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Interactive Dog Toys: Review of 4 Food Balls

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Interactive dog toys are in daily use in my home. All four of these toys are on my floor right now and have been for at least a year, some for several years. Each has been used hard and often so I know the pluses and minuses of each. Sharing all of that here! And here we go….

Interactive Dog ToyTreat Dispensing Chew Ball, Medium

Loading – D
The hardest to load of all toys here, this is a process of putting one or two pieces in at a time. If you’re using this as a treat ball, this is no big deal. If you want to feed meals from this, skip it unless you like doing this sort of thing.

Small kibble falls right through and out the other side. The ball empties nearly instantly in that case.

Cleaning – A
Dishwasher safe. Thank you very much!

Variable Complexity – C
To make this easier, you can nip the “prongs” that stick out into the openings. But, you can’t undo that once it is done. For small kibble a “D” as they fall straight out.

Tendency to Disappear – C
Rolls under things and needs retrieving on a regular basis.

Noise Created – A
Virtually silent toy.

Durability – A
These wear like iron if your dog doesn’t like to rip things apart. I’ve used them for years in a kennel situation without a scratch appearing. I don’t know exactly what this material is but it makes a great dog toy!

Dog Enjoyment – A
Pip loves hers. This is the only one she can pick up and chomp easily. It also makes a great fetch toy having a fabulous bounce to it, functioning as a regular ball between treat times. I’d buy one just to use as a ball. Added bonus: It floats.

Interactive dog toys - Treat BallOurpets DT-10504 Smarter Toys IQ Treat Ball

Loading – A
Entire toy unscrews so you can simply dump in the kibble or treats. Holds about 1/2 a cup below the white inner divider.

Cleaning – A
As above, entire toy unscrews so washing is simple and thorough. I put it in the dishwasher, upper rack.

Variable Complexity – A+
Yes! The white inner divider has an adjustable opening so you can make it harder or easier as you need to. Confession? After two years of use, Pip chewed hers. The toy still works well without it. So A++ from me!

Tendency to Disappear – C
The 5″ model is just the right size to roll under furniture so I play “Where, Oh, Where did the IQ Ball Go?” daily. The 3″ model would fit under even more.

Noise Created – C
Hard plastic is noisy on hard flooring. I notice it but it doesn’t bother me but then, most of my floor is carpet. If I were in an apartment with hardwood throughout, I’d go with a softer toy (if only to keep the peace with the downstairs neighbors).

Durability – A+ (with caveat)
I have the same IQ Treat Ball today that I did my youtube review with 3 years ago. For us, it has been extremely sturdy. Now, some Amazon reviews mentioned dogs crushing it That would be bad. My guess is that if your dog has to open his mouth wide to pick the toy up, it will be harder for them to crush but you have to be the judge here. It is not a problem I have had with 35 lb Pip. If I had doubts, I might stick with a softer toy.

Dog Enjoyment – A
Pip loves hers and will bring it to me when she wants some fun. It keeps her busy the longest of all these toys.

Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball Interactive ToyOmega Paw Tricky Treat Ball
Soccer Ball Version: Soccer Treat Ball
Similar Product: JW Pet Company Treat Puzzler Dog Toy

Loading – C+
Pip loves when I load this toy as kibble inevitably spills during the process. It’s a large toy that can hold quite a bit of kibble (and I like to feed dogs out of such toys) but getting that kibble inside? That’s a process.

Cleaning – D
No way to clean this beyond filling with warm soapy water and sloshing it around.

Variable Complexity – D
No options. You can make it more complex by using larger treats. Not an especially challenging toy.

Tendency to Disappear – A
Rarely does. I know, I know – both the IQ Treat Ball and this one say they are 5″ in diameter but they are not. The Omega is larger. The Omega is also dimpled, so it does not roll so far. In order to figure this out I had to go looking for the IQ (which was under the shelving in the kitchen) but the Omega was sitting in the center of the room (as usual).

Noise Created – B
Mid-level. This is a vinyl toy so makes more noise than a rubber toy but less than the hard plastic ones.

Durability – A
Had mine for a year+ now without a mark on it. Dogs play with it by nosing it around. No one has chewed on it or attempted to rip it apart. I am sure dogs can and do, they simply haven’t here so – your mileage may vary.

Dog Enjoyment – B
When it has food in it, Pip plays with it but she never plays with it any other time or brings it to me to fill. She considers it “okay”. (Pip is never going to grade anything that involves food below a “B”.)

Planet Dog Mazee Interactive Toy

Planet Dog Mazee

Loading – C+
Same issue as above – a hole you have to funnel kibble or treats into. If you don’t mind a mess, just go for it. I’ve taken to filling such toys over the kibble container so any pieces that fall out simply return to the herd. Small treats or dry food pieces can fall out the bottom, too.

Cleaning – D
The selling point – the clear material – quickly becomes clouded and there is no way to clean it other than fill and shake. It can be recycled. I find the grubby look unappealing but Pip could care less.

Variable Complexity – C
None in the toy itself, you vary complexity with the size treat/kibble you use. If you feed small breed kibble, it can fall out the bottom and the top. Toy tends to empty quickly so good toy for dogs who are not persistent or motivated but not many minutes of entertainment for other dogs.

Tendency to Disappear – B
Another 5″ toy. It ends up under the couch more than the Omega but less than the IQ treat ball.

Durability – B
Pip did reach in and start to pull the plastic “maze” out the first week. I stopped her and she hasn’t done it again so supervision is suggested.

Dog Enjoyment – B
When it has food in it, Pip plays with it but she never plays with it any other time or brings it to me to fill. She considers it “okay”. (Pip is never going to grade anything that involves food below a “B”.)

 

Author: Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, Dog Expert, offers experienced-based dog info with humor. Author of 8 books, seen on PBS, Sarah knows all about dogs. {Pip} is her rescue dog.

2 Comments

  1. Love the reviews and your writing style. Always have!

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