Does your dog gobble up all the food in their bowl the moment you set it down? Want to give them some mental stimulation and make mealtime more fun? Globalvet suggests using an interactive dog feeder. What exactly is an interactive dog feeder? It’s an object you put food in that requires your dog to use their sense of smell, wits, and paws to get the food out. Here are a few ideas for easy DIY interactive feeders to amuse your pup.
This one is easy! Take an open box and put some kibble inside along with some other uninteresting items (e.g., crumpled up paper, a washcloth, a pencil, a screwdriver, a ball). Your dog will have to sort through all the items to get to the kibble they’re after.
Choose objects that you know your dog isn’t interested in. If they have a habit of chewing on certain items, don’t put those in the box! Be sure to supervise your dog while they’re exploring the treasure chest.
Tape a box completely closed and make a few holes in it. Make sure the holes are large enough for your dog to fit their paws through them. Put some kibble in the box and let your dog have fun fishing the food out!
PLASTIC BOTTLE FOOD DISPENSER
Take an empty plastic bottle and cut a few holes in it that are big enough for your dog’s kibble to fit through. Put some kibble inside and let your dog go to town! If your dog gets too good at getting the kibble out, you can make a new dispenser with fewer holes, or plug some of the holes with tape so there is only one left for the kibble to slip through.
Don’t want your dog carrying the bottle around and getting kibble all over the house? Check out these videos here, here, and here for some great tips on how to make a stationary dispenser to amuse your dog.
Dogs that love to sniff everything won’t be able to get enough of this interactive food toy.
- You can buy an outdoor mat like this one or reuse one you already have.
- Cut felt or an old shirt into small strips. You’ll need at least as many strips as you have holes. The more pieces of fabric you add, the fuller your mat will be and the more your dog will have to work.
- Next, tie the strips through the holes in the mat.
- Hide the kibble in the mat and give it to your dog, keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t chew or nibble on the scraps of fabric.
MUFFIN PAN + TENNIS BALLS = OODLES OF FUN FOR YOUR POOCH!
If you have a muffin pan you’re not using anymore, here’s a great way to give it a second life. Put some kibble in a few of the moulds and cover all of them with tennis balls.
Your dog will have a great time trying to find the treats!
Note: The point of the tennis balls is to hide the food. If your pup tends to pick them up in their mouth, use rubber balls instead. The abrasive fabric on the outside of tennis balls is bad for your dog’s teeth.
It’s a beautiful day outside and you’re looking to get some fresh air. Why not scatter some kibble around your yard and let your dog have fun finding every last bit? Their snoot will get a workout!
No matter which DIY project you pick, you’ll have a great time watching your dog investigate and play with your creation!