If variety is the spice of life for humans it’s just as important to our furry friends – especially if what we’re aiming for is to keep them cognitively stimulated.
While the Atomic Treat Ball is our go-to puzzle toy to slow down speed eating (or to just keep one of our dogs busy), if it’s the only puzzle we give them it’s going to become less and less stimulating over time. In short, the name of the game is to not allow them to get bored.
Keeping our dogs engaged in problem solving – as well as on their toes – is where the Twist ‘n Treat shines.
At its heart, the Twist ‘n Treat is very similar in concept to the Atomic Treat Ball: a puzzle toy is filled with food and it’s up to the dog to figure out how to manipulate it to get the food out. While to us it might seem as if both puzzles are exactly the same, we need to keep in mind that canine cognition does not generalize well and that the two wildly different shapes of the toys essentially makes them two completely different skill sets for the dog to master.
Shaped like a flying saucer, the twist in Twist ‘n Treat refers to the rubber screw inside the toy that you twist to open it in order to load the kibble or treats. While the loading is more complicated than the Atomic Treat Ball, the fact that you can customize the size of the gap that dispenses the food means you have a lot more options in terms of what you can put in it and it makes for a great starter toy since you can make it easy at first then more difficult as your dog gets the hang of it.
While the Twist ‘n Treat is all upside for dogs, the thick rubber it’s made from tends to bounce pretty well and the shape causes it to roll – so don’t be surprised to find yourself hunting for it underneath furniture.
As with so many of the puzzle toys out there, the Twist ‘n Treat is not meant to be left alone with your dog – especially if they are a hard chewer.
Those minor quibbles aside, the Twist ‘n Treat is a really nice addition to your dog’s positive reinforcement cognitive toy box. And for those of you whose dogs have not quite mastered other puzzle toys, this is a good learner-toy.