One of the best pieces of advice we have learned from expert Veterinary Behaviorists and outstanding Dog Trainers is to
THROW YOUR PET'S FOOD BOWL AWAY!
Animals in the wild spend hours searching for food. Dogs and cats are hardwired to enjoy this behavior and studies have shown that when given a choice, all species prefer to work for their food once they know how, rather than just getting it free. The best way to use food as entertainment and enrichment for your pet is to use food for structured interactions with you during training and playing fun games.
Measure out the appropriate amount of daily food for your pet. If your dog eats 100 pieces of kibble every day, that is 100 opportunities to reward for behavior that you want to see from your pet. If you like when your pet lays quietly, dont forget to give him a reward for even that simple act! If you reward a behavior, even laying quietly, your pet will learn to repeat it. Then save some of the kibble to load food toys and puzzles so that you pet can stay busy and engaged working for his food versus instead being bored and chewing on your shoes and furniture!
For Training, Kick your Kibble up a notch in flavor! Try Kibble Crave Dog Food Enhancer. Make those food toys irresistible!
The Magic of Chew Toys and Food Toys!
Don't waste your dog's food in a bowl! Feed your pup from food toys!
Cats Love Food Toys Too!
The food toys and chew toys recommended below can be found in many pet stores as well as through the provided links to their manufacturer's websites. The Kong and Kong Wobbler are available for sale at Deer Run Animal Hospital, as well as at pet stores and on the Internet
Kong Toys for Dogs & Cats This is a great video to introduce you to the great Kong product line for both Dogs and Cats. Providing multiple Kong toys is a great way to prevent behavior problems before they start. A busy dog is a good dog! Stimulate your dog's brain with a challenging toy!
DDFL Dog Toys and How to Use Them
The Magic of Chew Toys
Click this link & the diagram below to learn how to use and "stuff" your chew toys!
Kong Stuff'n Recipes Click for some recipes ideas to stuff your dog's kong!
Kong Stuffing Tips from the San Francisco SPCA Recipes and more from this great shelter.
Kong Stuff'N An Instructional Video
If you need a visual example, check out this video on how to make a Kong a tasty treat!
WE LOVE THE KONG TOY!!
KONG Toys can help you train your puppy and dog in many fun ways! Learn how to use a Kong Toy to
- Relieve stress and Anxiety
- Provide a safe chewing alternative away from your shoes and furniture!
- Provide interactive play between you and your pet!
- Ease Separation Anxiety
- Aid in Crate Training
- Help teach basic manners
DSD Errorless Chewtoy Training--The Kong is King! This link below is from Dr Ian Dunbar's Dog Star Daily Website and is about the value of safe chew toys and describes how the Kong is King! It tells you how to stuff your kong to keep your pup engaged and working for food throughout the day! Don't feed your puppy from a bowl, use a Kong!! When you click on the link, be sure to note the numerous videos on chew toys on the right hand side!
The Kong Wobbler is a great way to feed your dog! Make meal time play time! Don't waste your dog's meal in a bowl!
Click below to see the Kong Wobbler in action!
Instructions for Introducing & Using the Kong Wobbler
Steve Dale talks about the Kong Wobbler
and feeding your dog from a food dispensing toy in this Video
Join Kong on Facebook
Also try Starmark's Treat Dispensing Bob-a-lot another great food dispensing toy!
For even more fun offer your dog Starmark's Everlasting Treat Ball!
Pets love variety so check out the food dispensing toys from the Premier company
including the Waggle, Twist and Treat, and Squirrel Dude at the link below.
Premier's Busy Buddy Rubber Chew Toys
And for even more more of a challenge for your dog, try some of these food puzzles!
Nina Ottosson Pet Activity Toys and Treat Puzzle Games
From Sweden, Nina Ottosson's range of durable interactive games have been designed to stimulate a dog's brain while reinforcing his relationship with people. Each design has a unique mechanism that requires mental as well as physical dexterity to work through the challenges and reveal hidden food rewards. They can be set to differing levels of complexity, to satisfy all ages and breeds of dog. So whether you have a Forrest Gump or an Albert Einstein, there is a Nina Ottosson game design to suit every dog! Buy Nina Ottoson toys in the US at ActiveDogToys.com
Kyjen Food Puzzle Toys
Food Puzzle toys teach dogs how to problem solve while eliminating behavioral issues, increasing mental stimulation, and building better owner/pet relationships. Dog Games Puzzle Toys are an excellent way to challenge and engage your dog's mental needs that physical training alone may not provide. Learn more and see them in action at Kyjen Food Puzzles-more info and videos.
Puzzle Toys & Boredom Busters click this link for recommendations by the famous Karen Pryor Academy of Clicker Training. This site recommends some of the toys we have already listed but others too.
Smarter Toys = Smarter Dogs! In nature, dogs have to forage for their food. Smarter Toys? allow dogs to work for their food and, in the process, gain healthy mental and physical stimulation. Essentially, the toys allow dogs to be dogs, feeding their instincts.
The Buster Cube
Pet Expertise is a great company recommended by Positive Dog Trainers and they offer a variety of great innovative Food Toys and Chew toys. If your dog has a tendency to destroy his toys, check out their article on how to Train Your Dog to Play Nicely with His Toys.