This is a question many dog owners often ask. Why does a dog puzzle toy involve some chewing? Well, chewing is one of the things dogs love. Now, when chewing becomes destructive for your home, it is a problem.
A chew toy provides mental stimulation and exercise for your puppy. Today, we will talk about why use puzzle toys, how can you make your own puzzle toy, and what are some of the best puzzle toys.
Why use puzzle toys?
As I said before, the main reason why we use puzzle toys is they provide mental stimulation. And your puppy needs it for a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Dog puzzle games reduce anxiety and boredom and increase your puppy’s problem-solving skills. A bored puppy can easily start chewing things at home and become a problem.
These puzzle toys can range in difficulty levels. They go from easy, to medium, and hard. As your pup is getting better at solving them, you can increase the difficulty.
Interactive dog toys are great for creating a positive outlet for your dog’s natural instinct for chewing, hunting, and digging.
And here is a bonus. You can use a dog puzzle toy as a slow feeder for your puppy. Some dogs love to eat fast, which can cause digestive problems. Combine high-value treats and dog food to improve your puppy’s digestion.
Why do they involve chewing?
So, why do dog puzzle toys often involve a certain degree of chewing? Well, chewing is fun for dogs. It enhances brain stimulation while keeping your pooch mentally stimulated.
At the same time, chewing promotes strong jaws and healthy teeth. It makes sense for puzzle games to include chewing and encourage that behavior.
Chewing also physically wears your dog out. And if you think about it, stimulating your dog’s cognitive reasoning is beneficial to his health in many ways. Here are several ways chewing puzzle toys help:
- Refocus your dog’s attention
- Reduce anxiety
- Reduce destructive behavior around the home
- Great for sensitive tummies, feed your dog and slow down a quick eater
- Provide much-needed exercise
- Alleviate boredom
- They are a great distraction for anxious dogs
- Help with weight management
- Prevents dementia in a senior dog
Some great puzzle toys
I said in the beginning that I will give you a few suggestions for a good dog puzzle toy. Any good interactive dog toy should provide mental stimulation and physical exercise.
What is the best dog puzzle toy? I cannot say for certain, but here are some of my choices.
Among the many food puzzle toys, Wobble bowl is a Level 1 dog toy, similar to a snuffle mat. You can use it as a treat puzzle or a slow feeder interactive toy.
The great beginner puzzle for a large dog or a small dog is a great way to add some interactive games to your dog’s day.
Simply fill it with kibble or your dog’s favorite treats by removing the plug on the top of the lid and pouring the dog food in.
Bonus: it is washable and easy to clean
This is Milo’s favorite interactive dog game. There are different levels of difficulty to this interactive dog toy.. We started with the easiest choices, and gradually we increased difficulty.
With Flower Tower, you can add kibble in so many different ways. And it encourages your dog to search.
If you want to give your dog a bigger challenge, you can try this treat dispenser. The cool mental stimulating dog food dispenser is designed by using colors within your puppy’s spectrum of vision. It comes in vibrant blue, red, and yellow color.
That is made strategically to capture your dog’s attention and motivate him to find the hidden treats.
Can You make your own?
Yes, you can make your own interactive puzzle toy. I have two examples for you. And I use them both. There is no need to always buy puzzle dog toys, when you can make it on your own. As a responsible dog owner, it is your job to create interactive dog toys.
The first one is a DIY snuffle mat. How to do it? All you need is an old blanket or any other fabric. It doesn’t look like a regular sniffing mat, but the purpose is the same.
Make sure there are no buttons on the blanket. Scrunch it a little bit, and let your dog investigate. Start by scrunching the blanket in the beginning. Your goal, in the beginning, is to motivate your puppy to search for tasty treats and dog food.
As your dog is getting better, fold the blanket and do all sorts of crazy things. The more challenging the better.
For our second game, you need a couple of tennis balls and a muffin tin. Place tasty treats in each hole of the muffin tin, and cover it with tennis balls. Your dog’s job is to pick up the tennis ball and find the kibble underneath it.