The top picks for stuffed treat toys
A selection of treat toys
Treat toys are designed to dispense a variety of edible goodies to satisfy your friend for more than a brief moment.
Most pet toy companies offer a rubber or synthetic toy that can be stuffed with either a paste or kibble and then given to your dog. The toy only needs to have some form of a cavity that can be stuffed. Or get creative. Even a toy with a bumpy surface can be coated with a tasty paste. The concept is simple, as they chew on the toy, they gradually enjoy whatever treat is stuffed inside.
Think Classic KONG.
While the Classic KONG has been around for some time, there are many other good options available today. These types of toys are indespensible as a reward or a toy to quietly chew on and pass the time. Below is a list of a number of toys we have some experience using.
We evaluated the toys based on a number of criteria including ease of filling and ease of cleaning, capacity of filling void and whether it accommodated both paste and kibble style treats. We also factored in the novelty of the toy and whether our limited taste testers seemed to enjoy the toy for its own merits.
Its important to note, we are not including any of the kibble dispensing toys in this list because these serve a different purpose. Treat stuffing toys are designed to be chewed on, preferably while lying down. This makes them especially useful for behavior training in situations like crate training and place training.
The kibble dispensing toys on the other hand, generally require the dog to push them around to shake out the kibble, making them less suitable as a toy to lay down with and chew during quiet time.
If you're at a loss on what type of treat to stuff in a toy, check out our list of healthy treat recipes. These are easy to put together with simple foods you probably already have at home.
Our picks for the top ten
We've had a chance to evaluate many of these types of toys and this list includes many of the popular as well as a few lesser known stuffed treat toys. The ten toys we chose are shown alphabetically and not in some form of ranking. These are all good toys and they get the job done. We highly recommend you keep a few of these available and ready to be stuffed when the time is right.
There a number of toys we have not included because either they didn't work well as a treat toy or they were too similar to some already listed.
Bionic Urban Stick
The first treat stuffed toy to be considered is the Bionic Urban Stick by Outward Hound. This toy holds treats at each end. The cavity is better suited for paste but if you mix the kibble with peanut butter or something similar it will hold the kibble better. The over all shape made it easy for our tester to hold it between her paws. The ribbing on the outside seemed to add to the chewing pleasure as well. The toy was easy to clean up and if you'ld rather, its dishwasher safe.
Busy Buddy Squirrel Dude
The second treat stuffed toy to be considered is the Busy Buddy Squirrel Dude by PetSafe. This is a cavity style treat toy with a small and large hole at each end. The cavity is large enough to put about a cup of treats. The delivery hole is large enough to get kibble or paste inside however the opening has four flaps that block the opening. This is meant to prevent kibble from easily falling out but it does make getting a paste treat out somewhat more difficult. If you're planning on using primarily paste type treats, consider cutting the little flaps off. Our tester had to work pretty hard to get the paste treat out.
Cleaning the toy was not too difficult, although the flaps made it a little more challenging to clean out the left over paste. The toy is made of molded rubber and has some surface texture making it easy for our tester to bite down on while trying to get at the treat. However, our tester paid little attention to the toy when it was clean and empty.
Classic Goodie Bone
The third treat stuffed toy to be considered is the Classic Goodie Bone by the KONG Company. This treat toy has two cavities, one at each end of the knuckle. The cavities are small and designed to hold about a tablespoon of a paste type treat. They're not ideal for kibble but could also accommodate a treat biscuit of the right size. The inside of the cavity is not smooth but rather ribbed which definitely helps hold the paste. Our tester cleaned out the paste treat in 15 - 20 minutes. These toys are bone shaped and the knuckle ends are very attractive to chew on so if left laying around, the ends will get chewed off and no longer function as a treat toy.
Interactive Treat Toy
The fourth treat stuffed toy to be considered is the Interactive Treat Toy. This is a molded rubber treat toy. We included this because of the different design for holding treats. The toy is flexible which aids in opening the space between the rubber teeth. It was easy to load with a paste type treat, but a little trickier with kibble. The kibble had to be small enough to really fit inside the teeth. Our tester enjoyed it as a treat toy but leaving it down as a chew toy was not an option as it would have been easily destroyed.
Unfortunately, this toy appears to be unavailable at this time.
Dogzilla Strong Chewer Dumbell
The fifth treat stuffed toy to be considered is the Dogzilla Strong Chewer Dumbell by Petmate. The dumbell shaped toy is made of rubber and has openings at each end. The cavities are not large but will easily work with a paste type treat. Our tester managed to clean out each end pretty quickly. Because this is a rubber toy it should not be left down as a chew toy as its pretty easy to chew off pieces. Toy was easy to clean up.
International Hearing Dog Can Toy
The sixth treat stuffed toy to be considered is the International Hearing Dog Can Toy by True Dogs. This is a cavity style molded rubber treat toy that has plenty of room for kibble or paste types treats. It has a small hole at the top and a larger hole at the bottom. It worked well with a paste type treat and entertained our tester for quite some time. It also worked using a kibble and paste mixture which lasted even longer. The texturing on the outside made it easy for our tester to hang onto it and clean up was a breeze.
An additional perk to picking up one of these toys is your purchase helps support the International Hearing Dog organization. A Colorado non-profit that has been training rescue dogs since 1979 to assist individuals with hearing loss. 50% of your purchase is donated to this organization to help in the training of a rescue dog.
The seventh treat stuffed toy to be considered is the Regular and Extreme Classic Kong by the KONG Company. This is another cavity style molded rubber treat toy that has plenty of room for kibble or paste types treats. There's a small hole at the top and a larger hole at the bottom. Our tester was busy for quite awhile working on getting all the paste out. This toy also works well using a kibble and paste mixture which lasted even longer. The texturing on the outside made it easy for our tester to hang onto it and clean up was a breeze.
The eighth treat stuffed toy to be considered is the Milk-Bone Active Dispensing Ball by Milk-Bone. The ball pictured is an older version. Its a molded rubber construction about the size of a tennis ball. It has a number of openings, one large and several small, into the cavity and works well with kibble or paste. The newer version is a more open design. While the more open design will easily hold their Milkbone biscuits with ease, its not very effective for small kibble or paste. The new version is also more susceptible to being chewed up.
Playay IQ Treat Ball
The nineth treat stuffed toy to be considered is the IQ Treat Ball by Playay. This toy is distributed under a number of different brands. We've included it because the design differs from most other toys. The toy is ball shaped with 6 sets of "jaws". Each jaw opening has soft rubber teeth throughout. The openings are not large but easily accommodate a paste type treat. By compressing the ball slightly the various openings can be expanded to help stuffing. Kibble can be used as a treat but it gets a little tedious to stuff a lot of kibble in each of the openings. Our tester had no problem enjoying the toy with either paste or kibble stuffed in the jaws. Clean up was not difficult. This toy should not be left down as an unsupervised chew toy as our tester would easily have continued chewing off all the little teeth within the jaws.
Qwizl Treat Toy
The tenth treat stuffed toy to be considered is the Zogoflex Qwizl Treat Toy by West Paw Design. Zogoflex is their proprietary plastic blend (latex free) and like other thermoplastics it can be made to produce a very durable and flexible toy that can also be recycled. This treat toy is hollow in the center with openings at each end as well as a couple of slits in the middle that give your chewing friend a teaser of what's inside. We tested the Qwizl with both dry kibble and a paste treat. The paste stuffing worked well and our tester went at it until it was cleaned out. The dry kibble tended to fall out the end so we made it a little sticky with peanut butter and it worked great. If this toy were left down to chew on our tester might eventually take a piece off, but the toys are guarenteed. If the toy becomes damaged return it, they'll recycle it and send you a new one for free.
There are no doubt many stuffed treat toys we have not discovered and there will be new stuffed treat toys that come to market. We will add to this list over time to bring you up to date information on one of the more useful toys that you will want to keep handy.
Treat toys make a perfect reward for many types of training sessions
For many types of behavior training, the stuffed treat toy is the perfect reward. Crate training is an ideal example. For more information, see our discussion on crate and place training. During crate training, once your dog is used to the presence of the crate in the room, place the stuffed treat toy in the crate and wait for them to approach the crate. If they enter to retrieve the stuffed toy, get them to remain in the crate to chew the stuffed toy. In the beginning, take the stuffed toy away if they try to leave.
As mentioned on several of our pages, research has shown that novelty of the toy is essential when trying to keep an animal engaged. Have several different types of treat toys available and rotate which one you use each time. This will go a long way to help keep interest and engage them longer.
Afterall, a happy dog is a happy home.
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