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The last few years have been, um, a lot. And our dogs, like many of us, continue to feel new and exciting levels of stress. You might turn to yoga, a long Epsom salt bath, or, more likely for me, hours of trashy television, but dogs require much less to reach their zen. Often, a simple, engaging toy can be enough to help them chill out and relax. Because of this, Wildest Expert Collective member Nicole Ellis recently recommended a few that she believes can get the job done. One of which was Woof’s The Pupsicle, a modern update to the classic fillable toy.
“I love the idea of Pupsicle. You can freeze anything from bone broth to fruit, yogurt, peanut butter, etc. [The Pupsicle offers] endless possibilities which make it customizable for many dogs with various dietary restrictions,” Ellis says. The Pupsicle’s versatility is, in large part, due to its adaptable design. The toy is roughly the size of a tennis ball and features a hollowed center for packing in frozen treats. It works similarly to coffee K-Cups but instead of being terrible for the environment, it’s great for your dog’s anxiety.
The “starter pack” includes a bag of Pupsicle Pops, edible balls made mostly of chicken or beef and peanut butter. Just load one into the center of The Pupsicle, and your dog will have their mind stimulated and appetite satisfied for upwards of 40 minutes. Additionally, if you lean more toward the DIY aesthetic, this pack also comes with a treat mold tray that’ll allow you to make your own pops. Ellis adds, “I love [having] the ability to freeze so many various fillers, and it’s really easy to do. Fill the included mold, freeze, put the frozen mold in The Popsicle, and screw on the top, and it’s ready to go.”
Of course, we’re here to help our dogs relax, and The Pupsicle doesn’t skimp in that area, either. In fact, it was made with this desire in mind. Similar to a lick mat, Woof’s creation is designed to capture your pup’s attention by distracting their mind with a rewarding task. “The licking keeps dogs engaged, can cause calming, and keep them busy while The Pupsicle can roll and move about, making it more challenging than a static lick mat. It’s extremely user-friendly and easy for anyone to make for their dog too,” Ellis explains.
Now, that doesn’t mean The Pupsicle is for everybody or everybody’s dog. Like any toy or treat, some pups just don’t vibe with it. “I know quite a few dogs, though, [who], unfortunately, don’t love this toy despite their use of other frozen toys out there. My own dogs will lick it a little but don’t stay engaged and often I find it melting somewhere in my house,” Ellis says. At least with her own pups, Ellis points to its core material as a possible culprit for their disinterest. “My only presumption is that the rubber doesn’t have much give to it and perhaps isn’t as enjoyable for them to chew and play with compared to other products on the market.”
Beyond some dogs’ indifference, Ellis warns that given the rubber makeup of this toy, aggressive chewers might be able to easily rip small pieces of it off. This not only creates a choking hazard but ingesting these bits can lead to internal blockages. However, Ellis notes that approaching the toy with initial caution and supervising your dog’s earliest interactions with it will minimize any risks.
All that being said, Woof’s Pupsicle is still a promising proposition. It’s engaging, calming, easy to set up, and even easier to clean. Plus at $25, it’s not a huge investment — unlike the hours of CW shows I binge to chill out.
Veterinary behaviorist Dr. Valli Parthasarathy reccos the most durable dog toys for destructive players.
Let the games begin.
No more wiping up saliva-covered kibble.
Once your dog gets ahold of this gorgeous toy, they’re gonna “need to calm down” for sure.
Two words: Endless entertainment.
Technically, you can live without this stuff, but we don’t recommend it.
Sean Zucker is a writer whose work has been featured in Points In Case, The Daily Drunk, Posty, and WellWell. He has an adopted Pit Bull named Banshee whose work has been featured on the kitchen floor and whose behavioral issues rival his own.