When Cosmic Pet reached out to DogTime to ask if anyone would like to review some products for them, my Maltipoo, Leia, eagerly raised her paw. With that superpower canine nose, Leia can smell quality from miles away.
Cosmic Pet, LLC is the master brand of several subsidiaries, which all have slightly different specialties, from organic pet treats, to ergonomically designed stairs, to ingenious puzzle toys. The Waffle Interactive Puzzle Dog Toy from OurPets looked perfect for giving my sweet senior dog a fun challenge that could keep her brain sharp!
Could Leia’s new puzzle toy make treat time more fun and interactive? Would it keep her stimulated? Here’s how it went!
Helpful Customer Service
First of all, the customer service for these brands is outstanding. I was overwhelmed by the amount of options they offer, and it was hard to pick what would be best for Leia. So I asked for guidance, and I told them about Leia.
Once they knew a bit more about my six-pound, twelve-year-old Maltipoo, Cosmic Pet tailored a list of suggestions from their brands for Leia, which fit her personality, preferences, age, size, and breed perfectly. I really appreciated their attention to detail and genuine care for my darling girl.
The shipping process was very quick, and most of their items are available through Amazon Prime, which adds that extra layer of instant gratification with quick shipping and reassurance that, if you accidentally ordered a different item than you meant to, you could easily ship it back.
The items were securely protected in their boxes, too; it was nice they take the time to ensure your products will arrive in tip-top shape.
A Dog Who Doesn’t Usually Love Toys?
All her life, Leia has been frustratingly blasé about toys — frustrating for us, because we’d love for her to have the fun and mental stimulation other dogs seem to enjoy from their toys.
She will politely look at what we’re trying to get her to interact with, and then she’ll go back to her own business. She may even watch us roll a ball on the floor, encouragement in her eyes, as if thinking we’re occupying ourselves, rather than trying to occupy her. Leia is patient and pure and sweet, and it’s really not her fault toys haven’t captured her attention.
One thing that does capture Leia’s attention is delicious food. She loves her treats and will perform any task you request to earn one. Enter treat toys!
It was slow-going to introduce her at first, since she was unfamiliar with toys. But once she got the hang of her first treat puzzle toy, she really started enjoying it.
What Is The ‘OurPets Waffle Interactive Puzzle Dog Toy’?
I loved the OurPets Waffle Interactive Puzzle Dog Toy as soon as I saw it. First of all, the design is adorable; I’ve never seen this design anywhere else, and I’ve actually not seen this type of puzzle mechanism, either.
Pardon my gushing, but this puzzle is so cool, as it has multiple elements to it. There are three layers, not including the purely decorative “butter”: the bottom “waffle” tray, which has no gridded spaces — it just opens the triangle areas you can see in this picture; the middle “waffle” layer, which has a grid of even squares; and the top “syrup” layer, which cleverly spins to cover or uncover particular squares.
The construction is quite durable plastic, so you don’t have to worry about your dog chewing off pieces or wrecking it with overzealous spinning. The plastic also is easily hand-washable.
Also, the toy comes in an alternative, adorable sushi design! Check it out. It has a completely different uncovering mechanism, so your pet could definitely benefit from both.
Leia Tries Out Her New Puzzle Toy
The product info recommends inserting kibble or healthy treats into the puzzle, so I used some treats Leia had from Two Bostons. They fit very nicely into the holes.
I was happy to see Leia was interested in this new toy right away. I think her previous experience with the other treat puzzle toy helped her understand a game was afoot (apaw?).
After a few minutes of keen visual inspection, with my verbal encouragement, she started nosing at the toy.
Leia found the treats in the corners of the bottom “waffle” pretty easily. I should note, I left the waffle layers spun apart, as pictured above, rather than stacked because I noticed it took a considerable amount of force to spin apart. It wasn’t too hard for me, but I thought it would be much too hard for Leia.
I imagine larger, strong breeds could manage it, especially if the toy will loosen a bit over time. It was still neat to fill the corners as another layer for her, and the treats were easy for her to get out, with the layer open as such.
Next, came the hard part. Leia sniffed intently at that top waffle layer for a long time, with lots of encouragement from me, and she kept nosing at it. She definitely smelled the treats.
I could tell Leia started to get frustrated because she started to walk away until I urged her to continue with the toy. She kept starting to walk away, so I gave her a little hint and showed her that the syrup spun. I covered it back up for her to try, and she got it pretty quickly after that. Perhaps I shouldn’t have shown her, but I was just so eager for her to enjoy the toy!
I thought it was pretty neat that Leia used both her nose and her paw to spin the syrup to get to the treats. I like that she thinks in multiple ways.
I will also note that the four holes in the very center at the top can never be fully uncovered by spinning the syrup, making them more difficult to access. Leia really struggled with these holes, even though she’d successfully uncovered them as much as she could.
I think we could try using those holes again if I use smaller treats. I can’t tell if bigger dogs would have an easier or harder time delving into those center holes; would their bigger, longer tongues work for or against them?
Either way, there are plenty of other holes to use for the puzzle, and you probably don’t want to give your dog 16 treats in one sitting, anyway, even if they would argue that you should!
I also saw this treat puzzle recommended for enrichment with eating normal meals. I think that’s a great idea. We haven’t tried that yet with this puzzle for Leia, but we may in the future.
Leia and I both love this treat puzzle toy! She successfully solves the puzzle every time I leave it out, and adorably, she leads me over to it when I get home to show me her progress. I think this is her favorite puzzle treat toy, of the three she now has.
Honestly, it’s giving me a lot less guilt when we have to leave her by herself for hours. Now we know she’ll have two favorite activities to alternate between — treat puzzles and napping.
I’d also like to share the tip I read from some trainers. Don’t leave the toy out if you’re not intending your dog to interact with it (i.e., if it’s empty). Otherwise, your dog may become habituated to it and gradually lose interest.
I make sure to move the puzzle right away when Leia’s done with it, after praising her, of course. It’s really cute, and a great sign, that she goes back looking for it randomly. She hasn’t done that with any other toy. I’m so happy she enjoys this one so much!
Leia and I highly recommend the OurPets Waffle Puzzle Treat Toy. You can buy it for your pet on Amazon here!
Let us know if you try this waffle toy or the sushi version. Leia’s adding it to her Christmas wish list!
Does your pet like treat puzzle toys? Do you think they’d enjoy this cute, fun waffle puzzle when it’s time for treats? Let us know in the comments below!