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Mix Food and Play With These Purr-fect Pet Toys

Puppy with a Ball

Pets need a lot of things from their owners, like food and exercise. Food puzzles – feeding stations that require your pet to solve a puzzle in order to get food or a treat – provide a bit of both.

Pet stores often carry such enrichment toys, and some can be found online. But you can also make your own. Here are a few ideas for easy DIY food puzzles you can make with household items.

Tennis Ball Treat

This food puzzle from Instructables.com is perfect for bigger dogs. Using a knife, cut into a tennis ball along the seam, leaving a flap that can be tucked in to hide treats away. Place your dog’s favorite snack inside the ball. He’ll chew the ball until it releases the treats. To make it a bit easier, cut an X into the ball – Fido will only have to bat the ball around to release the treats. Just be sure that the ball isn’t small enough to be swallowed.

Suspended Sustenance

This idea from the Best Friends Animal Society requires only a small paper cup, wet cat food and a bit of string. Fill a small paper cup, such as a Dixie cup, with wet food. Then, make small hole in the cup in order to tie a string through it. Do this a few times, and you can hang the cups from varying heights around your house. Your dexterous kitty will enjoy the challenge.


This food puzzle from the blog ProudDogMom.com is quick and simple. Take an empty plastic water bottle and remove the label and cap. Then cut a few small holes around the bottle with a pair of scissors. Place treats small enough to fit through the holes inside. Screw the cap back on, and let your pup play.

Always supervise your pet with a new food toy to make sure he doesn’t eat the non-ingestible parts.

Does your pet play with food puzzles? Which are his favorite? Tell us in the comments below! 

AAA members save up to 75 percent on prescriptions not covered by insurance with AAA Prescription Savings, including many pet medications! Learn how Fido is covered, too.

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