Every dog loves to gnaw on things, so it's a good idea to provide your dog with a variety of chewy objects with which he can spend his day. Rawhide chew bones are a popular choice, but larger dogs can go through them quickly, eating them like beef jerky. Some commercial pet supply companies make almost indestructible chew toys that dogs love to chase and gnaw on, making them a great choice for larger pets who like to lay in the shade and chew away the afternoon. Try giving your dog a thick knotted rope with fringe on the ends. Not only will he have a great chew toy, you'll also have the means for a great game of tug-of-war indoors and out.
Things to Throw
Dogs love to chase anything we throw for them, and many will go on chasing thrown objects for hours if you have the energy to keep throwing. Treat your dog to a collection of tough balls for him to chase. Make sure they're safe for animals and made of a material that doesn't easily break into pieces. For a more talented dog, buy a special dog throwing disk. While many dogs are a whiz at catching any Frisbee ever thrown, there are special types of disks made just for dogs that have a softer edge that is easier on the mouth. For hunting dogs, try one of the newer "stuffed" animals with no stuffing. These rabbits, ducks and other small animals look very realistic, but don't have the stuffing inside that many dogs are prone to spread all over the house.
While dogs can survive sleeping on the ground and eating out of a metal bowl on the floor, it's the little extra touches you give them that lets your pets know they are loved. Give your dog a special dog bed filled with cedar chips to repel fleas and covered in a soft, fleecy fabric. He'll cuddle up on the cushion every night and never give a thought to jumping on your bed ever again. If you have a larger dog, consider buying food and water dishes that come on a stand. Older dogs will especially appreciate this gesture, as they may have arthritic joints and have a hard time bending down to the floor to get their food and water. Find a soft fleece blanket and designate it as the dog's blanket. Like small children, many dogs get attached to a soft and small blanket, dragging it around the house and always making sure it's close by at night.
Your dog may just be a pet to the outside world, but he's a member of the family to you and your loved ones. Show him how you feel by treating him to a gift on holidays and special occasions.