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Occupying a shiba when you can't give direct attention
  • I was wondering what you did to occupy your shiba when you have to do something that means you can't interact with them temporarily? For example, as much as I would rather play with Oki, sometimes the washing up has to be done!

    So, when we first got him I used to wait until he fell asleep to go and do these things, but now he sleeps less and also I just want to get on with things! If I need to do something and he's being a pest I'll do one of these things:

    Give a stuffed kong
    Smear peanut butter on a toy
    Give him a treat dispensing ball
    Give an ice cube
    Give a toy he hasn't with in a while
    Give him some cardboard to destroy

    Trouble is, this will give me about 10 mins of peace. I do give him a rawhide chew every now and then which keeps him busy for up to 30 minutes but I am reluctant to give it every day as I get the impression they're not that good for them. I know he's still just a pup, and this isn't a complaining post, just wondered if anyone had a great idea of a self-entertaining indoor activity that involves little or no food!
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Post edited by Kira_Kira at 2014-02-12 07:31:10
  • Well, I feel bad crating him when he could be out as he spends enough time in there while we're at work. He is more than happy to sleep in his pen while we shower though as he's always sleepy in the morning!

    So, what are the problems with rawhides then? I'd always had some sort of incline they weren't great but don't know why as I'd never heard anyone say anything bad about them. He does have an antler but he gets bored of that easily. We've also tried him with roasted bones you can get from the pet shop and he loves them. Hope they're ok! He's also had a pigs ear that he loves, hope that's alright... I have no idea what a bully stick is, I'd probably have to buy that online as I don't think it's a thing in the UK. I'll google it. There really is not much available in pets at home (was called petsmart - I think USA has equivalent?) aside from rawhides in all shapes and sizes! There are bones and hooves but they're all stuffed with rubbish.
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Post edited by Kira_Kira at 2014-02-12 07:58:18
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • I use deer antlers. My guy loves them and they are durable and not stinky. I have one where the marrow is exposed and one where it isn't. The exposed one is for his lazy chewing and the closed one is for hyper chewing. When they get bored of them you can prepare them in chicken broth and they are interested in the again. Banjo will work deer antlers for 5-45 minutes depending on his mood.

  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @Nahatalie if you don't want to crate...then get an expen? Or lock him in the bathroom while you shower. Haha.

    When Bootz was a puppy, I just locked my bedroom door but left the bathroom door open. As long as she can see me, she won't throw a fit/go into destructive mode. Since I moved into my new house with a combined master/walk in bathroom, I keep her in the room with me. Bootz usually naps when I shower.... I think the running water makes her sleepy.

  • Gah. Everything in the pet shop is unsuitable it seems! It's so hard to find stuff readily available. I hate ordering stuff online, takes ages (been waiting for some freeze dried liver treats for 2 weeks now!) and I'm never in when it gets delivered so picking it up is annoying. I will push through the annoyance of online ordering and get some though. I take it pigs ears are ok? Are there any other things like hooves (not keen on these if they stink), bully sticks etc?

    When you say "prepare" the antlers in chicken broth, do you mean boil them in it? Sounds like a good idea, thanks! That's another thing I can't find anywhere else but online. He has one that's not holding his interest much anymore as he's extracted as much marrow from it as possible, so I'll try this.

    All the chew treats in the shop tend to be rawhide. How do they sell so many if it's so bad? I guess they're cheap. As for his roast bone I'll make sure to get the uncooked ones in future. It's pretty solid though and we always supervise whilst he has it but I'll take it away anyway.

    Edited to respond to Bootz:
    He's fine really, we do have an ex pen and he goes in it to sleep sometimes of his own accord, and he's good about being in there in the mornings but will whine a bit if we put him in it when he's in active mode but usually settles down. I'm more after occupying him while we eat or keeping him quiet on the rare occassion we want to sit down and watch a film instead of playing with him all evening lol. Also, I would evetually like to get rid of the ex pen (it'd be nice to have the dining area back one day!) and the crate but I have a feeling the crate will probably stay; it is very handy! However, our current set up works and if we have to keep it forever like this we will for the good of the dog.

    There isn't really a problem, I just wanted to find something that entertained him for as long as a rawhide really as I suspected they were no good but didn't know of any alternatives.

    I do love the fact that you can ask a question like this and get loads of interesting suggestions! Cheers everyone. I'm always on a mission to keep Oki entertained so any suggestions at all I'll give a go. So far so good as he's never done anything destructive (yet!!!).
    Post edited by Nahatalie at 2014-02-12 12:22:42
  • Nahatalie... I usually boil the chicken broth so it's safe and then soak the antler in it overnight. I wouldn't boil it in the broth since a high temperature could affect the structural integrity of the deer antlers.
  • Ah ok. Makes sense. Is it fresh broth I'll have to buy? I guess stock cubes are too salty. Not that we have chicken ones in the house as I'm veggie and I don't think Oki would appreciate veggie flavoured antlers! (Don't worry, I'm not sqeamish about giving meat and preparing meaty treats for my dog, I'm a biology teacher so I cut up various organs and blow up lungs etc regularly lol). Hmm...can I use the leftover hearts for anything? They usually just get binned after the boys have finished hacking them up. Seems a shame.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @Nahatalie, There is another thread that was recently bumped regarding toys. You should look into those as another forum member had a similar question to yours "how to keep my shiba occupied while i do chores"

    Good luck!
  • Cool cheers. I hadn't seen that (and yet again wasn't brought up by the search) I do try my best to use the search function...ho hum!

    Definitely will try soaking stuff in chicken broth! And buy bully sticks :)
  • I just threw out an antler bc none of my girls have been interested in it for months. Wish I knew the broth trick! Thanks!!
    Post edited by ShibaMadness at 2014-02-12 13:11:46
  • I use the Trader Joes Organic no extra additives low sodium broth. I am sure you can make your own, but I am a single male with minimal domestic capabilites so I go with the low sodium option that's all natural and available in the store. I think if you avoid any additives and the ingredients are just water and chicken (or whatever it is that broth is made from) you'll be fine.
  • Depends what the additives are I suppose. I would also not make my own. I find it hard enough to find the time to cook my own dinner!
  • @nahatalie - wait where are the hearts from? Are you dissecting raw hearts in your classroom? Ones without preservatives (like formalin)? That is interesting if so.
  • Yea, just raw hearts from the butcher / supermarket. I just wondered if I can feed some of it to the dog in small chunks raw. I guess there is no reason I can't cook it and feed it, unless there's something about heart meat that doesn't agree with dog for whatever reason. I just wondered if raw was ok since I don't fancy cooking them really. I don't know what you mean about the preservatives, these hearts are normally sold for human consumption so I assume they're ok for the dog.
  • @nahatalie - I think I mixed up your bio class reference with your heart reference because you talked about hacking them up. Raw hearts are ok. They are considered muscle meat rather than organ meat for the purposes of raw feeding (same with gizzards I believe). I would just remember to rinse and such and to check freshness.

    [edited to add]

    Unless by some chance you are purchasing the hearts for your classes to dissect, in which case I guess it would depend on the equipment you use in the class? I'm guessing that's not the case since my experience with biology was always that one dissected organs already preserved with formalin.
    Post edited by violet_in_seville at 2014-02-16 18:51:33
  • So, I ordered some bully sticks from Amazon and they came really quickly. Oki quite likes them it seems, but they stink! They don't smell off or anything, they smell like really stinky horses! So horrible...I think he can have them to chew in the garden, might keep him distracted from chewing twigs.
  • Nahatalie,

    I use bully sticks quite frequently... some stink, some don't. I haven't quite figured out which ones do and don't and why, but if you lived near me (New Jersey) I would tell you that the ones on the bottom basket next to the register on the left don't.

    Which ones did you order? The only "data" I have accumulated is Canadian ones sometimes smell worse than American ones. That's not scientific at all, but as you try different ones, make some type of mental note.

    Once the end of a bullystick gets soft and sticky, dirt may to stick to them. This would not be fun as your lil one may eat the dirt or bring the bullystick inside and get your home dirty. Just two things I would watch out for =)
  • Yea I just figured that out lol. Oki was chewing something that looked like chewing gum with bits of grass and bark all over it. Turns out it was the end of his bully stick. It was a bit of a prize for him and he badly wanted me to chase him for it but we ended up trading. Despite "febreezing" my lounge I keep getting a wiff of bully stick lol.

    I think the ones I have are a German brand called Trixie. The packet is written in German anyway. So how do you tell which ones stink and which don't? Is it down to the individual pizzle or the brand?
  • I think it's the brand more than the individual stick.... I have never purchased a german made one, I have used American and Canadian bully sticks, and Brazillian made "braided-twists".

    I find the American ones to be the least stinky (because lets face it, they sprayed it with some chemical), the canadian ones to be not as long lasting and ultra smelly, and the braided twists to be longer lasting (and thus more cost effective) with a happy medium in smell.

    I have noticed no change in his poop based on which of the three I use. I don't have a brand because honestly, I just grab them at the pet store everytime I go in.

  • Ok cool. I'm in the UK and never heard of them before I joined this forum, so I had to order them online and went for the cheapest ones. To be honest, they were all the same price really if you go on stick price. I just didn't want to buy a large bag in case he didn't like them.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495

    Just look for the "odor-free" ones. They are usually more expensive but contain little to no odor.
  • Ah thanks, I didn't know they existed. I am new to world of dried bull penis! Lol.
    Post edited by Nahatalie at 2014-02-26 13:04:54
  • Upon further review....

    an odor-less bullystick is odorless because it was baked in an oven to be cured and not dried in the sun. To the extent you can figure out manufacturing practices, this should help you differentiate.

    Thanks for putting this thought in my head so I can track down the answer!

  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
  • devonmlewisdevonmlewis
    Posts: 182
    So what brand of bullysticks are best, people?? Can anyone give me some good brand names? I got some all natural chews that has a golden retriever PUPPY on the front and it says "great for puppies", but the back of the $20 package says good for dogs over 20 pounds, over 6 months of age. What... the heck!
  • jennjenn
    Posts: 856
  • My puppy is 5 months old and wants so much attention sometimes it is impossible to keep him entertained. He started teething and the bully sticks or anything hard he won't eat right now. I found kong toys with spread give me 10 minutes of peace but that is it. I even take out to the dog park to let some energy out and he still comes home ready to play.
  • NahatalieNahatalie
    Posts: 363
    Mine are some sort of German brand. Doesn't say anything about age, but they stink. Get odourless ones!

    (I bought a puppy pack of 3 little nylabones of different textures when we 1st got Oki, it was called a "puppy starter pack". I didn't realise one them was some sort of pressed rawhide type thing and said "not suitable for puppies under 6 months" too! Not exactly a starter pack then...)
  • devonmlewisdevonmlewis
    Posts: 182
    @jamie1588 how old is your puppy?
  • jamiei1588jamiei1588
    Posts: 14
    Late response but at this time he was 6 months old.

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