5 Treat-Dispensing Toys to Build Your Dog’s IQ

Interactive toys that dispense treats can offer dogs a tasty, entertaining way to stay active.

The Kong is mine! By: jespahjoy
The Kong is mine! (But does it really keep my mind sharp?) By: jespahjoy

Smart dogs know this simple fact: It’s important for them to get plenty of exercise and explore.

What happens when dogs don’t get enough exercise or become bored? Behavioral problems may develop.

Treat-dispensing toys offer a tasty, entertaining way for dogs to stay active. Even dogs who are confined to a crate for several hours during the day can take pleasure in the challenges and fun brought about by this sort of toy.

You may also find that your pet’s habit of barking, chewing or digging is being practiced less often once he’s introduced to a treat-dispensing toy.

For burning off energy and having fun — not to mention providing IQ-building mental stimulation — interactive toys are indispensable for dogs large and small. Here are 5 of my favorites:

1. Starmark Treat-Dispensing Chew Ball

This is a mighty tough dog toy. I’ve heard a pet caretaker describe how it withstood aggressive play (for at least 1 year) from an 8-year-old pit bull. The ball has openings where you insert treats or kibble into the hollow inner core.

Your dog will have to exercise his chewing muscles to retrieve the food, which comes out just fast enough to hold his attention and make him want more. The ball’s soft texture will keep your pet coming back to it, even when it’s empty.

Kong Classic dog treat toy

2. Kong Classic

A favorite among dog trainers, this hollow rubber toy will give your dog’s jaws a major workout. A Kong is almost impossible to destroy. Fill it with food and watch the excitement as your dog goes to work trying to get the food out.

For those dogs who enjoy a really tough challenge, freeze a food-filled Kong overnight and toss it to your pet the next morning.

3. Kong Wobbler

Kong WobblerAlthough similar to the Kong Classic in shape, this hard plastic toy has a keyhole-shaped opening in the side. Fill the Wobbler with kibble or treats, and let the games begin!

Dogs love to paw around with this toy, knocking out the bits of food. A weighted bottom prevents the Wobbler from falling completely down — each time your dog gets it down with his paw, the Wobbler bounces right back up. For those tough pups who enjoy a good battle, this is the perfect toy.

Zogoflex Tux dog toy

4. Zogoflex Tux

Made from a durable 1-of-a-kind material called Zogoflex, this stuffable dog toy will hold up to some serious pawing and chomping. It’s another excellent way to keep those jaws strong and healthy.

5. Petful’s IQ Treat Ball

IQ Treat Ball from Pets AdviserLast but certainly not least, this circular plastic gadget is my favorite. This interactive dog toy fulfills your pet’s scouting instinct.

Although our pets have their food “catered” to them these days, their instincts of hunting, catching and killing are still present. Put those natural drives into action with the IQ Treat Ball — available in a 5-inch size (medium and large dogs) at our shop.

Our IQ Treat Ball has an adjustable insert that allows you to choose how difficult getting to the goods will be, depending on the size, strength and willpower of your pet. Once the treats are inside and the ball has been closed back up, a little push from you will send it rolling across the floor. From that point, your dog will spring into action.

Just 2 quick reminders when you’re providing any toy:

  1. Supervise your pet’s playtime.
  2. Don’t let your pet overindulge in treats.

Remember, your number 1 goal is to keep your pet happy and healthy.

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