DOG TREATS AND TOYS
Unlike horses that can handle the occasional extra calories from treats, many dogs need to be kept to a minimum on those store bought extra calories. Keep fattening treats for special occasions only. Because every dog is different, you will have to come up with things that he likes without adding to many calories. Many dogs enjoy munching on a piece of raw carrot, once again though, if it is a dog who may bolt down the treat, chop it up to prevent choke. Some dogs may enjoy a few raw peas or beans or even a bite of an apple.Stay away from acidic foods such as tomatoes and oranges though. Most bake at home recipes for dog treats are healthy only if given in moderation or we are talking to many additional calories again. Rawhide chew sticks or pieces that are easy for the dog to crunch and devour should also be given in moderation to prevent problems. Large sized BEEF bones are safe for dogs providing they are round leg bones, not flat ones. If the dog swallows the chips from a round bone, it causes far less intestinal problems than the sharp splinters they swallow from flat bones.
But you can go all out on the toys. Nylon bones, even rawhide bones for them to chew on are okay, just throw out the last of it once it has been gnawed down to just a small piece. Again to prevent choke. Stuffed toys, handy dandy rope toys, balls, millions of dog toys out there.
But what if you are like me and don't want to pay the high prices for these toys? With as many dogs as I have, I simply can't afford them. But my dogs still need toys? So here is what I do. I visit second hand stores. They have bins full of stuffed children's toys for next to nothing in price. I choose only toys that are safe for children 3 years and under. WHY? Because if they are guaranteed safe for toddlers who might chew on them, pluck off their parts and swallow them, then they are safe for my dogs. If they are made from safe materials, even stuffed with kid safe material, then they are safe for the dogs too. Plus they are washable.
I put a few rocks into small pop bottles, make sure the cap is on tight and Bingo, hours of fun for them. Washable and throw out once chewed up to much. Pieces of old cotton rope with a knot tied in them make for great fun and didn't cost a fortune either. Socks. All my friends give me their old socks. I stuff some inside one and tie a knot in the end. Super toy and washable.
Or I may knot several together. To you and me it looks like a tangled mess of socks. To the dogs it looks just as good as any expensive, store bought toy. Pieces of Poplar tree branches keep them entertained for hours. My dogs probably have more toys than most dogs and never realize they didn't cost any money.