Seek-A-Treat puzzle (Shuffle Bone)
While I totally adored all the toys he received under the Christmas tree, they turned into vapor the minute they got into his mouth. Petey is a very intelligent dog, and his mind needs constant stimulation. He’s bored by most chew toys, has mastered the art of releasing food from his Kong, and looks at me as if he wants much more than just a bone to gnaw on for hours.
On rainy and colder days, we can’t romp and play outside, so he gets really frustrated. After trial and error with many toys, I’ve found a few that provide mental stimulation and entertainment both for Petey and for me. Most of these toys can still potentially be destroyed if they aren’t removed after playtime, so be sure to supervise your dog to make sure it doesn’t get hurt on any sharp pieces.
Here’s a list of dog toys that we love, and some we'd love to try:
Seek and you shall grub
Ethical Pet Seek-A-Treat Dog Toy — prices start at $10
Petey goes nuts for this shuffle puzzle dog toy in the shape of a bone. You can place treats or kibble in the circular pockets, then cover them with the sliding covers. The dog has a blast trying to pry open the sliding covers to expose the food. I set a timer to see how fast Petey could eat it all. He started out at four minutes, and is now down to 30 seconds! Although he’s quick to uncover the food at this stage, he still seems proud of his accomplishment, and it’s a fun way to dispense treats when there’s a crowd watching. The toy is constructed of particle board, and can easily be chewed up, so be sure to remove it after the fun is over.
The Treat Triad Puzzle Toy by Kyjen — prices starting at $13
This treat-dispensing puzzle can be great fun for multiple dogs to play with at once. The hard-plastic toy has a top that spins around with three food compartments, which are released when the top is spun around to the right position. The dogs can use their noses or paws to lift the doors to get the food. I enjoyed watching two Siberian huskies battle over hidden hot dogs on YouTube.
Nina Ottosson Dog Casino Puzzle Toy
The price on this product was a little shocking ($50 and up!), but this is something of an advanced-stage puzzle for the Einstein dogs of the world. The point is to lift the plastic bone plugs from off the top of the board, releasing the food drawers at the bottom. This will take a bit of practice and patience, but this adorable Shiba Inu makes solving this puzzle look like cake.
Bob-A-Lot Multi-chambered Interactive Treat Dispenser —from $10 for small, $20 for large
This is one of Petey’s all-time favorite treat-dispensing toys. He bobs it around on the laminate floor and the carpet. It’s pretty heavy, so he doesn’t run off with it or fling it too far. The best part of this toy is that you can adjust the opening inside of the top, so that treats are dispensed more slowly. The only unfortunate thing is that Petey managed to chew the entire lid off of the top when he got bored. Lesson learned: Take these toys away when they’re done! The toy is pretty well-made, but as I said, Petey’s teeth are plastic-penetrating laser beams.
Just plain doggone fun
Bubbletastic Bacon Bubble Blower —$23
Dogs just wanna have fun, right? If your dog goes bonkers for bubbles, this is the ultimate in bubble-popping entertainment. Included with the bubble machine is an 8-ounce bottle of bacon-flavored bubbles (who knew?), but not included are the six AAA batteries you’re going to need to run this thing.
This next item is going to blow your mind. The Petcube is a 4-inch-cube aluminum camera that allows you to peek in on your dog using a cellphone app. iOS and Android compatible, this device not only allows you to see if doggie is chewing on your flip-flops but also has a built-in microphone and speaker that gives you the ability to tell pooch to put the shoes down. Yes, the dog can actually hear your screams through the connected Wi-Fi. To distract and exercise your dog, you can play laser pointer tag on your cell phone, too. This is a luxurious item, but for those who work while pooch is at home alone, this seems like a great solution for animals that need a little long-distance love and attention. You’ll need to act fast to purchase your Petcube in February, because the company only releases them in small batches.
iFetch — $115
After being successfully funded on Kickstarter, the iFetch automatic ball-launching machine can now be purchased online and in select stores. What is so great about the iFetch is that you can train your dog to return the balls back into the receiving chamber. It’s your job to just sit back and watch the fun. The iFetch doesn’t work with regular-sized tennis balls, so you will have to purchase them from the iFetch website if you need extras or replacements. This gadget could be a lifesaver to turn on while I’m cooking dinner, working at home, or just need time to relax.
Petey wants is a big ol’ stick. Sometimes it is the simplest things in life that make us the most happy.
We want to hear from you! What toys does your dog love? Share your experiences in the comment section below.
We could all use some tips on how to bathe our dogs properly. In the video below, see a demo on how to give the dog a bath with zero troubles.