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Providing appropriate mental and cognitive stimulation for dogs while allowing them to have fun reminds more of the aims of early childhood development. It is for this reason that interactive toys for dogs are highly recommended to help promote a more well-balanced temperament, making dogs a lot easier to train and helping minimize canine behavioral issues that stem out of boredom and frustration. Picking the right interactive plaything for your pooch need not be difficult. You can start with our list of the 10 best interactive toys for dogs.
One of the interactive dog toys that you might want to buy for your pooch is the Wobble Wag Giggle Ball. It’s a ball after all and everyone knows just how much dogs love chasing after balls, or pretty much anything for that matter! The Wobble Wag ball works by having an extremely uneven surface which causes it to skip, hop, jump, wiggle, and waggle all over the place as your dog pushes it around the floor.
Sounds and giggles are emitted from the Wobble Wag every time your pooch gives it a push, for a bit of additional audio stimulation. It is also designed to be easy for your dog to pick up in its mouth since there are already built-in clutch pockets for your pup’s teeth to latch on to. Forget your tennis ball for a while and use the Wobble Wag instead.
Irregularly shaped ball with flattened surfaces for unpredictability
Emits giggles and other sounds when rolled
With 6 clutch pockets for easy pick-up
Constructed of durable and pet-safe material
Brand: Wobble Wag Giggle
Weight: 1.28 ounces
Provides audio stimulation as well as physical
The high contrast design is easy for a dog to spot
No batteries are needed
The sound is much more pleasant than the standard squeaker
Dogs that like to chew can break the squeaker tubes
Not all dogs like the sound – depending on their personality
It is quite hard plastic and can scratch hard flooring
If you’re looking for a dog puzzle toy that can really test your dog’s cognitive ability, then look no further than the Nina Ottoson Interactive Puzzle Game. It is the ideal brain stimulating toy for especially intelligent dog breeds that prove difficult to challenge outside of their training. This toy hold treats inside small compartments, which your pup will have to unveil before they can access them.
Each compartment has a small puzzle that needs to be solved in order for your dog to get to the tasty treats inside, a great mini-test for your dog’s IQ. Not only is this one of the best interactive dog toys because of the complexity of the puzzle, but it also comes in two additional difficulty levels. So if your dog is just too brainy, you can push their puzzle-solving skills further by purchasing the more advanced version.
Available in four difficulty levels
Challenges your dog’s cognitive ability
Non-slip bottom keeps the puzzle secure
BPA, PVC, and Phthalate-free
Brand: Outward Hound
Weight: 2.2 Pounds
Can be used to keep your dog entertained whilst you work
The non-slip bottom helps keep your dog focused on the puzzle
The stimulation helps to curb undesirable behavior
Holds a good amount of treats per use
It needs regular thorough cleaning which can be time-consuming
It is not ideal for big chewers or destructive dogs
If you get the wrong difficulty your dog can give up trying
Kong is known for creating some of the more indestructible dog toys. The Kong wobbler toy dispenses treat as it is rolled around by your dog. Each time a treat or piece of food is shaken loose, the wobbler will right itself in preparation for being rolled again. It is a surprisingly simple design based on the classic weeble shape with the cognitive challenge of an IQ treat ball.
Not only does its shape help to make it more challenging for your pup, but it also adds a fun movement style that makes it less predictable. This means your dog will be more engaged in chasing it around the room as it shifts direction unexpectedly. The extremely durable exterior also makes it a great toy for heavy chewers and teething puppies.
Easy access for filling with treats
Durable and dishwasher safe
Made using high-quality food-grade polymer
Made for use with dry treats only
Weight: 1.1 Pounds
The extra-large brightly colored design makes it hard to lose
Great for keeping puppies occupied whilst crate training
Can be used to redirect chewing habits
Very engaging as it wobbles for a long time when nudged
Cannot be used with pate or peanut butter
Doesn’t wobble back to standing very quickly when full
The hole is too large for small puppy kibble biscuits
Designed to play to the predatory instincts of your dog is the Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Squeaky Plush Dog Puzzle Toy. These dog hide and seek toys mimic a tree stump complete with holes within which you can hide the accompanying plush squirrels. Your pooch will have a field day trying to sniff through the holes and attempting to pull out these furry toys.
Of course, you can also throw or toss the squirrels so your pooch can go and fetch them for you. Both the tree stump and the squirrel toys of Outward Hound are made of safe materials so even if your hound does decide to keep it in its mouth, you’d still feel safe. Read the in-depth review here.
2-in-1 play mode: standalone plaything and toss and fetch
Tree stump hideout design with 5 holes
Includes from 3 to 6 plush and pet-safe squirrel toys
Both the tree stump and squirrels are made of dog-safe material
Brand: Outward Hound
Weight: 7 ounces
The squirrels are squeaky and can be easily removed
It is available in four sizes with eight different designs
Can be mixed and matched with other plush animals
The soft material is great for teething puppies
Not ideal for aggressive chewers or destructive dogs
Tiny dogs have been known to get their head stuck inside it
Some dogs just shake the toy rather than play with it
Designed to jump, skip, hop, and bark its way around your home. The Hyper Pet Doggie Tail gives the dog owner a break as their dog’s animal instincts kick in and it chases its new toy across the house. Though the noise can be unsettling for some dogs, other dogs can’t get enough of it! Knowing your pup’s personality will help you to know whether or not this toy will be the right fit for them.
It is a particularly appealing design for hyperactive dogs, as the movement and sound can match their energy levels. Pet owners that have purchased this toy in the past have remarked that it is an easy toy to set up initially and that the battery pack is easy to access, which is ideal with these types of interactive puppy toys.
Wiggles, vibrates, and barks when it’s time to play
The furry texture and shape resembles a real animal
Movement and sound are motion-activated
Available in four fun designs
Brand: Hyper Pet
Weight: 4 Ounces
Batteries: 3 x AAA batteries. (included)
Easy to access the battery pack and replace the batteries
Caters to a pup’s animal instincts to chase and catch
Great for matching the energy of hyperactive pups
The movement mechanism is easy to initially set up
Not ideal for aggressive play as it can damage the motion sensor
The noise can be disconcerting to some dogs
Dogs with high prey drives can become obsessive over it
Most interactive dog toys cover one or two areas of interaction. However, the Pet Qwerks Babble Ball covers three; light, sound, and movement. With flashing lights, a babbling voice, and 18 other sounds to keep your dog engaged. This durable plastic babbly ball responds extremely well to the lightest touch from your pooch, rolling, flashing, and babbling its way around the house, it’s even motion-activated to encourage additional play.
Though the hard casing can be quite harsh on hardwood floors, it is otherwise one of the best interactive dog toys for active pups. It can even be used as a fetch toy by rolling it along the ground and have your dog retrieve it. The loud and bright nature of this ball makes it a great interactive dog toy for canines with vision problems or hearing loss.
Motion actives flashing lights with 18 sounds
Extra-durable construction to withstand lots of playtimes
Available in three sizes to suit most dogs
Helps to reduce anxiety and keep your dog from getting bored
Brand: Pet Qwerks
Weight: 3.84 Ounces
Batteries: 3 x LR44 batteries (included)
Automatically switches on and off so the owner doesn’t have to do it
A great toy for dogs losing their sight (or blind dogs)
Super hard-wearing and can withstand destructive dogs
Capable of holding a dog’s (or multiple dogs) attention for a long time
The hard casing can be noisy and potentially scratch hardwood flooring
Saliva can get into the ball through the speaker holes
No on/off switch, so store out of reach of your pup at night time
A clever, automated interactive dog toy that is created to help keep your dogs interested in a way unlike any other toy on our list. iFetch works much like a pet fitness robot in that will play fetch with your dog using the tennis balls specifically designed for the ball launching chute. It is a toy made to suit anything from small dogs to large dogs, seeing as any old pooch can play fetch, it’s the oldest game in the book!
Not only does it work to keep your dog entertained, but at the same time, it helps you to train your dog in agility, obedience, and test your dog’s IQ. Your dog has to learn to collect the ball within a 60-second window and deposit it back into the chute in order to have it throw out again. It can also be programmed to three different distances. However, make sure your dog doesn’t stand in front of the toy when it launches, as the ball comes out pretty quick.
Automatic ball launching technology
Can be set to launch at three distances
Designed both for indoor and outdoor use
iFetch Too is also available for larger ball launching design
Weight: 3 Pounds
Batteries: 2 x AAA batteries (Rechargeable)
A great training tool and brain-teasing interactive toy
Will play fetch automatically and keep your dog interested
Comes with a 1-year warranty
Battery life lasts a good amount of time between charges
Only the balls that come with the toy will fit
Auto-shutoff can be problematic if the dog isn’t quick enough
Dogs should avoid getting in the way when the ball launches
This is a simple, yet effective design that works well with a huge range of dogs, from Corgis to Bernese Mountain Dogs. Simply pick the size you want and away you go! The Pet Zone IQ treat ball can be used as a slow feeder, or for stashing away hidden treats to be discovered as your dog plays. To add a little bit of extra challenge, this ball also includes an adjustable ring on the inside that can alter how easily the treat dispenser will allow the biscuits to fall through.
Fortunately, this treat ball is easy to disassemble by simply twisting it in half, which makes it especially easy to clean. It has also proven to keep a dog’s attention for a good amount of time owing to the use of food as an incentive. The only thing to bear in mind with a toy design like this is that it is not made to withstand heavy chewing, nor will it take being excessively thrown around. It is not made for fetch, it is made to be rolled along the ground.
Provides mental stimulation for bored pups
The Interior disk can be adjusted to change the difficulty level
Can be used with a wide range of dog breed sizes
Helps to encourage extended playtime
Brand: Pet Zone
Weight: 2.4 Ounces
Very easy to disassemble and clean between uses
Great value and long-lasting durability
Helps to slow down fast eaters by restricting access to the food
The food acts as a great incentive to keep playing
Not recommended for toy breeds or aggressive chewers
Can be noisy on hard floors because of the hard case
The classic idea of rewarding behavior with treats, done in a hi-tech way. The Petsafe Treat & Train machine helps you to reward your dog easily for a wide variety of good behavior and even tricks. There is an extendable target stick included in the package which can be used in a variety of training techniques, including agility training and obedience. The handheld remote is where this really gets interesting, however.
The remote has a 1,000-foot range and allows you to reward your pet when you’re not even in their vicinity. This is especially helpful with dogs that struggle with separation anxiety, as it can help them to accept that your absence is not always so terrible. It comes with a handy step-by-step training guide and helps to improve focus and awareness. However, make sure you pack biscuits into the hopper that will actually fit through the treat dispenser hole. Otherwise, you’re just going to cause frustration for both your pooch and yourself.
Ideal for positive reinforcement training
Includes target stick for learning tricks
Training guide and training DVD included
Includes handheld remote with 1,000-foot range
Batteries: 4 x D batteries (not included)
A great electronic dog toy for simple trick training
Helps puppies that struggle with separation anxiety
Improves focus when training with food as an incentive
The step-by-step training guide is extremely helpful
Target stick will not withstand being played with
If the kibble is too large it can get stick in the dispenser
Remote battery comes separately and can be easy to lose whilst unpacking
The West Paw Zogoflex toy is an interactive dog toy that we honestly think draws its inspiration from the Classic KONG toys. Instead of having 3 progressively smaller balls stacked one on top of another, the Zogoflex Tux has 3 balls attached centripetally. A fun way to describe it would be that it resembles an oversized fidget spinner. The hole under the Zogoflex is designed to house one of your dog’s favorite treats for your pup to try and get to, much like the Qwizl puzzle toy.
The Zogoflex Tux is one of the best interactive dog toys for tough chewers thanks to the combination of puzzle elements (similar to an IQ treat ball) and durability. Your furry friend will need to manipulate the nodules around the edge of the toy in order to widen the treat dispensing hole and release the tasty treat. It’s perfect for water-related activities too, as the Zogoflex Tux is highly buoyant.
KONG-inspired treat-dispensing design
Extra-strong and durable construction
Free from BPA and recyclable
Bounces, floats, and dishwasher safe
Brand: West Paw Design
Weight: 10.6 ounces
Can be filled with broth or water and frozen for teething puppies
The overall design is easy for our furry friends to grasp
A good idea for dogs that are a bit too eager when it comes to treats
Capable of keeping a dog occupied for a couple of hours
The simple design can be boring for dogs only interested in the treat
Can be a bit too easy for more intelligent breeds to figure out
A smart, yet very simple design that can be highly effective, especially with anxious pups. It is a known fact with dogs that they lick themselves, furniture, and their owners excessively as a way of self-soothing. However excessive licking can be damaging either to the furniture or to their skin, which can become raw and irritates and even result in loss of fur. That’s where the Hyper Pet Treat Mat comes in.
By smearing peanut butter, pate, cream cheese, banana, or any other number of spreadable goodies onto the mat and laying it down for your dog, you can keep them focused and engaged on a single task. By doing this they are distracted from the cause of their anxiety and able to soothe themselves and calm down. Single focus tasks are a technique often used for anxiety management in humans, and so it makes sense that it can help dogs as well.
Available in four colors individually or a dual pack
Works for both cats and dogs
Provides a good method of portion control
Dishwasher safe with 90-day warranty
Brand: Hyper Pet
Weight: 7.37 Ounces
Helps to soothe anxiety by allowing your dog to lick repetitively
A great way to engage and distract dogs that struggle with separation anxiety
Training your dog to lick the mat can protect your furniture and their skin
Durable material can withstand repetitive use
Not suitable for aggressive chewers
buyers beware: contains latex so no good for dogs with a latex allergy
Not designed with a way to stick them to the ground
A battery-operated toy with no need to replace the batteries! Simply charge it up each night ready for another day of playtime. The BENTOPAL Wicked Ball utilizes lights and rapid movement to encourage your dog to engage with it. The stop/start motions also provide your dog with a chance to anticipate more movement, adding an element of excitement.
Previous customers have said that the customer service is extremely responsive to any concerns you may have regarding your Wicked Ball. Additionally, multiple dog owners have mentioned how attaching a toy tale to the ball helps add an extra element to these fantastic interactive puppy toys. Though near in mind that the bounce mode – whilst exciting – can be quite noisy on the hard floor, as the ball is not made from soft material.
Auto shutoff after 10 minutes of inactivity
Motion-activated with a single touch
Two modes – hopping and rolling
LED lights provide easy visibility in low light conditions
Model: 8.47 Ounces
Weight: Rechargeable (built-in)
A great interactive toy for hyperactive, high engagement puppies
Customer service is extremely responsive and helpful
Can have a tail attached to it for extra appeal
The rechargeable battery lasts a good long while
Bouncing mode is quite noisy on hard flooring
Needs to be switched off overnight so as not to give you a fright
This is a fantastic interactive toy with a sensory element that is just the right size for all dog types. The easy grab tabs are a fantastic addition as they help small pups to pick up the ball with ease, and are even often favored by medium-sized dogs and large pups as well. Like plush toys, this ball is soft and less likely to damage the furniture or flooring. However, unlike plush toys, it is durable and can be thrown around with no risk of damage to the interactive toy itself.
The air-filled lightweight design makes it a great choice for trips to the beach or lake, as you can throw it into the water and let your dog take a dip whilst retrieving it. It is also a much safer water toy, thanks to the easy grab tabs making it simple to retrieve. Though some owners have felt that the size of the ball is not ideal for especially big dogs, as they are naturally more heavy-handed than smaller dogs and more likely to damage it.
Made of natural, non-toxic, chew-proof, and eco-friendly rubber
Easy grab tabs to help pup pick up the ball
Quick and east initial setup
Lightweight, buoyant design is great for pools and lakes
Model: 8.2 ounces
Size: 6 inches
The tabs and textures provide a varied sensory experience
It is available in three fun color combinations
The tabs make the ball much easier for small dogs to pick up
Can be pierced by dogs with strong jaws and a habit of chewing
Some feel it is too small to be enjoyed by a large do
The Wickedbone is an intelligently designed interactive toy created with the intention of providing your dog with temporary entertainment whilst you undertake an important task. It can even work extremely well for distracting stressful dogs as you leave the home. It lasts for over 4 hours on a single charge, with some dog owners saying it has kept trucking for up to 8 hours!
It is programmed to encourage moments and activity much like the varram pet fitness robot. That encouragement means it is well suited to pups that may struggle with their weight as it uses exciting movements to entice them as opposed to treats. It also caters to your dog’s natural instinct to chase. Though a downside to this dog toy is that it does not function well on deep carpet.
Made using FDA food-grade polycarbonate
Lasts for over 4 hours on one charge with interactive mode
A fun, brightly colored design made to help with dogs that are particularly difficult when it comes to brushing their teeth. Dental hygiene is just as important with dogs as it is with humans, and keeping on top of your dog’s teeth from an early age is important. This interactive dog toy gives your pooch the chance to play whilst also brushing its teeth and massaging its gums.
It makes a fun squeaky sound to keep your dog interested for longer, and provides a pleasant array of textures for them to enjoy. Additionally, it is made from an extremely durable natural rubber, meaning it can take a beating. However, the teeth are not indestructible due to them being smaller and so this would not be advised for super-chewers.
Made with virtually indestructible rubber
Designed to improve dental hygiene
Multiple textures to get between the teeth and massage gums
Suitable for all sizes of dog
Weight: 8.6 ounces
The range of textures is pleasant for dogs to chew on
Squeaky noise encourages continued use of the toy
Extremely helpful for dogs that don’t enjoy having their teeth brushed
Three-in-one function of squeaker, chew toy, and toothbrush
Some dogs can get too riled up by the squeaker sound
The teeth can get broken by particularly aggressive chewers
Some dogs can lose interest once the toothpaste is gone
It won the Fear Free Award at the Global Pet Expo for its speedy, fun design that doesn’t startle your pooch. This is because each motion is smooth and quiet, perfect for dogs that can be frightened by toys that would perhaps be considered too “obnoxious” for shy breeds. Though it is very fun to chase, it is not at all recommended for dogs that would pick it up and chew on it.
Another fantastic design that can be used both as a way to keep your dog occupied as well as a slow feeder and portion control for fast eaters. The fun patterned design adds a sense of whimsy to this handy tool. Simply spread on whichever flavored paste of treat you want your dog to enjoy and stick the mat to the ground.
The sticky cups prevent the mat from shifting whilst your dog is licking away their treat, which makes it especially useful for larger breeds that put more force behind their licks. It is ideal for soothing anxious pups in stressful situations, such as loud environments or separation. Additionally, you get three to a pack! so you will always have a spare if one is waiting to be cleaned.
Made from food-grade, pet-safe silicone
Extra-durable material is dishwater safe
Suction cups able to attach to glass, porcelain, and tile
Each pack contains three brightly colored mats
Brand: PET STATE
Weight: 13.12 Ounces
The suction cups are perfect for stopping the mat from moving around
Licking action helps to soothe doggie anxieties
The different designs provide some variation to your dog’s experience
Capable of keeping a dogs attention for a good length of time
Can be fiddly to clean by hand due to the crevices
The PAWS Wooly Snuffle Mat is the perfect snuffle pad to give to your pooch. It looks very much like a shag rug, compiled on long tabs of fabric, making it more durable than your typical shag product. It plays to a dog’s natural desire to forage and sniff its way around. When you consider the facts that dogs have highly sensitive notes, the gentle tickling sensation provided by this snuffle mat is rather enjoyable.
An excellent detail is that this Snuffle Mat is made of up-cycled fabric making it a sustainable material and more eco-friendly than many other interactive dog toys of a similar design. This is an excellent training tool for sniffer dogs, as well as something any dog can simply enjoy. And as a fun little side-note – if you happen to have a pot-bellied pig around, they’d also enjoy PAWS Snuffle Mat!
Handwoven materials sourced from up-cycled fabrics
Simulates natural dog instinct to forage for food
Machine washable and easy-to-use mat
Suitable for all dog breeds and sizes
Weight: 2 pounds
The gentle fabric is pleasant on your dog’s nose
Can be used as a game by hiding small treats in the mat
Can be used to slow down overly eager eaters
Great for soothing anxious dogs and entertaining bored dogs
Not a good idea for destructive dogs that could rip them apart
Not ideal for heavy droolers as the fabric is very absorbent
Not all dogs will show interest in the snuffle design
As dog owners, we all know that every dog loves a good snuffle once in a while. If you’re really lucky you might have had the pleasure of your pup blowing boogers onto your arm after having a good sniff. That instinct is something all dogs share, and it stems from their natural drive to locate food and scope out their surroundings.
The Pet Arena snuffle mat is fantastic for that exact natural urge. And you can even add a little extra entertainment for your pup by from in some dry biscuits for them to dig out. This particle mat can be closed up into a bag and easily stored, additionally that same bag in a non-slip base for the mat when it is fully opened. Just remember that once opened it can take up a good chunk of floor space. Additionally, it is not suitable for flat-nosed dogs or destructive ones.
Can be used as a treat puzzle
Machine and hand washable on a low heat
The bag is made of non-slip cloth
made of eco-friendly, sustainable, anti-pilling fleece material
Brand: Pet Arena
Model: Viral Product
Weight: 9.91 Ounces
The adjustable bag adds some fun variation for your pup
Can be easily packed away when not in use
Treats can be hidden inside it to encourage foraging
Can be used to control a dog’s food intake, assisting in weight loss
Destructive dogs have a tendency to rip this apart
Treat-holding puzzle toys such as these can be especially helpful for dogs that may struggle with keeping their weight down. Not only will it allow your dog to get some mental stimulation and practice their puzzle-solving skills, but they will also be slowed down. If your pup is overly eager at mealtimes, it may be work putting their food into the puzzle dispenser for them to uncover over a longer period of time
By slowing your dog down when they eat, their digestive system is giving a chance to catch up and process food properly. The Dr. Catch puzzle feeder is made using non-toxic PVC, so it’s not the end of the world if your dog has a nibble at it, however, you’ll want to monitor them so that they don’t try to break it. You should also note that this particular interactive toy is better suited to small dog breeds and puppies.
Helps with digestion and weight loss
Made of safe, non-toxic PVC material
Provides mental stimulation
Ideal for small dog breeds and puppies
Brand: Dr. Catch
Weight: 13.4 ounces
Slow feeding helps dogs to digest their food better
The puzzle elements help to keep dogs occupied as they figure them out
Helps with training dogs in both obedience and puzzle-solving
Can be used as an effective positive reinforcement too
Can be a bit tricky to access for flat muzzled dogs
More intelligent dog breeds may find it too simple
Shouldn’t be given to large dogs as they can easily damage it
Based on the classic Kong design, but with a fun twist! This hand grande shaped rubber treat-dispensing toy bursts with treats once your pup is able to figure out the best technique to get them out. Not only that, both the shape of this incredibly hard-wearing top also provides your dog with a lovely gum massage and can help to reduce plaque build-up.
Many owners find that a toy like this makes the perfect positive reinforcement treat. This is owing to the fact that your dog will not only get some fun out of it, but it provides them with delicious snacks too. It is especially durable which makes it a great toy for heavy chewers, as well as being available in five fun colors to help you pick the color to suit your pup!
100% natural, eco-friendly, non-toxic rubber
Available in five colors
Textures exterior good for dog’s dental health
Top shelf dishwasher safe
Weight: 7.8 ounces
The texture helps to look after your dog’s teeth
The perfect treat ball style toy for large dog breeds
Helps to entertain lonely dogs that struggle with separation anxiety
Can be used as a reward for good behavior
Can be too noisy for your dog to use at night time
Not completely indestructible and won’t stand up to aggressive chewing
The tough exterior can be unappealing to some dogs
The Mad Scientist for Dogs is just one of two dog puzzle toys from TRIXIE that is sure to stimulate the problem-solving skills of a wide range of pooches. Three tubes or beakers are skewered on a stick and propped on a double A-frame stand. The lids to each of the tubes contain holes just large enough to allow the treats to be dispensed, which makes this a good slow feeder to control your dog’s mealtimes.
Your dog’s job is to learn to flip the tubes so that the treats will slide through the holes. There are several lid designs that provide varying difficulty levels once your dog has gotten the hang of the basic tub flipping technique (which is best learned with the lid off). The Mad Scientist is durably constructed and has a stable base so that your furry friend is only tipping the tubes and not the entire toy!
Science laboratory-inspired treat-dispensing toy
Made of durable and pet-safe materials
Sturdy and stable base
Several difficulty levels available
Weight: 2.22 pounds
Great for training your dog in problem-solving and improving its focus
Can help to control your dog’s food intake speed
The gradual dispensing of dog biscuits holds a dog’s attention for longer
Very quick and easy to assemble
Not the ideal interactive dog toy design for heavy-handed
Can be too difficult for some dogs to figure out or too simple for others
Too small for any dog breed larger than the medium breed range
This fun and unique design on our list combines a whole bunch of playing styles into one vibrant toy for your dog to enjoy. The powerful suction cups are specifically used to share the pull force between them and withstand up to 200lbs of pulling force. Meaning your dog can tug on these tension toys to its heart’s content (so long as it’s not a powerful breed capable of surpassing the force limit.)
It has a rob toy aspect for your dog to gnaw and pull at, along with a squeaky element to entice them to place with the ball itself. The more your pup plays with the ball, the cleaner their teeth will be. Though the fun doesn’t stop there. It also includes a “food spilling” design, in which food can fall from the opening as your dog applies pressure to various areas of the ball, making it a great feeding tool for fast eaters.
Suction cup can withstand a pulling force up to 200lbs
Outer surface designed to protect dog’s teeth
Easy release mechanism for owners
Bite resistant rope and squeaky design
Weight: 1.21 pounds
Combines the treat ball design with a tugging game
Dogs respond well to the squeaky element
The food-spilling design can help fast eaters
The spiked design is highly effective at cleaning doggie’s teeth
Required the floor pads in order for suction to work properly
The rope toy element can shed with the use
Can be tricky to set up properly the first time round
The Chuckit brand is known for its effective ball throwing tools, as well as its high-quality toys. This ball launcher is plain and simply designed to make ball-throwing a much easier task for every owner. If you’ve ever tried throwing a ball for a fast dog breed and wrenched your shoulder, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
By using the Chuckit ball launcher you can cover tremendous distances much easier, meaning your speed pooch can get their daily exercise in a much shorter amount of time. This is an especially helpful tool for puppy parents looking to agility train their dog, as it will encourage them to cover large distances as quickly as possible. It is comfortable to hold and available in a range of sizes, though keep in mind that you should avoid letting your dog chew on the ball between uses.
Available in three lengths and three ball sizes
Capable of easily throwing balls long distance
Ergonomic design for comfortable grip
Extra flexible for durability
Weight: 0.63 Pounds
Requires little effort to get a ball to go a significant distance
The easy-grip helps to reduce fatigue with repeated use
The variety of lengths and sizes suits most dog breeds
A glow in the dark variety is available for low light conditions
The balls cannot withstand dogs that like to chew
It can take some practice to get the throwing angle right
Simply pop in your dog’s favorite treats and let the ball roll! The sheer volume of biscuits this ball is capable of holding makes it a useful tool for both positive reinforcement training and portion control. Additionally, the Eusur treat ball – which comes in a pack of two by the way – is made using resilient, high quality, non-toxic rubber, making it the perfect toy to redirect a puppy’s teething energy.
The small teeth made to hold the biscuits in place also work to help massage your pup’s gums and care for their teeth. Whilst the heavy-duty design makes it an excellent ball for playing fetch, as it is capable of flying a good distance thanks to the added weight. The min negative to this toy seems to be that especially intelligent dogs tend to figure it out quite quickly and stop showing much interest in it shortly after.
The package contains two balls (red and blue)
2.4 inches in diameter
Can be used for training purposes
Helps to redirect teething energy
Weight: 5.6 ounces
Treat ball is easy to use for young dogs and puppies
Great for a classic game of catch to build your bond
Keeps a dog entertained for 10-15 minutes whilst you work
Works great as a positive reinforcement reward during training
Some owners feel the food can be too easy to access
Not made to withstand a lot of chewing
Intelligent breeds may become less interested quite quickly
Best Interactive Dog Toys Buying Guide
There are many interactive dog toys in the market. Each one has its unique advantages over others. Understanding what these types of doggie toys are and what benefits your pooch can derive from these things can help you decide on the right interactive toy to purchase for your canine friend.
What are Interactive Dog Toys?
In its simplest definition, interactive dog toys are playthings that keep canines fully stimulated. Dogs are highly social animals. They thrive on interaction with members of the pack. If you have several pets in the household, canine boredom is usually not an issue since they can at least play among themselves. Unfortunately, for single dog households, the same cannot be said especially if you are too busy with work or if no one is left in the house to keep your pooch stimulated.
Interactive dog toys can come in many forms. There are puzzle toys that use treats as the primary motivation for pooches to try and solve the puzzle. For instance, the treat can be hidden in a mechanism that hounds will have to ‘solve’ to access the treat. There are also toys that squeak or make funny noises as well as move. These play to the dog’s predatory instincts. There are toys that come in various textures, tastes, and even sounds. Like human development, these things stimulate the brain. As we all know by now, stimulating the brain simply means working it so that it becomes sharper, primed for optimum canine training.
Before making any decisions it helps to know the different types of interactive dogs toys available to you and what they’re each made for.
Food & Treat Dispensing Toys
Food and treat dispenser toys provide your dog with food-fueled fun. If your dog is driven by treats as reinforcement for behavior a treat-dispensing toy can be the perfect way to encourage them to play on their own. By doing this you can help to curb separation anxiety as well as train undesired behavior out of your pooch – such as barking. Especially seeing as there are multiple automated treat dispensers on the market.
Puzzle toys are ideal for intelligent dog breeds that demand a lot of mental stimulation. Puzzle dog toys can come in all shapes and sizes, and many of them are offered in a range of difficulties (some of which can even be difficult for a human to figure out). They’re the perfect way to keep an active mind occupied.
Hide and seek toys cater to a dog’s natural instinct to forage and hunt for things. By hiding toys within toys they will feel compelled to find the hidden toys in order to get to play with them. They also come with the additional benefit of providing a space for your pooch to stick their nose when they’re feeling particularly snuffly.
Responsive toys are often a good choice for highly active dogs (or pretty much all puppies). They will often respond to sound or movement, triggering an exciting reaction that will catch your dog’s attention. Responsive toys often move quickly and make plenty of light or sound to encourage your dog to play with them. This is great for keeping energetic dogs entertained.
High-Tech toys can range anywhere from an automated ball launcher, to an app-controlled Roomba-style engagement toy. Each has its perks depending on what it is you need. Though high-tech dog toys are usually quite expensive, so do plenty of research and make sure it suits your needs before investing. Also, always check the warranty and return information before letting your dog get at it.
Since the pet market is actually littered with lots of toys, picking the right one for your pooch can be quite challenging. You no longer have to fret about such things as we’re here to help you choose the right toy for your dog. Here’s how.
Understand Your Pooch’s Jaw Characteristics
While dogs can actually play with their paws, the principal organ that is involved in playtime activities is still the mouth. As such, even before you start buying toys for your pet, it is imperative that you have a clear understanding of the characteristics of its jaws especially its bite force.
Generally, puppies have a much softer bite than fully-grown adult dogs. Also, there are certain breeds that, even though they are already fully grown adults, still have a relatively soft bite. For instance, the Labrador retriever is well regarded for its gentle bite, something that it needs to pick up felled prey without necessarily shredding the prey to bits. There are also breeds that, small as they are, will have the bite force of a croc, pun intended just to make a point.
For gentle chewers, a soft squishy, hollow ball is usually sufficient. For aggressive chewers, one that is perfectly round and comes in a single color is ideal, although you can always experiment but with caution.
It goes without saying that you need a toy that is appropriate to the size of your pooch’s jaws. Too small and you risk choking your dog. Too big and your canine friend will lose interest in an instant.
Always Go for Interactive Dog Toys That Are Safe
Make sure the toy you choose is made from safe materials. It should also be sturdy enough that it will not be easily broken into bits and risk indigestion or even choking in your pooch.
Benefits of Interactive Dog Toys
There are many reasons why a lot of animal experts recommend giving interactive toys to dogs. For the most part, the benefits our canine friends derive from these types of playthings are simply great. Here are some of them.
Helps Prevent Undesirable Behaviors
Interactive dog toys work to keep the dog’s mind busy so that it will not be tempted to do things that are considered undesirable. For instance, instead of chewing on your furniture or barking incessantly when you’re not around, it can focus all of its attention and energy on ‘solving’ puzzle toys or chewing on dental chew toys.
Canine anxiety, like that of humans, can be manifested in a lot of ways. There’s barking, jumping, destructive chewing, and many more. When pooches are ‘sad’ because you’re going to leave them alone for several hours, it can be particularly devastating for them. Giving them interactive toys can help them vent out their anxious energies into more constructive mechanisms.
Provides Mental and Physical Stimulation
Training your dog requires it to listen to and obey your commands. This can only happen if it can focus on the task at hand. Giving them interactive doggie toys help train their minds to focus on a particular activity at any given time. Puzzle toys also help sharpen their problem-solving skills which can come in handy in dog training.
Slows Down Fast Eaters
Treat dispensing toys that come in the form of puzzles can help slow down fast eaters. This is helpful if you have a pooch that is susceptible to bloating. It’s also helpful for obese dogs that definitely need to lose weight.
Keeping our pooches mentally and physically stimulated can be made a lot easier with the use of the right interactive dog toys. It is, therefore paramount that we take ample time looking at the various products made available to us. By making sure that these products are of the correct size and correspond well to the unique characteristics of our dog, you, too, can easily pick out the right interactive toy for your hound.
Eloise is the owner of a Malamute/Akita cross, a first-time mum, and an animal enthusiast from England. She comes from a family which has never gone a day without a pet (or 3!), and over the years has learned all the best tips and tricks to raising a difficult pet. A knowledge that she has put to good use, to help others navigate the limitless world of pet care.