Stuffing toys and food puzzle toys are great options for active dogs, and will not only keep even the most curious dogs occupied, but also provide great mental stimulation for dogs of all ages. With the right treats inside the toy, dogs can enjoy hours of entertainment from these fun snacks.
Tips for Choosing Treats
Before adding just anything to a food puzzle toy, dog owners must consider their pet's needs and well-being. To choose the best treat, keep the following factors in mind:
- Dietary Needs or Sensitivities: Every treat a dog eats should be part of a balanced, nutritious diet. Avoid treats that may upset the dog's digestion, and keep in mind any allergies or food sensitivities.
- Difficulty Level: Larger, hard treats can be more difficult to remove from a puzzle toy. Dogs with short attention spans may become frustrated or give up, but easier puzzles may not keep dogs occupied for long.
- Leaks and Sealing: Soft, liquid or semi-liquid treats may leak out of a toy and cause a mess. Use a soft blob of treat to seal holes and minimize leaks, plus add a greater level of difficulty for the dog to overcome.
- Amount of Filling: Treats can be part of a dog's balanced diet, but should not overwhelm proper meals. Avoid overfilling stuffing toys, which could lead to weight gain or appetite changes that affect the dog's overall diet.
- Lasting Longer: Several tricks can make a food puzzle toy last longer. Freeze the stuffed toy to make it more difficult to get a soft treat, or hide the toy somewhere so the dog must seek it out to find the tasty reward.
Best Treats for Food Puzzle Toys
There are a wide variety of treats that can be stuffed inside puzzle toys for dogs to enjoy, including…
- Moist dog food
- Mashed banana
- Unsweetened applesauce
- Dried liver
- Mashed potato
- Apple chunks
- Cooked beef
- Cottage cheese
- Peanut butter
- Cheese cubes
- Leftover roast turkey
- Cream cheese
- Canned pumpkin
Mixing several tastes together can make a toy even more appetizing, and several toys can be stuffed at once and frozen or refrigerated to keep for another day. Changing which treats are used will keep dogs from getting bored with the same toys, and toys must be thoroughly washed after each use to remove any uneaten bits that could go rancid and cause illness.
Food puzzle toys can be a great diversion for any dog, and choosing the best treats for each toy will keep dogs interested and entertained for hours.