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Ditch the food bowl!: Benefits of Interactive Feeding

@rosie.and_me

The modern, city-dwelling, companion dog is increasingly living a life of abundance. Doggy dedicated luxuries like Pupper Cups, Pawtisseries by Maison de Pawz, home-delivered fresh meals like Pet Plate and The Farmer’s Dog, plush beds and even doggie sofas. Many of today’s dogs are free of the stress and worry of when their next meal will be and where they will find shelter or safe drinking water. This is a stark contrast to an animal in the wild who spends most of their time and energy searching for these necessities. Whilst this search can be stressful, it gives these animals a job to do, an outlet for their energy, and keeps them mentally stimulated.

I don’t want to confuse anyone into thinking that we should add stress to a dog’s life or remove their luxuries. Quite the opposite. We must, however, be mindful that if we remove tasks from a dog’s life we should prepare to replace them. If we don’t, a dog may find their own way of occupying themselves (like chewing your furniture or excessively barking). 

Fortunately, there is a small adjustment you can make to your daily routine that will help provide your dog with physical and mental activities each day. Simply ditch the regular food bowl. Instead of using a food bowl to feed your dog, consider using interactive food toys and puzzles. Benefits of making this change include: 

  • Preventing bloat or digestive issues from eating too quickly.
  • Providing mental stimulation for your dog.
  • Keeping your dog occupied whilst they spend time alone.
  • Encouraging physical activity as they attempt to extract the food.
  • Boosting a picky eater’s interest in meals.
  • Providing an outlet for a dog’s desire to chew.

If you haven’t used interactive food toys or puzzles for your dog before or you’re looking for something new, you will find a few of my favorites below.

01

@jollypets

Jolly Pets Tough Tosser

Price $5.50

This interactive treat ball is great for large pieces of kibble and a variety of treats.

Why I love it:

  • Designed with tough chewers in mind.
  • Made of natural rubber and bounces quietly on tiles or wood floors.
  • Doesn’t collect fur as it rolls on the floor.
  • Great for dogs who are new to interactive toys as the challenge is quite easy.
  • Smells like vanilla!

Get yours on Amazon Here

 

PupToys Comfort Bone

Price $15.00

This food stuffable toy is recommended for puppies and small dogs under 20lbs and is great for stuffing with wet dog food, peanut butter, turkey cold cuts or freeze-dried meat patties.

Why I love it:

  • An alternative to femur bones that can chip or splinter.
  • Minimal effort & preparation when used in conjunction with freeze-dried patties like Stella & Chewy’s Dinner Patties.
  • Difficulty can be adjusted by freezing.
  • Designed and developed by pet training expert Andrea Arden

Get yours Here

02

@puptoys

03

chewy.com

Ethical Pet Geo Play Ball

Price: $10.99

This treat stuffable ball is designed with entertainment in mind and provides a dog with a fun activity, especially when paired with jerky-style treats like Wellness Core Pure Rewards

Why I love it:

  • It’s durable and holds up well to determined chewers.
  • It squeaks, floats, bounces, and has a variety of textures. This all helps encourage play and chewing even when the ball is empty.
  • Made of rubber and foam which is kind of tile and wood floors.

Get yours on Chewy

West Paw Toppl

Price: $15.95 (small)

The West Paw Toppl is designed to keep your dog entertained and challenged. Due to the design, you can pack this toy with everything from wet dog food, yogurt, pumpkin puree, treats, kibble and more!

Why I love it:

  • Super easy to pack with food or treats.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Difficulty can be increased by freezing or interlocking large & small Toppls.

Made of Zogolfex which is bouncy, squishy and tough.

Get yours on Amazon

04

@basil.andfriends

05

@whatsinmykong

Busy Buddy Twist ‘n Treat

Price: $5.99 (x-small)

The Busy Buddy Twist ‘n Treat is made of natural rubber and looks a little like a flying saucer. It has two pieces that fit together to allow you to adjust the challenge for your dog. It’s great for kibble, treats and soft foods.

Why I love it:

  • Comes in a variety of sizes.
  • Easy to pack with food and clean.
  • Durable.
  • The difficulty level is very easy to adjust with a quick twist of the pieces.

Get yours on Amazon

Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl

Price: $15.84

If you don’t quite want to give up the food bowl, you can give this fun alternative a shot. Slow feeder bowls give the dog a similar feeling to their normal food bowl, but the walls and divots force the dog to eat around them and slow down the feeding process considerably. 

Why I love it:

  • Vet Approved- Slow-eating bowls can often be recommended by vets for dogs who are overweight or have other digestive issues.
  • Eating around the walls takes more mental effort and can burn some of your dog’s energy
  • The bowls are made with slip-resistant and food-safe materials (The materials are BPA, PVC & Phthalate free)

Get yours on Amazon

06

@outwardhound

If you agree that the benefits of using food stuffable toys are compelling, make the switch today. Given all the fantastic options available to pet parents these days, there’s no reason for your best friend to eat out of a boring food bowl again!

Do you have a favorite food stuffable toy? We’d love to hear about it – comment below!

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