The Best Interactive Dog Toys: Reviewed

Written by Hannah Ward
Updated: December 5, 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 #1 Best Overall interactive dog toy is the Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle.
  • 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 checked often to make sure they are not coming apart. If they are breaking, it’s better to throw them away than to 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
    • Interactive dog puzzle for finding hidden treats
    • Spin, slide, unlock features
    • Advanced level, 4 challenges
    • BPA, PVC, phthalate free
    Check Amazon
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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

Our Top Picks for Best Interactive Dog Toys: Ranked

#1: Best Overall: Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle

The best overall interactive dog toy is the Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle.

This toy features food-safe plastic that is durable enough for dogs 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 for your pet to work out how to uncover them, giving your dog hours of fun to reduce boredom. However, the best feature of this toy is that there are dour different levels and you can adjust the difficulty level to suit your pet’s needs.

Although these toys are good for dogs left alone, some customers reported that particularly destructive chewers were able to damage this toy. If your dog damages one of these, you are best playing it safe and replacing the toy.

Pros and Cons of the Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle

ProsCons
This toy features four levels of difficulty that can be adjusted to meet the needs of your pet.Some destructive pets can damage this toy by chewing it.
It is made from durable plastic that is BPA free.
This toy is suitable for dogs of all ages.
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

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

If you need a toy that your kids and dog can play with together then we suggest the Wobble Wag Giggle Ball which is suitable for the entire family.

This toy operates without batteries and makes fun giggling sounds when moved, offering hours of amusement with a simple push. It is made from flexible and durable phthalate-free vinyl which is completely safe for pets. A really clever feature is the numerous holes in it which dogs can use to pick it up with. It is also suitable for dogs of all ages.

Unfortunately, a few of customers reported that their large dogs managed to destroy these balls. Therefore, it is most suitable for smaller dogs.

Pros and Cons of the Wobble Wag Giggle Ball

ProsCons
This toy creates a fun giggling sound when it is moved.Large dogs can destroy the ball by chewing it.
It is made from flexible and durable phthalate-free vinyl which is pet-safe.
It is suitable for dogs of all sizes and ages.
This toy does not need batteries.
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

3. Best for Fighting Boredom: Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Dog Toy

For pets that need help fighting boredom we recommend the Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Dog Toy.

This plush toy makes squeaking and barking noises while also vibrating and wiggling. These fascinating movements and sounds are sure to grab the attention of your pooch and keep them amused and interested. It is motion-activated ad turns on whenever it is shook, picked up, or rolled over. However, it also has an off/off button on the top for when you want your pet to have a rest, while it also features an automatic sleep function which switches it off after a period of inactivity.

However, the main drawback to this product is that it uses batteries, and this is not ideal if your pet is prone to chewing and destroys toys easily.

Pros and Cons of the Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Dog Toy

ProsCons
This is a plush toy that vibrates ad wiggles while also making barking and squeaking noises.This toy requires batteries which is not ideal for pets that chew and destroy toys.
It is motion-activated and switches on when shook or picked up.
A on/off button on the top allows you to switch it off completely.
It features an automatic sleep function which switches it off after a period of inactivity.
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

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

For pets that love to search for treats we have selected the Dr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toy.

This toy is made from durable plastic and has sliding parts that dogs can move to access treats. This toy features 14 holes with eight movable points and learning to move the parts is an excellent way to encourage mental stimulation. This toy can also be used as a slow-feeder to prevent dogs from gulping down their food. It is also made from eco-friendly material which are non-toxic and perfectly safe for your pet.

Unfortunately, although the material is durable, the most destructive chewers will often go to any length to retrieve a treat and subsequently this toy can be destroyed. Also, it is on the small side which makes it unsuitable for larger dogs.

Pros and Cons of the Dr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toy

ProsCons
This toy is made from durable plastic which is non-toxic and safe for pets.This toy can de destroyed by pets that are determined to get to the treats.
It features 14 holes with eight movable points that dogs can move to access treats.The small size makes it unsuitable for larger dogs.
It can also be used as a slow-feeder to prevent dogs from gulping food.
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

5. Best for Training: SmarterToys IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy

Our selection as the best interactive dog toy for training is the SmarterToys IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy.

This is a four inch treat dispensing ball toy that offers a mix of mental stimulation and rewards for your furry friend. Simply fill it with your dog’s favorite treats and watch as they push it around to dispense them. This toy is a great way to break up boredom for your pet as they have to learn to push the ball harder to access the treats. It is also good at encouraging your pet to exercise while still rewarding the pet with a treat. Another good thing about this toy is that it made from sturdy plastic which is easy to clean.

Unfortunately, this toy may not be suitable for larger dogs as some customers have reported that they managed to break it quite easily. Also, the two halves can open quite easily when it is pushed around by particularly enthusiastic pets.

Pros and Cons of the SmarterToys IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy

ProsCons
This toy provides a mix of mental stimulation and rewards.This toy is not suitable for larger dogs as some customers reported that they broke it easily.
Dogs have to learn to push the ball around to access the treats.The two halves open easily when pushed around by particularly enthusiastic pets.
It is made from strong and durable plastic.
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

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

If your pet is a strong chewer then we recommend the PetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy.

This toy is perfect for retrieving or playing tug-of-war. This is a sturdy rubber ring which is easy for dogs to grasp while also being durable enough to withstand a lot of chewing. Another great feature of this toy is that it is lightweight and even floats on water which is great if you have a water-loving pooch. It is also available in two sizes which means it is suitable for all dogs.

Unfortunately, this toy does not really stimulate dogs unless they are inclined to play fetch or tug-of-war.

Pros and Cons of the PetSpy Fitness Ring Dog Toy

ProsCons
This toy is made from durable rubber which is strong enough to withstand dogs that chew.This toy only stimulates dogs that are inclined to play fetch.
It is lightweight and easy for dogs to grasp.
This toy floats on water which makes it ideal for pets that love playing in water.
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

The Different Types of Interactive Dog Toys: Pros and Cons

Puzzles

ProsCons
Puzzle toys can provide amusement for hours.Some dogs find ways to destroy these toys.
They are a great way to encourage slower eating.

Balls

ProsCons
These toys are ideal for retrievers and hunting dogs.Smaller balls may present a choking hazard.
They are easy to use for games involving the whole family.

Plushes

ProsCons
These stimulate many breeds’ natural hunting instincts.They are more easily destroyed than some other toys.
Many have sound effects that catch dogs’ attention.

Tough Toys

ProsCons
They are much harder for destructive chewers to destroy.Many of these toys are too big for smaller breeds.
They are long-lasting, with many lasting for years.

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.

Our Criteria: What to Look for When Choosing an Interactive Dog Toy

There are several things to consider when you are choosing an interactive dog toy for your pet. The first thing you should take into account is the activity level or your dog and how much mental stimulation they require. Active dogs with a high mental capacity are likely to need a more challenging toy than a more-laid back dog. Less active dogs are also more likely to require a little effort on your part to encourage them to try out their new toy.

Another thing to consider is how durable the toy is. This is because more active dogs are more likely to destroy a toy. Therefore, if you’ve a dog that likes to chew then you should ensure the toy is made of tough material which isn’t likely to break easily.

Additionally, you should consider the size of your pet and the size of the you that they require. For example, a small dog will struggle with a large toy while I large dog is not going to get the same benefit or entertainment from a small toy.

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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
About the Author

Hannah is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on reptiles, marine life, mammals, and geography. Hannah has been writing and researching animals for four years alongside running her family farm. A resident of the UK, Hannah loves riding horses and creating short stories.

The Best Interactive Dog Toys: Reviewed 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.

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.

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