Puzzle Toys for Dogs
Stuffable puzzle toys are always a great enrichment toy for dogs, but that’s especially true now during this time of quarantine and isolation. Your dog may not be getting as many challenges (like trips to the Zoom Room), but you can keep challenging your pup with an endless array of puzzles that stimulate curiosity, engagement and learning.
Recipes for Stuffing Dog Toys
During the current national emergency, if you’re like us, you’re probably digging back to the far reaches of your pantry, cupboard and refrigerator. Many ingredients you’ll find are also excellent for creating your own fun recipes to stuff into your dog’s puzzle toys.
To make a really long-lasting puzzle, you can simply mix ingredients together, stuff them into a hollow dog toy made of rubber or a similar material. You’ll stuff it full of deliciousness, toss it in the freezer until it is hard, and voila! You have made a Chewsicle. It’s that simple!
They’re really fun to make, and you can have one or two always stored in your freezer, ready to use, whenever your dog needs a fresh challenge (and treat).
Try to come up with your own special signature recipes. If you have kids at home from school, this is a great project for them, too.
Here are some good ingredients you can use:
- Meats: kibble, little bits of training treats, shredded or ground cooked chicken or turkey, all the crumbs from the bottom of your treat pouch
- Fruits & Vegetables: peas, carrots, zucchini, fresh parsley or mint, apples, bananas, dried cranberries, shredded coconut
- Binder: (a binder is something gooey that holds everything together) peanut butter, yogurt, pureed sweet potato, mashed potatoes, cream cheese, cooked rice
- Soaked Kibble: instead of using a binder, you can soak kibble in either water or broth to make a good mush to hold everything together
Chewsicles are not just tasty – they are real puzzles that take your dog or puppy a long time to solve. Your pup’s brain, paws and mouth will be working overtime to figure out how to nudge and lick all the goodies out of the toy. They will occupy your puppy for a long time.
Tip: you don’t have to freeze them. These same recipes can be used at room temperature, for example spread over a Lickimat.