Best Interactive Dog Toys Reviewed & Rated for Quality
It has always been easy for a dog to find ways to entertain themselves. They'll play catch, sniff around, or run around in circles endlessly, but it can be helpful to find them things to do that are a little more engaging. When a dog gets bored, they'll get needy. They start demanding attention, or even worse, they might start tearing up furniture or making messes. Then they look at you as if they have no idea how this could have happened. This list is full of toys that will keep your dog occupied with something more entertaining than their own tail. These toys are designed to play to the things that dogs find the most enjoyment in dogging, like sniffing with their nose or moving things around.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research
Engaging for any kind of dog
Can be used everywhere
10 Best Interactive Dog Toys
1. Allstar Innovations
Engaging for any kind of dog
Can be used everywhere
Some people don't like noise-making toys
The Giggle Ball uses sounds to keep your dog engaged with it and continuing to want to push and throw it around.
The way that the Wobble Wag works is that it makes noises every time that it gets moved around. All you need to do is show your dog how it works, so just shake it around a few times, and then let them have at it. It is designed so that they can make all the fun they want for themselves. This ball will have them entertained for hours.
This ball is designed with all kinds of dogs in mind, and does a good job at being entertaining for any kind of dog. It has grooves on all the sides of the ball so that your dog will have no problem biting it and shaking it around. It is also very easy to clean so that you can use it in any setting, be it in your living room, or out in the backyard.
Cost and Value
The Wobble Wag is a great toy for any kind of dog. It is very simple when compared to other toys on this list, but that is also one of its strengths. The sounds it makes and the material that is made up of make it an easy toy for any dog to get involved with. It also doesn't cost very much at all, so don't worry about the price on this one.
2. Outward Hound
Natural for dog investigation
Can be used for fetch, too
This is a more unique approach to an interactive toy that has many different ways to pique your dog's curiosity.
Hide and Seek Toy
The Hide-A-Squirrel is a toy that lives up to its name. This toy is designed so that your dog will have lots of fun trying to find the squirrels that are hidden inside of it. It is designed to look like a small tree stump, and it has lots of room for you to tuck the separate squirrels in different holes for your dog to find.
This toy is designed very cleverly, so that it can be used for a long time, and in a few ways. The squirrels and the tree stump arr made out of a soft fabric that is still durable enough for your dog to throw the toy around. The squirrels all have a squeaker inside of them so that your dog is rewarded every time they sniff one out.
Cost and Value
The Hide-A-Squirrel is a great toy for any kind of dog. It comes in many sizes so that it can be catered to any size of dog. It supports your dog's curiosity, and their natural instinct to sniff out and hunt down things. The squirrels that come with the toy are durable, and can be used for catch, too. This toy is a little more expensive, but it does have some extra benefit in its unique design.
3. KONG Classic
Good on dog's teeth
You probably own it already
The KONG is something that is in almost every house that has a dog as a pet. These toys are so popular for a reason.
Hard Rubber Toy
The KONG is such a classic for a very good reason. This toy can be used in many ways. The shape of it means that it will bounce all over the place when it is thrown, which gives your dog a huge amount of variety when playing fetch. It is also a good choice for just giving your dog something to chew on when you don't have time to play with them.
This toy is a good choice because of its innovative design, but also because it is very well made. It is made of a very hard rubber that will last for a long time. This durable toy allows your dog to really play as hard as they want. The rubber does a good job of rubbing your dogs teeth clean, even as they have a great time trying to take it apart.
Cost and Value
The KONG is a must own for anyone who owns a dog. Dogs really love chewing on them, and they have lots of different forms of play that they can be used for. The KONG can come in many different sizes, so you can find the right one for your dog. It doesn't cost very much either, which only adds to the necessity of it in every dog-owning house.
4. Trixie Pet Poker Box
Multiple puzzles on box
Allows for variation
Easy to clean and durable
Limited amount of replayability
The Poker Box is like a small puzzle that is designed to reward your dog for when they figure out its different mechanisms.
Poker Box Puzzle
The Poker Box really commits to the interactive aspect of this list of dog toys. It is designed with a set of boxes that are put on a small base. Each box is designed so that it can be opened in a different way. Some are pulled, others use buttons that your dog must push, and there are other tricks, too. These boxes are then filled with some treats to promote your dog really keeping at the toy until they figure it out.
The Poker Box comes with four different boxes that all have a different mechanism to be solved. They can be moved around on the base or removed entirely, which will keep your dog guessing on what they need to do to get inside and get their treat. The puzzle box also comes with a booklet that will help you come up with clever variations that will keep the challenge alive for your pooch.
Cost and Value
This toy is great for giving your dog a real puzzle to solve. The variety of the different puzzles means that you can be sure that your dog will have tons of different experiences trying to solve it. The puzzle does not cost very much, and is a unique experience that your dog is sure to enjoy. This is a good choice if you have already thrown everything else at your dog, and are worried that are getting bored.
5. Our Pets Buster
Many colors and styles
Keeps pets engaged
Can choose the amount of food given out
Too large for smaller dogs
The Buster Food Cube is a great way for your dog to entertain themselves when you don't have the time to hang out with them.
Fun Food Dispenser
The way that the food cube works is that it has a compartment that you put some dog food or treats inside. Give this to your dog, and they'll shake the cube around until their food falls out. These treats do a good job of making your dog totally invested in playing with the toy for as long as they are hungry, which is always.
The Food Cube is designed with some clever features that make it a good toy for use well into the future. The cube can have the level of difficulty it takes for food to come out switched. This makes it up to you how many treats you want to give your pet. It is also made out of a hard plastic that makes it an easy choice if you want your toys to last.
Cost and Value
The Food Cube is a great choice for anyone that is worried about their dog becoming bored when they are alone. These toys are designed to last, and the promise of a treat will make sure that your dog is always engaged. The Food Cube costs more than the other toys on this list, but the promise of treats means that your dog will never get bored.
Cleans dog's teeth
Keeps your pet engaged
Can make a mess
The hoochye is an interesting and unique toy that is also beneficial for your dog's health. The fact that it has food placed inside of it means that your dog will remain engaged with it for the long haul, too.
Treats and Teeth Cleaning
The hoochye is a great toy for keeping your pet both engaged, healthy. The treats are fit in between the teeth that line the toy's outer wall. Your dog will have a tough time trying to get in there with their teeth so that they can get a good grip on the food, and their teeth will get cleaned by the rubber as they work the food out from inside the ball.
The hoochye is a good choice for anyone who wants to make sure that their dog is healthy and engaged at all times. It is made out of a soft rubber that is perfect for lasting the onslaught of a hungry dog, while also not hurting your dog's gums. The fact that it uses treats as the reward for their play, means that your dog won't ever get tired of this toy.
Cost and Value
The hoochye is a great choice for anyone who wants a simple toy that will keep their dog occupied any time they are not in the house. Dogs will love chewing on this little guy for long periods of time. This toy comes in different styles so you can get one that is distinct from your other toys. It is also very cheap so you don't have to worry about breaking the bank.
7. Nina Ottosson
Lots of types of puzzle
Easy to clean
Keeps dog engaged with treats
Puzzles use same mechanism
This is another interesting little puzzle box that will get your dog's noggin going. It is a board with levers and panels that hide treats that will reward your dog.
Unique Puzzle Design
This little puzzle tray is designed so that your dog is given the tools to solve the puzzles, but also needs to figure each unique contraption out. There are pegs that slide, but there are also panels that need to be twisted so that your dog can get access to the treats. Each slider is a little different that the others, so your dog has to remain on their toes to figure it out.
This puzzle toy is good for other reasons, too. It has been designed with your ease of use in mind. The treats that the puzzle hides means that the dog will be determined to keep working at the puzzle until they get it. It is also very easy to clean with soap and water after your pup has made their mess. Your dog will spend tons of time trying to get at their reward.
Cost and Value
This puzzle game is a good choice for anyone looking for something unique to entertain their dog. It is perfect for setting out when you have to leave the house so that your dog has something to do that will reward them for their efforts. The variety in puzzles is also great for letting your dog figure out different ways to solve a single puzzle.
8. StarMark Bob-A-Lot
Food dispenser is large
Entices dog through movement
Can change difficulty
Larger dogs can damage it
The Bob-A-Lot is a unique take on the food dispensing toy. It is a toy that sway as your dog plays with it, which will entertain your dog for a long time.
Swaying Food Dispenser
The Bob-A-Lot is a toy that moves in a unique way and will be a good deal of fun for your dog. The toy is designed so that it is very easy for your dog to be enticed by its swaying movement. The weight on the bottom will keep standing straight as it bobbles around. You fill the bottom with food or treats, and your dog will do the rest.
The Bob-A-Lot is a great toy for keeping your dog entertained for hours. They will do anything for food, and the Bob-A-Lot is designed so that there is a lot of room to fit it. The whole bottom half of this toy can be filled with food, so this can work as a doggy bowl that your dog needs to work for. It is easy to change the size of the opening to accommodate different kids of food, and also to change the difficulty it takes to get food out of the toy.
Cost and Value
The Bob-A-Lot is great because it promotes prolonged play, and will keep your dog entertained for a long time. The treats can come out at the rate that you want so that you don't need to worry about overfeeding your dog. It comes at a very reasonable price, and it also comes in a few different sizes so you can choose the best one for your best friend.
9. Outward Hound
Engaging for your dog
Comes at a good price
Easy to clean
Many kinds of puzzle
Might be too difficult
The Dog Twister is a good choice for anyone who wants to give their dog a real mental challenge so that they really need to earn those treats.
Challenging Puzzle Game
The Dog Twister is a little more complicated than the other games on this list. It is considered a more difficult puzzle for dogs, and will take a bit more effort for your dog to get their treats. It is designed for dogs to practice their pattern recognition, and they need to hit the panels in the right order for them to get their treat.
There are a few things that make this a good choice for challenging your dog and keeping them engaged. It comes with nine different compartments that are each unlocked differently. This means that your dog will have lots to do before they get bored. It is also very easy to clean this toy so that your dog's messes will never be too much of an issue.
Cost and Value
Dog Twister can be bought for a totally reasonable price, and will entertain your dog for a long time to come. The treat rewards will mean that they won't get bored for a long time, but the difficulty of puzzle means that they won't get too accustomed to winning either. This is a good toy to get after your puppy has defeated a few other dog puzzles first.
Variety of puzzles to figure out
Perfect for dogs who love to smell
Lots of variety in places to hide treats
Designed for all kinds of dogs
Needs a lot of floor space
This is the largest toy on this list, and is designed so that your dog can really get some exercise with their noses, and be rewarded properly for their efforts.
This large mat is designed with many folds and pockets that are all perfect places to hide a treat. Your dog will spend their time rooting around inside the mat until they can find the treats. There are many places for them to check, and it will be a real test of their investigative skills. They'll finally be able to put all that smelling to good use.
The SNiFFiz is a great choice for anyone looking for a large dog toy. There are so many options for your play that your dog will never be able to completely figure it out. The pieces of the mat are all designed slightly differently, so it will take a different approach to get the food out once your dog has found the treat.
Cost and Value
The SNiFFiz is a great choice for anyone who is worried about their dog getting bored when they are away. This mat does a great job of giving your dog something to do. It costs a lot more than the other choices on this list, but it gives you plenty of options to entertain your pet. This mat is great for anyone who has the room for it.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
An important thing to look for in an interactive dog toy is their ability to get switched around. Many of these toys, especially the ones that use puzzles, are not going to be as effective once your pup figures out the solution to them. Luckily, many of these toys come with options that allow you to change around how the puzzle is solves, or other ways in which the toy works. This can be seen through the use of changing pieces. You can often change the position of the pieces in the puzzle, or maybe there will be many kinds of puzzles on these toys. Another adjustable thing that is important to look out for is the amount of treats that you can give to your dog. These toys will often allow you to choose where and how much of a treat your dog will get for playing properly and thoroughly.
Many of these dog toys are useful for being able to make your dogs smarter and healthier, but the most important element of these toys is the ability to keep your dog entertained. These toys do this through many different things. There is the ability of these toys to keep your dog's attention in many interesting ways. Some of the toys move in very interesting ways, such as the KONG's odd bouncing pattern, or the swaying of some of these food dispensers. Another element that will keep your dog's attention is the noise that some of these toys make. Dogs love when the toy they are playing with reacts to their attentions and effort. Finally, and maybe most obviously, if a toy is going to give your dog a treat for playing with it, then your dog will never stop caring about that toy.
Dogs are very good at playing very aggressively. It is part of their nature. When they play, it is usually with their teeth or claws. This means that it is important that your dog's toy can survive the onslaught of your puppy's attacks. This is mainly done through the implementation of materials that are strong enough for extended lengths of time. Technically, these toys should be lasting for a long time, potentially years, and this means that the construction has to be up to the task. Look for toys that are made out of hardy materials. It is also important that they are not so tough that they might hurt your dog's teeth. The best materials are fabrics, wood, and soft rubbers. Some of the toys are made out of harder plastic, and with these toys it is useful to just check if there are some sharp edges on the plastic after your dog gnaws on it a bit.
One of the greatest benefits of an interactive dog toy are the ones that are related to health. This can be seen in two areas. There are dog toys that are designed to help keep your dog's wits sharp. These are the toys that are related to things like puzzles. These toys will ask your dog to figure out their mechanism to get a treat. The solutions range from very simple, to quite mischievous. You should try to find a toy for your dog that begins at an easier difficulty if it is their first time trying to solve a puzzle. The puzzles usually involve moving parts in a certain order, or with a specific movement. Another thing that helps these toys keep your dog healthy are the rubber toys that help improve the health of your dog's teeth. This can be seen with toys like the KONG. The surface of these materials will gently rub your dog's teeth as they use the toys, which will promote dental health.
There is quite a wide variety of toys on this list, and they have a wide variety of prices to match. The best way to know that you are getting your money's worth is to look at the longevity of the product. This has to do with both the amount of attention it will get from your dog, and also the amount of a beating it can physically take, too. All the toys on this list will do a good job of keeping your dog's attention, but it is the case with some of the puzzles that your dog might solve them, and keep that information for next time, too. This makes the puzzle much less effective in taking up a significant amount of your dog's time.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Buying toys for your dog is not just a choice; it's not about helping them have a good time. Dogs need toys because they don't have jobs or anything else to stimulate their minds and keep preoccupied. If you don't want them chewing on your valuables, your furniture, or you leg--just kidding about the last one--then you'll want to seriously consider purchasing multiple toys to keep your dog busy.
Other Factors to Consider
It is important to make sure that you finding the dog toy that is right for your dog. As with dogs, these toys come in all shapes and sizes. The size of the toy will have a lot to do with how much fun your pup has with it. Some of these toys are quite small. A good idea for reference is to look at the photos on the store pages for each product. It will give you a good idea of how large the toy is in comparison to a dog. It can be hard to find out the exact size from a picture on the internet, but this is as good as it gets. The other important thing to remember is that many of these toys come in lots of sizes. This gives you a good opportunity to find a toy that is the perfect size for your pooch. The larger the toy, the more the price will increase, so try to keep that in mind when you are buying your toy.
There are many different styles of toy that you can think about buying as well. They each have different advantages, and will engage your dog in a different way. There are simpler toys on this list. That includes things like the KONG or the Cube. These toys are designed so that your dog can entertain themselves just by smacking the toy around on their own time. They can move them around, and they'll get rewarded with treats once in a while. These toys are great for the simple need of distracting your dog while you don't have the time to play with them. The KONG is also in another area of toys, and this is the ones that are good for your dog's teeth. These toys are great because they use the ruggedness of their soft rubber materials to rub plaque and other gunk off of your dog's teeth while they play with them. This gets rid of a lot of the work that comes from having to get in there on your own, which everyone knows is quite the hassle. Another toy type is one that is designed to help with your dog's most important sense, their sense of smell. Dog's have really impressive noses, and they love to sniff around. Why not reward them for it with something like the sniffing mat on this list? The mat is perfect for letting dogs do the hunting that they don't really get to do as much, anymore. As can be seen, it is important to find the style of toy that is best suited to your dog, and there are many ways that they can be engaged.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are some advantages to buying an interactive dog toy?
There are many advantages to buying an interactive dog toy. The biggest is that it will give your dog something to do when you don't have the time to play with them. The best toys will be able to give your dog a good amount of entertainment that they can make on their own. This could be seen with one of the food dispensers that you can change the difficulty on. If your dog has something to do when you are not around, then they won't turn to making a mess. A bored dog is a destructive dog, and interactive toys are the best solution to having a bored pet. It can often be hard to find enough things for a dog to do while you are gone for a shift at work. The other great thing about these toys is that they can promote health and intelligence in a dog. Dogs are not often challenged by every day activities. They can laze around. Some of these puzzles are great for giving your dog something engaging to do.
q: Which toys are best for which kind of dog?
The most important thing is to find a toy that is appropriate for your dog. The biggest thing is to make sure that the toy that you buy is the appropriate size for your dog. If your dog has trouble pushing the toy around, they will probably not be very entertained by the notion of all that hard work. All kinds of breeds are known for their different personalities and aptitudes. Some dogs love smelling, for example. These dogs are perfect for the smellwork mat on the list. They will love getting to engage with those primeval hunting instincts. The puzzle games are probably best for dogs that are a little more easily trainable. Dogs that can understand commands are also better at things like pattern recognition, and will be able to solve one of these toys, without just solving the puzzle by accident.
q: Are these toys easy to clean?
All the toys on this list are quite easy to clean. The ones made out of harder materials can just be wiped down with a cloth and a little bit of hand soap and water. The cloth materials on the other toys can easily be thrown into a washing machine with no fear of there being any damage to the toy.