Monday, April 22, 2013

The Neverlasting Treat Ball

As many of you well know, Athena doesn't eat from a food bowl.  Rather, all of her food is delivered to her in treat dispensing toys, nosework games, or training.  Not only does Athena get tons of mental stimulation during each of her meals, she will occasionally get "snack" activities that also work to tire out her brain.  However, we've come to find out that not all food dispensing toys are what they're advertised to be.  For example, the StarMark Everlasting Treat Ball:



I have so graciously renamed it the Neverlasting Treat Ball for many reasons.  I first read about this very genius toy online when I was searching something like, "tough toys to tire my pit bull's brain out" many, many months ago.  I believe it was actually the very first treat dispensing toy that we had ever purchased other than a Kong.  I loved that the Everlasting Treat Ball was advertised as "puncture resistant," "for tough chewers," and "everlasting."

Photo via Petco.com

Well, silly ole' me bought the size medium that is designed for dogs 15-40 pounds.  Clearly I was out of touch with reality at the time because 1) Athena is over 40 pounds, and 2) although she's not a vigorous chewer, Athena still has quite the jaws.  When I got the toy home I was so excited for Athena to give it a try.  Not more than one minute later she had popped the special everlasting treat right out of the toy.  TOTAL FAIL.

Photo via Petco.com

Determined that Athena would get some use out of this quite expensive toy, I googled "how to make the Everlasting Treat Ball more difficult."  I didn't find much, but I was able to find a great visual description of a few different ways to insert the treat into the treat ball to increase the difficulty.  There's the "upside down insertion" and the "center cavity insertion" for putting the treat into the ball.  Athena was still able to pop the treat out easily with the upside down insertion.  Currently we have the treat in the center cavity and we allow Athena to play with the treat ball from time to time.  However, it's now WAY too difficult for her and we are going to have to use a drill if we ever want to remove the treat from the middle.


After months of sadness that the Everlasting Treat Ball would never outlast our Athena, I decided that maybe my poor judgement in the size of the toy was the problem all along.  So, while at Petco last week, I put the large sized ball into my cart and kindly asked the customer service if they would allow me to return the toy if Athena was able to pop the treat out of it.  They said yes!  I was SUPER excited for Athena to try out the new treat ball because it is quite a bit larger than the medium size, so I was sure that she wouldn't be able to outsmart it.

Photo via Tripawds.com

Oh boy, was I wrong.  The large size was actually EASIER for her than the medium!  What the heck.  She popped the treat out in under a minute.  I assumed it must have been a fluke, so I stuck it back in and let her have another go.  She popped it out.  I then tried the upside down insertion method and Athena quickly popped the treat out again!  Finally, I put the treat into the center cavity (the method that is much too difficult for her with the medium size) and she popped it out!  I returned the $25 toy to the store the next morning.


Unfortunately the Everlasting Treat Ball is just not the toy for Athena.  It may be perfect for some dogs, but I wouldn't recommend it for intense chewers.  We do however love the StarMark Everlasting Chew Ball (in a size large) and have found it to be super challenging, yet very fun for Athena.

Have you ever tried the Everlasting Treat Ball or another toy that didn't work out so well for your dog?

18 comments:

  1. I've learned that if it advertises itself as being "for tough chewers," it's definitely for weak to moderate chewers!

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  2. The Everlasting Treat Ball didn't work for us either. The boys were able to get the treat out in seconds flat. I didn't think to return it, though, so the blue ring part became outside toys that they occasionally chase in the backyard. Our search for a true "tough chewer" toy continues...

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  3. I've never tried the Everlasting Treat Ball, and based on the expert opinion of Athena, I don't think I'll waste the money.

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  4. Huh, that's so funny, Nola loves her treat ball. She pops out the cookie part every once in a while, but for the most part she chews away at it. I thought she was a strong chewer, but apparently Athena has her beat! Sorry it didn't work out.

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    1. Yeah, I'm totally shocked that Athena was able to get the trick out so quickly in 2 different treat balls because she is seriously not a big chewer. But, when we sets her mind on something, she usually succeeds. I'm glad Nola loves hers!!

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  5. My girls are definitely super chewers. They have the Starmark Everlasting Bento Ball in size large. They have never been able to get the treat out. Heck, my husband and I have a hard time getting it out when it is time to change it.

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    1. I've been interested in the Bento Ball, but I just feel like Athena will be able to pop the treat out of that too. I also can't find the large size at Petco or Petsmart and I'd want to return it if she got the treat out quickly. And you're right, it's SO hard to get the treats out of those toys I am so shocked how quickly Athena gets them out!

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    2. We got ours at Petsmart. We like it because you can put the chew treat in the one side and kibble in the other and it rolls around. Good luck!!

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  6. I feed a few of my dogs with toys as well. Here's what we use (other than the regular Kong):

    Kong Wobbler: awesome fun, but NOT a chew toy. My pittie killed it after the first feeding because I thought it was hard enough to withstand his teeth. Not. But can hold a lot of food at once, so great for the feeding part: http://www.kongcompany.com/products/for-dogs/interactive/wobbler-2/wobbler/

    Kong Genius. Excellent treat dispenser, excellent chew toy: http://www.kongcompany.com/products/for-dogs/interactive/genius/genius-mike/

    Squirrel dude: similar to a Kong, but cuter. http://www.premier.com/View.aspx?page=dogs/products/behavior/busybuddy/squirreldude/description

    Busy Buddy Linkables: We actually only use the blue one of these. Great as a food dispenser, excellent as a chew toy: http://www.amazon.com/Premier-Busy-Buddy-Linkables-Value/dp/B003SLWJ1G/ref=sr_1_39?ie=UTF8&qid=1366643372&sr=8-39&keywords=%22busy+buddy%22

    The BEST thing by FAR, The GREEN by Northmate: easily holds 2 cups of food at a time and takes my pitties and boxer FOREVER to get all the food out. Also NOT a chew toy so needs to be taken away after the food is gone. http://northmate.com/category/products/green/

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  7. I have yet to find a toy that will stand up to Dottie, our super chewer. I'm not going to try this one, I know she'll be just as good as Athena at popping out the treats.

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  8. My new pit pup loves the "tricky treat ball" . At 1st she didnt know how to get the treats out but now she keeps it rollin' all over the house!

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  9. For super tough chewers, try goughnuts (yes that's the spelling). They have a few different styles of toys and they will replace the toy if your dog chews through it. I know they have a Kong type toy but I'm not sure if they have any treat dispensing toys. In the past I have used the Busy Buddy waggle treat dispenser and it stood up to a heavy duty chewer : )

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  10. Mom thinks about getting me this Everlasting Neverlasting treat ball every time she sees it, and now she is glad she hasn't done it! She did just get me an Orbee-Tuff Mazee, which is fun and a lot quieter than my Kong Wobbler, but it's really easy for me to get my kibbles out...

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  11. A fellow volunteer would bring this toy out to adoption events and I watched a couple different dogs go at it for long lengths of time. These are dogs who probably never even had a treat dispensing toy in their life so that may be part of it? I took it home for our foster Kylie because she loved the toy and had crate anxiety. Well that was ridiculous of me--she demolished the toy. It later turned into a chew toy for Taylor since Kylie had already ruined it. NOT puncture resistant! But again, I shouldn't have left her alone with it.
    Athena's a smarty pants!

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  12. I know this is years later; however, the directions say to moisten the treat and allow it to dry before giving it to the dog. When we follow those directions - it hardens into place - it takes our dog about 2.5 hours to eat the whole thing. My problem is how big the treat is - we try to keep most of her calories from wholesome foods and this thing is huge. So she only gets it when we're going to be gone a long time.

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