Food puzzles are dog toys that are designed to dispense food. There’s been an explosion of food puzzles on the market in the last decade or so. You can find them in all sizes, difficulty levels, and for whatever type of food you feed your dog. They work in all different ways, from balls that dogs roll to get treats to fall out to mats that you smear with treats for them to lick to toys you wedge big treats into so they have to problem solve to get them out.
At Dogby, food puzzles are our favorite enrichment activity to add fun and satisfaction to a dog’s daily routine. We recommend feeding all your dog’s meals from puzzles and make sure to include at least one food puzzle in every Discovery Kit. Here are the things we love most about food puzzles:
1. Food puzzles give dogs independent fun.
Most dogs won’t play with toys or explore in the yard by themselves for very long, which puts a lot of pressure on us to entertain them and help them burn energy. Food puzzles, on the other hand, are a perfect independent activity for a dog. Depending on the puzzle, you’ll spend 30 seconds to 3 minutes filling it up and your dog will get 5 minutes to an hour of independent fun. They are the most time-effective way to enrich your dog’s life and give them more fun.
2. They let dogs scavenge.
To this day, approximately 70% of the dogs on this planet rely on scavenging as their main source of food. They spend large portions of their days searching for food. Although our pet dogs have secure, reliable food sources, most of them still have the instincts to forage, the urge to do it for extended periods of time, and get great satisfaction out of it.
3. They keep dogs out of trouble.
Because food puzzles keep dogs busy for longer periods of time, they are the perfect way to keep your dog out of trouble. Give your dog a food puzzle at a time when they are normally getting up to something naughty, like pestering you for attention, barking out the window, or chewing on your furniture.
Food puzzles also keep dogs out of trouble because they give them an outlet for their mental energy, helping them feel satisfied and content. Burning mental energy is helpful for reducing boredom-based naughty behaviors like chewing, digging, and barking. It’s also nice to have ways to burn your dog’s mental energy so you don’t have to rely solely on physical exercise.