Food puzzle toys give dogs a chance to work for their food. These toys are sturdy containers, usually made of hard rubber or plastic, which can hold food or treats. They usually have holes on each end or on the sides. A dog must work to get food to come out by shaking, pawing, rolling, nibbling or licking a puzzle toy. The effort dogs make to get their food from these toys eases boredom, reduces destructive behavior and lessens the anxiety they can feel when alone. In addition to the KONG, here are some of our favorite puzzle toys:
This list of dog puzzle toys will hopefully help you decide what options are the best for your dog. There are options for beginners and others up to advanced puzzle boards and toys. Let us know which one you choose. More Pause Picks #PausePicks will come soon.
Puzzle toys are ideal for smart dogs that need plenty of mental stimulation. One of the most popular options is the Kong, which can be stuffed with cheese, peanut butter, or other treats to keep your dog busy. Freezing the increases the difficulty level for advanced pups. You can find a list of more ; they range from simple to complex for the canine Einsteins of the world.
If you're feeling crafty, puzzle toys are a fun project. Try simply putting kibble into a clean, empty milk jug with a hole on the bottom. Or freeze small dog toys in a bucket of water overnight for a homemade "ice lick" that has the added benefit of keeping your pooch hydrated. Just be sure to put down a tarp or blanket, or otherwise give it to your dog on a surface you don't mind getting wet.