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While food puzzles are often touted as one of the best enrichment options for pups (which they are!) a common question is: Can raw and dehydrated food devotees use food puzzles?
They sure can!
Unfortunately, some puzzles are simply designed for kibble. That said, there are options and ways to MacGyver puzzles to work for raw and dehydrated food.
The Easiest Solution
Some dehydrated food comes in big chunks that are easily broken apart into kibble-style bites. Then, all you need to do is load up the puzzle with the bite-sized bits and let your dog go to town. This can be a messy endeavor, however. Consider this option for dining al fresco, or put a machine-washable sheet under the puzzle toy.
DIY Dehydrated Organ Meat
Dehydrate your own organ meat. Organ mean is a raw feeder fave, and dehydrating it preserves the nutrition while making it super easy to stuff into a puzzle. Slice your organ meat into super thin slices. Tip: To simplify the slicing, freeze the meat for an hour beforehand. It makes those thin cuts much easier. Set your oven to its lowest setting (usually around 180-degrees F), and line a baking sheet with a wire cooling rack. Place the meat strips on the rack and bake. It usually takes a few hours, give or take an hour on either side, depending on the thickness of your slices. Once complete, chop them up into bite-sized bits and stuff into a puzzle!
If you’re using a puzzle that can be stuffed, grind your meat, and you’re good to go! If it has chambers or is designed for sniffing, consider freezing tiny bites of meat into an ice cube tray with a bit of water. It makes it easier–and a little less messy!
Raw and dehydrated food lovers can use puzzle toys with any one or a combination of these three simple DIY solutions.