We all love playing with our dogs, but we also have to leave them home during the workday. The solution to a home alone, bored dog, is interactive dog toys. Owners have a wide variety of interactive dog toys to choose from. When dogs are active and not spending all day waiting for their best friends to get home, they enjoy the activity and stimulation. Without it, they can become over-excited when you walk in the door, or even destructive while alone, making a mess for you to clean up.
Interactive dog toys can keep a dog busy and out of trouble, reduce stress, and even smooth out the dog's temperament. The best interactive toys offer dogs multiple ways to have fun at home alone, and some dispense treats. To help you select the best ones, we picked 10 of the best on the market while considering performance, flexibility of use, customer reviews, price, and safety.
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How We Reviewed
What are Interactive Dog Toys?
Interactive toys use a variety of challenges and rewards, often food, to keep a dog stimulated and exercised.
How Do Interactive Dog Toys Work?
These toys prompt dogs to engage with their toys more deeply by offering a reward.
Where Can You Buy Them?
You can find interactive toys in a variety of venues, from online to brick and mortar stores.
How We Reviewed
We looked carefully at the features of each toy, their pros and cons, price, availability, and where to purchase them, and customer reviews.
Overall Price Range of This Product
(and Similar Products)
The toys we reviewed range from $ to $. Toys on the higher end of the range offer more options, such as 4 different puzzles in one toy.
What We Reviewed
Interactive Dog Toys by FurryFido
The Squeak Dog Toy by FurryFido offers several areas to hide treats, giving your pup hours of mental stimulation as he works at getting all those treats out of the toy. Dogs need to use their brains and their mouths to get at the treats, providing hours of stimulation as they play with the toy.
Dogs can play and get their teeth cleaned at the same time as they play with the Squeak Dog Toy.
With all that use, this toy needs to be durable. The FurryFido Squeak Dog Toy uses thermoplastic rubber, a non-toxic material, to ensure your dog's health and safety. This keeps dogs from eating and possibly choking on fragments of rubber. In the event of damage, FurryFido offers a lifetime guarantee.
StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy
Most interactive toys for dogs include only a small chamber to hold treats or pieces of your dog's food, but the Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy has enough capacity to hold an entire meal for your pooch.
You can keep your pup from easily and quickly extracting his entire meal by adjusting the size of the opening, giving them hours of stimulating activity. This toy also has 2 chambers, allowing you to offer your pup two different treats or food to extract.
They weight the bottom of the toy so it wobbles enticingly in front of your pet. The Bob-A-Lot comes in 2 sizes.
Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Plush Squeaking Dog Toys
Outward Hound's Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Plush Squeaking Dog Toys stimulates the instincts your pup inherited from his wolf ancestors to hunt smaller animals.
This plush toy comes in the shape of a tree stump, with hiding places for the plush squirrels. Your dog must figure out how to get the squirrels out of the stump. He will satisfy his hunting instincts when he bites a squirrel and it squeaks.
Once your pooch has removed all the squirrels, you can play fetch by throwing them for him to retrieve. The Hide-A-Squirrel toy is available in 4 sizes. Each stump has 5 holes, and the toy comes with 3-6 toy squirrels with squeakers, depending on size. They make all parts of this toy using safe materials.
Trixie Pet Products
With Trixie Pet Products' Poker Box, your dog gets to play with 4 puzzles in one. There are 4 different boxes, each of which holds a treat. Your dog must figure out 4 different mechanisms to get into the boxes for his reward, including a drawer to pull out, and one the dog can open by lifting a string. You can use the boxes singly or together in any combination, allowing you to switch up the puzzles to keep your dog from getting bored - or too good at solving them!
You can put treats into different parts of the boxes, such as the back of the drawer which is more difficult, or the front, which is easier. The product box includes a pamphlet offering tricks and tips on how to switch up difficulty levels. They make the Poker Box using high-quality plastic.
Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Smart Dog Puzzle Toy Dog Game
Outward Hound's Smart Dog Puzzle Toy will stimulate and entertain your pup's brain. Many dog lovers know the designer, Nina Ottosson, for designing puzzles and interactive toys which stimulate dogs by using reward-based play patterns.
Dogs can play 3 levels of games with this toy, increasingly challenging after Level 1. Your dog can practice problem-solving as he plays through levels.
This toy has 9 bone-shaped treat compartments, and even an entire meal, a good way to entertain your dog and make sure they don't bolt their food.
The packaging includes tricks and tips for getting the utmost out the Smart Dog Puzzle Toy. For example, Ottosson suggests leaving the tall ends of the 'bones' sticking out so your pooch can learn the concept of looking for treats in the toy.
West Paw Zogoflex Tux Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Chew Toy
The 3 balls of the Zogoflex Tux seem similar to the classic Kong toy, but requires your dog to work a little harder to get treats to fall through the 2 openings. Dogs can toss the toy, another option to entertain your pup. It is even buoyant, so your dog can play with it in the water.
The Zogoflex Tux's is an extra-strong and durable non-toxic material and does not include BPA or phthalates. In 2 sizes, it comes with a 100% money-back guarantee and is dishwasher safe.
OurPets IQ Treat Ball Interactive Food Dispensing Dog Toy
The IQ Treat Ball Interactive Food Dispensing Dog Toy prompts your dog to play and have fun while exercising. As your pet pushes the IQ Treat Ball around the floor, treats will fall out. The Treat Ball comes in 2 sizes, for small to medium-sized dogs, and offers adjustable levels of difficulty. If your pup eats too fast, you can use the toy for meals to slow him down and give him exercise at the same time.
Owners can adjust the difficulty level as their dogs get better at dispensing treats, extending the useful life of this interactive toy.
This toy, made from non-toxic durable plastic, comes apart for cleaning. Some dog owners say their pups' teeth have gotten stuck in the dispensing hole.
PetSafe Busy Buddy Calming Toys
Busy Buddy Calming Toys can make your departure and your pup's alone time easier, keeping your pooch busy and soothing him with a chamomile scent. Manufacturers recommend using these calming interactive toys for crate training and in stressful situations, such as travel, vet appointments, or moving to a new home.
Owners can widen the treat dispensing holes in these 2 dog toys to dispense larger treats. These toys use durable rubber and can stand up to frequent use and chewing.
Pet Qwerks Talking Babble Ball Toy
The Qwerks Babble Ball grabs your dog's attention by talking to him. Just think of the head tilts when your pup tries to understand where the voices are coming from. The Babble Ball allows dogs to generate sounds from moving the ball around.
The Babble Ball comes in 3 sizes suitable for dogs of different sizes, and as a puppy grows. The manufacturer recommends giving Babble Ball to puppies to stimulate their intelligence. Electronics in the ball might not work well or at all if wet from bouncing into a puddle or if dogs slobber on it heavily.
IFOYO Dog Squeaky Toy, Large Durable Hide Seek Puzzle Plush Interactive Dog Toys
Hide Seek Puzzle Plush Interactive Dog Toys offers 4 versions of this hide-and-seek puzzle. Buyers can choose from plush squeaky chicks, dinosaurs, pandas, or squirrels, all of which come with their own plush hiding place. They make the toys from high-quality material which does not tear easily, but this toy is not for heavy chewers.
With the plush animals hidden in their chicken coop, dinosaur egg, bamboo, or log, this toy appeals to your pooch's instinct to hunt small animals, as they work to extract the toys.
Ranging in price, all these toys are affordable, so dog owners can try out different toys to see which their pooch likes best, because dogs should have the final say.
The best value for money is Trixie Pet Products Poker Box, which has 4 separate puzzles and high levels of flexibility. However, whichever toy you choose, we're sure your dog will thank you.
Featured Image via Pixabay