|Best Overall||Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle|
|Best for Play with Kids||Wobble Wag Giggle Ball|
|Best for Fighting Boredom||Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Dog Toy|
|Best with Self-Feeding Features||Dr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toys|
|Best for Training||Smarter Toys IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy|
|Best for Strong Chewers||PetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy|
- 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!
- 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
- Wobble Wag Giggle Ball
- Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Dog Toy
- 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
- Smarter Toys IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy
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
|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|
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
|1||Overall||ina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle|
|2||Play with Kids||Wobble Wag Giggle Ball|
|3||Fighting Boredom||Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush Dog Toys|
|4||Self-Feeding Features||Dr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toys|
|5||Training||OurPets IQ Treat Dog Toy|
|6||Strong Chewers||PetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy|
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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.