Outward Hound’s Hide-A-Squirrel puzzle toy is an ultra-cute plush puzzle toy that’s perfect for squirrel-obsessed canines!
What’s the Deal with Outward Hound?
Outward Hound is a well-regarded pet gear company that actually has a number of partner brands, including Petstages and Charming Pet.
All of Outward Hound’s products are designed in Colorado, USA. Most products are manufactured in China, but certain chews and treats are made in the USA.
This soft, multi-piece puzzle toy is actually made in a few different styles by Outward Hound – the squirrel design is the most popular, but they also make a bee, rainbow, hedgehog design.
Other brands offer a similar style of toy (don’t worry, we’ll review them too), but the Outward Hound version appears to be most popular with owners.
Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel
About: The Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel toy is a dog puzzle toy made of soft, plush material.
It’s composed of several pieces, featuring a soft tree trunk with three (or more) squirrels inside. The squirrels can be removed from the toy via several holes in the tree trunk.
Dogs love yanking out the squirrels from their holes! Stuff them back inside and watch your dog nose and dig to get at those dastardly squirrels!
Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel
- 4-in-1 toy with three squirrels and a tree stump for hiding in!
- Soft plush puzzle toy to stimulate your dog’s noggin’
- Each squirrel has its own squeaker
- Available in several sizes
This toy comes in several sizes, with the largest size (ginormous) featuring six squirrels and five tree trunk holes (as opposed to the standard three squirrels and three holes found in the other sizes).
The size of the squirrels stays the same for each size, but the tree trunk size will get larger for the larger sizes.
- Soft Puzzle Toy. Most dog puzzle toys are made of hard plastic – this is one of the few soft plush puzzle toys, making it ideal for gentle pups.
- Each Squirrel Squeaks. Each squirrel has its very own squeaker, providing tons of squirrel squeakin’ fun!
- Supervision is Ideal. Since this is a soft plush toy, supervision is key for ensuring that this toy lives a long and healthy life. Most dogs will demolish this toy the first chance they get, so we suggest treating the Hide-A-Squirrel as an interactive dog toy you use to play with your dog. Throw the squirrels around, play fetch with them, and remove them if your dog starts to go into murder mode.
- Not Tons of Stuffing. Each squirrel contains some stuffing and a squeaker, but the amount of stuffing isn’t too crazy. This means that if your dog does manage to demolish the squirrels, at least it won’t look too much like a snow shower in your living room.
- Replacement squirrels are an option. If you manage to lose all the squirrels that come with this toy, you can always order a replacement pack (or simply stuff your own toys into the stump).
Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Review
Remy and I decided to try out the Hide-A-Squirrel ourselves! Let’s see what Remy thought of this one.
Wondering what other owners think of the Hide-A-Squirrel?
He [my dog] loved this toy so much. He loves puzzles, but he destroyed the log fairly quickly. Surprisingly, he has had one of the squirrels for over a year … and it still squeaks. I lost the rest of them, but that one little squirrel is still going strong.Reddit user u/somethingsofia
Our own toy tester Remy is also a huge fan of this toy. In fact, I’d even say it’s his favorite. He goes berserk when I bring it out! Check him out:
Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Pros & Cons
This toy has several benefits and disadvantages you’ll want to consider.
- Great first puzzle toy. This is an easy, manageable puzzle toy for pups new to puzzles!
- 4-in-1 toy. This toy actually contains four toys in one – three squirrels and the stump! Consider the low price, this is a pretty awesome deal!
- Several ways to play. The standard use of this toy involves stuffing the squirrels into the stump and encouraging your dog to get them out. However, you can also play hide-and-seek with the squirrels, use them for fetch, etc.
- Tons of cute play styles. Owners absolutely adore how cute these critters are, and dogs go nuts for them. Owners have reported their dogs playing with the squirrels in a variety of ways – some shake the stump like crazy until the squirrels fly out, while other dogs carry around the squirrels in their mouthes like babies! However they play, you know it’ll be cute.
- Not durable enough for tough dogs. Rough chewers will quickly destroy this toy, so stay away if you have a toy killer on your hands. However, some owners (even of pit mixes) note that they have had good luck with keeping the toy alive, so long as they only let their dog play with it under supervision.
- Squeakers aren’t reinforced. Each squirrel has a squeaker that is only held in place with the inner fluff. The squeakers can easily be removed and eaten once your dog has opened the squirrel, so be sure to remove busted squirrels and don’t let your dog gobble down a squeaker!
- Not a very challenging puzzle toys. When it comes to dog puzzle toys, the Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel is definitely on the easy side, and may not pose much of a problem for clever canines. Be sure to check out our full guide to the best dog puzzle toys if you’re looking for some more challenging options!
Note: At least one owner has noted that the different styles of Outward Hound soft puzzle toys vary in terms of durability. It seems that the hedgehog variation has a stump made of tougher, more canvas-like material.
Things to Consider with the Hide-A-Squirrel Toy
While this is a pretty cute plush toy, it won’t be for every dog and owner. Be sure to keep in mind:
- Your Dog’s Play Style. Gentler dogs will probably get more long-lasting fun out of this toy than rougher dogs.
- Requires Human Monitoring. Even rough dogs may enjoy this toy, so long as an owner is monitoring them and supervising to make sure the toy doesn’t get totally torn apart!
This toy is likely best for owners who can monitor their pup’s playtime activities!
Not crazy about the squirrel look? No worries! Outward Hound offers several alternative styles of soft puzzle toy that function similar to the Hide-A-Squirrel, but with a different design.
Check out some of Outward Hound’s alternatives below.
Outward Hound Hide-A-Bee
Outward Hound Hide-A-Hedgie
Outward Hound Hide-A-Rainbow
There are also several other manufacturers that offer similar puzzle toys, such as Frisco and Zippy Paws.
Frisco Hide & Seek Dog Toys
Frisco Hide-And-Seek Trash Can
Frisco Hide-And-Seek Volcano
ZippyPaws Hide & Seek Dog Toys
ZippyPaws Milk & Cookies
ZippyPaws Monkey N’ Banana
ZippyPaws Unicorn Toy
These soft plush puzzle toys are pretty adorable, and many dogs seem to adore them. Have you ever used the Hide-A-Squirrel or something similar with your dog? What did he think of it? Share your experience in the comments below!