Your dog has the world at his feet. He has you there to feed him, play with him and provide him with a warm place to lay his head. Although this care is essential to his health and happiness, it is equally important to invest time in keeping his mind at work. Remember that an active puppy is a happy one.
How food-dispensing toys can help your dog
Dogs are intelligent, curious creatures who are often bred to work. If your dog is left to his own devices and not given a chance for physical or mental activity, this can lead to behavioral problems such as barking, digging and chewing up things around your house. Because dogs love food and a challenge, food dispensing dog toys can help curb behavioral issues and keep your pup’s mind sharp. These toys provide your dog with plenty of mental stimulation, which comes in handy especially when you’re at work or if he’s feeling anxious.
Buying the right treat-dispensing dog toy
Your dog will be eager to tear into his new treat toy and uncover the treasure inside. Thus, the most important feature of a treat-dispensing toy is its durability. Look for products that can withstand your dog’s strong chewing muscles. Many of these toys are made out of high-quality rubber, which is usually impenetrable to teeth. Dog treat toys should also be easy to clean.
The type of dog treat toy you purchase completely depends on your pup’s preferences. Some toys are better for dogs who have a tendency to overeat, such as toys with small openings that he has to knock around to dispense his treats. Other toys are designed to be stuffed with treats for your dog to dig, chew or paw out. It may take a little time to figure out what kind of activity your dog wants to do, but it can pay off in the end.
Filling the toy with treats
A food-dispensing toy can be stuffed with just about anything, but your and your dog’s best bet is to fill it with healthy treats. Consult your veterinarian before making it a routine. He or she will help you gauge how many treats your dog can have to remain healthy and avoid becoming overweight. Feeding your dog nutritious treats can help maintain her bone and joint health, dental health and provide her with necessary vitamins. Treats should typically make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily nutrition.
Keep an eye on your dog
When you’re providing your dog with a food-dispensing toy, he should be supervised for at least the first few sessions. If you absolutely cannot watch your dog at this time, make sure you fill the puzzle toy with smaller snacks to minimize choking hazards.
Some dogs are extremely territorial when it comes to food, which can be a huge problem if they are given treat-filled toys that may take hours to dole out. If your dog becomes aggressive toward you or other animals in your home, the toy should be taken away from him.
Finally, it is important to check the toy on a regular basis to ensure that all of the food or treats have been eaten. If old food gets left in the toy, your dog might accidentally eat it while playing with the toy at a later time. Much like human food, dog food and treats are best for your dog when fresh, so having fresh food or treats for your dog to consume will help keep him healthy. Also, if your dog has trouble figuring out how to get the treat out of the toy the first time, you might show him how. This will help train him and strengthen the bond between the two of you.