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Five Low Calorie Dog Treats That Are Perfect to Use in Food Puzzles & Toys

Five Low Calorie Dog Treats That Are Perfect to Use in Food Puzzles & Toys

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There are few things that Koly loves more than a food puzzle.

Well, lets be honest. There are few things Koly loves more than a food anything. He’s half beagle and half pug, two breeds that are notorious food hounds, so he comes by his penchant for snacks naturally.

Last month, we shared how we use food puzzles to keep Kolchak busy during the cold, rainy winter months. I’m pretty sure I owe my sanity to Nina Ottosan and her dog puzzles. (Is it creepy to send someone you’ve never met a love note? Probs, eh?) The only trouble is that having a dog who plays a lot of food puzzles means you have a dog who gets a lot of food. If you’re not careful, that could lead to a dog who is overweight.

Confession folks: Koly is looking a little Roly Poly.

It’s nothing serious – yet, but he’s definitely put on a pound, maybe two. We’re resolving to eat less and move more, but we aren’t ready to give up food puzzles just yet. For my sanity and Koly’s, we decided to look for tasty low calorie treats, so we could keep playing with dog puzzles.


low calorie dog treats to use in food puzzles

Kolchak loves his Nina Ottosan Dog Casino


1. Vegetable Chunks

My dogs are both huge fans of vegetables and they will devour carrots, broccoli chunks, bell peppers or cauliflower florets. They aren’t always big enough fans of vegetables to work for them. My secret? Place a small piece of stinky high value treat in 1/4 to 1/2 the openings of your dog treat puzzle, then fill the rest of the puzzle with Veggies.

2. Fruitables Skinny Mini Training Treats

These tiny little bite sized treats pack a huge flavour and scent profile, with just a a couple calories each. (Like 2!) They smell so good Koly and Fe are particularly fond of the Mango flavour, but we’ve heard about a pineapple bacon flavour that Koly has demanded I hunt down for him.

3. High End Kibble


I know what you’re thinking: kibble is not that exciting. However, if you choose a different kibble than what you normally feed, especially in a another flavour, most dogs will treat kibble like a treat! You can deduct the amount you use in toys off their total daily kibble allowance or you can go ahead and feed every meal from a puzzle toy.

4. Homemade Training Treats


For those of us who have dogs with allergies, commercial treats are often out of the question. Get back to basics: treats as simple as lean meats, cooked and diced into 1/4″ cubes can make awesome puzzle toy treats or check out our homemade dog treat recipe using canned food or meat paste.

5. Freeze-dried treats like Purebites or Orijen Freeze Dried Treats


Freeze dried treats tend to be really low calorie and as an added bonus, they crumble really easily which means you can crush them and put treat dust in your puzzles. Your dog will have to stop to lick out the dust making the puzzle last longer.


What low calorie treats does your dog love? Would they be good to use in a food puzzle?

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Keep Your Dog Safe From Chocolate This Valentine's Day!

Monday 9th of May 2016

[…] We’re joining he Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop, hosted by Sugar, The Golden Retriever & Kol’s Notes! […]

Heather Buzby

Wednesday 28th of January 2015

"Plat puzzles" are magic words in this house and you DO NOT say them unless you intend to actually play puzzles! We usually reserve them for rainy days or days when Kayla and Ellie have donated blood and therefore can't be too physical. You mentioned the kibble - what I like to do is use the kibble portion of their dinners in our puzzles! We are up to 5 different puzzles... they're big dogs so I can easily divide up their dinner portions so each girl gets a go with 4 different puzzles. They LOVE it and a little time and training keeps each dog at their designated puzzles per turn so I know each are getting exactly the amount they are supposed to eat.


Tuesday 27th of January 2015

Great roundup! Dogtor told me today to lose a few lb because of my bad hips. We have been wanting to try your homemade training treats. We love Zukes too!

Jessica Shipman | Beagles and Bargains

Tuesday 27th of January 2015

I love giving Luna carrots, mostly because I think she looks hilarious when she eats one. I also love using Quickies from THK for photo shoots, but they are so darn smelly!


Tuesday 27th of January 2015

Harley uses Fruitables also in his puzzle treat games too. Sometimes I use kibble (just a different flavor from what he's fed) and he thinks it's a treat as well.

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