The 6 Best Interactive Dog Toys: Reviewed for 2022

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Updated: October 31, 2022

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Best forProduct
Best OverallNina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle
Best for Play with KidsWobble Wag Giggle Ball
Best for Fighting BoredomHyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Dog Toy
Best with Self-Feeding FeaturesDr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toys
Best for TrainingSmarter Toys IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy
Best for Strong ChewersPetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy
Key Points:
  • The best interactive dog toys help prevent boredom and destructive behaviors in your dog by physically and mentally stimulating them through fun or challenging activities.
  • One thing that interactive toys are useful for is in helping you get and maintain your dog’s attention, which makes them more responsive to commands. They can also be used to reward good behavior.
  • Keep in mind that no dog toy is indestructible, and they should be surveyed often to make sure they are not coming apart. If they are breaking, it’s better to throw them away than try to repair them.

Just like humans, dogs need physical and mental stimulation to keep them healthy and happy. It is important to satisfy a dog’s natural instincts, prevent boredom, and thereby help prevent destructive behaviors. This can be achieved by using an interactive toy. Dogs which might find themselves home alone are likely to enjoy toys that move, invite chewing, or turn eating into a game. Using these toys is also an exciting way for kids to get involved with your dog’s training. So, which are the best interactive dog toys?

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. Let’s get started with our list of the best interactive dog toys!

  1. Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle
  2. 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
  3. Wobble Wag Giggle Ball
  4. Wobble Wag Giggle Ball
    • Interactive ball with pre-recorded giggle sounds
    • No batteries required
    • 4 clutch pockets on ball for easy pick-up
    • As Seen on TV
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Dog Toy
  6. Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Dog Toy
    • Plush squeaky interactive dog tail toy
    • Features wiggling, vibrating, and barking
    • On/off button on top of plastic ball
    • Runs on 3 AAA batteries (not included)
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Dr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toys
  8. Dr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toys
    • Dog food puzzle slow feeder toy
    • Sliding doors to hide food behind stimulates IQ
    • 14 holes, 8 movable points
    • 100% non-toxic eco-friendly materials
    Check Amazon
  9. Smarter Toys IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy
  10. Smarter Toys IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy
    • Treat dispensing 4" interactive ball toy for dogs
    • Comes in 3" size for smaller breeds
    • Adjustable level of difficulty
    • Breakaway top for easy cleaning
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  11. PetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy
  12. PetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy
    • Dog training fitness ring
    • Can toss for fetch, tug, or chew
    • Floats in water
    • Available in 18cm or 29cm
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

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. Getting and keeping your pooch’s attention can be made easier using an interactive toy. 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

Puzzles

Pros!Cons!
Provide amusement for hoursSome dogs find ways to destroy these toys
A great way to encourage slower eating

Balls

Pros!Cons!
Ideal for retrievers and hunting dogsSmaller balls may present a choking hazard
Easy to use for games involving the whole family

Plushes

Pros!Cons!
Stimulate many breeds’ natural hunting instinctsMore easily destroyed than some other toys
Many have sound effects that catch dogs’ attention

Tough Toys

Pros!Cons!
Much harder for destructive chewers to destroyMany of these toys are too big for smaller breeds
Long-lasting, with many lasting for years

Our Criteria and Experience: How We Chose the Best

We researched various interactive dog toys to find ones that stimulate dogs in different ways. We looked for quality puzzle toys, chew toys, good ones for playing fetch, and toys that turn eating into a challenging game. 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

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 Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle is our overall best choice for interactive dog toys. It 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.

#2 Best for Play with Kids:Wobble Wag Giggle Ball

Best for Play with Kids
Wobble Wag Giggle Ball
  • Interactive ball with pre-recorded giggle sounds
  • No batteries required
  • 4 clutch pockets on ball for easy pick-up
  • As Seen on TV
Check Chewy Check Amazon

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.

#3 Best for Fighting Boredom: Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush Dog Toys

Best for Fighting Boredom
Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Dog Toy
  • Plush squeaky interactive dog tail toy
  • Features wiggling, vibrating, and barking
  • On/off button on top of plastic ball
  • Runs on 3 AAA batteries (not included)
Check Chewy Check Amazon

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.

#4 Best with Self-Feeding Features: Dr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toys

Best with Self-Feeding Features
Dr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toys
  • Dog food puzzle slow feeder toy
  • Sliding doors to hide food behind stimulates IQ
  • 14 holes, 8 movable points
  • 100% non-toxic eco-friendly materials
Check Amazon

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.

#5 Best for Training: OurPets IQ Treat Dog Toy

Best for Training
Smarter Toys IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy
  • Treat dispensing 4" interactive ball toy for dogs
  • Comes in 3" size for smaller breeds
  • Adjustable level of difficulty
  • Breakaway top for easy cleaning
Check Chewy Check Amazon

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.

#6 Best for Strong Chewers: PetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy

Best for Strong Chewers
PetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy
  • Dog training fitness ring
  • Can toss for fetch, tug, or chew
  • Floats in water
  • Available in 18cm or 29cm
Check Chewy Check Amazon

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.

Summary of the 6 Best Interactive Dog Toys

RankBest ForProduct
1Overallina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle
2Play with KidsWobble Wag Giggle Ball
3Fighting BoredomHyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush Dog Toys
4Self-Feeding FeaturesDr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toys
5TrainingOurPets IQ Treat Dog Toy
6Strong ChewersPetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy

Up Next…

Best forProduct
Best OverallNina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle
Best for Play with KidsWobble Wag Giggle Ball
Best for Fighting BoredomHyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Dog Toy
Best with Self-Feeding FeaturesDr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toys
Best for TrainingSmarter Toys IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy
Best for Strong ChewersPetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy
About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

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.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.