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 IQ Treat Ball from OurPets looked like a great way for Leia to have fun while earning some treats!
Can the IQ Treat Ball appeal to a sweet senior dog? Would she enjoy this new way to get her snacks? 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.
Will Leia Like This Toy?
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. 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 are 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.
Enter treat toys! 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.
I was intrigued when I saw this puzzle treat toy. It wasn’t just a different mechanism than her first treat puzzle toy, like the OurPets Waffle Treat Toy Leia recently discovered and loved. It was an entirely different shape and idea.
Leia Tries Out The ‘OurPets IQ Treat Ball’
The ball arrived assembled, but using it requires disassembly and reassembly.
Luckily, the directions were very clear and easy to follow, and the pieces came apart and back together smoothly. That’s great news, since you’ll have to take it apart each time to fill it with treats. I’m sure this is true of every treat puzzle ball. Plus, that makes washing it much easier.
I’ve read these types of toys are great to use for “slow feeding,” or increasing your dog’s enrichment with their regular meals.
I liked that the toy had many settings for different difficulty, but I wanted to start with the easiest option for Leia’s first experience with the toy. So, I chose her small food and the biggest internal slot. I put her whole meal in the ball, in case she had great success with it, and, again, I figured it would make the experience easier for her.
To start with, I set the ball on the floor and let Leia interact with it.
Leia did start nosing it around, gently, which was definitely the right idea. When the ball wouldn’t spin around to dispense the treats, I picked it up to try it for myself.
I discovered the ball was quite bottom-heavy. Perhaps I filled it too full. I tried rolling it normally, myself, and it would only spin around, like a globe, not turn end-over-end.
When I put more force into it, I was able to get it to spin end-over-end. Leia delighted in the rewards!
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s good to know gentle play won’t get this toy to pop out its treats. Our girl is so very gentle, so I wasn’t sure at first if she’d be able to get it to work on her own.
I played a long game of rolling the ball towards her. She bounded after the treats that spilled out, sniffing out their location. I realized this is a great device to use for scent-training, too.
Normally, Leia might interact with “catching” a ball I’d roll to her for maybe about 30 seconds, but this toy held endless, delicious enjoyment for her — well, until the kibble ran out. But toy-driven dogs will still enjoy playing with the ball, especially with its unique bottom-heavy weight.
I also discovered another trick, which got Leia to interact with the toy more on her own: I could turn it upside-down, so if she moved the ball, treats would be left where the ball once stood.
This seemed to help Leia get the idea she had to play a little more roughly with the toy.
As I mentioned with the OurPets Waffle Puzzle, I really like watching Leia use both her nose and paws to interact with a challenge. It’s neat to see her mind attempt multiple methods.
Still, Leia was having only mild success. I really think it’s because she’s typically a gentle and dainty dog, a true lady — except when it comes to digging at her bed.
Suddenly, it dawned on me — my husband has a key phrase he uses to rile Leia up, getting her lightly play-growling and feisty: “Get her/him/it!” She charges at whatever he’s indicating, playfully growls and paws at it.
So, I tried it myself: “Get it!” I yelled, rolling the ball forcefully across the floor. She bounded over to it and started playing a little more aggressively with it, which yielded much better success with dispensing the food!
I kept using the key phrase when I noticed her becoming more gentle and less successful again. She really seemed to enjoy the process, and she worked off the calories as soon as she ate them. She was a pooped pooch after her play session!
When I gave Leia the treat puzzle ball in following sessions, I would roll it to her a few times and then walk away. I could hear her playing with it after I left the room, which was fantastic. I was so excited she could get enrichment and enjoyment from this toy without my even having to be there.
I’d also like to share a tip I read from some trainers — not to leave the toy out if you’re not intending your dog to interact with it, like when 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.
I think this treat puzzle ball is a great item for all types of dogs. For dogs like Leia, who play very gently, it may be useful to follow the methods I tried, with turning the ball upside-down to teach what needs to be done, as well as rolling the ball forcefully across the room for them. This is also a fun way to interact with your dog.
For dogs who play more intensely, they’ll have an easier, but still fun time with this ball, and you can increase the difficulty on the slot by making it smaller to keep their attention and slow the food dispensing.
This is also a fantastic device for dogs who wolf down their food. The puzzle forces them to slow down and savor the food, which provides a healthier and safer experience.
Mental enrichment is so important, and the fact that you could build that into your dog’s meal every day with this easy device makes it quite a valuable tool.
To include the IQ Treat Ball from OurPets in your pet’s life, you can click here to buy it on Amazon.
Does your dog like to earn their treats with puzzle toys? Do you think they’d like the IQ Treat Ball from OurPets? Let us know in the comments below!