interactive dog toys

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The Best 12 Interactive Dog Toys to Keep Your Canine Busy

Lily Velez

By

Medically reviewed by

Ivana Crnec, DVM

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Best Interactive Dog Toys Summary

Do Interactive Dog Toys Work?

Do Interactive Dog Toys Work

Yes, interactive dog toys work. Interactive toys provide your dog hours of fun (leaving you free to go about doing your own thing). Plus, they are mentally stimulating.

Interactive puppy toys are great for brain development and can at times work as emotional aid for pups suffering from anxiety and stress. Interactive dog toys work for seniors, too, as keeping the mind sharp delays the onset of canine cognitive dysfunction.

What do Interactive Dog Toys do?

Interactive dog toys are toys that a dog interacts with and gets a reaction out of. In other words, they keep dogs engaged for longer than a normal dog toy would. The interaction is mentally stimulating.

For example, a toy that dispenses a treat when the dog plays will keep the dog busy while stimulating its mind. On the other hand, the regular tennis ball is not an interactive dog toy.

Because of the engagement factor, interactive dog toys are suitable for anxious dogs. They can even keep a dog with separation anxiety occupied, thus preventing stress.

What are the Types of Interactive Dog Toys?

According to Animal Wellness Magazine, there are six types of interactive dog toys. Let’s take a closer look at each type:

  • Vessel Toys. Vessel toys require the dog to get a piece of treat or kibble using its mind and mouth. They come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors.
  • Sensory Toys. Sensory toys are designed to stimulate the dog’s senses. They can be as simple as squeaky toys or as complex as phone-operated robots.
  • Treat-Dispensing Toys. Treat dispensers encourage dogs to use their paws and noses to extract a treat. They slow down mealtime and support healthy eating habits.
  • Ball Launching Toys. Ball launchers are high-tech gadgets that replace you in the classic fetch game. They keep the dog physically active and entertained.
  • Puzzle Toys. Puzzle toys feature many tools like levers, drawers, knobs, and buttons the dog has to use in a certain way to achieve the goal (usually in the form of a treat).
  • Video Games. This is the most top-notch type of dog toy as it features sensors that get active and lure dogs with sounds and colors while dispensing treats.

What are the Benefits of Interactive Dog Toys?

What are the Benefits of Interactive Dog Toys

There are several benefits to getting your dog an interactive dog toy:

  • Mental Stimulation. Interactive toys provide dogs with high-quality mental stimulation, thus strengthening their cognition and brain skills. In the long run, this may help delay the onset of dementia (canine cognitive dysfunction).
  • Easy Entertainment. If you have a lone dog, you don’t always have time to play with it. Getting an interactive toy made of natural rubber or other dog-friendly material will let it entertain on its own.
  • Physical Stimulation. Interactive toys stimulate the body too – they keep the dog active and on the go. This is vital for maintaining a healthy body weight and keeping your pet in goog shape.
  • Relieves Anxiety. Interactive dog toys give dogs a sense of comfort and security. When interacting, dogs are occupied and less likely to become stressed. Indirectly, this helps curb unwanted destructive behaviors.

The Best Interactive Dog Toys Reviewed

Let’s have a look at the best interactive dog toys for your dog’s playtime.

Starmark Treat Dispensing Bob-a-Lot Dog Toy

Starmark Treat Dispensing Bob-a-Lot Dog Toy

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Toy Type: Treat dispenser toy

Life Stage: Adult, puppy, senior

Summary: Great for small dogs, the Starkmark treat-dispensing Bob-a-lot dog toy is easy to adjust, dispenses dog food worth of kibble, and teaches your dog to eat at a fun and slowed pace. All in all, it makes an excellent and boosting IQ treat ball.

Pros

  • High-quality and durable plastic
  • Makes mealtime fun and slow
  • Provides mentally stimulation
  • Can be used as a training tool
  • Suitable for small and large dogs

Cons

  • The adjustable hole can get loose

Review: With a 4.4 star out of 5 stars on Amazon, the Starmark treat-dispensing toy is a favorite among customers and our top pick for the best interactive dog toy.

BENTOPAL Motion Activated Interactive Dog Toy

BENTOPAL Motion Activated Interactive Dog Toy

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Toy Type: Electronic toy

Life Stage: Adult

Summary: With two fun modes that make it bounce and roll, the BENTOPAL motion-activated interactive dog toy has a touch-to-wake feature, a long battery life, and reminds your pet to play every 1.5 hours. It can also be used for a game of fetch with your pooch.

Pros

  • Stimulates and prevents boredom
  • Motion-activated sensors
  • Two modes (rolls and bounces)
  • Rechargeable and lasting batteries (8 hours)
  • 30-day free return

Cons

  • Plastic may chip easily if chewed

Review: With a 3.8 out of 5-star rating on Amazon, the BENTOPAL interactive dog toy guarantees hours of fun and is described as technology at its best.

VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot: Interactive Treat Dispenser

VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot Interactive Treat Dispenser

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Toy Type: Electronic treat dispensing toy

Life Stage: Puppy, adult

Summary: With its ability to move around and simultaneously dispense treats, the VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot has a sleek and durable design and accompanying app for easy use. Plus, is very fast to recharge.

Pros

  • Supports physical and mental health
  • Dispenses treats at set intervals
  • 16 different preset motions
  • Can work continuously for 4 hours
  • App for easy use and control

Cons

  • Not great on carpeted surfaces

Review: With a 3.8 out of a 5-star review on Amazon, this toy keeps your dog physically active and keeps them mentally happy.

KONG Wobbler Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

KONG Wobbler Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

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Toy Type: Treat dispensing toy

Life Stage: Puppy, adult

Summary: With its simple design and easy-to-use make, the KONG Wobbler interactive treat dispensing dog toy can be filled with kibble or peanut butter by unscrewing the bottom. Plus, it is made of durable, food-grade material and is also dishwasher safe.

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use design
  • Long-lasting, food-grade polymer
  • Difficulty level that suits most dogs
  • The top screws off for filling
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Strong rubber smell

Review: With a 4.5 out of a 5-star rating on Amazon, not much needs to be said to elaborate on the greatness of the KONG wobbler interactive treat dispensing dog toy.

Outward Hound Treat Maze Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy

Outward Hound Treat Maze Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy

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Toy Type: Treat dispensing puzzle toy

Life Stage: Puppy, adult, senior

Summary: Making your pet use its mind to solve the two-level puzzle, the Outward Hound hide-and-seek type of interactive puzzle game is something dogs love. Plus, the toy has a durable build, is easy to clean, and is simple to fill and play with. 

Pros

  • Mentally stimulating and engaging
  • Perfect for solo games
  • Brightly colored for better impact
  • BPA, PVC & Phthalate-free materials
  • Easy to clean and fill

Cons

  • Too easy to solve for large dogs

Review: With a 4.4 out of a 5-star review on Amazon, the Nina Ottosson puzzle game by Outward Hound seems to be a hit for both pets and their owners.

Outward Hound Dog Brick Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy

Outward Hound Dog Brick Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy

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Toy Type: Puzzle toy

Life Stage: Adult

Summary: With its interactive puzzles and obstacles, the Outward Hound Dog Brick Puzzle Dog Toy mentally stimulates your dog, is easy to clean, made of safe material, and simple to refill and use. Plus, it encourages positive playing habits.

Pros

  • Works as a boredom buster
  • Provides mental stimulation
  • Made of safe and durable materials
  • BPA, PVC & Phthalate-free materials
  • Simple to use, fill, and clean

Cons

  • Often out of stock due to high demand

Review: With a 4.4 out of a 5-star rating on Amazon, the Outward Hound Dog Brick dog puzzle toy is fun and great for mental growth.

PetSafe Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug Meal-Dispensing Dog Toy

PetSafe Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug Meal-Dispensing Dog Toy

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Toy Type: Treat dispensing toy

Life Stage: Adult

Summary: With its interesting shape and non-toxic make, the PetSafe Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug Meal-dispensing Dog toy dispenses kibble and is great for dog dental hygiene. This tug toy is a right fit for dogs weighing between 10 to 40 lbs.

Pros

  • High-quality materials and durable make
  • Unique and fun yet simple design
  • Promotes dental health and good breath
  • Extends mealtime and supports healthy eating
  • Ideal for dogs weighing between 10 and 40lbs

Cons

  • The rope is weak and may break easily

Review: With a 3.9 out of a 5-star review on Amazon, the PetSafe Busy Buddy Tug-a-jug Meal Dispensing dog toy promotes healthy eating habits and oral hygiene.

PetSafe Busy Buddy Bristle Bone Chew Toy for Dogs

PetSafe Busy Buddy Bristle Bone Chew Toy for Dogs

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Toy Type: Chew Toy

Life Stage: Adult, puppy

Summary: With a cute design and universal suitability, the PetSafe Busy Buddy Bristle Bone chew toy is made of durable materials, dispenses goodies, and promotes dental health. It is a perfect pick for aggressive chewers.

Pros

  • Keeps dogs entertained
  • Natural rawhide and grain-free ingredients
  • Available in four different sizes
  • Comes with four pre-included treats
  • Suitable for heavy chewers

Cons

  • The bristles are too harsh for puppies

Review: With a 4.3 out of a 5-star review on Amazon, the PetSafe Busy Buddy Bristle Bone Chew Toy for Dogs is as good for your dog’s dental health as it is fun to play with.

Suction Cup Interactive Dog Toy

Suction Cup Interactive Dog Toy

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Toy Type: Ball

Life Stage: Adult

Summary: With a super suction cup to hold it firm and a babble ball on a string attached, the Suction Cup Interactive dog toy withstands a pulling force of up to 200lbs. The dog ball has a squeaky component and is made of durable and safe materials.

Pros

  • Simple yet fun design
  • Tug-of-war type of interactive toy
  • Made of durable materials
  • Very easy to clean

Cons

  • The suction cup is not very strong on rough surfaces

Review: With a 4.6 out of a 5-star review on Amazon, the Suction Cup Interactive Dog Toy, with its simple yet timeless design, guarantees hours of fun for your furry companion.

Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush Dog Toy

Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush Dog Toy

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Toy Type: Squeaky plush toy

Life Stage: Adult, puppy, senior

Summary: With interactive motion play, a wiggling wobble body, and a loud squeaky feature, the Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush Dog toy is simple, battery-operated, and fun for dogs of all ages and sizes. It is best suited for hyperactive doggos.

Pros

  • Perfect for hyper dogs
  • Motion sensing play
  • Simple yet fun design
  • Battery operated
  • More designs available

Cons

  • The squeaker is too loud

Review: With a 3.9 out of a 5-star review on Amazon, the Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush Toy, with its unique design and interactive play, is just the thing your dog needs.

ZippyPaws Woodland Friends Burrow Interactive Dog Toy

ZippyPaws Woodland Friends Burrow Interactive Dog Toy

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Toy Type: Plush

Life Stage: Small adult, puppy

Summary: With hide-and-seek, interactive gameplay, the ZippyPaws Woodland Friends Burrow Interactive Dog Toy comes with three bears and one log. The bears can be hidden inside the log. The plush is machine washable and durable in make.

Pros

  • Hide and seek fun
  • Simple yet stimulating
  • Cute-looking overall design
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable and comfortable

Cons

  • Not suited for aggressive chewers

Review: With a 4.7 out of a 5-star review on Amazon, the ZippyPaws Woodland Friends Burrow Interactive Dog Toy is all you need for your dog.

Paw 5 Dog Snuffle Mat for Dogs

Paw 5 Dog Snuffle Mat for Dogs

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Toy Type: Feeding mat

Life Stage: Adult, puppy, senior

Summary: With a grass-like, easy-to-use design, the Paw 5 Dog Snuffle Mat and slow feeder for dogs is made of sustainable and ethically sourced material, 100% pet safe, durable, and super simple to clean (can be machine-washed).

Pros

  • Teaches slow eating habits
  • Handmade with organic cotton fibers
  • Sustainable and eco-friendly design
  • Stops destructive behavior
  • Machine-washable and easy to clean

Cons

  • The price is heftier than similar products

Review: With a 4.5 out of a 5-star review on Amazon, the Paw 5 Dog Snuffle mat for Dogs, with its easy-to-understand yet super fun to forage in design, is sure to have your dog thanking you for the purchase.

What Should I Look for in Interactive Dog Toys?

What Should I Look for in Interactive Dog Toys

As a dog owner, there are several things to consider when choosing the right interactive dog toy. Here are the main factors:

  • Material. First, you need to check the materials used to make the interactive toy. Not all materials are equally safe. The materials also affect the overall quality of the dog toy.
  • Durability. High-quality interactive dog toys should be made of long-lasting materials and withstand prolonged chewing and playing.
  • Size. The size of the interactive dog toy must be in sync with your dog’s size. If the toy is too big, your dog cannot play, and if too small, it will get destroyed very quickly.
  • Purpose. Some interactive dog toys keep the dog physically active, while others support healthy eating habits. Get the type of toy your dog will benefit most from.
  • Price. Think of the interactive toy as something that needs to be regular replacement – dogs get bored or may destroy the toy. Check the price before purchasing.
  • Brand. Finally, get interactive dog toys from a reputable brand. To confirm the brand’s trustworthiness read reviews from other customers and check the guarantee.
Best Seller
Starmark Treat Dispensing Bob-a-Lot Dog Toy
9/10Our Score
  • Weighted bottom wobbles. New adjustment gate on the bottom accommodates a larger kibble size and is easier to adjust.
  • Adjustable treat dispensing toy.
  • Large chamber fits whole meals.

How do You Keep a Dog Entertained When Bored?

Interactive dog toys are a great way to keep your dog entertained when they’re bored. They are also great for when you do not have time to play with your dog (playing tug-of-war or throwing your dog fetch toys is fun but time-consuming).

This is where the interactive dog toy kicks in – it keeps the dog engaged. Interactive toys can also promote healthy eating habits, maintain the dog’s teeth, support cognitive function, boost its problem-solving skills, and push the dog to be physically active.