Homemade Food Puzzles For Your Dog

One of our favorite recommendations for all clients, from puppies to adults (and even cats!), is to incorporate the "Food Puzzles" into your home routine! Food puzzles are a great way for your pet to get some brain energy out while enjoying part of or their entire meal. Here are some that you can make with things around your home:

Muffin TIn:

1.  With the muffin tin turned upside down, simply sprinkle their food between the upside
down cups. They may use their nose, paws, or tongue to get the food out.

2. With the muffin tin right side up, sprinkle food into the cups. You can keep it easy and
have the cups uncovered, or to increase the difficulty you can cover some or all of the cups
with tennis balls.

Water bottle:

A water bottle or 2 liter bottle is a very versatile and easy tool to use to make food puzzles.


1.  The most simple way to use an empty water bottle as a food puzzle is by using a knife to
cut holes in the side of the bottle and then filling the bottle with some food. Your dog will
roll the bottle around the get the food out. You can make it easier or harder depending on
the number of holes you make and the size. Just make sure they are big enough for at
least one piece of kibble to fall out at a time!


2.  If you are a bit more handy then you can create something that is more challenging for
your dog. This food puzzle will require a few water bottles a frame and a wooden dowel.
You will cut holes in the sides of the bottle, near the top that you will then thread the
dowel through. Once your bottles are lined up on the dowel, you will then attach it to the
frame. Fill the bottles with some food or treats and your dog will use their nose or paws to
flip the bottles to get the treat to fall out.


3.  You can also cut small holes in the side of the bottles and use string to connect them. Then
simply tie the string between 2 points- like 2 chairs, and fill with food. This is another one
where your dog can use their paws or nose to flip the bottles to get the food out.


Everyone has an extra towel laying around! This is a great food puzzle to use when you are
traveling with your dog and may have forgotten to pack any food puzzles for them.

1. Lay the towel out flat. Sprinkle some kibble or treats in a line near one end of the towel.
Roll that part of the towel up and then add another line of food. Keep rolling until you
have filled it with food and are at then end of the towel. Some dogs will carefully unroll
the towel, while others may just pick up the whole thing and toss it around until the food
falls out.

2. Lay the towel flat, sprinkle food all over and then crumple up the towel. You can also do
this with a fitted sheet which can be more challenging if the food is in the corners.

toilet paper/paper towel rolls:

1. Find and empty shoe box and enough toilet paper rolls to fill the box when they are
standing up. You can also cut paper towel rolls down if you don’t have enough toilet paper
rolls. Once you have your box lined with the rolls, sprinkle the food into the rolls. The dog
may pull the toilet paper rolls out of the box, or they may just simply flip the whole box!

2. Cut holes in toilet paper or paper towel rolls big enough for food or treats to fall out. Fold
or tape up one end and use the open end to fill with food. Close up the other end and let
your dog roll it around to get the food to fall out.


Boxes can be a very simple or very challenging puzzle for our dogs! Take any box you have
laying around and simply sprinkle food into it. Start with a short box to make it easy for
your dog. When your dog is confident getting food out of the box you can add more boxes
so they need to figure out where the food is, close the flaps, or stack the boxes in or on top
of each other.

All of these food puzzles should be supervised while your dog is enjoying them as they can be easily destroyed!

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