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Pet Smarts

After having two kids, Nina Ottosson found she couldn’t spend as much time training and romping around outside with her dogs as she used to do. So the Swedish designer starting brainstorming ways to keep her pets physically stimulated inside the house while also exercising their mental abilities. Since then, she’s been designing and developing a series of interactive pet toys and puzzle games that you can play with your dogs, cats and other pets to keep them mentally stimulated. The toys and games are tricky and require physical dexterity, but there are tasty rewards for persevering pets. Treats and food can be planted inside the mazes and puzzles, encouraging pets to explore the compartments and work the different mechanisms in search of something to eat. By lifting blocks and turning discs with a nose or paw, for instance, pets find the hidden treats. Nina’s toys are engaging and entertaining, and there are different levels of difficulty so you can start simple and increase the complexity as you work with your pet to advance. Supervision is important; the toys are meant to be played with together -- like a board game that you play with your pet -- so you can encourage and steer your pet to success as needed. They’re a great way to have fun with your pets and exercise their inner Einstein.

Nina Ottosson

Pet Games

Pet Smarts

After having two kids, Nina Ottosson found she couldn’t spend as much time training and romping around outside with her dogs as she used to do. So the Swedish designer starting brainstorming ways to keep her pets physically stimulated inside the house while also exercising their mental abilities. Since then, she’s been designing and developing a series of interactive pet toys and puzzle games that you can play with your dogs, cats and other pets to keep them mentally stimulated. The toys and games are tricky and require physical dexterity, but there are tasty rewards for persevering pets. Treats and food can be planted inside the mazes and puzzles, encouraging pets to explore the compartments and work the different mechanisms in search of something to eat. By lifting blocks and turning discs with a nose or paw, for instance, pets find the hidden treats. Nina’s toys are engaging and entertaining, and there are different levels of difficulty so you can start simple and increase the complexity as you work with your pet to advance. Supervision is important; the toys are meant to be played with together -- like a board game that you play with your pet -- so you can encourage and steer your pet to success as needed. They’re a great way to have fun with your pets and exercise their inner Einstein.

Grommet Launch Conversation

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Nina
    Nina

    Hello from Sweden!

    I’m Nina Ottosson and I’m the inventor of these fun interactive treat puzzle games & toys for dogs and other animals. They are designed for the dog to have fun when working with problem solving in different ways, and find treats by lifting blocks, turning discs etc. Quality is very important to me, since the games will be used by my dogs as well as yours, so I only use the best materials available.

    I look forward to answer any questions you may have for me!

  • Nancy
    Nancy
    12/13/2011 1:56 PM

    Can you tell us about what materials the toys are made from, other than the wooden toy? I have not yet found the toy that my dog cannot destroy by chewing, shredding, or tearing. Even heavy-duty plastic hasn't stood a chance with him. He just EATS the toy. How impervious are the plastic toys to chewing and tearing?

  • Aubrey
    Aubrey
    12/13/2011 4:09 PM

    Nancy read the comments I just posted. I have Shar-pei and a Bull Mastiff and they destroy toys for the game of it. Most last hours not days. Not only are these toys durable, but the material does not have an odor. AND...the best part is watching your dog(s) learn. When they get it, they know it, and they are so proud. The DVD's that come with the toys really help explain how to help your dog learn the toy without being frustrated. I change up the type of treats that I place insdie and they are so excited to see what is in there. Since the day I bought my first toy I have not had any other destruction of items in my house. And, I have had these toys for several years and they still look great. You will love them.

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/13/2011 2:09 PM

    Hi Nancy,

    The material is high-quality PE plastic, which is approved for food. It is tough and hard-wearing, and can withstand clawing and rough usage. However, a dog is able to destroy most everything, even biting through steel, if you let it. You have to teach him not to bite the toy, supervise play carefully, and take it away if he gets rough. As long as there are treats inside, they usually don't destroy it, but as soon as the treats are gone, you need to put it away until next time you play.

    The best thing about using these mental training games/toys, is that the dog gets tired, and will not use his energy to destroy things.

    I hope you will both enjoy these games! /Nina

  • Lynn Araujo
    Lynn Araujo
    12/13/2011 2:13 PM

    Nina- These are so clever and so cute! I am always looking for interactive treat dispensers for my Aussie. She will love the flying-saucer maze.

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/13/2011 2:22 PM

    Thank you Lynn, I'm glad to hear that you like them! Aussies are very clever dogs, they like to be challenged, and she would probably love the more difficult DogWorker! /Nina

  • Patty Cason
    Patty Cason
    12/13/2011 2:41 PM

    Help me understand the disk. The top rotates around? Do the treats just fall out as it rolls across the floor? Are there different compartments within the disk? Can you throw the disk?

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/13/2011 2:51 PM

    Hi Patty,

    The Treat Maze is solid and has a maze inside on both sides, top and bottom, that the treats have to go through before they come out on two holes on both sides. This makes it more challenging and fun than other treat dispensers where the treats just fall out.

    The dog has to work to get the Dog Treat Maze in motion so that it wobbles, rocks and sometimes spins around, so that the treats pass through the maze inside on both sides and then fall out through the openings on both top and bottom. The unpredictable movement keeps it challenging!

    You are not supposed to throw it. Just leave it on the floor and let the dog work with it (supervised of course).

    If your dog likes treats, he/she will love it! /Nina

  • Suze
    Suze
    12/13/2011 2:59 PM

    I have several of her toys and I love them. One of my Shar-pei needs an entertainment director, he is always looking for something to do. These toys not only occupy his dire need to be doing something, but that also stimulate his mind. As soon as he sees the toys, he smiles, really, and I have a 1/2 hour to an hour to do what I need to do while watching him have a blast. He is never disappointed. Thanks for the toys there is nothing else like them on the market.

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/13/2011 3:07 PM

    Hi Suze, Thank you very much, comments like this make me so very happy and are the reason why I keep developing new products! It's the same thing with my dogs, when I tell them we are going to play a game, they get very excited and run over to the place where I keep theirs. /Nina

  • Aubrey
    Aubrey
    12/13/2011 4:02 PM

    Hope you come up with some more great ones. I will buy them!!!! A couple of things that I forgot to add before is how durable your products are. They are chewed, scratched, slammed down, licked, pull on by two dogs, and they still look great after several years. I cannot say that about any other toy that I have purchased. Also, many of the plastic type toys on the market have an odor that my dogs will not touch, and yours do not. They are all around 100% perfect. Love them!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/13/2011 4:16 PM

    @Suze:

    The Treat Maze and the DogWorker are my latest! But I have lots of ideas for new ones :-) /Nina

  • michele
    michele
    12/13/2011 4:50 PM

    hi! what size treats are needed for these toys? it seems i wouldnt have the right shape for the round toy, but maybe kibble would work?

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/13/2011 4:58 PM

    Hi Michele, small treat pieces or kibble works best for the Treat Maze. The hole of the Treat Maze is about 0,5-0,6 inches (small and large), so anything that fits in the hole will be able to come out on the side. You can also use small pieces of sausage. The most important thing is that it smells and tastes good, and that your dog likes it. For the other games, you can use any size treat or kibble. With the Tornado, you can even use wet food, and if you mix it with some water and let it set in the freezer, it will make "doggie ice cream" and your dog will be busy for a long time :-) /Nina

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/13/2011 5:37 PM

    Nina, who has been joining us from Sweden has signed off for the evening. If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask. She will be able to respond in the morning.

  • Ricki
    Ricki
    12/13/2011 5:39 PM

    Hi Nina,

    I have a young blind dog who has lots of energy and is well adjusted. I was wondering if you thought these toys may be something he can handle without the use of sight. And do you think one in particular would provide him with the stimulus and not frustrate him at the same time.

    Thanks!

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/14/2011 5:46 AM

    Hi Ricki, I can really recommend these games to a blind dog, and I know several blind dogs that enjoy them! Their owners were so excited to finally find a way to activate their dog in a way that suits a blind dog, to use his nose at his own pace to find treats. I recommend the Tornado as the first game, and it's important to start without the white blocks, which makes the game a little easier. Help him out a little in the beginning, use lots of praise and stop before he gets frustrated. And use treats that smell and taste good to your dog. I know that your dog will absolutely love it! He will enjoy it and at the same time have an outlet for all that energy in a safe and fun way, something a blind dog might not otherwise be able to do. I hope both of you will have a great time together! /Nina

  • Judy Goldsmith
    Judy Goldsmith
    12/18/2011 1:06 AM

    What is the difference between the small dog and the cat toy? I have 2 cats and a 7 pound chihuahua. Could I use one for all of them? (Of course, not at the same time.)

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/18/2011 10:15 AM

    @Judy Goldsmith: Great question. I have forwarded it on to Nina and will let you know.

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/19/2011 11:06 AM

    @Judy Goldsmith: The size is the same, the difference between the Cat Treat Maze and the Small Dog Treat Maze is the color and the fact that the Cat Treat Maze is slightly see-through, because cats are more visual than dogs. I recommend that you get the Cat Treat Maze, your Chihuahua as well as your cats will enjoy playing with it. Have fun!

  • Dale Sturges
    Dale Sturges
    12/18/2011 3:48 PM

    Can the dog maze work for cats? I am looking for challenging cat toys but all that I find are ones for dogs. Help!

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/19/2011 11:07 AM

    @Dale Sturges: I recommend that you get the Cat Treat Maze, it is slightly see-through because cats are more visual than dogs.

  • Andy
    Andy
    2/9/2012 12:44 AM

    Hi Nina, what toy can you recommend for an energetic 9mos female rottweiler? Thanks.

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    2/9/2012 9:32 AM

    @Andy: I have a message in to Nina and will let you know!

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    2/10/2012 12:26 PM

    @Andy: I recommend the Treat Maze (size Large - 10 ") and the DogTornado. Since it is a puppy, it is especially important that you work together with her and don’t leave her unsupervised with the toys. When she has learned how to work with these, you can advance to the DogWorker! Have fun!

  • Andy
    Andy
    2/11/2012 12:21 PM

    @Nina Ottosson: Thanks a lot and more power!

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

 

Nina Ottosson

Pet Games

Pet Smarts

After having two kids, Nina Ottosson found she couldn’t spend as much time training and romping around outside with her dogs as she used to do. So the Swedish designer starting brainstorming ways to keep her pets physically stimulated inside the house while also exercising their mental abilities. Since then, she’s been designing and developing a series of interactive pet toys and puzzle games that you can play with your dogs, cats and other pets to keep them mentally stimulated.

The toys and games are tricky and
require physical dexterity, but there are tasty rewards for persevering pets. Treats and food can be planted inside the mazes and puzzles, encouraging pets to explore the compartments and work the different mechanisms in search of something to eat. By lifting blocks and turning discs with a nose or paw, for instance, pets find the hidden treats.

Nina’s toys are engaging and entertaining, and there are different levels of difficulty so you can start simple and increase the complexity as you work with your pet to advance. Supervision is important; the toys are meant to be played with together -- like a board game that you play with your pet -- so you can encourage and steer your pet to success as needed. They’re a great way to have fun with your pets and exercise their inner Einstein.
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Nina Ottosson - Pet Games
No longer available

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Nina
    Nina

    Hello from Sweden!

    I’m Nina Ottosson and I’m the inventor of these fun interactive treat puzzle games & toys for dogs and other animals. They are designed for the dog to have fun when working with problem solving in different ways, and find treats by lifting blocks, turning discs etc. Quality is very important to me, since the games will be used by my dogs as well as yours, so I only use the best materials available.

    I look forward to answer any questions you may have for me!

  • Nancy
    Nancy
    12/13/2011 1:56 PM

    Can you tell us about what materials the toys are made from, other than the wooden toy? I have not yet found the toy that my dog cannot destroy by chewing, shredding, or tearing. Even heavy-duty plastic hasn't stood a chance with him. He just EATS the toy. How impervious are the plastic toys to chewing and tearing?

  • Aubrey
    Aubrey
    12/13/2011 4:09 PM

    Nancy read the comments I just posted. I have Shar-pei and a Bull Mastiff and they destroy toys for the game of it. Most last hours not days. Not only are these toys durable, but the material does not have an odor. AND...the best part is watching your dog(s) learn. When they get it, they know it, and they are so proud. The DVD's that come with the toys really help explain how to help your dog learn the toy without being frustrated. I change up the type of treats that I place insdie and they are so excited to see what is in there. Since the day I bought my first toy I have not had any other destruction of items in my house. And, I have had these toys for several years and they still look great. You will love them.

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/13/2011 2:09 PM

    Hi Nancy,

    The material is high-quality PE plastic, which is approved for food. It is tough and hard-wearing, and can withstand clawing and rough usage. However, a dog is able to destroy most everything, even biting through steel, if you let it. You have to teach him not to bite the toy, supervise play carefully, and take it away if he gets rough. As long as there are treats inside, they usually don't destroy it, but as soon as the treats are gone, you need to put it away until next time you play.

    The best thing about using these mental training games/toys, is that the dog gets tired, and will not use his energy to destroy things.

    I hope you will both enjoy these games! /Nina

  • Lynn Araujo
    Lynn Araujo
    12/13/2011 2:13 PM

    Nina- These are so clever and so cute! I am always looking for interactive treat dispensers for my Aussie. She will love the flying-saucer maze.

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/13/2011 2:22 PM

    Thank you Lynn, I'm glad to hear that you like them! Aussies are very clever dogs, they like to be challenged, and she would probably love the more difficult DogWorker! /Nina

  • Patty Cason
    Patty Cason
    12/13/2011 2:41 PM

    Help me understand the disk. The top rotates around? Do the treats just fall out as it rolls across the floor? Are there different compartments within the disk? Can you throw the disk?

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/13/2011 2:51 PM

    Hi Patty,

    The Treat Maze is solid and has a maze inside on both sides, top and bottom, that the treats have to go through before they come out on two holes on both sides. This makes it more challenging and fun than other treat dispensers where the treats just fall out.

    The dog has to work to get the Dog Treat Maze in motion so that it wobbles, rocks and sometimes spins around, so that the treats pass through the maze inside on both sides and then fall out through the openings on both top and bottom. The unpredictable movement keeps it challenging!

    You are not supposed to throw it. Just leave it on the floor and let the dog work with it (supervised of course).

    If your dog likes treats, he/she will love it! /Nina

  • Suze
    Suze
    12/13/2011 2:59 PM

    I have several of her toys and I love them. One of my Shar-pei needs an entertainment director, he is always looking for something to do. These toys not only occupy his dire need to be doing something, but that also stimulate his mind. As soon as he sees the toys, he smiles, really, and I have a 1/2 hour to an hour to do what I need to do while watching him have a blast. He is never disappointed. Thanks for the toys there is nothing else like them on the market.

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/13/2011 3:07 PM

    Hi Suze, Thank you very much, comments like this make me so very happy and are the reason why I keep developing new products! It's the same thing with my dogs, when I tell them we are going to play a game, they get very excited and run over to the place where I keep theirs. /Nina

  • Aubrey
    Aubrey
    12/13/2011 4:02 PM

    Hope you come up with some more great ones. I will buy them!!!! A couple of things that I forgot to add before is how durable your products are. They are chewed, scratched, slammed down, licked, pull on by two dogs, and they still look great after several years. I cannot say that about any other toy that I have purchased. Also, many of the plastic type toys on the market have an odor that my dogs will not touch, and yours do not. They are all around 100% perfect. Love them!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/13/2011 4:16 PM

    @Suze:

    The Treat Maze and the DogWorker are my latest! But I have lots of ideas for new ones :-) /Nina

  • michele
    michele
    12/13/2011 4:50 PM

    hi! what size treats are needed for these toys? it seems i wouldnt have the right shape for the round toy, but maybe kibble would work?

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/13/2011 4:58 PM

    Hi Michele, small treat pieces or kibble works best for the Treat Maze. The hole of the Treat Maze is about 0,5-0,6 inches (small and large), so anything that fits in the hole will be able to come out on the side. You can also use small pieces of sausage. The most important thing is that it smells and tastes good, and that your dog likes it. For the other games, you can use any size treat or kibble. With the Tornado, you can even use wet food, and if you mix it with some water and let it set in the freezer, it will make "doggie ice cream" and your dog will be busy for a long time :-) /Nina

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/13/2011 5:37 PM

    Nina, who has been joining us from Sweden has signed off for the evening. If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask. She will be able to respond in the morning.

  • Ricki
    Ricki
    12/13/2011 5:39 PM

    Hi Nina,

    I have a young blind dog who has lots of energy and is well adjusted. I was wondering if you thought these toys may be something he can handle without the use of sight. And do you think one in particular would provide him with the stimulus and not frustrate him at the same time.

    Thanks!

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/14/2011 5:46 AM

    Hi Ricki, I can really recommend these games to a blind dog, and I know several blind dogs that enjoy them! Their owners were so excited to finally find a way to activate their dog in a way that suits a blind dog, to use his nose at his own pace to find treats. I recommend the Tornado as the first game, and it's important to start without the white blocks, which makes the game a little easier. Help him out a little in the beginning, use lots of praise and stop before he gets frustrated. And use treats that smell and taste good to your dog. I know that your dog will absolutely love it! He will enjoy it and at the same time have an outlet for all that energy in a safe and fun way, something a blind dog might not otherwise be able to do. I hope both of you will have a great time together! /Nina

  • Judy Goldsmith
    Judy Goldsmith
    12/18/2011 1:06 AM

    What is the difference between the small dog and the cat toy? I have 2 cats and a 7 pound chihuahua. Could I use one for all of them? (Of course, not at the same time.)

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/18/2011 10:15 AM

    @Judy Goldsmith: Great question. I have forwarded it on to Nina and will let you know.

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/19/2011 11:06 AM

    @Judy Goldsmith: The size is the same, the difference between the Cat Treat Maze and the Small Dog Treat Maze is the color and the fact that the Cat Treat Maze is slightly see-through, because cats are more visual than dogs. I recommend that you get the Cat Treat Maze, your Chihuahua as well as your cats will enjoy playing with it. Have fun!

  • Dale Sturges
    Dale Sturges
    12/18/2011 3:48 PM

    Can the dog maze work for cats? I am looking for challenging cat toys but all that I find are ones for dogs. Help!

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    12/19/2011 11:07 AM

    @Dale Sturges: I recommend that you get the Cat Treat Maze, it is slightly see-through because cats are more visual than dogs.

  • Andy
    Andy
    2/9/2012 12:44 AM

    Hi Nina, what toy can you recommend for an energetic 9mos female rottweiler? Thanks.

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    2/9/2012 9:32 AM

    @Andy: I have a message in to Nina and will let you know!

  • Nina
    Nina – Special Guest
    2/10/2012 12:26 PM

    @Andy: I recommend the Treat Maze (size Large - 10 ") and the DogTornado. Since it is a puppy, it is especially important that you work together with her and don’t leave her unsupervised with the toys. When she has learned how to work with these, you can advance to the DogWorker! Have fun!

  • Andy
    Andy
    2/11/2012 12:21 PM

    @Nina Ottosson: Thanks a lot and more power!

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.