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Best Interactive Dog Toys for 2020

Interactive dog toys are an incredibly important tool for keeping mutt minds stimulated and helping to discourage unwanted destructive behaviours in pups, usually stemming from issues like frustration and boredom.

They’re also seen as one of the best ways to hold a dog’s attention, meaning for owners who need to buy themselves a canine-free hour every now and then, they’re a perfectly puzzling and time-consuming task for pups to take on!

But what kind of toy is right for your dog? Do they need a brain-busting treat dispenser or a noisy, babbling and bobbling plaything?

To help you decide, we’ve put together this definitive list of interactive dog toys, featuring some of our favourite and most respected brands, as well as some top quality toys that might have passed you by!

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    KONG Classic Red Toy
    • Mentally stimulating dog toy
    • Great for stuffing with lickable treats!
    • Made of all natural rubber
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    Nina Ottoson Casino Treat Toy
    • Open and close draws to unlock treats
    • Suitable for all dog breeds
    • Easy to Clean
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    JML Wobble Wag Giggle Ball
    • Interactive ball for indoor or outdoor use
    • Flexible, durable and pet-safe
    • Emits giggle sounds when shaken
    Check Price

    The Top 10 Best Interactve Dog Toys Reviewed

    1.
    KONG Babbler Toy

    For pups who just won’t give you a moment’s peace, this babbler toy from KONG is a fantastic time consumer, and boasts a unique design purpose built for long lasting play!

    Coming in a strange spherical-like shape, the babbler piques the interest of dogs thanks to the unique babbling sounds made within. These noises are motion activated, meaning whenever your mutt moves the babbler, the fun and wacky noises suddenly permeate the room!

    Naturally, your inquisitive canine will be desperate to explore the contents, but thanks to a tough, durable exterior, they’ll be occupied for hours trying to break their way into the tough shelled babbler, which can withstand moderate chewing! It’s unusual shape also creates plenty of surprise thanks to it’s unpredictable bounce and roll action, keeping pooches on their toes at all times.

    And with no batteries required, even you’ll be baffled as to what is creating the mysterious babble!

    Features

    • Unique sounds to entice curiosity & play
    • Durable exterior
    • Excitingly unpredictable bounce & rolls

    Specifications

    • Weight: 449 g (L)
    • Dimensions: 16.5 x 16.5 x 15.2 cm (L)
    • Sizes: S, L

    2.
    KONG Classic Red Toy

    KONG are probably the best known manufacturer of dog toys in the world and their ‘classic’ rubber range is one of the main reasons for their unparalleled success in the industry.

    If you’ve not heard of KONG’s original rubber chew toy, then your dog is without doubt missing out on one of the best toys on the market, and a tasty interactive treat that brings pups hours of enjoyment!

    With an erratic and unpredictable bounce, it’s a great fetch toy, and made of the thickest and most durable rubber, ensuring its place as one of the most difficult to damage products out there.

    But what really makes the KONG unique is it’s stuffable inner centre, which we’d recommend stuffing with everything from peanut butter to standard kibble!

    Hiding treats within the toy unlocks it’s mentally stimulating properties, as pups will spend hours manipulating the KONG and it’s small opening in order to get at the good stuff!

    Simple and easy for dogs of all breeds to understand, it’s also dishwasher safe, meaning cleaning up the messy centre is a walk in the park.

    Features

    • Mentally stimulating dog toy
    • Great for stuffing with lickable treats!
    • Made of all natural rubber

    Specifications

    • Weight: 204 g (L)
    • Dimensions: 10.2 x 7 x 7 cm (L)
    • Sizes: S. M, L, XL

    3.
    Nina Ottoson Treat Maze

    Sometimes dog toys aren’t just about securing a distraction free hour for yourself, but instead are more about relieving the clear frustration and boredom of an under stimulated dog.

    If this is the case for you and your agitated mutt, you can’t go far wrong with some of the interactive toy products designed by Nina Ottoson, Sweden’s biggest export since ABBA.

    Nina and her team create puzzle games with the specific aim of banishing boredom from a dog’s life, helping to rid them of destructive behaviours and tendencies by exercising their mind.

    In the main, these are often hide and seek treat devices, which dogs love to fiddle around with and unlock the secrets of to in turn gain access to a tasty bit of kibble!

    This treat maze is no different, coming in a discus shape with two points of entry for dogs to manipulate and interact with in order to release the sweet treats within!

    Rated at an intermediate skill level, it’s a great way to challenge and engage your dog in a new and exciting way, helping them become healthier, happier and better behaved!

    Features

    • Treat dispensing dog puzzle
    • Easy wipe-clean material
    • Distracting, time-engaging solo play!

    Specifications

    • Weight: 159 g
    • Dimensions: 19 x 7 x 21.5 cm

    4.
    Starmark Bob-a-Lot

    Referring to themselves as the world leaders in pet education, Starmark aims to improve relationships between dogs and owners through their anxiety alleviating and boredom breaking toys.

    The most popular of these is their Bob-a-Lot, so called because it’s unique shape causes it to display a bobbing motion when touched or knocked, which it then continues to do so for quite some time (a lot).

    The point of the toy is that it is a treat dispensing device, and so with every few knocks it should bobble out a tasty biscuit for your hound to eat from one of it’s dual inner chambers.

    This will keep a pup entertained for some time, batting their Bob-a-Lot around the room until all it’s inner goodies are gone!

    However, if you feel your mutt is getting a little too much reward for very little work, the adjustable chamber doors on either side of the Bob allow you to increase or decrease the difficulty of dispense!

    Simple to understand with a great incentive, it’s a sure fire way to cheer up a dawdling dog.

    Features

    • Mentally stimulating treat dispenser
    • Exciting wobble and bobble movements
    • Adjustable openings to increase difficulty

    Specifications

    • Weight: 454 g (L)
    • Dimensions: 15.2 x 15.2 x 21.6 cm (L)
    • Sizes: S, L

    5.
    Trixie Activity Flip Board

    Every dog owner knows that our poochie pals are highly intelligent animals, but just like us humans, they can lose some of their sharp reactions and instincts if you don’t provide them with enough mentally stimulating activities.

    Dog strategy games are helpful in this regard, as rather than providing an overly physical challenge like most interactive toys, they instead test a dog’s mental capabilities and provide a fun and engaging work out.

    This dog activity flip board from Trixie is one of the best, with an intermediate difficulty level and a size that is suitable for any dog breed, big or small.

    Coming in the form of an interactive board, the game is a treat finding game featuring two cones and several indentations with hinged lids and sliders.

    This provides you with two different hiding places for your mutt’s favourite treats, as well as two different ways for your dog to extract them. But don’t worry about having to do any confusing set ups, as an included booklet with tips and tricks for designing optimal training will ensure it’s your dog getting the mental workout, not owners!

    Made of robust plastic, it’s also perfectly pup-safe with a non-slip rubber base ring to support sturdy and unproblematic play!

    Features

    • Strategy puzzle game
    • Hide treats inside for dogs to unlock!
    • Suitable for all dog sizes

    Specifications

    • Weight: 454 g
    • Dimensions: 23.8 x 23.8 x 6.8 cm

    6.
    Pet Qwerks Babble Ball

    If your mischievous mutt can’t seem to stop chasing the neighbourhood cat, barking at birds or clawing the television every time you put on Planet Earth, then this is the interactive toy you’ve been searching for!

    With over 20 different animal noises within, the Pet Qwerks Babble Ball is your canine’s very own virtual zoo and to hear crystal clear wildlife from the heart of the jungle, all they need do is push, prod and poke their ball!

    Made from a durable plastic material, it’s a great choice for chewers, helping to support the strength of their teeth and health of their gums.

    And don’t worry about it being a source of endless racket! As an on/off feature allows you to use it as a simple, soundless exercise toy if you ever just want to play along with your pup!

    Features

    • Interactive zoo ball!
    • Great teeth strengthener
    • Over 20 different animal noises

    Specifications

    • Weight: 95 g
    • Dimensions: 6.4 x 6.4 x 6.4 cm
    • Sizes: S, M, L
    • Batteries: Yes

    7.
    Nina Ottoson Casino Treat Toy

    Another fantastic puzzle from Sweden’s premier pooch toy manufacturer Nina Ottoson, this Casino Treat Toy is certainly worth the gamble with it’s challenging and brain-bamboozling mechanics.

    For seriously smart pups, this toy helps to train and teach your dog through sequential steps, making it a far cry from the more simpler treat dispensing toys on this list.

    In this boredom breaking board game, your dog must open 6 drawer compartments to get access to the stashed treats within. However, each compartment can be locked and unlocked via a linked movable bone latch at the top of the device – but will your little Einstein be able to work it out?!

    A seriously tough task, this noodle-buster is a fantastic choice for dogs who have ploughed their way through simple and even intermediate puzzle toys!

    Features

    • Open and close draws to unlock treats
    • Suitable for all dog breeds
    • Easy to Clean

    Specifications

    • Weight: 871 g
    • Dimensions: 63.5 x 39.4 x 35.1 cm

    8.
    Trixie Dog Activity Tower

    Visually, there probably is not a more appealing interactive toy on the market than this high-stacked activity tower toy from Trixie.
    A sturdy model suitable for dogs of all sizes, the tower is made of three compartments, designed to be stashed full of tasty dog treats. But to get access to them, your pup will need to work out how to remove the compartment trapdoors, sending the treats down a chute and into the paws of your hungry mutt!

    There are also two cones on the model which can be stuffed with kibble or peanut butter, providing two ways for your pup to entertain and reward themselves by solving the puzzles.

    It might take some time for them to figure it out, but it’s up to you how much you want to help them, as remember, it’s far more mentally beneficial for them to work it out themselves!

    Keeping dogs active for longer, it’s a guaranteed way to improve concentration and behavioural issues in pups!

    Features

    • Sturdy, mental and physical challenge
    • Durable, dishwasher safe plastic
    • Suitable for all dog breeds

    Specifications

    • Weight: 875 g
    • Dimensions: 24.8 x 24.8 x 33 cm

    9.
    JML Wobble Wag Giggle Ball

    The folks at JML never seem to disappoint with their endless stream of innovative house gadgets and they’ve now turned their expertise to the pet toy industry to help out frustrated and busy dog parents.

    Suitable for all sizes of dog, the oddly named Wobble Wag Giggle ball surprisingly does exactly what it says on the tin, as it’s wobbly movement and giggle sound effects are sure to have any dog tail wagging in no time.

    Made of phthalate-free vinyl, the ball is a flexible and strong material that rough house pups can feel free to bite and strike at their leisure, and is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.

    With six ‘clutch pockets’ around it’s surface it’s also easy to pick up for small mouthed mutts, and emits bizarre giggle sounds whenever pushed, picked up or shaken thanks to inner sound tubing as opposed to batteries.

    The toy as a whole is a fantastic addition to any pooch’s daily exercise routine and it’s unique noises will spark the natural instincts of even the most domestic dog!

    Features

    • Interactive ball for indoor or outdoor use
    • Flexible, durable and pet-safe
    • Emits giggle sounds when shaken

    Specifications

    • Weight: 36.3 g
    • Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 14 cm

    10.
    PetSafe Tug a Jug

    A mouthful to say, the Busy Buddy Tug-a-Jug is a literal  mouthful for any inquisitive canine, and a toy that appeals to multiple senses at once, each of them helping to keep your dog focused and engaged with play.

    Utilising a unique, patented design, the Busy Buddy is in essence a treat dispensing device, taking the form of a lot of treats inside a see-through jug. This of course creates an effect where your mutt can see the treats inside as well as smell them, and hear them when the jug structure is rolled around.

    However, the top of the bottle is obstructed by a rope and ball combination, meaning access to the treats is going to take a bit of work!

    By tugging on the rope, dogs can change the position of the ball covering the opening, allowing for treats to fall out of the bottle in small batches, meaning your pup is going to either have to put in a real shift or come up with a really successful method for releasing the goodies!

    This makes it a great item to be used as part of obedience training, or even as a diet control option which combines exercise, mentally stimulating activity and smaller more manageable portions!

    Features

    • Multi-sensory toy
    • Tug the rope to release the treats!
    • Adjustable to increase difficulty

    Specifications

    • Weight: 499 g (M)
    • Dimensions: 10.2 x 10.2 x 33 cm (M)
    • Sizes: S, M

    Buying Guide

    Features To Look Out For In Interactive Dog Toys

    Size

    If you buy an XL dog toy for your Chihuahua, they’re obviously going to have some serious difficulty getting their jaws around it and picking it up! Therefore you need to pay attention to whether a dog toy has a range of sizes or is designed for all breed types!

    Durability

    Durability is especially important for a few reasons. Firstly, any toy you purchase is likely going to be picked up and thrown around without a care by your pup, and so finding something that’s going to last you much longer than just a few weeks or less is always high on every owner’s priority.

    But then you also have to consider your breed of dog and the strength of their bite! Some dogs have naturally gentler bites depending on their breed while others are more aggressive. You need to take this into account when purchasing a toy to give yourself the best chance of a long-lasting product.

    As a general rule, tough rubber toys or more rounded toys are better for aggressive chewers while soft chewers prefer squishier items.

    Difficulty Level

    Sometimes you will see puzzle toy manufacturers list their toys as being level 1, 2 or 3 in terms of their difficulty or training level.

    In essence this simply translates as easy (1), intermediate (2), and hard (3) in terms of how difficult they are to solve.

    Easy toys will genuinely involve very little puzzle solving, and will keep most pups occupied, however after some time, they may be able to extract treats quickly and will soon be ready to move onto harder, more stimulating levels.

    We would genuinely suggest starting most dogs on level 2 as a guide, as there’s no issues with walking your dog through how to solve the puzzle the first few times.

    Cleaning

    Unless choosing a more physical toy, it’s likely that your interactive toy will involve food and treats in some way as an incentive. That means they’re bound to get quite messy after just one use and so you’ll want a toy that isn’t a nightmare to clean. We’d suggest choosing dishwasher safe options!

    Safe Materials

    If a toy looks like it has lots of small easily digestible parts. You need to avoid it at all costs! As a general rule, you should supervise your pup when they are using any toy to ensure they don’t damage it and potentially cause themselves harm, but by picking safe durable materials only you decrease the risk of anything going wrong!

    Other Buyers Ask...

    What Makes a Dog Toy Interactive?

    Simply put, you are looking for a toy that is going to keep your dog fully stimulated. It will usually create some kind of task for the dog to complete or will result in a pleasurable experience that your dog wants to replicate over and over.

    What are the different types of interactive dog toys?

    In the main the two types of interactive dog toys are puzzle toys with treat rewards, or multi-sensory objects which create sounds or have interesting textures that build up a dog’s natural predatory instincts and make their minds sharper.

    What are the best interactive dog toys?

    The best interactive dog toys are puzzle toys, as they provide the most mental stimulation for a dog, and will likely hold their attention for a much longer period of time.

    Manufacturers like Trixie and Nina Ottoson create a wide range of different puzzle toys, and are probably the best creators of this type of toy.