Does your dog eat super fast? Or is he/she easily bored with the current toys? Then the Tug-A-Jug from Busy Buddy is a great toy to try. We found it to be a fun mental challenge and a great way to have dogs work for their food.
All animals have naturally evolved to be great at getting food. That is just the way nature works.
And dogs are no different.
Even after thousands of years of living with humans, dogs have their natural instincts to find and get food. Just look what happens if they are abandoned in the woods. Some may not make it, but most will go straight back to being a wild dog and hunting/scavenging.
But our dogs just get their food on a silver platter, every day and without effort.
It’s no wonder then that many get bored, fat, anxious, or stressed: A large part of their skills and drive are never used, so they try to exert their energy in other ways.
That all changes if you make a dog work for its food. Now they have to solve a problem, try different methods, and get the reward of food in the end. They appreciate the food more, can’t eat it super quick and train their brains and bodies.
There are many kinds of toys that make dogs work for their diet. The most famous is probably the Kong filled with a food paste. These can be great or not a challenge at all, depending on the dog.
Some may be challenged a lot by a Kong filled with peanut butter or other food. Others are just too smart for that, quickly figure it out and eat all the food.
Tug a Jug provides a unique challenge for two reasons:
The dog needs to keep moving the rope in and out to get the food out bit-by-bit. So it keeps them from eating too quickly and also keeps their coordination and brain active
Anything that gets between a dog and its food needs to be durable. At least with most dogs.
The container (bottle) is made of very durable poly-carbonate. This material is famous for its use in bulletproof windows and unbreakable water bottles. It’s also safe to come into contact with food and for chewing.
The rope is made of natural fibers so that it’s also safe for chewing. The only downside is that it’s not very strong. It can break if your dog is using the wrong method. You can easily make a new rope, but it’s a downside of this, otherwise excellent, product.
Not every toy works for every dog. Because of their distinct personalities, some toys get completely ignored while others barely stop moving.
Tug a Jug is not a beginner puzzle toy – If your dog has never successfully solved any other smart dog toy, it’s very likely that it will just get frustrated.
It’s easier if your dog is food motivated – Most dogs are like that. And if you place their regular food in the Tug-a-Jug they will eventually try to get to it. But you might not be inclined to starve him/her.
So if your dog will do anything for a cookie or piece of food, and has some experience with puzzles, you are sure he/she will be motivated to work on the Tug-a-Jug
Be careful if your dog has weak teeth!! – The outside of the Tug-a-Jug is made of strong and hard plastic. A dog with bad teeth could hurt itself there.
My friend Robin has a cute shelter dog that eats its food quicker than any dog I have seen. Sometimes he pukes it right back out, and often he has severe diarrhea for days. It might have had something to do with his time before the shelter as he was found severely malnourished.
She had been trying all kinds of methods to keep him from eating so fast. But his ingenuity is almost as incredible as his eating speed. So he solves most puzzles in a matter of minutes and then just goes right back to stuffing himself.
I told her about Tug-a-Jug and she ordered one, right away.
I was there when she first gave the dogs its food in the purple container with cord. I must say, it wasn’t pretty:) He got so frustrated (there are holes in the bottom so dogs can smell the food inside) and was barking and biting like crazy.
But dogs are practical creatures in the end. And after a couple of minutes, he started to work his problem-solving skills. It didn’t take long for him to get the first piece of food out, and after that, he got better and better.
But the great thing is; he still can’t get all the food out at once. He is not bad at it but still needs at least 15 minutes to finish his meal. He doesn’t puke or have diarrhea anymore, and that was exactly what Robin was after.
While growing up with cats and dogs, I discovered I am good at understanding how these wonderful companions feel. My first pocket money was spent on pet toys, and I majored in animal behavioral science. My specialty was how dogs develop intelligence by playing. So if you feel your dog is not that smart, I might be able to help. My pets have helped me stay aware, committed, and down-to-earth. It’s my mission to help pets and owners be more connected and happy.
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