Not only does it slow down fast eaters, but it provides much-needed mental stimulation as your dog has to figure out how to access their kibble.
Read on for tips on choosing the best puzzle feeder for your canine friend. We’ll also highlight one of our favorite products, the PawsPooch Dog Puzzle Feeder, and all it has to offer.
What is a Dog Puzzle Feeder?
A puzzle feeder, also called an interactive feeder or food dispensing toy, is a specialized dog bowl designed to make mealtime more engaging and challenging.
Rather than gulping food freely from a bowl, your dog has to manipulate, lift, slide, or roll pieces of the puzzle feeder in order to release kibble.
There are many styles, but they all require your dog to problem-solve and work for their food.
Benefits of a puzzle feeder include:
- Slowing down fast eaters
- Providing mental enrichment
- Preventing boredom
- Encouraging natural foraging skills
- Allowing exercise during meals
- Aiding digestion
Dogs also tend to feel more satisfied when they “work” for meals. Puzzle feeders are great for puppies and adult dogs alike. Choosing one that matches your dog’s abilities is key, as we’ll explore more below.
Top Features to Look For
With so many puzzles and interactive feeders available, it’s important to find one suited to your dog. Here are the top features to consider:
Look for a feeder that lets you adjust the challenge level so you can start easy and increase the puzzle’s difficulty as your dog learns. Being too complex at first can frustrate dogs.
Select a puzzle made of tough materials like thick plastic, rubber or metal that can stand up to daily use. Avoid any pieces that seem easy to chew or damage.
Finding a feeder with dishwasher-safe components makes cleaning a breeze. Models with nooks and crannies can collect bacteria without thorough cleaning.
Match the feeder size to your dog’s breed and snout length for the best experience. Measure your dog if unsure.
Food Dispensing Style
Wobbling and rotating toys tend to be easiest for beginners. Mazes, flip boards, and snuffle mats offer more challenges.
Ensure the design won’t pinch your dog’s nose or paws. Supervise initial use until you’re sure your dog is using it properly.
With options from $10 to over $50, set a budget so you can find a quality interactive feeder at a price you can afford. Even simple versions enrich.
With key features in mind, let’s look at some of the best interactive and puzzle feeders available for dogs.
Top Puzzle Feeders for Dogs
Here are some of our top picks for interactive and puzzle feeders to keep your dog entertained at mealtime:
- KONG Wobbler – $19.99
- Great for larger breeds, dispenses kibble as knocked about.
- Petoon Pet Ball – $12.99
- Ball Maze dispenses treats when rolled. Easy for beginners.
- Starmark Bob-a-Lot – $15.99
- Adjustable for all sizes, includes 2 treat chambers.
Mazes & Labyrinths
- Aikiou Fun Dog Feeder – $12.98
- Rotating maze plate in a dog bowl shape.
- Outward Hound Fun Feeder Drop – $14.95
- Maze in the shape of a dog with adjustable openings.
- Propel Pet Products NutriDish – $21.95
- Clear maze bowl with adjustable slide for levels.
Flipping & Rotating Puzzles
- TRIXIE Dog Activity Strategy Game – $24.99
- Flip lids and slide covers to find hidden treats.
- Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Game – $29.99
- Interactive brick slider and shell game.
- Paw5 Wooly Snuffle Mat – $39.95
- Felt mat for hiding treats in the fibers.
- Puppy Feeding Snuffle Mat — $19.99 – $49.99
- Soft fleece fabric and large storage space for food with a foldable design.
- Sniffiz Snuffle Mat – $19.98
- Faux fur fabric mat for hiding the kibble inside.
- PetRageous Snuffle Mat – $19.99
- Folding fabric mat with hidden pockets.
- Pawchie Snuffle Feeding Mat – $21.99
- Plush fabric mat ideal for travel.
Introducing the PawsPooch Dog Puzzle Feeder
One of our favorite interactive feeders is the PawsPooch Dog Puzzle Feeder. This innovative feeder checks off all the boxes in terms of ideal features. Let’s look at what makes it a top choice:
Elevated Anti-Slip Base
The expanded anti-slip base provides more resistance as your dog pushes the feeder around, keeping it from easily sliding away. This prevents frustration and keeps them engaged.
Interactive Feeding Toy
The puzzle feeder incorporates play with eating to stimulate your dog’s mind and attract their natural curiosity. The challenge keeps them happily occupied.
Slow Feeding Design
Requiring your dog to work for a kibble slows down eating. This aids digestion and prevents issues caused by gulping like bloating, gas, and vomiting.
Combination of Play & Feeding
You can fill compartments with tasty treats and kibble to create a more enticing puzzle for your pup. This fuses playtime with feeding for ultimate enjoyment.
Engaging Challenge to Get Food
Your dog learns to open the sliding lid with their nose or paws to access the concealed food inside. This mimics natural foraging behaviors.
Adjustable Difficulty Levels
With the ability to increase the challenge as your dog learns, the PawsPooch feeder adapts to your dog’s growing intelligence and abilities. You can keep them challenged.
Smooth, Safe Materials
Made from durable PP+ABS plastic, the puzzle feeder is resistant to wear and tear from daily use. The smooth surface keeps your dog’s tongue comfortable.
The concealed compartments allow you to hide food in different areas so your dog has to sniff out all the spots. This enhances their mental skills.
Simple, Interactive 3-Step Fun
Just add treats, partially cover, and adjust difficulty over time. In three simple steps, you can introduce your dog to a rewarding game.
Multi-Level Intelligence Booster
With adjustable difficulty, the PawsPooch feeder engages your dog’s mind, promotes problem-solving, and boosts their abilities. It’s a complete intelligence workout.
As you can see, the PawsPooch Dog Puzzle Feeder checks off all the must-have features of a top interactive dog feeder. Let’s look more at the specific benefits it provides for your pup.
Benefits of the PawsPooch Dog Puzzle Feeder
The PawsPooch Dog Puzzle Feeder has many benefits for dogs:
Slows Down Eating
Eating too fast can lead to choking, gas, bloating, and vomiting. The PawsPooch feeder forces your dog to take its time accessing food compartment by compartment. This promotes healthy digestion.
The challenge of manipulating sliders and lids to find food provides important mental exercise. This enriches their days and prevents boredom when alone. Working on meals is fulfilling.
Prevents Destructive Behaviors
Dogs prone to boredom and anxiety often act out through poor behavior. Keeping them engaged with a puzzle feeder promotes positive reinforcement for good mental health.
Opening compartments to forage for food mimics your dog’s natural hunting behaviors. Working for meals satisfies these innate needs for accomplishment.
Getting physical activity alongside mental exercise keeps your dog in top shape. Pushing and manipulating the feeder builds muscles and expends energy.
Peace of Mind When Away
Knowing your dog has a constructive, engaging activity while home alone provides peace of mind. They can play with their puzzle feeder for hours!
Taking turns adjusting the slider and compartments to increase difficulty builds bonding time between you and your pup. It’s quality one-on-one time.
At under $30, the PawsPooch feeder provides daily enrichment at a fraction of the cost of some feeders. It’s an affordable long-term investment in your dog’s health.
As you can see, the advantages of choosing the PawsPooch Dog Puzzle Feeder are numerous. It’s a complete system to keep your dog entertained and fulfilled every single day.
How to Use the PawsPooch Dog Puzzle Feeder
Using the PawsPooch Puzzle Feeder is simple. Just follow these steps:
- Introduce slowly: On first use, start with the slider partially open so your dog can easily access some kibble. Provide praise and encouragement.
- Increase difficulty: As your dog understands the basic mechanism, close the slider more to increase the challenge. Continue rewarding progress.
- Add treats: Place enticing treats into the compartments to attract your dog to the various chambers. This builds engagement.
- Adjust when needed: Make it easier or harder based on your dog’s abilities, so they stay challenged but not frustrated.
- Make a game: Taking turns adjusting the puzzle and watching your dog solve it together makes for quality bonding time!
- Clean regularly: Disassemble cleaning all chambers and sliders to prevent bacteria build-up from food and saliva.
In no time, your dog will be happily engaged with their PawsPooch Puzzle Feeder for hours of enrichment and healthy slow eating. It’s a win-win for dogs and owners alike!
Choose the PawsPooch Dog Puzzle Feeder Today!
We hope this breakdown has helped you understand all the benefits an interactive puzzle feeder can provide your dog when it comes to making mealtimes more enriching and entertaining.
The PawsPooch Dog Puzzle Feeder in particular rises to the top with its durable construction, adjustable difficulty, multi-chamber design, and stimulation of your dog’s natural instincts.
If you’re looking to slow down a fast eater, prevent boredom, or simply keep your dog engaged and challenged daily, the PawsPooch Puzzle Feeder is an excellent choice. With regular use, you’re sure to notice positive improvements in your dog’s behavior, mental health, and eating habits.
Make mealtimes fun again and order the PawsPooch feeder today! Your dog will thank you.