The dog toy industry is a rapidly expanding enterprise, and dog toys are big sellers for a legitimate scientific reason—despite what some dogs would have you believe.
Scientific American recently shared that dogs’ relationships with toys can be defined by how new they believe the toy to be. The phenomena is called neophilia, or, the love of the new.
Bottom line: dogs ruv NEW toys. Scientific American mentioned a few methods of making old toys feel new, so we thought of a few creative ways to follow science’s advice. Here’s 6 (and a half 🙂 ) ways to freshen up old toys and recapture your mutt’s short attention span.
Take your dog’s toy-of-the-week and put it away. Instead of leaving it lying around, keep it from your dog on certain days to generate anticipation. Or, only share the toy with them at designated times, like at night, after school, or after work.
2. Keep It In Rotation
If you’re like me and just don’t have the heart to keep toys from your scruffy darling, you could keep the pup’s toys on a rotation: One toy on Monday, another on Tuesday… You get the picture.
3. It’s Just A Game
Play with them! Dogs will create associations between the toy and the world around them. Be the association they have with the toy. Turn the toy into a symbol of your time together by using it to play and it will keep the toy desirable.
4. Smells Like Dog Spirit
Wash yo dang toys! The reason they’re not getting played with is they stink. If you can put it in the laundry machine or the dish washer, do it. And if your toys are clean and the dog still doesn’t show interest, try rubbing a treat on it to give it a new smell, or roll the toy in the grass or leaves. A new smell can go a long way towards making a new toy.
5. Toy Splicing!
Take an old article of clothing, like an old T-shirt, and attach it to the toy. Your smell will combine with the old toy odor to create new smells, old flavors become new flavors, and it also changes the toy’s appearance. One toy-splicing idea is to take an old toy and wrap it in an old shirt.
We’ve got a bunch of ways of making dog toys from scratch. If your unwanted dog toy collection becomes a lost cause you can always try any number of DIYs to probe the tastes of your canine toy connoisseur. The sweet potato rope is one of my dog’s favorites.
6 ½. Buy A New Toy!
Is this cheating? *shrugs* Science says dogs like new things. At some point you might as well just cave in and buy a fresh toy. We know a doggone great way of keeping your dog steeped in a fresh supply of new toys.
Opps! Wrong photo. But if four dogs can fit into a BarkBox, imagine how many toys can fit inside.