dig holes? One who spends lots of time “fluffing” blankets or the couch? The iDig is a toy built just for that (and yes, it's a little brother of the iFetch). Hide toys or snacks in the treat pockets of the device and then let your dog go to town digging and exploring to find them. This allows a great outlet for the natural but otherwise destructive behavior of digging, and uses physical and mental energy. Just always use this one under some level of supervision—as an overly enthusiastic pup may tear it up. More info on the iDig
All of these toys offer great fun and activities to occupy your pup’s time so you can get some work done, relax, or keep them busy while you’re out of the house. These are really useful tools for apartment dogs as well, since it offers them mental stimulation and some physical exercise that does not require a lot of space. Being an apartment dog doesn’t mean they have to be a cooped up dog!