Have you heard of puzzle games for your dog? Puzzle toys offer great enrichment for all dogs. They are designed as an interactive toy where dogs must work to get a treat or food out of the puzzle by pawing, nudging or removing different parts of the toy.
Some dogs are anxious, energetic or need a job to do. Puzzle toys occupy their mind and keep them busy for a time. These interactive toys are often recommended by dog behaviourists and trainers. They are especially helpful for dogs who tend to get in trouble when you leave them home alone. The puzzle holds their attention for some time and provides them with mental stimulation as they work to get the treat out. They are also a good distraction for dogs with separation anxiety as the puzzle acts as a distraction and reward when you leave them alone for a few hours.
Here are 5 puzzle toys to keep your dog entertained and mentally stimulated!
This puzzle works best with either peanut butter, yogurt or soft food (Kabo fresh-cooked recipes also work great on lick mats!). Smear some of your dog’s favorite spreadable treat onto the mat. The mat’s silicon groves will make it more difficult for them to get all of the food off. Pro tip: for an extra element of difficulty or on a hot day, freeze the mat for 1 hour after spreading on the food.
The Dog Brick has different sliding and removable compartments that your dog must move around in order to get all of the food inside. This puzzle toy works best with kibble or dry food. There are also different iterations of this toy, varying in difficulty.
There are various iterations of food balls but the concept is mostly the same for all of them. Fill the ball with kibble or small training treats. As your dog rolls the ball around, the food will slowly drop out. We personally like the Omega Paw ball simply for its durability and multiple sizes.
The wobble bowl is the more difficult version of the food ball, where dogs must wobble the dish around to get the food out of a small obstacle course. Once again, this toy is best used with dry food.
The Kong is a very popular dog toy and with good reason! It is incredibly versatile, durable and can be used with a variety of food types. Click the link here to see some of the creative Kong recipes and fillings you can test out for your dog!