Montreal Dog Blog readers! Hey! How are ya? What’s up? So, I have a question: who likes to eat? Personally, I enjoy it very much. So much that I do it several times a day. I’m lucky because I get to decide what I eat and how I eat it but our dogs and cats aren’t so lucky. Most of us keep our pets on kibble. The magnitude of dry food available for our pets is staggering but this blog isn’t on kibble options, it’s about a different aspect of eating, ‘how’ our pets eat their meals.
What you have sitting on your bed, walking on your countertops, emptying the kitchen garbage, watching tv, sleeping on your sofa and running down your hallway (trying to trip you) is an animal. A domesticated animal, but an animal nonetheless. The crazy antics your pet gets into is all due to that little noggin of theirs. Part of our pets actions and reactions are due to the socializing and interacting we do with our beloved furry friends. The other is all them. With that noted, left to their own devices, personality and instinct kicks-in and purpose rears it’s demanding head.
Product: Aikiou Interactive Feeders for dogs and cats.
It’s 5:54 am. The alarm next to the bed would normally go off in six minutes so you could get up and start your day. It’s not though. This is because today’s a holiday. Only one problem with this, the cat doesn’t care and he’s walking on your face. You roll over and mumble, “go away.”
6:03am. Eyes closed. Half asleep and listening to birds chirp you hear the first thing hit the floor. A hair brush. Then the second. Sunglasses. You sit up. The cat meows. You get up. The cat jumps down from the dresser and runs to the kitchen. Good morning!
I am often amazed at how cunning my pets can be and I guess that’s because history taught them to be like that. Their ancestors survival depended on it – which totally explains knocking over my stuff at dawn to feed them #thatisalie.
Recently Aikiou sent me some interactive feeders and plush toys that are wicked awesome. SOOOO much fun, for both the pet and owner. I had a blast watching them figure out the feeders and the animals enjoyed the challenge.
Pros: Oh my gosh, where do I begin!? Aikiou has gone above and beyond with these bowls. My personal favorite being the cat bowl. Aikiou decided that meal time shouldn’t just feed the body but also the intellect.
To demonstrate the interactive cat feeder – and how personality plays a huge role when considering these bowls – I’ll be introducing y’all to Nola. Nearing two years young, Nola was getting kicked out of her farm house for not being a mouser before she moved in with my gurl Laura. Even though Nola’s not down for chasing live rodents she does enjoy a challenge. Her sociable nature makes her the center of attention when company comes over, keeping busy rearranging the apartment even on her own, Nola is an active young lady in the city and apparently she really doesn’t believe in working for her food.
At first Nola was totally into the bowl. And by ‘at first’ I mean the first twenty-four hours. I really wanted to get a video of her using it (mainly cuz she’s so darn cute!) but she really couldn’t be bothered with it. In lieu of Nola’s disinterest, here’s a video of my lovely young man Jack and my beautiful Margot Kidder using it. Nola may have lost interest in this feeder but my furry dudes still enjoy it.
What I liked most about these feeders, is that they transcend time. It doesn’t matter if you’re a year and a half old cat (Jack) or a twelve year old golden retriever (who you’ll meet later on in this entry.) Aikiou has made a game for all animal ages.
The bowls: Aikiou interactive feeders come in multiple styles, colors and sizes. Some bowls are more challenging than others but all encourage problem solving skills to acquire their grub. The bowls are dishwasher friendly, easy to take apart and reassemble for cleaning.
Bowl benefits: Aikiou has found a way to exercise your pets natural instincts to hunt for their food. The confidence acquired by the mental gymnastics these bowls provide is of equal importance to your pet’s physical health. Another super reason to love Aikiou interactive feeders? These bowls keep that head of theirs busy and active in a way that manages to channel those negative habits resulting from boredom. ie: knocking stuff off dressers, going through garbage, separation anxiety and discovering things around the house that would look cool destroyed.
One negative habit some dogs develop that’s actually a tad dangerous is speed eating. The ‘speed eater’ goes at food like they’ve never eaten. This type of ravenous eating style can possibly result in chocking, gagging, upset stomach. Aikiou feeders encourage eating slowly. Thereby encouraging a smooth digestion process.
Cons: if any, it would be in regard to the size of the mouth opening. Box/squared/round – if your dog is any of those (think golden, boxer, boston, pug, bulldog, newfoundlander) there will be a real challenge getting the kibblets. Example? Meet Lady,
Lady reminds me of Madonna because, like Madonna, Lady is afraid of thunder and lightening. Lady has a few anxiety related “issues.” I really enjoyed Lady’s response to Aikiou’s feeders because, even though she became frustrated and walked away, she returned a couple minutes later to give it another shot. Her focus was maintained on the feeder versus the concerns she perceives. Bowls like Aikiou make for a great adjuncts to help ween dogs away from their separation anxieties.
Overall: Some prefer is as a treat/game versus a mealtime dish, either way, Aikiou has taken the idea of traditional dinner or treat time to another level. These interactive feeders are a great way to entertain your pet. What I enjoy most about Aikiou is that they make learning fun, either for the pet to do on their own or with you, leaving no room for boredom.
Price: approx. $20 – 30.
Where to buy: http://www.iqbowl.com/
Ps. Lets say you wanna have some fun interactive time with your dog but sans food, time for fur ball squeakies! Aikiou squeakies are fluffy but durable, best part the squeak lasts. A plain fluffy ball with nothing squeaking isn’t as fun as one that does. This is because the noise attracts the dog making the toys a reward (like the treat did with the bowls.) This can make training time fun ‘you and me’ time too!
Here’s a quick video of Phoenix (the regal Shiba Inu I mentioned in my last entry) doin’ some basic agility with the squeaky in mind. My next blog for Fur Preferred will be looking more into the fun world that is agility with the help of treats by Superior Farms Pet Provisions.