Thursday, September 3, 2015

Top 10 Dog Games and Activities #PetSmartStory

This post is sponsored by PetSmart, and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word the word about the launch of Natural Balance products at PetSmart, but Just Jesse the Jack only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. PetSmart is not responsible for the content of this article. #ad
When we found out Natural Balance® dog food is now available at PetSmart®, Jesse and I were very happy! We visit PetSmart on a regular basis, and now we can easily pick up some of Jesse’s favorite treats on all of our future shopping trips~ 

Jesse can even do a little shopping of his own ;) 
There is such a variety of foods and treats to choose from in Natural Balance's line, so it is easy to switch up how we use and enjoy their products. :) With Natural Balance's premium pet food being known for there unparalleled selection of quality pet products; I don't have to worry when picking out one of their products. They are all high-quality foods, with excellent ingredients.
The hardest part is deciding which ones to choose!
"Which one should I choose? We should get them all!" ;)
Jesse eats food out of a bowl (he has a lot of different ones), but we also like to play with food and treats in many of our favorite games and activities ;)
There are so many fun ways your dog can enjoy their food, and get some mental stimulation at the same time.
Below is our Top 10 favorite fun games and activities.
(There are many more we love, but we decided to go with ten for this post. :)
We will have another blog post in the future with more activities you can enjoy with your dog.)
In addition, we will include our favorite Natural Balance Treats and Foods, we like to use with each game and activity.
Feel free to switch it up with your dog’s favorites :)

1)    Mental Stimulation toys

The Natural Balance rolls, cut up into pieces, Soft Treats, broken up, as well as kibble, are perfect for the doggie puzzles.
Jesse waits as I set the game up; putting a piece of treat under each compartment. Then, Jesse is released! Using his skills to figure out how to master each puzzle, he pushes, picks up, and removes each compartment to get his treat. Sometimes I put treats in all of them, and other times I switch up where I put them to keep the game interesting. :)

2)    Frozen Kongs

The Natural Balance wet food is the perfect choice to create a frozen Kong treat! Jesse’s favorite is the Lamb & Brown Rice Formula (wet food), but we also use a variety on different occasions to switch it up.
To make the frozen Kong, I collect a can of the Natural Balance wet food, a Kong, and a can opener. I load the Kong with the wet food, and sometimes add pieces of treats mixed in with the wet food for treat surprises, and then put it in the freezer. I wait for about an hour or two, so the food is solid, then take it out and let Jesse enjoy! He likes to hold the Kong with a paw so it doesn’t get away while he enjoys it. :)

3)    Tricks

Tricks are Jesse’s favorite activity! His face lights up and he has a big smile on his face when he knows we are going to practice, or learn a new trick. He learns new tricks to continually expand his vocabulary. The reason we love tricks so much is because of the enhanced communication and bond that came from spending so much time together. Tricks are also mentally stimulating and a fun way for us to play together.
For training treats we use pre-cut Roll-A-Rounds, as well as the Natural Balance rolls.
Jesse has such delight accomplishing a new trick. There is a spark in his eyes when he knows he has completed a task. :) He looks at me with that "What's Next?" expression on his face. 

4)      Hide-and-Seek

Hide-and-seek is one of our all-time favorite games to play together! Jesse waits out of sight, while I find a good place to hide. We mostly play in the house, but sometimes play at the park. Once I find a good hiding spot, I tell Jesse to “Find her,” and he comes racing through the house; searching for me. When he gets close, he puts his nose to the ground, tail wagging, and sniffs for me. Once found, he woofs in victory, with a big smile on his face! I always give him a reward, sometimes a treat, and sometimes his favorite toy. Training Treats are small enough to carry around in my pocket while hiding, and won’t fill Jesse up to quickly, so he can enjoy much more running around to try and find me.
5)      Find it

For the Find it game, the best treat to use is high-quality kibble. It doesn't crumble, and there are many pieces you can hide around the house, or park. This game encourages Jesse to use his nose to track down the goodies.
6)      Agility
      Agility is an awesome sport, where you and your dog run together as a team on a course full of jumps, tunnels, teeters, dog walks, and a-frames. 
      Jesse and I love running together! Even though he knows all the obstacles, I still reward him with treats for doing such a good job. :) You are never too accomplished to enjoy yummy treats. 
      If you don't have the equipment yourself, you can always play Environmental Agility. There are a lot of fun "agility obstacles" out of everyday things. A slide at the playground, a balance beam to walk on, and even playground tunnels. Jesse loves playing on the playground, and always wants to stop and play if we pass one.

7)     On-the-go Snacks for Outdoor Activities

Whether Jesse and I are hiking, out biking, swimming at the lake, or going for a long all-day walk; we always like to keep a snack with us to keep up our energy.
The Wild Pursuit Venison Lung Bites are great for bringing along while you are out and about. They are non-greasy, grain free, and are already made into bite sized pieces, you don't have to pre-cut them before heading out. These treats are full of protein too, so they will help Jesse keep energy throughout our activities.
8)     Bobbing for Treats

This one is a short, but fun one. I put treats in a bucket of water, get Jesse ready, and let him go; encouraging him to get the treats in the water. Some treats fall to the bottom, and others float. Jesse loves water, and eagerly put his head in the water; diving to get the sunken treasures. For beginners, the best Natural Balance treats for this game are the Immunity Support Jerky Chicken Formula treats. These treats are from Natural Balance's Limited Ingredient Diet line. They are big enough for a pup to grab, and float on the surface, making it easy for even the shyest dog to pick up. For more advanced pups, these treats can be broken up into bite sized pieces, and sprinkled into the water.

9)      Doggie Volleyball

Doggie Volleyball is a fun game that gives Jesse exercise, and practices and strengthens his recall. :) For this game, I need another person (the more the merrier, but there needs to be at least two) to help out. We start off with my helper holding Jesse, as I walk or run away. Then I call him to me; when he comes running, I let him know he is such a good boy, and give him a treat. :)
Then my helper does the same thing; calls Jesse to them. Jesse runs to my helper, and gets rewarded for a job done well.
10)   Learning the names of Toys

Jesse has LOTS of toys! Learning their names is a fun way for us to communicate together and expand Jesse’s vocabulary.

Jesse knows the names of his favorite toys.

He learned the name of his ball himself, and was eager to learn more! I taught Jesse additional names one at a time, to make it easier for him, but he picked them up really quickly, and pretty soon he was learning all of his favorites in no time. :) I rewarded him with yummy treats after every session.

Of course our favorite place and activity we use the Natural Balance rolls for, is on set. Jesse's favorite is the Lamb Formula ones. I always make sure to pack them to bring along with us when we go to shoot a commercial, to a photo shoot, or on a TV set. They are very easy to pack (just grab & go) and cut up into treats. Jesse acts like they are puppy crack, and gets super excited to work and have fun! He always gives 110% and loves being the center of attention. :) For a job well done, he gets the Natural Balance rolls after every scene, and during practice.
Not only are a lot of these activities fun for both of us, but they also help strengthen our bond and training at the same time. For the hide-and-seek, find it game, and puzzles, Jesse waits patiently in a down-stay as I hide the treats (or hide myself) as to not spoil the game. It wouldn't be fun if he knew where the treats were beforehand. This way, Jesse has to search out the reward and figure out the puzzle using his intellect.
Natural Balance has many more varieties of natural pet food than the ones we usually buy. There is a lot more in store that we can try next time we go to PetSmart for a visit. :)
What are your favorite Natural Balance varieties you have tried with your dog or cat? Leave us a comment below ;)
And don't forget, to play with your dog and maybe try out one of these fun activities with them very soon!
Stay Happy and Healthy,
~Heather and Jesse~


  1. I am in love with this dog! Seriously. :0) All of the pictures are the coolest. You make me want to go take a trip to Pet Smart right now so I can check out all these products you are talking about***

  2. Okay I would so love to take this dog shopping with me - adorable and savvy

  3. Hi Heather and Jesse! I've been a fan of yours for a long time and I simply adore Jesse! You are doing such a wonderful job training him and he sure looks happy and healthy! Love all your fun activities and all the yummy treats you mentioned! I bet my dog Tara would also enjoy a frozen kong! I have to try that! Stay happy and healthy!

  4. I love Jesse and natural balance dog food for my dog !! . I love to shop in pets mart !!! Jesse is so smart and talented and is the best dog in the USA !!! Kisses for you Jesse !!!

  5. Susan M. Brichetto-SmithSeptember 3, 2015 at 1:05 PM

    Great article - wonderful ideas & suggestions! All dogs benefit from games & exercise. Jesse is absolutely amazing; and Heather's very special, too. Our next trip to PetSmart, we'll check out some of these products. For sure. :-)

  6. I feed the Natural Balance wet food to my cat. She does enjoy it a lot. Cute post, and like all the ideas-if only I had a dog...

  7. So many good picture in this post Jesse. Your Mom captures you perfectly, wow! Natural Balance is one of our favorites too.


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