Mind games, 3 in 1 puzzle toy by Dog it

Choosing a gift for someone who has everything is hard! Even if that someone is a dog! After doing some research at Christmas time, I ended up investing in the ‘Mind games 3 in 1 puzzle toy’, by ‘Dog it’ for Jess and Max. I set a budget of £20 and under, mainly because I’d spent enough already but also I noticed a lot of the puzzle toys out there were very similar in their function and logic, but just differed in their shape or material. For example, you could pay £24.99 for a toy with the same mechanics as a £4.99 one, but one was wooden and the other plastic. I paid £12.49 + free postage for my chosen toy and I suppose the main thing that appealed to me about it, was the fact it was 3 puzzles in 1 (in an attempt to get my moneys-worth!)

imageSo here it is, set up ready for the first and simplest puzzle. The dog has to lift/push the green caps to find their reward underneath.

imageThe green caps have a rim around them, which enables them to slot/click into place between the two white parts of the toy. This makes them slide around the board without lifting up, creating puzzle number two. It was actually my 12 year old brother that figured out how to slot them into place! I was (embarrassingly) baffled!

image

Puzzle number three involves a sliding green disc, that the dog has push around to find their treat.

So how did we find it? Well this was Jess and Max’s first puzzle toy, so when I presented it to them both they had quite unimpressed expressions! With a little encouragement Jess was the most keen, which is always the case. She is highly food motivated, never gives up on a Kong and picks things up really quickly. Once she had the scent of the hidden roast chicken she whizzed through all three of the puzzles, although I’d say she found puzzle three the hardest to figure out at first. Here is Jess using puzzle three, I like how she uses her teeth to try and lift the disc!

Max on the other hand can be a fussy eater and he quickly loses interest in tasks such as training or emptying a Kong. He will just walk away, and this was the case with this toy. However, I have noticed he likes to eat alone and that he’s a slow eater. So maybe if he wasn’t so close to us with the puzzle toy (away from me and my camera) he would interact with it a little more, and wouldn’t feel under pressure to rush it. I also wonder if he finds things like this more difficult having a flat face/snout. Jess can nudge the disc with her nose whereas Max has to stick his full face in there! There may have been a little social learning too, as Max watched Jess complete the puzzle before having a go himself. Here he is using puzzle three:

Overall, I think the way both dogs interacted with the toy reflected their own personalities. It was pretty much what I would expect from them both. As for the toy itself, the plastic is sturdy, and it has suction pads on the bottom to prevent sliding (which I didn’t notice straight away). The fact that it’s three puzzles in one makes the price reasonable, in comparison to others. It does it’s job in providing a puzzle and something novel for the dog, and it’s cute to watch them pawing and figuring it out! But if you’re looking for a puzzle that takes a while to crack this one may not be the one, I think it’s a great starter puzzle though before moving onto something more advanced. I’m open to suggestions to modify/add to the toy if anyone has any ideas!

Portable water bottle – product review

Hello. I haven’t posted on DogTails for about a week or so, as i’ve been really busy especially with my graduation ceremony! I am now a bachelor of science! My honours degree is in Animal Behaviour :) The whole graduation; the venue, the ceremony itself, the gown, the people, everything made it the perfect day! So on with the review…

Before I continue, this review is purely my own thoughts on the item, that I hope you will find useful too :)

Portable dog water bottle 

  • Cost: £1.00 upwards
  • Where from? I have seen them both in pet stores & online
  • Summary of the product: The portable water bottle, designed for dogs, is a useful method of carrying and feeding water to your four legged friend when out and about

How does it work? 

The plastic bottle has an attached ‘tray’ which fits snugly around the bottle when closed up and on the move, and is where your dog takes their drink from. It also has a clip on the end, which could be used to attach the bottle to yourself or a rucksack for example.

Squeezing the bottle fills the tray with water for your dog to lap up

Squeezing the bottle fills the tray with water for your dog to lap up

The verdict

The main thing I love about this product is the price! It’s probably one of our most used products but also the cheapest, and in this case low price doesn’t mean low quality. We’ve had the same bottle for about 3 years now, and so far it has no damages, and hasn’t leaked once. I bought it a while back now, but I have since seen it for sale online and in pet stores, although for a few pounds more, with slightly different variations.

I also like the fact that it is an ‘all in one’ product. For example, fold up bowls are handy, but you still have to bring the water separately. Our dogs don’t seem to have a problem drinking from it either.

It is likely that if you’re walking a considerably long distance, hiking for example, or it is a particularly hot day, that you will need more water than this bottle can carry, so it may not be suitable for all occasions. However, it is absolutely adequate for trips to the park in normal weather! Overall, this water bottle is a dog walking essential, so useful for such little price!

Rating

4/5 woofs!

Happy walking!

Happy walking!

The power of the Kong!

The Kong Classic is most definitely one of my favourite dog toys, and i’m sure that applies for most dog owners reading this post! People who know me will know i’m always raving on about the benefits of the Kong, and I get excited deciding what to fill them with next! One of my motivations for creating DogTailsBlog was to review doggy products, so I thought i’d share some of my tasty Kong fillings!

For those who aren’t familiar with the Kong classic toy, they are made of a tough, durable rubber, and a hole at one end enables them to be stuffed with various delicious fillings. They make mealtimes more challenging and rewarding, providing much needed mental stimulation to our doggy friends! In terms of behavioural advantages the toy stimulates food searching behaviours, as they are seeking out the food within the object and any pieces falling out. They also provide an opportunity to chew, which although is often reported as a nuisance by owners is really a natural behaviour for dogs, and so providing this opportunity sooner rather than later may be beneficial to both us and our companions!

Anyway, back to the fillings! So every so often when me and my dogs try a new filling I will share and rate!

‘Cheese n’ nut butter’

Ingredients:

  • cubes of cheese
  • smooth peanut butter

This is a really simple filler, but due to the stickiness of the peanut butter it is quite challenging! You just mix together the cheese cubes and peanut butter, cram into the Kong, and seal with a little more peanut butter. It could even be popped in the freezer, but as this was the dogs’ first time with peanut butter I thought it was tricky enough for a first go, maybe next time.

The verdict 

Very sticky! I think they found the taste a little odd at first and there was a lot of lip licking, but Jess and Max still made sure the Kong was clean by the end of it! In terms of taste, they seemed to enjoy it but i’d maybe add more to that recipe in the future as I imagine it might be a bit ‘samey’ after a while. Also the two ingredients are both quite rich so this filler would have to be an occasional treat. Watching the pair of them, it did look quite challenging and they really were trying hard, before finishing about half an hour later.

Rating

3.5/5 woofs!

p.s Remember to adjust your dogs diet accordingly if they’re having filled Kongs as treats. Also dogs can get allergies just like us, so be careful there too. As far as I know peanut butter contains vitamins that promote shiny coats and aid the immune system so there are benefits! Just remember to give in moderation!

Letting Jess lick the spoon!

Letting Jess lick the spoon!