Perfect for dogs that need to be kept busy, treat toys are a godsend to pet parents. But did you know that there’s an art to stuffing treat toys – and it’s what we call a sausage gun!
Stuffing treat toys is a full-time job in our house. We spend hours stocking up on a supply of treat dispensing toys to keep the pack happy. Our dogs enjoy regular treat stuffed toy dispensers as part of their enrichment and routine. We have a lot of dogs, so that means we have a lot of stuffing to do. Filling toy after toy is a tedious task, and honestly, we were getting a little sick of it.
Why continue, you ask? As responsible pet parents we want the best for our pack! Sitting down with a frozen treat is a great way to stave off boredom, cool down after exercise and keep busy when company drops in. By chewing and licking out their food, they are working hard for it. Meal times become enrichment time.
Despite the benefits, it’s still a whole lot of work. Trying to cram as many treats as I can fit into those little holes makes my hands sore and my eyes water. In our house cleaning the toilet is preferred to stuffing dog toys. Well, it used to be. That all changed the day we got a sausage gun!
What is a sausage gun? Think of a super cool space laser cannon that totally destroys the enemy with a clean shot of hyper focused light. It’s like that, except it’s filled with meat and stuff that you can shoot right into a dog toy. Yeah, it’s gross and super weird, but it works! And it makes treat filling a breeze. A meat smelling breeze, but a breeze nonetheless.
We simply gather all my dogs’ favorite goodies, toss them in the blender, whirl away and then pour the mess into the end of the sausage gun (aka a caulking gun that’s never been used for caulking). Squeeze the trigger and away we go! We freeze the treat dispensing toys at least overnight, so it takes them a bit longer to work it all out.
Our favorite things to squeeze out of the sausage gun? Well, here are a few family favorites:
- Natural Peanut Butter
- Natural Applesauce
- Canned pumpkin (sparingly)
- Cream cheese (sparingly)
- Ground meat
- Greek yogurt
- Mashed carrots
- Cooked rice
Simply take any of the above ingredients, mix them up, add some water and pour into the sausage gun! Always remember to introduce new foods slowly to your dog to avoid an upset stomach or diarrhea.
If you are buying a sausage/caulking gun, make sure it’s dishwasher safe – because things are going get really messy really fast.
Kevin Roberts lives for adventure. Together with his pack of rescue dogs and his husband, he spends as much time outdoors as possible. Kevin lives by the motto: “Get outside and play with your dogs!”