I first became familiar with the JW Hol-ee Roller Dog Toy when making a purchase for the St. Louis Zoo. My sister and I each “adopt” an animal from the zoo each year as a gift to each other. My sister always gets the Red Panda for me since that is my favorite animal. Each year the St. Louis Zoo has a zoo parent picnic where the zoo is opened in the evening for Zoo Parents. They have keeper talks and behind the scene tours (usually in the building where food is stored and prepared for the animals). The zoo also encourages the parents to donate things for enrichment for the animals. Enrichment is just different things that you introduce to the animals to give them something new to experience and interact. The goal is to provide mental and physical stimulation. (One easy example would be giving your pet a variety of treats.) I wrote the keepers to find out what they would like for the Red Pandas. They did have a list of suggestions for other animals, but none specifically for the Red Pandas. One of keepers wrote back and said they liked to use the JW Hol-ee Roller to put in bamboo and other treats. I found that this toy comes in a variety of sizes and colors and was available at any store that carries pet supplies.
I decided to get Vicki, our Miniature Schnauzer puppy, a JW Hol-ee Roller toy. We tried playing with it as a regular ball, but the size I had was awkward for her to pick up. (She’s getting better with it now that she is a little bigger.) I stuffed her chicken crinkle toy inside with part of it sticking out. That gave her a “new” toy without buying any. Over time, she got faster at getting the chicken out of the ball. Then I tried putting apple slices in the ball. She really likes this, but she still has trouble getting them out quickly, so sometimes I have to help her get the last few slices out before she gets frustrated. She still doesn’t use her paws too much for play or chewing, so I’m sure she’ll get better as she learns new methods for retrieving the treats out of the ball. Another idea I have seen is putting another ball inside a larger ball. We only have one Hol-ee Roller, so we haven’t tried that yet. If you give your dog apples, make sure it doesn’t have any seeds because apple seeds have arsenic. I’ll link a couple YouTube videos of Vicki playing with the Hol-ee Roller.