They say that idle paws are the naughty dog’s workshop – or something like that. Bored pups will always find a way to entertain themselves, which could spell disaster if they focus their attention on the wrong item.
Aside from keeping mischievous dogs safely occupied, food-dispensing puzzle toys offer the added benefit of helping your pooch stay fit and healthy from the inside out.
Here are 8 great reasons to add one (or two) to your dog’s Christmas list.
1. They’re great for sensitive tummies.
Did you know that cognitive toys aren’t just for dispensing treats? You can actually feed your dog his entire meal using certain food puzzles. They are an excellent choice for slowing down pooches who eat too quickly and preventing unpleasant side effects like vomiting and indigestion.
2. They provide much needed exercise.
Depending on a dog’s age, size and health, they should get anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise each day. This can be difficult to provide when you are busy with work, kids and everyday life. With a food puzzle, you not only give your dog the exercise they need to keep their body healthy, but also the mental stimulation they need to stay sharp.
3. They alleviate boredom.
When you can’t be home with your pet or are just too busy with household chores to focus on playtime, try a cognitive toy. The aroma of delicious snacks will keep your dog focused on solving the puzzle and prevent any boredom-related mischief.
4. They help prevent anxiety.
Have you ever noticed that the busier you stay, the less you dwell on the stressors in your life? The same is true for dogs! When a pup with separation anxiety is home alone with nothing to do, he is more likely to fret about the fact that you are gone. Food puzzles make excellent distractions for worried doggy minds.
5. They help with weight management.
Eating slowly and with purpose allows the body time to feel full from a smaller amount of food. Food puzzles allow you to dole out your dog’s meals bit by bit over a period of minutes instead of letting them chow down in a matter of seconds.
6. They keep puppies out of trouble.
For a puppy, the world is a fascinating place to discover. When exploring they tend to lick, chew, dig, and roll on anything that captures their attention. Cognitive toys are perfect for directing all that innocent curiosity into a safe, healthy activity.
7. They help prevent dementia in older pets.
As we age it’s important to exercise our brains in order to stave off issues like memory loss. Evidence has shown that the same is true for aging dogs. Food puzzles are a great way to keep them thinking and problem solving as they head into their senior years – kind of like Mental Floss for dogs.
8. They’re fun.
Dogs enjoy a good challenge every now and then. Cognitive toys have plenty of health and behavioral benefits, but all your dog cares about is that they’re fun to solve!
Featured Image via Instagram/@MachoManBullDog