Toy of the Week

Make that toys.

Zombie Foot and Where’s Waldo

Just a few days after I posted a link to the Zombie Foot toy, I stopped into my local drugstore to grab a few things. I suppose it’s because Halloween was last week, but I was pretty darn shocked to see the Zombie Foot hanging on a display in the middle of the store.

$9.99 is typically more than I’d pay for a small squeaky toy, but being that I love zombies and had just written about how Teton needed this toy, I couldn’t not get it. Honestly, I didn’t think he’d even play with it because he isn’t usually into rubber squeaky toys, but he loves this thing. His obsession with socks has only increased the fun factor of the Zombie Foot – when he seems bored I just slap a sock over it and BAM! it’s like a brand new toy.

In addition to his Zombie Foot, Teton got a present from one of his aunties this weekend. Yes, Where’s Waldo has joined our home and is quickly becoming a favorite.

How about your dog? What’s his/her favorite toy?

Ruff Dawg’s Peanut

Teton is not a chewer.

This is good for me because it means that he never chewed on our shoes when he was a puppy and he doesn’t get the urge to chew on furniture or bras when he’s home alone.

It appears as though you are home early.

This is also bad for me because I have an uncontrollable urge to buy dog products – many of which include chew toys – and in the heat of a transaction, I don’t stop to think, well shucks, Teton won’t lay a finger on this and I should probably save my $14.

For the record, I don’t use the word “shucks” in daily life.

Ruff Dawg’s Peanut

Price: from $7.50 – $16 (depending on retailer)

Materials: 100% non-toxic rubber (made in the USA)

Some salesperson at our local pet store convinced me to buy this a while back and I was bamboozled.  She used her salesperson trickery on me and before I knew it my credit card was swiped and I was driving home.

Ok, it didn’t go quite like that, but the sale did involve something kinda like this:

What?  You don’t smell your dog’s toys?

Two words, people.  Nutty Bars.

If I had a portal I would bring you through my computer to smell this sucker because – no lie – it’s like I’m unwrapping a Little Debbie Nutty Bar.

So, let’s be honest here.  I bought the Peanut because it smells good and I thought The Little Blogger would chew on it because the smell was appealing to him.

It may come as a shock to you, but I was wrong.  These photos are as close to the Peanut as Teton will get.

Attaboy.

Oh, hey ladies.  Care to touch my Peanut?

The paw over the toy is a nice touch, T.

Teton has no interest in this toy.  I’ll be passing it on to a friend whose dog likes to chew, so we’ll see what happens there.  I’d like to say that this will be the last chew toy I ever buy, but we all know that isn’t true.

The Peanut appears to be well made and durable.

It’s made of a strong but malleable rubber so I imagine that, for dogs that like to chew, it would be right up there with the best shoes and table legs in the market.

Even if Teton loved this toy, the $14 or something ridic that I paid for it is just too much.

Not necessary, Ruff Dawg!

What about you and your dog?  What’s been your go-to chew toy?

Sleuthin’ for Treats

Hi, Dog Moms and Dads!  Hope you’ve had a great day.

Tonight’s review is on Kyjen’s Dog Games Star Spinner interactive treat toy.

I snagged this puppy (heh heh) at Petco earlier this week because I had a store credit.  I’d been wanting to get a puzzle toy like this for a while but hadn’t pulled the trigger since they can be fairly spendy.  This particular one was $20 but I’ve seen them for upwards of $40.

The Star Spinner is a fairly simple contraption made of hard plastic.  It’s composed of three layers that spin independently of one another revealing compartments holding treats.

The goal of your dog’s interaction with the Star Spinner is to have he/she figure out that in order to get treats, he/she must move or spin the layers so that the compartments are revealed.  This can be done with either the nose or paw.

This is an extremely easy interactive toy to prepare for your dog.  It takes roughly one-half the amount of time that the Twist ‘N Treat and the Tessa take to get ready.

To get the Star Spinner ready for your dog, simply place treats (Fruitables make great Star Spinner treats!)  in random compartments of the three layers.  The instructions that Kyjen gives for using the Star Spinner are pretty detailed, but in my opinion one of the most important keys to success is allowing your dog to watch you put treats in the toy.  That way, they can begin to associate the toy with treats.

Once your dog has watched you place the treats in the Star Spinner, let your dog go sleuthin’!

In fairness, this video recording is of the second time The Little Blogger used the Star Spinner.  However, it took him merely seconds to understand that he had to spin the levels to reveal the treats.  He used his paws more frequently the first time around, but I think that might have something to do with the fact that the toy was on the carpet, rather than tile.  He gets nervous when there is a greater chance of slipping (either for himself or a treat/toy).

We give the Kyjen Star Spinner two paws up!  It’s reasonably price at $20, it’s easy-as-pie to use, it’s fairly intuitive for Teton (and I’d guess for most other dogs, as well), and it’s fun!

I’d like to try some of Kyjen’s other interactive treat toys, as well.  Check out their full line up here.  The Treat Triad looks intriguing.

…before I go, if you’re wondering about Teton’s outfit in the video…

He is wearing a sweater.  And yes, I realize that he’s covered in fur and looks like a mad scientist, but hey, it’s got a skull on it.  That makes it more hardcore, right?  😉

You may remember his sock monkey sweater from last week.  Rather than exchange it for a larger size, I’m going to get my dinero back because Teton’s Auntie L found him this sweater at Mud Bay (our favorite place) for half the cost!  (Don’t be fooled by FabDog’s $45 price tag.  This bad boy was only $25 at Mud Bay!)  Frankly, he’ll wear this more and I’ll feel less guilty because it doesn’t have a hood.  With monkey ears.

Speaking of monkeys…I think it’s time I go monkey around with The Little Blogger and get some of his energy out.  Have a great night!

They Did the Monster Mash

I was working in the lab late one night…

You’re welcome for getting that catchy little tune in your head for the remainder of the evening.

Check out the Jolly Pets Monster Mouth!

Scary, isn’t he?

The Monster Mouth is an interactive treat toy made from non-toxic rubber.

I’m not quite sure the Monster Mouth is vanilla scented because Teton didn’t seem to care much, but I guess the “vanilla” scent sorta covered up the strong smell of the rubber, which is a plus.

The MM (which I snagged for $10 at Tarjay) is a unique interactive treat toy because unlike the Contempo Tessa and Twist ‘N Treat, it’s meant to be chewed on.  The only way to get treats out of the Monster Mouth is to, well…let me show you!

Here’s how the Monster Mouth works:

Once treats have been stuffed into the monster’s mouth, your dog must squeeze the toy open on its sides in order to pull or dump the treats out.

We gave the Monster Mouth some Holistix for our first go around.

Now you see ’em…

…now you don’t!

They’re in there.  I promise.

After the treats were in the mouth of the monster, I became skeptical.  It was a little hard for me to squeeze open the monster’s mouth with one hand while I snapped a photo with the other hand, so wouldn’t it be much too hard for Teton to squeeze it open, too?

I’m sad to report that, after 30 minutes of this, The Little Blogger gave up.

He tried his hardest but those darn treats just weren’t coming out!

I think the reason the Monster Mouth hasn’t worked yet for Teton is two-fold.

1)  Teton is used to interactive treat toys that require him to use his nose and paws to push a device around in order for treats to fall out.  Much of the behavior that he displayed while using the Monster Mouth was similar to his behavior when using the Contempo Tessa.  The only difference is that with the Monster Mouth he was laying down and using his mouth to try to remove the treats.

2)  The treats that we used did not protrude from the mouth of the monster.  Thus, they were nearly impossible to get a hold of.  I don’t know if this is a valid reason that the Monster Mouth didn’t work for Teton, but I think it probably would have been smarter to use large treats that protruded from the mouth of the monster for The Little Blogger’s first introduction to the toy.  That way, he would have been rewarded quicker and motivated to work through a more difficult challenge the next time around.

The Monster Mouth hasn’t worked for us yet, but we’ll keep trying.  Perhaps a little peanut butter smeared around the monster’s teeth (in addition to a larger treat inside the monster’s mouth) will do the trick!

We’re off to do a little craft project in preparation for the weekend.  Remember what’s happening?!

It’s the Pet Expo!

I.can’t.wait.

See you next week!

It’s a toy! It’s a slingshot! It’s a slingshot-toy!

It’s crazy.

It’s sexy.

It’s cool.

Oh, wait.  That’s TLC.

Got No Scrubs in your head now?  Maybe a little Waterfalls?  You’re welcome.

Meet Hartz’s Slingshot Action flying chicken-rooster!

Looks like a chicken.  Sounds like a rooster (more on that in a sec).

Hence, chicken-rooster.

Have you ever purchased a toy for your pet at a grocery store?  I hadn’t before this one!

It was on sale ($6.57), it was intriguing, and buying it got me an extra piece for my local grocery store’s Monopoly game (which involves prizes), so I was bamboozled.

It’s actually a pretty cool toy, though!

Part stuffed animal…part slingshot!

I tested it in an empty aisle at the store.

Please note: Aim away from pets and children.

Or, if there’s a kid in the grocery store that’s really gettin’ on your nerves…

I wasn’t sure how Teton would react to Hartz’s Slingshot Action toy, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Please disregard the fact that I:

A)  am slingshot-challenged

and

B)  as a result of being slingshot-challenged, must stick my tongue out in order to maneuver the slingshot

Enjoy!

We’re diggin’ the Hartz Slingshot Action chicken-rooster.  Our only must-mention is that this toy is one that should only be used under supervision.  The Little Blogger will chase it down, but inevitably goes for the rubber slingshot strap.  If you weren’t supervising your dog, the strap may be broken or even partially digested.

Price – Under $7?!  I’ll take it! 

Quality – I’ll be honest.  This isn’t the highest quality dog toy I’ve ever seen.  However, for this type of toy (one that I deem as a special, supervised, few-times-a-week toy) it’s completely fine.

Uniqueness/Fun –  It’s a toy!  It’s a slingshot!  It’s a slingshot-toy!  Crazy fun.  I think it might actually be more fun for Dog Moms and Dads than it is for dogs!  This is definitely one of the most unique toys I’ve seen in a while. 

We give the Hartz Slingshot Action toy a 7 out of 10.

Who knew a grocery store toy could be so much fun?  

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Check back next week for a review on Bacon Forever’s updated Bacon and Cheese Oat Dog Biscuits!  Does the thought of bacon have you drooling?  Check out their site to whet your appetite! 

…and watch the fun begin!

Brrr…

We just finished drying off from a wet and cold walk around the neighborhood.  It’s been raining for a month straight here (or at least it feels like it), so Teton and I are ready for some sunny weather!

On Monday, my friend/co-worker gave me a treat sample from a local pet store called Zak and Zoe the other day.

I love when pet stores provide sample treats for their customers!  It’s a fun way of getting a store name out there.

I’ll have to check out Zak and Zoe.  From the looks of their website, I would like what they carry in the store.

Tonight’s review is a fun one.

I’ve been on the hunt for a new and exciting interactive toy for a while now.  We bought (and loved) Premier Pets’ Twist ‘N Treat, bought (and hated…and returned!) Premier Pets’ Tug-A-Jug, and have seriously considered (but haven’t bitten the bullet) purchasing one of Nina Ottosson’s puzzle toys.

So, I was pleasantly surprised to see that PetSmart is carrying a new line of interactive toys for dogs.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Contempo Tessa!

The Tessa is small enough for little dogs but big enough to also be challenging and rewarding for larger breeds.

Like the Twist ‘N Treat, you fill the Tessa with treats and set the difficulty level accordingly.

Easy


Harder


Hardest

Fill the Tessa up with treats (I like to use small, low-calorie ones like Zuke’s Mini Naturals for interactive toys)…

…screw the lid back on…

…put your dog out of his/her misery…

…and watch the fun begin!

Price – $14.99 is a very reasonable price for the Contempo Tessa.  Dare I say that I likely would have spent a few dollars more, even!

Quality – The Tessa appears to be pretty durable.  I would definitely not use the word “cheap” when describing this toy to other Dog Moms and Dads.

Ease of Use – Easy for both Dog Moms/Dads and pooch!  But of course, not too easy for pooch.  It’s great that the difficulty level can be altered as needed.

T-Factor – The Little Blogger is all about the Tessa right now.  He picked it up pretty quickly, but I’m a happy Dog Mom because it takes him a while to get all of the treats out of it and I feel as though the wheels his brain turn as he works the toy!

Teton and I give the Contempo Tessa an 8 out of 10.  We like the whole package: price, quality, and ease of use.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Has your dog ever tried an interactive toy (treat or otherwise)?  If so, what was your experience?

Fred the Buffalo

Top o’ the evenin’ to ya!  Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Teton had the opportunity to product test a toy today.

West Paw Designs’ Fred the buffalo!

West Paw Design makes everything from dog beds to dog jackets.

Fred the buffalo is a plush toy with half-fuzzy, half-smooth material and a squeaker.  He’s from Montana.

See?  Smooth and fuzzy – best of both worlds.

Teton, however, was more fixated on Fred’s tail.

Oh, yes.  Pure leather.  Tasty!

We played a couple rounds of “Where’s your new toy?”  “Go get your new toy!”  “Good boy!!!!!” and then TLB plopped right down on the floor and starting chompin’ away.

Who knew that little piece of leather could be so much fun?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Price – $16.50 makes me cringe a bit.  I would not have paid that for this toy.  It seems pretty durable, but there isn’t much to it that would make it worth more than say, $12.

Quality – This toy is made of seemingly durable material.  It’s eco-friendly (as are all West Paw Design toys and accessories), and made in Montana!

Benefits – Fred makes for a good fetch and chew toy.

Ingredients/Features – I’m not sure what type of material Fred is made of (it doesn’t say on his tag or on the West Paw Design website) but it seems pretty deece.  Fred also has a squeaker in his tummy, which is an added bonus.

T-Factor – TLB likes Fred.  For a dog like Teton, Fred is perfect because he’s small (11 inches) but not too small.  Sometimes those bigger stuffed toys (like the spider) are too hard to fetch with because they get in the way of running to your Dog Mom or Dad.

We’re going to give West Paw Designs’ Fred a score of five out of 10.  We love that Fred is eco-friendly and durable, but his price tag is a bit high and at the end of the day he’s just another plush squeaky toy with not a whole lot to offer.  Sorry, Fred!

Check out all of West Paw Designs’ other products on their website.  Good stuff!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Do you name your dog’s favorite toys?

Of course! One of Teton’s best pals is his giant orange gorilla named Tang!

Save Your Money

…and don’t buy this.

Source

Premier’s Tug-A-Jug treat dispenser

Good idea.  Poor delivery.

Granted, we purchased the green version – which I think is the cheapo Target model (sorry, Target, I love ya, but this was not one of your finer merchandising moves) – which has a rubber rope instead of a real rope, but still.  I doubt it would have made much of a difference.

Source

Here’s a photo of that rubber rope.

The design has some good features.  You easily fill the bottle with treats and/or your dog’s dinner by unscrewing the bottom.

I guess some dogs (particularly the rope-tugging fiends) would be great at getting the treats out of the bottle.  Teton, however, was not.  In fact, he looked nothing like this dog.

Source

No, my friends.  It was painful watching him try to get the treats out of the bottle.  It’s not as easy as it looks!  You see, to get treats to fall out of the small gap between the rope and the bottle opening, your dog has to tug the rope in a very particular manner that may not come easily to dogs without experience playing tug.  Honestly, it was even hard for me to get treats to come out!

I’m guessing that other Dog Moms and Dads have had success with this treat dispenser.

We’ll stick with Premier’s Twist ‘N Treat.

Thank goodness Target’s return policy rocks.

So, Dog Mas and Pas…lets hear it.  Anyone out there just love the Tug-a-Jug?

Eight legs, a rattle, and…

…six squeakers.

I figured it was about time for a toy review so the other day, while looking at the interactive toys at Petco, we found this giant spider.  At first I thought it was a turtle, but then I realized that turtles don’t usually have eight legs.  Then I thought about how I’ve never seen a green spider.  But that’s beside the point.

Anyhoo, we ended up purchasing this giant spider made by Plush Puppies Dog Toys (also known as Kyjen) because it’s wacky, fuzzy, noisy, and large-and-in-charge.  The Little Blogger isn’t a huge fan of toys in general, but he loves, loves, loves toys that are large and especially fuzzy.

Before he was allowed to annihilate his spider (named Spunky, apparently), Mom made sure that he knew just how lucky he was to get such a cool toy.

What a great toy!  I’m so glad that I bought this toy and that this toy is all mine and that I’m never going to let anyone else ever have it!

Yes,  I was literally saying those things out loud.  (It’s amazing how excited they get when you act like the new toy, treat, leash, etc. is the coolest, most amazing thing you’ve ever seen.)

Oh, what’s that, Teton?  You want to play with this toy?

I don’t know…how bad do you want it?

And then, I gave in.  It is his toy, after all.

Lots of throwing, squeaking, mouthing, dragging, and shaking ensued.

Spunky the spider has quite the repertoire.  We’ve got one rattle, one loud goose-like squeaker, one semi-loud squeaker in his face, and one teensy squeaker in every other leg.  TLB’s favorite is the goose-like squeaker in the body of the spider.

How ’bout some more detail on Plush Puppies Spunky the Spider?

Price – $19.99.  Fine by me.  Durable, good-quality toys are hard to come by.  However, this is generally my max on a stuffed toy.  Somewhere between $12 and $15 would have been much nicer.

Quality – Pretty durable little toy here.  It’s well sewn doesn’t look or feel cheap.  Of course, if you have a dog that completely destroys stuffed toys, this and any other stuffed variety are likely a waste of money.  Consider washing and “re-gifting” your childrens’ (or your own) old stuffed toys that you weren’t keen on saving anyway.

Benefits – Toys are beneficial to your dog (and to you!) because they allow your pooch to either engage with you or to self-engage.

Ingredients/Features – The filling in Spunky the Spider is made from recycled plastic bottles!  Also, it’s like three toys in one because it’s great for fetch, tug, and chewing.

T-Factor – This Plush Puppies toy is not Teton’s favorite (as of yet), but he definitely likes it.  Like I said before, we’re pretty good at knowing what he’ll like and play with long term verses what he’ll like for five minutes and never touch again.  This is our third Plush Puppies toy and I always go back to them because they are hearty, filled with a variety of noise-makers, and have at least one fuzzy component.

TLB and I give Plush Puppies Spunky the Spider a six out of ten.  The price is a bit high and I suspect that the durability for aggressive chewers would be subpar.

Plush Puppies has goodies for all types of dogs, whether they be aggressive chewers or not.  Check out their site for more fun products.

Have a fabulous Friday and an even better weekend!

>Wubba Wubba

>Teton is simply not interested in toys anymore.

I’ll take that back.  He is interested in brand new toys.  For about 45 seconds.  And that might only be because I carry it around with me throughout the house for a good 2 – 3 minutes gooing and gaaing over it as if I’d just killed the evening meal with my bare hands.  

So, I admit that this toy review is on a (gasp) previously purchased item.  You don’t want me to go broke, do you?  

The Kong Wubba 

Please note that TLB’s Wubba was purchased in the Camo color, which is clearly more masculine. 

 Clearly.

The Kong Wubba is made of very tough nylon.  Pick one up in the store and you’ll know immediately that (for most dogs) it’s a durable toy.  

The top of the Wubba is a tennis ball and the middle is a rubber ball with a nice, loud squeaker.  Then, of course, we’ve got the “tail,” which is made of wide strips of nylon. 

The Wubba tail is particularly fun for dogs who like to shake their “kill” around.  My friend’s dog shakes this puppy around like there’s no tomorrow.  I’m surprised she hasn’t knocked herself out with it yet.  Go, Tatum! 

The KW is a great all-around toy.  Your dog’s wait staff (that’s you, my friends) can easily launch the KW a good 8+ feet by grabbing the tail (the Wubba’s, not your dog’s) and giving it a hearty chuck.  But, if you don’t have a fetcher, never fear, because the KW is strong enough to withstand some chewing.  TLB either plays fetch with me (this only lasts a maximum of four minutes), plays fetch with himself (throws the ball into the air and runs after it = hilarious), or just chomps on the KW for a while.  

1.  Price Around $10.  Very reasonable for a durable toy.

2.  Quality – Made from strong nylon.  TLB hasn’t chewed the Wubba to bits, but I have seen some that have seen better days.  It all depends on your dog’s chewing tendencies.

3.  Benefits –  Multi-faceted toy.  Good for fetch, self-play, and light chewing.
4.  Ingredients/Features – Strong, durable nylon.  Rubber ball with squeaker and tennis ball.  Some worry about the fuzzy green stuff on tennis balls harming your dog’s teeth, but as long as the Wubba nylon isn’t chewed through, this shouldn’t be a problem.
5.  T-Factor – Teton liked his Wubba the day that he got it.  But then the novelty wore off.  It’s an okay fetching toy, but not his favorite.
6.  Uniqueness/Fun – The design of the KW is great!  A good, classic tennis ball, a fun, squeaky rubber ball, and a bunch of long nylon strips to fling around.
TLB isn’t really a toy kinda guy.  However, we’re going to rate the Kong Wubba for all of our other furry friends and their wait staff. 
 
The Wubba gets a seven out of 10.  Good price, strong material, and fun!  
‘Night!