June 24 is National Bring Your Dog to Work Day and if your office is one of the many now allowing dogs at work, it’s time to start thinking about which toys to bring in for your four-legged friend.
Even if your dog is allowed to mingle with fellow canines and get all the pets from your coworkers, they still need to stay stimulated during their downtime. Whether it’s a comfort toy, dispensing toy, or interactive toy, there are a variety of options to keep your office dog calm and amused during their time with you at work.
Here are our recommendations for the best toys to keep pets in the workplace occupied while you take care of business!
Unstuffed Plush Toys
Office pets may feel more secure in this new environment if they have their favorite fluffy toy at their side. The only downside is that other pups might see your dog’s favorite toy as a tasty treat to tear apart. Good news: filling-free plush toys are a great way to keep your dog happy and preserve their prized playthings.
Avoid Squeaky Toys
Dogs LOVE squeaky toys. They can even happily listen to their toys squeak for hours. However, they're not appropriate for a work environment.
We recommend noise-free tactile toys (like rubber balls) to keep your pup entertained and your co-workers sane.
Keep the Bones at Home
There’s nothing tastier than a nice juicy bone to a dog. But even if your dog likes to gnaw their snack calmly, other dogs may want to join in on the tastiness. Resource guarding can still happen between dogs even if they have not shown that behavior with humans.
Ever wondered how your dog can sniff out a snack from several rooms away or why they stop and sniff every few feet when out for a walk? Turns out, their nose is at least 100,000 times more sensitive than a human’s, which means it’s always on high alert for tasty treats!
Try using a snuffle mat if you want to give your dog something to sniff out around the office (aside from the overcooked fish in the breakroom microwave). Snuffle mats encourage dogs to use their natural foraging instinct to sniff out new smells. If you want to make your own snuffle mat, weave or sow pieces of fabric together until they make a frilled blanket. Then, you can hide treats or other goodies between the strips of fabric for your pup to track down.
A Tether Toy with Ground Suction
Does your dog love the thrill of tug-of-war, but lack the space in your cubicle? A tethered toy might be a good fit.
With one end stuck to the ground, your dog can go all in on the action without bumping into neighboring desks. Your pup will love the challenge of trying to rip this tethered toy from the ground. If they’re lucky enough to do it and you need to up the ante, try finding a toy with extra strong suction, so your pup can keep the game going even longer.
Picking the Best Toy
Did you know there have even been studies done to learn why dogs prefer certain toys over others? Researchers think dogs look at their toys like wolves see their prey, which is strikingly similar to the toys we described (noisy, smells like food, encourages a chase).
So, if you’re still looking for the perfect toy, getting something with at least one of these characteristics might do the trick. Even old toys can be made attractive again if you change their scent by rolling them in the grass.
No matter which toy you chose, remember to make sure it is not small enough to be swallowed and doesn’t contain any materials that can accidentally be choked on. Your dog may have no interest in trying to swallow their toy whole, but that doesn’t mean that your coworker’s Labrador won’t give it a try.
Good luck taking your dog to work today from everyone at AKC Pet Insurance!
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