Nina Ottosson dog brick activity toy

Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Activity Toy Review

Nina Ottosson dog brick activity toy

The Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Activity Toy is a wonderful way to provide mental stimulation to dogs of all ages, sizes and abilities. We are all aware of the importance of physical exercise, but less so of the need for mental stimulation. Puzzles, games and activity toys are great ways to challenge the mind, prevent boredom and help work off excess energy. I am looking for a new interactive toy for my dogs, and thought this Dog Brick Activity Toy might be a good choice. Here’s what I have found out.

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Perfect for dogs of all ages and abilities

The first thing that struck me was how perfect this toy is for any dog. From puppies to seniors all dogs can get bored, anxious and depressed with nothing to do, often resorting to destructive behaviours to relieve frustration.

If your dog is recovering from surgery or injury that is keeping him housebound or on limited activity, this will provide a much needed break. Not to mention an opportunity to release some pent up energy with no danger of harming himself or impeding his recovery.

Older dogs will benefit from the mental stimulation, keeping their brains working and possibly reducing the chance of getting dementia, or reducing the severity.

In my case Jack is recovering from spinal surgery, and although he’s now able to walk quite well he can’t overdo it, so mental stimulation is an important part of his day. My senior dog Red is blind with some dementia, so giving her a challenge she can complete using her nose is perfect.  

Adjustable level of difficulty

Not all dogs learn at the same pace or are challenged by the same things. What I like about this Dog Brick Activity Toy is the ability to adjust the level of difficulty, making it quite easy at the beginning, more challenging as your dog learns. A puzzle your dog can solve on the first try with no way of gradually increasing the level of difficulty, will be of no use.  

Features and Specifications

  • Your dog has to figure out how to get the treat you’ve hidden under the brick in each of the 12 treat chambers
  • The bricks slide to reveal the treat
  • Increase the level of difficulty by locking the brick in place with a plastic bone cover. The dog has to figure out how to push the bone out to move the brick
  • Comes with info sheet with tips on how best to use it
  • Made with BPA free, non-toxic, food safe plastic
  • Easy to wash
  • Good for wet and dry treats
  • Mix some canned dog food with water, pour some of the mixture into the slots, put it in the freezer to keep your dog busier or to cool off on hot days

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Customer Scores

I found 48 customer reviews at the time of writing and they had awarded the Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Activity Toy 4.3 stars out of a possible 5 on average.

What people who have bought this are saying

“This puzzle is awesome!”

“I’ve had “The Brick” dog toy for four years for my doggy. She has other puzzle toys, too, but The Brick is her favorite. My dog is nearly 70lbs yet this toy is sturdy enough for her snout.”

“If you’re afraid your pet isn’t smart enough, not to fear. This toy is geared for the lightbulb to the lighthouse.”

Drawbacks

One common theme among those who weren’t entirely pleased with this product was how easily their dog had gotten the treats. They were hoping the puzzle would be more challenging, and provide entertainment for a much longer period of time.

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Conclusion

As with almost everything, you’ll find people who love it and people who don’t. When it comes to puzzle toys it’s not uncommon for some dogs to find them easy to solve while others have more difficulty.

Environmental enrichment is critical for our dog’s wellbeing, so I recommend a variety of toys, puzzles and games to keep your dog’s interest, and the Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Activity Toy should be included.

I like that it will challenge Red and keep her busy, and it is important for me to know that regardless of physical ability any dog can benefit. Most real buyers of this product are extremely pleased with their purchase and would recommend this puzzle to others.

 

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dog tornado interactive toy review

Dog Tornado Activity Toy Review

dog tornado interactive toy review

 

Product: Dog Tornado Interactive Toy (Nina Ottosson)

Place to buy: Amazon.com

Product specifications: 11.5 inches x 9 inches x 4 inches

My rating: 8//10

Product Overview

The Dog Tornado interactive toy is designed to stimulate and challenge your dog mentally. It is a four tier, bone shaped, swivel toy, with compartments for hiding treats. Also included in the box are three bone shaped compartment covers, which can be used to increase the level of difficulty.

The object of the game is for your dog to figure out how to move the tiers, in order to reach the food. You create the level of difficulty by leaving the tiers open, partially open, or completely closed, and by adding compartment covers.

The Dog Tornado is suitable for dogs of any size, age or ability. Also great for senior dogs, and those recuperating from surgery or injury. I add “surgery and illness” because if your dog is stuck in the house, with limited opportunities to go for a walk, he will likely start to feel frustrated. Mental stimulation, through interactive toys such as this one, will help release pent up energy. 

It is made of high quality heavy duty plastic, is dishwasher safe, and easy to clean.

I’d like to share the benefits it has brought to my dogs’ lives

I’ve lived with my share of dogs who couldn’t walk very far, or were so abused they were too scared to go out. While I made sure they got physical exercise, it was important for me to provide mental stimulation as well. That’s why I bought the dog tornado.

Some dogs took longer to figure it out then others, and there are ways to increase the challenge, but it isn’t a terribly difficult puzzle. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because there’s a challenge and then there’s frustration!!

Even if we just play with it for 5 or 10 minutes, it is a good outlet for unspent energy which helps with problem behaviours. It also allows for the creation of a deeper bond while we play together.

Lately one of my dogs hasn’t been as interested in his food as he should be. To vary his meal routine I sometimes put part, or all, of his meal in the Dog Tornado. He looks forward to meal time now.

When one of my dogs was recovering from surgery and couldn’t go out for a walk, I made sure we played with the dog tornado to help keep frustration at bay.

Click here to watch a video I made of the Dog Tornado

Features

dog tornado interactive toy

There are four compartments in each tier that can be filled with treats, wet or dry food. You can even make doggie ice cream by mixing some canned food or sausages with water, pouring the mixture into the compartments and letting it set in the freezer.

The level of difficulty is determined by you – make it easy by keeping the tiers open and the compartments visible, or increase the challenge by partially or fully closing the tiers, or using the compartment covers.

The Dog Tornado is perfect for keeping your dog mentally challenged. It staves off boredom, helps improve behaviour, and aids in cognitive function in senior dogs.

Any size, age, breed or level of fitness can use this interactive dog toy, although if you have a small breed tiny puppy, you may just need to keep the tiers open!! More than one dog can play with it at a time for extra fun.

Great for senior dogs who aren’t able to get much physical exercise, dogs recovering from illness or surgery, or even during rough weather when the dogs can’t get out enough.

Dogs who are less than cooperative at meal time, often become more interested when given their meal in the Dog Tornado. It makes it fun!!

It’s also good for dogs who think they’re vacuum cleaners. Dividing the food amongst the compartments then closing all the tiers, means slower eating time.

Stay with your dog, encourage him, bond with him. It’s preferable to end your session while he’s still interested, rather than when you have to because he walked away.

It is constructed of high quality plastic that will take a lot of rough treatment from your dog.

Easy to clean with water and dishwashing liquid or in the dishwasher. Rinse thoroughly.

Drawbacks

I must admit my younger dog finds the treats really quickly. I have to make it more challenging using the compartment covers. My research did reveal some negative experiences from people who purchased the Dog Tornado, which I will share with you.

  • Toy was not challenging – treats found too quickly and dog lost interest
  • White bones got too slippery for dogs to remove from compartments
  • Expensive for what it is 
  • Difficulty level should be rated easy, not medium
  • Says it’s dishwasher safe, but doesn’t come apart

The Dog Tornado will provide much needed mental stimulation  

Dogs need physical exercise and mental stimulation, to be healthy and well adjusted companions. No it isn’t the most challenging toy out there, but not everything has to be difficult. It’s nice to have a mix of levels to vary the games you play with your dog.

Where to buy

 click here to order the dog tornado