11 Best Interactive Dog Toys: Your Buyer’s Guide (2019)

Dogs need things to do. They crave things to do. If your dog has a bad habit of chewing things they shouldn’t, they may need a hobby. One way to deal with a hyperactive dog is taking them on a nice long walk each day to help them use up their energy. Another way is to get them a toy, or two, that makes them think. Interactive toys like puzzles that force them to move things to find treats are great for keeping any dog busy. While it’s true that treat-bearing puzzles are the most popular of the interactive dog toy genre, we’ve included a few options on this list to get their bodies moving, too. Most of these only require you to set them up and let them play, but a couple ask that you join in the fun, too.

If you’re ready to give your pooch a good challenge, here some of the best interactive dog toys to keep them busy.

What's the best interactive dog toy?

Outward Hound interactive dog toys Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Fun and interactive
  • Great teaching tool
  • Doubles as a slow dog feeder
Price: $18.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Chuck It interactive dog toy Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Classic fetch toy
  • Easy to use
  • Provides hours of entertainment
Price: $5.94 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
tether tug interactive dog toy Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Comes in four sizes
  • Very durable
Price: $52.49 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
dogit interactive dog toy Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 3-in-1 design provides value
  • Suction grip keeps toy in place
  • Perfect for small dogs
Price: $19.57 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
pet qwerks interactive dog toy Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Emits 20 animal sounds when rolled
  • Automatic on and off
  • Three sizes to match your dog
Price: $8.29 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
trixie pet interactive dog toy Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Level 1 is easy for your dog to learn
  • Good for larger dogs
  • Difficulty scales up just a bit
Price: $18.21 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
ifetch interactive dog toy Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Adjustable launch distance
  • Good for folks with joint pain
  • Solid customer service
Price: $199.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Trixie Pet interactive dog toy Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Level three puzzle for clever dogs
  • Includes four different games
  • Non-slip feet
Price: $11.97 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Zippy Paws interactive dog toy Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great for smaller dogs
  • Easy hide-and-seek concept
  • Hedgehogs squeak
Price: $9.49 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Spot ethical pet interactive dog toy Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Durable wooden construction
  • Simple to setup for added stimulation
  • Doubles as a slow feeder
Price: $10.31 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
petrageous interactive dog toy Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Deceptively tricky toy
  • Easy to set up
  • Good for a vareity of dog sizes
Price: $17.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Outward Hound Nina Ottosson DogCasino

    Pros:
    • Fun and interactive
    • Great teaching tool
    • Doubles as a slow dog feeder
    Cons:
    • Lots of little parts to clean
    • Somewhat basic game your dog may figure out quickly
    • Some dogs might flip it over

    Puzzle toys can be great ways to keep your bored dog busy. My dog loves this type of toy. He enjoys removing the pieces in order to find the treats hidden within. The first time he played he attempted to lift and tip the whole thing to get to the treats. He quickly figured it out though and now it’s our party trick when new people come to visit. This toy is made from durable material and is easy to wash. Nina Ottoson makes a variety of interesting dog challenges you can find here.

  2. 2. Chuckit! Launcher

    Pros:
    • Classic fetch toy
    • Easy to use
    • Provides hours of entertainment
    Cons:
    • Requires just as much activity from the owner
    • Won’t be much good for dogs that don’t like fetch
    • Will only work in big yards and at the park

    With a variety of lengths and colors to choose from, the Chuckit! is an excellent, tried-and-true interactive dog toy. It eliminated the need to pick up a slobbery ball while drastically increasing the range of your throw without adding any stress to your arm. When this thing came on the scene, it changed the fetch game forever. My sister-in-law’s dog never, ever tires of a game of fetch and has made excellent use of this toy for years now.

    There are number of dog-specific tennis ball brands out there — Tuff Balls, Kong, and even Chuckit’s own — but any old tennis ball will do the trick.

  3. 3. Tether Tug Interactive Dog Rope Toy

    Pros:
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • Comes in four sizes
    • Very durable
    Cons:
    • Only good for the outdoors
    • May require interaction from humans to keep it interesting
    • Pricey

    While this toy may not make your dog use his awesome skills to find a treat within a puzzle, it still offers your pooch something fun to keep him busy. If you’re a single dog owner you may get tired of always playing tug with your dog, so why not get this great interactive tug toy that lets your dog play alone (without pulling your arm out of the socket). Durable toy and comes in four different sizes, from puppy to XL.

  4. 4. Dogit Mind Games 3-in-1 Interactive Smart Toy for Dogs

    Pros:
    • 3-in-1 design provides value
    • Suction grip keeps toy in place
    • Perfect for small dogs
    Cons:
    • May not be challenging enough
    • Not especially durable
    • A little tricky to clean

    This is another puzzle toy that can help with teaching and keep a bored dog busy. The three different activities include: hide-and-seek where your dog has to dislodge tops in order to find a treat; spin-a-whirl where your dog nudges wheel around the game board to reveal treats; and sliding puzzle which lets your dog move the pieces around to find the rewards.

  5. 5. Pet Qwerks Animal Sounds Babble Ball

    Pros:
    • Emits 20 animal sounds when rolled
    • Automatic on and off
    • Three sizes to match your dog
    Cons:
    • Can get noisy
    • Batteries will need to be replaced
    • Probably not going to stand up to rough chewers

    This battery-operated toy makes 20 different animal noises when rolled around the floor. It comes in three sizes and is motion activated with an automatic sleep mode. They have other versions, as well, including this one that utters silly phrases and this one that includes a light-up function.

  6. 6. Trixie Pet Products Windmill

    Pros:
    • Level 1 is easy for your dog to learn
    • Good for larger dogs
    • Difficulty scales up just a bit
    Cons:
    • May not be the best for a rough dog
    • Could possibly be toppled over
    • Perhaps better as a slow feeder than a game

    Trixie Pet Products has many different interactive dog toys, at varying levels. Start with an easy level one toy, like this one. Once your dog masters spinning the windmill and dispensing the treats it will be time to look into upgrading to the next level. While it may look confusing, this toy does come with an instruction booklet.

    Using the same general idea, there’s now a Mad Scientist set you could try.

  7. 7. iFetch Too Interactive Ball Thrower

    Pros:
    • Adjustable launch distance
    • Good for folks with joint pain
    • Solid customer service
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Some reviewers say it won’t launch wet balls
    • Internal gears are rubber and may not stand the test of time

    If you’ve worn your arm out using the launcher above, this is the other game changer for fetch. This automatic ball launcher features three distances (10, 25, and 40 feet) and runs on an internal rechargeable battery. Dogs can drop the ball back into the top and keep the game going until they run out of steam.

    The Too fires standard tennis balls, and three are included in the package. iFetch makes different sizes that shoot different balls, as well. There are a number of other makers on the market, including PetSafe, which makes a slightly cheaper model.

  8. 8. Trixie Pet Products Mover Toy

    Pros:
    • Level three puzzle for clever dogs
    • Includes four different games
    • Non-slip feet keep game in place while your dog plays
    Cons:
    • May still be too easy
    • Feet on some units may be faulty
    • Tricky to clean

    If the Trixie windmill above it too easy for your dog, try this level three puzzle toy to keep them guessing. Game one requires the dog to lift cones straight up. Game two makes dogs pull open drawers using rope handles. Game three requires your dog to push a slider to reveal the treat. The fourth game is pushing a knob to open another drawer.

    Other level three toys from Trixie include chess and move-2-win.

  9. 9. ZippyPaws Burrow Squeaky Hide and Seek Plush Dog Toy

    Pros:
    • Great for smaller dogs
    • Easy hide-and-seek concept
    • Hedgehogs squeak
    Cons:
    • Limited challenge
    • Only a matter of time before the pieces are chewed apart
    • May require a periodic washing

    If you have a small dog that loves to chase small creatures, this hide-and-seek hedgehog den is an excellent choice for the best interactive dog toy. Just put the little critters inside and your dog will fish them out of the two holes. Comes in three varieties — hedgehog, mice and cheese, and chicken hut.

    There’s also an Outward Hound variant of this toy, if you prefer.

  10. 10. Spot Ethical Pet Interactive Seek-A-Treat Shuffle Bone Toy

    Pros:
    • Durable wooden construction
    • Simple to setup for added stimulation
    • Doubles as a slow feeder
    Cons:
    • Not the most complicated puzzle
    • Destructive dogs likely to tear off the sliders
    • Could be difficult to get clean

    If you want a simple challenge that will give your dog something to do for a few minutes each day, consider this toy. It’s quick and easy to setup, with little cups for treats, which are then covered with circular sliders. Your dog can move the sliders around to uncover more treats. Especially good for the first few minutes after being put into a crate when you’re on the way out the door, for example.

    There’s also a version with a flip-up door.

  11. 11. Pet Rageous Thinkrageous Interactive Advanced Level Puzzle Pet Toy

    Pros:
    • Deceptively tricky toy
    • Easy to set up
    • Good for a vareity of dog sizes
    Cons:
    • Somewhat difficult to clean
    • Particle board may yield to aggressive chewers
    • No way to vary the game

    Based on a similar concept to the one above, this interactive dog toy ups the ante by locking out some of the sliders depending on the position of the centerpiece. Your dog will likely figure out the first couple pretty quickly, but getting to the last ones is where the real challenge kicks in. A pretty straightforward puzzle, but enough for keeping your dog occupied for awhile.

See also:

Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

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