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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

In last week’s blog: Keep Your Pup Busy this Winter, I told you about a starter puzzle toy to try out with your dog this winter.  Did your pup figure it out already? Or is your pup just so smart that you need to try out some puzzle toys that are little more difficult?  Well, we have them for you!!  Here are some of our favorite puzzle toys to try today!

  • Dog Twister by Nina Ottosson ~ Skill Level – Hard. Spin to reveal the treats! This puzzle toy encourages your pup to learn to dislodge the bones and move the compartments to earn the treat hidden inside.  You can make your dog work even harder by hiding less treats or even locking some of the compartments.  This is great for cats too!

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  • Hol-ee Treat Ball by JW Pet ~ Skill Level – EASY.  It Rolls, Slides, Rotates and out come the TREATS! Holey moley…this is an awesome dog toy!  All you have to do is unscrew the top and fill it with our dog’s favorite treat!  It is made from durable, non-toxic natural rubber.

 

  • $T2eC16d,!zkFJJwSE2bJBSZR2Vfm,!--60_35Dog Magic by Nina Ottosson ~ Skill Level – EASY.  Remove the bones to reveal the treats! This is a relatively easy game, where your pup has to dislodge the bones to get the hidden treats.  You can choose to put the treats under one, several or all of the bones, to vary the difficulty of the game. Great for Cats too!

 

 

  • Tornado by Nina Ottosson ~ Sill Level – HARD.  Rotate the layers to reveal the treats! The idea behind the ‘Dog Tornado’ is for the dog to dislodge the removable bones, then turn the revolving sections to reveal hidden treats.  It has many variables to increase the level of difficulty as the dog’s skill improves.  This one is good for Cats too!COA-054_1z
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  • Bob-A-Lot by StarMark ~ Skill Level – EASY.  The Bob-A-Lot’s innovative design dispenses treats or food as your pup uses its nose or paws to tip it over.  The top and bottom chambers can have the dispensers adjusted to make it easier or harder to get the treats out.  The Bob-A-Lot is also a great way to stop your quick eaters from gobbling down their food too quickly.

Celebrate National Puzzle day by stopping in and picking up one of these or any of the other several puzzle toys that we have!  Your fur-kid will be thanking you this weekend!

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As pet owners, we always want to find great ways to entertain our furry friends. We’ve talked about interactive games and fun puzzle toys in past blogs as ideal winter boredom or busy-day alternatives – but these same options are also a perfect choice during the “dog days” of summer! Interactive games and puzzle toys capture interest and exercise curious minds any time of year. Part of the fun is that they incorporate your pet’s favorite food or treat in a way that challenges them to keep playing.

Food is a prime motivator for my dogs. It encourages them to play with a toy and then play some more, putting in the extra effort to figure out how it works. They love pushing, biting, rolling, and experimenting with different strategies – trying to find the fastest, most efficient way to get at that food! Then they return to the toy again and again, because you never know when there might be a few more yummy rewards in there, just waiting to be found.

As we’ve mentioned before, many interactive games and puzzle toys can be used for entertainment while you’re busy doing other things. Knowing our pups are productively engaged while we’re otherwise occupied gives many of us pet parents extra peace of mind. It also makes the time pass more quickly for our pets – and that means less chance of destructive behavior!

Now your pet is not going to love every single interactive game or puzzle toy out there. So luckily, our Two Bostons stores carry a great variety of options to suit pets of all shapes, sizes, and personalities. Some of these products are durable plastic puzzle games, including several excellent options from Nina Ottosson. These include the Dog Tornado (my dogs’ special favorite), the Dog Twister, Dog Magic, and Dog Treat Maze. We also carry a range of plush puzzle games. These include Kyjen’s squeaky Hide-A-Squirrel, Hide-A-Bird, and Hide-A-Bee, which let your pet hunt for a fuzzy friend. Last but not least are treat balls, which come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Popular customer picks include the Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball and the IQ Treat Ball by Ourpets. Don’t forget that many puzzle toys go all the way from a beginner to an advanced level. This is a big bonus, because it means your pet can stay engaged with the same toy over time — even as they master each new level. Ask anyone on our Team for suggestions.

 

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What’s the best thing about a puzzle toy party? Technically, you only need ONE hors d’oeuvre because those hungry pups just keep trying … and trying … and trying to get at the treat!

 

Like I said earlier, I use the Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado with my three dogs (see pics above) and they love it! The Tornado looks like a giant blue bone with four spinning layers. Inside each layer, there are little pockets to put treats, food, peanut butter, even frozen tidbits (the toy is freezer-safe). To get to the yummy reward, dogs have to turn the layers of the bone. I especially love this toy because my pups don’t usually find all the rewards right away. This keeps them highly entertained as they keep trying to figure out how to get those last few morsels! I would say the Tornado is considered a beginner interactive game, and it’s a great starter option if your dog has never tried this kind of toy before.

Remember that you should never give your pup or kitty a new toy for the first time without supervision. Always watch to see how they react, and if there are parts they might try to gnaw, claw, or pull off. Also, make sure there are no loose pieces that could be chewed apart or swallowed when you’re out of the room.

Stop by any of our locations today, and bring along your furry friend! We’ll be happy to introduce you to our favorite interactive toys, and suggest a few options that are perfect for your pet.