Have you ever needed to keep your dog busy while you were making dinner or working? We can’t keep our eyes on our pets all the time, but we can keep them occupied. Treat-dispensing toys, or interactive dog toys, can be a fun and safe way to entertain your pup while you’re doing other tasks. Consider the following when looking for a treat-dispensing toy for your dog.
Make Sure It’s Durable
Let’s face it: Our dogs chew on and slobber over anything they can get their mouths on. You will want a dog toy that’s designed for some serious chomping. Rubber toys are a great option because they’re made to withstand sharp teeth and strong jaws.
You might also try treat balls, interactive dog toys that are designed to pop out dog treats or kibble as they wobble. This style of treat-dispensing toy encourages your dog to problem solve by nudging the toy to get to the treat. Instead of ripping through a soft stuffed animal or breaking yet another squeaky toy, these treat dispensers – often made with plastic – will keep your dog engaged and entertained while you’re busy.
Remember, Safety First
It’s important to find a toy that’s the appropriate size for your dog. You don’t want a toy so small that they could swallow in their excitement. Find a chew toy that’s big enough for them, and also doesn’t have a lot of extra pieces that can be bitten off – these small pieces can quickly turn into choking hazards. When introducing a new toy to your dog, keep an eye on them to make sure it’s a good fit for their style of play and their needs.
Human foods, such as chocolate, avocados, macadamia nuts and grapes are toxic to dogs. Make sure to fill their interactive dog toy with dog treats and dog snacks that are safe for them to eat. Ask your veterinarian for a list of foods that are safe for your dog to eat. It’s best to fill their toy with dog treats or kibble, but you can also try filling their rubber dog toy with a mixture of peanut butter and applesauce, and then pop it in the freezer. Your dog will love the chilly treat!
Ensure It’s Easy to Clean
No one wants their pup carrying around a toy that carries germs, bacteria and leftover food. Select a dog toy that you can easily wash, either by hand or in the dishwasher. Some interactive dog toys can get food or treats lodged into the crevices. The simpler the toy, the easier it will be for you to keep clean, and the more your dog will get to play with it.
Not a Replacement for Feedings, Playtime or Exercise
Treat-dispensing dog toys are a quick and easy way to keep your dog entertained for short periods of time – they should not replace spending quality time with your dog. Regular walks and play are not only necessary, but they are also more engaging and entertaining for your dog. Also, take care not to overfeed or over treat. Always read the feeding guidelines on the back of the dog treat package to make sure you’re giving them the right amount. If necessary, decrease the amount of wet dog food or kibble you give them at meals to help manage their caloric intake.