Dogs, like humans, love to exercise their body and brain while they play or feed. And if you are someone who has to leave the canine home alone during the day, this physical and mental stimulation is even more important. After all, you would not want your beloved pet to chew through your cushions, shoes and other household items!
So how can you keep your dog engaged and stimulated, even when you are not around?
The simple answer is to get some mind-stimulating, interactive dog toys. These durable, smart dog toys go well beyond the standard chew, squeak, and plush toys and provide hours of fun to your dog by stimulating their senses and challenging their minds. Many of them also act as an excellent treat dispensing toys and help in slowing down the feeding time.
In this article, we list some of the best interactive dog toys available in the market. We will also summarize the factors to consider while picking the best interactive puzzle dog toys and share some things to keep in mind while using these toys.
Also, check out our article on the best dog fetch balls for some additional excellent options for play-time with your canine.
Best interactive dog toys listSome of the best interactive dog toys and best dog puzzles available in the market are listed below:
The Price Indicator for these toys is defined based on the following scale:
$ – Up to $15
$$ – $15 – $25
$$$ – $25+
Best interactive puzzle dog toys review
Suitable For: All dog breeds from Small to X-Large. Use under supervision.
- Plush squeaking toy to stimulate a canine’s sniffing and scrounging senses.
- A soft toy that consists of a trunk with four to five openings which can be stuffed with squeaking animals for the pet to locate and drag out.
- Each squeaking animal is removable and also suitable for toss and fetch play.
- Available in four sizes, making the toy suitable for all dog breeds.
- Available with four animals – the most popular squirrel, bee, bird and hedgehog.
Outward Hound Hide-a-squirrel is a fun-filled, 2-in-1 plush interactive dog toy which would provide hours of fun to your furry friend.
It is available in four different sizes and animal combinations and works well with dogs of all sizes and breeds. With high-quality soft stitching and durable construction, it comes with 3 squeaking squirrels (the X-large model comes with 6 squirrels), which can be stuffed in the holes of the trunk. Replacement animals are also available separately.
Observe your inquisitive pet race to get each of the squirrels out of their burrows. And to make it more interesting, you can hide some treats behind the squirrels to reward your canine’s quest.
And that is not all! Each squirrel can also be used as a toss-and-fetch toy. So your dog can have all the fun indoors as well as outdoors.
Since the plush toy is seamed, the animals and the trunk can be torn apart by an aggressive chewer. So, you must use this toy only under supervision.
Suitable For: Small and medium-sized dogs. Not for aggressive chewers. Use under supervision.
- Plush Squeaking Dog Toy available in four different designs, each with three animals and a home with 2 or more holes.
- Made of durable, soft material that is securely stitched. Gentle on pet’s teeth and gums.
- Interactive toy for small to medium-sized dogs, challenging them to dig the animal out of the hole.
- Each animal has one high-quality round squeaker that produces a distinct sound. Also suitable for toss and fetch play.
The farm animal squeaking plush toys by ZippyPaws is another popular, battery-free interactive dog toy. Designed specifically for small and medium-sized dogs (20 lbs. or less), this toy challenges the canine to get the animal out of its hole.
The ZippyPaws Farm Pals toy is available in four designs – carrot-bunny, chicken-hut, mice-and-cheese and the most popular pig-burrow design. Each design has a unique color combination, so you have multiple options to pick from. The toy is made of soft fabric and securely stitched to survive chewing by pets. It is, however, not suitable for aggressive chewers or large dogs which can destroy the plush animal easily.
Each toy has an animal home with two or more holes and animals which can fit in those holes for the pet to track down and take out. Every animal piece features a high-quality, round squeaker that produces a distinctive sound, entertaining your pet even further.
Overall, the ZippyPaws Farm Pals Squeaky Plush Toy is an engaging interactive toy for dog owners who are looking for a non-treat dispensing toy for their small or medium sized dog.
Suitable For: Adult small to large dogs. Use under supervision.
- A plastic treat dispensing puzzle toy that uses almost all sensory skills of dog.
- The puzzle consists of lift-up cones, knobs and sliding disks to hide treats.
- A non-slip rubber rim and the unique design keeps the puzzle board and parts secure and stable.
- Available in five different arrangements with varied levels of difficulty – Tower, Poker table, Chess board, Move-2-win and Moving tower.
- Dishwasher safe and backed by a one-year warranty.
Trixie Pet Products are an established brand for interactive treat dispensing dog toys and the Flipboard is one of their most popular interactive dog puzzle toys.
The Flipboard toy features a combination of lift-up cones, flipping knobs and slide disks which can be used to conceal dry goodies and treats. Watch as your beloved dog uses its paws, tongue, and snout to work through the puzzle set to discover hidden goodies to reward itself. The non-slip rubber rim keeps the puzzle board stable and secure as the pet explores it.
All the Trixie Pet Products treat dispensing dog toys are made of food-grade ABS plastic and pretty durable. All the puzzle boards and toys are dishwasher safe and backed by a one-year warranty, so you and your pet can have a lot of fun with the Trixie Flipboard and other models of interactive dog toys.
Other variants of the Trixie Flipboard include the Easy-level Gambling Tower, the Medium-level Poker, and the Advanced-Level Chess Board and Moving Tower.
Level: Easy to Intermediate
Suitable For: Small and Medium dogs. Use under supervision.
- High-quality interactive dog ball, made with BPA-free, durable plastic.
- Acts as an excellent slow feeder, as the treats are dispensed as the ball is rolled.
- Adjustable difficulty level using an in-built dispensing disc.
- Available in two sizes – Small and Large.
OurPets IQ Treat Dispensing Ball is an excellent interactive dog ball toy for pets. It is made of BPA-free, non-toxic durable plastic and features three removable parts – the transparent dispenser semi-sphere, an internal disc and a solid semi-sphere.
The treats-kibbles and dry food can be stored in the treat ball and the difficulty adjusted using the internal disc. As the dog rolls the ball, the kibble is dispensed through the opening. This helps in keeping the dog mentally stimulated and physically active.
The OurPets IQ Treat Ball is available in two sizes – 3-inches for small dog breeds and 4-inches for medium dog breeds. Because of its size and design, it is not very suitable for extra-large dogs and aggressive chewers.
Cleaning is easy, though it is recommended to wash it by hand and let it air dry.
The IQ Treat Ball is available in two colors – sky blue and orange. However, you have no choice and the one available is shipped.
Suitable For: Small for dogs up to 25 lbs. Large for dogs weighing 25+ lbs. Can be used for unsupervised play.
- High-quality, made in the US, treat dispensing toy. Made of FDA-approved, food grade plastic polymer.
- Built like the Kong classic rubber toy, the Wobbler spins, Wobbles and rolls on contact, and dispenses the treats.
- Available in two sizes – Small can hold up to 1/2 cups of kibbles, Large can hold 1 cup of treats.
Looking for a treat dispensing toy which would not roll under the furniture like a treat ball? Then the Kong Wobbler is the perfect treat dispensing dog toy to get.
This high-quality, durable toy is made in the US with food-grade, BPA-free plastic polymer. The Wobbler features a twist off dispenser to fill the toy with treats. As the dog plays with the toy, it spins, wobbles and rolls and the treats are dispensed from the hole.
The Wobbler is available in two sizes with the Small size suitable for dogs weighing 25 lbs. or less and the large size for medium and large dog breeds weighing up to 75 lbs.
Cleaning is easy and the toy is dishwasher safe.
To make things more interesting, add a dash of peanut butter to entice the pooch further or freeze the filled-in toy to make treat dispensing more challenging and slower.
The Wobbler is most suitable for use on carpeted floors as it may be a bit noisy on the hardwood floors. And since it is pretty durable, the Kong Wobbler can be used for unsupervised play as well.
Level: Easy to Intermediate
Suitable For: Small and Medium dogs. Use under supervision.
- Another popular wobbling treat-dispensing dog toy. Made in China with food-grade plastic.
- Features an adjustable treat opening to control the difficulty level.
- Has a weighted anti-slip bottom which produces an erratic wobble as the dog plays with it.
- Available in two sizes – Small and Large. Small sized toy can store 1 cup of meal while the large sized toy can store 3 cups of food.
The StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy is another popular Wobbling treat dispensing toy. It features a food-grade, BPA-free plastic body with a weighted anti-slip bottom.
The treat opening is adjustable to different difficulty levels. As the dog pushes the toy, the treats are dispensed periodically enticing the pet into more activity. The Bob-A-Lot dog toy is available in two sizes – Small and Large.
The Small toy can store up to 1 cup of food, while the Large toy can store a full meal – up to 3 cups of food. Cleaning is not too difficult. The best way is to submerge the toy in soapy water, wash and air dry it.
Like the Kong Wobbler, the StarMark Bob-A-Lot dog toy is most suitable for use on carpeted floors as it may be a bit noisy on the marble and hardwood floors. However, unlike the Kong Wobbler, the Bob-A-Lot is not suitable for aggressive chewers and large dogs and should only be used under supervision.
Suitable For: All Adult Dogs. Small for dogs up to 25 lbs.; Large for 25+ lbs. Suitable for unsupervised play.
- Award-winning interactive treat dispensing toy. Made in the US with Latex, BPA, BPS and Phthalate-free, non-toxic and FDA-compliant thermoplastic.
- Dishwasher safe and 100% recyclable through the manufacturer’s closed loop program.
- Bone-shaped and can store kibble, sticks, strips or slice-shaped treats.
- Available in two sizes and three vibrant colors. Small Qwizl can dispense 1/2″ or smaller treats and the large toy can dispense approximately 3/4″ treats.
- 100% guarantee against dog damage and backed by the manufacturer through a one-time replacement policy.
Looking for an interactive treat dispensing dog toy which can store a variety of treats? Then check out the West Paw Zogoflex Qwizl Treat Dispensing Dog Toy.
This high-quality, ultra-durable dog toy is made of Latex, BPA, BPS and Phthalate-free, non-toxic thermoplastic. It can be loaded with kibbles, sticks or strips, which are dispensed through the opening as the dog swivels the toy.
The Qwizl toy offers excellent two-in-one fun for use as a treat dispensing toy and a toss-and-fetch toy. It is easy to toss and also floats on water, so you can use it for pool or lake play as well.
The toy is available in two sizes, small and large and available in three vibrant, easy-to-spot colors – Aqua, Tangerine, and Granny Apple. The small Qwizl toy can dispense treats up to 1/2″ inches in size while the large toy can dispense 3/4″ treats.
The Qiwzl is dishwasher safe and recyclable. And the best part is that it is guaranteed against dog damage and backed the manufacturer through a one-time replacement policy. So if for any reason the toy gets damaged, the manufacturer would replace it with another toy throughout its lifetime. Truly a big advantage for pet owners!
Suitable For: Medium to Large adult dogs. Use under supervision.
- A popular treat-hiding dog puzzle toy, designed by famed designer Nina Ottosson. Made of food-grade, BPA-free plastic.
- Features three types of treat dispensing features with removable pieces, flipping toys and sliders. Each row has five spaces to put in treats.
- Comes with additional removable bone puzzle pieces for more mental stimulation.
- Removable pieces can be ingested by the dog, so suitable only for play under supervision.
Nina Ottosson has long been associated with the best-in-class puzzle toys for pets and the Outward Hound Brick Interactive Puzzle Dog Toy is one of the newest introduction in the series that boasts of all-time favorites such as the Twister and the revolving Tornado Treat Interactive Dog Toy.
This puzzle dog toy features five compartments in each row to hide treats. With a combination of removable pieces, flips, and slides, the puzzle provides mental stimulation to an adult dog as it tries to access all the treats stored in the puzzle.
With a food-grade, ABS plastic body and dishwasher friendly parts, you can be rest-assured about the durability of the toy.
The only major drawback is that the puzzle has removable pieces which can be accidentally ingested by the dog, so the toy should only be used under supervision.
Suitable For: Medium to Large adult dogs. Use under supervision.
- Interactive dog toy that features three beakers with patterned lids for dispensing treats. Made of durable plastic with a non-slip rubber bottom.
- As the dog flips the lids and balances the beakers upside down, the treats are dispensed.
- Lids can be mixed and matched for additional challenges.
- Backed by a one-year warranty.
The Trixie Pets Mad Scientist interactive dog toy would make an Einstein out of your pet dog! This smartly-designed interactive dog toy features three flipping beakers that can be filled with treats. Each beaker can hold about 1/2 to 2/3 cups of kibble food.
Two types of matching lids can control the treat dispensing as your dog flips through the beakers. Balancing rubberized legs and a non-slip rubber bottom makes this toy an excellent mental stimulant for your dog.
The toy weighs around 2 lbs. and is 13 inches high and works best with medium and large dog breeds. An instructional booklet is also included with tips and tricks to train the dogs of all ages.
Like other Trixie Pet, dog puzzle toys, the Mad Scientist toy is backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty. So no more bored dogs!
Level: Easy to Advanced
Suitable For: All dog breeds. Suitable for supervised play.
- Stimulating Activity Mat made from durable nylon. Non-slip textured bottom provides stability.
- The starter kit features three activities – Envelope, Water Lily and Cone Cloth.
- Comes with 35 press-studs to add additional activities, sold separately.
- Hand-wash with soap water and dry in air.
- Also comes with a carrier bag for easy transportation.
If you are looking for an extendable activity mat to stimulate your dog’s brain and senses, then check out the Kruuse Buster Activity mat, designed by the Danish dog owner Marianne Haller Vesterholt.
The Buster Activity mat features a 27-inches by 19-inches durable nylon mat which has 35 press studs placed 4-inches apart. Different activities can be attached to these studs, varying in levels of difficulty. The mat has a non-slip textured bottom to provide stability as the pet scrounges through it.
The starter kit comes with three basic activities included- the envelope, water lily and cone cloth. Goodies and treats can be hidden in these attachments for the dog to explore and discover. The best part is that additional activities can be purchased separately, so your dog will never get bored of this toy.
The Buster activity mat is easy to pack up and carry around and comes with a carrier bag. Cleaning is not very difficult, though it is suitable only for hand wash and air dry.
The Kruuse Buster Activity Mat is suitable for all dog breeds and works especially well with small dog breeds.
Suitable For: All dog breeds from Small to Large.
- Feature-rich dog food puzzle with a large snuffle mat and five snack toy attachments.
- The mat is made of high-quality polar fleece and has an anti-slip bottom. Toys are made of oxford fabric.
- Ergonomic food pocket design for all types of dog breeds-small to large.
- Machine washable (gentle cycle) and air-dry.
Sniffing and nose-work is one of the most important mental stimulating activity for canines and the newly introduced, SNiFFiz SmellyMatty Dog Snuffle Mat is one of the most interesting and challenging toy to have for this purpose.
Each SNiFFiz SmellyMatty mat has a unique blossoming red-rose surface and comes with five smart soft toys. The mat is made of soft polar fleece and has an anti-slip bottom for more stability. The mat has an overall diameter of around 32-inches and weighs a decent 3.5 lbs.
Each of the five soft treat-dispensing toys is made of high-quality Oxford fabric and can survive some serious tug-and -flash by the pet. These toys can be arranged in a number of pockets in the mat, making the dog work long and harder in locating them for its reward. Each snack toy poses a different challenge to the pet to access the treats.
The mat is advertised to be machine washable (gentle wash), though we recommend gentle hand wash in cold water and air-drying for best results.
The Korean-designed, SNiFFiz SmellyMatty Dog Snuffle Mat is indeed a great option to get for your inquisitive canine companion. And it would also work well for cats.
Suitable For: Most dog breeds weighing 10 lbs. or more. Suitable for unsupervised play.
- Interactive multi-sensory treat dispensing dog toy made with durable and non-toxic plastic material.
- Provides three interactive activities, built in one – treat dispensing, pulling and chewing. Textured rubber wrap helps in keeping the teeth clean.
- Available in three sizes catering to most adult dogs.
- Dishwasher safe in top rack.
The PetSafe Busy Buddy is an excellent line of toys for mild to aggressive chewers. The Tug-A-Jug is truly a multi-sensory, interactive dog toy that can actually act as a full-fledged slow feeder, chewing or tug-and-pull toy.
Originally designed as an interactive dog toy for large dogs weighing more than 40 lbs., the Tug-A-Jug is now available in three sizes – x-Small, Small and Medium/Large, making it suitable for almost all adult dog breeds weighing 10 lbs. or more.
It features a treat dispensing jug with a knobby rubber ball that acts as a lid. The rubber ball also acts as an excellent teeth-cleaning chew ball. And then you have a tugging rope made of pet-safe synthetic fibers for tugging along and getting access to the treats.
Because of its plastic construction, the PetSafe Tug-A-Jug can be cleaned in a dishwasher (top shelf only). And because of its durable construction, you can use this toy for unsupervised play as well.
Level: Easy to Intermediate.
Suitable For: All dog breeds and puppies. Suitable for supervised play.
- Interactive chase and tug play toy suitable for all dog breeds.
- Features a flexible 36″ nylon pole with ergonomic handle and a 45″ nylon cord with a squeak toy attached to it.
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor fetch play and teaching release commands to the pet.
- Comes with an additional squeak-and-rattle toy as replacement. Additional replacements sold separately.
If you have a high-energy dog who loves playing tug and fetch, then the Outward Hound Tail Teaser Dog Flirt Pole is an excellent interactive toy to get. This toy is a perfect item to provide some much needed exercise to your pooch and yourself, both indoors and outdoors.
The Outward Hound Tail Teaser Dog Flirt Pole features a flexible 36-inch nylon pole with a 42-45″ heavy-duty nylon cord attached to it. At the end of the cord, there is a faux-fur squeak-and-rattle toy attached to entice the canine into chase and tug play. An additional squeaker toy is also included in the package. You can also choose to attach your own pet toy to the chord. The Nylon pole means that you do not have to touch the slobbery toy with hand yourself.
The Outward Hound Tail Teaser Dog Flirt Pole is great for supervised play and can also work indoors. It can also help you in training the dog to release and other obedience commands. Heavy-duty pole means that the toy would not get easily destroyed. It can be washed easily with soap and water.
Overall, the Outward Hound Tail Teaser Dog Flirt Pole Toy is an interesting interactive dog toy, especially if you have a small to medium dog that needs some workout.
Suitable For: All dog breeds and gentle to medium chewers. Suitable for supervised play.
- A set of three high-quality plush dog toys that can be converted into a crinkling toy by adding an empty 16.9 oz. plastic water bottle.
- Shaped like a 12-inch fox, bear and wolf with double stitched fabric and faux-fur covering. Stuffing-free.
- Can be used without the bottle as well. Suitable for most dog breeds.
- Suitable for hand wash and gentle machine wash.
An interactive dog toy does not need to be complicated. The Max and Neo Water Bottle Dog toy set exemplifies exactly that. If you have caught your dog chewing playing with those empty plastic bottles, then they would definitely love this toy set.
The Max and Neo Water Bottle Dog Toys consist of three plush toys shaped like a fox, bear and wolf. The toys are about 12-inches in length, double-stitched and covered with faux fur to survive some serious abuse by a gentle to mild chewer pet. Each toy is hollow inside and stuffing free. It has an opening to insert a standard plastic water bottle in it to make a crinkling sound when the dog chews through it. Most dogs love this crinkling sound and would love to play with the toy even in your absence. We recommend you insert the bottle without the cap and replace it whenever it breaks down.
One of the best things about the Max and Neo Fox, Bear and Wolf Water Bottle Dog Toys is the 1-to-1 social responsibility commitment by the manufacturer. For every purchase, the manufacturer donates a similar product to a dog rescue center. So, you can feel really good about your purchase.
If you have a dog (or even a cat) that loves squeaking and crinkling toys then check out this set of three interactive dog toys. And because of their durable construction, you can use these toys for unsupervised play as well.
Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
Suitable For: Adult dog breeds – soft to medium chewers. Suitable for unsupervised play.
- Automatic smart pet robot and treat dispenser that uses Artificial Intelligence to stimulate all of the pet’s senses. Made in the US.
- Made with food-grade, FDA-approved polycarbonate, rated at IPX4 to withstand moderate exposure to moisture. Removable cover and parts can be easily cleaned by hand or dishwasher (top shelf).
- Supported by an iOS/Android app to control and monitor the pet’s activity. Supports both manual and automatic interaction mode with Bluetooth connectivity.
- Powered by a built-in, USB rechargeable Lithium-Ion polymer battery that can last over four hours in play mode and 24 hours in standby mode.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty against defects.
Looking to raise your dog’s interactive play game even when you are not around? Then check out the smart VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot. This hi-tech, AI-driven toy is truly a smart, interactive treat dispensing toy that can provide hours of fun, engagement and exercise to your beloved canine. And it works well with cats too.
The VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot is made of FDA-approved, food-grade polycarbonate body that houses an AI-driven smart treat dispenser and play system to provide interactive activities to the canine. The toy can be controlled by the accompanying iOS/Android app to control, program and track the pet’s interaction with the toy.
It can work in both interactive auto-mode through one-time configuration or manually-controlled mode through Bluetooth connectivity.
In automatic mode, the toy automatically responds to the dog’s actions and rewards it intermittently, while in controlled mode, you can use the accompanying smartphone app to control the actions. You can even control the dispensation of treats to automatic or manual.
The pet robot offers countless play and exercise combinations, all driven by Artificial Intelligence. The robot is also equipped with hurdle-avoidance TOF and Gyro sensors that use infrared laser distance measurement technology for distance tracking and environment mapping.
The toy runs on a rechargeable Lithium-Ion polymer battery that can last over four hours in continuous interactive play mode and 24 hours in standby mode. The battery can be recharged using the included USB charging cable, though the manufacturer is working on offering a docking station for the toy.
The VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot is backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty and a responsive customer support service. This smart pet robot toy offers a complete package for supervised or unsupervised play for next-generation pets and pet owners. It is considerably costlier than standard interactive dog toys, but you get what you pay for.
Suitable For: Adult dog breeds – gentle to medium chewers. Suitable for unsupervised play.
- Smart, automatic interactive dog bone with 12 built-in play modes and 9 motion modes. Made in China.
- Made with food-grade, FDA-approved polycarbonate thermoplastic body, cover and tires. Supported by an iOS/Android app.
- Features a built-in rechargeable 470MAh Lithium polymer battery that can last over four hours.
- Removable cover and tires can be easily cleaned by hand or dishwasher (top shelf).
- Available with three different tire colors and backed by a 1-year warranty.
The Wickedbone Automatic Interactive Dog Toy is another automatic dog toy for pet owners who are looking for smart dog toys. It is truly a toy for the future, designed specifically to keep medium to large adult dogs engaged for hours of fun. It is most suitable for gentle to mild chewers, as power chewers can destroy the toy. The toy is made in China under the US-based company’s quality control measures.
The Wickedbone Automatic Interactive Dog Toy features a polycarbonate body and tire covers that house an AI-driven smart system to provide interactive play to the canine. It can work in both interactive auto-mode or controlled mode. In automatic mode, the toy automatically responds to the dog’s actions, while in controlled mode, you can use the accompanying iOS/Android app to control the actions. Equipped with 9 motion modes and 12 emotion-driven action modes, you can get a countless combinations for your pet. The toy runs on a rechargeable 470MAh Lithium polymer battery that can last over four hours in interactive mode and 40 minutes in app mode.
The covers and tires of the Wickedbone dog bone are removable and can be easily washed with soap and water or in top shelf of dishwasher. The tires are available in three colors – white, blue and green and replacements are also available.
The Wickedbone Automatic Interactive Dog Toy is backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty. It is considerably costlier than other interactive dog toys, but if you are looking for a next-generation interactive toy, it is the one to check out.
Suitable For: Adult dog breeds – gentle to medium chewers. Suitable for supervised play.
- Lively Interactive, battery-operated dog toy actually wiggles, barks and makes sounds. Made in China.
- Made of 40% high-impact polystyrene, 50% polyester plush and 10% low-density polyethylene.
- Runs on three AAA batteries (not included) that turn-off automatically when not in use.
- The plush shell is machine washable and replacements are available.
- Available in other designs as well and backed by a 1-year warranty.
The Hyper Pet Doggie Pal Interactive Dog Toys has a bunch of lively battery-operated dog toys that can provide your pooch with hours of interactive fun. The Doggie Tail toy is one of the best selling option that works well for gentle and mild chewer adult dogs. It is not very suitable for Power chewers as they can destroy the shell. You can, however, cover the toy with an old sock to make the shell last longer.
The Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Dog Toy features a plush shell that is made of 40% high-impact polystyrene, 50% polyester plush and 10% low-density polyethylene. The shell covers a babble ball in its core that is designed to wiggle, bark and make some zany sounds as the dog plays with the tail.
The toy runs on 3 AAA-batteries, which do require some effort to install, but once installed correctly can provide hours of fun. The toy also has an on/off switch if you want to turn-off the wiggling and sounds. There is also auto shut-off after 30 seconds to prolong battery life. There is ,however, no setting to only turn-off the sounds and keep the wiggling on.
The plush shell of the Doggie Pal is removable and can be easily washed with soap and water or in a gentle washing machine cycle. Replacement shells are also available from the same manufacturer and the toy is also available in some other designs such as hedgehogs.
The Doggie Pal Interactive Dog Toy is backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty. So, if you are looking for a noisy interactive dog toy for your pooch, you can consider getting this wiggling – waggling toy from the Hyper Pet Doggie Pal Interactive Toys series.
How to pick the best interactive dog toy?
Interactive dog toys come in different shapes, sizes and categories, with most of them relying on reward-for-action principle.
With so many different types of interactive dog puzzle toys available in the market, picking the best interactive dog toy that provides enough mental and physical stimulation can often be a challenging task. Still, you can keep the following factors in mind while picking the best puzzle toy for your beloved dog:
- Type and purpose of the toy
- Dog age, breed and size
- Difficulty Level of the toy
- Construction material and durability
- Additional factors
Type and purpose of the toy
As stated above, interactive dog toys are of different types and serve different purposes. Depending upon your primary reason of getting the toy, you can decide upon which type of toy you should look for. This generally boils down to whether you are looking for a toy that can slowly dispense treats and help you in increasing the feeding time and prevent bloating or one to entertain your bored pet.
We have puzzle dog toys which encourage the canine to use its sensory organs to solve the puzzle to access the hidden treats.
And there are interactive dog balls that dispense treats as the dog moves them. Such toys are the best option for pet owners looking for a playful slow feeder.
Then there are the entertaining pet toys – squeaking and talking toys, tugging jugs and activity mats that appeal to the natural instincts of dogs and encourage them to be active.
Dog breed, age and size
The breed, age and size of the pooch is another important factor to consider before picking the best interactive dog toy. These physical traits govern the chewing strength, jaw and mouth size and hence make a specific dog toy more suitable than others.
Getting a toy that is too small can lead to accidental ingestion. On the other hand, a bigger toy can be difficult for the dog to handle and thus un-interesting.
Some of the options that we listed are available in multiple sizes and can cater to different dog breeds and ages, while others are more suitable for large dogs such as Retriever, Labrador, German Shepherd, Pitbulls, Mastiff and Great Danes only.
Check out the recommended dog size (generally expressed in terms of dog’s weight) before picking the best option for your pet.
Difficulty Level of the interactive dog toy
Closely related to the dog’s size is the difficulty level of the interactive dog toy. Interactive dog toys are classified into three levels of difficulty:
- Training Level 1 – Easy: Suitable for most dogs, even puppies. The puzzles are easy for the pet to master.
- Training Level 2 – Intermediate: Such toys require the canine to use multiple sensory organs – paws, mouth and snout etc. Some effort and training may be needed for the dog to master the puzzle.
- Training Level 3 – Advanced or Difficult: These are the most challenging dog puzzle toys and suitable only for well-trained, smart dogs only.
Depending upon the training level of your pet, you can pick the best interactive dog toy for your pooch. Remember, if you select a toy that is too easy or too difficult, the pet can quickly lose interest in it. The review comments and videos often provide enough information to decide on this factor, so make sure you check them out.
Construction material and durability
Once you have zeroed in on the type of the toy and its size, the construction and durability becomes one of the most important factors to check out.
All the interactive dog toy options that we have listed are made of high-quality, non-toxic and durable materials – be it plastic, rubber or fiber. However, as stated in the details above, some toys are more durable than others and can withstand some serious abuse by large dogs and mild to aggressive chewers.
If you are looking for a toy that supports unsupervised play, something like a West Paw Zogoflex Qwizl Treat Dispensing Dog Toy or the KONG Wobbler Treat Dispensing Dog Toy would be most suitable, as these toys are extremely durable.
Keep these things in mind, especially if you are looking for an interactive toy to leave your dog with.
In addition to the major factors discussed above, there are a couple of other considerations that can make a specific dog puzzle toy more attractive than the others.
One such factor is the color and looks of the toy. Some of the options that we listed are available in multiple vibrant colors, so you can pick up the most suitable one for your beloved pooch.
Another important factor to check out is the warranty and service support provided by the manufacturer. Almost all the options that we listed support the 30-day satisfaction guarantee service. Other manufacturers such as Outward Hound and Trixie Pets provide a one-year warranty on their interactive toys. Manufacturers such as Kong and West Paw even provide a lifetime warranty and replacement service on their toys and hence are our favorites.
Keep these other small considerations in mind while picking the best options for your needs.
Things to remember while using interactive dog toys
While interactive dog toys can provide a lot of Ahaa! and Wow! moments to you and your furry friend, it is important that you keep a few things in mind while using them. Some of these major things are summarized below:
- Always pick an interactive dog toy that is of suitable size, shape and difficulty level. Getting a toy that is too small or too big can make playing fetch uncomfortable for your pet. You can consult some trainers or fellow dog owners about their experiences with the toy or reach out to the manufacturer customer support for help.
- Clean-up the toy periodically with soap and water. If the toy is dishwasher safe, always keep it in the top rack while cleaning. If the toy shows any signs of damage, discard it and get new ones. Also, avoid sharing of toys with other pets as it can cause infection from one dog to be transferred to the other.
- If you have multiple dogs, it would be a good idea to get multiple dog toys to avoid any fight over them. This is especially important for treat dispensing dog toys.
- While we have clearly stated which toys should be used under supervision and which toys are fine to be left with the pet, no toy is durable enough for a power chewer. If you have such a dog, avoid leaving plastic and other non-chew toys with the canine and only engage in supervised play.
- If you see a damaged toy or the dog displays some signs of discomfort, immediately consult the vet. The dog might have accidentally ingested a piece or part of the toy.
Following these basic guidelines would help in playing with interactive dog toys more enjoyable for you and your beloved canine companion.
Final thoughts on the best interactive dog toys
Dogs, like kids, love to play around. And if the toys can provide some mental, physical and sensory stimulation, they can not only help in keeping your canine entertained but also provide the much needed behavioral conditioning that the pet needs. Furthermore, engaging with such toys would keep your dog from ripping through your household items! That is why many dog behaviorists recommend getting a few interactive dog toys for the pooch.
In this article, we shared some of the most interesting and durable interactive dog puzzle toys available on Amazon. We also listed out some of the factors to consider while picking the best interactive dog toys and also shared some things to keep in mind while using these toys.
We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you in picking the best interactive dog toy for your beloved furry friend. Do let us know your feedback, questions and any other toys that you love by commenting below. Until next time, have a playful time with your beloved canine!