The other day we were looking for a healthy, reasonably priced treat. Zukes skinny baked treats are made in the USA and are advertised as having less than 10 calories a treat with more than 140 treats per bag ($5.99 at Petsmart). They are wheat, soy and corn free and are available in three flavors: peanut butter & banana, berry, and pumpkin & sweet potato. Continue reading →
We have quite a collection of treat dispensing toys (and not just for the dog) but I’m always on the lookout for new ones. So when I saw the JW Pet Company’s Treat Pod toy at a local pet store I thought we should give it a try. It has three soft plastic shapes on a rope; as with any treat toy the idea is to place treats inside the toy (or peanut butter but personally I think that would be incredibly messy) and as the dog plays with the toy treats fall out. Great in theory….unless you put the treats in the blue part, they would never fall out (and even they it wasn’t easy…not good if you have a lazy gal like us). The pods are pretty tight and probably would require A LOT of hard play to get the treats out in the other sections. As a regular toy, it was just ok. It wasn’t her favorite but (unlike some people I have heard of) it also didn’t fall apart during play. Overall, I would say to put this at the bottom of the toy shopping list.
We give Treat pod out of 5. The Treat Pod is available at most pet stores for about $14.50
I’ve posted a lot lately about different toys and things you can buy for your dogs and while I did pick up some new stuff I will likely share in the future…I thought it would also be good to share some home made fun and activities you might want to try with your critter this summer.
We’ve made puzzle toys out of sturdy Tupperware containers and treats hidden inside or with peanut butter smeared on the bottom of an overturned food bowl (that kept the dog busy for ages trying to figure out how to flip the dish). We’ve also tried playing where’s the treat with over turned plastic cups.
For those hot summer days, a hard plastic kiddie pool can be a great way for the dog to cool off. You can also put treats in the pool for the dog to try and fish out. Alternatively, you could fill the pool with plastic balls (like the kind that are found in ball pits) or balls of newspaper instead of water and let the dog dig and hunt for treats (of course you will want to supervise them to ensure the dog doesn’t start chewing on the balls).
Finally, if you feel like baking why not made a few dog treats while your at it? Here are some recipes to help you get inspired.
Both the cat and dog need a lot of stimulation otherwise they’ll start looking for trouble. That’s why we bought these two puzzle toys. The first is the Dog Games Star Puzzle, it has a knob on the bottom to adjust the difficulty in moving the three star segments. You place a treats in the stars and close it up and allow your pet to try and it up. This held their attention span the best. We had to make the star really loose for the cat, to allow her to be able to open it up (the hard part for her) but her small paws allowed her to pop the treats out easily. Since she uses her nose alot (for a cat) this was a good choice for her too. We also stuck some of her toys in there and it kept her pretty busy trying to pry them out. We tightened up the star for the dog who didn’t take too long to open but (due to her bigger paws) it was harder for her to get the treats out (a good thing really). We and a lot of fun watching her try to figure out how to get at the treats. Eventually, she resorted to licking them out or just picking up the whole thing and dropping it to make them bounce out.
Next, we tried the DogIt Mind Games 3 in 1 interactive dog toy. You can play hide and seek by placing treats in the small depressions in the base and covering them up with the small “cups”, slide a disc where the cups are replaced by a green flat disc the animal can push around to try and access the treats, or a more challenging version of hide and seek where a center piece is added (makes moving the cups harder).
Ironically, the cat had much more fun with this toy than the dog. She like moving the disc around and the cups became another toy to chase around the house once they were “freed” from the base. The dog found this toy too easy and starting trying to chew on it after she found the treats (took about 5 seconds for her to get them all). I guess how much fun this toy is for your dog really depends on their abilities and personality. Overall we give the Star Puzzle
and a half out of 5 bones and the Mind Games 3-in 1 Puzzle bones out of 5.
The Star Puzzle is available for between $16 and $24.99 and the Mind Games 3-1 puzzle for $22 to $29.99