The waning days of summer will soon lead to less outdoor playtime and a home without kids. What’s your dog going to do? He may have little choice but to go back to the couch-potato routine in an empty house.
But a new variety of treat-dispensing toys combine hours of play with food, providing mental stimulation and a little exercise.
Treat-dispensing toys work just like a regular chew toy, only that these ones have the added incentive of releasing a treat. Give one to your pet and watch him shake, roll, lick or paw his way to the reward inside. Soon he will learn that a little patience and problem solving will release a tempting treat.
Most treat-dispensing toys are made of natural rubber or plastic shaped like a bone or wobbling container that holds the delicious nuggets.
Treats like Snausages are a good choice, as long as the treat is small enough to fit through the treat release holes or vents in the toy.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of them while keeping your dog safe:
- Choose a toy that’s an appropriate size for your dog.
- Make it easy for your dog to reach the reward the first time he tries it. As he gets used to it, make it more difficult.
- Turn it into a game he’ll love by hiding the toy around the house or yard and making him search for it.
- Give him at least one treat-dispensing toy a day to entertain him and give his jaws a workout.
- Before leaving him home alone, give him a mental challenge. A treat-dispensing toy or food-puzzle toy will keep him entertained and can help with separation anxiety. It might also save the couch or your shoes from his teeth!
It’s not all about keeping your doggie entertained. This kind of play may help avoid behavior problems, weight issues and promote healthy teeth, gums and good chewing behavior.
Dogs love the toy aisle at Pet Supermarket. Bring your pet to the store and let him choose a treat-dispensing toy.