Why should you get an interactive bowl/toy?
Interactive toys are great for dogs! Just like humans dogs need something to do, or else they get bored. Boredom often leads to them finding something to do. Typically, these things are things us humans do not want them to do! But, these are very dog things to do; like digging and chewing. As a trainer, these are two things we often hear about dogs doing. Not just puppies, these are adult dogs as well!
As humans, we have to go to work to be able to pay to feed our dogs. But, giving your dog it's food in a bowl, and then leaving for work 8+ hours just isn't enough to satisfy your dog's inner needs.
Here are some key points on why you should get that interactive toy!
Mental stimulation. I know if you're a training client of ours, you've heard Ashley preach about the importance of mental stimulation. This can come in many forms, and yes, one of those are interactive toys/bowls. Each toy has different benefits; from shaking, digging, rooting, and more. Let your dog be a dog!
Slows down eating. This is huge if you have a dog that gobbles their food in two bites and then proceeds to vomit, because he ate too fast. What's worse is then he eats it. YUCK! By having to work for their food, it slows the amount of food they can eat in one go. Eating slower also helps them feel fuller (just like us humans).
Stress and Anxiety. Boredom creates a wandering brain, which can lead to stress and anxiety in some dogs. This will further lead to chewing, digging, and other things we don't want them to do. But, your dog has regular toys out to play with? So what? These are toys she has everyday, they don't interact with her, and you aren't there to interact with the toy to make it more exciting. So, she's going to find something else more rewarding. Did someone say trash can?
Weight Management. Most interactive toys the dog has to move to get their food out. The extra calories burned add up!
A job to do. We've all heard it, dog's need a job to do. This is because once upon a time, dogs were only bred for a job. Herding, guarding, hunting, etc. Now though, the dog with a job to do is lucky. Most dogs are just our companions, and though they live a life of luxury in our eyes, that doesn't mean they always agree. So, giving them an interactive toy with their meal in it, makes them have to work for their food. This is not a punishment, this is a gift. Your dog will thank you.
Self entertainment. Does your dog bring you a toy 24/7, but you need a minute to get something done? This is your answer! The average interactive toy does not need your guidance. So, give it to your dog and get your own chores done.
Note: After giving your dog it's food or treats in these bowls, be sure to pick them up and put them aside. This is for two reasons:
1: It'll keep the bowl exciting for the next time. Don't we all get bored when we have the same thing available to us every day? That's why we humans have what's called a vacation!
2: It'll prevent the dog from chewing the toy after all the food is gone. After all, it'll still smell like it has food inside!