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May 13, 2021

Welcome to our latest blog...and she's a LONG one...we're going to explain some of the different sorts of toys available and list our favourites of course! When looking at dog toys, there is SO much variety...getting the right one can be tricky!

Treat Dispenser

What are the Benefits of Food Dispensing Toys for Dogs.

Food-dispensing toys can help reduce excessively fast eating, manage high-energy consumption, and build mental skills. You'll also find that the toys are excellent boredom-busters and can redirect your pup's bad behavior. Dogs were designed to hunt and scavenge and to work for their food—not have it delivered for free in a bowl, and these kind of toys are some of the most important tools to help our dogs adapt to a largely sedentary modern lifestyle.

Our pick? The Magnum Can Toy!

What are some ways that treat dispensing toys can help dogs.

- Satisfy evolutionary drives to chase, chew, and hunt for food, without destroying your home or furniture! No one wants that, right? Ha!

- Soothe anxious or over-excited dogs by teaching them that self-control and problem solving is more rewarding that frantic energy.

- Prevent or reduce separation anxiety by giving your dog something else to think about while you are out of the house.

- Entertainment during crate or downtime. Reduces the stress of confinement and boredom by giving your dog something to focus on and stimulates the brain to releases feel good endorphins through the chewing action which decreases anxiety and stress while promoting well-being and relaxation.

- Slow down fast eaters. Rapid eating can lead to serious health problems such as bloat. These toys slow down the eating process and entertain at the same time.   

Floating Toys

Is swimming good for dogs?

Just as for humans, swimming has many benefits for dogs. Swimming is excellent exercise because it uses all the muscles in the body without straining the joints. For this reason it is an ideal activity for dogs of all ages, and is especially recommended for growing large-sized puppies and as rehabilitation therapy for animals who have suffered trauma injuries or have problems with their joints. It’s also great exercise for overweight dogs.

What makes for a good dog toy for fetching in water?

Water toys for dogs are specifically designed for play and fun in the water with our four-legged friends. These toys are made with materials that float, they can withstand being bitten without puncturing (and sinking) and they are very visible.  

What makes SodaPup floating toys better than the rest?

SodaPup floating toys are more durable than most other dog floating toys. This is because many other brands use foam materials which aren’t as durable as non-foam materials. SodaPup uses durable natural rubber on the outside of the toy and foam materials on the inside to give the toy floatation. Our pick? The Training Dummy! It's a customer fav, it floats AND squeaks!

Flyers 

Why choose a soft rubber flyer over a hard plastic rubber flyer?

There are two types of discs available on the market: rigid (hard) and flexible (soft). Both are acceptable choices, and each have their strengths and weaknesses. 

Hard discs are the primary type used by serious aficionados.  The main issue with hard flyers is that they can hurt your dog and possibly break their teeth. This may be especially problematic for small dogs. Hard flying disks can also be more difficult for your dog to grab when lying flat on the ground.  Hard discs are also more easily destroyed by power chewers. 

Soft Frisbees, like the SodaPup bottle top flyers, flex if you bend them. Our flyers are heavy enough to fly well and durable enough to take some serious abuse from your dog catching it.  More importantly, a soft rubber disc has very little chance of hurting your dog because the material is soft and pliable.  Flexible rubber discs are also easier for dogs to pick up off the ground. 

What are other important characteristics of flyers for dogs?

Generally speaking, the heavier of two otherwise identical discs will fly farther and straighter. However, the heavier disc will also be harder to catch. The optimal frisbee is heavy enough to fly far but not so heavy that it is hard for your dog to catch. 

Good dog discs are easy to throw and fly well. If you aren’t able to throw the toy well, your dog will struggle to learn to catch it. A good catch requires a good throw! iii. The best throwing discs are designed so that your dog can grip them easily. SodaPup flyers are designed specifically so that dogs can pick them up more easily than a standard Frisbee. This is done by creating a tall edge that has a slight undercut, creating a spot for the dog to get ahold of the flyer.

Throwing discs must be durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of frequent use with your dog. Cheap, low-quality discs will likely fall apart before you can get good value from them. SodaPup’s rubber flyers are designed to take a beating.  Our pick? The  Magnum flyer!It's the most durable option in our product line. 

Licking Mats

What Are Lick Mats?

Lick mats are a type of enrichment toy for dogs and cats.  These mats come in various shapes and sizes.  You apply a dog-friendly snack, like doggy peanut butter, soft banana, or yogurt to the mat to encourage your dog to lick it up.

Are Lick Mats good for my dog?

Licking has many benefits for your dog. Food-motivated dogs will become determined to lick up the last bit of treat from the mat.  The repetitive licking provides a calming effect that is generally soothing to dogs and can also be helpful to distract pets from anxiety-inducing situations, such as thunderstorms and fireworks. 

Lick mats can also stave off boredom by keeping your pets busy and entertained for extended periods of time.

Lick mats can help you provide treats to your dog with out over-feeding.  Since Lick Mats can take a long time for a dog to clean, you are delivering a lot of entertainment without a lot of calories.

Lick mats can help promote fresh breath and healthy teeth and gums.

Lick mats create repetitive licking and this in turn stimulates saliva to aid digestive health.

The eMat is 100% made in the USA and is certified non-toxic! That's our pick!

How can I extend the time it takes for my dog to lick out the treats in the lick mat?

SodaPup emats are designed with deeper and more complex patterns in the mat which makes them more difficult for your dog to get the treats. This extends the licking time.

You can extend the licking time by preparing a mat and then sticking it in the freezer.  This is an especially good method on a hot summer day since dogs cool themselves through their tongues.

Finally, you can use ingredients that are “stickier”.  For instance peanut butter is especially sticky and more challenging for dogs to lick out of a SodaPup emat.

What foods can I put on my dog’s lick mat?

The creative possibilities are endless in terms of what you can put on your dogs lick mat!  Here are a few suggestions to get you started: peanut butter, cream cheese, bananas, sweet potato, honey, natural yoghurt, frozen vegetables, canned pet food, crushed treats moistened with water.

We seriously recommend adding healthy toppers to your eMats - they're the perfect consistency to mix with soft foods like yoghurt (our personal fav!). Meal Toppers add nutrition, texture, flavour and colour!

Retrieving Toys

What should I look for when selecting a retrieving or fetch toy for my dog?

When choosing a toy for your dog to fetch, make sure it's safe, durable, and fun for your dog! The best fetch toys are made from easily washable and non-toxic materials like natural rubber or TPE. There is no oversight in the dog toy manufacturing industry, and even buying a toy made in the United States doesn't guarantee a non-toxic toy so do your research before buying.  All SodaPup dog toys are made in the USA from FDA compliant materials that are safe for your dog.

Do dogs enjoy playing fetch?

For most pooches...it's a HECK YES! Fetch Makes most dogs feel good.  When you play fetch with your dog and you notice how much they're enjoying themselves, that's because they're able to show off their ingrained capabilities. We're simply letting our dogs do what they do best when we play fetch.

Do dogs naturally play fetch?

While some dogs love to play fetch, and for dogs like retrievers the game comes very naturally, other dogs may find the idea of fetch foreign. Some dogs don't have much interest in toys or aren't naturally inclined to bring toys back after being thrown.

Why do dogs love to fetch balls?

The ball is an item dogs love specifically because they can chase it well, it can fit in their mouth easily, they can spot it, and it is fast. ... Playing fetch makes your dog feel good. When they chase the ball and retrieve it, this is a deed accomplished and their body knows it. This is how they are as dogs.

Our pick for fetch & retrieval? EASILY the Crazy Bounce- it's the most popular toy in the whole range!

Reward Toys

What is a reward toy?

K9 police dogs and canine athletes are often rewarded with a game of tug. K9 handlers sometimes reward a dog with tug-of-war after the dog completes a certain number of searches, and in sports such as flyball, dogs will enjoy a brief tug game as a reward.

Reward toys are generally rubber balls or other rubber toys with a rope connected.  They are designed to be small enough to fit into a cargo pocket so that it can be carried by working dog handlers like law enforcement and military K9 handlers.  They are different from other types of tug toys because they are more compact so that they can be carried at all times.

Does playing Tug of War come naturally to dogs?

Many dogs love to play tug of war; it's a healthy display of their predatory nature. Tug of war provides great mental and physical exercise for your dog. It is also a wonderful way to reinforce the human-canine bond. ... As long as your dog is properly trained, you should have no qualms about playing this game together.  • Are there benefits to playing tug-of-war with dogs?

Tug-of-war is an enjoyable game for the dog, and playing it strengthens the bond between the owner and dog. Tug games can build confidence and help the dog use up excess energy. Games such as tug-of-war provide mental and physical stimulation, and they can be used to teach a dog self-control.

Is tug-of-war a good idea for dogs that may already be aggressive or have resource guarding tendencies? i. While tug-of-war is fun, and there can be many benefits related to tug games, as with anything else, there are some situations in which tug-of-war may not be the best activity for a dog. Dogs that have a history of aggression (toward animals or humans) can often take tug games too seriously. In those cases, there are better options for games. Dogs that are high-arousal dogs that can’t settle down and tend to become over stimulated are also not the best candidates for tug games.

How can dog owners play tug-of-war in a healthy, safe way? i. There are several steps to initiating tug-of-war with your dog in a safe way. To begin, the tug game should be initiated by you, and throughout the game, keep in mind that you are in control. This means if the dog appears to be over stimulated, obsessed, or is overly aggressive about grabbing the toy, you should take charge and end the game. In tug-of-war, the dog should always be well trained and under control enough that he will follow your command to release the toy. Keep in mind that some dogs, when happily playing tug-of-war, will begin to play-growl. As long as the dog’s tail is wagging, and it is clear that he is playing, the game can continue. If you sense that the dog is so intense that he won’t release the toy, it’s time for a break. • Are there any types of toys you specifically recommend for games of tug? Any toys you would discourage dog owners from using?

Keep in mind that when playing tug-of-war you want to protect the dog’s mouth and teeth. This means you should not use anything hard or with sharp edges (such as a big stick) when playing tug. Toys for tug games should be soft. Sodapup offers an array of all rubber tug toys as well as rubber toys with ropes attached for tugging.  These are good, safe options that won’t hurt your dog.  • Should I let my dog “win” when we play tug of war?

One of the most important things to know about tug-of-war is to always let the dog win. Also, if you are playing tug with a puppy, keep in mind that his jaws are not fully matured, and he still has baby teeth. You should only do very gentle pulling if any at any; leave this up to the puppy and keep the game short.  

Tug Toys

Does playing Tug of War come naturally to dogs?

Many dogs love to play tug of war; it's a healthy display of their predatory nature. Tug of war provides great mental and physical exercise for your dog. It is also a wonderful way to reinforce the human-canine bond. ... As long as your dog is properly trained, you should have no qualms about playing this game together.  • Are there benefits to playing tug-of-war with dogs?

Tug-of-war is an enjoyable game for the dog, and playing it strengthens the bond between the owner and dog. Tug games can build confidence and help the dog use up excess energy. Games such as tug-of-war provide mental and physical stimulation, and they can be used to teach a dog self-control. 

Is tug-of-war a good idea for dogs that may already be aggressive or have resource guarding tendencies?

While tug-of-war is fun, and there can be many benefits related to tug games, as with anything else, there are some situations in which tug-of-war may not be the best activity for a dog. Dogs that have a history of aggression (toward animals or humans) can often take tug games too seriously. In those cases, there are better options for games. Dogs that are high-arousal dogs that can’t settle down and tend to become over stimulated are also not the best candidates for tug games.

Our pick? The Magnum Grenade! It's the best of tug and chew!

How can dog owners play tug-of-war in a healthy, safe way?

There are several steps to initiating tug-of-war with your dog in a safe way. To begin, the tug game should be initiated by you, and throughout the game, keep in mind that you are in control. This means if the dog appears to be over stimulated, obsessed, or is overly aggressive about grabbing the toy, you should take charge and end the game. In tug-of-war, the dog should always be well trained and under control enough that he will follow your command to release the toy. Keep in mind that some dogs, when happily playing tug-of-war, will begin to play-growl. As long as the dog’s tail is wagging, and it is clear that he is playing, the game can continue. If you sense that the dog is so intense that he won’t release the toy, it’s time for a break.

Are there any types of toys you specifically recommend for games of tug? Any toys you would discourage dog owners from using?

Keep in mind that when playing tug-of-war you want to protect the dog’s mouth and teeth. This means you should not use anything hard or with sharp edges (such as a big stick) when playing tug. Toys for tug games should be soft. Sodapup offers an array of all rubber tug toys as well as rubber toys with ropes attached for tugging.  These are good, safe options that won’t hurt your dog.

Should I let my dog “win” when we play tug of war?

One of the most important things to know about tug-of-war is to always let the dog win. Also, if you are playing tug with a puppy, keep in mind that his jaws are not fully matured, and he still has baby teeth. You should only do very gentle pulling if any at any; leave this up to the puppy and keep the game short.


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