Oscar has a new favorite toy, the StarMark Bob-A-Lot! Oscar received a Bob-A-Lot as a gift for his first birthday, and he loves it. Oscar will only play with food-dispensing toys, so I’ve had to be selective with the toys that I buy him. When he was little, I bought him all kinds of dog and infant toys hoping one of them would spark his interest, but nothing ever did. If it doesn’t dispense food or treats, Oscar isn’t interested.
Watch as Oscar plays with his Bob-A-Lot for the first time. (I shot this video over a month ago. I wanted a video of Oscar using his Bob-A-Lot for the first time but also wanted him to use his new toy for a while before writing about our experience with it.)
I first discovered that Oscar loves food-dispensing toys when he was a baby, after buying him the IQ Treat Ball. As soon as he figured out that he could nudge the ball around to get food, he went crazy for it. Some days I put entire meals in his treat ball and other days I just put treats in. So far, the treat ball has been Oscar’s favorite toy, and I love that it keeps him busy and stimulated for a while.
I had been eyeing the StarMark Bob-A-Lot for several months because I thought Oscar might like it, but I held off initially due to its large size. The Bob-A-Lot is a much heavier and bulkier toy than the IQ Treat Ball, and I was afraid little Oscar would hurt his snout playing with it. As Oscar’s first birthday approached, I decided he was big enough to give the Bob-A-Lot a try. I’m so glad I got it for him because he loves it!
Now that Oscar has been using the Bob-A-Lot for over a month, here are some observations I’ve made about it.
Pros of the Bob-A-Lot: The biggest pro of the Bob-A-Lot is that Oscar loves it. Although that sounds like an obvious pro, it’s huge for us. There are very few toys that keep Oscar’s attention, and the Bob-A-Lot can keep him entertained for up to an hour. Since it’s a relatively large toy, I can fit Oscar’s entire pellet meal in it which is why it keeps him busy for so long. I put about half of his meal in the larger bottom area of the toy and the rest in the top neck portion, and I love that I can fit so many pellets in there at once. Also, the size of the holes in the Bob-A-Lot are adjustable, so I can make it really easy or really difficult for Oscar to get the pellets out.
Cons of the Bob-A-Lot: The biggest con of the Bob-A-Lot is that it’s a heavy toy, so it’s pretty loud. This doesn’t really bother me because I’m used to loud things after a year with a mini pig, but it might bother some people. It does bang around a bit, especially on floors and walls. I prefer to close Oscar in a carpeted room when he plays with the Bob-A-Lot because the toy is much quieter on carpet than on harder floors. Although the heaviness of the toy is a drawback, it’s a small issue to me compared to the value it provides in keeping Oscar occupied. But, if you have a lot of fragile items in your home or know that the “thudding” of the toy against the floors or walls would bother you, you might want to pass on this toy.
The second con is that the Bob-A-Lot is tougher to clean than the IQ Treat Ball. I’ve been spoiled with the IQ Treat Ball because it comes completely apart for thorough washing and drying. The Bob-A-Lot doesn’t come completely apart, so I swish soapy water (and sometimes vinegar) in the base part to clean it and then set it out to dry. Again, this isn’t a huge problem, but it’s a slight con for me.
The Bob-A-Lot vs The IQ Treat Ball: I’ve mentioned before how much we love the IQ Treat Ball, and we still do. I like having both toys for Oscar because, although similar, they have some differences. For young or small mini pigs, I recommend the IQ Treat Ball. It’s significantly lighter and holds a smaller amount of pellets and treats, so it’s the perfect option for getting your mini pig started with food-dispensing toys. As your pig grows, the Bob-A-Lot is great because it holds more food and can keep your pig busy for a long time. These days I tend to prefer the Bob-A-Lot for Oscar’s meals and the IQ Treat Ball for quick, fun snacks.
Toys for mini pigs can be difficult to find. We have only found a few that keep Oscar’s attention at all, so I get really excited when we find a new toy that he enjoys. I highly recommend both the Bob-A-Lot and the IQ treat ball, based on Oscar’s experience with them, for help with keeping your mini pig entertained and stimulated.
I have no affiliation with the companies that make the IQ Treat Ball or the StarMark Bob-A-Lot. I purchased them myself and simply find them to be great mini pig toys based on Oscar’s experience with them.
Although I personally recommend the items discussed in this post, some of the links are affiliate links. LifeWithaMiniPig.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.