When I’m feeling stressed out, I dab some lavender essential oil on my earlobes and instantly feel more at ease. But my dog, Finley, is pretty high-strung and could use a little something to help chill her out too. She’s long been a fan of PetSafe’s Bouncy Bone and Twist n’ Treat, so I was confident she’d take to the Busy Buddy Calming Toys ($19.99-$24.99).
Unlike most other treat dispensers, these smell like chamomile to help soothe pups while distracting them from unwanted behaviors. For me, this means keeping Finley occupied while I play with or supervise my toddler around the house. Without something to focus on, Finley can become needy and whine or paw at us – even with plenty of daily walks, hikes, bike rides, and other exercise. In the past, I’ve given her a toy filled with frozen peanut butter, but that seems to have lost its appeal now that the Busy Buddy Calming Toys are around.
The first time I filled the Squirrel Dude with little treats, Finley took immediate interest. What’s this? she seemed to ask while pawing at it and licking it all over. After a few minutes, she learned how to squeeze the toy in her jaws or lift and drop it onto the ground to release what was inside. She spent about 20 minutes on that Squirrel Dude, much of it trying to get one final treat to meet its delicious destiny. Next up was the Barnacle, an even bigger challenge for her, which she eagerly took on. And although she got a little frustrated with just how challenging it was, I didn’t trim the Treat Meter prongs because I knew that tiring her out meant she’d be less anxious in the end.
While I can’t say with 100-percent certainty that the chamomile scent worked its magic on my dog, the two treat dispensers helped redirect her when she needed something productive to do. She even went to take a nap in her crate after playing with the Busy Buddies. And the aroma was a nice change from the usual dog slobber smell.