At the end of last year, we were kindly sent an array of dog toys by West Paw.
We recently wrote a review about the Zogoflex Air range, and we introduced their company. If you haven’t read this previous blog post yet, you can check it out here.
West Paw is a company that creates dog toys and beds with sustainability at the core of their production process. Many of their toys can be fully recycled, and can even be turned into entirely new toys at their factory!
Today, we’re reviewing two treat toys: the Toppl and the Qwizl! These are two types of puzzle toys that offer your dog some mental exercise.
Mojo hurt herself
Two weeks ago, Marijke was playing fetch with Mojo. Usually, when playing fetch, we ask Mojo to do some obedience tricks and reward her by throwing the ball. By doing this, we avoid putting her joints through repetitive similar motions.
When running after her ball for the fifth time, she suddenly dragged her back leg, as if she were stuck in some barbed wire! She had not made any sudden twists or turns, but must have most likely stepped on a bump on the ground.
We visited the vet to get Mojo checked out, and quickly discovered that she had dislocated her knee for a few seconds. Now although there was no surgery required, it was clear that her ligament had been overstretched and possibly has a very small tear.
We have been feeding golden paste twice a day to help heal the inflammation and soothe her joints. If you want to know more about the wonders of golden paste and find out how to make it at home, you can read about them in this blog post.
Life without fun is boring!
Our veterinarian saw that Mojo was not in clear pain, but her knee was a bit more loose than normal. We were still allowed to go for short walks and slowly increase the length of walking each day.
Mojo is however used to high amounts of exercise. She goes on two long walks each day, plays fetch or frisbee, and does some trick training and nosework most days as well. This was obviously not an option and she had to have bed rest for most of the day.
Now Mojo is fine with sleeping, she doesn’t mind having a day off. But she does get bored after after multiple days of bed rest. On calmer days we usually play-wrestle with her and even that was not an option.
Luckily, we had two toys at hand that gave Mojo something to do! The toys we are discussing today are made for individual entertainment and will keep your dog occupied for an extended period of time!
To show you how these toys entertained Mojo, here’s a short video of her puzzling treats out of the Zogoflex Toppl and Qwizl!
The first treat toy Mojo tested over the past few weeks is the Toppl.
This is a cup-like toy that comes in two different sizes. It is bell-shaped and has a structured interior that enables you to stick treats inside of it. It also has a hole on the side that allows for your dog to smell the treats, and for small treats to roll out.
We received both sizes of this toy, which adds an extra feature. The two toys can be interlocked to increase the difficulty for dogs that are a tad more experienced with brain games, or to create a treat dispenser.
It is a very sturdy toy, yet it is also quite flexible. It’s easy to squeeze the top of the Toppl yet it still feels quite durable.
When we first introduced this toy to Mojo, we simply let her play with it without adding any treats.
Next, we added a few small homemade dehydrated treats to the bigger Toppl and let her try to get out the treats. Mojo gets quite excited with toys like these, so she throws them around. In this case, that worked in her benefit, as all treats fell out instantly!
Now like we said before, the Toppl has a structure on the bottom that allows you to stick treats down. This increases the difficulty and your dog has to lick the treats or chew on the toy to reach their goal: eating the delicious treats.
The final thing we did, was adding treats to both the small and large Toppl toys, and interlocking the both of them. The first time, it took Mojo approximately 5 minutes to separate the toys.
She clearly remembered the trick, because after a few attempts she is now quite a bit faster. It’s amazing to see how fast dogs can learn!
The Toppl is quite versatile. Aside from using it as a puzzle toy and treat wobbler, you can also fill it with food and use it to feed your dog’s dinner!
We bought a packet of premade raw food and froze part of it in the Toppl toys. We did not let it freeze solid, so the inside was still a little soft, but it still took Mojo a long while to eat her food!
Even better, the toys have survived all chew parties Mojo has had over the past few weeks, even though she has really put her jaws into them.
The Toppl is an incredibly versatile toy that is perfect to keep your dog mentally entertained. We love that it can be used with small treats and kibble dinners, as well as raw dog food!
When it comes to regular toys, Mojo is not an avid chewer.
To be completely honest, she has only ever damaged one item that belonged to us. We should not have left that item within her reach in the first place, but it just goes to show that she is actually quite gentle.
Edible chews are a whole different story! Since Mojo was a pup, we have always fed meat based chews weekly. This is great for their jaws and it keeps their teeth clean.
Mojo loves these edible chews. But her excitement and strong jaws do cause a slight issue.
Even the most long lasting chew treat is gone before you know it. Bully sticks are the most durable and long lasting chews, but she consumes even the long ones within just two minutes or so.
Is your dog just like Mojo? Well, then this next dog toy might be just the right thing for you.
The Qwizl is another treat toy, but it is very different to the Toppl!
This dog toy is round and long, with a hole that runs from one end to the other. It has two holes on the sides as well, so the dog can sniff their food that’s stuffed on the inside.
The Qwizl comes in two different sizes, S and L. Mojo has tested out size S and this size is perfect for her.
We introduced this toy stuffed with some small pieces of dehydrated meat. Mojo quickly figured out that she could roll the toy on the floor with her nose and paws, and the treats would fall out.
We then cut a ½” strip of dehydrated chicken and inserted it into the toy lengthways, letting one part of the chew stick out.
Instead of using that piece to pull the chew out of the Qwizl toy, she bit off the end and could no longer reach the toy from the outside.
This time, she spent approximately 20 minutes eating the treat. But the second time she remembered that biting down hard on the middle of the Qwizl would soften her treat. It crumbled and the pieces fell out!
So, since Mojo is quite clever and over excited, we decided to step up our game. We bought some bully sticks and inserted one in the Qwizl.
Although she chewed off the ends very quickly, she wasn’t able to pull the chew out of the toy.
This meant that she had to chew and lick the toy until the bully stick softened! Instead of chewing on her treat for 2-3 minutes, it actually lasted 30 minutes the first time!
And what’s great about this toy, is that it works great for fetch, too! It’s the perfect toy to take along on a weekend away.
Sadly, we did notice that a small piece of the Qwizl has broken off, meaning that it’s not incredibly durable. Mojo could have ingested this small piece of toy and although it’s non-toxic, it still doesn’t feel great.
The Qwizl is a very interesting toy that really helps slow your dog down when chewing a treat. It’s a perfect toy for dogs that are kept on bed rest, and for those that are still not tired after two hours of exercise. But it can also be used to give your dog something extra fun to do!
It is not as durable as we had hoped, but considering how much we have used the toy, it is still in good condition. We would recommend acquiring size L for breeds such as German Shepherds and larger dogs, or for those that are very strong chewers.
Just like all other Zogoflex toys, the Toppl and Qwizl can be cleaned very easily! Now for a regular ball or frisbee this might not be too important, but for a toy used with (raw) food, it definitely is! These toys can be put in the dishwasher, if you have one. We simply wash them in hot water with biodegradable dish soap.
Introducing treat toys
Before handing over a treat toy to your dog, it’s important to consider that your dog might have no clue what to do with it.
Take time to introduce the new toy to your dog, and start out simple. Use treats that fall out of the toy easily. This will keep your dog motivated to work for their food the next time you hand them a stuffed treat toy.
Slowly increase the difficulty, but make sure to use high-value and odorous treats! This will keep your dog interested when you offer them the toy time and time again!
As always, it’s important to go for natural, meat-based chews and treats that have not been bleached or chemically treated in any way. We do not support feeding rawhide or dentastix (you can find out more about dentastix here).
We have a recipe for single ingredient dog treats that you can easily make at home using an oven or dehydrator!