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Welcome to this buying guide where we will look at the best interactive dog toys that you can buy for your furry friend in 2023.
Dogs need regular stimulation to make them happy and to improve their well-being.
It might not be practically possible to be with them all the time because of work schedules and other engagements and more often you will have to leave them alone at home.
This is where you need to buy an interactive toy for your pup.
Unlike regular toys like bones and ropes, interactive ones keep them mentally stimulated as they engage with them.
They will love spending time with these because they require participation which also comes with comfort and fulfillment to your pup.
When using a toy, your pup’s anxiety will reduce significantly hence ensuring that you have a happy and healthy pup all the time.
If they are teething, it is common that they chew your stuff in the house which can be a bigger and expensive problem when replacing your torn stuff.
By engaging and playing with a toy, they will not chew up stuff that looks boring to them like your table, curtains, or shoes.
This is our top selection:
- Frisco Retro Smack-a-Squirrel
- My Intelligent Pets SUDOKU
- PICK FOR LIFE
- Puzzle for Boredom
- Outward Hound
- Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound
25 Best Interactive Dog Toys You Need to Buy In 2023
1. PetSafe Treat & Train Manners Minder Remote Reward Trainer
This treat dispensing dog toy can be used to effectively reward your dog after he responds positively to your training program.
It uses a remote control that has two buttons to dispense treats or stop. The remote can be used up to a maximum distance of 100 feet, this product is recommended to breeds of 6 months and above in age and those that do not have any physical challenges to reach the feeder bowl.
It measures 16 x 10.5 x 10.25 inches and it has a weight of 6.14 Pounds making it a sturdy product to hold treats.
You can use it to teach them good manners to maintain while in the house. You can also use it during stimulating games and exercises that make them focus on you.
On consistent use, you can teach them more specialized skills like obedience using it.
- It has many cool features.
- The package includes a DVD for visualization.
- Great quality training tool.
- Might develop dispensing misses after some time of use.
2. Eileen&Elisa Pet Food Container Slow Feeder Bowl Puzzle Dispenser
This treat-dispensing toy can stimulate your dog’s interest and appetite to eat his favorite treats. It measures 117x100x57mm and weighs 0.71 pounds.
The treat bowl has a clear cover that allows you to monitor and see when it is necessary to refill it.
It is suitable for use by puppies and small breeds. Large breeds can easily chew off and disassemble the parts.
By using this toy, they need to do work in order to eat, which also allows for slow feeding hence improving your their digestion.
Hard work is rewarded by treats, hence your puppy will slowly learn good behavior as he grows. They can also use it as a playing partner and not for dispensing treats alone.
The set-up process is easy and it can be cleaned and dried easily before filling up with another batch of treats.
- Very easy to fill.
- Stimulates your puppy.
- Might be large for some puppies.
3. SNiFFiz SmellyUFO Durable Interactive Treat Dispensing Puzzle / Enrichment
This is a treat-dispensing toy that weighs 1.35 pounds and it is an important gadget to keep your dog busy while he gets rewarded with treats or snacks.
They will be attracted to the nice smelling treats in it and they will then chase and turn it in an attempt to locate the treats.
The funny movement will also attract their attention and make him want to play with it longer.
You can adjust the dispensing hole sizes, a small hole will make it difficult for treats to dispense. This gives you more control over how long you would love them to play.
The rubber-like material used to make it is strong enough to withstand moderate chewing. Aggressive chewing might destroy it. It is easy to clean and set up for the next playtime.
- The adjustable openings allow for many types of treats and snacks.
- It makes unpredictable movements hence keeping them alert.
- Can be destroyed by an aggressive chewer.
4. PetSafe Busy Buddy Fun Durables, Treat Dispensing Rubber Chew
This is a treat-dispensing interactive toy that keeps bouncing randomly from one place to another dropping treats hence making them follow it closely wherever it goes.
It is made with a rubber material that makes it a safe choice for chewers. The rubber material is durable and cannot be destroyed easily and it can be washed in a dishwasher.
It has a treat meter that allows you to customize how often you would want it to dispense treats.
It can also contain multiple treats ranging from dry kibbles, peanut butter, spreadable treats to cheese which means that your dog will have limitless fun when engaging with it.
To set it up, you will simply load the treat chamber with their favorite snack and set the rate you would like them to dispense on the treat meter.
- Made with a strong rubber material that cannot be chewed off.
- Some units might have a strong rubber scent.
5. Frisco Retro Smack-a-Squirrel Hide and Seek Plush Puzzle
This squirrel plush toy is perfect for medium-sized breeds and it offers unmatched right-sized fun to keep them happy and entertained.
This one comprises of three squeaky squirrels and a squeaky mallet which form an arcade smack-a-squirrel game.
When your furry friend plays with it, he exercises his mind which helps him to grow mentally. He will engage his brain when trying to find all the squeaky toys during his solo playing time which also disrupts him from boredom.
It is however not recommended for heavy chewers. It is good that you supervise your furry friend when he is playing with it to avoid any unwanted chewing and to show him how to properly interact with it.
- Provides much fun.
- It helps in mental stimulation.
- It is good for curious pups.
- It may wear out too soon.
6. My Intelligent Pets SUDOKU Medium Genie Classic Puzzle
This puzzle toy has 15 sliding plates that cover a hidden treasure that is placed inside any of the grid openings.
The entire product has a measurement of 14 x 14 x 2 inches. It is crucial in developing your furry friend’s sense of smell because he will tirelessly work out his brain to find the hidden treat.
It also reduces boredom, stress, and destructive behavior.
You can place treats inside the grid openings and allow your pup to find them slowly. This will encourage a feeding session that gives enough time for digestion.
Whenever they discover the hidden treat, make sure you praise them for the successful thing he has done.
- Fun and lasts for a long time.
- Can be used by multiple dogs.
- The board pieces can be tough to open.
- The pieces can be destroyed by a chewing.
7. Detachable Advanced Food Puzzle, PICK FOR LIFE Pet Treat Dispensing Slow Feeder
This toy has 3 bottles with different size holes supported on a frame. The bottles can swing and pop out the treat when your dog engages with it.
This type of interaction is good for them to develop their brain because he has to figure out how to toss the bottles to pop out the treats.
The different hole sizes in the bottles allow you to put a variety of treats. It is a slow feeder and it is good for use if they have digestion problems because of the controlled time of feeding.
The supporting frame has a stable base and adjustable height supports which makes it good for small to large pups.
You can use it indoors or still, take it alongside you when going out for a camping trip with them.
- It offers hours of entertainment and mental stimulation.
- The base is sturdy.
- Can be used by multiple dogs.
- The plastic bottles are not so durable.
8. Puzzle for Boredom, 4 Pack, Chew Teething and Treat Dispensing
This is another interactive puzzle toy that also has treat-dispensing abilities. It is suitable for use by medium to large-sized breeds that can figuratively determine how to get treats to fall from the compartments.
The session provides a good training ground for your dog to exercise his brain and mental powers.
There are 5 different levels with increasing difficulty. It is advised to move to a higher level when you see them managing the lower levels with ease.
This will make him grow his brain and cognitive faculties stronger. Once your pup manages to pull it apart, treats will drop and he will be encouraged to put more work to receive more treats.
It is made with a rubber material that is safe for their teeth and health. The material is strong enough to withstand simple bites and chews from your furry friend.
Watch the video below and learn how to set it up.
- Challenging and entertaining.
- Safe and durable.
- Good cure for heavy chewers.
- Might be big for medium-sized breeds.
9. Nina Ottosson By Outward Hound – Puzzle Game Toys
This puzzle interactive toy has a weight of 2.88 pounds and it has a 3-level interactive puzzle session. By using it, your furry friend will develop his natural hunting skills and mental powers.
You will fill each compartment with treats and cover them according to the level you desire and that which your pup can handle.
Your dog will then need to engage his brain and uncover the underlying treats in the compartments for him to eat.
It cannot be disassembled hence making it a more durable product to keep them entertained and exercising for a long period. It is made with a variety of materials including durable plastic, wood, and PVC polymer.
Make sure you show them how to use it in order to prevent them from chewing off the movable parts.
- Perfect for introducing them to puzzle.
- Made with durable materials.
- Lightweight and easy to set up.
- Needs supervision to prevent them from chewing up the movable pieces.
10. Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound
This is another option from Nina Ottosson’s collection. It has 9 compartments where you can place treats and close them with a dog bone toy.
Your dog will then have to remove the bone to access and eat the hidden treat. It can be used with small, medium, and large breeds. Make sure that they can remove the bone to interact with it effectively.
It is made with a tough plastic material that is durable and safe for use.
The bottom is made with anti-slip material that secures it in place when they are playing with it. The product can be washed and dried with a dishwasher.
You can teach them not to chew the bones since they can destroy them when chewed excessively.
- Good puzzle to stimulate your puppy’s mind.
- Can be used as a food dish.
- Provides fun and controlled feeding.
- Smarter pups can easily figure out the puzzle.
Smart Interactive Dog Toys
11. Peffiti Food Dispensing Toy, Slow Feeder
This treat-dispensing toy can be used to feed both dogs and cats. It is powered by batteries and it has multiple sensors that aid in its movement around the house as it pops out treats..
By popping out the treats, they will actively follow it as they collects and eat the treats with fun and entertainment.
This keeps them both mentally and physically engaged hence boosting their IQ and killing boredom. It works automatically and it will still entertain them even when you are at work or school.
It is made with durable and safe materials that can hold treats and it is easy to fill up and disassemble it. It can be cleaned with ease after you have disassembled it.
- Fun and entertaining.
- Can be used by multiple pets.
- The movement might scare off an anxious pup.
12. PETGEEK Automatic Interactive
This smart interactive toy resembles a bone and it moves around the house while your dog follows it diligently.
By following it, their agile behavior is strengthened and it is also a good one to use if you want your furry friend to lose weight.
Since they can bite and chew this bone, the materials used to make it are safe and can last longer. The material is both wear and bite-resistant and when bitten, it does not affect your pup’s teeth.
It has an ON/OFF button that is used to activate the motion. When you press the button once, the power indicator will light in green color then you pat on it to activate.
Have a look at the video below that shows how to set it up and use it.
- Very entertaining and fun
- Durable and safe
- It can easily be destroyed by a strong breed
- It can scare nervous pups
13. SKYMEE Fury Bone
This smart interactive toy resembles a bone and it is good for dogs that love chewing and biting.
It can be connected to your smartphone via the smart bone App which is available for both Android and iOS users.
You can use the App to control how the bone moves and make interactive sessions with your furry friend.
You can move it back and forth in the house and as your dog follows it, he builds on his hunting skills and spends his excess energy.
It is an effective training tool for pups that love chewing and are causing damage to your furniture or other things in the house.
If you are not at home, you can switch the bone to an automatic mode which will make all the moves by itself hence engaging them and killing boredom.
There are a total of 9 action modes and further 3 emotion conditions that keeps them entertained.
The exterior part can easily be removed and hence facilitates the cleaning and charging of the battery.
- Fun and entertaining.
- It has good battery life.
- Might not work well on some surfaces e.g., grass.
14. Durable Spring Pole for Pitbull – Strong Rope & 2 Different Capacity Springs Included
This spring rope toy is ideal for assisting your dog to build muscles and teeth strength.
The package comes with 2 springs, one is small and it is suitable for puppies and small breeds, the other spring is large and suitable for medium, large and strong breeds.
The package also includes a free tug toy which will be attached to the spring and form the base where they will bite and stretch.
You will closely supervise them as they chew on the rope and swings because they might destruct the rope by excessive chewing.
The spring pole is made with a strong stainless-steel material that can manage a pull of 600 pounds. This makes it a convenient and durable your dog can use to pull, stretch, swing, and build his muscles.
To install it, all you have to do is hang the spring pole on a tree branch or wooden beam then tie the end of the spring with the rope and let it hang at a distance that is easily reachable.
- Perfect for jumpers and swingers.
- The spring pole is of high quality.
- Perfect for large and strong pups with lots of energy.
- Requires close supervision to prevent the destruction of the rope.
15. XiaZ Retractable, Rope Tug of War
Another option of rope toys is this one that is good for exercising your furry friend who loves hanging, swinging, and engaging in a tug of war.
It can support a pull force of up to 260 pounds and it has adjustable height meaning you can set it up to match the desired height you would wish. The packaging includes a free tug ball that can be attached at the end of the main rope.
It can be set up in many ways including wrapping it around a tree trunk or hanging it from a tree branch. You will just need to ensure that you let the ball hang from a height that your dog can reach with ease.
The rope and ball are made of strong materials that can withstand chewing. The ball is bite resistant meaning that you can leave them without close supervision because they will not tear it up.
Pay close attention if you have a strong pup that loves chewing.
- It can be set up in multiple ways.
- Made with strong material.
- It helps build muscles and develop hunting skills.
- The stretch might not last for long.
16. GoDogGo Fetch Machine G4 Ball Launcher Standard
This is the world’s original automatic ball launcher and it is made by GoDogGoInc. Having a body measurement of 14.02 x 15 x 17.99 inches, this interactive toy has a weight of 10.5 pounds and it can be powered by both AC and battery.
The product has a remote control that is used to set timings or launch the ball. The remote can be used up to a maximum distance of 50 feet.
The ball compartment can accommodate various tennis balls sizes ranging from 1.75 – 25 inches and it is big enough to accommodate many balls at a go.
There are a total of 3 settings for time and 3 settings for the distance that can be altered to match your space and size. It is best used outdoors and it can be used to train your dog or in routine exercises.
- It has a huge compartment that can accommodate many balls of varying sizes.
- Can be used with multiple pups.
- It has a loud sound when launching the ball that can scare an anxious pup.
17. Automatic Ball Launcher Fetch Ball Thrower
This outdoor interactive toy comes with 3 tennis balls included in the packaging. It measures 11.4 x 11 x 9 inches and it has a weight of 4.79 pounds.
It launches a tennis ball to a set distance which then your dog will run for the ball to pick it and bring it back.
You can teach them how to fetch and drop the ball back to the compartment and they will do the interactive session with the toy alone.
It is therefore a good one to keep them energetic and engaged as they improves their physique and physical strength.
You can select a choice of three launch distances (10ft / 20ft / 30ft) by simply pressing a button. There are indicative lights that will tell you the distance selected for launching the ball.
It is very easy to operate and it is powered with 6 pieces of C batteries which are not included in the packaging. You can also use the AC mains to power it.
- It teaches them how to focus.
- It can also be used indoors in a spacious room.
- The tennis ball might hit your pet when launched.
18. DEOPLLAE Snuffle Mat – Premium Mat with Treat Ball
This snuffle mat has a treat-dispensing ball and also functions as a puzzle feeder that will pop out treats to your dog once he figures out how to do so. It encourages slow feeding habits which are good for digestion.
It features a mat, treat ball, and a snuffle ball that releases treats when tossed.
The clear treat ball allows you to easily monitor the treat level and refill it when needed.
It gives them both physical and mental exercise that is needed to keep their health at an optimum level.
By engaging with it, they release a lot of energy that could have otherwise been spent on destroying other items in your house.
- Gives a natural practice of their hunting skills.
- Promotes mental wellness.
- Advances their sense of adventure.
- Aggressive chewers can destroy the clear ball.
19. Snuffle Mat Nosework Feeding Mat
This snuffle mat interactive toy is meant to improve your dog’s sense of smell by allowing him to search for food as he would have done when outside.
You will take their favorite treats and kibbles then fill them up in the holders and hide them in the mat.
The treats’ smell will arouse your dog’s interest and make them search continuously for what to eat. This develops their natural foraging skills and keeps him engaged for a long time as well. The slow feeding will make for better digestion hence improving their health.
The snuffle mat can be used by all breeds and it is made with an anti-slip bottom that makes it sturdy in one location despite their interactions.
The mat is made with a material that is easy to clean and can easily be rolled up and carried from one place to the other.
- It will keep them engaged for a long time.
- Fun and rewarding
- Easy to clean.
- Not appropriate for chewers and pullers.
20. Tumbo Tugger
This is an interactive tug toy that can be used to keep your dog actively engaged for a long time. The tugger weighs 0.7 pounds and features a rope and a ball. It can be used for pups of all ages and sizes.
When setting up the rope on a tree branch, be sure to adjust the height according to their size. This tugger encourages solo playing and it is perfect for people who have a pup that gets bored when alone.
The hanging ball can withstand moderate chewers but they are aggressive chewers, be sure to hang it at a height such that they will not sit down and constantly chew the ball.
You can also use it indoors by hanging the tugger from your ceiling. Ensure you hang it in a place where your dog will not cause any destruction when tugging.
- Offers good value for money.
- It can be used indoors.
- The rope is not so durable
21. Tether Tug Outdoor Tug
This interactive tug toy is best used by small to medium-sized breeds weighing up to 70 pounds. It can be used both indoors and outdoors.
For outdoor use, you will simply hit the base on soft ground and put the tug pole in place attached to the knotted rope attachment.
It keeps your dog actively engaged by tugging the knotted rope and spinning the tug pole up to 360 degrees. This makes the tug game enjoyable and it keeps them out of destructive behavior when they have a lot of energy.
It is a great deal for dogs that love tugging and pulling. You need to supervise them to prevent them from aggressively chewing the rope, however, it can withstand moderate chewing.
- Good for dogs who love pulling.
- It keeps them engaged and it’s fun for them.
- The base pole is not very firm on all grounds.
22. TUFFY – Dinosaur Stegosaurus- Squeakers- Multiple Layers
This interactive toy can be used for tugging, tossing and fetching with a weight of 1.8 pounds. It resembles a young dinosaur and it is made with a soft material with 4 layers of fabric.
It is therefore strong enough to withstand moderate chewers. Be careful because aggressive chewers can tear it apart. It is only meant for interactive sessions with your dog.
It can float on water and it is, therefore, a good companion when you go out swimming with your them.
It can also be washed with ease, and it is recommended to wash it regularly to remove the accumulation of dirt particles.
- It’s easy to wash.
- Not suitable for aggressive chewers.
23. iDig by iFetch
This interactive toy from iFetch comes in blue and white color, is circular, and weighs 4.8 pounds. If your furry friend likes digging up in places, this is the perfect gadget for them.
You will load the flaps that come shipped together with this product with your dog’s favorite treat or enticing toys.
You will then hide it and let your furry friend dig his way to find the treasure. Physical digging and mental exercise are good for their health and interactive skills.
If they have the habit of digging in the garden, flowerpots, and other areas not meant for him, this is perfect to get for him to correct the behavior.
The flaps can be washed by a machine easily, regular washing will guarantee them a clean environment to play on.
- Numerous layers and pockets for hiding the treasure.
- It has a good size for multiple pups.
- Not so sturdy.
24. Starmark Everlasting Fun Ball on a Rope
This is a chew ball that is made with a very strong material that is virtually indestructible and it weighs 0.26 pounds. You can use it to toss your dog, throw it at a distance then he will bring it back to you.
This chew ball can float in water meaning that you can extend their fun even in the swimming pool. The ball can also bounce when tossed on the concrete ground.
The ball is tied with a short rope that makes it easier for you to throw it and also for tugging with your furry friend.
- Durable chew ball that survives an excessive chewer.
- Good for training.
- The rope is not as durable as the ball.
25. KONG – Ring and Goodie Ribbon – Durable Rubber Chew and Treat Dispensing
This is a chew toy that has portions where you can put treats that will motivate your dog to extensively engage with it. It weighs 1.74 pounds and is made with a rubber material that is safe for them to chew.
You can choose the sizes based on your dog’s size. The small one can be used by pups of up to 20 pounds, the medium one can be used by pups of between 15 to 35 pounds. If you have a pup between 30 to 65 pounds, then you can get the large size for him.
It has a unique bone shape that motivates them to chew even more and rewards him with a treat once he dislodges it.
It supports good chewing habits and it is good for pups that like chewing so much.
By chewing it, their dental hygiene is improved because the rubber material aids in removing any debris from the teeth and gums.
Watch the video below from KONG company and see how this chew gadget is portrayed.
- The material is durable.
- Gives your them an extended engagement time.
- A large and smart pup can find the treats very easily.
6 Benefits of Getting An Interactive Toy For Your Dog
1. Makes them more active
By getting an interactive toy, your pup will learn to be more active which will also improve his mental and physical health.
2. Reduces anxiety
It is a great tool to use that will aid in the reduction of stress and anxiety.
By making him engaged even when you are not there, it gives them more reasons to be happy when lonely.
3. Good for teething puppies
When puppies are growing and developing teeth, it is normal for them to feel the urge to bite and chew on anything because of the itching jaws.
During this stage, you can get one that your puppy can chew on while playing with it.
4. Enhances learning
An interactive toy will help your pup learn and enhance his natural skills e.g., hunting while exploring the world around him.
5. Can be used to snack
You can use one that dispenses treats to give them some snacks while you are away during their playtime.
6. They will love you more
Your furry friend knows that you are the one who gives him the interactive toys that make him feel good every time, as a result, he will love you more and strengthen his bond to you.
Click here to find more reasons why interactive toys are good for pups.
6 Broad Types of Interactive Toys
The principle behind all interactive toys is how they can make them become independent and develop his happiness.
You will find many types in the market and they serve different participatory purposes for your furry friend.
Many of them can fall into multiple categories because the manufacturers always include interesting features in their products.
The following are the 6 main types that you can consider.
1. Treat dispensing
These act like mini feeders that will dispense treats to your dog whenever he plays with them. This is mostly used to stir up pups that are motivated by treats to play because he will engage with it aiming to get a treat in the process.
Electronic interactive toys are mostly used to keep them entertained for a long period when he is left alone.
They have a lot of features including taking photos of them while they are playing with a projected laser in the room. Some also feature a speaker that will be used to pass your message to him virtually.
3. Ones with hidden treasure
These are good for sniffer dogs and those that like digging. They feature a system where it will hide a treat or another toy that your pup likes and makes it difficult for him to find.
These interactive toys are best for breeds that love pulling and playing tug of war with their other dogs or owners.
It has an interesting toy that is attached to a strong anchor that makes it difficult for them to remove or get a complete hold.
Make sure you mount and secure the toy in a strong place and teach your furry friend how to use it properly.
5. Hide and seek
These are mobile and they are made to move from one place to the other hence making your dog discover the new location.
Some of these are designed with wheels that make locomotion possible and can move freely within the house.
Others can be controlled virtually by another device like a computer or smartphone to where and when they move around.
The category known as puzzle have buttons, knobs among other elements that are used to input a specific setting that can only open up once they interacts with it correctly.
It’s like how human beings engage their brains in solving puzzles. These improve their ability to solve basic problems.
You will find many that can fit in one or more of the categories highlighted above. Before choosing the best to buy for your furry friend, you need to know his behavior, likes, and dislikes.
Getting the best interactive toys requires a lot of research on what your pup likes and how he behaves when left alone.
If they are aggressive chewers, I would recommend getting one that cannot be torn apart easily and requires minimum supervision.
Have a look at the video below by Brian from Chewy where he talks about choosing one that suits you.
Thank you for reading through my buying guide and it is my hope that you found the toys that work for you.
Feel free to check out our dog products page for other supplies.
If you have any concerns or questions, please leave them in the comment section below.
Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.