Hooray for Treats and toys! Food Puzzles can be great tools to help your dog create a positive association at their veterinarians office and in the home. If your dog is particularly nervous when coming into the clinic and while in the exam room this could be key to relaxing your pet!
When we want your pet to hold still: Kongs or other soft stuffable toys are great when we want our pets to be stationary. They will be focus on getting that treat from the toy and not about them needing to stay still. This distraction can make the pet feel more at ease on the exam table.
Pleasant distraction: We try to minimize the wait time for both our clients and patients but sometimes the wait can be inevitable. A movable food puzzle may be just the perfect happy distraction. Your pet can move about and focus on the task at hand rather than getting worked up waiting for the doctor to come in. Some popular puzzles are movable puzzle pieces you can hide treats underneath or having them search for scattered treats inside of a washable food mat toy.
Focus: At home food puzzles can be used to transition pets into their kennels while giving them a task to focus on. Some people use food puzzles for food dishes, this helps slow our speedy eaters while stimulating the mind! The puzzles can help burn excessive energy and be calming for dogs. Food puzzles can decrease stress in multi cat homes, as well as promote exercise for our feline friends.
Dogs may take to food puzzles better than cats. Remember to start easy and gradually move to more challenging puzzles when your cat is ready. Be prepared to try many different kinds of puzzles as your feline friend may like one type over another. Once you find a style they like you can find other puzzles that are similar in style to keep things new but in a strategy they know how to use. Introducing puzzles around meal times can be helpful, as well as doing them in quiet places.