The Art of Stuffing Puzzle Toys for Dogs (VIDEO) January 2017

About once or twice a month I set myself up at the kitchen table to stuff and freeze puzzle toys for my dogs. The 15 minutes it takes me to fill about 10 toys turns into hours of my dog’s time spent hard at work trying un-stuff them.

I do this because I don't want my dogs to be bored. I keep in mind that their ancestors, wolves, need to spend a tremendous amount of their time and energy each day searching for their next meal. They must not only find their prey but also stalk, chase, grab, kill and dissect it before they can get anything into their stomach. Dogs on the other hand, generally get their meals handed to them in a bowl twice a day which only takes them seconds to consume. It’s no wonder we have a nation of bored and under-stimulated dogs on our hands! Work-to-eat food toys do everyone a favour by giving your dog a problem to solve which stimulates their minds, drains some of their energy, and gives them the opportunity for a good chew session.

Work-To-Eat life a Wolf!

If your dog has very high energy levels (and even if they don’t) try feeding them exclusively through work-to-eat bowls and toys. You can use a couple of stuffed toys per meal depending on how much food your dog requires and how much fits in the type of toy you choose. There are also work-to-eat alternatives to stuffing and freezing, such as slow-feeder bowls and wobbler type toys in which you put kibble inside and the dog must then roll it around to knock the pieces out of a hole. You can easily make your own version of this using a water bottle or jug with a hole(s) cut in the side (Google DIY puzzle toys).

Handy times to occupy your dog with a puzzle toy:

Time-lapse tutorial videos:

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A post shared by Allison Wells CTC (@iloveyourdoghaliburton)

My favourite Layer Recipe:

Other stuffing ideas:

Piping bag hack for bulk stuffing

*Please note that you should only stuff and freeze toys which are meant for stuffing and have two holes to prevent suction forming and injuring your dog.

Things to Watch out for: