The best feeding games for dogs

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The best feeding games for dogs

Dogs not only want to be challenged physically, but also mentally. For the mental exercise of dogs, there are various feeding games, among other things, because they are good employment opportunities at home – in any weather!

Snack toys in the practice test

We have selected and tested various products for you, from fillable balls to intelligence toys. We can recommend all of the products presented here. Have fun trying!

Snack balls & Co. for dogs

Snack balls are the classic among snack toys. They are available in many different sizes, materials and degrees of hardness, which is why there is a suitable ball for dogs of all ages. The toys can be filled with the dog’s favorite treats.

Examples of snack balls are, for example, the natural rubber snack balls from Trixie (approx. 5 €). With an integrated labyrinth or an integrated star-shaped obstacle, they ensure extra long fun. An alternative would be the snack ball with rows of nubs from “Schnüffelfreunde” (approx. € 13). With this snack ball, you can not only fill the hole in the middle, but you can also clamp the food in the rows of nubs on the outside. So the dog is faced with a new task. The knobs also clean both the teeth and the spaces between the teeth while playing and massage the gums.

Kong Classic

The classic snack toy: it jumps and bounces around unpredictably. It is also great fun outdoors and can be used for throwing or retrieving. The Kong Classic is available in different sizes (approx. 7 € -26 €). When choosing the right size, the manufacturer also gives helpful recommendations with regard to the dog’s weight, breed, age and chewing temperament.

Special features: Large selection options for size and material thickness

Recommended by us for:

  • Beginners, advanced and professionals
  • Young dogs, adult dogs, oldies
  • Paw pilots, sniff fans

Memory Trainer 2.0 strategy game

This challenging game from Trixie (approx. € 65) is great fun and can be varied again and again. And this is how it works: By pressing the trigger, the dog gets his reward. The reservoir rotates inside the dispenser. The opening is adjustable for the dosage of the treats dispensing. The level of difficulty can be increased by increasing the distance between the trigger and the feed dispenser, or by placing it in different rooms. The range is up to 40 meters.

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Special features: Always new possibilities for variation, ensures movement.

Recommended by us for:

  • Advanced and professionals
  • adult dogs, oldies
  • Paw pilots, sniff fans

Ostrich egg with or without a rope

This snack ball from Wolters ensures a special fun factor with its irregular bouncing behavior. In addition, your dog’s ability to coordinate is promoted. The toy consists of one hundred percent natural rubber and is particularly hard-wearing. Perfect for throwing and retrieving. Available with (approx. 12 €) or without rope (approx. 6 €) in different colors and sizes.

Special features: The rope ensures even more throwing fun, irregular jumping behavior

  • Beginners and advanced
  • young dogs, adult dogs, oldies
  • Sniff fans

Move2Win

A board game from Trixie for professionals (approx. € 20): Here your dog can get his reward by opening the drawers with the help of the loops or by moving the stamp. Two cones and various small recesses and drawers provide variety. The level of difficulty can be increased by using the cone as a stopper.

Special features: Complex game in which the dog is challenged.

Recommended by us for:

  • Professionals
  • adult dogs
  • Paw pilots, sniff fans, nose workers

WiggleX snack toy

The multifunctional dog toy from Beeztees (approx. 25 €) made of sturdy rubber is well thought out. It is quite large at a height of 30 centimeters and has a heavy, convex-shaped base, which makes it wobble back and forth. Treats can be filled in three openings. But this model also withstands dragging and retrieving games. The flexible handle makes throwing easier and the strong, red color ensures good visibility and easy retrieval.

Special features: Extra-large toy, which is also suitable for retrieving and dragging games.

Recommended by us for:

  • Beginners, advanced and professionals
  • adult dogs
  • Paw pilots, sniff fans

Intelligence toys made of wood

The wooden toy “Athena” from Alsa Hundewelt (approx. € 20) trains concentration, dexterity and promotes natural instincts. The toy can be filled with treats. The dog has to move the different elements to get the treats.

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Recommended by us for:

  • Advanced and professionals
  • young dogs, adult dogs, oldies
  • Sniff fans, nose workers, paw pilots

An alternative is the intelligence toy “Dog Worker” by Nina Ottosson (approx. 30 €) and the Kerbl thinking and learning toy “Switch” (approx. 15 €). They are suitable for advanced and professional users and the dog can use his nose and paws to get to the food. Easier options, which are also suitable for beginners, are the “Doggy Brain Train” by Karlie (approx. 23 €) and the “Dog Smart” toy by Nina Ottosson (approx. 20 €).

Puppy sniffing mat “Sniffy”

Where are the noses? This colorful sniffing carpet by Beeztees (approx. 18 €) provides variety in everyday puppy life. Puppy-friendly delicacies can be hidden in the short and long jogging strips of the mat. In this way you encourage your dog from an early age and also strengthen the bond. The material is very soft. Be careful, however, that your puppy does not bite or chew on the mat.

Special features: Great entry-level toy for both snoopers and super noses.

Recommended by us for:

  • Beginner
  • young dogs
  • Sniff fans, nose workers

Feeding games for dogs: 12 important game rules & tips

So that the feeding games are fun for both humans and dogs, you should pay attention to the following things when making your selection and when playing:

  • Every dog ​​has its preferences. For example, some prefer to use their paws, others sniff and use their snouts to open drawers or find goodies. Try out which toys your dog likes best.
  • Make sure that the respective game suits your dog. For example, oldies have problems with their teeth and less chewing force. For them, snack toys should be made of a soft material. Choose the right size for snack balls so that your dog can easily carry the ball around in its mouth. It cannot be too small or too big. For large dogs, for example, wooden intelligence toys are suitable because they are heavy.
  • Snack toys can also be filled with normal dry food. Remember to subtract the additional amount of food from the daily ration and do not overfeed your dog. This is especially true for four-legged friends who tend to be overweight.
  • Do not leave your dog alone with the snack toy. Aside from safety, it is also possible that balls roll under furniture and the dog tries everything to get his goodies.
  • Don’t assume that your dog will immediately understand how snack or intelligence toys work. Read the notes and instructions or find out more about the toy on the Internet. Then you can slowly introduce your dog to the tasks and increase the level of difficulty step by step. Praise the smallest of advances. Regular repetitions help to consolidate what you have learned.
  • You are welcome to help your dog find the treats, especially in the early stages. Point your finger at the next steps or show your dog how to do it. It makes sense that you fill the snack toy in front of your dog to begin with.
  • You value good materials and good workmanship. The products should be easy to clean.
  • Keep in mind that there may be food envy if there are several dogs in the room.
  • Limit the playing time. You determine when the dog can go looking for food. Remember that your dog can only really concentrate for a limited amount of time. Among other things, nervous behavior can indicate excessive demands.
  • Always choose the right food so that nothing gets stuck in the snack toy and the dog always has a chance to really get the treats.
  • Bring variety into the game by changing the food every now and then and setting new tasks.
  • Tip for professional nose owners: Even if your dog is likely to solve simple tasks quickly, these can be a great means of motivation every now and then!
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    Every dog ​​has different preferences when it comes to food games. © Lenti Hill-stock.adobe.com