Having a big yard provides the space for your dog to run and play, but even the biggest yard can be boring if your pooch doesn’t have toys or people to play with. Providing outdoor play toys and activities will keep your pooch entertained and avoid destructive behavior.
Your dog is a social animal and loves spending time with you. Having toys in the yard that allow for interactive play allows you and your pooch to spend quality time together. Tennis balls and flying discs make great fetch toys for dogs that enjoy the game. If your pooch finds fetch boring or doesn’t like bringing the ball back, consider a doggie flirt pole. This is similar to the cat toys that have a small ball on the end of a rope. Attach a small toy, tennis ball or even an old sock to the end of a nylon rope. Attach the other end to a wooden pole. Move the pole up and down and back and forth to make the toy fly in the air for your dog to chase and try to catch.
Your local pet store carries hard rubber treats, balls or plastic cubes designed to create a game or puzzle for your dog. Their reward for playing with the toy or figuring out the puzzle is a tasty treat you stuff inside the toy. Things like peanut better, moist dog food or even his favorite kibble make these outdoor toys a favorite for even the fussiest pooches. Just remember not to leave them outside when your pooch comes in because the food inside may be a favorite of pests, like ants, as well.
In the hot summer months, water toys provide entertainment as well as relief from the heat. Fill a small kiddie pool in the backyard with a few inches of water and your pooch has a place to take a dip. For additional fun, add a handful of ice cubes to the pool for your dog to try to catch. For interactive play, grab that hose and have your dog try to catch the water. An automatic sprinkler is another idea for water fun and dogs love it just as much as kids do.
If your pooch loves digging up things, consider giving him his own digging hole. This will keep your flower garden safe and give him a place to dig. Use a small kiddie pool filled with sand. Before letting your pooch outside for playtime, take some of his favorite toys or treats and bury them in the sand. This will allow him to dig in his area and reward him with the treats he really wants. A good dog bone is much tastier than flower roots after all.
Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.