Best Interactive Dog Toys: 6 Great Automatic Playthings New for 2021

Really don’t have the time to read through our complete guide to the best interactive dog toys online? Our top pick for this buying guide is the Nina Ottosson Twister Dog Toy. This was our top choice after multiple tests and after checking out reviews and ratings from other experienced dog owners.

It’s pretty safe to say that dog toys come in all shapes, sizes. Toys are crucial in keeping your dog stimulated and happy! After all, while they may take pleasure in simpler things than most people might, that doesn’t mean they don’t get bored or listless.

It’s easy to think that a dog can be left to its own devices and make its own fun. However, this is often a pretty dangerous route to take and I speak from experience.

What’s more, the right dog toys could help your pets to feel a bit more secure in themselves. Some dogs – from a pup or as they get older – can struggle to adjust to being on their own, especially if you need to leave them for several hours at a time.

Therefore, if you are finding that your dogs need to keep themselves busy – in a non-destructive way – while you are out and about, it might be worth looking for the top-rated interactive dog toys on the market right now.

From the Varram pet fitness robot to puzzle toys and ball launchers, interactive dog toys offer lots of great ways to help keep your dog busy and mentally stimulated. Even if it is just a case of lining up a few treats or a puzzle or two, this could really fascinate them for hours at a time!

The best toys dogs love are designed and built for use and fun across long periods. If you can’t be around to stimulate them, then the next best thing is to invest in a great smart dog toy to help keep them happy.

If it’s your first time taking a close look at interactive dog toys, don’t worry. I’ve set up a full buying guide for you below to help you check for the best features and facilities on offer. I’ve also taken a close look at five of the best interactive dog toys dogs love – which are all fantastically reviewed and have our dogs’ paws of approval. That’s all that matters!

The products we are going to review in this guide will include:

What Are the Best Interactive Dog Toys?

Without further ado, here is my list of the top picks for interactive dog toys available online right now. Take a look through and compare what other dog owners have to say, too!

Best Interactive Puzzle Toy – Nina Ottosson Twister Dog Toy

This superb hide and seek toy is a ‘level 3’ interactive option in the Nina Ottosson line, but that really shouldn’t be a problem for a hungry pup in search of treats. They simply pull the individual drawers out of the toy to uncover tasty treats hidden within.

This is a colourful, pleasing little treat dispensing dog toy, which I think is a great choice for those dogs and owners who have already worked their way through a couple of starter options. It keeps a clever dog occupied and is a good competitor against the likes of the best of Mad Scientist and Outward Hound, too!

Pros:

  • Great little hiding toy ideal for most dog breeds
  • Keeps your dog interested once they know how to use it
  • Brilliant colourful design

Cons:

  • May not be the best choice for a dog who is new to interactive toys

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Best Interactive Toy For Aggressive Chewers – Funow Dog Chew

Some dogs just love to chew and will happily knaw away for hours. This brilliant bone is amazingly priced and is deceptively simple. It’s really hard-wearing, and like the Wobble wag giggle ball makes a noise when rattling around.

Not only that, your canine friends will love that it’s beef flavoured – as well as being nigh on indestructible, so even the strongest dog’s teeth will have a hard job getting through it.

Pros:

  • Really, really tough
  • Simple but effective for big chewers
  • Great price for a durable chew toy
  • Noise and flavour to keep your pup happy

Cons:

  • No treats inside – it’s just a bone

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Best Dog Treat Feeder LAMTWEK Pet Snuffle Feeding Mat

This fantastic snuffle mat will keep your pooch entertained for hours; just hide some of your dog’s favorite treats and watch them develop their foraging skills making it a fantastic slow feeder.

The thick pile keeps food hidden and Fido will need to use his nose to seek the treats out. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, this is a great toy for blind dogs, large dogs, and something different from a tennis ball.

Made from non-toxic, odourless material, this interactive toy will keep your dog’s mind occupied while encouraging their natural instincts for sniffing out food. We think it’s one of the best puzzle toys to keep a pup entertained

Pros:

  • Really reasonably priced
  • Perfect for small dogs and larger breeds
  • Suction cups for smooth floors

Cons:

  • Not many we could find

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Top Rated Hide & Seek Toy – IFOYO Squeak Dog Toy

If your furry friend loves playing hide and seek with you, then they are likely to be the sort of dog that really goes wild for hide and seek toys.

This interactive toy range allows you to sneak little creatures and critters inside a soft base, which your pet will then need to hunt out and retrieve. These are really nice and soft toys, ideal for gentler dogs.

There are two options to keep your pup busy – alien or bear – and both are likely to appeal to any dogs which normally carry soft toys around. Therefore, if your canine friend is likely to respond better to soft plushness than tough chewy toys, this is going to be a fantastic choice.

Pros:

  • Great alternative to treat toys
  • Really fun to play with on their own and with you
  • Soft and nicely designed
  • Very well priced

Cons:

  • Not a toy for tough chewers

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Best Overall Interactive Pet Toy – Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Interactive Puzzle

One of the best treat toys for dogs. A ‘level two’ option in the Nina Ottosson range, this plastic puzzle encourages your dog to either pick up and remove plastic bones from the middle to retrieve a tasty treat, slide along boxes to uncover treasure, or open up chests to find more goodies.

It’s a brilliant three in one discovery toy which, if they’ve solved the kong wobbler treat dispenser, should be pretty easy for work out and enjoy. It will keep dogs interested for ages and improve their problem-solving skills a bit better than a rope toy.

Pros:

  • A great treat dispensing toy
  • Really robust – takes a beating
  • Several different toys in one

Cons:

  • Can be a hassle to tidy up afterwards

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Best Toy for Dogs who love Tennis Balls PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher Dog Toy

Get ready for the easiest game of fetch ever; with this Petsafe ball launcher, your canine friend will get both mental and physical stimulation. Water-resistant you can use outside with the battery or with the corded power supply indoors.

There are nine different distance setting from 2.5 metres right up to 9 metres and an automatic downtime mode to ensure Fido doesn’t tire himself out. Ideal for an active dog, this interactive dog ball launcher means you can play fetch anytime.

Pros

  • 6 ball angle settings and 9 distance settings
  • Water Resistant fetch toy
  • Motion sensor

Cons

  • May be a bit pricey, but we think it’s well worth it. for the hours of fun it provides

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

What are Interactive Dog Toys?

The clu is in the name – interactive dog toys are those which give your dog that bit more mental stimulation than a chew toy. These toys, for example, might have great treats inside that dogs can hunt out and enjoy. These might include puzzle toys, too, which dogs can work out using their paws and noses, as well as their teeth, keeping your dog entertained for hours.

Treat dispensing toys for dogs tend to be amongst the most popular with pets and owners alike. That’s because these dogs’ toys tend to need very little encouragement for use! Once you show a dog a couple of times how to use a toy or toys, they’ll get the hang of it every time from there on out. Dogs are deceptively clever, no matter how daft your own dog might be from time to time!

The most interactive dog toys essentially encourage your pet to play independently to discover treats through hide and seek puzzles. The best interactive toy for your dog may not be the best for another. Some like plush toys, others like a treat ball. It’s safe to say that all dogs learn at their own pace and anything that keeps your dog busy while you nip to the shops is a bonus.

The interactive dogs’ toys I’ve lined up for you in this buying guide offer great examples of how you can really encourage your pets to entertain themselves when home alone.

Why Buy an Interactive Dog Toy?

Interactive dog toys might be new to you, After all, most of us probably think of a dog toy and just assume a squeaky bone or a ball you can throw about will be enough!

However, there is more than one way you can keep a pup happy, perhaps a treat dispenser, tension toys if your pooch love s a game of tug of war or even a pet fitness robot with remote control and app so you can keep your dogs busy when you’re not there.

Here are a few reasons why investing in interactive dog toys might be a good idea for you and your dogs.

You’re Out a Lot

If you need to leave your dog alone for long periods, they are naturally going to miss you! Therefore, it’s worth treating them to a playset or toy that they can explore while you’re away.

All kinds of dogs experience loneliness and anxiety, and if you really want to show them that they are going to be ok while you are out, you should ensure that you have something fun to act as a distraction. Hide and seek toys or a treat dispenser like the Kong Wobbler may be the answer

You Only Have One Dog

If you do have a solo dog and they are likely to get lonely or listless, a fun interactive toy such as a treat ball is a godsend. If you’re going to be out, why not set up hide and seek games, hide treats, and have a couple of fun squeaky or rattling puzzles to help keep their interest. Find out what are the best healthy treats for dogs here.

A bored and listless dog is not a happy pooch and as a responsible dog owner, you should be doing all you can to cheer them up! A simple solution is a treat-dispensing toy , then so be it.

Your Dog is Destructive

Yes, unfortunately, many of us have dogs who – while we love them dearly – have a habit of destroying things when they get bored. This is especially the case for dogs who need lots of exercise and puppies, . A bored or listless dog can be a destructive dog, which means that it’s well worth setting up an interactive dog toy or two to help take their full attention away. Interactive puppy toys can also help with a pup’s chewing. To really tackle this issue then you to buy the toughest dog chew toys.

This isn’t always a guarantee, of course, which is why you should always try and train your dog accordingly to stop the dog chewing pieces of furniture while you are out.

However, you can easily incorporate interactive dog toy systems into your training regimen and routine. An interactive toy will be a great distraction from the usual carpet edges, cushions and sofas.

An Interactive Dog Toy Provides your Dog with Mental Stimulation

Did you know that mental stimulation tires out your pooch almost as much as physical exercise. It isn’t always possible to give your dog long walks, older dogs, ones with heart murmurs or hip dysplasia even puppies with their endless energy and that’s where an interactive dog toy comes into its own . Many people will buy interactive dog toys purely, so they have something to do when left alone. However, they’re also great fun when fully supervised too!

If you really want to train your dog’s brain, there are some seriously great toy picks out there such as an IQ treat ball which will encourage them to solve problems resulting in a tasty treat. There are also interactive puppy toys which help brain development.

What Should I Look for In an Interactive Dog Toy?

As there are many different types of interactive dog toy out there, it can be easy to find things more than a little confusing. Some big brands we know like Kong and Nina Ottoson are renowned for their treat dispenser toys and have fantastic reviews, but they can be quite pricey.

Interactive Toys -Cost

You can pick up an IQ treat ball or bone treat dispenser for under a tenner, but check out the reviews to see if its durable and suitable for your pet. The more complex puzzle toys are anywhere from around £15-50 and the top of the range ball launchers and robotic toys can top £100. There are no regulations for dog toys in the UK, so it’s unfortunately down to the owner to ensure its safe

Types of Interactive Dog Toys

There are dozens of interactive dog toys, the simple way to choose one is to know your dog. What do they like to do, does Fido love a game of tug of war, in which case they might appreciate a tension toy, are they motivated by food? then a treat dispense could be the answer.

Is your dog creative with its paws? Are they likely to bat things down or out of the way to try and solve a puzzle? Maybe they love to play hide and seek, and you want to find a toy or toys which can replicate this experience for them to enjoy on their own.

Whether its a bob a lot or blinky babble ball you will easily find toy options and brands which keep your four legged friend happy

Skill Level

It’s maybe a bit harsh to judge dogs by their ‘skill’ levels as far as working out puzzles are concerned, but you will often find that dog toys – interactive or otherwise – are graded in certain ways. This means that, say, a ‘level one’ toy in one range is likely to be pretty simple. If you find that your pup graduates from this toy pretty easily, and can suss it out within minutes, then it might be worth looking one level up.

However, speaking of the word pup – do also consider the age of your dog. A pup is unlikely to have much of an attention span for the more complicated interactive toys, but that doesn’t mean they can’t use them. In fact, there are a few pup-friendly interactive toy ranges out there that are designed and built to help growing minds and curiosities.

Start them early enough, of course, and you’ll be setting them on a path to being seriously smart – why not take a look at graduating them up the levels?

Durability and Safety

You should always look carefully for interactive dog toys which are built to be safe for dogs to use and enjoy. This means that you need to ensure they are made with safe plastics, and that they are unlikely to damage easily.

The best interactive dog toys are those which will take some serious gnawing. Sadly, there are a few inferior products out there that really won’t last long. That’s why this guide exists – to help you sort the best from the worst!

Of course, you should also be careful with moving parts and choking hazards. Think carefully about the activity level your dog is likely to demonstrate while using their toy. Are they going to be so desperate for treats that they wrench one or two moving pieces off?

Look for well-built toys from brands like Outward Hound and Mad Scientist – these are well-trusted companies who build interactive dog toy systems which are safe to use and built to last.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many different ways you can entertain your pet with interactive toys. Some like a treat dispenser can be pretty simple to maser, while others will need a bit more brain power Ultimately, they are great for mental stimulation either with their human or whe left alone.

There are some superb interactive toys available from brands such as Outward Hound, but I think the above picks show off the best that the interactive toy scene has to offer right now.

If you’re new to these types of toys, give them a look over and see what others have to say, too. Our personal recommendation would be the Nina Ottosson Twister Dog Toy, as it is durable and mentally stimulates your pet.

From a bob a lot treat dispenser to licky mat filled with peanut butter, remote control robot to complex puzzle most dogs and puppies will love an interactive dog toy.

There are ones which are just as much fun for the owner too as you watch your pooch working things out and if you leave them on their own for a while you will have peace of mind knowing they are kept occupied and happy. Try this page for lots of cool dog accessories.

John Devlin

Blogger and owner of George and Henry. Two gorgeous goldens that couldn’t be more different. One is a dream loving and caring, and his sibling is as naughty as can be. When I am not blogging about dogs, I love watching sport and travelling with the family.
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