A Dog’s Day (And Life-Changing Toy)

May 18, 2011   //  Posted in: Dog-Related   //  By: Emily   //  8 responses

Hey there, dog owners. Here’s a life-changing product. I alluded to it several months ago when I pointed out my top 10 favorite finds of 2010, but this item deserves special recognition… because it changed my dog’s life. I’m not even close to exaggerating about that.

Meet the Premier Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug. Yes, that’s an affiliate link so I can earn .001 cents. And yes, this name sounds ridiculous. Keep up with me.

Dog toy. And assorted seedlings.

(Sidenote: I repotted the seedlings. They’re loving their new life in the warm sunroom.)

This toy serves two purposes: it’s a fun reward system that makes your dog work physically and mentally for his treats (a dog brain teaser, if you will), while slowing down the food consumption process to aid in better digestion (if your dog’s like any dog I’ve ever owned, he probably downs 2 cups of kibble in 5.4 seconds).

Cody’s purple toy was a thoughtful gift from a friend who has made productive strides in the dog show ring (pun realized, purposely not corrected). I brought it home and started using it by putting a small scoop of kibble into the jug, thinking that he’d access it eagerly as a nice treat (the same way dogs go ga-ga over peanut butter-filled Kongs) but the dog couldn’t catch on to how to maneuver the container to release his treats. For 3 months. He spent 3 long months staring at the food through the purple transparent container, looking back at me for help. Cody doesn’t actually use his Kong either; I’ve said it before, he can be kind of dopey.

But anyways, one magic day, he figured out how to operate the purple toy; and he was so pleased with himself that he began carrying it around with him all the time. ALL OF THE TIME. EMPTY. So much so that I began feeding him both his 2-cups of breakfast kibble and 2-cups of dinner kibble in the toy container. I literally stopped using his dinner bowl all together (which, in all honesty was just a glass mixing bowl because I keep things simple like that). Consequently, he went from eating his meal in 5.4 seconds to finishing in 45-minutes.

Note that mine shown above doesn’t have the rope stem in place. This is also his second jug in 1.5 years. The first one that was a gift came with a rubber stem, which held up really well for the first year (considering 2 feedings a day and regularly being dropped down the stairs). The rubber stem also cleaned really well, but understandably wasn’t meant to last forever. I splurged on a second jug at a specialty dog store, but the newer model is sold with a thick rope inserted as the stem (FYI – it’s also sold at PetSmart but not in any of the stores around me). The rope as a plug alternative seemed to get soggy and dirty (because I do let Cody take his toy to eat out in the backyard when it’s nice) so I removed it permanently and let Cody’s take to dumping the food out a few pieces at a time; it speeds up the process a little bit – it’s become a 5-minute meal on the hardwood floor or maybe a 10-minute meal in longer grass.

I tried to get some photos of him carrying it around, which he does all of the time, but they came out blurred since he’s pretty much giddy any time it’s in the vacinity. (I’ll fill you in on why those boards were on the sunroom floor at a later time.)

One time, I caught him napping with it. Pretty cute.

Cody napping with the toy.

And I don’t have one to giveaway, but I totally recommend you try this for your own dog; they make them in x-small, small, and medium/large (which seems like an odd sizing chart, why not small, medium, large?).

And speaking of giveaways, remember to go comment on yesterday’s post to try and win one of two wonderfully-pink safes, courtesy of SentrySafe! Winners will be announced on Friday!

  • Erin B. Inspired
    7 years ago - Reply

    A friend of mine suggested the Kong Wobbler (<-link) for Kale. (We paid $20 at Petsmart though; not $9 on Amazon.) However, since he's not a chow hound (and actually snacks on his food), he was uninterested in it. We ended up giving it to my grandparents who have a Lab with a voracious appetite. She is OBSESSED with that toy. So much so, they have to take it away from her after a while. (Like, at night, she won't sleep if there's still food in it.) So, I guess it works for chow-hound dogs. Kale just prefers a squeak bone.

  • Heather
    7 years ago - Reply

    Love Cody’s close up. I’m not sure where you found yours most recently but I definitely saw them at Petsaver in Greece recently – just for next time.

    • Emily
      7 years ago -

      Yes – that’s exactly where I bought my last one. They’re surprisingly difficult to find in stores!

  • Cait @ Hernando House
    7 years ago - Reply

    I wonder if Freckles would be able to figure that out. He’s kind of dumb…

  • Lesley
    7 years ago - Reply

    genius! Hudson’s getting one this weekend! He’s eaten so fast he’s thrown up right after eating :( so I’m really excited to get one for him!

    • Emily
      7 years ago -

      He. Will. Love. It. Send pics when he figures it out; Cody’s technique (when he had the one with the stem) was cute – he would push the stem in with his nose, and pull it out with his paw. Over and over and over.

  • Liza
    7 years ago - Reply

    Hi Emily! Just checking out your site. I first saw you on the DIY Pegboard redoing your bathroom. Thanks for all the tips for our bathroom in progress. I bought this same toy for one of my dogs for Christmas. Awesome! She also has the egg shaped toy by the same company. The egg she throws in the air and when it hits the ground kibble falls out. The rope one took her a bit to figure out. She wanted to throw it. But she is getting better everyday! By the way I buy my dog toys including the rope bottle on Amazon.com. Love the reviews and videos before I purchase. And usually free shipping!

    • Emily
      7 years ago -

      An egg toy, huh? I will be checking into that, for sure. I actually just had to buy Cody his 3rd purple rope/container toy this week because the threading on the last one finally broke down – and I DID get it off Amazon for a pretty good price (about $12 with shipping). After a full week of eating his food out of a bowl like a normal dog, he was more excited than ever when showed him the new toy… like a dog-kid on Christmas. And he’s been carrying it around with him since like it’s going to leave him again. Thanks for stopping by + enjoying my bathroom progress over on The Pegboard!

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