Thursday, October 6, 2011

Enrichment Food Toys for Bored and Destructive Dogs

Animals in nature spend much of their time hunting and foraging for food.   Although pet dogs these days have great lives - they get to live inside the house with their humans, go to dog parks, and get premium vet care - they don't get to use their hunting and problem solving skills as much as they were bred to.

In order to keep dogs from getting bored or destructive (e.g. chewing inappropriate items or digging holes in the yard), you can try giving your dog enrichment food toys, in addition to giving him enough exercise and social interaction.

There's no rule that says a dog needs to eat his meals out of a food bowl. Unless your dog is in the process of getting potty trained, in which case you may want him on a regular feeding schedule, you might consider using his meals for training and enrichment.



Available at most major pet stores or online

The Classic Kong (shown left)

This is the most basic model of Kong.  It looks like a beehive but it's a thick rubber toy that is hollow in the middle, allowing you to stuff it with food.  I recommend mixing dry kibble with a few spoonfuls of canned food (or something else that's wet, like peanut butter) so that the food doesn't come out too easily.

For high drive dogs, you can even freeze the whole thing so that it will take them longer to get the food out.

(left) This is an inside view of a Kong stuffed with food.


"The Wobbler is a KONG-shaped food dispensing toy and feeder that sits upright until pushed witha  dog's paw or nose, then dispenses treats as it wobbles, spins and rolls. The unpredictable movement keeps the toy challenging, even for seasoned Wobbler users. Use the Wobbler as an alternative to a dog bowl, and help to extend meal time and exercise your dog."
There are other brands that sell similar toys too.

 Kong Dental

"The KONG Dental has special grooves that clean teeth and gums as dogs chew. KONG Easy Treat can be used inside the grooves to get your dog chewing."

Like the Kong Classic, it is hollow inside so that you can stuff it with food.



Available through or Nina's website

Nina Ottoson has a large selection of dog food toys that vary in difficulty level.  If the Kong is too easy for your smart dog, then you might consider these toys.  The purple toy on the right is called a DogTwister - the dog has to move the little pieces around in order to access the food.  The blue one is called a DogTornado - the dog has to spin the compartments around and remove the little white lids to get to the food.

You can see the DogTwister on YouTube at:


Available through, Hawaiian Humane Society, Petco and other Oahu pet stores 

Kibble Nibble (similar to Kong's Wobbler) - this toy is egg-shaped and dispenses kibble or treats through a small hole as the dog rolls it around.

Twist N Treat

The Twist N Treat is a fun toy in which you can put various size treats. You can adjust the difficulty level of the toy by twisting the top and modifying the size of the opening on the side.

Either end of the Chuckle has inner-facing, soft, adjustable rubber prongs that move aside to allow the toy to be stuffed with kibble or treats. The prongs of the Treat Meter allow food and treats to randomly dispense, rewarding your dog as he plays.  Made of natural rubber. There's another similar product called Waggle, also by Premier.



Food is hidden inside this feeder’s many compartments, which your dog can access by sliding the doors open or spinng the central wheel. Allowing your dog to exercise his or her problem solving instincts with the Aikiou bowl fun and rewarding for you and your pet while keeping him fit by reducing his speed of ingestion.

Watch the YouTube video below to see some dogs eating out of an Aikiou:

For ideas on what kinds of treats to put in the above food toys, see my last blog "Training Treats - A Biscuit Ain't Gonna Cut It".




These 100% naturally shed deer antlers are cleaned and packaged for the chewing pleasure of your dog! These natural dog chews will not splinter or chip making them a safe treat for even the most aggressive chewers. Not only will they satisfy your dogs need to gnaw but they will provide nutrition because they are naturally rich in minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. The only caveat with deer antlers is that they are very hard, so I've heard from a few dog owners that their dogs chipped a tooth. So this might be best for mild chewers rather than hardcore chewers, and better for adult dogs than puppies.

Available at Crazy Canine pet store in Aiea


Primal brand raw beef marrow bones (right) available at Crazy Canine pet store in Aiea

Raw beef hooves (below) available at Tamura's grocery store (and probably meat departments of most grocery stores)

A raw beef bone or hoof is another good option for keeping your dog occupied.  Raw bones are good for the dogs' teeth, and are safer than cooked or smoked bones because they don't crack.  As gross as it might seem to a human, I have yet to meet a dog that doesn't love raw beef bones!  (Important Note: You should throw the bone away after 1 day, as the bone may accumulate bacteria and/or dry out and crack, which is dangerous for your dog.)


Freeze water and chicken broth with toys, carrots, treats, etc to keep dogs from getting bored and overheated in the backyard.


Coconuts are everywhere in Hawaii.  This is an inexpensive and eco-friendly chew toy for those who don't want to bother with fancy toys.  You can even add a little flavor to the coconut husk by pouring some chicken broth or meat-based sauce on it.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. i have seen few pet owners use these kong for their pets. can you let me know is it good to use itdog food recipes

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.


  4. Very good information is given in this blog...Everyone likes to have pets, if you want to keep it,
    then we are the best pet's shop and best breeders in Dehradun,Uttarakhand(India).

  5. What did best toys for dogs meant to us pet owners 50 years ago? & Just a piece of bone, a stick, and a ball, right? But in 2018, pets are not just pets anymore. Pet foods, pet supplies, and pet toys have become a multi-billion-dollar industry just a few decades.
    Visit here: - dog chew toys

  6. Andis Provide the best dog clippers for home use proudly made in USA products. They manufacture genuine quality high precision pet grooming products like hair Trimmer, nail clipper, deshedding and dematting tool.

  7. very nice post, i certainly love this website, keep on it
    happy grandparents day 2018

  8. Andis Provide the best dog clippers for home use proudly made in USA products. They manufacture genuine quality high precision pet grooming products like hair Trimmer, nail clipper, deshedding and dematting tool.

  9. If you want to get some confidential information about dogs, click here why do dogs eat poop

  10. Most dogs really like fruits and will gladly take when offered. We will describe some types of fruits dogs really like and whether they are safe for them or not.

    Click here for more information can dogs eat apples

  11. It’s a hustle when choosing what the right food for your dog is. Pet owners have to choose between overwhelming arrays of kibble food claiming to be the best dog food on the market.

    Click here for more information best dog food

  12. When a person looks at their dog is seems like they are always sleeping. It seems like a dog is able to sleep any time of the day or right. This has people wondering how much sleep do dogs need. They need more sleep then a person would think. The dog is not sleeping just to be lazy but to get enough rest.

    Click here to know more information how many hours a day do dogs sleep

  13. When a person looks at their dog is seems like they are always sleeping. It seems like a dog is able to sleep any time of the day or right. This has people wondering how much sleep do dogs need. They need more sleep then a person would think. The dog is not sleeping just to be lazy but to get enough rest.

    Click here to know more information how long do dogs sleep

  14. It is most interesting and they are in detailed articles are given. I know you also enjoyed to read it.
    pet-supplies NZ

  15. Need moderate exercise open fence and aren't suggested for Apartments But, there are numerous different dogs which are very similar like to Tibetan mastiffs that you might find around where you are and you may like them as an alternate choice. Learn more about antler treats on this site.

  16. We import our products from 8 countries across the world. pet care products , dog grooming kit, dog hair trimmer, dog shampoo, andis deshedding & dematting tools & all other grooming tool. To check all this products please visit our online store.

  17. Best puppy food for labs /Labrador Reviews 2019

    My Best puppy food for labs or Labrador puppies review is for lab puppy lovers.In this article ,I will review the top 5 best dog food for lab puppies with pros and cons.

    Best puppy food for labs
    Best dog food for labs
    Best food for lab puppies
    Best dog food for Labradors

    Labrador Retrievers are friendly and working dogs originating from the North Atlantic region of Canada. Labradors were originally bred as fishing dogs trained to aid fishermen while retrieving fish, hauling nets and other fishing jobs. From their strong origin, Labradors are excellent swimming dogs and are also well suitable for various canine jobs like, disability aids, rescue dogs and show dogs.

    Labradors are friendly dogs since they have strong emotional attachments in family setting which makes them great with children being around. One of the distinctive features of Labradors is their easy to care fur coat. Labradors do not require extensive grooming like regular hair cutting; brushing their coats at least four times a week and bathing them about every two months makes them easy to maintain. The only downside in maintaining a Labrador is their excessive fur shed. Labradors are known for having three fur colors; Yellow, Black, Chocolate and are rarely known for their fox-red and polar-white fur colors.

  18. Thank you for sharing us education, please kindly visit mine :D


  19. Awesome post, extremely instructive. I ask why alternate pros of this segment don't see this. You should proceed with your composition. I'm certain, you have an incredible perusers' base already!e of sound sustenance and acknowledging nourishment. Improve dog digestion

  20. As your pets' caretaker, your job is to provide them with good hygiene habits at home as well as at the vet's or groomer's. Brushing their teeth, combing their coats and providing them with healthy food all keeps them in tip-top shape. To stay on track with responsible pet care, schedule hygiene and grooming tasks in your calendar and try combining tasks, such as a comforting comb after trimming nails, until it becomes routine.

  21. This blog is really helpful to pass on redesignd enlightening endeavors over web which is genuinely examination. I found one productive instance of this truth through this blog. Cat Feeding Bowl

  22. Last and definitely least, if the food claims that it is “beef flavor” or “chicken flavor” there need only be trace amounts of beef or chicken–just enough for a dog to detect the taste.

  23. Perfect article. well organized article and well described. Look at Dog Toy