Enrichment Toys For Dogs
Enrichment toys for dogs are such an important thing, especially puppies or breeds with high energy. Taking your dog on walks or a run can be a great way to exercise them and burn some energy, but not everyone has time to take their dog on multiple long walks a day that would be needed to wear out your dog. Using some different enrichment toys or games for your dog can be a great option; if your day is rainy/snowy, maybe you don’t have the time to get out for long walks, or if you are physically unable to walk your dog by yourself. I’ve tried out a bunch of different enrichment toys and games with different dogs, here’s my honest review of what I believe are the options out there.
The Kong Wobbler is a food dispensing enrichment toy for dogs. It untwists from the bottom and then you can put dry food in it. Dogs can nose or paw at the toy and as it wobbles over, treats fall out of a small hole making for a fun game for your dog. Because of it’s size it can hold a good amount of treats or kibble, I do recommend this toy often for people to use to feed their dogs their main meals, not just treats, if they are fast eaters or just need a way to burn off steam while eating their meals. It’s dishwasher safe which makes for easy cleaning. It’s made of a food-grade, high strength polymer. This material makes it very durable for chewers and it makes it last a long time.
The Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball is another food dispensing enrichment toy. This toy is in the form of a ball with a small opening for you to stuff dry treats inside. The dog can roll this toy all around the room releasing the treats as they roll it. They cannot hold as much food as some, the large size can hold maybe a half a cup of food. Because it cannot hold as much it works well as a treat dispenser rather than a main meal feeding tool. This is made of a soft vinyl material with texture to make it easier for you and your dog to grip it. Because of its softer material it could be easier to destroy for a strong chewer. Another downside is that it can be difficult to get the treats out once there’s only a couple left inside, it doesn’t come apart so washing can be difficult as well. All that said however, it is on the more affordable end of the spectrum. Overall I would recommend this toy for light-medium chewers and generally smaller dogs.
TRIXIE Pet Products Games. I decided to opt to include this whole brand rather than just talk about one of their dog games. The TRIXIE Pet Products brand has tons of different puzzle games for dogs. There are a few other brands similar to them that have great puzzle games as well. I love this brand because they label the difficulty of the games so you know what to get for your pup. Starting with Level 1 games like the TRIXIE Mini Solitaire Game going up to a level 3 such as their TRIXIE Flower Tower. They have multiple different games in each level, mentally stimulating your dog and giving you and them a fun experience. This brand is pretty durable in material, but there are many pieces so you will need to supervise play to ensure safety for your dog.
Enrichment Toys For Dogs – More Ideas
The LickiMat Soother and LickiMat Wabble are generally put in the slow feeder category of dog equipment, however they also can be great tools to help with boredom and anxiety reduction. It’s encouraged to put a healthy snack on the mat, such as peanut butter, yogurt, purees, etc. I like to freeze some snacks so it lasts a little longer. When your dog licks the snack off the mat the texture of the mat gives a calming sensation to dogs, this is what helps with anxiety. I love these mats because you can do so much with them, there are even brands that have suction pads on the back so you can stick it to your tub to make bath time easier. The mats are very soft and not intended to be left alone with a strong chewer. They are a more affordable option compared to other toys.
The PET ARENA Adjustable Snuffle Mat is a great toy to use for enrichment. This one in particular is adjustable so you can make it open to the “full mat” size or have it in the “bowl” or “shrink” sizes. You just hide some treats in the folds of the material and then let your dog use their nose to find them all. They are made of soft fleece material so strong chewers should be supervised. The mat is machine washable and it’s portable design makes it easy to take with you. These are great simple tools to either do enrichment games or you could even feed your dog their full meal in this. There are many other kinds with more complicated designs and other ways to hide the treats, but I appreciated this specific style because of its portable use, adjustability, and price point.
44 Inch Flirt Pole for Dogs. This enrichment toy for dogs is one of the best options if your dog has a high play/toy drive and you struggle to wear them out. It works really well for big dogs who play a little rougher too because the pole part keeps a safe distance between you and your dog. It has interchangeable toys for you to attach on the end, then in the back yard or somewhere with a little more space you can swing the toy around encouraging your dog to chase it. It has durable toys meant to last a long time, the string attachment is pretty durable too. It also folds up in a little bag to keep all the toys and pole together for portable use.
If you have a really big dog who pulls really hard in play, my recommendation is to make a Flirt Pole of your own. I made one for my husky using a Training Stick Whip (used for horses) and tying my dog’s favorite squeaker toy to the end of the string. Works really well for large dogs who pull strong. Now the intended use is a chase game not tug-of-war, but some dogs may start really tugging on it once they get the toy which is why I give DIY instructions if need be.
Remember that all dogs are different so what they need for enrichment toys are unique to them. Please play with your dog and learn how they love to learn and burn off steam. I hoped you enjoyed our article on Enrichment Toys For Dogs! Happy playing!
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