What Can Dogs Play With in the Backyard?

A bored pooch can lead to a destroyed backyard.
A bored pooch can lead to a destroyed backyard. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Whether you lock Sampson outside while your family eats dinner or give him free roam of the yard while you’re at work, you have to give him stuff to play with. If he stays out there for too long with nothing to do, he’ll find his own way to entertain himself -- like by tearing up your potted plants or digging holes in your lawn.

Rubber Treat Balls

Pick up a sturdy rubber treat ball from your neighborhood pet store. These durable toys can handle heavy-duty chewing and are easy to clean after a day of rolling around in the dirt. Simply stuff the rubber toy with broken up treats, kibble, doggie sausages and a touch of peanut butter to seal it all it. Sampson will go crazy trying to get to his munchies and you’ll get the peace of mind in knowing he has something safe to keep him occupied for hours.

Rope Toys

Rope toys are super durable for rough tug games and you can clean them quickly with the squirt of a hose. The rope section of the toy aisle is overwhelming though. Some have knots on both ends, mimicking a bone shape, while others have durable rubber parts on the end, giving Sampson different textures to chomp on. Rope toys are highly durable and many varieties are minty flavored to help improve your pooch’s breath while you’re away. Pick up a few different types and rotate them frequently so he doesn’t get bored with the same old toy every day.

Chew Bones

You don’t want to give Samson rawhide bones while you’re at work all day. If he’s a hearty chewer, he can break off chunks that could get stuck in his throat. As an alternative, get him chew bones that you’ll find down the dog toy aisle. These toys -- made from a tough rubber and plastic mixture -- come in a slew of flavors, ranging from chicken or beef to peanut butter. Sampson will have a tasty outdoor treat-flavored bone to keep him occupied for hours while you’re away. Plus, all you have to do is rinse it off at the end of the day and it’ll be good as new for tomorrow’s play session.

Digging Zone

Dogs dig for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes they’ll dig themselves a hole to keep cool in or to bury their treasure, while other times they’ll dig to get out all that pent-up energy. If your dog is just one of those natural-born diggers, creating ditches everywhere no matter what you give him, you might want to provide a secure digging zone for him to play in. Surround his digging area with a low fence, bricks or stones. Fill his special play place with loose dirt or sand or a combination of the two. Encourage your pooch to dig in that special area by burying treat bones or special toys for him to find and get excited when he digs in the right spot. If Sampson continues to burrow outside his digging zone, put heavy potted plants or sturdy pieces of outdoor furniture over his old holes to discourage unwanted digging.

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