Food Puzzle Toys
A GREAT WAY TO PROVIDE CANINE ENRICHMENT
Our dogs spend most of their days lounging while we live busy lives and while they luckily in fact do need a lot of rest anyways, their life can at times be a bit boring. So, let's give them something fun to do and enrich their mealtimes!
"From an animal welfare perspective food puzzle toys are great because they give dogs positive experiences in the acquisition of food. Sometimes people are concerned that dogs might find food toys frustrating, but the challenge is fun for dogs." Zazie Todd, PhD
Dogs like working for their food rather than getting it ‘for free’, it's called contrafreeloading. Food toys can also help with giving more satisfaction to an obese dog while on a weight loss journey and help slow down hasty eaters.
Does your dog like pawing, nudging or snuffling the best? Or does that maybe depend on the day and the mood for them? It's good to provide some variety in their toys, but always make sure to adjust the difficulty of the toy to their level. Best to start easy and make it more challenging as they succeed more. Try to use different toys on different days to keep it interesting. :)
Some enrichment toys are best for use with spreads, raw meat or other wet foods whilst others should only be used with dry food and treats:
Be sure to teach your dog how to use the toy if they are a bit unsure and choose the right size. Some toys are specifically made for tougher chewers which will be indicated. If you have more than one dog, set them up in separate areas, so they can enjoy their enrichment worry free.
Need some inspiration on what spreads to fill in your Wet Food Toy if you are not feeding a raw diet? Besides wetting your kibble, here are a bunch of other options. And did you know that most Wet Food Toys can be frozen as well? Talk about giving your dog a long-lasting toy!
And if you are a bit into your DIY, try treats in cardboard boxes or rolled into towels or hidden in empty toilet rolls or even a combination of them all. You can also poke holes in the sides of empty water bottles or fill a muffin tray with treats and cover with balls or similar. Be creative! :)