|#1: Best Overall Interactive Dog Toys — Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle||Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle|
|Best for Play with Kids: Wobble Wag Giggle Ball||Wobble Wag Giggle Ball|
|Best for Fighting Boredom: Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush Dog Toys||Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush Dog Toys|
|Best with Self-Feeding Features: Dr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toys||Dr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toys|
|Best for Training: OurPets IQ Treat Dog Toy||OurPets IQ Treat Dog Toy|
|Best for Strong Chewers: PetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy||PetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy|
Finding toys for large dogs and for heavy chewers, regardless of their size, is often challenging. The toys you pick should be durable and have features that help fight boredom effectively. Puzzles designed for dogs fit the bill very easily.
Verified Review: Our Hands-On Experience
With the help of our review panel, we’ve put together a list of the six best interactive dog toys to help you make your decision. Hopefully, among other things, these toys will be helpful for dogs left home alone. Other issues that we have decided to address include how effective toys are for training purposes, how to get dogs used to new toys, and essential safety precautions.
Our Top Picks for Best Interactive Dog Toys: Ranked
#1: Best Overall Interactive Dog Toys —Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle
- MENTALLY-STIMULATING DOG PUZZLE GAME: The MultiPuzzle by Nina Ottosson is our most challenging dog puzzle yet. This level 4 puzzle requires your dog to complete a series of steps in the correct order to keep discovering more hidden treats. Dog treat puzzles are a great way to reduce boredom and provide mental enrichment for your pup. The MultiPuzzle is perfect for ultra smart dogs that have already mastered levels 1-3.
- SPIN, SLIDE, HIDE, & SEEK: Place your dog's favorite treats or kibble under the sliders in the outer tray and in the center treat compartments. Slide the center covers and outer tiles over the compartments to hide the treats. For an extra challenge, put the ridged orange locks in place to secure the green square tiles. Encourage your dog to seek the treats and let the games begin
- 4 CHALLENGES, 1 PUZZLE: The level of difficulty of the MultiPuzzle can be adjusted as your dog learns. Between the moveable green tiles, spinning wheel, orange locks, and center sliders, your pup will stay busy working for those treat for a good while
- MADE WITH FOOD SAFE MATERIALS: Our interactive dog puzzles are made with food safe materials that you can trust with your pup. After the treat compartments have been emptied, this durable dog puzzle can be hand washed with warm water and mild soap.
- PLAY IT SAFE: No toy is indestructible. Do not leave toys with unsupervised pets. Remove and replace toy if damaged.
The Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle features food-safe plastic that is durable enough for dogs home alone of all ages. The toy is BPA-free, making it one of the safest options. This puzzle has multiple compartments where you can put treats, giving your dog hours of fun to reduce boredom.
When we reviewed this puzzle, some dogs were more likely to show interest in toys that move, demonstrating that puzzles are not a good fit for every dog. Although our reviewers found that these toys were good for dogs left alone, particularly destructive chewers that destroy most toys were able to damage these types of toys as well. If your dog damages one of these, you are best playing it safe and replacing the toy.
Click here to check out Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle on amazon.com.
Best for Play with Kids:Wobble Wag Giggle Ball
- FUN FOR ALL BIG OR SMALL Wobble Wag Giggle Ball is great for dogs of all ages and sizes! The 4 clutch pockets on the toy make it easy for your dog to pick up during playtime!
- WOBBLE WAG GIGGLE Ball With just the nudge of a nose, off the ball goes! Wobble Wag Giggle does not require batteries - the secret is the internal tube noisemaker inside of the ball, the enticing “play-with-me” giggle sounds are sure to engage your pup as the toy rolls around!
- HAPPY, HEALTHY & FIT! By engaging our dog’s natural curiosity and instinct to play with giggling sounds when rolled or shaken, this toy keeps your pup active and entertained throughout the day providing great exercise for your best friend! Wobble Wag Wiggle Ball can be used indoor or outdoors its a toy perfect for use everywhere!
- PETS KNOW BEST in choosing their toys. Wobble Wag Giggle is sure to catch your dog’s attention with the found sounds and become their favorite toy in no time! They will love fetching, rolling, and shaking this ball.
The Wobble Wag Giggle Ball is a great ball for kids and dogs alike, creating plenty of play activities involving your entire family. The noisemaker operates without batteries, offering hours of amusement with a simple push. Another thing that our reviewers enjoyed was the number of pockets available that dogs could use to pick up the ball.
One concern that reviewers had was whether this ball was a good choice for heavy chewers. A few of our reviewers had dogs that managed to destroy these balls. The ball fared better used for small dogs than used for large dogs.
Click here to check out Wobble Wag Giggle Ball on amazon.com.
Best for Fighting Boredom:Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush Dog Toys
- PLUSH SQUEAKY DOG TOY THAT WIGGLES, VIBRATES, & BARKS – Entice your dog to run, chase, play, and exercise. This interactive dog toy encourages fun stimulation for dogs of all ages. Fun dog toys for small dogs, dog toys for medium dogs, and large dog toys.
- REDUCE ANXIETY AND BOREDOM – With funny sounds and erratic movements, these funny dog toys & plush dog toy will capture your puppy or adult dog’s interest and keep them engaged with its interactive dog toy movements. The wobble and wiggle will keep them busy.
- TIPS TO ACTIVATE – On/Off button on this plush dog toy is located on the top of the plastic ball. Press the button and hold for 2 seconds to turn the ball on. To activate, shake, roll, or throw Hyper Pet Doggie Tail. The random motion will continue for approximately 10 seconds. Once action stops, rock, roll, or throw the interactive dog toy again to reactivate and continue play. When playtime is over, simply press the button to turn the dog ball off. PLEASE SEE VIDEOS FOR HELP.
- BATTERY OPERATED PROLONGED PLAY – To change batteries, remove the plastic ball from plush toy cover. Use tab to open the giggle dog toy ball. Remove the battery compartment and insert 3 AAA batteries. This interactive dog toy has an automatic stop feature after a period without use to extend battery life. (Batteries are included with the Hyper Pet Doggie Tail)
- NEW COVERS AVAILABLE – Additional Hyper Doggie Tail covers are available for your pet. Hyper Pet is a Cosmic Pet Brand. Color of Doggie Tail Plush May Vary. Please always supervise your pet while in use.
Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush Dog Toys are toys that move and are also great choices for kids who include the dog in their play activities. These plush toys make squeaking and barking noises to get dogs’ attention, as well as vibrate and wiggle. Reviewers dogs that are usually disinclined to use toys played with these very readily.
One concern that our reviewers had was the presence of batteries in these toys, a problem for heavy chewers to tend to destroy toys easily. Another concern was that the toy’s initial assembly was somewhat complicated. Another thing we also noticed was that the toy needs to be opened to turn it off or on, taking up more time.
Click here to check out Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush Dog Toys on amazon.com.
Best with Self-Feeding Features:Dr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toys
- 【Size】: 9.44" * 1.14" (diameter * height), suitable for cats, puppies and small dogs.REVRP
- 【Interactive Dog Toys】This is a fun interactive puppy puzzle toy, which can easily become the closest companion and toy for your puppies and cats, and will release pressure for dogs. Find food by sliding parts to improve eating pleasure and IQ.
- 【Slow feeder】This slow feeder encourages pets to eat at a slower speed, helps to slow down the feeding time to help the dog digest, and can provide your dog with a variety of healthy snacks.
- 【Slow Feede toys】 Use this educational game toy to exercise the dog’s brain, which will help meet the dog’s instinct needs, train the pet’s sense of smell, and let the dog enjoy fun feeding when using the nose or paw to move the slider, while providing spirit stimulate.
- 【Dog toys】No toy is indestructible. Do not leave toys with unsupervised pets. Remove and replace toy if damaged.
Dr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toys feature durable plastic and have sliding parts that dogs can move to access treats. Using the parts that move to access treats is excellent for mental stimulation in dogs of all ages. When we reviewed these toys, they also helped dogs that often gulp their food slow down while eating.
We found that dogs with destructive chewing habits often destroyed these toys. Although the material is durable, the most destructive chewers will often go to any length to retrieve a treat. These toys are not designed for repair when a dog becomes overly destructive.
Click here to check out Dr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toys on amazon.com.
Best for Training: OurPets IQ Treat Dog Toy
The OurPets IQ Treat Dog Toy offers a mix of mental stimulation and rewards for your furry friend. We liked how this toy works for dogs home alone because they learn to push the ball progressively harder to get the treats. The sturdy plastic is also easy to clean, which we find very helpful.
One concern we had was the two pieces of the ball separated more often than expected. Sometimes, it seemed as though keeping the ball together ad getting it apart were equally challenging. When we tested this ball, we had legitimate concerns about using it for large dogs because they could break it easily.
Click here to check out OurPets IQ Treat Dog Toy on chewy.com.
Best for Strong Chewers: PetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy
PetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy is perfect for retrieving or playing tug-of-war. The sturdy rubber ring is easy for dogs to grasp, especially during retrieving games. We liked how this toy was easy to spot wherever it landed in the yard.
The only complaint that we had about this product is that it might not stimulate dogs disinclined to fetch. Retrievers and other hunting breeds got the most from this toy. However, some smaller or less active breeds showed decreased interest.
Click here to check out PetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy on chewy.com.
How to Choose the Right Interactive Dog Toys
When you’re choosing the right toy for your dog, you’ll want to consider your dog’s activity level, as well as whether they are destructive with their toys. Some dogs are less active and require a little effort on your part to try out new toys. Another thing to consider is whether your dog tends to destroy toys, especially when left unsupervised.
How Effective Are Interactive Dog Toys for Training?
Interactive toys are excellent choices for training. One thing that these toys are useful is in helping you get and maintain your dog’s attention. Dogs are more responsive to commands when you have their undivided attention.
Another way these toys are helpful is by providing a way to reward your dog for good behavior. Treats and fun games help your dog associate good behavior with rewards. If your dog links obeying a command with a game of fetch, your furry friend will likely be better behaved.
How Do You Get Dogs Used to New Toys?
Although many types of dogs get excited about new toys, some are a little hesitant. Sometimes the toy is different from anything that dog has used before. Another issue might be that your dog has gone without social interactions that produce play interest.
Allowing your dog to check out the toy to get used to it is always helpful. Praise your dog for interacting with the toy. Once your dog has seen that the toy is fun, he’ll probably play without requiring prompts.
What Are Important Safety Precautions for Dog Toys?
Dog toys have safe designs, but some dogs are more destructive than others. Sometimes, big dogs can easily destroy toys that others seem indestructible. One helpful thing to remember is that no toy is completely indestructible.
Proper supervision, especially with puppies, helps prevent a lot of problems. Disposing of a toy when broken is a better option than attempting repairs. Making sure there are no broken pieces left behind that your dog could swallow and choke on is a smart idea.
The Different Types of Interactive Dog Toys: Pros and Cons
|Provide amusement for hours||Some dogs find ways to destroy these toys|
|A great way to encourage slower eating|
|Ideal for retrievers and hunting dogs||Smaller balls may present a choking hazard|
|Easy to use for games involving the whole family|
|Stimulate many breeds’ natural hunting instincts||More easily destroyed than some other toys|
|Many have sound effects that catch dogs’ attention|
|Much harder for destructive chewers to destroy||Many of these toys are too big for smaller breeds|
|Long-lasting, with many lasting for years|
Last update on 2022-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The 6 Best Interactive Dog Toys: Reviewed for 2022 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Are interactive toys good for dogs?
Yes, interactive dog toys are great for dogs, especially as training aids.
How do you mentally stimulate a dog with a toy?
The best way to mentally stimulate a dog with a toy is to get him as excited as possible when using it.
What toys are good for bored dogs?
Toys that are good for bored dogs include self-propelled balls, as well as treat-filled puzzles.
How do you stimulate a working dog?
You can stimulate a working dog by using the toy as a reward for a job well done.