Our Blog

November 2019
13: Cases of Leptospirosis in the GTA
October 2019
02: OVC Pet Trust Fundraiser 2019
March 2019
07: The Threat of Tick-borne Diseases
February 2019
04: Important information from Hill’s Pet Nutrition about voluntarily recalled canned dog food:
January 2019
31: There is a difference
October 2018
19: Concerns regarding flea/tick medication side-effects, harmful grain-free diets and cannabis use in pets
15: Farley Foundation Fundraiser 2018
September 2018
17: Monthly Focus: Cancer Awareness - Lonestar's Story
August 2018
23: Bug bites and stings
July 2018
09: House-training your puppy
June 2018
21: Keeping Your Dog Safe This Summer
14: Happy 10th Anniversary, Westbridge Veterinary Hospital
April 2018
18: Congratulations friends of dogs and cats everywhere!
February 2018
28: Parasite Prevention
January 2018
11: Dental disease is a real and serious issue
November 2017
01: Thank you for your support in the 2017 October Farley Foundation Fundraiser!
October 2017
03: Prizes and pie for our annual Farley Foundation Fundraiser!
September 2017
13: Keetah's Story
11: September is Cancer Awareness Month
August 2017
10: What's that smell?!
July 2017
27: Clicker Training
24: Our Commitment to a Low Stress Environment
13: The threat of rabies in southwestern Ontario
07: Wildlife in the city
June 2017
21: Lyme Disease
March 2017
06: The Value Of Education
January 2017
17: 33 years of practice, the changes I have witnessed
November 2016
28: 2016's October Farley Foundation Fundraiser was a huge success!
September 2016
20: Cajun's story
01: September is Cancer Awareness Month
July 2016
21: Cat Carriers
June 2016
29: Dog Park Etiquette
May 2016
31: Heartworm Q & A
12: Tick Troubles
March 2016
10: Anticipated tick bloom
February 2016
22: Introduction to TCVM – Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine
January 2016
14: The difference dental care can make
December 2015
30: Raccoon Rabies reported in Hamilton, Ontario
08: Understanding Aging
November 2015
25: Our new, state of the art, Ultrasound machine
October 2015
09: Fun and Delicious Fundraising for the Farley Foundation
September 2015
23: Cancer Awareness Month: Texas' Story
14: September is Cancer Awareness Month
July 2015
28: Exciting news for our hospital!
June 2015
11: Mosquito Prevention
May 2015
08: Heartworm cases
April 2015
24: Changing your pet's food
March 2015
01: Veterinary Technician Specialties in Dentistry!
January 2015
13: January and February are Dental Education Months!
December 2014
18: The Internet at its Best
November 2014
28: Westbridge's Change of Hours
October 2014
07: October is Farley Month - Spa Day's, Paw Prints and Pies!
September 2014
22: Cancer Awareness Month - Ruby's Story
20: September is Cancer Awareness Month!
02: Ways to a Happy, Healthier Pet
July 2014
03: A New Way to Save Your Pet's Teeth!
June 2014
26: Veterinary Dentistry in San Diego!
March 2014
20: Happy Smiles
January 2014
22: The 15 Steps to Your Pet's Dental Cleaning!
15: January and February are Dental Months, and We Have a Contest to Celebrate!
09: Baby Teeth in Puppies and Kittens
06: An Update on Dr. Hylands
December 2013
27: Dentistry in New Orleans!
17: Wishing Dr. Hylands a Safe and Uneventful Recovery
13: The Holidays are Here!
04: A Potential Mandible Fracture - A Tale on Missing Teeth
October 2013
10: Fundraising for Farley
July 2013
11: Tried and True, For Humans Too!
June 2013
20: Therapeutic Laser's Beneficial Effects on Arthritis
12: Pet Education Day and Open House a Huge Success!
May 2013
25: 5th Annual Pet Education Day and Open House!
April 2013
29: We've Brought 'Light' into our Clinic!
March 2013
10: We're Constantly Learning!
February 2013
21: Small Dogs Require Big Dental Care!
08: Missing Teeth in Your Pets - Should You Be Worried?
January 2013
13: Periodontal (Dental) Disease in our Pets
December 2012
19: Senior Month - It's Not Just Old Age!
04: Senior Month - A Focus on Kidney Disease
November 2012
15: Farley Month a Huge Success!
October 2012
27: Possessive Aggression in our Dogs
22: Thinking of Breeding Your Dog? Here Are Some Things To Consider First
03: October is Farley Month!
September 2012
20: Litter Boxes - Everyone's Favourite Task!
August 2012
14: Exercising Your Pets in the Summer - Heat Stroke
June 2012
28: Non-Invasive Diagnostic Imaging - Ultrasound Case Study
21: A Heartfelt "Thank You" for Attending our Pet Education Carnival!
19: Non-Invasive Diagnostic Imaging - Ultrasonography
May 2012
23: A Logical Approach to Unwanted Barking
07: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Use in Companion Animals
April 2012
21: Wellness Examinations Help to Maintain Your Pets Health
10: OVC Pet Trust Animal Cancer Centre Needs Your Help!
01: Heartworm Disease in Ontario
March 2012
19: A Dedication to a Great Man and an Dedicated Veterinarian
February 2012
06: Why Anesthesia-Free Dental Care is Wrong, Cruel, and Medically Inappropriate
January 2012
16: The Why's and What's of Dental X-ray
09: Cats Are a Unique Species, with Unique Dental Disease
05: Six Easy Steps to Brushing your Pets Teeth!
02: Dental Awareness Months!
December 2011
21: Chocolate... Good for you?
November 2011
11: Farley Month was a Huge Success!

Ways to a Happy, Healthier Pet

Posted: 2014-09-02

Westbridge Veterinary Hospital MississaugaA work-out, a mind-game and a snack all in one! Food puzzles provide physical and mental stimulation while your pet enjoys their own kibble. A food puzzle is a toy that has compartments or has openings to dispense food while the animal plays. In the past, these have been used as treats and filled with high calorie or fatty foods, but are now being utilized to dispense your pet’s regular food. There are a wide variety of food puzzles for cats and dogs, all ranging in difficulty.

The predecessors to our domestic pets hunt and forage for food. Think of wild cats and dogs that need to search diligently for food, strategize to hunt, or run to catch prey. In the past, cats and dogs earned meals by mousing, herding or doing jobs. Today, we have achieved such a level of domestication in our pets that they rarely have to do much work for food. Food puzzles help reintroduce the concept of expending energy and stimulating the mind for a meal. These puzzles motivate pets to play independently when they are bored and may reduce destructive behaviours. For those pets that might need to lose weight or that eat too quickly, try food puzzles instead of food bowls to slowly dispense kibbles. When starting out with food puzzles, find a type that is similar to other toys your pet likes and is relatively easy. Keep in mind your pet’s “prey preference”. For cats, they may like their toys to be fast, flighty, shiny, or feathery, while dogs may like something to chew, lick, roll, paw or chase. Always supervise closely when introducing a new toy, including food puzzles. Remember, some pets may never be allowed to play with toys (including food puzzles) unsupervised if they have the tendency to destroy and swallow pieces. First impressions are everything, so try to make the toy as fun and exciting as possible- using treats to fill the food puzzle in the initial introduction is okay. Use food that will easily dispense from the food puzzle to prevent your pet from getting discouraged and quitting. You may need to play with your pet and the food puzzle for several sessions until they begin to understand how it works and can play more independently. Once your pet is a food puzzle pro, it is wise to have a couple food puzzles in rotation or try a toy that is more difficult to keep things fresh and interesting.
The list of food puzzles below will help you get started. Have a look at the websites and reviews online to help decide which puzzle your furry friend would like best. Order online or call your local pet specialty store for stock.

List of Dog Food Puzzles

  • Aikiou Interactive Dog Bowl • Atomic Treat Ball
  • Buster “Food Cube” and “Dog Maze”
  • Busy Buddy “Tug-a-Jug” and “Twist ‘n Treat”
  • Dog Brick (many Nina-Ottosson products)
  • Ethical Contempo “Tessa”, “Bravo” and “Halo”
  • JW “Hol-ee” Treat Ball
  • Kong “Classic”, “Goodie Bone” and “Satellite”
  • Kong Genius “Mike” and “Leo”
  • Northmate “Green”
  • Orbee Tuff “Strawberry” and “Artichoke”
  • OurPet’s IQ Treat Ball
  • Planet Dog Mazee
  • Starmark “Pickle Pocket” and “Bob-a-Lot”
  • Treat Stik
  • Tricky Treat Ball
  • Trixie Snack Spinner
  • Tux Treat Toy

List of Cat Food Puzzles

  • Aikiou “Stimulo” Cat feeding Station
  • Catit Design Senses feeding maze
  • Fun Kitty “Twist ‘n treat” and “Egg-cersizer”
  • Kong “Wobbler” and “Cone”
  • MixMax (many Nina-Ottosson products)
  • Northmate “Catch”
  • Slim Cat

This blog entry was written by Westbridge Veterinary Hospital, an animal clinic (vet hospital) in Mississauga dedicated to providing high quality, modern veterinary care to our beloved pets and their families.

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