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Friday, December 16, 2011

The Pickle gift

Have you ever hung a pickle ornament on your tree? The person who sees the pickle ornament gets to open the extra present under the tree.  Now this pickle would be a great present for your chew crazy doggie friend.

The Pickle Pocket un loaded  after a month of wear
Rachael, one of the veterinary behavior technicians at my clinic, has been very resourceful at asking companies for samples of food puzzles, and other items to try out.  The Pickle Pocket treat dispensing toy from Starmark company was one that came in and has been under Bella trial for the past month. I wanted to give the toy some time, and various abuses before reporting on it.

At first, I thought that this won't last because it is so soft.  Bella is a voracious chewer on her food puzzle toys.  Anything with some give to it, and she wants to really chew it up.  So this soft feeling, almost firm jelly like toy was not going to stand up to her teeth. I am happy to say I am wrong. Bella has bounced it, chewed on it, I have flung it down the stairs as a part of play and this toy is showing almost no wear!  I have not had time to research the materials,  but I suspect it is a strong silicone that has that soft feel but is durable.

loading the Pickle
So here is how it works - this puzzle is for the advanced food puzzler.  All Shepard type dogs will likely love this.  The smarter your dog, the better they will enjoy this.  You put the kibble in the wavy grooves cut into the sides of the pickle.  The groves go deep, so the farther you push in the kibble, the harder the dog has to chew or bounce the pickle around to get the kibble out. It may be frustrating at first but over time you dog will devise a way to get the kibble out. You can be nice and load kibble near the top surface of the groove making it easier for your dog, then push it deeper as your dog learns how to get the kibble out. 
All loaded up for Bella - this will be a challenge for her

Bella chomping on her Pickle
Some great features about the Pickle - it is easily washed.  I imagine you could put it through the dishwasher - I have not.  It easily rinses clean and has some kind of scent of it's own , like a vanilla scent. No stinky dog toy here.   Some puzzles have a  vinyl smell at first, but not this one.  The shape is easy for a dog to hold between the paws or any other angle.  You could put your dog's regular food kibble in it  as a way to feed breakfast or dinner to keep them occupied. Granted it will take a few refillings  but it could get you up to an hour of peace and quiet as you want to drink your morning coffee or make some Christmas cookies without some little doggie under foot.

I looked at the website and saw that the Pickle Pocket floats in water, so if you are near a lake, or a pool it won't get lost.  Here is a link to a catalog that has it for sale which would make a great Christmas pickle present for your pet!

Try out a Pickle pocket toy and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to!
Dr. Sally J Foote
Okaw Veterinary Clinic Tuscola Illinois
Happy 2012 !