Review: KRUUSE BUSTER ActivityMat
At a recent pet trade show, I had the chance to meet with the makers of the BUSTER ActivityMat. When I first saw it, my first thought was, “This is an artisan activity mat!” Seriously – it looks like it was lovingly crafted by your Nana. But the KRUUSE Bust Activity Mat is straight outta Denmark, a slice of quaintness that’s best known as being one the happiest countries in the world.
The BUSTER ActivityMat is made from bright, plushy fabric and comes with 35 press studs that allow you to attach different tasks to the mat. It packs up easily in a matching blue travel bag for when you want to pack it away or bring it with you.
Oscar is testing the starter set, which comes with three tasks that can be altered according to difficulty. Included are the Envelope, the Water Lilly and the Cone Cloth. These activities are snapped into place on the mat using sturdy studs. Because I didn’t want to damage Oscar’s self-esteem, we started out (and stayed) with the easiest tasks.
It’s important to note that you should never leave your dog unsupervised on the BUSTER ActivityMat, or any other play mat that comes with features that could be chewed off and swallowed.
What’s in the BUSTER ActivityMat Starter Kit?
You’re a pet parent on the go – and just like you, the BUSTER ActivityMat is ready to go, thanks to its travel bag. As you can see, Oscar is a big fan of the travel bag. Lazy dog…
The Envelope is a square piece of fabric that’s folded over and closed with a stick. The stick was inserted at first, but Oscar didn’t know what to make of it. After several whimpers and pathetic looks my way, I took it out. It still took him a bit to realize he needed to open it up with his paws to get at the treat.
The Water Lilly is a pouch that opens when your dog loosens the Velcro snap. Advanced dogs can use their noses to sniff out the treats held inside and open it up to unleash the noms! Oscar was able to get at the treats, but only if the Velcro wasn’t closed. He still has some work to do!
The Cone Cloth was a head scratcher… for me, not Oscar! That’s some origami-level folding to wrap your head around! It’s a good thing that Oscar is at level 1 – all he had to do was find the treat under the unfolded cloth. I’ll let you know when we get to level 2 (the cloth is folded like a napkin with a treat inside) and level 3 (same as level 2, but secured to mat). I am not gifted in the ways of napkin folding. Napkin crumpling… now that’s where I excel!
The beauty of the BUSTER ActivityMat is that you can change the complexities of the different activities. This is ideal for learners of any level – beginners can learn and their own pace, and more advanced canine students are always challenged with new obstacles, or you can order additional activities. But you can get by on the starter kit without upgrading. It will take a while to get through the all the levels of complexity, depending on how often you use it.
And like I mentioned at the beginning of the article, I love the hand-crafted feel of the mat. When people come over, they always marvel at its bright colors and adorable design. It makes me feel like I found this hidden gem from Sweden – I’m such a trend-setting hipster!
Not only was it fun for Oscar (it’s always fun when there’s treats involved), the BUSTER ActivityMat went over gang-busters with my two nieces when I brought it over to their house. It kept them and Oscar busy all afternoon, as they tried to find creative ways to hide the treats using the activity pieces. There were plenty of LOLs and WOLs coming out of the living room, which meant they were kept busy and I could enjoy a little coffee time.
Oscar and I loved playing on this together. It was so much fun watching him try to figure out how to get at the treats. He would even start to whine when he couldn’t figure it out – and me, as a horrible dog mom, laughing at it ineptitude. Good times!
The KRUUSE BUSTER Activity Mat starter kit sells for $69.99 – you can purchase it online or at select retail locations.
Note: PetGuide.com was NOT compensated for this review. Our reviewer received one KRUUSE BUSTER ActivityMat to review. The opinions expressed in this post are the author’s. We provide unbiased feedback of the products and share products we think our readers would enjoy using and learning more about.
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
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