Best Treat Dispensing Dog Toys

If it was up to us, we’d spend every minute with our dogs, but, unfortunately, that’s just not possible. When we need to leave our dogs at home for any reason, they often make sure we know that they aren’t happy about this. Some dogs experience separation anxiety or extreme boredom when left home alone, which leads to destructive or problem behavior, like barking or whining.

Treat dispensing toys can’t cure severe separation anxiety, but they can give your dog something to do when you are away, which can eliminate destructive behavior and give your dog something to do, other than barking or pacing.

These toys slow down your dog’s eating, stimulate their mind, and provide exercise. They make your dog work for their food, even when you can’t be there.

Product Details

Winner

Featured Best Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

PetSafe Busy Buddy Squirrel Dude

  • Best For Dry Food Of All Sizes
  • Adjustable Flow/Difficulty Rate
  • Irregular Roll And Bounce

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Runner Up

Featured Runner Up Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

KONG Classic

  • Best For Raw/Wet Food And Freezing
  • Easy To Stuff And Clean
  • 6 Sizes And 4 Rubber Hardnesses

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Best Wobbler

featured Best Wobbling Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

StarMark Bob-A-Lot

  • Extremely Durable
  • Works With A Wide Range Of Kibble Types
  • Highly Adjustable

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Runner Up Wobbler

Featured Best Treat Dispensing Wobbler

KONG - Wobbler

  • Wont Move Around As Much
  • Easy Enough For Every Day Feeding
  • Wobbles And Rights Itself To Increase Difficulty

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Most Durable

Featured Most Durable Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

KONG Tire Extreme

  • Made Of Kong's Toughest Rubber
  • Very Easy To Clean
  • Easily Visible Treats Inside Keeps Dogs Interested

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How do treat dispensing toys benefit dogs

Treat dispensing toys benefit dogs and their owners in a number of ways. These kinds of toys are some of the most important tools for helping our dogs adapt to a largely sedentary modern lifestyle. Treat dispensing toys occupy their time, make them eat more slowly, satisfy instinctual urges, and provide mental stimulation.

Here are some of the great ways that treat dispensing toys can help dogs.

Satisfy evolutionary drives to chase, chew, discover, and find food

Dogs used to spend a lot of their time foraging for food or working for humans. Now that dogs rarely have jobs and food comes in a bowl, dogs are left without anything to satisfy their instinctual urges to chew, forage, and search out rewards.

Food toys allow dogs to satisfy these instinctual urges in a constructive way, without destroying your home or furniture.

Soothe anxious or over-excited dogs

Active, intelligent dogs can easily become anxious or develop behavioral problems when they don’t have anything to do. Dogs can’t feel anxious when they are using their noses to seek out food. Dogs that tend to be overexcited, learn that self-control and thinking out the problem is more likely to lead to success, rather than frantic energy.

Reduce separation anxiety

If your dog experiences anxiety when you leave, a food distributing toy can help give them something else to think about. Dogs that experience severe separation anxiety and don’t care about food when you leave will not be occupied by a food dispensing toy, but dogs that are willing to eat, although they are nervous when you leave, may spend some time playing with the toy, instead of worrying about you being gone. These toys are also a good way to keep separation anxiety from developing.

Entertainment during crate or downtime

When you go to work or leave the house, your dog is left without anything to do. Giving them a food toy during these times allows them to entertain themselves so that they will be calm when you get home. Dogs that tend to destroy things can let out their energy constructively.

Stop eating too fast

If your dog consumes their meals too rapidly, they could be in danger of developing a serious problem, like bloat. Food dispensing toys slow down your dog’s eating, while providing entertainment.

Food-Distributing Toys Vs Puzzle Games

Both puzzle toys and food distributing toys provide food or treats to your dog when they perform particular behaviors. The primary difference between them is that food dispensing toys are made to be chewed on and played with without supervision, whereas puzzle toys are designed to be used with your supervision and possible assistance.

Puzzle toys are great for downtime when you are present. They teach your dog to accept your help and work together with you to achieve goals. These challenging puzzles stretch your dog’s mind and teach them advanced problem-solving skills.

They are usually made of relatively delicate pieces and hard plastic, which isn’t designed to be chewed on, so you must teach your dog how to use puzzle toys properly.

Food distributing toys are made to be used safely without your supervision, once you have observed your dog playing with them for some time. You can choose a toy that is tough enough for even the most intense chewers. Even if your dog does manage to destroy these toys, the rubber is designed to pass harmlessly through your dog’s system.

Both types of toys are valuable tools that can occupy your intelligent dog’s mind and keep them active.

Product Reviews

#1 KONG Classic:

Best For Freezing

  • How to fill: Use a funnel for dry food or smear wet food inside
  • How to clean: Hand wash, use a rounded brush, or top rack dishwasher
  • Adjustable difficulty: Using different fillings or by freezing
  • Sizes:
    • X-Small: Up to 5lbs
    • Small: Up to 20lbs
    • Medium: 15 – 35lbs
    • Large: 30 – 65lbs
    • X-Large: 60-90lbs
    • XX-Large: 85+ lbs
  • Chew durability:
    • Puppy: Puppies
    • Senior: Older dogs
    • Classic: Average chewers
    • Extreme: Power chewers
  • Dishwasher safe: Top rack safe
  • Fill with: Kibble, Wet food, Raw food, Smearables, Treats, Vegetables, Cheese
  • Colors: Coordinate with chew durability
    • Puppy: Baby Blue or Pink
    • Senior: Purple
    • Classic: Red
    • Extreme: Black
  • Freezable: Yes
  • Floats: No

PROS:

  • Customizable size and durability
  • Heavy-duty food distributing toy, chew toy, and fetch toy
  • Irregular bounce that encourages play
  • Easy to stuff and clean
  • Can be stuffed with a wide variety of treats
  • Cleans and stimulates gums and teeth

CONS:

  • Some dogs rub their noses trying to lick stuffing out
  • Treats fall out pretty easily, especially from larger sizes

The Kong Classic is a heavy duty toy that has been the standard in the dog industry for many years and it is recommended by veterinarians and trainers worldwide. This versatile toy is designed to be a chew toy, food distributing toy, and fetch toy, all in one.

It is safe to leave most dogs alone with a Kong, as long as you buy the correct size and material and you have observed your dog using it safely for a while.

The unique rubber blend of these toys are designed to stimulate your pet’s gums and clean their teeth. It has an irregular bounce that dogs love. Treats shoot out and satisfy your dog’s foraging instincts.

This easy-to-clean toy can be stuffed with a wide variety of food to mix it up for your dog’s playtime.

#2 West Paw Zogoflex Qwizl:

Best For Long Chews And Bully Sticks

  • How to fill: Stuff a long chew, like a bully stick, into the center and/or stuff with smearables and treats
  • How to clean: Hand wash with a brush and/or top rack dishwasher safe
  • Adjustable difficulty: Using different fillings or by freezing
  • Sizes: Small and large
  • Chew durability: Stands up to most heavy chewers
  • Dishwasher safe: Top rack
  • Fill with: Kibble, Wet food, Raw food, Smearables, Treats, Vegetables, Cheese, Rawhides, Bully sticks
  • Colors: Granny Smith, Aqua Blue, Tangerine
  • Freezable: Yes
  • Floats: Yes

PROS:

  • Durable Zogoflex material holds up to most chewers
  • Long chews, like bully sticks, are extremely easy to stuff in and extend playtime
  • Can hold regular treats and wet food
  • Great as a fetch toy since it floats and has a good shape for carrying
  • Top rack dishwasher safe and easy to hand wash, as well
  • Comes in three bright colors, so that you won’t lose it

CONS:

  • Long chamber doesn’t always come clean in the dishwasher
  • Won’t hold up to the most extreme chewers

The Qwizl is designed to extend playtime for even the most vigorous chewers. It is also a great fetch toy when the treats are gone. It floats, making it an awesome choice for your water-loving pup. The extremely durable Zogoflex material holds up to even intense chewing and the toy is made in the USA. It comes in three bright colors, which are easy to spot wherever you play.

This toy features versatile stuffing capabilities. The interior can fit a large single rawhide or bully stick to extend the life of the chew. Grips on either end keep the chew in place. A gap in the center reveals the treat to entice your dog to keep chewing and playing. You can also stuff this toy with a mix of wet and dry food and freeze it to stretch out playtime.

The shape of this toy is perfect for gripping and chewing and it also spins in one place, so that it doesn’t get treats all over. The long shape is ideal for carrying and chewing.

#3 PetSafe Busy Buddy Squirrel Dude:

Best Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

  • How to fill: Push a funnel through the treat meter prongs and load
  • How to clean: Hand wash with a brush and/or top rack dishwasher safe
  • Adjustable difficulty: Customizable treat meter prongs, use different fillings, and by freezing
  • Sizes:
    • X-Small: Up to 10lbs
    • Small: 10 – 20lbs
    • Medium: 20 – 50lbs
    • Large: 50+ lbs
  • Chew durability: Stands up to most heavy chewers
  • Dishwasher safe: Top rack
  • Fill with: Kibble, Wet food, Raw food, Smearables, Treats, Vegetables, Cheese
  • Colors: Purple
  • Freezable: Yes
  • Floats: No

PROS:

  • Texture makes it easier for your dog to breathe and encourages chewing
  • Treat meter prongs for adjustable difficulty
  • Easy to clean
  • Freezable for summer fun
  • Irregular bounce that your dog will love
  • Stuff with a wide variety of foods

CONS:

  • Sometimes requires soaking to clean thoroughly
  • Extreme chewers can destroy it, especially by pulling pieces off

Here is a cute toy that can be stuffed full of treats, challenge your dog for hours, and hold up to your dog’s most fervent attempts to destroy it. This squirrel is textured, which makes it easy for your dog to breathe, as well as encourages chewing. The irregular shape bounces in an unpredictable way, stimulating your dog to chase it and shoot out food in an exciting way.

The Squirrel Dude is equipped with adjustable prongs to hold the treats, so that you can customize the difficulty to your dog’s skill level. These treat meter prongs make this one of the few food dispensing toys with truly adjustable difficulty.

You can easily clean this toy with a brush by hand or put it in the dishwasher. It can be frozen for summertime fun and to extend playtime.

#4 West Paw Zogoflex Tux:

Best For The Disinterested Pup

  • How to fill: Stuff food into the opening at the bottom.
  • How to clean: Hand wash and top rack dishwasher safe
  • Adjustable difficulty: Using differently sized treats or freezing
  • Sizes: Small and large
  • Chew durability: Stands up to most heavy chewers
  • Dishwasher safe: Top rack
  • Fill with: Smearables, Large treats, Vegetables, Rawhides, Chews
  • Colors: Granny Smith, Aqua Blue, Tangerine
  • Freezable: Yes
  • Floats: Yes

PROS:

  • Durable Zogoflex material
  • Easy-to-stuff open cavity encourages reluctant dogs to play
  • Won’t roll around too much, keeping things cleaner
  • Top rack dishwasher safe and easy to hand clean, as well
  • Comes in three bright colors, so that you won’t lose it

CONS:

  • Very determined chewers can destroy it
  • Large opening makes it easy to get most treats out

If you want to entertain your dog but don’t want kibble flying all over your house, this tough and stationery treat dispensing toy might be right for you. The shape of this toy encourages your dog to hold it in one place. Although the bouncy rubber can be fun to toss around, it won’t roll or stray too far.

The open cavity of this toy even engages dogs who are not normally very interested in playing with chew toys. This open cavity also makes the toy easy to stuff and is good for stuffing with a variety of different treats.

You can feel confident that your dog won’t be able to destroy this toy, or that you’ll get a replacement if they do, thanks to the 100% guarantee against dog damage by the manufacturer.

This toy is made in America and is completely non-toxic and FDA compliant. It is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. The shape of the toy cleans your dog’s teeth and gums and it is a great chew toy for when the treats are all gone.

#5 Busy Buddy Barnacle:

Best For Most Challenging

  • How to fill: Stuff food into each compartment with a funnel
  • How to clean: Hand wash and top rack dishwasher safe
  • Adjustable difficulty: Trim treat meter prongs, use differently sized treats, or freezing
  • Sizes:
    • X-Small: Up to 10lbs
    • Small: 10 – 20lbs
    • Medium: 20 – 50lbs
    • Large: 50+ lbs
  • Chew durability: Stands up to most heavy chewers
  • Dishwasher safe: Top rack
  • Fill with:  Kibble, Wet food, Raw food, Smearables, Treats, Vegetables, Cheese
  • Colors: Purple
  • Freezable: Yes
  • Floats: No

PROS:

  • Three chambers provide lots of challenge for your dog
  • Each chamber has adjustable treat meter prongs
  • Textured surface encourages your dog to chew, is easy to grip, and makes it easier for your dog to breathe
  • Holds up to most aggressive chewers
  • Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
  • Blueberry scented

CONS:

  • “Blueberry” scent doesn’t seem appealing to dogs or people
  • Textured surface tends to attract dog hair

For the dog that makes quick work of emptying most food distributing toys, this three-chambered toy may be just the right pick. Each chamber is equipped with treat meter prongs that you can trim to customize the difficulty for your dog.

You can vary difficulty in each of the three chambers, so that your dog will receive enough treats to stay interested, but also make the challenge last.

The unique shape of this toy bounces unpredictably to stimulate play. A textured surface encourages your dog to chew, makes the toy easy to grip, and helps your dog breathe, while they chew. The Busy Buddy Barnacle is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. This toy is designed for serious chewing and can hold up to most aggressive chewers, for hours of fun, rough play.

#6 StarMark Everlasting Fun Ball:

Best For Increasing Exercise

  • How to fill: Use a funnel to fill with kibble or hard treats
  • How to clean: Hand wash and top rack dishwasher safe
  • Adjustable difficulty: Use differently sized treats
  • Sizes: Medium or Large
  • Chew durability: Stands up to most heavy chewers
  • Dishwasher safe: Top rack
  • Fill with:  Kibble and Dry treats
  • Colors: Green
  • Freezable: No
  • Floats: No

PROS:

  • Bouncy ball provides a lot of active exercise for your dog
  • Easy to fill up challenging for your dog to empty
  • Holds an entire cup of kibble
  • Doesn’t make a lot of noise on loud floors
  • Great ball for fetch and chase games

CONS:

  • Only comes in green, which is easy to lose in the grass
  • Determined chewers can destroy it

This ball is perfect if you want to feed your dog their entire meal using a food distributing toy, as it’s an active toy that will provide your dog with exercise, while they work for their food. The StarMark Everlasting Ball can hold an entire cup of food, so that your dog’s entire meal can be distributed from it.

Prongs within the opening make it easy for you to load the ball with a funnel but make it challenging for the kibble to come out.

The ball is made of a soft and bouncy material that won’t make a lot of noise on hard floors, but it is tough enough to hold up to some persistent chewing. It is also a great ball for fetch and for chasing around. This ball is dishwasher safe, for convenient cleanup.

#7 KONG Tire Extreme:

Best For Strong Chewers

  • How to fill: Shove or smear treats into inner rim
  • How to clean: Hand wash and top rack dishwasher safe
  • Adjustable difficulty: Use differently sized treats or freeze
  • Sizes:
    • Small: up to 35lbs
    • Medium/ Large: 30 – 65lbs
  • Chew durability: Stands up to extreme chewers
  • Dishwasher safe: Top rack
  • Fill with:  Kibble, Wet food, Raw food, Smearables, Treats, Vegetables, Cheese
  • Colors: Black
  • Freezable: Yes
  • Floats: No

PROS:

  • Fun tire design is appealing to you and your dog
  • Great toy for dogs that lose interest quickly, since the treats in the inner rim are visible but difficult to get to
  • Works well for food distribution and also as a fetch and tug toy
  • Made of Kong’s toughest rubber, for the most extreme chewers
  • Cleans teeth and stimulates gums
  • Made in the USA from globally sourced materials

CONS:

  • Not as indestructible as the Kong Classic Extreme
  • Clever and determined dogs can get most treats out quickly

Here is a durable toy that can hold up to the most vigorous chewers and it is also a great tug toy. The Kong Tires Extreme Dog Toy is designed to hold up to serious chewing. The tire design is fun for you and your dog and the inside of the tire is designed to hold treats and food, to keep your dog entertained for hours.

Even when this toy is empty, your dog will have a great time chasing it as it rolls around and bounces. This is also a great toy for two dogs to play with together.

You can wash the tire in the dishwasher or easily clean it by hand. If your dog tends to lose interest in food toys easily, you’ll love how visible the treats and smearables, and also how challenging it is for your dog to completely empty the tire. Your dog will spend hours licking and chewing on this toy trying to get out every last bit.

The texture and shape of this toy are designed to stimulate your dog’s gums and clean their teeth. It is easy for your dog to grip and carry and it can hold up to long and vigorous chew sessions.

If you have a dog that needs the toughest chew toy, needs to be encouraged to keep playing, and loves tug a war, this might be a great toy for you.

#8 PetSafe Busy Buddy Squeak N Treat:

Best Squeaker

  • How to fill: Funnel treats or kibble through prongs
  • How to clean: Hand wash and top rack dishwasher safe
  • Adjustable difficulty: Trim treat meter prongs and/or use differently sized treats
  • Sizes:
    • Medium: Up to 20 – 50lbs
    • Large: Over 50lbs
  • Chew durability: Stands up to extreme chewers
  • Dishwasher safe: Top rack
  • Fill with:  Kibble and dry treats
  • Colors:
    • Medium: orange
    • Large: purple
  • Freezable: No
  • Floats: No

PROS:

  • Squeak toy and food dispensing toy in one
  • Durable and made to stand up to strong chewers
  • Dogs won’t be able to get the squeaker out
  • Customizable challenge, by trimming the treat meter prongs
  • Spins in a circle, rather than rolling all over your house

CONS:

  • Doesn’t have as much room for treats because the upper portion is devoted to the squeaker
  • Some people found that the squeaker did not last long

This toy appeals not only to your dog’s sense of smell and their desire to forage, but also has a squeaker to engage all of their senses at once. It is made of a durable rubber that is meant to stand up to heavy chewing. You can customize how challenging this puzzle is for your dog by trimming the treat meter prongs.

If your dog loves to rip up stuffed squeak toys, this may be a perfect choice, as it provides them with something to seek out without destroying anything. Your dog will be encouraged to keep playing, not only by the squeak but by the reward of getting out treats.

The shape of this toy causes it to spin in a circle in a stationary area, so that the spread of kibble is reduced. The shape is also perfect for your dog to carry in their mouth. The smaller portion contains the squeaker and is perfect for chomping, while the larger part holds the treats, which are distributed as your dog plays.

#9 KONG Stuff-A-Ball:

Best For Gum Stimulation

  • How to fill: Funnel treats or kibble through prongs
  • How to clean: Hand wash and top rack dishwasher safe
  • Adjustable difficulty: Trim treat meter prongs and/or use differently sized treats
  • Sizes:
    • Medium: up to 20 – 50lbs
    • Large: over 50lbs
  • Chew durability: Stands up to extreme chewers
  • Dishwasher safe: Top rack
  • Fill with: Kibble and Dry treats
  • Colors:
    • Medium: orange
    • Large: purple
  • Freezable: No
  • Floats: No

PROS:

  • Fun ball for games of fetch and for distributing food
  • Unique textured ridges clean plaque and tartar and stimulate your dog’s gums
  • Stuff the center and the ridges for extended playtime
  • Made of durable Kong classic rubber
  • Rolls around for active play and exercise

CONS:

  • Won’t hold up to the most persistent and aggressive chewers
  • Can be very hard to clean between the ridges

Do you want your dog to chew their way towards dental health? This versatile toy by Kong encourages your dog to chew on the unique textured ridges, which clean off plaque and tartar and stimulate the gums. These ridges also allow for more opportunities for stuffing than just the center hole.

This toy is made of the Kong classic rubber, which is appropriate for average to strong chewers. The bouncy rubber also makes it a very fun ball for games of fetch and chase. The ball will roll around as your dog tries to get the treats out, encouraging active play and plenty of exercise for your pup. With so many slots to fill with smearables or stuff with treats, your dog will be entertained for hours.

#10 JW Hol-ee Roller Original:

Best For Small Dogs

  • How to fill: Shove treats, toys, or bits of fabric through holes
  • How to clean: Hand wash
  • Adjustable difficulty: Use differently sized treats or toys
  • Sizes: Mini, Small, Medium, Large, Jumbo
  • Chew durability: Stands up to rough play, not for persistent chewing
  • Dishwasher safe: No
  • Fill with:  Kibble, Bully Sticks, Treats, Vegetables, Cheese, Toys, Strips of fabric
  • Colors: Green, Red, Blue
  • Freezable: No
  • Floats: No

PROS:

  • Open design tempts dogs who normally don’t care about food distributing toys
  • Works great as a fetch and tug toy
  • Easy to load and clean
  • Durable rubber stands up to normal use
  • Great for dogs with short noses
  • Also works well for putting toys or scraps of fabric into

CONS:

  • Very flexible, so relatively easy for most dogs to get things out of
  • Won’t hold up to very persistent and aggressive  chewing

If you have been unable thus far to convince your dog to play with food distributing toys or if you expect that your finicky dog will want nothing to do with most of these types of toys, this JW Hol-ee Roller Original Treat Dispensing Dog Ball might be just what you need. The wide-open design allows your dog to see and even taste the treats inside clearly, which will encourage them to keep trying to get at them.

This ball can be loaded with kibble or treats that will fall out as your dog rolls the toy around and bites at it, or you can fill it with one or a few very large biscuits or other treats that your dog will need to break up, in order to get out of the toy.

This toy won’t hold up to vigorous chewing by the most dedicated pooches, but most dogs satisfy themselves with the treats, which come out easily enough. It also functions as a great fetch and tug toy, when there are no more treats.

If you’d like to avoid fattening your dog with treats, this toy can also be used to hold other toys. Just shove in smaller toys or scraps of fabric, instead of treats, and watch your dog work to get them out.

The open design makes this a great choice for short-nosed dogs that have trouble breathing when their mouths are occupied. Dogs can easily breathe through the wide holes while they play.

#11 KONG – Wobbler:

Runner Up Best Wobbler

  • How to fill: Unscrew and fill with kibble or treats
  • How to clean: Hand wash or top rack dishwasher
  • Adjustable difficulty: Use differently sized treats or toys
  • Sizes:
    • Small: Fits ½ cup of food
    • Large: Fits one cup of food
  • Chew durability: Stands up to rough play, not for persistent chewing
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes
  • Fill with:  Kibble, dry treats
  • Colors: Red
  • Freezable: No
  • Floats: No

PROS:

  • Extremely easy to fill
  • Wobbles and rights itself to entice dogs to play
  • Active toy that encourages dogs to run around and paw at it
  • Doesn’t roll around so much that it gets stuck under things or gets food everywhere
  • Easy enough to use for everyday feeding

CONS:

  • Makes noise when it rolls around, so some dogs think there is still food inside when there isn’t
  • If it is not screwed on perfectly or if dogs are very determined to get into the crack, dogs can chew on the threading

If it takes you as long to fill your dog’s toy as it takes your dog to empty it, you may be less likely to use the toy. The Kong Wobbler’s innovative design solves that problem, by making it extremely easy for you to fill. Simply unscrew its parts, fill with your dog’s food and treats, and screw the wobbler closed.

Your dog will love to chase and paw at the Wobbler to get the food out. The weighted bottom causes the Wobbler to right itself, for a constantly challenging game for your dog. This is a reliable way to feed your dog entire meals, as well as entertain them with treats in between meal times.

It’s also a great toy to slow down your dog’s eating and provide them with mental stimulation while they eat, without you having to struggle with a difficult filling process.

#12 PetSafe Busy Buddy Twist ‘n Treat:

Best Quick Fill Option

  • Sizes by Dog Weight: 
    • X-Small: Under 10lbs
    • Small: 10 – 20lbs
    • Medium: 20 – 50lbs
    • Large: Over 50lbs
  • How to fill: Screw open or mostly open, depending on filling
  • How to clean: Screw open and hand wash or put in dishwasher
  • Adjustable difficulty: Yes, twist to desired opening size
  • Dishwasher safe: Top rack only
  • Fill with: Kibble, wet food, raw food, smearables, treats, vegetables, and fruit
  • Durability: Not recommended for strong chewers

PROS:

  • Easy to fill and clean
  • Toss around toy with adjustable difficulty
  • Bounces and fun fetch toy, too
  • Works with a wide range of fillings

CONS:

  • Not good for powerful chewers
  • May slowly unscrew itself, while dog is playing

Do you need a challenging toy for your clever pup, but are sick of spending so much time filling the chambers with treats, for your dog to empty them too quickly? This simple toy is easy for you but can be as complicated for your dog as you want it to be.

The pieces twist apart, so that you can easily fill the cavity with whatever kind of treat you like. Vary the difficulty by adding larger pieces or by reducing the gap through which the food can exit. You can make the opening as small or large as you like, in order to provide a range of challenge for your dog.

The fully opening design also means that this toy is very easy to clean. Simply unscrew it completely and hand wash it or put in the top rack of the dishwasher, for thorough cleaning after each use. Since it is so easy to clean, you won’t hesitate to use this toy with not only dry food and treats, but also wet food and smearables, like peanut butter and cheese.

The Twist ‘n Treat is made of a durable natural rubber that will hold up to a fair amount of abuse from your dog and is also fun to bounce around.

#13 PetSafe Busy Buddy Bouncy Bone:

Best For Disinterested Dogs

  • Sizes by Dog Weight: 
    • Small: Under 10lbs
    • Medium: 10 – 50lbs
    • Medium/Large: 50 – 90lbs
    • Large: Over 75lbs
  • How to Fill: Unscrew bone end piece and take off ball. Load with treat, put ball on, load another treat, and put end piece back on
  • Ease of Cleaning: Hand wash or top rack dishwasher
  • Adjustable difficulty: Yes, by using more challenging chews
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes
  • Fill with: Rawhide made by manufacturer or other chew that can be pierced
  • Durability: Durable for extensive chewing and solitary use, after some observation

PROS:

  • Durable chew toy/puzzle toy that can interest dogs who turn their noses up at other puzzle toys
  • Extremely easy to load with screw-on design
  • Fun ball and chew toy, as well as a puzzle toy
  • Comes with extra rawhide discs
  • Load with manufacturer rawhide or other natural chews

CONS:

  • Rawhide that comes with toy doesn’t last long
  • Nylon bone ends can get sharp when chewed up

If your dog tends to be more interested in toys than treats, or if they are prone to giving up on treat toys easily, this interactive bone puzzle toy might be the perfect fit for them. This toy is composed of a bouncy ball with two nylon bone-style endings.

A rawhide disk is screwed on between the ball and each nylon end, providing your dog with a challenge, as she chews on the rawhide and tries to get it off of the bone. Your dog will have a great time throwing the ball and trying to rip off the rawhide disks.

This bone comes with six natural rawhide disks. You can buy additional rawhide disks to refill the toy. You can also use any kind of edible chew toy that can be pierced through the middle to load this toy. Dried sweet potato, pig’s ears, and whole rawhide are all great options to increase the challenge and excitement of this toy. It comes in a variety of sizes to suit any breed of dog and is designed to withstand serious chewing.

#14 OurPets IQ Treat Ball:

Great For Dogs That Need To Move Around

  • Sizes by Dog Weight: 
    • 3”: small to medium size dogs
    • 4”: medium to large dogs
  • How to Fill: Screw open ball and fill with treats and/or kibble
  • Ease of Cleaning: Screw open and hand wash three separate parts
  • Adjustable difficulty: Yes, adjust opening and/or use different sized treats and kibble
  • Dishwasher safe: No
  • Fill with: Dry kibble or treats
  • Durability: Durable for regular play, knocks, and drops, but won’t hold up to deliberate chewing

PROS:

  • Easy to fill and clean
  • Adjustable difficulty, by varying the size of the opening or the size of the kibble
  • Round ball rolls freely and provides exercise
  • Kibble is visible through the ball, so that your dog knows there is still food in the chamber
  • Comes in fun, bright colors

CONS:

  • Hard plastic is loud on hard floors and kibble flies everywhere
  • Won’t hold up to deliberate destruction by a powerful dog

Here is a great puzzle game that combines the challenging mental stimulation of a puzzle game with the easy-fill features of a food dispensing toy. This ball twists apart effortlessly for easy filling and cleaning. You can adjust the difficulty to make it continuously more challenging, as your dog learns. A further challenge can be provided by adding treats or kibble of different sizes.

Treats and kibble are visible through the transparent side of this ball and they also rattle around enticingly against the hard plastic, encouraging dogs to keep playing until every last treat or piece of kibble has fallen out.

Since this round ball rolls freely, it will move around a lot and provide your dog with lots of exercise, as they chase it and the bits of kibble fly out of it.

If you have a lazy or overweight hound, this can be a great way to slow feeding and provide some exercise, at the same time.

#15 StarMark Bob-A-Lot:

Best Wobbler

  • Sizes by Dog Weight: 
    • Small: Small to medium size dogs
    • Large: Medium to large dogs
  • How to Fill: Screw open lid. Fill bottom chamber. Adjust difficulty slider. Fill top chamber. Close lid. 
  • Ease of Cleaning: Screw open and hand wash
  • Adjustable difficulty: Yes, adjust two separate openings and/or use different sized treats and kibble
  • Dishwasher safe: No
  • Fill with: Dry kibble or treats
  • Durability: Holds up to a lot of abuse, but will eventually give in to serious chewing

PROS:

  • Two separate compartments with two separate difficulty adjustment sliders make for a very challenging game, for hours of entertainment
  • Weighted bottom and shape prevent toy from sliding all over your house
  • Easy to load, thanks to the clever compartment design
  • Sturdy enough to hold up to some serious abuse
  • Works with a range of dry treats or kibble and can be used to distribute an entire meal

CONS:

  • Hard plastic is loud on hard floors 
  • Very determined chewers will eventually damage it

If your dog is too destructive for most puzzle toys, but too smart for most food distributing toys, the clever Bob-A-Lot may be exactly what the doctor ordered. This sturdy toy can hold up to some abuse. It has two separate compartments, each with its own difficulty adjustment knob, so playtime can go on for hours.

It is very easy to fill the toy. Adjust the slot on top of the primary compartment, so that treats can be loaded easily. Adjust the difficulty on the bottom of the toy. Once the kibble or treats are loaded, adjust the difficulty at the top of the toy and load the top compartment. Screw the lid onto the top compartment and you’re done.

In order for your dog to get all the treats, some will have to fall through both slots. This makes for a much longer and more engaging game. The weighted bottom and shape of this toy prevent it from rolling all over your house. This tends to prevent kibble and treats from getting stuck under your furniture.

Leaving Dogs Alone With Toys

Most food distributing toys are made to be chewed on and are durable enough that you can feel safe leaving your dog alone with them. You should never leave your dog alone with a toy until you have observed them using it for some time and have a good sense of what they will do with it.

Even when you have observed your dog using a toy for some time and you feel confident that they are unlikely to destroy it, be careful to pay attention to the wear and tear on the toy and make sure to discard it, before it begins to break down. If you frequently wash your dog’s toys in the dishwasher or they’re left out in the sun, they will break down faster.

Most food distributing toys are made of a rubber that is designed to break into small pieces and be passed through your dog’s system, so, if your dog eats some small pieces of their toy, it should not be a problem. Just remove the toy and keep an eye out for the brightly colored rubber in your dog’s stool, over the next few days.

What Kinds Of Food Can Fill Food-Distributing Toys?

Depending on the type of food distributing toy, there is a range of fillings that work well. Some food distributing toys are designed to be stuffed with a rawhide or bully stick, so the chew lasts longer. Others are made to distribute your dog’s daily kibble or dry treats.

Still, others work best with smearable treats, like cottage cheese, cream cheese, peanut butter, or one of the spreads made by Kong or a similar company. Here are some suggestions for how to fill your food distributing toy.

Daily kibble from a food distributing toy turns crate time into meal time into puzzle time. Your dog may not mind their daily time in the crate if they also get a fun, yummy puzzle. You can also use food toys with kibble, to reward your dog for good behavior throughout the day in a “work for your food” training style.

Veggies offer a healthy challenge any time of day. They can be mixed with more desirable treats or kibble, to stretch out the game without giving your dog too many calories. Try a range of different kinds of vegetables to see what your dog likes best. You may find that your dog is more interested in vegetables that are mixed in a food toy with other kinds of treats, than just vegetables, alone.

Natural dried treats, like dried sweet potato, dehydrated meat, and dried tendons, esophagus, and ears, are all great ways to make food toys extremely enticing to your dog and stretch out playtime. Some of these treats can be a little gross and messy, so they may be a good option for outside or in their crate, where you can clean up the mess easily.

Pre-made treats, like dog biscuits and training rewards, are a great way to make kibble or vegetables more enticing in a food distributing toy. These kinds of treats are also great when you break them up because they let a variety of pieces fall out, in different sizes, and keep your dog playing. Be careful not to use too many of these kinds of treats, since they are usually not the healthiest. Many pre-made treats have fillers or sweeteners.

Raw food, wet food, and smearable treats, like cheese and peanut butter, work well in some food distributing toys. Be careful to only give these toys in areas that you can easily clean or that you don’t mind getting dirty, like inside your dog’s crate or outside. This is especially important with raw food, which carries bacteria that can infect you or other people in your household.

That said, if your dog’s food is wet or raw, a food toy can be a great way to dole it out. Most of these toys can be washed in the dishwasher, so you can feel confident that all of the bacteria has been killed. To be extra safe, most toys can be washed in a mild solution of bleach, to thoroughly eliminate any possibility of contaminants.

Keep in mind that toys that are frequently washed in the dishwasher or cleaned with harsh chemicals will not last as long.

Make It More Fun By Freezing

Most food distributing toys can be frozen. This provides an awesome treat on hot days and also extends playtime for clever dogs, at any time. The range of foods that can be frozen is extensive. Freezing wet, raw, or smearable treats will make the game much more challenging for your dog.

If your dog is often in need of entertainment throughout the day and you don’t have time to load food toys every day, you can preload a range of food toys and freeze them for grabbable entertainment for your dog.

How To Make Toys More Challenging

Some food distributing toys come with slides to adjust the size of the opening or prongs that can be trimmed to determine the degree of challenge. Even toys that don’t have a way to adjust the challenge level can be made more or less challenging, depending on what you use to fill them.

Your dog will have a harder time getting larger treats through the hole, creating a more challenging game, while smaller pieces will fall out more easily.

Making wet food, cheese, or peanut butter stick to the inside of the food toy can make them much more challenging, as well. Freezing toys also increases the challenge. Some toys can be loaded with a chewable natural dried product or bone to make them into food toys, as well as chew toys, and increase the time that your dog spends working on them.

Avoid Fattening Your Dog

Food distributing toys are a wonderful way to stretch out meal time and make your dog work for their food. Dogs fed with food toys are less likely to be overweight and are more likely to have good body tone. That said, a dog who eats high-calorie treats all day will gain weight, no matter how hard they work for the food.

It is important to carefully monitor your dog’s intake, as well as their weight, to make sure that their food toy doesn’t cause them to gain weight.

The rib test

It may come as a surprise to many people that a dog’s ribs should be clearly discernible by touch and even by sight. Many American dogs are too chunky. While a pudgy pooch can certainly be adorable, the extra weight puts a lot of strain on their hips and back and can cause serious health problems, as well as reducing your dog’s overall quality of life.

You should be able to feel your dog’s ribs clearly under the surface of the skin when you rub your hand over their flank.

The value of veggies

Many dogs take some convincing to learn to like veggies, especially if they’ve always had high-value food and treats, but once you convince your dog to accept a vegetable as a treat, you will have a wonderful tool.

Vegetables can be mixed with high-value and high-calorie treats, and even your dog’s regular kibble, so that your dog gets much more playtime for the calories they consume.

Furthermore, vegetables are good for your dog. Your dog will get much-needed vitamins and fiber from their daily vegetable treats. Teach your dog how delicious vegetables can be by starting with high-value vegetables, like carrots and Brussel sprouts, and working down to less desirable vegetables, like celery and green beans.

Try a wide range of vegetables to see what your dog likes best. Mix vegetables with high-value treats and delicious smearables, like wet food, cheese, and peanut butter, to convince your dog to think of vegetables as treats.

Use the best stuff sparingly

When you discover the high-value and high-calorie treats that motivate your dog the most, use them sparingly. This way, you can get the most play and engagement from your dog for the lowest calorie intake possible.

Put the best treats further into the toy, so your dog has to shake out a lot less desirable stuff to get to it. You can also smear a small amount of something highly desirable on a lot of vegetables or kibble, in order to make all of the fillings more desirable.

Measure food and treats

The only way you’ll know how much you are feeding your dog is to measure carefully. If you are feeding your dog their entire meal from the food toy, measure out the correct amount to make sure you only feed as much as you should. It is also a good idea to set aside the treats that you will put in a food toy, so that you know you aren’t giving too many.

Choose active toys

All food distributing toys make your dog work for their meal, but some make your dog work more than others. Toys that roll around and require your dog to chase, push, and throw are more likely to give your dog a workout than toys that work when your dog lies down and chews on them.

If you want your dog to lose weight or keep off the pounds while they play with their toy, choose a toy that moves around a lot and give your dog room to play with it.

Use Food Toys To Prevent Begging And Resource Guarding

Food distributing toys reduce some of the intensity and pressure of mealtimes, which can prevent and eliminate problems that arise around feeding. While a food toy is not a quick fix to eliminate begging or resource guarding, they can change the way your dog thinks about how they get their food.

Because food toys take time to deliver the food, your dog will have a harder time maintaining a high level of intensity around feeding. Your dog can only maintain an intense state for a certain amount of time. They can guard a bowl of food until they finish eating it, but it is harder to maintain a guarding stance over a food toy for an extended amount of time.

Furthermore, your dog may realize that you can help them get food out of their food toy. By shaking the toy before you give it to your dog, you can show them that you can remove more food than them, which may inspire them to ask you for help, instead of guarding the food from you.

Keeping Things Clean

The cleanliness problem in food distributing toys is right in the name. These toys are meant to hold food, so whether dry food shoots out of the toy and ends up under the furniture or in the carpets, or wet food gets all over the furniture or floor, there are a couple of ways your dog can make a mess of your house using their food toy.

Furthermore, hard plastic toys can scratch or dent flooring, especially if your dog has a habit of dropping the toy off of furniture or down the stairs. One important point is to be careful that you don’t use any harsh cleaners in the room in which your dog will play with their food toy, since they will be licking the floor in order to pick up food.

Here are a few techniques for using food distributing toys without making a mess of your home.

Avoiding kibble under furniture

If your dog enjoys playing with an active food distributing toy that tends to send kibble flying, there are a few things that you can do to keep the kibble or the toy itself from ending up underneath your furniture.

Restrict access to one or two rooms, so that you can dog-proof those spaces. Even if you want your dog to have plenty of room to run around and be active with a toy, there is a limit to how much space you need. As long as your dog has room to walk around and chase and roll the toy, they will have enough room to get exercise using their food distributing toy.

You can also get specially made bumpers that go underneath your furniture, to keep kibble or toys from rolling underneath, or you can make your own bumpers, using wood or PVC. Simply place your bumper a couple of inches back underneath the furniture, so that it won’t be visible from above, but will keep kibble and toys within reach of your dog.

If your dog is scratching the floor, you can use interconnecting foam mats made for children’s rooms or an area rug, in order to prevent damage. Most dogs prefer playing on a surface that their nails can easily grip, so if you provide an area rug or a foam mat, it is likely that your dog will restrict play to that area.

If your dog plays with their food distributing toy in their crate, you can use a crate liner around the inside or outside of the crate, to keep kibble from flying out of the crate, making a mess, and frustrating your dog.

Getting Your Dog Interested

Your dog may not intuitively understand what they are supposed to do with a food dispensing toy when you first give it to them. Most puppies take to food toys effortlessly, since they are already exploring everything with their mouths, but older dogs may be unsure about how to engage with this new device.

You can demonstrate to your dog how to get food out of a toy until they get the idea. Use high-value treats at first, to encourage your dog to engage with the toy. It is a good idea to choose an easier food dispensing toy that makes the food clearly visible, in the beginning, to get your dog’s attention.

What Food-Dispensing Toys Can’t do

Food dispensing toys do a lot of great things for your dog, but they can’t do everything. They should not be used to replace any of the essentials needed in a healthy, happy dog’s life, like physical exercise, interactive play with you, and social engagement with other dogs.

Toys can’t make up for extremely long periods that your dog is crated or left alone and they won’t do anything to alleviate severe separation anxiety.

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