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Best Mentally Stimulating Puzzle Toys for Dogs

Best Dog Puzzles and Interactive Treat Toys for Puppy

Interactive dog toys are designed to keep a dog mentally challenged, prevent boredom, and provide exercise. The best dog toys for mental stimulation can keep your dog busy for hours when you aren’t home and help tire out highly energetic and intelligent dog breeds.

Although there are many great puzzle treat toys for dogs, you may have difficulty finding the right type of toy for your dog.

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Consider your dog’s behavior when looking for the best puzzle toys for dogs. Does your dog like to sniff, chew, lick, or bat its toys around the house? How your pup interacts with toys and objects will steer you in the right direction. 

In this article, we’ll share top interactive dog toys that will keep your dog mentally stimulated and busy. Listed below, you’ll find our favorite picks for small dogs, large dogs, puppies, seniors, and everyone in between. 

10 Best Interactive Dog Puzzle Toys

We’ve reviewed the best puzzle games for dogs that are bound to keep your pooch happy and entertained.

1. Classic Kong Dog Toy – Interactive Dog Toys for Large Breeds

The Classic Kong Dog Toy is one of the most popular interactive toys for dogs. The stuffed Kong is a great beginner puzzle toy that will teach your dog how to use problem-solving skills and prepare them for more challenging dog toys.

Key Features:

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Made from durable natural rubber
  • For average chewers

The Classic Kong Toy is made from durable, natural rubber. It can be stuffed with peanut butter, kibble, or wet dog food to satisfy your dog’s instinctual needs and provide mental stimulation. 

The Kong comes in several different sizes, suitable for average chewers of all ages and sizes. 

2. Nina Ottosson Interactive Treat Puzzle Toy – Best Dog Puzzle Treat Toys

The Dog Brick Interactive Treat Puzzle Toy from Nina Ottosson is one of the best puzzle toys for your bored dog. The intermittent level design consists of additional steps and obstacles that offer mental stimulation as your dog searches and sniffs out tasty treats.

Key Features:

  • BPA and PVC free
  • 12 hidden treat compartments
  • One cup food capacity 

This interactive dog puzzle allows you to hide treats under different bricks that your dog needs to sniff out and slide away to reveal a tasty treat. The Dog Brick is one of those intellectual toys for dogs that encourages the owner to interact and play with their dog.

3. PetSafe Barnacle Treat Dispenser Dog Toy – Interactive Toys for Big Dogs

If you’re looking for puzzle toys for large dogs, give PetSafe Barnacle Treat Dispenser Dog Toy a go. Designed to cure boredom, this bouncy treat-dispensing toy is suitable for heavy chewers. 

Key Features:

  • Top rack dishwasher safe
  • Three treat chambers 
  • Holds a variety of treats 

This treat-dispensing toy is made from vanilla-scented rubber and has an unpredictable bounce that keeps the dogs moving. The three treat chambers have a patented treat meter that allows you to adjust the puzzle’s difficulty level and challenge your dog’s mental skills. 

4. Runda Snuffle Mat for Dogs – Best Dog Toys to Keep Dogs Busy

The Runda Snuffle Mat for Dogs is designed to train a dog to use its sense of smell and prevent boredom. 

Key Features:

  • Machine washable
  • Anti-skid design
  • Two suction cups 

Thanks to longer and thicker hairs, this snuffle mat hides kibble better than most snuffle pads and encourages dogs to use their noses and brains to find treats. This puzzle dog game will train your dog to use its sense of smell and keep it mentally stimulated at the same time. 

5. Trixie Dog Activity Gambling Tower – Puppy Puzzles for Dogs

The Trixie Dog Activity Gambling Tower is one of the best puzzles for puppies. Designed for beginners, this puzzle tower will sharpen your puppy’s mental skills and keep it entertained.

Key Features: 

  • Non-slip rubber feet
  • Three drawers with hidden compartments
  • It comes with a booklet with training tips

The Gambling Tower by Trixie has three drawers that you can adjust to increase the difficulty level. To solve this puzzle game and receive treats, a puppy must pull on the loops to open the drawers in the correct order. 

6. Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball – Intelligence Toys for Dogs

There’s an array of challenging dog puzzle toys, but no puzzle ball for dogs is as challenging as Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball. This treat dispensing toy for dogs comes in two sizes – 3 inches for smaller dogs and 4 inches for larger dogs.

Key Features:

  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Made from strong and durable plastic
  • Easily disassembles for cleaning

This dog puzzle ball can be filled with treats or kibble, allowing your dog to eat only what falls out when the ball is rolled. To encourage your dog to use mental skills, adjust the ball’s difficulty level using the interior disk.

The ball’s design limits the amount of treats dispensed to the dog, promoting extended play. This makes the Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball one of the best dog toys to keep them occupied while owners are away from home. 

7. Dr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toy – Best Mental Stimulation Toys for Dogs

The Dr. Catch Dog Puzzle Toy is suitable for puppies and small dogs and is one of the best dog toy puzzles on the market.

Key Features:

  • Measures 9.44 x 1.14 inches
  • 14 holes and eight movable sections
  • Intermediate-level puzzle toy

This puzzle toy is designed to challenge your dog and help them develop independent thinking skills. Dr. Catch Puzzle Toy has 14 holes for different types of kibble and treats and eight movable parts. It encourages dogs to use their sense of smell and paws to locate treats or kibble. 

8. Nina Ottosson’s Dog Tornado Tray – Best Interactive Dog Puzzle Toys

Are you looking for the best dog puzzle toys to exercise your dog’s mind? Check out Nina Ottosson’s Dog Tornado Tray, a level 2 interactive puzzle toy for dogs.

Key Features:

  • Easy to clean
  • 12 hidden compartments and three covers
  • BPA, PVC, and phthalate free

The Dog Tornado Tray from Nina Ottosson is designed to provide physical and mental stimulation to your dog. To gain access to treats or kibble, dogs need to swivel differently stacked compartments and practice problem-solving skills. 

While most puzzle dog games require supervision, you can leave your dog unsupervised while playing with Dog Tornado Tray.

9. Trixie Dog Activity Chess Game – Challenging Toys for Dogs

The Trixie Dog Activity Chess Game is an excellent choice if you’re looking for the best puzzle toys for smart dogs. This level 3 puzzle game offers mental stimulation to your dog and encourages interactive play.

Key Features:

  • Non-slip rubber feet
  • Made from plastic and rubber
  • Four levels of play

The Chess Game puzzle toy by Trixie is suitable for all dog breeds and offers four levels of play. This puzzle toy encourages mental stimulation, works as a slow feeder, and requires some practice and concentration.

10. Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Toy – Best Dog Food Puzzles

The Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Toy is suitable for all breed sizes and dogs of all ages. The plush squirrel offers an easy way for your dog to stay entertained and have fun.

Key Features:

  • Made of soft plush
  • Six squeaky squirrels included
  • Available in several sizes

This beginner-style puzzle toy is straightforward. Stuff the plush squirrels into the tree trunk and let your dog pull them out one by one. Once your dog pulls all squirrels out, place them back in and let your dog start all over again.

Wrapping Up the Best Puzzle Games for Dogs 

Like people, dogs get bored. A bored dog is more likely to exhibit some form of destructive behavior. Besides physical activity, dogs need mental stimulation to stay happy, healthy and thrive.

Best puzzle toys for dogs are designed to keep puppies and adult dogs entertained and mentally stimulated. These toys help dogs have fun and keep them occupied for hours when they are home alone. Interactive puzzle toys are ideal for wearing out energetic working dogs and young puppies. 

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