What’s The Best Interactive Dog Toy? Reviews & Buyer’s 2021 Guide

Interactive Toy For Dogs Feature Image

Toys are essential to a dog’s well-being. They are designed not only to keep your pup busy while you’re away but also serve as important tools for modifying their behavior and stimulating them mentally and physically.

However, ordinary dog toys won’t keep Fido entertained for too long. If you want to keep your dog’s interest longer, then you also have to engage in interactive play with them. Unfortunately, it’s a fact that you can’t always be with your pup. 

This is where interactive dog toys come in! Interactive dog toys come in all sorts of forms, but their one compelling feature is that they make playtime for your pooch fun and help them stave off boredom on their own.

We have compiled a list of some of the best interactive toys for dogs. To get started, let’s explore the key features of our top three picks on our list.

PRODUCT / PRODUCT DETAILS

PRODUCT

PRODUCT DETAILS

Interactive Babble Ball Dog Toy

1. Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel Squeaky Puzzle Plush

West Paw Interactive Dog Toy

2. Frisco Hide and Seek Plush Chewy Box Puzzle

Easy to Clean West Paw Interactive Pooch Toy

3. Trixie Activity Poker Box Activity Strategy Game

Our 10 Best Interactive Dog Toys

1. Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel Squeaky Puzzle Plush

Interactive Babble Ball Dog Toy

Enjoy hide and squeak with Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Squeaky Puzzle Plush! The rules in this puzzle game are simple: just stuff the fluffy little squeaky squirrels into the soft plush tree trunk and watch your pooch sniff them out one by one. To keep them going, just stuff them back in, and do it again. 

Your pup will have a whole lot of fun looking for the squirrels inside the toy as it produces those cute squeaky sounds. Plus, it can be used to playing fetch with the owner or played individually by dogs.

Available in four sizes: Junior, Large, Jumbo and Ginormous, where the number of squirrels ranges from three to six. This plush dog puzzle toy works for small and big dogs. For extra novelty, try adding more characters into it.

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2. Frisco Hide and Seek Plush Chewy Box Puzzle

West Paw Interactive Dog Toy

Treat your pup with another hide-and-seek toy with Frisco Plush Chewy Box Puzzle! This plush dog puzzle toy offers a great way to prevent dogs from getting bored, provides daily mental stimulation, and promotes an interactive activity for the owner and their pooch to bond over. 

Not only that, this interactive toy won’t even put a hole into your wallet. For only $12, you’ll already receive a soft Chewy “box” and three fun toys including a rope toy, plush squeaker ball, and a plush squeaker bone. 

The Frisco Hide-And-Seek Plush also comes in multiple, adorable designs such as squeaky dinosaurs in a soft volcano or squeaky space aliens with a plush flying saucer. All of these are available for medium and large breeds.

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3. Trixie Activity Poker Box Activity Strategy Game

Easy to Clean West Paw Interactive Pooch Toy

This Trixie Poker Box interactive dog toy is designed for intermediate canine gamers with four puzzles wrapped in one box. It has four different boxes that can be individually placed for various sets of gameplay or simply used together. 

Named as a strategy game, dogs will have to use different techniques to rescue the treats inside the treat-hiding compartments: flaps, lids, ropes, knobs, and drawers. To keep the toy in place, it has non-slip rubber feet with a size of 12″ wide x 12″ diameter x 4″ high.

You can increase its level of difficulty by changing the number and placement of the treats guided by an instruction booklet that contains tips and tricks on training your dog and adjusting the challenge level. Because of this, your pooch will need to use a lot of patience and concentration.

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4. Petstages Dog Twister Purple Puzzle

Interactive Toy Safe for Dog s Teeth

Has your dog lost interest in his basic puzzle toy? Then, upgrade the challenge now with Petstages Dog Twister Purple Puzzle! Made by Nina Ottosson, a well-regarded line of Swedish puzzle games and toys, this dog puzzle toy is a Level 3 game that helps increase your pup’s IQ and for a more advanced mental stimulation.

Using this toy is just simple: place your pup’s favorite treat on the nine treat compartments and allow your pup to twist or spin the compartments to get his dog treat. It can also be used in feeding your dog any healthy kibble. 

This interactive dog toy is sturdy and safe for any intermediate pooch. It’s a great mental exercise to keep your dog curious.

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5. Jolly Pets Tuff Tosser Dog Toy

Treats Dispensing Interactive Pooch Toy

Are you looking for a treat ball that is fun but won’t break your bank? Then, Jolly Pets Tuff Tosser Dog Toy might be the perfect choice for you. For only $6, you can already spend a whole lot of fetch-time fun. 

This toy keeps your dog moving and it can do so much like throw, roll, fetch, bounce and chew. Available in two sizes, the super-bouncy ball also has a treat-stuffing option to keep your pooch interested even after the initial fun of the chase.

Made from a special “tuff” blend of natural yet durable rubber, this dog ball has a unique raised surface to help clean your canine pal’s teeth as he chews, aiding in maintaining his oral hygiene. 

The rubber toy is top-rack dishwasher safe as well so cleaning it up after playtime is a breeze!

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6. Outward Hound Tornado Puzzle Game

Small and Medium Sized Treats for Dog Toys

As the name suggests, the Tornado Puzzle Game is made up of four chambers of rotating discs with twelve alternating blue and yellow spinning compartments, where treats can be hidden in three of those layers. 

Your pup has to spin each individual bone-shaped layer in different directions with his snout or paw to find the hidden goodies. You can make the game more challenging by placing the dog treat under smaller white bone plastic blocks that fit into the compartments. 

You’ll definitely love watching him receiving his rewards as he puts on his doggy thinking cap!

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7. Frisco Hide and Seek Plush Flying Saucer Puzzle

Soft Chewable Toy for Dog s Teeth

Allow your toy to take your pet in the outer space with Frisco’s Plush Flying Saucer Puzzle! As stated, this plush dog puzzle toy comes with adorable squeaky space aliens and an oh-so-soft flying saucer. 

Measuring 6 x 4.5 inches, you can stuff these six little Martians into the plush spaceship for your curious furry doggy to remove in whatever way they can. 

To increase their level of excitement, the miniature Martians are all equipped with a squeaker that will intrigue your pet when they’re compressed. 

But that’s not all, aside from burrowing in and retrieving, you can also toss the small aliens across the room for your pooch to fetch.

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8. JW Treat N Squeak Ball Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

Fill the Dog Toy with their Favorite Treats

Does your tennis ball no longer excite your dog to play? Why not try this treat-dispensing toy then! The JW Treat N Squeak Ball Treat Dispensing Dog Toy is a one-of-a-kind combination of a squeaking toy and a treat ball in a treat-dispensing mechanism. This interactive treat-dispensing toy challenges your pooch to work to get his treats out.

The dog ball is designed with an easy-to-stuff feature that allows an interactive treat or kibbles to be placed inside the toy. Food is dispensed every time your pooch rolls with it and plays with it. Thus, this interactive dog ball will give your pooch the exercise that he needs and get rewarded with hidden treats. 

Plus, it promotes good digestion by slowing down your dog’s eating pace as he plays with the treat ball. You’ll also feel safe to leave your pet chewing on it because it’s made of non-toxic and durable natural rubber to ensure your dog’s safety.

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9. JW Grass Ball Dog Toy

Dog Mind Games Interactive Toy with Treats

Good for dogs big or small, the JW Grass Ball Dog Interactive Toy is a tough rubber dog toy infused with vanilla extract that is as versatile as it is fun! 

Aside from fun, interactive dog ball entices playtime and keeps your pooch entertained for hours, making this a great option for pet parents who are commonly gone for hours at a time. 

The dog ball is also double-molded and super durable to stand up to tough chewers. Available in assorted colors and sizes, the interactive dog ball or Grass ball has a spiked top and bottom that helps massage and keeps the teeth of your dog healthy. 

It’s like chewing on actual dental chew toys. What’s more, the smooth sides make an excellent fetch dog toy while the openings on each side allow the Grass ball to be used as a treat ball too!

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10. Barkbox Dog Squeak Toys

Have A Fun Time with Your Dog

Do all your puppy toys including your dog’s favorite tennis balls end up in shreds? Are you feeling tired of picking the best interactive dog toys on the market for your canine best friend only to be chewed and thrown to the bin? 

Then you might be interested in these dog squeak toys. Barkbox’s Dog Squeak Toys come with a lot of pattern names and designs. Consuela The Cactus, for instance, is a 2-in-1 plush cactus that is designed to be DESTROYED

Wrapped in two layers of fabric, your pet can rip off the smiley face to expose Consuela’s not so happy interior. Styled with a bungee flower, a material medley with plush, and spikey arms, this interactive dog toy is ideal for any dog that lives to trash and tug. 

Going to its innermost layer, Consuela’s spikey ball core is a durable and engaging rubber spikey ball squeaker to surprise your dog and make for long-lasting playtime of fetching, playing tug or snuggling.

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Challenging Mind Toys for Dogs

Different Types of Interactive Toys

As you can see, all the given list of best interactive dog toys above is based on the same principle: from the term ‘interactive’, these toys are designed to make your dog interact with them while creating the desired response. To narrow them down, most of the best interactive dog toys picked on the list are:

Treat Balls

The name of these interactive dog toys is already self-explanatory: At the end of the interaction, the toy will dole out treats either because of playing with the toy or performing the desired behavior. The Kong Wobbler, for example, forces the dog to “work” to get the delicious treats inside.

Puzzles

Like human development, puzzle toys stimulate the mental and cognitive development of your canine pal. And as we all know, the more we stimulate the dog’s brain, the more it becomes sharper as preparation for canine training.  There are puzzle toys that use treats as the main motivation for dogs to try and solve the puzzle. These interactive dog toys are designed in various tastes, textures and even sounds. 

Hide-and-Seek

A hide-and-seek toy is one of the best interactive dog toys and the more advanced types among the categories. It requires your dog to exhibit his intelligence and problem-solving abilities. Some of these interactive toys are essentially soft, plush small toys that often feature a squeaker that needs to be placed inside another goodie toy. The dog is expected to use his doggy thinking cap and his snoot to try and pull them out.

Benefits of Interactive Dog Toys

Small breeds have more sensitive and slower-functioning digestive systems compared to their bigger counterparts. Therefore, the foods administered to small dogs like Bichon Frises must be well balanced and of the highest grade. Low-graded proteins and carbs will often take time to be fully broken down and can consequently lead to problems with the blood sugar levels.

Dog Puzzle and Plush Toys

Stimulates the Mind

Dog training requires listening and obeying your commands. But, this can only happen if your dog is trained to focus on the task at hand. That’s why giving them dog activity toys or interactive dog toys to keep help train the dog’s mind to concentrate on a specific activity at any given time. Puzzle toys also help in honing their problem-solving skills which can come in handy when training your dog.

Used for Behavior Training

Just like people, dogs can get bored too. Interactive dog toys work to keep the dog’s mind busy especially when you’re not around. Keeping him busy means they will not be tempted to do any destructive and undesirable behavior.

For example, instead of barking incessantly or chewing on your furniture when there’s no supervision, the dog can divert all his attention and energy in chewing his dental puppy toys or ‘solving’ his puzzle toys.

Promotes Exercise

Many interactive toys do not only encourage play, but also exercise. For instance, if your dog is spending most of his time laying on the sofa instead of his feet, maybe its time to have them moving around and make them active using interactive dog toys.

Helps Control Heavy Eaters

One of the best items which brands have creatively manufactured today is treat-dispenser balls. The treat ball is designed in the form of puzzles to help slow down heavy eaters. Some of them are also built in a form of IQ treat ball which makes it more challenging for the dog to get treats out of the ball. This is extremely helpful especially if you have a dog that is susceptible to bloating and are obese that definitely need to lose weight.

Fun Bonding Experience for Dogs and Owners

 

Important Features To Consider

Interactive dog toys should have plenty of essential features. Here are some of the features to consider when choosing the right interactive toy for your busy buddy.

Safety

All dogs like to chew and to play with their mouths. That’s why it all-important to purchase an interactive toy that is non-toxic and safe for your pet. Safety should always be your top priority for your dog, and interactive dog toys are no different [1].

Level Of Difficulty

We can all agree that dogs vary in intelligence. And when it comes to interactive dog toys, there are no ‘one-fits-all’ puzzle games that they can solve. Choosing an interactive dog toy with adjustable difficulty levels will not only keep your dog interested, but you will also enjoy watching him as he solves the puzzle.

Ease of Cleaning

Interactive dog toys like IQ Treat Ball and Chew Toys by West Paw, all use treats to encourage dogs to utilize them. Since food is involved, it’s crucial to know how to easily clean them. After all, we wouldn’t want to struggle inserting a small brush in each of the tiny holes of the IQ Treat Ball just to clean it, don’t we?

Durability

You should also check the durability of the interactive dog toy before buying it. A durable interactive toy means you do not need replacement and repairs. It will stay will you for a long time and of course, helps you save money in the future.

Feeding Recommendations - Puppy Calories Per Serving Ingredients

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Mentally Stimulate A Dog?

By giving your dog something meaningful to do, you are already stimulating him mentally. There are some easy ways you can do to mentally stimulate a dog such as having them work for their food, allowing them to sniff and explore walks, getting him a puzzle toy, teaching your pet new tricks, playing some nose work games and obstacle courses as well as engaging in a more interactive play with your pet.

Why Are Interactive Toys Important?

Interactive toys are important especially for dogs because they help fight off their boredom, provide comfort when they’re feeling nervous, they assist in fulfilling a pet’s physical and emotional needs, stimulate their brain capacity as well as preventing them from developing certain behavioral problems.

Should I Leave Interactive Toys Out When My Dog Is Alone?

Yes, you should leave interactive toys out when your dog is alone. As mentioned, interactive dog toys help keep your pet busy when he’s left home alone for extended periods of time. However, you should also know that a treat dispenser, bouncy balls like babble ball and a chew toy are some of the considered interactive toys to keep. Others especially an interactive dog toy with squeakers may present a choking hazard so they need to be supervised.

Conclusion

Interactive toys for dogs allow a multitude of benefits for your busy buddy. But receiving all of these will be a lot easier if you invest in the right type of toy for your pet’s size, personality, and play preferences. Remember, your whole day might have been busy, but a pet spent most of its day just waiting for you.

Interactive Babble Ball Dog Toy

Editor's Choice

Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel Squeaky Puzzle Plush