It is not at all uncommon for our furry friends to get bored, especially if they’re home alone all day! Ordinary dog toys might entertain them for a little while, but there is only so much you can do with a tennis ball when you’re by yourself. This is where interactive dog toys come in! Interactive dog toys are toys that stimulate your pup’s mind and provide hours of fun. They’re multi-functional, and give your pooch lots of options in a single package. Most importantly, their stimulating and multi-functional nature means that it will take a very long time for your canine to get bored!
We reviewed countless interactive dog toys to identify the best of the best. We rated the toys based on their functionality, versatility, customer reviews, cost, and safety. After much deliberation, we narrowed our search down to the 5 best interactive dog toys out there.
If you have other pets, such as a cat, and you’re shopping around for some toys for them as well, read our list of The Best Interactive Cat Toys.
The Interactive Dog Ball by FurryFido easily won as our top pick. Its design allows for active play as well as laid-back chewing. Plus, its treat dispensing mechanism is sure to encourage play and discovery in any dog.
In This Article
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Interactive Dog Toys
|Best Overall||Interactive Dog Ball by FurryFido||4.5|
|Runner Up||Squeak Dog Toy by FurryFido||4.6|
|Best Budget Buy||Zoo Friends Burrow||4.6|
|Best Dog Puzzle||Trixie Poker Box||4.1|
|Best Treat Dispenser Toy|| OurPets IQ Treat Ball||4.1|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top-Pick: Interactive Dog Ball by FurryFido
The Interactive Dog Ball by FurryFido is easily one of the best interactive dog toys on the market. This product can be filled with one of your canine’s favorite treats. When your dog rolls the ball around or chews on it, the treats fall through small holes on the ball’s surface. This feature encourages your dog to play actively and have fun with the ball. After all, they’re getting rewarded with treats just for playing! This reward can inspire even the laziest dogs to get off their feet and get moving.
On top of encouraging play, your canine can play with this toy in many ways. Just like a standard ball, this interactive dog ball can be thrown and fetched. Or, it can simply be chewed on and rolled around, allowing dogs to discover the treats packed inside. This versatility allows the ball to be used both when your canine has you around for company and when they are home alone. If your dog gets bored of fetch, they can opt to roll the ball and vise versa. This single ball can provide hours of non-stop fun!
This interactive ball is also completely safe and non-toxic. It is made of durable, natural rubber to encourage chewing and massage your pup’s gums, helping to clear away plaque and keep your canine’s teeth healthy. In fact, FurryFido is so committed to durability that they provide a lifetime guarantee. If the interactive ball breaks or your pooch doesn’t like it, you can get your money back. It is a purchase with zero risks!
Interactive Dog Ball by FurryFido Key Features:
- Dispenses treats
- Durable rubber promotes healthy gums and teeth
- Many ways to play from fetching to chewing
- Lifetime Guarantee
Our Runner-Up Pick: Squeak Dog Toy by FurryFido
With a truly unique design, the Squeak Dog Toy by FurryFido is a one of a kind. It features a unique, cone-like shape that allows for treats to be placed in multiple sections. As your canine plays and chews on the toy, the treats will spill out. This feature encourages play and also mentally stimulates your dog. After they realize that the toy contains treats, your furry friend is bound to want to get them out! Because the toy contains multiple sections that hold treats, getting all the goodies out will take some thinking as well as physical coordination from your pup. This feature is bound to provide hours of fun and is a great option for those that leave their dogs home alone for extended periods of time. Instead of laying around by themselves all day, your pooch can enjoy both play and treats with this uniquely designed toy.
The creators of this toy designed it with your utmost dog’s safety and health in mind. It is made out of extremely durable, non-toxic thermoplastic rubber. This material is known for being extremely durable and is almost impossible for your canine to destroy. This prevents your pet from ingesting or choking on pieces of the toy. Furthermore, this cone-shaped toy is also designed with a unique pattern that helps clean your dog’s teeth while they play.
Squeak Dog Toy by FurryFido Key Features:
- Mentally and physically stimulating
- Made of durable rubber
- Dispenses treats
- Cleans Teeth
- Lifetime Guarantee
Best Budget Pick: Zoo Friends Burrow
Are you looking for an interactive dog toy that won’t break the bank? Then the Zoo Friends Burrow might be a great choice for you. This dog toy is less than ten dollars, while still providing your pup with hours of interactive fun. This toy comes with four parts – one larger toy featuring some holes, and three smaller toys that fit inside these holes. Each of these smaller toys fits inside the holes on the bigger toy and contains a high-quality squeaker. However, to get to the smaller toy and squeaker, your canine must first maneuver the smaller toys out of, the larger one, which requires physical coordination and thinking. With this hide-and-seek design, this toy is bound to keep your dog busy for hours, making it a wonderful option for pet owners who are commonly gone for hours at a time. This toy is also a great option for canines that are more toy-driven than food-driven, such as puppies. These dogs will have more motivation to hunt for and retrieve the smaller toys than they would have for finding treats.
The Zoo Friends Burrow also comes in multiple cute, fun designs. You can get the Monkeys ‘n Banana, Elephant cave, Meerkat den, or one of the other great designs. It also comes in two sizes, one for large and medium dogs and one for small dogs.
Zoo Friends Burrow Key Features:
- Hide-and-seek design
- Multiple high-quality noisemakers
- 4 toys in 1
- Available in many sizes and designs
Best Dog Puzzle Toy: Trixie Poker Box
The Trixie Poker Box is four puzzles wrapped up in one. This puzzle toy has four different boxes, which each hold a treat and are opened with a different mechanism. For example, one box requires your pooch to pick up the lid by a string, while another requires your dog to slide out a drawer. Each of these boxes is a separate puzzle on its own and can be used separately by your canine or slid onto a base and used with the others.
The difficulty of the puzzles can be varied by changing the number and placement of treats. For instance, you could place a treat at the very front of the drawer puzzle to allow your pup to grab it with little effort, or you could place it in the very back, making your dog pull out the drawer all the way before they can receive it. You even get a small instruction booklet with your purchase filled with tips and tricks on varying the challenge level and training your dog through play.
Customers praised this puzzle toy for its durability. It is not uncommon for dogs to attempt to destroy puzzle toys to gain access to the treats inside, so it is extremely important for puzzle toys to be made of a durable material. The Trixie Poker Box is made of high-plastic for this very reason.
Trixie Poker Box Key Features:
- 4 puzzles in 1
- Adjustable difficulty
- Includes a booklet of tips and tricks to ensure your pet retains interest
- Made of durable, high-quality plastic
Best Dog Treat Dispenser Toy: OurPets IQ Treat Ball
Is your pet, for lack of a better term, lazy? Do regular tennis balls no longer excite your pup into playing? Then you might be interested in this treat dispensing ball. The OurPets IQ Treat Ball is designed to encourage even the laziest dogs to exercise and have fun while they’re doing so. This toy is the leading interactive treat ball on the market. Its design allows kibble or treats to be placed inside the ball. Then, as your pet rolls it around and plays with it, food is dispensed. In other words, your pooch gets the exercise he or she needs and gets rewarded for it! This treat ball also twists apart for easy cleaning, which can be especially important when food is involved. It is made of strong, durable plastic and is completely non-toxic.
This ball comes in two sizes and is ideal for small to medium dogs. However, some customers have complained that their toy-sized dogs have gotten their teeth stuck in the ball’s dispensing hole, so if you have an extremely small dog, this might not be the ball for you.
This ball also features adjustable difficulty levels, which makes it accessible for even less-than-smart canines. This feature also makes it possible to make the puzzle harder as your dog gets better at it, encouraging your dog to play with the ball even after they’ve figured out how it works.
OurPets IQ Treat Ball Key Features:
- Promotes exercise
- Adjustable difficulty levels
- Twists apart for easy cleaning
- Two different sizes available
Who Should Buy an Interactive Dog Toy
Every dog needs mental stimulation. Just like people, dogs can get bored and need to flex their mental muscles now and then to be their happiest and healthiest. Interactive dog toys can help this happen. Because this category of dog toy encourages your dog to think to get a treat or toy, it can be a great addition to any dog toy collection. Dogs who are particularly intelligent or prone to boredom might specifically benefit from interactive dog toys, which will keep them entertained and let them use their innate intelligence.
However, it isn’t just smart dogs that can benefit from interactive dog toys, even the average dog with a so-so intelligence can benefit from these toys as well. Many interactive dog toys also encourage play and exercise. If your pooch is spending more time laying around on the sofa rather than up on their feet, it might be time to encourage them to move around with one of the toys mentioned in this article. When tennis balls are no longer exciting enough to encourage your pup to play, an interactive dog toy might be just what you need.
Important Features to Consider
An interactive dog toy should have a number of important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting an interactive dog toy for your dog:
- Adjustable Difficulty. It isn’t a secret that some dogs aren’t as smart as others. A one-fits-all dog puzzle difficulty isn’t possible with the wide range of dog intelligence levels out there. Because of this, it is extremely important for interactive dog toys to have adjustable difficulty levels. If a toy is too hard for a particular dog, that canine probably isn’t going to be interested in it for very long. At the same time, if an interactive dog toy is too easy, the dog is probably going to lose interest very quickly. Adjustable difficulty is a must for all interactive dog toys.
- Safety. It is extremely important that the interactive dog toy is designed with a material that is non-toxic and safe for dogs. After all, dogs do the majority of their playing with their mouth, so it is important that their toys are safe to put in their mouth. Safety should always be your number one priority, and interactive dog toys are no different.
- Availablity in different sizes. Many interactive dog toys work by challenging your canine to use their thinking skills to get to treats or toys hidden inside. If your pooch is too little or too large for the toy, the puzzle can cease to be challenging at all. For example, if your pet is too small for a particular dog toy, they might be able to reach their nose inside and get the treat as opposed to rolling the toy around like they are supposed to! It is extremely important that the toys are available in many sizes so you can choose the perfect one to fit your canine.
- Ease of cleaning. Many interactive dog toys utilize treats to encourage dogs to use them. Because food is involved, the ability to effectively clean the dog toy is very important. After all, the last thing you want to do is accidentally feed your pooch moldy treats!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an interactive dog toy and how does it work?
An interactive dog toy is simply a dog toy that is mentally and physically stimulating. This purpose is different from your standard tennis ball or a squeaky toy, which only encourage chewing and physical play. The key to an interactive dog toy is that it promotes your pet’s mental capabilities by providing a puzzle of some sort. This puzzle could be anything from pulling a string to reveal a toy to rolling a ball to get a treat. Many interactive dog toys use treats or smaller toys to encourage dogs to use them.
Do dogs need mental stimulation?
Just like humans, every dog needs mental stimulation. Without it, dogs can quickly become bored, which can cause them to seek their entertainment from elsewhere (and not always in an appropriate way). Often, when a canine is being destructive or particularly excitable, it is because they are bored and not had enough mental stimulation. This can be especially true for canines that are often left home alone and do not receive regular stimulation from their human companions. Just like it would be boring for us to sit at home all day by ourselves, the same can be said for our dogs.
How can I tire my dog out?
Often, pet owners will take their canines on long walks or to the dog park in an attempt to tire them out, but then discover when they get home that they are as hyper as ever! While physical exercise is necessary to calm your excitable pooch, mental exercise is as well. To be content and stop searching for the next activity, dogs need to be both physically and mentally fulfilled. This can be done quite easily with interactive dog toys, which commonly encourage both physical and mental play.
What games should I play with my dog?
You should play whatever games you and your canine both enjoy. It is important to find something that your dog finds engaging, and you find enjoyable. It is not uncommon for your furry friend to absolutely be obsessed with a game that you cannot possibly play one more second of. For example, some dogs could play fetch for hours, while some pet owners find that their arms become sore after a few dozen throws. Often, humans will get bored faster of a particular game than their furry friends as well, and find it hard to get their pets to transition to a new game. This is why interactive toys often encourage dogs to play with them with either treats or toys. Sometimes our canines need some encouragement to switch their focus!
Other Interactive Dog Toys We Reviewed
We reviewed 20 other interactive dog toys. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best interactive dog toys list, they are the best of the rest and still a great option for your dog. We’ve included all the information you’ll need for to compare each one in the listing.
- Interactive Puzzle Dog Toys
- Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toys
- Interactive Hide-and-Seek Dog Toys
- Interactive Dog Chew Toys
Featuring seven sliders to hide treats under, this dog toy provides a real challenge to dogs that have already tried their hand at puzzle toys.
- No removable parts to ensure a high-level of safety
- Great for short-nosed dogs
- Washable construct
This interactive dog toy features multiple sliders under which to hide treats and is advertised to eliminate boredom and improve your pet’s IQ.
- Durable wooden construction
- Ten holes for hiding treats
- Six sliding disk
Specifically designed for puppies, this shuffleboard is a great introduction to the world of puzzle dog toys.
- Quality wood construct
- Easy to maintain and clean
- Designed for beginners
Has your pooch already mastered all the other puzzle dog toys? Then it might be time to step up the difficulty with this chess-style dog toy.
- Made of durable plastic and rubber
- 4 levels of play for variation of difficulty
- Non-slip rubber bottom to keep the base in place while your pet plays
With four different ways to play, this puzzle toy provides enough variation to keep any dog busy for hours.
- 4 ways to play
- Challenging enough for even the smartest dogs
- Sturdy plastic construct
This treat dispensing ball is carefully designed to prevent too many treats from coming out at once, extending the fun and preventing over-eating.
- Easy to refill and clean
- High-quality plastic construct
- Slow-food design
Part of the famous KONG line, this interactive treat dispenser is both mentally stimulating and helps manage weight through slow feeding.
- Unscrewable bottom for treat filling
- Spins, wobbles, and rolls to dispense treats
This treat ball features a simple design to prevent overeating and promote physical activity.
- Comes in two colors
- Twists about for easy filling and cleaning
- Slow-feed design prevents pets from overeating
With a variety of sizes available as well as an adjustable treat flow, this dispensing dog toy is great for dogs of all sizes and ages.
- 4 available sizes from extra-small to large
- Adjustable treat dispenser
- The two-piece design works with a variety fo treat shapes and sizes
Featuring an extremely large chamber, this treat-dispensing dog toy is big enough to hold whole meals.
- Adjustable difficulty
- Large chamber fits whole meals
- Weighed bottom allows toy to wobble
This interactive hide-and-seek toy features a larger than average design, making it great for larger dogs.
- Each smaller toy contains a squeaker
- Made of high-quality plush
- Contains 3 hedgehogs and 1 mushroom house
Featuring an amazingly cute design, this hide-and-seek toy will ensure your pups have fun and look cute at the same time.
- 4-in-1 contains a purse with three other, smaller toys inside
- Phone and comb have squeakers
- The credit card has crinkle paper
With five hiding holes and squeaky squirrels, toy-motivated dogs are bound to love this hide-and-seek dog toy.
- Comes in four sizes
- Squirrel toys contain squeakers
- Squirrels can be played with separately and hidden in the tree
Looking for a smaller hide-and-seek dog toy? This might fit you perfectly.
- Comes with 1 burrow and 3 squeaky hedgehogs
- Designed for small and medium dogs
- Available in multiple sizes
Is your pooch just not getting this hide-and-seek game? Then this might be the toy for you. The ZippyPaws Food Buddies Burrow contains one hole, making it impossibly easy.
- Only one hole
- Each donut contains a squeaker
- Designed for small and medium-sized dogs
Featuring a unique design that cleans your dog’s teeth while they chew, this chew ball provides entertainment, dental care, and mental stimulation all in one!
- Pronged design cleans teeth and prevents plaque buildup
- Durable rubber construct
- Available in two sizes
Looking for an extremely durable chew toy that also dispenses treats? This dog toy by Ming fulfills that order.
- 100% money back guarantee
- Extremely durable
- Easy to refill and wash
Featuring extremely durable rubber, this dog chew toy can stand up to even the toughest chewers.
- Multiple ways to play
- Durable rubber to stand up to ferocious chewers
- Dishwasher safe
This chew toy features a unique mechanism that allows your pet to get treats as they chew. Great for puppies who are just figuring out how interactive toys work.
- 100% Guaranteed to stand up to all chewers
- Available in many colors and sizes
- Dishwasher safe
This dog chew toy features a hollow center and two holes, making it possible to hide treats inside.
- Available in two sizes
- 100% Guaranteed to withstand anything your dog can throw at it
- Dishwasher safe