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Why you want this: Just as we humans treat ourselves to new forms of entertainment with streaming services and video games, our pups likewise deserve new diversions. The Hide a Squirrel Toy from Outward Hound combines the appeal of a plush toy with a puzzle, featuring a tree trunk base with strategically placed holes encasing little squeaky squirrels. This gives your dog the challenge of rooting around for the squeakers, followed by the satisfaction of settling down for a good chew.
What the experts say: Amy Roberts, writing for Wirecutter, says that her Chihuahua-poodle mix “typically has trouble paying attention to squeaky toys for more than a few minutes at a time, but the more challenging setup of three squeaky squirrels in a tree-trunk-shaped pouch will keep him going for hours. He fishes squirrels out, then runs around like crazy with whichever one is left in his mouth last.”
What the people say: A less messy opportunity for mayhem. (“Our dog absolutely loves this toy! She likes to tear the stuffing out of her other toys and then sticks her nose in the shell to root around for more. This toy fulfills her desire to root around for stuff without making the mess we so loathe.”)
High entertainment value. (“I have two pit bull mixes and a 4-year-old German shepherd. The shepherd was imported from Germany and is a highly trained working dog so it’s hard to find toys that actually entertain her. I bought three of these, one for each dog … the German shepherd LOVED these toys! She spent HOURS playing with them and was very upset that I wouldn’t let her take them outside with her. I’m still finding little squirrel bodies hidden here and there!”)
The Outward Hound Hide a Squirrel Toy is now $10, or 20 percent off the regular price. (Note: This price is for the junior size—the toy is available at sizes through “ginormous”; all sizes are at least 20 percent off.)