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This interactive toy keeps dogs occupied for hours — and it's down to $17

Welcome to the dog days of 2024! Why have we christened the new year thusly? Because, from playful pups to mature mutts, canines of all persuasions — and their owners — are obsessed with an ingenious toy, the one interactive toy that does it all: the Starmark Treat Dispensing Bob-a-Lot. The mentally stimulating toy helps pets exercise and stay engaged while they work to disperse food and treats. It has an anti-slip weighted base so it can tilt and bob around, keeping Spot guessing as to when and where the treats will spill out. speaking of treats: Right now the Bob-a-Lot is on sale at Amazon for $17 (was $18).

This handy dog-entertaining tool dispenses treats as your pup plays. It's also durable, so you don't have to worry about it getting annihilated quickly.

$17 at Amazon

Why is this a good deal?

For that $17, you get literally hours of entertainment for your pup — and you can use it again and again. That alone is worth a ton. But this handy toy is at its lowest price since July, making now a great time to snap it up.

Why do I need this?

Simply put: Dogs like to be entertained but, ya know, you have a life, too.

The Bob-a-Lot is available in two sizes—the small one is good for treats and little snacks, while the larger size ($21) will fit an entire meal. Both have adjustable openings to control the release of food in each of its two chambers to keep pups busy. The Bob-a-Lot is a quick and easy way to keep your furry friend occupied, which in turn helps prevent destructive behaviors, boredom and, well, distracting you.

Dog in the grass with a Starmark Bob-a-Lot toy.
Spending $17 on a dog toy may give you paws, but we're not barking up the wrong tree when we tell you that you, and your four-legged friend, will derive years of fun from the Bob-a-Lot, no bones about it. (Photo: Starmark)

What reviewers say

Bob-a-Lot fans have found numerous uses for it. One important one? Its slow-feeding can help over-enthusiastic pups from avoid digestive problems from gorging.

"Perfect for fast eaters," one reviewer claimed. "My 9-month-old Shepherd-Husky mix vacuums up her meals in less than a minute. No slow-feeder bowl or tennis ball will slow her down. Even putting her food spilled out on the floor only slowed her down a smidge. This dispenser has been amazing. I currently have it open fully and it has slowed down her eating to seven whole minutes!"

"We have named this little gem "Sir Bobs-a-lot" and he has made mealtime way more enjoyable," said a dog parent who gave it five stars. "I think our 10-month-old yellow Lab enjoys it, too, but it was more a gift to myself to lengthen out mealtime. It does the trick!! I can now give her breakfast and get myself a cup of coffee and she is still going. I really like that you can adjust the opening for treat/kibble size and/or ease of dispensing. Great product!"

In some cases, the Bob-a-Lot has not only helps dogs eat slower, but also aids in weight loss.

Another added, “I have a Cavalier King Charles that was put on a diet by his vet for being 10 pounds overweight. I bought this toy to put his food rather than his treats in. It is amazing. It slows his eating and makes him look forward to food time because it’s more of a game. I’m so glad I got this toy.”

Those who use the toy to keep pups busy say it can also help calm nerves for dogs with behavioral issues.

"Helps dogs with separation anxiety," explained this happy parent. "Our dog has high anxiety when we leave the house and this really helps him focus on something else besides us leaving. I fill the ball with treats and he is off working on the treats while I leave."

"If you have a smart, high-energy dog, this is really valuable," said this five-star fan. "We adopted a little rescue pup in January.... He is really intelligent, friendly and sweet, but definitely requires more exercise and challenges than dogs we have had in the past. This toy, while isn't giving him much exercise per se, is challenging him and occupying him for long stretches."

Whether your love muffin is a diminutive dachshund or a supersized setter, there's big fun in your future with one of these.

$17 at Amazon

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

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