Discover the 20 Best Puzzle Dog Toys You Can Buy Today

Written by Gail Baker Nelson
Published: November 5, 2023
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As with all things pet-related, there is more than one way to entertain your dogs when you can’t. The pet market has exploded with hundreds of puzzle toys for dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and everything else. And, though we love all of our pets — we’re only focusing on dog puzzle toys today.

Puzzle toys are among the best tools to help keep your pup’s mind active and engaged when you can’t be there. Some need supervision so they don’t destroy them, but others are great options when you have to leave your dog alone. 

Benefits of Puzzle Toys

Puzzle toys are more than just a little fun for your dogs. They typically involve multiple senses and help pups develop a few problem-solving skills while they work to get the toy or treat. 

The Best Puzzle Toys for Dogs Develop:

  • Problem-solving skills. Dogs have to use their brain to get the treats or toys. Some might try brute force, but most will work through it.
  • Exercising their sniffer! Dogs’ sense of smell is up to 100,000 times better than ours. When you smell beef stew, dogs smell carrots, celery, beef, pepper, potatoes, etc. 
  • Improve coordination. More advanced puzzle toys with doors or covers require more finesse to manipulate.

Different types of puzzle toys

Puzzle toys with openings you can stuff food into often help induce a calmer state of mind. If you’ve ever done any dog training, you probably know that training with food creates calm, while toys often do the opposite.

Most dog interactive puzzle games feature a treat as a reward for solving it.

©Lenti Hill/

Archstone Pets Snuffle Mat

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

No puzzle toy list is complete if it doesn’t have at least one snuffle mat. This one folds into a convenient size for transport and allows you to transport it full of treats.

Snuffle mats help encourage your dogs to use their sniffers. After all, when you’ve got a sense of smell like a dog does, using it is fun. You can adjust the difficulty level by shoving the treats further into the loops and pockets, making it harder for them to locate treats — and buying you a little more quiet time.

However, some dogs may just grab the mat and shake it out. You never know, so until you discover how your dog plays with a snuffle mat (and perhaps beyond) supervision is important.

Encourages Foraging Behavior
Archstone Pets Interactive Snuffle Mat
  • Lots of loops and hiding places for treats
  • Folds up for transport
  • Encourages dogs to use their nose
  • Soft fleece fabric is washable
Check Chewy

Classic Kong Toy

Level: Beginner

This natural rubber toy has been the salvation of many dogs and their owners for over 40 years. 

Kong Classic is a staple for many dogs. It comes in several sizes and even different types of rubber, so there’s one for nearly every dog size. Kong Classic is perfect for light to medium chewers and has a hole on each end to prevent it from getting lodged in their throats. It’s also easy to fill with dog-safe peanut butter and other snacks.

KONG Classic Dog Toy
  • Available in multiple sizes and densities
  • Suitable for every stage of life and every size of dog
  • Helps with teething and chewing
  • Can be filled with treats
  • Extremely durable
Check Chewy Check Amazon

SunGrow Interactive Chew Ball Treat Dispenser

Level: Beginner

The SunGrow Interactive Chew Ball Treat Dispenser is perfect for younger dogs who are still teething and need that gnawing action. It will hold dental sticks and other small to medium firm treats but you could also fill the hole with peanut butter. 

Some reviewers said their dogs were able to chew the nubs off, so you’ll probably want to supervise your pup with this one.

SunGrow Interactive Chew Ball Treat Dispenser Dog & Cat Teething Toy
  • Great for teething pups
  • Holds treats in grooves and paste in the center
  • BPA-free and safe
  • Better for gentle chewers
Check Chewy

JW Pet Treat N Squeak Ball

Level: Beginner

This toy will push your pup’s prey drive into overdrive. It has a squeaker but can also be stuffed with multiple treats. 

Some reviewers said that the treats all fall out of the ball as soon as it rolls — especially small round ones. However, others solved that problem by stuffing it with something frozen that takes up most of the room, and then filling the open spaces with smaller irregularly shaped treats.

JW Pet Treat N Squeak Ball Treat Dispensing Dog Toy, Medium
  • Food gets dispensed when your dog plays
  • Squeaker adds to the fun
  • BPA-free plastic is sturdy
  • Some strong chewers can chew the honeycomb
Check Chewy Check Amazon

TRIXIE Windmill Dog Toy

Level: Beginner

This is not a difficult puzzle for dogs. However, it works well as a slow feeder and for nervous dogs who don’t like new things.

Most dogs should get the hang of it quickly, but you can help by showing your dog how to move the windmill arms. You can adjust the amount of treats it dispenses by changing the lids on each arm of the windmill and its stable base makes a great option for feeding time.

TRIXIE Windmill Activity Strategy Game Dog Toy
  • Fill windmill blades with treats
  • Dogs use their nose and paws to turn and release treats
  • Easy to clean
  • Great for beginners
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Pet Zone IQ Treat Dispenser Ball

Level: Adjustable from Beginner to Intermediate

The IQ Treat Dispenser Ball from Pet Zone only holds kibble, other foods will probably get stuck. However, this is a great toy for gentle dogs. As your pup rolls it around, treats pop out for them to eat. As they get really good at it, you can adjust the difficulty level by adding or removing internal parts.

Best Treat Dispenser
Pet Zone IQ Treat Dispenser Ball Dog Toy
  • Help dog to eat slower
  • Difficulty can be adjusted
  • Easy to clean
  • Stimulates your dog during playtime
Check Chewy

Starmark Treat Dispensing Bob-a-Lot Dog Toy

Level: Adjustable from Beginner to Intermediate

Do you remember those kids’ toys — Weebles? You could whack the thing and it popped right back up? This is the dog version of that. It dispenses treats and has an adjustable difficulty level.

Great for Beginners
Starmark Treat Dispensing Bob-a-Lot Dog Toy
  • Erratic movement keeps dogs interested
  • BPA-free plastic is sturdy and safe
  • Adjustable difficulty and snug screw top
  • Some dogs can unscrew the lid
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Kong Wobbler Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

Level: Intermediate

Similar to the Bob-A-Lot, the Kong Wobbler is a little more of a challenge, but one that food-motivated pups should love. To fill it, the base unscrews and you can fill it with dry kibble. You can use it as a puzzle for treats and it works well as a slow feeder. 

It doesn’t have removable parts to adjust the difficulty level, but one reviewer mentioned that kibble comes out more slowly if you put a piece of crumbled-up cardboard inside the Kong Wobbler.

Frisco Fall Hay Wagon Hide & Seek Puzzle Toy

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

This adorable plush toy is a Chewy exclusive and includes a hay wagon that holds scarecrow, pumpkin, and crow plush toys. Each character has a squeaker that may just drive your pooch pumpkin-crazy! 

As with all plush toys, they’re really not made to last as long as say, a Kong, especially for dogs who enjoy shredding things. However, if you don’t mind that part, and you supervise, a hide-and-seek puzzle toy could be just the thing.

Stuff the characters inside the hay wagon and watch your dog have fun “hunting” them. You can even purchase replacements when your pooch shreds the plush characters.

Great for Beginners
Frisco Fall Hay Wagon Hide & Seek Puzzle Plush Squeaky Dog Toy
  • Squeakers in each plush character
  • Encourages hunting behavior
  • Great for beginners
  • Plush characters are replaceable
Check Chewy

TRIXIE Mad Scientist Turn Around Activity Strategy Game

Level: Intermediate

Here’s where it starts getting interesting. Dogs must learn to turn each of the tubes upside down to release treats. If your dog is handling all the easy puzzles well, it may be time to increase the difficulty.

Dogs have to flip each tube over to release treats. Bigger kibble pieces may get caught on the bar that holds the tubes, so small pieces are idea. This puzzle is best for small to medium dogs and puppies because bigger dogs are more likely to knock it over. A few reviewers said their dogs knocked it over too easily, so that could be a problem for some.

Great for Small Dogs
TRIXIE Mad Scientist Turn Around Activity Strategy Game Dog Toy, Level 2
  • Slightly harder than beginner puzzles
  • Requires coordination
  • Adjustable difficulty
  • Might tip over too easily
Check Chewy Check Amazon

RETALPQ Dog Treat Puzzle Toy

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

There are 25 cavities for treats and 21 sliders. Your pup can learn to slide covers out of the way to get to their favorite treats. The RETALPQ Dog Treat Puzzle Toy increases the difficulty just a little, by making dogs slid covers to the side as they search for treats.

There’s a little problem-solving needed but shouldn’t be too hard for most dogs. Many reviewers also use this as a slow feeder. 

RETALPQ Dog Treat Puzzle Toy
  • Plenty of openings for treats
  • Great as a slow feeder
  • Good choice for beginner to intermediate dogs
Check Amazon

Pupzle Dog Puzzle

Level: Intermediate to Advanced

The Pupzle Dog Puzzle conjures images of a certain puzzle cube we all attempted as kids, but usually only managed to solve one or two sides. However, this is a puzzle your dog can solve with some practice.

Three different sections all have drawers your dog can open for treats, and each section rotates for more entertainment. The treat drawers are designed so that hopefully, your dog can’t pull them all the way out.

Pupzle Dog Puzzle Enrichment Toy
  • Cute design with food-safe plastic
  • Three levels that spin
  • Dogs learn to pull out drawers for treats
Check Amazon

Brightkins Touchdown Time Treat Puzzle

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Monday night football is about to get more interesting — for your dog. The BPA-Free plastic football has four layers of treat holders and allows dogs to spin each one with a paw or their nose to reveal them. 

You can use either a paste or dry treats in the Brightkins Touchdown Time Treat Puzzle. It can also work as a slow feeder if your dog is part vacuum.

Brightkins Touchdown Time! Treat Puzzle Dog Toy
  • Dog-safe BPA free plastic
  • Unique design with 16 compartments
  • Great for intermediate dogs
Check Chewy Check Amazon

KADTC Dog Puzzle Toy and Treat Dispenser

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

With three difficulty levels and compartments that slide or flip, dogs will love using their heads and noses to find treats. It should last for a while too, because the plastic is durable and stands up to some enthusiastic pawing.

The KADTC Dog Puzzle Toy will keep your pooch thinking while they eat. Here’s hoping you get a few moments of peace. But, you may have more fun watching your dog find and open all the cubbies.

KADTC Dog Puzzle Toy for Dogs
  • Slide, push, and pull compartments
  • Great for puppies and small dogs
  • BPA Free and safe for dogs
  • Mentally stimulating
Check Amazon

KADTC Mental Stimulation Toy 2 Levels in 1

Level: Intermediate to Advanced

You can use this toy in two ways — the first has you filling each compartment with kibble or other dry treats, and your dog gets to flip open the lids to find them. The second requires two steps — you fill the upper compartment and then your dog presses down on it to fill the lower compartments. 

The KADTC 2-in-1 Mental Stimulation Toy should be a bigger challenge for dogs who have been solving puzzles for a while.

KADTC Puzzle Toy for Mental Stimulation
  • Dogs learn to combine skills
  • Doubles as a slow feeder
  • Two levels of difficulty
  • Food-safe materials
Check Amazon

TRIXIE Mini Mover Strategy Game Dog Toy

Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Designed for small to medium dogs, the TRIXIE Mini Mover Strategy Game Dog Toy makes finding treats fun. Hidden compartments with covers that push, lift, and slide keep your dog interested and thinking. Many reviewers said that the size is best for small dogs because the plastic is lighter in weight.

TRIXIE Mini Mover Activity Strategy Game Dog Toy, Level 3
  • Lift, push, and slide to open compartments
  • Helpful tips and tricks included
  • Mentally stimulating
  • Pet-safe materials
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Worker Green Interactive Puzzle Dog Toy

Level: Advanced

Dogs have to figure out how to open the compartments that spin and slide. It holds about a quarter cup of dry food for your pooch to discover and is made from non-toxic plastic that will hold up to the abuse most dogs will dish out.

Best for Enrichment
Outward Hound Interactive Puzzle Dog Bowl

•Interactive bowl for dogs

•Hide food under moveable pieces

•BPA, phthalate, PVC free

•4 levels of difficulty

Check Amazon

Frisco 3-in-1 Interactive Puzzle Dog Toy

Level: Advanced

Sliding nooks and openings hold treats, but only if your dog figures out how to move the covers. Really smart dogs or dogs with previous puzzle experience will love this one. Reviewers said the build quality is excellent and holds up well to their pups.

Frisco 3-in-1 Interactive Puzzle Dog Toy, Advanced
  • Durable
  • Challenging for experienced dogs
  • Lots of treat nooks
  • BPA free, pet-safe materials
Check Chewy

Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound MultiPuzzle Interactive Dog Toy

Level: Expert

This toy takes the challenge level up a bit and will keep even your puzzle-savvy pooch busy for a few minutes. It features several games with different solutions that your dog will have to figure out.

Best Overall
Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle
  • Interactive dog puzzle for finding hidden treats
  • Spin, slide, unlock features
  • Advanced level, 4 challenges
  • BPA, PVC, phthalate free
Check Amazon

The photo featured at the top of this post is © alexei_tm/

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About the Author

Gail Baker Nelson is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles and dogs. Gail has been writing for over a decade and uses her experience training her dogs and keeping toads, lizards, and snakes in her work. A resident of Texas, Gail loves working with her three dogs and caring for her cat, and pet ball python.

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