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This post is sponsored by Wild Calling! and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the Wild Calling! Pet Food, but Kol’s Notes only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Wild Calling! is not responsible for the content of this article.

Once upon a time, many years ago, dogs chased down and caught their dinner.

The menu was whatever ran wild. Their daily fare wasn’t served on a platter, it had to be earned and worked for. These days, the dog’s dinner is a simpler affair: most dogs get kibble, served in a bowl at a set time. The most work they have to do is wander over to the bowl.

Today’s canine’s aren’t so different from the dogs of yore though. I’ve never met a dog that didn’t yearn to chase birds and squirrels. When asked, most dogs will perform untold tricks and games, for even a morsel of something tasty. Our dogs may be domesticated, but but that doesn’t mean they don’t still love the thrill of the chase.

Quote Credit: Isadora Duncan. It’s always made me thing of puppies and how they lose some of their puppy charm as they grow up and grow “good”.

I’m certainly not going to let animals loose in the apartment and let my dogs hunt them.

I can do the next best thing though. I can make sure that sometimes my dogs have to chase and play to earn their snacks. There is simply no reason that the Art of Nutrition can’t also be fun. We have any number of games and puzzles at our house, but I’m always looking for new ones and I’m always looking to save a few pennies on them. Our new DIY Dog Food toy is easy to put together and, at less than $3 to make, it’s also easy on the wallet.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 – hard plastic, wide mouth water bottle (I got mine for $1.25 at the Dollar Store)
  • 1 or 2 – soft, foam balls
  • Wild Calling!® Kibble

I used a stress ball that I was given at Blogpaws a few years back. I wouldn’t normally give this type of ball to my dogs, as they can pose a choking hazard. In this case, since it’s fully enclosed in the plastic water bottle and the dog’s won’t be able to pull it out, I felt OK with it. I will, of course, supervise them when they play and make sure they can’t get at the ball to destroy it.

Are you ready? This is painfully easy.

Remove the lid from the water bottle, so that the cap and the ring that held it on are completely gone. Compress the ball in your hands and cram it inside the water bottle. For a more difficult toy, use a slightly larger ball or use more than one ball.

Once the ball is in the bottle, it’s ready to be chased! All that’s left to do is fill your homemade dog treat toy with a high quality kibble. When using food enrichment toys for dogs, it’s especially important to offer a food with a meaty smell that will drive your dog wild enough to work for it, so even if it’s not your regular food, we recommend something grain free with quality proteins. Here at Casa de Kolchak, we used Wild Calling! Elk, Whitefish Meal & Turkey Meal Recipe Kibble to fill our DIY Dog Food Toy. My dogs don’t often get kibble,  only in toys and as training treats, so when they do, I’m pretty picky about what we use.

My requirements are simple; I like to use foods that are all natural, grain free, and made with high quality proteins that are hormone and antibiotic free. Felix is getting a bit grey in the beard, if you know what I mean, and one of the things we’re watching is his blood sugar. Wild Calling! is a good choice for my Felix because it’s made with GlycoEdge – a mix of tapioca, sweet potatoes, and lentils – that helps control blood sugar and provides consistent energy. (No carbohydrate highs here!) I’m super excited about their new Xotic Essentials novel protein kibble – bison! rabbit! kangaroo! oh my! Those proteins are the stuff dreams are made of for owners of dogs with food allergies.

Most importantly, my dogs love it. I can’t tell you the trouble we had getting a few good product shots! I think my new catch phrase is going to be “Sit still, Kolchak!” This is exactly what I look for in a good kibble. I need something good enough that my dogs are willing to work for it, do tricks for it and work out a puzzle for it. Wild Calling! offers all this and more.

Have you ever made you’re own treat toy? What did you fill it with?

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