Dog playing with Kong enrichment toys

 

Enrichment for Dogs

We all know dogs need exercise, but what about mental stimulation? Your dog actually needs physical and mental stimulation at home, to ensure they are happy and have a healthy, balanced lifestyle, full of enrichment. Failing to stimulate their mind can result in your dog becoming bored, destructive, noisy and excitable. Fortunately, these days there is a wide range of interactive products on the market designed to stimulate your dog’s mind – and we’re not just talking squeaky toys. Interactive toys make your dog work for rewards and are ideal if your dog is left home alone for long periods of time. Resident product tester, Erik, enjoyed testing out a few of the products currently available.

Low Cost Options

Round IQ Pet Toy, Kmart, $9.00

This wooden toy is cheap to buy and easy to use. Simply fill the holes with treats and cover with the lids, before letting your pet loose to try and work out how to get those yummy treats. Whilst cost effective and slightly more durable than Kmart’s other offering – the Oval Dog Treat Puzzle – it only took Erik a few seconds to find the treats. It’s also our recommendation that this toy is not left unsupervised with your dog, as it may not stand up to larger or more inquisitive dogs!

Oval Dog Treat Puzzle, $9.00

This dog treat puzzle toy took slightly longer for Erik to figure out, the fastenings proving slightly harder to open. However, again we would not recommend leaving this toy with your dog unsupervised. Perfect for the smaller dog, when you can focus 100% attention on your dog’s interaction with the toy.

Mid Cost Options

AFP Interactive Fetch N Treat, $29.95

It may look like a ball launcher, but this toy is actually designed to release treats when your dog drops the ball in the top. Once they’ve figured it out, it’s a fun game of fetch, drop and eat! The only darw back with this toy is that it may require some training, and Erik didn’t automatically find the treats being dispensed at the bottom as he was more interested in the smell of the treat reserve, stored at the top of the toy!

Kong Titlz Dog Toy, $28.99-34.99

This smart toy for dogs is large in size and durable. Simply unscrew the lid, add treats, and screw back down before allowing your dog to play. As they rock the treat dispenser, treats will be released erratically, which only encouraged Erik to play for longer.

High-Cost Options

Kong Toy Wobbler (small), $40.99

At over $40 this was the most expensive boredom buster tested by Erik, but also resulted in the most lasting enjoyment. Erik enjoyed nudging and paw-ing the Wobbler around the yard, eventually managing to release treats from the inside. It took more effort and interaction to release the treats than some of the cheaper toys, and is durable enough to be left with your dog when you’re not focusing on them 100%.

What about Cats?

It’s not just dogs who benefit from mental stimulation – cats do too. Play to their natural instincts and invest in one of these two cat toys!

Kong Cat Wobbler $34.99

Designed for indoor cats, this toy makes play time rewarding by dispensing small treats when your cat interacts with It.

Kmart Action Teaser Cat Toy $15.00

A battery operated, rotating teaser toy with random speed modes to stimulate your cat to play and catch.