Puzzle toys are a HUGE benefit to most dogs. They can be used to:
Provide mental and physical stimulation
Slow down fast eaters
Teach puppies to chew the right things
Boost confidence in fearful or sensitive dogs
Provide a great outlet for high-energy dogs to get ya-ya's out
Help dogs who have Big Feelings about guests associate them with something fun and positive. (People come over and I get my Puzzle Toy!)
Replace boring dog dishes for mealtimes!
Puzzle Toy Options
There are SO many! Here are a few of our favorites and what type of treat you can use with them:
Dry and/or wet: Kong classic, Toppl, Chew King Treat Hider, Licki Mats
Dry only: Nearly anything from Nina Ottosson, snuffle mats (any brand), Kong Wobbler (hard, noisy, durable!), Ruffwear Gnawt-a-Rock (softer, quieter, medium durability)
Using Puzzle Toys
Stuff with foods that your dog's tummy does well with. Some of our favorites include: canned dog food, low-sodium broth, kibble, kibble soaked in water or low sodium broth, canned pumpkin, and green beans.
Remember to reduce mealtime kibble if you're giving these regularly as treats. (Keep kibble the same if you're using as mealtime dispenser.)
Keep things SUPER easy to start.
Gradually increase the difficulty as your dog is successful. (For example, don't freeze your Kong with canned food right away, let your dog get used to it with room temp first! If you're using a Nina Ottosson toy, leave the doors/pulls open or ajar at first).
Rotate between a few to keep things interesting.
Clean regularly! Many are dishwasher safe. (Including Kongs and Toppls)
Here's a video of one of our favorite ways to stuff Kongs: