We live and breathe food toys around my house; almost every meal comes out of one. Maisy’s favorite kibble-dispensing toy is the Tug-a-Jug, so when the rubber rope on hers finally broke last fall, I immediately went out and bought another one.
Despite the fact that I had a working replacement, the hoarder in me just couldn’t throw away what was an otherwise perfectly good toy, so I started experimenting with ways to use the jug without the tug. I started with the old stand by: I threw a couple of tennis balls in the jug along with her kibble. That worked, but it wasn’t very challenging. Next, I crumpled up a piece of paper and stuffed it in there. This was better, but still too easy for my food-toy connoisseur. Then I hit on the winning combination: a series of cardboard layers inside.
I really like this method because it’s both cheap and easy to make yourself. It changes the way your dog interacts with the toy, basically making it like a brand-new toy. And best of all, it’s fully adjustable because you can add or remove layers to create the right difficulty level for your dog. In fact, compared to using a Tug-a-Jug the traditional way, Maisy’s repurposed one takes her almost twice as long to empty, meaning I get that much more time without a tennis ball in my lap!
Intrigued? Want to try it yourself? Follow along…
Materials Needed: Cardboard, scissors, and a pen or pencil.
Step 1: Take the lid off your Tug-a-Jug, set it upright on the cardboard, and trace it. Then, draw a second circle around that, about an inch away.
Step 2: Using your scissors, cut it out along the outer line. Then, cut a series of strips towards the center, stopping at the inner line.
Step 3: Tear out every other strip. Fold the remaining ones up in the same direction.
Step 4: Make a hole anywhere inside the remaining solid area. The easiest way to do this is to stab the cardboard with your scissors and twist until the hole is the right size. Bigger holes will obviously be easier for the kibble to fall through.
Step 5: Place the cardboard inside the Tug-a-Jug. Right now, Maisy is using three layers, with each layer arranged so that the holes do not line up on top of each other. Allow enough room between each layer for the kibble to move freely. Once you’ve put all the layers in, add kibble, replace the lid, and enjoy!