If you think about it, dogs are a lot like kids. They don’t have a very large attention span, and they get bored pretty easily. They need to stay active with exercise, but aside from that they also need something that will boost their brain and keep them stimulated psychologically. One of the best ways to do that is to provide them with dog puzzle toys. There are a lot of toys on the market that are designed to stimulate them mentally, and even make them work for a treat.
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The History of Dog Puzzle Toys
While puzzle toys and other interactive toys may seem to be a new fad, they have actually been around for quite a while. They started out in the zoo to help prevent zoo animals from getting bored. Years ago, people started seeing that it was really a great idea and that is when you started seeing interactive pet toys popping up on the shelves at your local pet supply store.
The Benefits of Interactive Dog Toys
There are quite a few benefits that come along with interactive dog toys. First of all, you have to consider the fact that it helps to prevent bad behaviors. If your dog stays busy with an interactive toy, chances are they will not have the time or desire to be destructive. If you find that your dog is chewing up shoes, furniture or other things in your home or outside, get them a puzzle toy and see if you can shift their focus.
For dogs that are down for the count when it comes to exercise, especially after injury or surgery, engagement can be difficult. Puzzle games can help to keep them mentally healthy even if they can’t get physical exercise. It can also help to keep them happy, especially if they are used to running and playing.
When your dog eats too fast, it can really affect their natural digestive process. To prevent a dog from eating their food too quickly, you can feed them a meal in an interactive puzzle feeder to help slow them down. This will also make them work for their food, which is natural and instinctive for dogs and their desire to prey.
Finally, if you notice that your dog has been sad or depressed, these toys can help get their mind off of it. This is especially a good idea if there has been a loss of a pet in the home. They may be grieving and these toys can help the grieving process go more smoothly. If they are not wanting to eat because they are depressed, it can also encourage them to eat.
As you can see, interactive dog puzzle toys can really be a great investment in your dog’s overall health and wellbeing. We have put together a list of our favorite toys, so take a look and see if you can find something that your dog will love.
Our Picks for the Top 10 Dog Puzzle Toys
#1 – Company of Animals Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Interactive Puzzle
The Company of Animals Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Interactive puzzle really helps to stimulate your dog’s brain. It will offer them hours of entertainment, and is ideal for all ages and all breeds. It comes in two different sizes based on your dog’s size, and has no assembly required. That means you can take it straight out, load it with treats, and start letting your dog play til his heart is content. You can also vary the level of difficulty as they start to figure it all out. It is definitely a winner in our eyes.
#2 – Outward Hound Paw Flapper Puzzle Training Toy
The Outward Hound Paw Flapper Puzzle Training toy is another treat dispensing puzzle toy that is guaranteed to keep your pup playing and active for longer. It has 8 different chambers for treats, and also has multiple scent guides to keep your pup guessing. It has a knob that allows you to adjust the level of difficulty easily as well. It is a safe treat dispensing toy that is free of phthalate, PVC and BPA, which are known to be toxic to dogs in large amounts.
#3 – Planet Dog MazeePlanet Dog Mazee comes in two different colors, including raspberry red and green. It is made in the USA, with quality standards in mind. It is 100% guaranteed every time, and is made up of 100% recyclable materials, making it ideal for those that are going green. It is also non toxic and easy to clean. To clean it, simply fill it up with water, shake it well, and rinse it out. It is a pliable outer shell made up of orbee tuff materials, and a unique inner maze that will keep it interactive for your pup. You can fill it up with planet dog treats for hours of play.
#4 – Zanies Wood Interactive Puzzle Dog Toy
If you are looking for something that will channel your dog’s attention, consider Zanies Wood Interactive Puzzle toy. It is an interactive puzzle that is designed to entertain your dog’s brain. It is also an excellent way to get out built up energy. It has a high quality wooden design that is made to stand the test of time. It is almost 10 inches in diameter, so it is great for dogs of all sizes. Your dog is sure to love it, and you can also hide small treats in the hidden compartments to make them work for their treats.
#5 – Kyjen I-Qube Dog Toy Puzzle Plush
If you are looking for something softer and a little different, take a look at Kyjen’s I-Qube Dog toy puzzle plush. It helps to cut back boredom for dogs that spend a lot of the day alone. It also helps them to develop and stimulate their intelligence. They will acquire good puzzle solving skills, and stay occupied for hours. It comes with four small plush balls and a cube that they can go into. Your dog is sure to enjoy playing with the balls, or stuffing them into the cube. It is also soft, making it ideal for dogs with sensitive teeth and gums.
#6 –The Foobler Timed Puzzle Feeder Ball
The Foobler Timed puzzle feeder is an automatic reloading puzzle feeder that has six different treat pods that are activated by a timer. That means that you can simply set it and let your pup go with it. They won’t get more treats than they should, because they will dispense on a timer. This is great for people that spend their days at work but still want their dog to get daily treats. IT is really easy to use, and it is also easy to clean. Just fill with your dog’s favorite treats and let them go. A bell will go off in 15, 30, 60 or 90 minute intervals to keep your dog engaged and treat them at the same time.
#7 – Teeza Ball Treat Dispenser Interactive Dog Toy
The Teeza Ball Treat dispenser interactive dog toy is available in both red and purple, and in various sizes depending on your dog’s size. Like many of the other interactive toys that we feature, it also dispenses treats while helping to increase your dog’s IQ. It is not only safe for dogs, but also great for cats. It can be rolled or picked up, thanks to the textured design on the outside of the ball. This makes it great for chewing, and keeps your dog from chewing on your favorite pair of shoes or trying to dig in the trash for something to chew on!
#8 – Starmark Treat Dispensing Puzzle Ball
The Starmark Treat Dispensing Puzzle Ball is great for dogs of all ages and sizes. It has an adjustable difficulty setting that makes it easy for your pup to grow with it. It is easy to fill and easy to clean, and can be filled with your dog’s favorite treats or kibble. Your dog is sure to find hours of play with this toy, while staying challenged. It even has a rubberized outer coating to cut down on noise and keep it from slipping around. Your dog is sure to love it, and it is really affordable as well.
#9 – Kyjen Yin-Yang-Yum Treat Toy Puzzle
Another one of our favorite treat dispensing toy puzzles, the Kyjen Yin-Yang-Yum Treat toy puzzle is a plastic treat hiding puzzle for pups. It has cups and sliders that are made up of shatter proof plastic, so it is safe for tough chewers. It encourages your dog to use their natural searching instincts to find their treats. It has 40% recycled plastic, and is free of Phthalate and BPA as well. The fun yin-yang shape makes it fun for your pup. This toy has an introductory level of difficulty, but there is not a way to adjust it.
#10 – Dogit Mind Games 3-in-1 Interactive Smart Toy for Dogs
Finally, we have the DogIt Mind Games 3-in-1 Interactive Smart toy for dogs. This is actually a puzzle game that you can play alongside your pup. It is three toys in one, and has suction cup grips to help keep it place so it won’t slide across your floor. It helps to reduce hyperactivity and also focuses their attention. It is recommended for small to medium breeds, and can be filled with your dogs favorite treats. Choose from the original toy, or get the value bundle that also comes with tennis balls on a rope for tug of war, and a flying disc that will let you play fetch with your pup.
These are just a few of our favorite interactive dog puzzle toys. Are there others that you have tried? Let us know your favorites in the comments below!
I've been a dog lover since the day I was born but it's the current four legged love of my life, Phoebe who inspired me to create the Munch.Zone.
We moved together from Israel to New York in 2013, love hiking together, and never pass up a trip to the dog park. Watching her over the years sparked so many questions about dog behavior and health needs, and it wasn't always easy to find answers. Thus, the Munch.Zone was born.
On any given day you'll find me watching Netflix originals, eating popcorn, and thinking about how to get into house flipping.