Kora is a very discriminating Hellpuppy, and her tastes in toys and treats have changed over the past several months. The tug-a-jug is out of favor, the Nylabone is in right now… Granted, she is somewhat limited by what we give her, but we are aware that she is also extremely spoiled by us. We are also endeavoring not to give her products from China (at least things that go in her mouth) because of health and safety concerns, and particularly with toys, it can be hard to find Kora-proof ones not made there. Nevertheless, here is a roundup of her current favorites.
10. Her squeaker toy: I made this for her because all of the squeaky toys we found were either plush (not encouraged in our house because of the proliferation of off-limits stuffed animals) or made in China. You can buy plain squeakers, though, and that’s what we did. It’s canvas, and the little arms can be tied into knots that she can then untie. The squeaker is in the middle, and it’s also a good tug toy and fling-around-and-pretend-it’s-prey toy. And she may look cute in the below pic, but she tries to kill this thing like it was made of Hitler. Despite partial shredding, it has held up really well.
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9. Her canvas blanket: This was originally an emergency cover for a pillow when she shredded her first puppy bed. After she got a real cushion, I took out the pillow part and sewed it up into an all purpose blanket/chewtoy/tug toy.
8. Kongs, Squirrel Dudes, and other toys you can stuff with food & treats! These are daily lifesavers and boredom fighters. They are very versatile: you can freeze treats & food inside for an extra challenge, and the only one we’re looking at needing to replace soon is perhaps the softer puppy one she has. The really heavy duty ones are black, which pleases Widge to no end.
7. Antlerz: Yes, they are antlers. Deer antlers, to be precise. We get them from the same place as we get her bully sticks, and they’re a great chewtoy–plus, they have calcium! She loves to crunch them.
6. The Evil Red Dot: a.k.a. the laser pointer. At first, we didn’t know if she understood that it was a toy, but now when she sees the device, she immediately starts looking around for the dot. Once she sees it, she will chase it practically anywhere. Good for wearing out an energetic puppy.
5. Her large Nylabone: We bought this one just after we got her and it was completely ignored until about a month ago, but now she looves it.
4. Hollow Sterilized Bones: she likes to chew on these a lot and we occasionally stuff a treat or peanut butter in the middle to make them more interesting. I can see them holding up for years to come. But we wonder sometimes…because she can really grind down on them.
3. Socks (she has two that are just for her). She loved our socks so much that we gave her two that are just hers to play with. Sometimes they’re a good comfort chewing toy and sometimes a tug or fling toy.
2. Her tug toy: the Kong Goodie Bone with Rope is great fun–she likes to chew on the rope and fling it around by herself or with one of us tugging on it. The rope part has gotten quite shredded, but not unsafely so, and it has held up rather well to our monstrous beastie’s jaws.
And the winner is…
1. Anything she’s not supposed to have (shoes, pens, laundry, styrafoam peanuts, etc.) We’re down a few pairs of shoes, several pens, and are constantly saying, “Kora! What have you got?” And it is a mystery. She has found writing utensils we’ve never seen before, pieces of paper that were nowhere in sight…she’s probably missed her calling as some kind of sniffer dog, frankly.
- Kora’s Top Ten Favorite Treats:
9. Carrots: Crunchy right out of the fridge, the baby kind are a good between-meals treat. And they take a while to get out of a Kong.
8. Zuke’s Mini Naturals peanut butter treats: These are great for training, and handy because they’re small and don’t smell icky. We use them mainly for rewards for good behavior on walks or in the house if she does something unexpectedly good.
7. Wellness WellBars Bite Size treats: the foul-smelling whitefish & sweet potato are her favorite of these. Again, they’re good for blocking Kongs and she likes to crunch them up. We had to make a rule that they aren’t allowed in the bedroom because they do smell like fish.
6. Wellness WellBites Soft treats: any flavor! They’re great for blocking a Kong, you can tear them into little bits to use for training or smaller treats, and she will do most anything to get one. Except get her ears cleaned–proved via scientific testing, we assure you.
5. Peanut Butter: She will eat almost anything coated in peanut butter. It’s a great pill cover, and works well blocking the entrance to a Kong to make her spend more time nomming something, especially when frozen. She gets the good natural kind you have to stir up. In fact, it’s pretty much a given that in general she eats a lot healthier than either Widge or myself. So.
4. Wet food: First discovered when she was having tummy problems, it’s still crack for her–she now runs to the kitchen every time we use the can opener on anything. We give her the Science Diet puppy food because it’s closest to what the vet prescribed for the tummy issue.
3. Chicken: a tiny cube is her after-bath special treat (and a distraction so she doesn’t eat the towel as much when we’re drying her off)! She wanders into the bathroom hours after her bath, hoping there’s more waiting for her as though she considers the upstairs bathroom The Magical Chicken Generating Room.
2. Liver Treats (freeze-dried liver): These were her housetraining treats, and we still give them to her when she comes in from outside if she’s been a good girl and not tried to eat too many leaves. Or sticks. Or dirt. Or…well, you get the point.
And the winner is…
1. Bully Sticks! She would eat these all day, every day if she could. She’s a total addict, and could probably set some sort of record for being the quickest puppy to consume them, even though we got her the extra fat ones to slow her down. It doesn’t help much, though: she can completely destroy a large bully stick in about fifteen minutes these days. When they get too small, we try to get them away from her before she just inhales it. The fragments made a good treat for her cousin Bama.
Do you have a Ravenous Beastie at home who likes a particular toy or treat? Please tell us in the comments! Kora is always looking for something new to chomp on.