My dog is unfortunately a bit older and less interested, but I've still enjoyed my time with these nifty toys

reviews, amazon

Over the past month, I’ve been playing around with two tech-powered pet toys from Cheerble, and it’s been quite enjoyable. At least, for me anyway.

My dog, a nearly 12-year-old Cavachon named Bonnie, is at that point where she’s pretty lazy. A lot of the energy she once had is gone, so she doesn’t do as much as she used to. For that reason, Bonnie hasn’t been nearly as receptive to these toys as I’d have hoped, but that’s more due to her age and temperament than any fault of the Cheerble products themselves. (It even took a while just to get her to “pose” with one of the products in the above photo.)

Specifically, I’ve been using the Cheerble Wicked Ball SE and Wickedbone. The former is a small round toy for both cats and dogs that can roll around on its own, while the latter is a bone-shaped remote-controlled dog toy that you can steer using a mobile app. Impressively, both serve different, but equally handy, functions.

Admittedly, my dog wasn’t as interested in the Wicked Ball SE, as it requires a more actively engaged pet. Nonetheless, it’s easy to see how this would be a great option if you just want to leave your pet to their own devices. To help with that, there are three interaction modes — Passive, Normal and Gentle, to cater to your dog’s particular personality. For example, you can have the ball just roll around on its own and watch your pet pursue it leisurely, or it can vibrate with a lot of intensity to excite your furry friend. It’s also got a soft rubber coating that is perfect for your pet’s teeth, and one that can be easily cleaned, to boot. Again, Bonnie, unfortunately, tended to be pretty uninterested with the Wicked Ball SE as a whole, but your mileage will certainly vary, especially with a younger, more energetic pet.

That said, Bonnie and I both got a lot more out of the Wickedbone. To be sure, it can be rather tricky to control at times, given that it’s an onscreen steering wheel, but otherwise, I was very impressed. After charging it with a USB cable, you’ll connect the toy to your mobile device via Bluetooth through Cheerble’s Wickedbone app. With this app, you have a wonderfully varied number of options. In addition to being able to freely steer the Wickedbone, there are nine “motions” that you can command it to perform. These include a quick roll forward, a 180-degree spin, a full shake and a little forward or backward hop. There are also a number of customization options based on your dog’s “character” and size, as well as your play area and even how the Wickedbone handles.

I won’t lie — I probably had more fun with this than Bonnie even did! Zipping the Wickedbone around the room as my dog confusingly barked and then chased it was a blast. She didn’t always bother with it, mind you, but when she did, it was a real riot. If even my elderly dog eventually grew interested in the Wickedbone, then it’s easy to see how younger, excitable pets will be even more enthusiastic about it.

In the end, my experience with Cheerble’s two pet products was overall positive, even if my dog perhaps didn’t feel the same. It’s one of those situations where she’s perhaps a bit too old to fully appreciate them as I did. Still, I can definitely tell the products are well-made, both after using them personally and reading other anecdotes about their durability. Moreover, they feel engaging to both owner and pet, especially the Wickedbone, so they’re easy to recommend.

The Wicked Ball SE costs $44.99 CAD, and the Wickedbone is priced at $59.99. They’re available from Cheerble’s website, Amazon.ca and other retailers.

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