6 of the best treat dispenser toys to challenge, reward and satisfy your dog

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  • Dogs love a puzzle – and a reward. The best dog treat dispenser toy will deliver on both these fronts, and more. Treat-dispensing toys provide a satisfying challenge for dogs as they try to work out how to extract the treats, but they can also be used to feed your dog his meals. If you have a dog who bolts his food, you can stuff the toy with his dry fog food or even wet dog food (a bit messy, admittedly, though most of these toys are easy to wash) and he will be forced to eat much less rapidly – similar to if you used one of the best slow-feeder dog bowls or best puzzle toys for dogs.

    Treat-dispensing toys are handy on many occasions – to give your dog mental stimulation, as a boredom buster and also to help them relax whether after a walk or a training session. Puzzle game designer Nina Ottosson says that 15 minutes of mental activity is as strenuous for dogs as 30 minutes of physical.

    Dispenser toys come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The classic is a ball – with the added challenge that it keeps rolling away from the dog as he tries to extract the treats – but you can also get bones, wobbly toys and fiendish puzzles.

    Best dog treat dispenser toys

    Pet-Fun Pomelo

    Pet-Fun Pomelo

    Difficulty level: Easy | Form: Ball | RRP: From £8.99 |

    Made from top-quality food grade natural rubber, with antimicrobial technology to resist bacterial growth, makes it as safe to chew as a baby’s dummy.

    It has an erratic bounce to keep your dog guessing, while serving as boredom chew toy, a treat puzzle toy, and treat dispenser. The textured surface helps clean the teeth as well.

    Comes in different sizes from 8–12cm to suit all dog sizes, and in either orange or green.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Egg-shaped Treat Dispenser Dog Toy

    Egg-shaped Treat Dispenser

    Difficulty level: Intermediate | Form: Ball | RRP: £15.99 |

    A complicated design within the dog food ball to challenge dogs. Three open holes at the top allow animals to smell the food hidden within, and then they roll the ball around so that the food leaks out. You can adjust the switch to make the challenge harder or easier.

    Made of 100% pet-safe material.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Chewffon potato chip snuffle toy for dogs

    Chewffon Dog Puzzle Toy

    Difficulty level: Difficult | Form: Snuffle | RRP: From £14.99 |

    This features one crinkle potato chips bag and two roll-out snuffle strings with 14 treat pockets. Fill up the potato pockets of chips with treats, put the chips back in the crinkle packaging and let the dog at it. After they smell the treats, they will snuffle around to try to extract them.

    You can make the game a bit easier but expanding the incision on the chips. Suitable for all dog sizes.

    Made from 100-% baby-safe polyester which can be machine-washed.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Kong treat dispenser toy

    Kong Rewards Ball

    Difficulty level: Intermediate | Form: Ball | RRP: £13.99 |

    This treat dispenser toy should keep dogs active and engaged as they endeavour to get the ball to release its treats. The ball is nobbly, which means it bounces in unexpected directions, which keeps the dog guessing, as well as making it fun to grab and chew. Fairly robust and durable, it tends to outwit most strong chewers.

    It does require a certain size of treat, however. If they are too big (over 1cm), they won’t fit through the hole, while if they are too tiny, the puzzle becomes too easy. Kibble tends to work well, so it’s a handy option to feed some of your dog’s main meal in a stimulating way.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or viovet.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com or walmart.com

    Nina Ottosson puzzle toy

    Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Interactive Puzzle Toys

    Difficulty level: Four levels from beginner to expert | Form: Puzzle | RRP: From £17 |

    This company specialises in puzzle toys, which come in dozens of shapes and difficulty levels, from easy to expert. Pictured is the popular Tornado puzzle. This is an intermediate level toy, which involves multiple steps to reveal the hidden treat. There are 12 compartments with four spinning layers, which your dog needs to work out which to shift to get his reward.

    Beginner (level 1) involves one-step actions; intermediate (level 2) has added obstacles requiring your dog to combine actions; advanced (level 3) demands sequential steps; expert (level 4) requires a series of steps in the correct order. What’s your dog’s IQ?!

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.ukviovet.co.uk or petsathome.com
    In the US? View now at amazon.com, walmart.com
     or chewy.com

    Starmark Bob-a-Lot treat dispensing dog toy

    Starmark Bob-a-Lot

    Difficulty level: Intermediate | Form: Wobbler | RRP: From £12.64 |

    The robust plastic Bob-a-Lot wobbles and bobbles dropping treats as it goes. It has adjustable openings to customise difficulty, providing a good interactive challenge. A fun and interesting way of feeding dogs of all sizes, as it is available in large and small.

    Works very well as a slow feeder, too.

    All Starmark’s products are developed by experts and performance tested by thousands of dogs at the Starmark Academy Animal Behaviour Centre.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or viovet.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com, walmart.com or chewy.com

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