21 May 2018

Making A Puzzle Feeder For Coco With Perfect Fit +!

It has to be said that my dog Coco would be the first one to admit to her own capacity for genius and ingenuity in the canine intelligence stakes – No – she’s never been one for false modesty and I am not at all biased..!  

However, when we were approached by the people at Perfect Fit +, even she welcomed the idea of a new challenge in the form of a puzzle feeder as part of their 5 Step Perfect Fit Programme.

A puzzle feeder is to put it simply, a food dispensing toy.  The main aim of which is for your pet to work out the necessary movement needed to reach the delicious treat enclosed within.  It’s a wonderful aid to mental stimulation for both dog and – if I’m really honest – the owner…  

Of course, you can go out and buy a perfectly adequate puzzle feeder from your local pet store, but the challenge for me was to build one out of everyday household supplies.

I started with three empty plastic water bottles of a similar size.

Coco giving me a look that says that she would have had this finished hours ago…

I then found a bag of bamboo garden supports in the potting shed, and chose the thinnest one…

I knew that these would come in handy one day!
Hurry up Mummy!

It was then time to measure a place to pierce 2 identical holes on either side of each bottle in order to allow the bamboo cane to pass through…

Measuring up…
All set to drill a hole, although a sharp pen could also be used.
Lining up the holes.
…Now push the bamboo through the holes.

The holes were made slightly higher than centre and at the thinnest end, in order to maximise ‘swing potential’ when filled with treats…

All three bottles threaded through.

I then needed to create a holding structure to attach the canes so that Coco could confidently attempt to reach her ‘prize’ without everything collapsing on her!

Patiently waiting for Mummy to secure the bamboo cane at either end.
Something to secure the cane to the stools.
Tying the canes to the stools.
All Set…
Just the treats needed now!
“Waiting until we’re allowed to start…”
“We’ll try this end one first…”
“No – I think that this middle one is the weakest link!”
“There you go – I knew I’d get there in the end!”

“Rather delicious, and definitely worth the wait!”
“Kibble?  What kibble?”

Well, the whole exercise was a wonderful success.  Coco found the ‘challenge’ highly entertaining and was happy to keep challenging herself over and over – and over – again…

I was left confident in the fact that I had done something special and creative for my dog, and Coco in turn was encouraged to ‘think’ and stay mentally challenged, whilst indulging in a little light exercise and boredom busting activity.

It was a win win situation all round, and as I have since read that Puzzle Feeders can actually aid in weight control, as well as encouraging your pet to eat slowly, I am wondering whether the same concept may work with me and my predilection for frosted donuts – although finding a bottle with a mouth wide enough to fit a donut through may be challenge enough in itself!

Until Next Time!

Thank you to Perfect Fit + for sponsoring this blog post and inviting Coco to be part of their 5 Step Perfect Fit Programme.

The Diaries

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