The Best Food-Dispensing Toys

Why are food-dispensing toys so great for dogs? The Dog Trainer explains. Plus – 4 awesome toys that will keep your dog happy and busy.

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
5-minute read
Episode #131

StarMark Treat Dispensing Chew Ball

The Treat Dispensing Chew Ball (catchy name, eh?) is a squishy hollow sphere with openings at the poles through which you shove kibble. As your dog chews the sphere, pieces of food fall out. According to the manufacturers, the Chew Ball contains no latex, vinyl, or phthalates. Squishy though it is, it has held up well to frequent and vigorous use by my 80-pound Pit mix for at least a year.

The manufacturers would like you to use their proprietary treats, but dry dog food works fine as long as the pieces are too big to fall right out. As for me, the Treat Dispensing Chew Ball is the toy I hate to love. It’s a bit of a pain to stuff and it’s hard to clean. But oh my goodness, is it a dog-pleaser. Because chewing compresses the openings, it can take your dog a long time to extract all the kibble you put in. But individual pieces come out fast enough to keep his attention. And the texture seems to keep dogs coming back for more even when the Chew Ball is empty.

Zogoflex “Tux”

The Tux looks like a hollow version of a molecule model from your tenth-grade chemistry class. My friend Adriann has a smallish Aussie Shepherd mix, Calvin, with the toughest jaws in Brooklyn. The Zogoflex Tux was made for Calvin, who came with two of them when Adriann adopted him. Here’s what she says:

“I never would have bought the Tux because the knobs are a little too big for my dog to chew, plus it's kind of heavy (the knobs are solid) and not a good throw/bounce toy.  But if you put canned food in there and freeze it, it takes a really, really long time to get it all out.  Calvin just spent about 40 minutes on this thing!  It's very sturdy and a good time-occupier.”

Adriann also says the Tux is easy to clean.

These four toys are just a taste of the many safe, durable, satisfying items available at pet-supply stores.  Look around, find one well-suited to your pooch, and take an easy step to make your dog’s life richer. Otherwise, that’ll be me some weekend morning, ringing your doorbell and asking to talk with you sincerely about the consequences of a boring life.

As always, send comments and questions to dogtrainer@quickanddirtytips.com. And you can talk to me on Facebook, where I’m The Dog Trainer. Dogalini is me on Twitter. Thanks for reading, and have a great week.


About the Author

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Jolanta holds professional certifications in both training and behavior counseling and belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also volunteered with Pet Help Partners, a program of the Humane Society of the United States that works to prevent pet relinquishment. Her approach is generally behaviorist (Pavlovian, Skinnerian and post-Skinnerian learning theory) with a big helping of ethology (animal behavior as observed in non-experimental settings).