As students of all ages head back to school, dogs and cats are often left with less entertainment at home and less exercise. So how can you keep your pets active while you’re running errands, dropping off carpool and putting in a full day at work? Natural Pawz has the largest selection of interactive solutions to keep your pets’ brains and bodies active and to keep teeth marks off your furniture.

Experts say that exercising the pets’ intelligence is important for cognitive development and helps with behavior problems. If you don’t give them something to do, they often find things to do, like chewing on carpets, digging, licking, barking and separation anxiety. Your dog wants and needs a job to do.

Three ways that dogs learn is instinct, adaptive, and working and obedience. Training with them is one of the best ways to achieve working and obedience. Many of us would love to play and interact with our pets all day but we don’t have the time. Even when the humans are away or at home but busy with other activities, dogs and cats love to play. If your pet loves to chew, pick up a durable chew or chew toy for them to chew on (like the one shown at right). It keeps them from getting bored and also helps get out some of that stored energy and anxiety. Don’t give them rawhide.

For instinctual and adaptive play, we can help you find a toy that will sharpen their coordination skills and keep them engaged. Pets learn to push blocks, roll items and even lift and pull pieces to get at the elusive treats hidden inside. For smart dogs, there is a cagey cube that hides a toy inside the cube. Also, there are treat balls and a personal favorite of Natural Pawz co-owner Nadine Joli-Coeur’s, the bob-a-lot. The bob-a-lot looks like a bowling pin that is weighted at the bottom. As your pet pushes it, treats will fall out. The best part is that you can increase the difficulty by making the treat hole smaller to make it more difficult to get out.

“This toy is a must for food-motivated pets. It was a life saver when I adopted 6-week-old brother and sister lab three years ago. Callie, our 16-year-old also likes to play with it,” Joli-Coeur said.

Another good choice is to engage your pets in a variety of pet puzzles that really get your pets thinking and moving. Paw Hide Mini Puzzle editedMany of our pet puzzles reward fur friends with treats after completing the task. We offer puzzles and games for all ages and breeds (as well as for both cats and dogs) so pet parents can find the puzzles and games that work best for Fido and for Tigger.

Pets and pet parents can also support their favorite collegiate teams. Just in at Natural Pawz are college-themed Collegiate Toys for Sept.bandanas, toys, tags and favorite Bungee Pupee leashes in popular collegiate team colors. Bungee Pupee Leashes, started in the Houston area, so once again your purchase will be further supporting local businesses. Bungee Pupee owners Kelly and Lawrence have now expanded across the United States, too. Even if the kids are away, your dogs and cats will look great on walks and other outings.

As always, all products carried at Natural Pawz are made in the United States or Canada and are carefully monitored by our team. Pet parents can rest assured that no harmful ingredients are in the products we sell.

Visit a local Natural Pawz store near you for loads of fun ways to keep your pets healthy and happy.