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Canine University 71 Clinton St. Malden, MA
Cameo's Product Review:

Product- The Molecuball $5.00-7.00 AND The Zanies Giggle Treat Ball, $7.00

Being the new puppy in the house, Reggae and Stryker have named me official new toy tester. I love all toys but especially the ones that dispense food ! Iím not too destructive a puppy, so Iím not sure toy durability is my strong suit, but Iíll give it a whirl.

Mom is always buying me new toys to play with. Itís kind of a fetish with her, I guess, but I really donít mind. I am so much more content when I have had a chance to play with something new and interesting. Since Iím almost eight months old they like me to take the new toy for a spin because they want to see how long it takes me to destroy it. Honestly Iím not a big chewer, but I am quite clever if I can say so myself.

The two toys that I tested are the Molecuball in the 3 inch size and the Zanies Giggle Treat Ball. Both toys work in a similar fashion: your mom or dad fills them up with treats (my mom favors dry dog food or Cheerios) and then you roll it around to make the food fall out. There are tons of these types of toys on the market but these two versions are really unique and fun.

The Molecuball is made from a hard plastic and comes in two sizes- 3 inches and 5 inches. The larger size could be used by dogs both big and small but the smaller size should probably be for puppies and small dogs only. It also comes in two colors- red and blue. The toy itself is shaped like a molecule: three circles stacked pyramid-style with all round edges.

I use my nose to flip the toy around and around until it drops out the goods, but you could use a paw. Itís a bit of work to get all the food out since the toy doesnít roll unless you flip it. One feature that is nice for beginners is that the food dispensing hole is fairly large, so the food falls out at a fairly moderate rate as long as you keep pushing it around. If it would be novel for your dog to get their dinner out of a toy this would be a great toy to start with. For dogs that figure things out quickly, or are just plain stomachs with legs (like Reggae and Stryker), this toy might be too simple in itís design to entertain them for very long. Also, if yours is a big chewer this might not work since the plastic it is made of has a slight flexiblity to it and isnít meant for determined chewers. Mom says itís easy to clean- just rinse out with soap and water and let air dry. The price varies weíve found from somewhere around five dollars for the small version to around seven dollars for the larger version. All in all the Molecuball might be something worth asking Santa for.

The Giggle Treat Ball is a little more of a challenge and a bit more entertaining. What I like best about it is that the ball makes a giggle sound when it rolls across the floor. This toy is a round ball made of a soft rubber, which makes for a lot less noise if you are giving it a workout on a hardwood or linoleum floor. The air vents all around the ball are what make the giggle sound so there are no batteries to change or worry about. The treat opening is adjustable so that not only can your mom or dad put in different size treats, they can also adjust the opening to increase the difficulty of getting the food out.

This is great for dogs that have really mastered these treat dispensing toys and makes the whole thing much more interesting. The Giggle Treat Ball comes in a variety of colors including red, aqua and purple; and can be purchased on line or in pet catalogs for around seven dollars. This is not a chew toy, however itís fairly large size is in general too big for a medium size dog to get his mouth around. I suppose if you are a large breed dog or have a big mouth you could pick it up and try to chew it. If you are into working for your supper this is definitely a toy to check out. Who knows- you may find one of these under your Christmas tree if you look cute or hungry enough ! Hope Santa is good to you....see you in class soon !