Best Interactive Dog Toys (Keep That Pup Entertained)
There are plenty of reasons it is important to keep your dog busy and entertained (which is probably why you’re looking for the best interactive dog toys). For starters, when your dog is entertained, it keeps him or her from getting into trouble! It has only been recently that dogs have had relatively relaxed lives.
Their ancestors were much more active, because they had to be. When your species were constantly on the hunt for food for centuries, it’s hard to break that habit. Dogs have to be kept active; when they aren’t it can create behavioral problems. We’re going to run you through different ways to keep your dog happy and active, and we’re also going to show you some different toys to help you with that process.
Quick Picks: A Few Awesome Interactive Toys
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Types of Interactive Dog Toys
The great thing about dogs is their level of attention. It’s very easy to get a dog’s attention as opposed to cats or other animals. So when you do want to play an interactive game with then, there are several avenues to choose from. Usually, if the toy dispenses a treat, has unusual sounds, or movements, it’s going to be a winner in the dog’s eyes.
There are plenty of types of interactive dog toys, really. They all do something different, and they’ll all attract different types of dogs. So, what are they?
These are great for helping your dog keep a sharp mind and a healthy body. There are plenty of different types of puzzles, but the best type in my opinion is one that dispenses a treat when the dog figures out the puzzle.
It’s always a good idea to reward your dog with treats if the puzzle doesn’t do it for them. This recreates the “hunt” for your dog. They love it, and it will keep them stimulated for hours.
These are the toys that we’ve all come to love (and hate). These are the squeaky toys and other toys that are designed to stimulate your dog’s hearing, touching, tasting, etc.
It should also be noted that these toys are usually best for short term gratification. These usually aren’t toys that will keep your dog happy and occupied for hours.
Toys for Aggressive Chewers
These toys are the indestructible ones. These toys are the heavy, rubber toys that won’t tear regardless of how long and how hard your dog chews on it and tries to tear it up. Kong toys are an example.
The amazing thing about Kong toys is that you can fill them with treats to keep your dog occupied for even longer. I usually fill mine up with peanut butter and my dog couldn’t love it more. I especially do this when I am about to leave the house and I think she may miss me.
This is actually different than puzzles, usually. These types of toys can come in several different shapes and sizes but it usually requires them to do a small task before getting the treat, but not a task that is quite a puzzle. Such as: roll the ball over to let a treat fall out, pull the treat out of a pocket in the chew toy, etc.
These tasks aren’t as stimulating as puzzles, so we don’t classify them as the same. They still serve a purpose, they’ll still help your dog stay engaged, and they’re still worth investing in.
Why Invest in an Interactive Toy?
There are several reasons, really. For starters, if you decide to have a big party for a holiday, your furry friend may or may not decide to cause havoc. It’s a really good idea to get them involved in an activity to keep them occupied. We do the same with our children.
Please note that I am not comparing kids to dogs, but most living things to require some sort of mental stimulation or they start spending their time in less productive ways.
Also, people often forget that dogs require mental stimulation to stay sharp in the same way that humans do. When your dog is under stimulated, they often have behavioral problems.
So just snag a few fun toys, and you're good to go!
Quick Look at a Few of Our Dog's Favorite Interactive Toys
This is a puzzle game by the well-known Nina Ottosson. The goal is to drop a treat in the center of the toy and challenge your dog to retrieve it. It’s durable, fun, and it will keep your dog occupied for several hours.
The reviews on this toy have been generally positive from those who have used them. People who didn’t like it said that A) the toy might be too large for some smaller dogs, and B) it slides a lot on hardwood floors.
This can make the toy unproductive if the purpose is no longer to try to get the treat out of the toy, but it is now to try to get the toy to stay in one place.
However, if you have a larger dog and you intend to use this toy on carpet, then we highly recommend!
We’ve reviewed this toy a ton. It’s one of the most well-known toys on the market, and it’s so well made that we love promoting it!
There are very few people who end up disliking this toy. It’s absolutely perfect for stuffing with treats so your dog can stay occupied for hours while it’s trying to get to the treat inside.
It’s great for bouncing on the floor while playing fetch and it has been recommended worldwide by all sorts of pet experts.
Did I mention it’s made in the USA? Some people don’t pay attention to this, but I’d attribute it’s quality to that fact.
This is a great puzzle toy by Outward Hound. The purpose of the toy is to hide the treat in the puzzle and have your dog sniff it out to win.
This game is best played with the assistance of a human so they can be trained along the process.
Also, it’s important that dogs know the purpose of the game isn’t to chew on it, but to seek out the treat.
The cups are made from shatterproof plastic so the risk of them breaking it apart and choking on it is relatively low. Still, the dog should not use the game without the supervision of a human.
Image credits: Amazon.com