All About Dog Food Forum
Dog food and feeding => General discussion => Topic started by: Meg on Feb 08, 2017, 01:24
Having played yet another interactive toy game with a pup today, it set me to thinking about how much fun dogs have when they are having a one-to-one time with us, particularly for some dogs ( or maybe most dogs ) when food is involved!
So this topic is not about pouring food into a bowl for our dogs. Instead let's think of what better ways there are to make food times fun for our pooches.
I'll start with the interactive game played today which was hiding kibble under light wooden blocks which pup picked up and then retrieved a treat (the piece of kibble). Great fun!!
This is a good idea and is sure to stimulate the dog. A few years ago I bought one of those ball type toys that is a container for kibble and also makes a noise as it rolls. Trouble is, having more than one dog it immediately caused an argument so I had to give it away to someone with only one dog. It taught me a lesson and now I don't use treat containing toys. I am told that Nina Ottosson (http://www.nina-ottosson.com/) games are huge fun for the dogs. However, from your description I don't think you really have to pay for a toy in order for the dog to have fun.
Sounds like the Sprinkles game. I found out about it when I bought my last Perfect Fit harness. These are sold by Dog Games and they included the Sprinkles card in the package. The information about Sprinkles can be found on the Dog Games website here. (https://www.dog-games-shop.co.uk/sprinkles-card.html)
I've been seeing a lot of electronic dog feeders that can automatically feed your dog, maybe the next step is for them to add in some "games"!
I've see my coworkers play a version of the Sprinkles game where they hide treats all over the office and then let their dogs explore to their heart's content. Great source of entertainment for both the dogs and us!
Thank you very much for these ideas Meg. They all sound like fun for the owner as well as the dog. I mean to try them out. If you have any more, please would you post? It is good to have a selection so the dog doesn't get bored.
My boy really doesn't like just having food put in front of him so we have different feeding vessels. Food in empty coke bottles different sizes, empty egg boxes, fill cardboard tubes and fold the ends over, food ball. He'll bring a bottle or food ball if I've been busy and not fed him to give me the hint it's food time ;D
A favorite is if we've had a parcel with loads of brown paper packing and hiding the food in the folds. Yes he then rips it and makes a mess but then we have the game of fetch me any bits of paper, wrappers, dropped bits twigs (we have a fire), tissues he gets a treat. OH has the habit of dropping used paper on the floor in the office so first half hour every morning is bring me bits of paper at my desk for food.
I like the idea of all these interactive games and they are cheap too. I have tried various homemade hide and seek games and have treated my dog to a couple of puzzle toys from the flying saucer which needs to be shaken, to the dog casino. These are some videos of her getting stuck in
She took a while to get the hang of the casino but enjoyed the challenge. The others were sussed very quickly. She gets very excited when they come out.
Aw - that's really good. Clever little Muff. Thank you for posting the videos.
In case anyone is wondering, the Brick and Casino games are by Nina Ottoson. (http://www.nina-ottosson.com/) They can be found on Amazon and eBay.
We did think perhaps the bricks one was a waste of money as it was solved very quickly but she still loves to seek her treats. The white covers are removed a bit less delicately these days!
The casino one was definitely more challenging but I was amazed how determined she was. At first she was focused on opening the draws and I tried to show her to remove the bone keys to unlock them but she was too focused on the task to watch. Eventually she randomly got some out and would try a variety of draws. Then it is wonderful to see that light bulb moment when they seem to twig which key opens which draw. I was surprised she persevered with it. She can get them out quickly and methodically now.
Good to have an appraisal of the games. I have been tempted to purchase but they are a bit expensive and I was concerned that they might be a waste of money. Having more than one dog, I would have to separate them when playing with such a toy.
It occurred to me that these games are usually played with dry food so raw or wet food users might feel excluded. Perhaps it might be useful to make suggestions for suitable dry treats that can be used as a replacement.
I mostly use small pieces of homemade liver cake for these. It is a firm favourite so it makes the games a bit of a treat. It is quite smelly too for a dog.
The recipe is here (https://www.bdws.co.uk/2011/09/11/homemade-liver-cake-recipe-worlds-greates/)
I generally use brown rice flour instead of wheat. I freeze small portions as it does go off after 3 days.
I haven't used them but I think the thrive meat treats would work well too. I sometimes use sausages or cheese if I have nothing else handy. I probably wouldn't use the cold pressed unless she was having her whole meal as the pieces are big. The other things are small enough not to cause too much damage to the weight.
You could use normal wet or raw I suppose, but would have to be really careful with cleaning afterwards.
Murphy loves her food hidden and I think its a great exercise for a pup to 'hunt' for the meal. I have a couple of kongs in different sizes for her, but she enjoys home-mad toys even more.
I used a big cardboard roll (inside from the bubble wrap roll - looks like a huge loo-roll centre) and made some tiny holes in it. Stuck single treats in all the holes. Made couple of bigger holes which allow spare treats to fall out. Put some treats inside the tube. Put a sock on each of the roll's ends. Endless supervised play time! She loves it as it involved biting, scratching, and rolling around the floor with the tube.
Plastic bottle works on the similar principle but, in addition, makes tons of noise ::)