It’s still winter here in Minnesota. As I type this, there is snow falling outside of my window. Glia and I are about to head out for a walk, but our outdoor time is a little more limited this time of year. All summer, Glia likes to lay out in the backyard and chase squirrels. But in the winter, we head out for a walk and then back inside. And after a long day of work and a walk, I’m ready to sit on the couch and relax and she’s still ready for activity.
There are several ways to keep your dog stimulated and engaged indoors, but one of my favorite (and easiest) solutions is food dispensing toys. And when it comes to food dispensing toys, there is no better option than a West Paw Toppl.
*Before we begin, please be aware that this post contains affiliate links, both to Amazon and West Paws. I am an affiliate for both and will earn from qualifying purchases. But please also note, I purchased my first West Paws Toppl with my own hard-earned money and only pursued an affiliate relationship with them after I fell in love with their product.
What is a West Paw Toppl?
Good question. First off, West Paw is a brand. And a pretty cool brand at that.
West Paw is based in Montana, USA and per the website, they are “dedicated to the pets we love, the people who care for them, and the planet we all share.” Yep, this small company not only cares about dogs, but they strive to be environmentally friendly also.
To make their products as sustainable as possible, West Paws uses a product called Zogoflex. This USA-made proprietary formula is a plastic blend that is long-lasting and non-toxic. But even better, when your dog is done with his or her Zogoflex toy, you can return it to the company to be ground up and recycled into a new Zogoflex toy.
To “Join the Loop” and help make your dog’s Zogoflex toy a zero-waste product, you simply need to mail any used Zogoflex toy back to West Paw in Bozeman, MT.
Additionally, West Paw is a certified B Corp company. I honestly, hadn’t heard of this certification before, so for those of you who haven’t heard of this certification either, here is a link to BCorporation.com.
B Corp Certification is a designation that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials. In order to achieve certification, a company must:
-Demonstrate high social and environmental performance by achieving a B Impact Assessment score of 80 or above and passing our risk review. Multinational corporations must also meet baseline requirement standards.
-Make a legal commitment by changing their corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders, and achieve benefit corporation status if available in their jurisdiction.
-Exhibit transparency by allowing information about their performance measured against B Lab’s standards to be publicly available on their B Corp profile on B Lab’s website.https://www.bcorporation.net/en-us/certification
You can learn more about how West Paw achieves this certification on their website.
Alright, so that’s a little bit of information about West Paws, but what is a Toppl?
A Toppl is a durable Zogoflex dog toy in a rounded shape with an open top and soft inner “teeth” designed to be filled with a dog’s favorite kibble or treats. Basically, it is a different (and in my opinion, superior) version of a Kong dog toy. But since a picture is worth a thousand words, here. These are Toppls.
Toppl Product Specs
The Toppl comes in 3 sizes – Small, Large, and XL. And currently on the West Paws website, the Toppl comes in 3 colors – Tangerine, Granny Smith, and Aqua Blue.
As mentioned above, the Toppl is made from Zogoflex, so it is very durable, recyclable, and it floats! This material is also BPA-free, Latex Free, and FDA-compliant.
And one of the features that make this such a wonderful dog toy to use regularly, is that the Toppl is dishwasher safe! Yep, that’s right. When your dog is done playing with this toy, you can pop it in the dishwasher to get it clean before filling it with more food or treats.
Additionally, for an enhanced challenge, you can interlock different sizes so it is harder for your dog to get treats out of the Toppl. The size small fits in the size large. And the size large fits in the size XL.
The Toppls are also backed by West Paws “Love It Guarantee” so if these don’t work well for you and your dog, West Paw will replace or refund you. (Please be aware, however, that this guarantee only works once per toy design.)
How to Use the Toppl (and why I love it!)
The Toppl can be filled with a variety of dog food or toys. For the simplest use, just pour some of your dog’s food into the Toppl and let them eat dinner from the Toppl rather than a bowl. This will work similarly to a slow-feeder bowl AND you can through it in a dishwasher after use.
And unlike some of the other toys I use to feed the dogs with, the Toppl rarely rolls under a couch (like the treat balls often do) and is a durable, but soft rubber. Neither dog has ever taken a chunk out of the Zogoflex material (although I’m sure some dogs could, so know your dog and supervise play with any new toy appropriately) and the material is soft enough that I don’t have to worry about them breaking their teeth while chewing on the Toppls.
You can also use the Toppl with canned dog food. I find that stew-type dog foods take the longest for my dogs to get out, but you can pack any canned dog food in the Toppl.
Want your dog to spend more time eating their dinner? Simply prepare your dog’s meals in the Toppl ahead of time and freeze them. For canned dog food, you can typically just pour or pack the food in the Toppl and then stick it right in the freezer. For dry kibble, I recommend pouring a little water in the Toppl with the kibble to create a fun frozen dinner that is more interactive for your pup.
The Toppl does have a hole in the side, so you have two options when adding liquid to the Toppl. Don’t fill above the level of the hole, or put a stopper in the hole. West Paws recommends using a wine cork to block the whole, but you can also buy some cute stoppers on Amazon.
I recently bought these cute paw-shaped ones (<-Amazon link) and they work great!
And the Toppls can be used for all sorts of fun treats, not just meals. Get creative!
While the majority of my dogs’ diets come from their balanced dog foods, I often share dog-friendly pieces of my own meals by placing them in the Toppl. This gives the dogs something to do while I eat.
And for special treats, you can really get creative with your dog’s Toppl. Freezing cottage cheese, yogurt, or applesauce in a Toppl can make a great long-lasting cool summer treat. Add vegetables, like carrots or broccoli to your dog’s Toppl for some crunch and variety.
Get creative and make some holiday-themed ones for special occasions. The options are endless.
Glia and Sasha love their Toppls! And I do too! They are easy to fill, safe for the dogs, and dishwasher safe. What’s not to like?
Ready to purchase one for your own pup?
Head over to the West Paw website to get yours today. If you are unsure which size, I recommend the large as it has the longest center “teeth” which makes it a little harder for the dogs to get items out, increasing how long a stuffed Toppl lasts for them. And if you purchase on West Paws’ website, don’t forget to use the code WESTPAW10 for 10% off.
The Toppl is also available on Amazon if you prefer to do your shopping there.