Dogs are remarkably high maintenance, especially the higher energy breeds. They require constant stimulation and attention which we pet owners are very often unable to provide, however much we love our furry buddies. And they always seem to be at their most playful when we are busiest. As you know, a bored dog is very often a destructive dog, so it is important that dog owners find appropriate and safe means to keep their dogs occupied until such a time that is more convenient. It is this function that dog puzzle toys subserve. The best dog puzzle toys keep your dog entertained and busy and are safe for use, they stimulate your dog physically as well as mentally and reward them for their efforts. They keep those destructive instincts to the minimum and simplify your job as a pet owner. Here is a list of 5 of the best dog puzzle toys in 2021 and a summary of those features they offer.
A dog is a man's best friend, a part of the family even. They are high-energy creatures with a lot of love to give. Now, with our ever-busy schedules, we are rarely ever able to provide our beloved pet with the sort of attention he requires. And this very often means we leave them alone to find for themselves an outlet for all the pent-up energy. Seeing as they have no sense of the value of things, and they have a propensity to dash around and chew on stuff, it is not always the best idea to leave them to their devices. We need to provide for them an outlet for all their energy, one that is both safe and interesting enough to attract their attention and keep their focus. This is why dog puzzle toys are important.
Now, dog puzzle toys come in many different styles and sizes, offering varying features that cater to canines with different temperaments, energy levels, strength and sizes. It is important that you are able to choose the model that is best suited to your pet. Here, we will help you make this choice by providing you with a detailed list of those features to consider when dog puzzle toy shopping, along with other information of importance.
What Are The Benefits of Dog Puzzle Toys?
They provide mental stimulation to your dog.
They offer a practical approach to weight management as it makes your pup eat slower and less, they could also help your dog get much-needed physical exercise.
They help alleviate boredom in your pet and keep them occupied.
They can help prevent anxiety in your pet.
They help reduce destructive behavior in your dog.
They may slow the development of canine dementia.
How Do I Teach My Dog To Use Puzzle Toys?
Introducing a new toy to your pet can be a tricky exercise. There are certain steps to follow for this process to go as smoothly as possible, these are:
Introduce the toy slowly, you can simply add the puzzle to your pet's toy collection and watch to see how they react to it.
Scatter some treats around the toy to encourage interest.
Put some food in the toy while your dog watches, preferably in a compartment that is easy to reach.
Show the dog how to work the toy.
Put more food in the toy and leave it for your dog to play with.
What Factors Should I Consider Before A Dog Puzzle Toy?
There are so many dog puzzle toys on the market today and each model offers unique features that make them more or less suited to your canine. To make an informed choice about what works best for your pet, you need to consider certain factors with good knowledge of how these factors translate to real-world functionality. This buying guide was created to show you what these factors are and explain how they affect your experience.
You need to consider the size of the puzzle toy in relation to the size of your dog. An appropriately sized toy is one that your pet can comfortably put its mouth into without any risk of swallowing any part. Manufacturers usually include information about what sizes of dogs a product is suitable for, pay attention to this. You should also look at user reviews as these are often more representative of what your experience might be.
Whatever toy you settle for is likely going to be used very often. And with dogs liable to bite and chew, durability is an especially important factor to consider. Asides from the cost implications buying a fragile product would have, they are safety issues to worry about. You don't want a unit that would break into sharp fragments that could injure your dog or small fragments that can be swallowed and constitute choking hazards. The durability of a product depends on its build material, which is usually wood, rubber, or hard plastic.
Level of Difficulty
How difficult the puzzle is determines how much pleasure your pet would get from it, too easy and your dog would figure it out too quickly and eventually lose interest, too difficult and your dog would get frustrated and lose interest. And so, it is important that you match the difficulty of the dog puzzle to your animal's skill level. It is a good idea to start your dog off with something simple and then up the difficultly as their experience grows. Some of the best models let you adjust the difficulty level as indicated.
Ease of Cleaning
Dog puzzle toys hold food, and so, you'd need to clean them from time to time. And so, how easily they can be cleaned is another important factor to consider. Typically, to allow you better reach the corners and hidden compartments, the unit can be disassembled. Although this makes cleaning easier and more effective, you should be wary of leaving your dog unsupervised with these toys as a part that can come out is a part that your dog can swallow and choke on.
How Much Do Dog Puzzle Toys Cost?
Dog puzzle toys come in many different styles and sizes and are made from many different materials offering different features to users. And all of these come together to determine how much a unit costs. On the market today, you can buy a unit for a little as $7 and as much as $60.
This dog puzzle keeps your dog occupied and entertained for hours. It has 3 types of compartments for you to hide treats in. It is made from durable BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free, plastic material, making it safe to use with your pet. It is easy to disassemble and clean. It weighs 1.2 pounds and measures 12.75 x 9.25 x 2 inches. It has a food capacity of 1 cup and is suitable for use with dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds.
The unit can be easily disassembled for easy cleaning
It is made from durable material and will stand up well to even the most energetic dogs
The compartments are easy to fill
The dog puzzle has certain small parts that could come off if the unit is forcibly flipped over by your dog constituting choking hazards
The TRIXIE dog activity flip board is made from durable plastic material and is suitable for use with dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages. It has a non-slip rubber base to keep the unit in place as your dog plays. It comes with a number of placement options to vary the level of difficulty. The game is uniquely designed so the cones cannot be knocked over. The product comes with an instruction booklet with tips and tricks for designing optimal training. It is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
It is easy to clean and dishwasher safe
It has a non-slip rubber base that keeps the unit in place as your dog explores
It comes with an instruction booklet that contains tips and tricks for optimal training
It has detachable pieces that can constitute choking hazards
The unit comes with 5 different, brightly colored, medium-large dog balls (a squeaky ball, a solid rubber ball, a wool ball, a dental cleaning ball, and a treat-dispensing ball) with each serving a unique function. The balls are made from non-toxic rubber and rope to ensure your dog’s safety. They are no plastic fragments that could break off and constitute choking hazards. The balls are strong and durable to chew and have weights that are very suitable for a game of fetch. It is suitable for both outdoor and indoor play.
The unit comes with 5 different balls that serve unique functions
The balls are strong and durable to chew
The balls have no plastic fragments that could break off and constitute choking hazards
The balls have a strong rubber smell that is very difficult to get rid of
The unit contains 2 dog toy balls, one green, and the other cyan, made from non-toxic rubber material. They are durable, safe for use with your beloved pets, and puncture-resistant. The balls can be easily stuffed with pet snacks. They are designed to help clean your pet’s teeth and prevent plaque and tartar build-up. They are suitable for use with cats and dogs of all sizes. The balls can be very easily cleaned by soaking in warm water for a few minutes.
The balls are made from non-toxic, durable rubber material and are safe for use with your animals
The balls can be cleaned very easily
The balls are designed to improve your pet’s dental health
The balls have a strong rubber smell but this can be reduced by leaving them in the sun for a few days
This dog ball keeps your pet mentally and physically stimulated as they play. It comes with an adjustable interior disc to adjust the difficulty level, making it so you can customize the ball to your dog’s ability. It is made from durable, non-toxic, hard plastic that can be disassembled for easy cleaning in warm soapy water. It promotes slower and healthier feeding. The unit is available in 2 different sizes, 3 inches for smaller dogs and 4 inches for larger ones. It is appropriate for use with dogs at all life stages.
It features customizable difficulty levels
It comes in 2 size options
It can be easily disassembled for cleaning
It is not suitable for smaller breeds as they can get their jaws stuck in the opening
Dog Puzzle Toy FAQs
Q: Are puzzle toys good for dogs?
A: Yes, puzzle toys are good for dogs, they can stimulate mental and physical activity, alleviate boredom, reduce destructive behavior and help reduce anxiety in your animal.
Q: How do I get my dog interested in puzzle toys?
A: To get your dog interested in puzzle toys, you should start with simple tasks. You should also demonstrate to the dog how to work the toy. Also, you can put in food items with strong smells to encourage the dog.
Q: Are puzzle toys safe for use with dogs?
A: Yes, puzzle toys are safe for dogs to use. You shouldn't let your dog play with them unsupervised, however, especially models with detachable bits or ones made from plastic.
Jarett and his vapor wake dog, Toxi, help keep the students and public safe on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. Jarett knows what equipment, food and toys to keep Toxi safe, productive and still able to have fun.