Recycled Fun

I never thought I would have lived through a pandemic!

With all the time spent at home, my partner and I decided it would be an ideal time to introduce a puppy to our family. We justified the decision as our 5-year-old dog, Bob, seemed lonely (but I’m sure that was just an excuse).

We introduced Hugo, the 9-week-old Staghound to Bob (our Greyhound cross) and it was love at first sight! They have been inseparable ever since, however with the lockdown and cool change in weather the duo were restricted to the back yard.

As a consequence of boredom, Hugo took a shine to gardening, and dragging his muddy little paws through the house.

A happy puppy is a tired puppy, and a tired puppy also means my garden has time to recuperate. With the restrictions in going out that were in place, I found myself thinking of ways to keep the dogs busy with everyday things I could find around the house, leading me to the recycling bin! I present recycled doggy distraction ideas:

  1. The empty plastic milk/soft drink container

This has been my go treat container, as the 1L or 2L plastic is sturdy and has a convenient screw top to drop in treats. Simply part fill the container with some of your dog’s favourite small treats (I like to mix some cubes of prime roll, dry kibble, and carrot) that’s slightly smaller than the bottle opening. The container will compress as they chew and throw it around, making the last few treats extra worth working for the reward (and will keep them entertained for ages!). You may need to help them with the last few or cut a second opening in the side of the bottle. Make sure to remove plastic lids and rings to prevent your dog ingesting these.

  1. Cardboard boxes, paper bags, egg cartons & empty toilet rolls

Whilst this is similar to the bottle idea, introducing a variety of recyclable materials will give the dogs different puzzles to solve, especially when placed inside a larger puzzle bag. Fill paper bags & empty cartons with treats, scrunch and close, and place them in a slightly larger bag or bed. Fold the bottom of an empty toilet roll, put some treats in the fold in the top, place it in the box also. Finally, fold the edges of the box (over and underlapping if you want it to be a real challenge), scrunch the bag closed, and present to your dog!

  1. Empty Peanut Butter and Vegemite containers
This is the easiest and most rewarding treat of all – an empty plastic peanut butter or vegemite jar. When you’ve finished with your breakfast and the plastic jar is essentially empty, remove the lid and let your dog lick the remnants. Make sure there is no xylitol in the peanut butter ingredients!

Even though restrictions have eased, this is still a great idea of how you can use everyday items to keep your dogs busy. Always supervise your dog’s when giving them recycled toys and remove any chewed parts to discarded immediately! Happy recycling!

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