According to Butcher's Pet Care's Happy Hounds report, in the wild dogs would spend an average of 4 1/2 hours each day roaming, hunting, playing and following scent trails.
However, our domestic dogs are only getting an average of 33 minutes per day and nearly half of dogs only getting ’on the lead’ exercise rather than having the freedom to run free and explore their natural instincts. Shockingly, as many as 3% of dogs are not being exercised at all!
With that in mind, we ask what's the best dog toy, best dog training tool, most awesome doggy thing ever invented and one that can fulfill just about all of your dog's play, exercise and training needs?
I give you…the humble tennis ball.
Think about it.
This IS the best dog toy ever invented. Nothing comes close, argues Ryan O'Meara.
It’s shaped perfectly to fit in a dog’s mouth, even down to the natural curvature of the dog’s front teeth.
It bounces and rolls and can be tracked when it ends up in long grass.
It has a natural fur outer cover but can also attract the scent of other items it comes into contact with as well as the scent of the thrower’s hand.
It fits in the pocket.
It can be thrown great distances with relative lack of effort.
It is robust and can survive the harshest treatment.
Even young puppies can pick them up.
They are cheap, cheap, cheap to buy and easy to replace.
They make a unique sound when bounced. A sound dogs find easy to recognise.
They can be bright yellow or light green coloured so are great for hiding in grassy areas and making the dog work hard to find them.
They can be hollowed out and treats placed inside them for additional excitement.
The tennis ball is unmatched as a dog toy, training device and doggy joy bringer.
Cherish it. No need to search for the most expensive dog toys or training gear or canine entertainment centre’s when you have a dog who loves tennis balls.
1) Don’t let dogs play unattended with a tennis ball. You will kill the magic. That’d be like letting someone travel to work every day in a formula 1 car – eventually the novelty will go and the ball will no longer have it’s majestic qualities.
2) Don’t let dogs chew or destroy the tennis ball. The tennis ball is to be treasured. It is an object of pure mystery and should be treated as preciously as a Fabergé egg because that is how your dog will view it if you keep their tennis ball interest in tact.
3) Introduce puppies to the joys of the tennis ball early in life. It will pay off later.
4) Never be without one. An emergency tennis ball is, in many cases, as useful as a distress flare on a sinking ship.
The tennis ball. The best dog toy ever invented. Fact.