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Best Interactive Dog Toys

Last Updated: February 10, 2020
Jack Campbell
Product Review by Jack Campbell

If your dog is left alone with a tennis ball and a bone all day, chances are he will be bored. If you work long hours or you just want your dog to be occupied, you may want to consider getting your canine companion an interactive toy to play with.

Regular toys are great, but an interactive toy is much more stimulating and will provide hours of fun for your furry friend.

Interactive toys are also great for mental and cognitive development. If your dog is mentally stimulated, he’s far less likely to destroy your furniture or bark for all hours.

A lot of behavioral issues in dogs can result in boredom and frustration, and finding the best interactive dog toy is the best thing you can do to reduce this.

We’ve reviewed the best 5 interactive dog toys to make your decision a little easier.

Our Reviews
1

Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball

This mentally stimulating toy is perfect if you’re looking to increase your dog’s intelligence.

Your furry friend has to roll the spherical toy around so the treats fall out. You can adjust the difficulty by using the balls adjustable interior disk.

The Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball is a great alternative to boring food bowls and helps promote a healthier lifestyle for your dog. The ball essentially rewards your dog for being active and rolling the ball around.

Just add your dog’s favorite treats or kibble into the ball, only allowing them to eat what is dispensed when they roll the ball. Just bare in mind that the trets need to be small enough to be easily dispensed from the toy.

This hard plastic toy is super easy to clean and can disassemble at your convenience. Simply rinse the item in warm soapy water and dry it before using it again.

Pros

  • Withstands chewing
  • Choice between 3” and 4”
  • Great for slowing down meal times

Cons

  • Smaller dogs may get bottom jaw stuck
  • Not every dog is going to be interested in it
2

ZippyPaws Woodland Friends Burrow

ZippyPaws have made the perfect hide and seek toy for any adventurous dog on the hunt for some fun.

Both puppies and elderly dogs will love this toy.

There are three squeaky chipmunks included that your dog will love playing with.

Your dog will love digging out the chipmunks from their den, and once they’ve got them out you just need to put them back inside. More intelligent dogs may be able to do it themselves, but it’s definitely more fun doing it yourself than watching your pup play.

It may be repetitive for us, but dogs will be mentally stimulated while burrowing for the toys.

The company ZippyPaws pride themselves on their high-quality designs and durable materials used.

The fabric is soft yet durable, and won’t hurt your tyke’s teeth. This you will stand up very well to hours of rigorous play and chewing.

It’s perfect for teething pups too, as it will give their gums the stimulation they need.

Pros

  • 3 squeaky chipmunk toys included
  • Soft material
  • Great for large dogs
  • Can hide your dog's fave toy in there too

Cons

  • More intelligent dogs may get bored easily
3

Sniffiz SmellyMatty Snuffle Mat for Dogs

This mentally stimulating indoor enrichment activity is perfect for dos of any intelligence level.

It’s the perfect mat for the adventurous dogs out there looking for some brain work and some treats on the way.

The aim of the game is to find the hidden treats in the mat using nosework. It’s a layered mat with 11 layers of grass and petals and has with 5 different compartments.

It will keep your furry friend occupied for hours on end.

You can control the difficulty level of this activity just by placing them further inside the mat.

This activity is also great for slowing down your dog’s mealtime, and mealtimes can double as bonding time with this product.

If your dog is anxious or has stress, this is a great way to reduce this as they’ll be using their smell instinct, which is great for reducing stress.

Don’t worry if your dog is a chewer – this snuffle mat is made of safe and durable fabric (oxford and fleece).

The mat also features a non-slip bottom, so it won’t slip away from your dog as he’s foraging for his treat.

Pros

  • Machine washable
  • Non-slip bottom
  • Suitable for any breed of any size

Cons

  • Bigger, more intelligent dogs could lift matt up, turn it upside down so the treats fall out
4

Nina Ottosun Dog Smart Beginner Dog Puzzle Toy

We all know what messy creatures dogs can be, but don’t stress as this toy is super easy to clean.

Made of tough plastic, this durable dog toy can be hand washed with soap and water (just make sure you empty the treats first!).

The aim of the game is to remove the bones and find the treats. It may seem obvious to us humans, but for your puppy pal, it’s mentally stimulating.

The trick is to use really smelly treats to get your dog’s interest, such as cheese or peanut butter. Just keep an eye on your dog and make sure he doesn’t chew or eat the toy bones instead of the treats below!

This is a level 1 toy, which is perfect for pets to gain interest and prepare for future puzzles you may purchase.

If you’ve got a greedy boy, this is great as it paces your dog’s eating habits and slows down mealtimes.

This is a great addition to any toy box, and the treats incentive will keep your dog occupied for hours.

Pros

  • Perfect if your dog is new to interactive toys
  • Easy to clean
  • Slows down mealtimes

Cons

  • May be too easy for your dog
5

StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy

This interactive treat dispenser can fit over a cup of food for mealtime feeding.

The toy has a weighted bottom so it will wobble and bobble for hours until it’s out of treats. The wobbling motion is sure to keep your dog occupied and interested, and of course, there’s the motivation of treats.

The Bob-A-Lot is designed to help prevent destructive boredom behaviors, so if your dog is likely to destroy your living room out of boredom, this toy is the solution.

Don’t worry if your dog is one step ahead and finds it too easy – it has adjustable openings to customize the difficulty. Your dog is sure to be mentally stimulated and entertained on the hunt for his treats.

StarMark is one of the leading brands in pet education. This product has been developed by experts, and performance tested by thousands of dogs at the StarMark Academy Behavior Center.

Pros

  • Chamber can fit whole meals
  • Durable hard plastic design
  • Can adjust difficulty

Cons

  • Not really suited to larger dogs
  • Not suited to heavy chewers

How To Choose The Best Interactive Dog Toy

Every dog is different, and it can be a long process deciding which toy is best for your dog. This guide will help you come to your decision.

Cleaning

As a lot of interactive dog toys involve treats, hygiene is a hugely important factor to consider when choosing the best interactive dog toy,

A lot of interactive dog toys feature hidden compartments, and it’s essential to keep these clean. The last thing you want to do is feed your canine companion a moldy treat.

If you believe your dog has ingested mold, you should get veterinary attention as soon as possible.

Durability

Dogs will chew pretty much anything. Newspapers, socks, walls, any toys made of any material.

This is why you must pick a toy that’s suited to your dog. If your dog is an aggressive chewer, then you’ll be looking for something that will withstand heavy chewing.

A normal toy won’t last ten minutes against a heavy chewer. Generally speaking, the larger the toy is, the better it will stand up to your dog’s teeth and jaws.

Here is a list of breeds that may need heavier-duty toys:

  • Beagles
  • Huskies
  • Staffies
  • Pit Bulls
  • Jack Russell’s
  • Labs
  • German Shepherds
  • Australian Shepherds
  • Shetland Sheepdogs

Your dog will probably want to throw your toy around if he’s a ruff player. The best interactive dog toy will stay strong when thrown about, as much like children, dogs don’t know how to be careful.

Generally speaking, the larger the toy is, the better it will stand up to your dog’s teeth and jaws.

Difficulty

If your dog is a beginner and hasn’t played with interactive dog toys before, you may want to consider going with something nice and simple to start with, just to introduce your dog to this type of toy.

If you’re not sure if your dog will find it too easy or too difficult, then why not purchase a toy where you can adjust the difficulty levels.

If a toy is too hard for your dog, he probably won’t be interested in it – or will just decide to chew it up. If the toy is too easy, then he will most likely lose interest quickly.

Especially with treat-dispensing toys, you don’t want your dog to find it too easy. Most treat-dispensing toys are designed to slow down mealtimes, so it’s important to be able to adjust the difficulty levels.

Adjusting the difficulty levels can also be great for ensuring your dog can play with it as he mentally develops. You just make it harder and harder as time goes on.

Size

You must consider the size of the toy and the size of your dog before making any purchases.

With interactive dog mats, if your dog is significantly bigger than the mat then he could just lift the mat up and shake the treats out – meaning the puzzle will be “solved” in seconds, rendering the whole thing pointless.

Sizing is also hugely important when it comes to safety. If your dog is tiny and the toy is huge, he may get arms, legs or even his jaw stuck in the toy.

If your dog is huge and the toy is tiny, then it may be a choking hazard.

Be sure to check out the product dimensions before you buy, and make sure it’s a suitable size for your dog.

Safety

Our dogs are like our children, we want to protect them and would be devastated if anything happened to them.
You should never underestimate how fast or how strong your dog can chew. You must bare this in mind when purchasing a toy that your dog could chew through, as certain toys when taken apart can become choking hazards.

It goes without saying but it’s important that the materials it’s made from is non-toxic and 100% safe for dogs.

You want a toy that will occupy your dog and keep him distracted from destroying your shoes or furniture. A good interactive dog you will keep the objects around your home safe as well as your dog.

Recap

Dog toys are a great way to keep your dog occupied, and superb for bonding with your furry friend.

The ZippyPaws Woodland Friends Burrow really is one of the best interactive dog toys out there. This activity will keep dogs of any intelligence level occupied for hours on end.

The three included squeaky chipmunks are a great touch, and your pup will love tossing these around and hearing the squeak.

The log itself is great larger dogs, measuring at 14 x 6 x 6 inches. Smaller dogs will still have a blast playing with this chipmunk habitat.

The more maternal dogs may even protect the chipmunks as if they’re one of their own, which can be an adorable thing to witness.

The seams on this product stand up really well against ruff play and chewing, but if your dog is an aggressive chewer, maybe consider something less plush and more plastic.

What are the best interactive dog toys for your dog? Do you agree with our winner?

Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to give this a share.

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