Food puzzles engage your pet’s senses, provide mental stimulation, and increase activity by taking advantage of their natural inclination to hunt for their food. You can buy special bowls at the pet store, or you can get the kids involved and DIY your own food puzzle using items you already have around the home!

1. Toilet Paper Rolls

These make great puzzle toys for cats, or dogs who aren’t particularly “chewers”. Cut some kibble-sized holes in the trunk of the tube and close the ends by folding them in (or glue cardboard on the end to make “wheels”). Your kitty will have endless fun rolling it around as it drops out their favourite goodies!

2. Muffin Tins

Muffin tins of all sizes work well on their own for both cats and dogs, but for an added challenge, put a ball or crinkled up piece of paper in each cavity so that your furry family member has to sniff and dig to unearth their reward.

3. Egg Cartons

Similar to muffin tins, these make an excellent base for food puzzles and the possibilities are endless. You can put toys in each egg compartment, plant cat grass in some as an added obstacle, or even flip it over completely and use the bottom as the puzzle!

4. Silicone Mats

Your silicone pot holder can be repurposed as a licky mat! Just flip it over and smear wet food in the grooves.

5. Soda Bottles

Run a dowel through the body of the bottle and attach it to a base so that your pet has to swing it upside down for the treats or kibble to fall out of the mouth of the bottle. This is a more challenging activity but so rewarding once they figure it out!

You can encourage your kids to find creative uses for other household items too! Just ensure that their creations are safe, with no loose parts your pet could accidentally consume. Give the new toy under the supervision and remind children to always respect your furry family member’s space at mealtime or any time when food is involved.

Kids and pets both benefit when they are physically and mentally stimulated. Fortunately, this indoor activity entertains and benefits both!

Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at  Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.