Interactive Dog Feeders

Bonnie has a habit of gulping her food down if we put it into a bowl so a few days after we brought her home we have completely ditched feeding from a bowl. Instead we use her breakfast and dinner kibble for either training sessions or put it in an interactive feeder. This has helped with her gobbling her food, gives a great mental workout as she is excited to work for her food and means we can fit training into our daily routine. I do use high value treats for outside training and more distracting/difficult training in general but inside in the living room she is still content to train with kibble.

Bonnie waiting impatiently to receive her peanut butter and kibble kong
Stop taking photos and give me it already!

Bonnie currently has three interactive feeders: Kong original, Kong Wobbler and the Nina Ottisson Brick.

Bonnie enjoying her kong on the rug

We use the original Kong to keep her occupied when she is in her crate.  It is really durable and she hasn’t managed to chew any bits off, for any heavy chewers there is also the Kong Extreme. There are loads of recipes out there (check out this UK based Facebook group for inspiration) which I want to try in future but at the moment we mostly use frozen peanut butter and kibble, or kibble and yoghurt. Bonnie is super food motivated so other dogs might not want to work hard for kibble so other high value treats might be more suitable like liver or fish treats etc.

 Kong wobbler filled with kibbleBonnie batting the Kong Wobbler about for her food

We usually use the Kong wobbler at breakfast time. We have the large size and it fits quite a lot of food. The top screws off so makes it super easy to fill and clean. It is made out of strong durable plastic that is very hard for Bonnie to grip onto with her mouth and I feel that it is generally safe for unsupervised play. She really enjoys playing with it and bats it about with her paws and nose to get the food out. The only downside is that it is quite noisy rolling on any floor except carpet and also hitting into walls.

Nina Ottosson Dog Brick food puzzle filled with kibbleNina Ottosson Dog Brick food puzzle filled with kibble and ready to go

We use the Nina Ottisson Brick whenever we can fully supervise as I would be worried she would eat or ingest the small bones or the brick itself as it is plastic. This fits a lower amount of food and is a bit more awkward to fill and clean than the wobbler. There are different difficulty levels based on whether you use the bones and how many. We really try to encourage her to pick the bones out using her mouth to increase her confidence with picking up items using her mouth – when we first got her she wouldn’t take objects like balls, antlers or dentastixs from our hand. She loves to sniff  out where the last bits of food are. Bonnie finding the kibble from the Nina Ottosson Dog Brick food puzzle

Overall I think interactive feeders are great and I would love to branch out and get more of them so please leave any recommendations in the comments!

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8 thoughts on “Interactive Dog Feeders

  1. I love the first photo!

    I’m in a rush so haven’t read this fully yet – but we’ve bought Zoey a Wobbler for her birthday next weekend! 😀

    She had one when she was a puppy, but we accidentally left her with it alone (for a whopping TWO MINUTES!!) when she was about 6 months old, and she completely wrecked it XD

    Our pups looove their Kongs too (we have to use the extreme for Kasper / Zoey as the regular didn’t last too long)…also if you have Pets At Home where you live, they sell Sumos, which are basically Kongs but half the price and we’ve found them to be even more durable! We bought a bunch of bananas from the market the other day (sixteen for 50p?!) so everyone’s getting banana in their Kongs today 😛

    Finally we have tried our adult dogs with a few of the Nina Ottisson toys, but Kasper tries to chew *through* them, and is unwilling to swap any bits he pulls off (apparently the plastic shapes are better than the treats – whut?!) and when Zoey had a go she used brute force and actually broke the feeder XD

    She was supposed to slide these plastic circles (with treats underneath) down a channel, and when they popped out the end she got the treats. Instead she just ripped them out and broke the toy hahahaha!

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    1. Aw man I guess I’m pretty lucky with Bonnie, she will chew up and swallow soft toys, ropes etc but with rubber or plastic she seems to give up once the foods gone and her chews seem to last a good while too.
      Thanks for the heads up about the Sumos never heard of them before, I was going to get a spare kong or two soon but may get this instead, she’s going to her trainer’s house for the first time to stay for a weekend in November while we go to a wedding so wanted to prepare a few to take with her. Nice tip about the bananas too haven’t tried it with Bonnie yet.
      Omg those stories of Kasper and Zoey are hilarious! They have such great personalities and wee quirks 🙂

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      1. Another plus for the Sumos – they’re not only cheap but the sizing is so generous! The Small Sumo we have for Rey is the same size as the Medium Kong!!

        I really hope Raiden grows up to be like your Bonnie…I might cry if we end up with another dog who immediately tries to destroy everything in sight XD

        Are you nervous about Bonnie staying away for a weekend? I am, like, the biggest wuss with my dogs *ever*…I got teary eyed on a walk the other day because my partner ran ahead with Raiden (we were late & in a mad rush), and Raiden was staring over my partner’s shoulder at me with a look that was just heartbreaking hahaha. It’s awesome that Bonnie can stay with someone so experienced with dogs and who already knows her 😀

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      2. Yep totally nervous, I am happier though that she’s staying with our trainer. She used to stay at a daycare place but then I realised they didn’t have a clue about dog behaviour or body language and Bonnie was starting to dread going there, so from then on she would’ve stayed at our vet kennels but the noise of barking really stressed her out in the main block so they kept having to move her to the small block inside the vet building.

        So I’m happy that she will be with someone she knows well and she is a great trainer that really knows her stuff so she should be fine. I just worry because it will all be new to her and the trainer has her own dogs. I think the trainer will be more affected by it than Bonnie though, because she thinks Bonnie is the best thing ever in class but at home she requires a good bit of management so might be a bit of an eye opener for her xD

        Aww if we can’t be big wusses over our dogs then what kind of world would we live in?! 😀

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      3. I’m sure she’ll have a whale of a time, it doesn’t sound like she could be going anywhere better 🙂

        I’m always so insanely jealous of people who have relatives that are knowledgeable / experienced with dogs, and can just look after them if needed…my parents have never had dogs so know nothing, and the dog-owning people in our families are really terrible, and rely on dominance theory and punishment :/

        Hahaha that will be hilarious! We’ve met a few people who think our dogs are little angels, because they either meet them outside or I occupy them indoors so they behave…realistically they need constant management! I literally can’t leave Kasper / Zoey alone in a room unless they’re REALLY tired 😛

        Especially Kasper…the other night he pulled a tub of 200 cotton buds off the shelf, then hurriedly started trying to eat them…oh Kasper!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I had recommendations – Choppy is a destroyer of toys, especially any hiding food (she long ago figured out her talents in life tend toward the ‘brute strength’ end of the spectrum – easier to destroy than trouble her brain!).

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