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Product Review–I.Q. Treat Ball

Product Review–I.Q. Treat Ball

Can I chew it apart?

Can I chew it apart?

I have tried a crazy number of kibble dispensing toys over the years–they wobble, they bobble, they roll, they slide, they teeter, they flip, they bounce, and they spin.  They each have their pros and their cons and each have their uses.  If I don’t mind the meal being eaten quickly I’ll use the easy Wobbler so it is emptied quickly.  If I want the pup to do lots of moving around, I’ll use the Hol-ee Treat Ball that rolls around quickly (but is also quick to empty).  If I want a toy that makes my dogs work hard, I’ll use the Buster Cube.  I love all these toys but one of my biggest complaints with kibble dispensing toys is that there are so few of them that are really adjustable in terms of their difficulty.

That’s where the I.Q. Treat Ball comes into play.  I got this toy because it was adjustable in terms of the difficulty which is great!  The toy comes in two sizes 3″ and 5″ and is made of sturdy plastic exterior.  It consists of a lower reservoir that you fill with kibble (bottom half of the sphere), an difficulty setting ‘disc’ that fits over the kibble in the center of the sphere, and the top part of the sphere with a hole at the top.  Kibble must pass through the adjustable ‘disc’ in the middle and then find its way out of the hole in the top.

Woohoo! Chas'n the ball!

Woohoo! Chas’n the ball!

I set it on the most challenging setting, gave it to Shayne (who is notoriously hard on toys–if she cant’ figure them out she tries to destroy them) and let her go to town.  After fifteen minute of serious running around and trying to empty the ball, she was getting frustrated and hot so I made it easier and she emptied it quickly.  I was really impressed how long it lasted and how much moving around she did.  About 15 minutes in she started to get frustrated and tried to muscle her way through the ball by chomping on it and cracking it–luckily it was easy enough to redirect her to rolling it instead of breaking it.  There is zero damage to the ball, but I have no doubt that if I let her try to destroy it, that she could easily.  This toy would not be great for dogs who like to chew and destroy puzzle toys like this unless someone is very closely supervising to redirecting them to roll it around.

There are a lot of things I like about this toy and a handful of things I don’t like.  It’s not perfect, I’d like it to be larger, to be made of better materials, and to have a slightly more secure lid but it is a really fantastic new edition to my basket of kibble dispensing toys!  I absolutely can’t get over just how difficult it can be set and how long it takes the dogs to empty (and how much running around they do chasing the ball).

Likes:

  • I love that this toy is adjustable in difficulty level and it was definitely a challenge when set on the hardest setting and easier on the middle setting.
  • Being a ball is great because it really gets the dog moving around, especially in an open space!
  • It was super easy to fill
  • Very easy to clean (soapy water and then dry)
  • Long lasting fun when on a challenging level
  • Easy enough for Shayne to fit it in her mouth and pick it up which means it gets ‘lost’ less often since she can pull it out
  • Different from other options they have

Dislikes

  • Although adjustable, you’ll need relatively small kibble to make it simple, the opening, even on the 5″ is narrow.
  • The plastic body is hard, but I would not leave Shayne unattended with it because I am pretty sure she’d crack it in half easily if given the chance (this is not a brute-force toy, it’s a roll around toy).
  • It’s loud while rolling on anything but plush carpet/rugs
  • Even the 5″ ball is small… I was shocked when Shayne could easily pick it up and crunch it
  • It doesn’t hold that much kibble, for her to get a full meal I need to fill it about 1.5 times
  • Even when tightened, the cap loosened quite a bit during play and likely would have fallen off if I hadn’t checked around 15 minutes.  ***10/18/13 update–Other than the first time I used this, I have not had this issues since, so I think it was user error that first time 🙂

 

A limited number of I.Q. Treat Balls are available for In-School pick up through the SJC Online Store.
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