Every Dog Needs a Treat Ball!
What’s a treat ball? It’s a ball that you fill with your dog’s kibble or favourite treats, and as the dog plays with the ball, treats are dispensed. Sounds pretty amazing, right? My dogs think so!
Many dogs these days live a pretty luxurious life, complete with a safe and cozy place to sleep, multiple meals a day, treats, squeaky toys, and the list goes on. These lucky dogs no longer need to do much in order to survive, which is great; however, sometimes this lack of mental stimulation can lead to unwanted behaviours including, over excitability, chewing and nipping, jumping up on counters, and barking, just to name a few. Yelling at or punishing your dog for doing these things won’t help or fix the problem; however, giving your dog an outlet where they need to work for something such as food, can help to curb unwanted behaviours.
The treat ball is a fantastic way to keep a dog busy and content. Dogs are scavengers and are naturally inclined to search and work for food, hence why they excel at counter surfing and getting into the garbage. That’s a whole other topic that I can blog about another time, but let’s talk about why we love the treat ball. Here are five reasons:
- The treat ball will keep your dog busy: If your dog is young and excitable, and you just need an evening to yourself, or perhaps you’re having some guests over, the treat ball is a great way to keep your pup entertained, quiet, and content. Some of my clients use the treat ball to feed their adolescent dogs in the morning, just so that they can get ready for work without a puppy hanging from their pant leg.
- Prevents problem behaviours: A dog who is playing with a treat ball, has no time to eat baseboards, nip at your ankles, or chase the cat. Puppies and younger dogs need to be kept busy, and the treat ball can certainly help with that. It also promotes independence – it’s healthy for pups and young dogs to be able to play by themselves.
- Dogs need mental stimulation for good health: Some dogs absolutely need to work. If a working breed or any dog with a “go getter” personality is under-stimulated, that dog will become agitated, bored, and depressed really quickly, and unwanted behaviours will most certainly ensue. Even calm dogs need mental stimulation and will become depressed and sluggish if they don’t get to use their senses. The treat ball is a great way to work a dog’s busy brain!
- Lousy weather or bed rest? The treat ball gives your dog something to do when you can’t go for walks. If the weather is miserable, or perhaps your dog is recovering from surgery, the treat ball is a great way to keep your dog entertained.
- Slow it down! Some dogs gobble their food so quickly, that they’ll even throw up. The treat ball can really help to slow down overly zealous eaters since the kibble comes out slowly and intermittently.
I should mention that the treat ball isn’t going to eliminate all of your dog’s unwelcomed behaviours; however, together with proper socialization, play, structure and routine, the treat ball can help to keep even the most mischievous of pups out of trouble.
Where can you get a treat ball? Most pet stores carry a variety of treat balls and treat dispensing toys!