Trouble with Food Puzzles for Pets? Try These 6 Tips

Cat doing food puzzle


Undecided about meals puzzles? In Dr. Tony Buffington’s expertise, most pets can study to make use of and luxuriate in them.

Some veterinarians suggest utilizing puzzles to ship a portion of a pet’s every day meals to confined cats and canines. However what if you’re unsure if meals puzzles are such a good suggestion in your pet? Or what when you’re unsure your pet will use one otherwise you assume they appear like an excessive amount of work? I’m right here to let you know that the payoff in your pet is super and effectively price any additional work.

In my years of working with pets and their homeowners, I’ve provide you with quite a lot of methods to “troubleshoot” meals puzzle issues. Listed below are some frequent issues about meals puzzles and the way I handle them with my purchasers.

1. “My pet doesn’t want a meals puzzle.”

I hear this largely from purchasers who’re unfamiliar with meals puzzles and are used to feeding their pets from a bowl solely. How do I attempt to persuade these homeowners to provide puzzles a attempt? First, I’m not right here to strain anybody. I do know that is one thing that many homeowners usually should “really feel” their method into attempting, so I as an alternative use mild encouragement. I’ll level out that many consumers really feel this fashion initially however in the end discover that meals puzzles can present many advantages to their beloved pets if they struggle them. I remind them that dogs and cats are hunters by nature — an exercise we deprive our pets of after we preserve them confined. We will return this exercise to them with meals puzzles and, in my expertise, most canines and cats take pleasure in them when the puzzles are correctly chosen and launched. If an proprietor nonetheless doesn’t wish to attempt one, I attempt to depart the door open for extra dialog and questions later if she or he reconsiders.

2. “My pet gained’t use a meals puzzle.”

In my expertise, most pets can study to make use of and luxuriate in meals puzzles, together with aged pets and pets with disabilities. I hear this objection each from homeowners who haven’t tried meals puzzles and from those that have tried and failed with them. For these of you who haven’t tried to make use of one but, there are numerous totally different sorts of meals puzzles obtainable — simply ask your veterinarian for some suggestions. Begin by selecting puzzles (movable or stationary) based mostly in your pet’s preferences, traits (akin to quickness to study and chewing power, particularly in dogs) and your price preferences (meals puzzles might be cheap and do-it-yourself or dearer ones purchased in shops).

For purchasers who’ve tried and failed, we will take a look at a number of potentialities. Perhaps we selected the mistaken puzzle to try to the pet simply didn’t prefer it or discovered it too exhausting to make use of and determine. One other chance is that the puzzle was perhaps supplied on the mistaken time (e.g., not at time for supper when the pet was hungry and motivated to study what it was). Or the puzzle might need been supplied within the wrong situation, akin to when there was loads of distracting exercise within the family, just like the presence of different pets, youngsters or folks. As soon as we establish a attainable drawback, we will attempt once more!

3. “I don’t wish to put together meals puzzles every day.”

This drawback is straightforward to deal with. Some puzzles require no extra work than putting meals in a bowl or you will get a number of totally different sorts of meals puzzles and rotate them frequently to additional stimulate your pet’s curiosity. You may simply put together just a few days’ or perhaps a week’s price of meals puzzles at one time. Simply you’ll want to store them in a cool place in an hermetic container. If a perishable meals merchandise is used, be certain to retailer the puzzle in your fridge or freezer based mostly on what the merchandise is.

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