BY HEATHER DOWDY
Tuggo Dog Tug Toy
Over the past couple of years, I have combed the internet in search of durable, interactive toys for our high-energy rescued pit bull, Briley. I’m happy to say that the mother of all high-energy dog toys has arrived, and it was born right here in Music City. When Nashville based inventor Adam Harrington offered to send us one of his Tuggo dog toys to test out, I was highly curious. It consists of a large, durable, hollow plastic ball with a rope running through it. You fill the ball with water to achieve the desired weight of resistance for your dog and—boom!—when your dog gives it a tug, it tugs back. At first, Briley batted it around like a yowling cat, but it didn’t take her long to get the hang of playing tug-o-war by herself. It wears her out like nothing else, without wearing out my arm. For dogs like Briley who enjoy trying to destroy rope, I recommend supervised play sessions. Once Briley becomes exhausted and lies down to start chewing, I just take it away and hide it until the next go around. Four paws up!
3-Way Float Coat from Kurgo
If you and your pup pal are into water sports, hiking and other outdoor adventures, the The Kurgo Surf-N-Turf Coat is a must-have! Created to be worn 3 ways, the flotation layer can easily be removed for a perfect fit waterproof jacket. And when winter rolls around, simply add the Kurgo Wander Coat into the shell for extra warmth. Other features include two metal d-rings for leash connections; two transverse handles to help you easily control or extract your pup from the water; and high contrast color with reflective trim. Available locally at Happy ReTales in Brentwood.
Aikiou Interactive Cat Feeder
Cats want summer fun, too! In fact, it’s vital that indoor kitties are provided with interactive toys in order to exercise their minds and bodies. Created by Aikiou, the Stimulo feline feeder works with your cat’s natural hunting instinct to provide a fun and stimulating eating and play experience. The bowl has 9 different adjustable length openings allowing your feline friend to paw at various tubes in order to find and retrieve bits of dry kibble or treats. It’s also great to use with cats who all but inhale their food, as it slows down eating and reduces vomiting associated with speed eating.
iFetch Ball Tosser
Wish your pooch could play while you’re away? Now she can! The beautifully designed and simplistically genius iFetch plugs in or operates on six C-cell batteries to provide your dog with hours of exercise and enjoyment, indoor or out. Dogs drop a miniature tennis ball into the top, then scurry away as it is propelled out of a launcher on the side. (The company also has one for standard size tennis balls currently in development.) For dogs who love to fetch, learning to use the iFetch proves fairly simple, and the company provides special training tips on their website.
For fun both in and out of the water, the Kong Aqua features a foam core that keeps it bouncy in water, as well a handy rope for easy tossing, retrieving and tugging. The bright orange color makes it easy to spot against the surface of your local pool or lake. Available in medium and large sizes.
Chuck-It Duck Divers
These adorable Duck Diver dog toys make for super summer fun! These high-floating balls are self-righting in water and easy to grasp thanks to their fabric “tails”. Best of all, they’re compatible with the original Chuck-It ball launcher.