Dogs can be a lot of work. Occasionally, it can be difficult to keep up with them. That’s why it’s great to have toys that are puzzles for them to solve. That will keep them busy, and you won’t have to worry about them.
The best puzzle toys for dogs are not just about giving you a break. They are a great way to keep your dog healthy and stimulated. Puzzle toys can also help your dog’s training and make them happier.
There are a lot of puzzle toys for dogs on the market, but not all of them are equal. It can be difficult to know which one is best for your dog.
We have compiled a handbook that explains everything you need to know about dog fences, beginning with their necessity and advantages for your dog.
Your dog needs to figure out how to play with the toy so that it releases treats. This will help their brains stay active and work their teeth and gums.
There are a lot of different types of interactive dog toys. They come in all shapes and sizes, so you can find the perfect one for your dog. If you don’t have an interactive toy for your dog yet, this is a great place to start.
Top 4 Puzzle Dog Toys
1. Kong Wobbler Dog Toy
The Kong Wobbler is a good toy for most dogs. It is a good place to start if you are unsure what puzzle toy to give your dog.
This chew puzzle toy is made from durable plastic. It comes in different sizes and strengths, so there is something for every dog, even big, heavy chewers.
The Kong Puppy is good for dogs that have soft teeth and gums. The Kong Senior is also good for sensitive, older teeth. The smallest size is good for dogs that weigh 5 pounds or less. The extra-large size is safe for dogs that weigh 85 pounds or more.
The toy can be filled with food to create a fun game or to provide your dog with a meal while you are away. This toy is relatively safe for your dog to play with unsupervised.
This toy is designed to roll and release food when your pet nudges it. This movement is unpredictable, which means it always keeps your pet stimulated.
This is an easy puzzle for your dog to solve. It is also a good toy to chew on and move around. The toy is dishwasher safe, so it is easy to clean when it starts to smell.
Just make sure that the treats you put in the toy are the right size for the toy. The larger toys have a bigger opening that is not good for small pieces of food because they will pour out too easily for your dog to enjoy it.
The lowest version of this toy may be too hefty for some tiny dogs, making it more suitable for medium to large dogs.
- Extremely resilient; will withstand the most severe chewing.
- Available in a range of sizes and strengths to accommodate various dog breeds.
- It can be filled with treats or a full meal to dispense food
- Dishwasher safe, so easy to clean
- On the larger sizes, the food-dispensing slot is a little too large.
- Little stature can be somewhat weighty for small canines.
The Wobbler is a great basic puzzle toy for children. It is especially good if you are looking for something they can use without supervision.
2. Trixie Activity Flip Board Interactive Toy
If you are looking for something to keep your older dog entertained, the Trixie Board is a good option.
This Trixie interactive dog toy is made from durable plastic. It has a rubber floor grip to keep it in place while your dog plays. The toy also has multiple compartments where hidden treats are, providing your dog with hours of entertainment as they try and find them all.
Don’t worry if they drool all over it while playing; the toy is also dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
This toy is good for older dogs that have learned how to solve problems and are less active. They can stay in one place while playing with the toy.
This toy is not ideal for dogs that like to chew a lot. The toy has a lot of pieces for them to take apart, which could be dangerous if they are not supervised.
- Can occupy your dog for several hours while you participate in other activities.
- Ideal for older, less energetic, but more seasoned canines
- Rapidly and easily cleaned in the dishwasher
- Does contain little fragments that are prone to be broken off by chewing
Suppose your dog loves to figure out things but doesn’t like running around the house. In that case, this activity board will give them the intellectual stimulation they crave.
3. The Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel Stuffed Animal
Try the Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel if you search for a non-treat-based toy to stimulate your dog.
This toy uses the fact that most dogs are irresistibly drawn to things that make noise.
Your dog will like the toy’s numerous moving components. You can make it more fun by hiding a squeaking squirrel inside the trunk of the toy tree and leaving it for your dog to find.
This toy comes in different sizes for different kinds of dogs. But it might not be the best choice for really aggressive chewers.
These toys are tough, but a big dog that wants to get to the squeaking squirrel or the squeaker can tear it apart.
Luckily, most of the toy is safe for dogs. If they find some of it in their mouth or digestive system, they won’t be in danger.
- Stimulation of the mind without the need for sweets
- Made from dog-friendly materials
- Diverse sizes to entertain dogs of varying sizes
- Chewers can quickly destroy this toy.
- As a plush toy, it requires routine washing.
This plush toy from Outward Hound is an excellent option for mentally entertaining your dog without the use of treats.
4. Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball
If you’re searching for a dog toy that adapts as your dog learns, the IQ Treat Ball is ideal.
This ball is made from durable plastic. The ball moves erratically and dispenses treats as your dog moves it around. It works just like the Kong Wobbler.
This toy is different because it has different levels of difficulty. As your dog gets better at releasing the treats, you can make the toy harder so they never get bored.
This toy is designed for small to medium-sized dogs. It has two sizes: three or four-inch diameter.
This toy is also designed to take small dog treats. This means that it can accommodate whatever type of treats you prefer to give your dog. Even though the design looks complex, you can take it apart and put it in the dishwasher to keep it clean. Be cautious that your dog does not figure out how to disassemble it as well!
Try the if you are looking for a safe dog puzzle toy. After mastering this, you can upgrade them to more difficult and complex puzzle toys.
- Variety of difficulty levels so that the game can become more challenging as your dog gains experience.
- Appropriate for little snacks so that you may control your dog’s caloric consumption.
- Simple to clean
- Not generally good for larger dogs
- Dogs may learn to disassemble the toy.
If your dog is smart and you want a toy that can keep up with them, then the IQ is a good choice. The IQ Treat Ball is perfect for dogs who aren’t motivated by treats.
Why Invest In Dog Puzzle Toys
Dog puzzle toys usually have your dog solve problems to get rewards, usually food or treats.
Some interactive dog toys do not use food or treats. But these toys do not trigger your dog’s instinct to hunt for food in the same way.
Puzzle dog toys are an excellent method to occupy your dog while taking a break.
Even though puzzle toys are supposed to keep your dog entertained without much help from you, in most cases, it is still a good idea to keep an eye on your dog while they are playing with their toy.
This is because the toys can break over time, and small pieces can be a hazard to your dog if they swallow them.
But keeping your dog busy with a puzzle toy can help you take a break. This is just one of the many reasons to invest in a dog puzzle toy. Other advantages of dog puzzle toys include:
Sadly, many people don’t have enough time to play with their dogs. This means the dogs might not get enough exercise and might be restless.
Dog puzzle toys can help your dog get the exercise they need. The toy will let them play, and you can watch them while you do other things like laundry or cooking dinner.
Many dogs prefer to work for their food by hunting for it like they would in the wild. This indicates that individuals are more inclined to consume their meal if they must earn it.
When they smell their food, it releases dopamine in their brains, making them feel happy and relaxed.
Dopamines affect your dog’s mood long after the game is over. So these kinds of toys can help keep your dog happier and more relaxed in general.
Dogs use the same cognitive skills when playing with puzzle toys and learning new things.
Puzzle toys help dogs learn that they need to complete tasks to get a reward. This is the same principle that is used in most training.
Puzzle toys help improve their skills in this area. This makes them more trainable when it comes to important things.
Dogs get bored just like kids do. And when they are bored, they might get into trouble. Therefore, it is vital to offer children something to do, such as a tough puzzle toy. This will distract them from other things, like your favorite pair of shoes.
Choosing A Dog Puzzle Toy
Consider the following factors when selecting a puzzle toy for your dog: size, durability, level of difficulty, and safety.
It is important to get a toy that is the right size for your dog. If the toy is too small, then your dog might not be able to play with it. If the toy is too big, it could be a safety hazard.
Bigger dogs need toys that they can move around with their mouths. The toy should also be big enough to break off and become a swallowing hazard.
Smaller dogs need a toy that is their size. This means that a weighted toy too heavy for them to push over won’t work.
If you want your dog to enjoy their puzzle toy, it must be durable. This means that the toy can handle a lot of wear and tear. However, this does not mean you have to choose a hard plastic toy.
Some puzzle toys require dogs to use their mouths. Like older dogs with sensitive teeth, this can be painful or even damaging for some dogs.
You must strike a balance between what is lasting and what your dog finds comfortable. If your dog appreciates the toy, it may be worth accepting that it will not last forever. As long as they made good use of it, that is acceptable.
3. Difficulty Level
Finding a puzzle toy for your dog can be tricky. You have to find the right level of difficulty, and you also have to think about whether or not your dog is smart enough to figure out the toy. Some dogs are good at finding things, and others have trouble getting objects when thrown.
A toy that is too simple for your dog to play with should be avoided. If it is too easy, your dog might get bored with it quickly or eat all the treats.
But you don’t want a toy that is too hard for your dog. If it’s too hard, your dog will get frustrated and might start to have some behavioral problems.
Supervise your dog while playing with a puzzle toy, but make sure that it is safe for them.
However, you must also consider the contents of the toy. It shouldn’t be on your buying list if it is a plush toy with nutshells of polystyrene balls, both of which are dangerous.
It is essential to verify that your dog’s toy is secure. This means that you should check if the toy is made from a safe material for dogs. For example, some materials, like rawhide, are OK for some dogs, but not all. So it’s best to avoid those kinds of materials.
A Word On Treats
Puzzle toys encourage your dog to solve issues to earn treats.
Giving your dog too many treats can lead to that dog becoming overweight. This is especially a problem with Labs. You can do some things to ensure this doesn’t happen, though.
First, select the appropriate goodies. They should be tiny and calorie-light. It does not matter how small the goodies are because the regularity of rewards will stimulate your dog.
You don’t need to put treats in the toy; you can put their regular food, usually lower calories.
You can also use your dog to help you lose weight! Ensure that the food you put into the toy is less than what you put in their bowl so they don’t gain weight.
If your child is eating treats, they need to balance that out by eating fewer calories in other foods.
Teaching Your Dog To Use A Puzzle Toy
If your dog’s favorite food or treat is concealed within the puzzle toy, they will likely be more interested in playing with it.
Remember that dogs have an enhanced sense of smell compared to humans. So, while the toy may not have a significant odor to us, it smells quite pleasant to your dog.
Nothing special is required to allow your dog to play with toys. They will likely figure it out relatively soon if the toy requires them to knock it over to receive treats.
If the toy is more intricate, you may need to take the time to demonstrate how it operates. Show them how the solution works by striking it with a bat or pushing it over. Assist them in repairing the toy if there is a problem with it.
But don’t do this too much. You want them to learn how to get treats from the toy, not that they should always demand treats from you.
Remember that dogs should not use puzzle toys unsupervised because they can choke on small pieces.
You should only bring the toy at appropriate times and put it away afterward. Leaving the toy out all the time is not a good idea.
When you don’t have time to play catch or tug-of-war, puzzle toys are terrific to keep your dog engaged. These toys can help keep your dog’s body and mind active.
Dogs with enough stimulation like this are usually happier because they release dopamine. This also makes it easier to train them because the toys help reinforce the idea of working for a reward.
When choosing a puzzle toy for your dog, make sure it is safe. That means no small pieces can be broken off and swallowed by your pet. The toy should also be something that your dog will be able to use without any problems.
This means that the size of the home is perfect, and the difficulty level is just right.
You don’t want something too simple or too difficult. If it is too easy, the person will get all the treats in a short amount of time. If it is too hard, the person will get frustrated.
Read more: Toys and Tech for Pets Are Put to the Test
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Dog Puzzles
Are Puzzle Games Good for Dogs?
Interactive puzzles can be beneficial to dogs of all shapes and sizes. These puzzles are a great way to challenge and strengthen a dog’s mental and physical abilities. They are often recommended by veterinarians and dog trainers to help keep your dog busy when you are away.
Are Puzzle Feeders Good for Dogs?
Feeding your dog with a puzzle feeder is a terrific idea. The feeder will slow down how fast they eat, and it will also give them something to do so they don’t get bored or anxious.
Do Puzzles Make Dogs Smarter?
Interactive toys help keep your dog’s brain active. They can help improve problem-solving skills and also promote mental stimulation.
What Do You Put in a Kong for a Puppy?
Adding a little canned dog food, cottage cheese, yogurt, peanut butter, canned pumpkin, or mashed banana to your dog’s regular kibble can make it easier to feed him in a KONG. Using a small amount of cream cheese or peanut butter, you may seal the KONG with the mixture.
Do Puzzle Toys Help Dogs?
Dog puzzle toys are a great way to help your dog think. They can also help your dog lose weight because they have to find the food before they can eat it.
Why Are Dog Puzzles Good for Dogs?
Not only are dog toys fun to play with, but they can also be helpful for your pup’s development. The best dog puzzle toys make your dog curious and stimulate their mind. They also help dogs improve their problem-solving skills. Since these toys can keep your dog busy for hours, they’ll also help wear them out to sleep better at night.
Why Are Food Puzzles Good for Dogs?
Feeding puzzles are a way to keep your pet mentally stimulated and help prevent them from overeating. Feeding puzzles can also make eating an interactive activity instead of just a source of nutrition.
Will a Dog Puzzle Tire Out my Pet?
Puzzle toys need mental energy, and the aroma of food stimulates the brain, leaving your dog more exhausted than after a long walk in the park.