What are interactive dog toys?

Interactive dog toys are toys that are stimulating to your dog in a way that will keep them busy for a longer period of time. It’s different from the standard toy you might throw your dog and they play with for 5 minutes to burn off some quick energy. 

This kind of toy is often a puzzle-like toy that requires mental stimulation in order for a dog to ‘solve’ it. Typically, there are treats hidden within the interactive toy that your dog will have to find a way to unlock in order to retrieve the treat. So if you’re looking for toys for bored dogs, these should be at the top of your shopping list. 

Why buy an interactive dog toy for your dog?

If your dog has a knack for getting into trouble, it’s probably because they’re bored. Like humans, dogs need mental stimulation in order to stay occupied. Otherwise, similar to a young child, they may start to cause mischief just to get attention. A puzzle-like dog toy serves the purpose of keeping your dog entertained so they aren’t prone to becoming destructive. This is true for any dog, but especially dogs that need constant attention or appear to be restless. Interactive dog toys can be used for long road trips, at home when you’re away to keep your dog occupied, or anytime you just want your dog to entertain themself so you don’t have to. They can truly be a gift that keeps on giving for dog owners. 

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to purchase through these links, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we love so we hope you love them too.

*Prices are reflected at the time of publication and can change

Dog Treat Puzzle Toy by Outward Hound

Toys that offer a challenge are one of the best ways to keep your dog’s mind stimulated to they’re less likely to become bored and destructive. One of our top picks for puzzle toys to keep your dog busy is this treat puzzle toy by Outward Hound that is perfect for dogs who enjoy a challenge. This interactive dog toy stimulates your dog’s mind in a fun way that also rewards them with a treat if they successfully ‘solve’ it. 

This toy has 3 different treat feeding features, with open-close compartments that will keep your dog entertained for an extended period of time. Additionally, it boasts 4 removable bones and 8 open/close/slide pieces to put your dog’s mental stamina to the test. Your dog can flip, slide and pull of blocks to uncover tasty treats. You can make it easy or difficult for your dog to solve the puzzle depending on how many covered compartments you want the puzzle to have. With it’s truly unique design and challenging features, this interactive dog toy will make a great game to keep your dog busy and you worry-free!

Key features:

  • 3 ways to play

  • 20 different compartments

  • 4 removable bones and 8 open/slide pieces

Key benefits:

  • Mental stimulation

  • Reduces boredom

  • Reduces destructive behavior

  • Easy to clean!

Bob-a-Lot Interactive Dog Toy

This interactive treat dispensing toy is perfect for helping to entertain a dog that might be prone to anxiety or boredom. This toy features a unique design that bobbles and wobbles, making it challenging enough to keep your dog entertained for hours on end. With small and large sizes to choose from, you can find the perfect sized version that will fit for your dog. 

The large chamber can fit a whole meals worth of treats for the dog that is willing to go all the way to get every last piece. The weighted bottom of this toy makes it fun and mentally stimulating in a way that other dog toys don’t compare. In addition, it has dual chambers dispensers so it can dispense treats and dog food depending on what you want to use it for. It also has a adjustable openings for each chamber so you can make it easier or more difficult for your dog to ‘solve’ depending on how long you want to keep them entertained. 

Key features:

  • Weighted bottom creates the bobble and wobble interactive feature

  • Dual chambers allow for more complexity

  • Adjustable chamber openings allow you to make it easy or difficult for your dog to get treats out of it

Key benefits:

  • Provides hours of mental stimulation and physical activity

  • Helps alleviate anxiety and boredom

  • Keeps your dog from destructive behavior

Kong Wobbler – Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

As one of the most popular interactive dog toys on the market, the Kong wobbler dog toy is an entertaining toy that will keep your dog occupied for hours. Firstly, this toy comes in small and large sizes so you can find the one that will fit your dog the best. It creates a challenge for your dog with it’s unique wobble action that spins and rolls. The Kong wobbler toy is also a treat and kibble dispenser that encourages slow eating for your dogs weight management. 

Whether you are a new dog mom or a seasoned dog mom, you know your dog needs play. The Kong wobbler satisfies your dog or puppy’s need to be entertained and active, all while giving them a tasty treat to work for. This interactive toy helps to solve destructive behavior like chewing, digging, and restlessness with a stimulating activity. It also helps with weight management, teething and helps reduce anxiety for dogs who have a hard time being alone. It also works crate for crate training dogs and puppies because of its stimulating interaction. 

Key features:

  • Entertaining wobble action

  • Twist-off dispenser for easy filling

  • Suitable for dogs of any size

Key benefits:

  • Promotes slow eating, helping with weight management

  • Helps alleviate negative behaviors like digging, chewing, and barking

  • Shifts unwanted energy to a stimulating activity

  • Helps with teething, crate training and separation anxiety

Interactive Ball Food Dispensing Dog Toy

If your energetic dog or puppy needs a fun activity, this interactive food dispensing dog toy will do just the trick! While the design of this toy might remind you of a hamster ball, the purpose is to create a toy that can be packed full of treats and kibble. This toy is one of the best for keeping your dog active because of its design. The spherical shape will keep your dog chasing this toy around as it interacts with it to obtain the treats. As your dog plays and rolls the ball around, the treats will fall out to reward them for playing. 

With adjustable feeding levels, this toy can go from easy to difficult depending on how long you want to keep your dog entertained. It also promotes slow feeding which helps promote a healthy lifestyle and weight management for your dog or puppy. You can use it for treats or for your dog’s full meal, allowing them to eat what is dispensed as they play.

This ball shaped toy is made of high quality materials that will withstand rough play. The non-toxic plastic ensures that your dog is safe from any harmful side-effects of the material. 

With 2 different sizes, this toy is suitable for any sized dog, but is best for small to medium sized dogs. The ball twists apart for easy cleaning and treat refills. This toy is best for dogs that need to be active and mentally stimulated. It can help to alleviate anxious behavior, destructive tendencies like chewing or digging, and weight management with its slow feeder technique. 

Key features:

  • Durable, non-toxic plastic

  • Ball shaped design that rolls for active play and stimulation

  • Offers in 2 sizes

  • Adjustable interior disc to adjust difficulty level

Key benefits:

  • Acts as a source of physical activity and mental stimulation

  • Slow feeder technique to promote healthy lifestyle habits

Hide-A-Squirrel Plush Dog Puzzle Toy

This plush hide-a-squirrel dog toy by Outward Hound is a bit different than the other interactive toys. It’s more similar to that standard toys we may think about giving our dogs, with it being plush and squeaky. However, this toy is a unique mix of the standard dog toy and a mental stimulating activity for your fur-child. It’s great for toss and fetch, with removable squeaky, squirrels. 

This toy comes in small, large and x-large sizes, making it fit for any dog breed and size. It keeps your dog busy by stuffing the trunk with squirrels making your dog hunt for them hiding inside. They squirrels are also great for a fun game of fetch! 

This toy encourages your dog’s problem-solving skills and enhances their mental engagement. It’s great for dogs who get bored easily and need an activity to occupy them so they don’t become destructive. Fifteen minutes of mental exercise is equal to thirty minutes of physical exercise. 

Key features:

  • Comes in 4 sizes for any size dog

  • Removable plush squirrels that double as toys for a game of fetch

  • Soft, plush puzzle toy that can be taken anywhere

Key benefits:

  • Helps prevent boredom

  • 15 minutes of mental activity is equal to 30 minutes of physical exercise

  • Can be used for solo puzzle play or toss & fetch toy


Every dog mom knows that dogs need play. They need stimulation, whether it be running, playing fetch, frisbee, or an interactive toy gives them a challenge. These puzzle dog toys are all great for different reasons, which is why they top the list for best toys to keep dogs busy! They can provide hours of mentally stimulating play for any sized dog so that you can be stress-free when you leave your dog alone. They help to reduce bad behavior by encouraging your dog to ‘solve’ the puzzle. In addition, they provide a challenge for your dog that helps reduce anxiety, combats boredom and helps alleviate destructive behavior. That’s why they are at the top of our recommended list of toys for bored dogs.