Friday Fun: Puzzle Feeder Toys

Here’s another great Christmas idea for your dogs for Christmas!  These are things that are near and dear to my heart for many reasons. I really love making your dog work for his food at mealtime.  If dogs lived on their own, they’d invest a good part of their day in finding food, water and shelter.  We provide all of those things for our dogs, so we’ve taken away a very important job that a dog is wired to do!

To remedy this, I’m going to recommend using puzzle feeder toys instead of a dog bowl to feed your dogs.  It provides work for your dog to get the food out of the toy, and that’s accomplishing some very good things in your dog’s world.

  1. He’s working for his food, so he has some sense of “I earned this.”  When we look at a paycheck we get that same feeling!
  2. He’s burning mental energy, so you’re providing him with some good exercise to start off his day.   If you can couple this with a short walk at the start of your day, you’re giving your dog a good little bit of exercise so that he’ll be more satisfied instead of bouncing off the walls with energy.
  3. If your dog inhales his food, this is a great way to slow him down!  Puzzle feeders only dispense a very small number of kibbles at a time, so your dog will be forced to eat slowly.  Why buy a fancy bowl to slow down your dog’s eating when you can get puzzle toys which will challenge your dog and can be used anytime of day or night with your dog, pack easily for trips, and even work in a crate?
  4. These are really wonderful devices to relieve boredom for dogs.  This is especially important if your dog is home alone all day.  You want him to have something fun to do that will help make him think and problem solve. so that he’s not stripping wallpaper or eating your furniture!
  5. Having a variety of different types/styles will allow you to rotate them so your dog will always have something new and fun.  He will have to use different problem solving skills for each of them, so that will keep him thinking as he eats!

These toys can make terrific stocking stuffers, and most will cost less than a stuffed toy that will be destroyed in a day or two.  I’ve had all of these toys for probably 7 years, and they have held up super well!  Most of these toys will be easily found at many pet stores or online as well.

I have multiple Kong toys so that I can keep them loaded up and in the freezer if I know I’ll need a big distraction for Rugby.  That way, I can plan ahead and be ready to go when the moment arrives!

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