Dogs seem to have a boundless source of energy within them. Ask any dog owner and they will tell you just how energetic their pets can get. Providing a dog with somewhere to vent out this energy is very important. Otherwise you might find your pet becoming irritable or destructive. Interactive dog toys help dogs vent out, but unless a dog toy offers some level of interactivity, your dog will grow tired of it. Today, we are going to be looking at the best interactive dog toys that offer a great outlet for physical and mental stimulation.
The level of physical exercise that a dog requires depends on its breed and age. As for mental stimulation, every dog needs this regularly to ensure mental and emotional well-being. A dog toy that offers some degree of interactivity can be a great investment. Not only for an owner who is tired of dealing with their dog’s restlessness, but also for the dog itself.
Now, there are a few factors that you should keep in mind before buying an interactive dog toy for your dog. Picking an interactive toy with these factors in mind will help you buy a toy that will be worth your money. You will be able to find something that is safe for your pet, piques their interest, and is also suitable for their age.
Let’s take a look at these factors before we begin going through some great interactive toys.
Your Dog’s Size
Some dog breeds are huge while others are small. Picking the right sized interactive toy ensures that they can play with the toy comfortably. It also minimizes the chances of your dog swallowing a toy or choking on it. Toys that are made for larger dogs are usually made with tougher materials. While these tougher materials are fun for larger dog breeds to chew on, they can be damaging for a smaller dog’s teeth.
If you own a larger dog, stay away from small toys. Your dog may choke on them, or if a toy has soft materials then your dog could tear it up and eat it. This can lead to stomach problems that can be painful for your pet and costly for your wallet.
Your Dog’s Age
Interactive dog toys are designed with varying levels of hardness and strength. Companies tend to use more pliable materials when making toys for pups. Rubbery and soft materials are great for a pup to gnaw on but can become dangerous for older dogs with stronger bites.
Generally, interactive dog toys cater to three age groups; pups, dogs going through their teething phase, and adult dogs. Toys made for pups are usually soft and even come with stuffing. Toys made for teething dogs use materials that are extremely strong but also malleable. This is because teething dogs needs to chew on things to soothe their gums. In fact, dogs tend to become extra destructive during their teething phase since their urge to chew becomes much stronger. Toys for adult dogs are made of tougher materials such as leather or nylon.
There are a ton of toy making companies in the market, many of which promise “unbreakable” toys. No matter how tough a toy is or how great its materials are, a dog toy can never be unbreakable. Interactive dog toys have short lifespans, in fact many experts recommend that you should replace interactive dog toys the moment they begin showing signs of wear and tear.
The build quality of a toy will not make it indestructible. However, it will still play a major role in determining the safety of a toy. You should always buy your toys from reputable companies. Companies that are known for not using harmful chemicals in their products should be prioritized. Your dog’s toy will spend a lot of time inside of its mouth, therefore you should make sure that it isn’t poisoning them.
There are a few materials that you should always avoid. These include:
- Brittle/hard plastic that may crack under pressure. Cracks can result in sharp edges being formed and sharp fragments that your dog might swallow.
- Metal parts should be avoided religiously. Metal can cut, choke, and can also break your dog’s teeth.
- Any toy with dangling or loose parts should be avoided as well since every loose part is another potential choking hazard.
- For larger dog breeds, soft rubber and cloth toys with stuffing should be completely avoided.
With all the above kept in mind, you will be able to tell safe and quality toys apart from the bad ones. Now let’s move on to the type of interactive toys that you can buy.
If your pet has a favorite treat or snack then treat toys are a great investment. You can find a variety of toys that are designed to dispense off hidden treats. The idea behind these interactive dog toys is that they give your dog a challenge. For instance, some treat toys have hidden spaces that your dog needs to find and extract the treat from. Some models are even designed to move around and dispense treats every little while. These interactive dog toys can keep a dog entertained for very long periods of time. The best thing about them is that they offer physical and mental stimulation simultaneously.
Puzzle toys are a lot like a treat toy as well, but they offer an added level of complexity. These interactive toys are great for dogs that like to solve problems. Some dog breeds have a high level of intelligence than others and can really get into solving puzzles, especially if solving the puzzle lets them have a bite of their favorite snack.
The best thing about interactive toys is that they grab a dog’s attention and then don’t let go of it. A simple rope or a treat ball can keep your dog busy for a short period. An interactive dog toy however, can easily keep your pet busy for a couple of hours. This gives you time to get some work done or have some alone time.
Now without further ado, let’s go through some awesome interactive dog toys.
The Best Interactive Dog Toys
- Wobble Wag Giggle Ball
- Hide-A-Squirrel Dog Toy
- StarMark Bob-A-Lot
- Zoo Friends Burrow
- Zogoflex Tux
- Wooly Snuffle Mat
- Talking Babble Ball
- Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug
- Mad Scientist for Dogs
- ZippyPaws Burrow
Wobble Wag Giggle Ball
- Has an ergonomic design, making it easier to hold for the dog and the owner.
- Made using strong materials that are free of toxins and any other harmful chemicals.
- Has a sound feature that makes noise when the ball bounces.
- Its irregular shape makes its bouncing more erratic and random.
- Can be used as an owner-pet bonding toy or as a chew toy.
- Balls get boring quickly unless a dog has someone to play with them.
Hide-A-Squirrel Dog Toy
- A multipurpose toy that can be keep your dog entertained for a very long time.
- Has 5 holes in which you can hide treats as well to make the toy even more interesting.
- Comes with plush toys that can be stuffed in the holes or played with separately.
- The toy is highly interactive and can be mixed and matched to keep it interesting.
- Can keep multiple dogs entertained at the same time. A great choice for owners with more than one dog.
- Made with extra durable materials, making its plush parts relatively safe.
- Cannot be recommended for larger dog breeds since it has soft parts.
- Even small to medium dogs cannot be left alone with the toy since it has plushies. This toy can only be played with when you can watch your pet.
- Has a bowling pin type design with a weighted bottom that makes the toy challenging and fun.
- Comes with two hidden compartments, the opening to both can be adjusted to place a variety of treats.
- Its bright body is bound to add an additional level of appeal to the toy.
- Adjustable openings make the toy adaptable according to treat and dog size.
- Its weighted bottom keeps the toy wobbling around, making it more interesting for your pet.
- You get two treat compartments, allowing for more variety.
- Since the toy is made of hard plastic, it cannot be recommended for larger dog breeds with stronger bites.
- It can become noisy on bare floors.
Zoo Friends Burrow
- A superb interactive dog toy for puppies, has multiple plushies and multiple holes to keep things interesting.
- The plushies are soft enough to be perfect for pups and strong enough to not become a safety hazard.
- Provides your pup with a soft and comfortable playground.
- Can double as a fetching toy, or even as a makeshift bed.
- The plushies make squeaky noises when chewed on.
- A puppy only toy since it has soft plushies.
- Cannot be given to your dog without supervision.
- A flexible treat dispensing toy that looks like an over-sized fidget spinner. Its design offers plenty of places to grip and chew on.
- The toy has an opening at the bottom which can be loosened by chewing on the toy. This is from where the toy dispenses treats once your dog figures out how to coax the treat out.
- Great for outdoor use and can keep a dog highly entertained.
- Despite being flexible, its build quality is great and the toy is really robust.
- Pet friendly materials with no harmful chemicals in them.
- The toy is bouncy and can also float in water, making it a good poolside toy.
- Can be washed in a dishwasher.
- No matter how well-built, interactive toys like these have shorter lifespans.
- Its bounce factor and floating ability will diminish once the toy takes a bit of damage.
Wooly Snuffle Mat
- A rug with long and thick fibers that act like grass, this is a safe and low maintenance toy that can keep a dog very happy.
- You can hide all kinds of treats inside the rug and then leave your dog to sniff them out.
- A low maintenance toy that you can leave your dog alone with.
- It can also be used as a sleeping area for your pet.
- The rug is made using eco-friendly materials and is easy to clean. Just put it in you washing machine.
- Can be great for training sniffing breeds such as golden retrievers.
- It’s relatively expensive.
Talking Babble Ball
- A well-built ball with over 20 different sound effects, making it a great toy to toss around and run after.
- Sound effects are motion activated, meaning the toy will only speak when moved.
- Comes in three sizes, making it available for a variety of ages.
- It’s quite cheap for an electric toy.
- Has a variety of sound effects for better entertainment.
- It needs replaceable batteries to run.
- It doesn’t have any waterproofing, making it unsuitable for outdoors. Even your dog’s drool can damage its electronics.
Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug
- A single toy capable of serving a variety of purposes. It comes with a strong plastic jug in which you can store treats. The jug is closed by a chewable stress ball and can be pulled open with a tough rope.
- Made with safe and strong materials, it is a highly interactive dog toy and has more than enough activity to offer.
- The rope and chewable lid are designed to act as dental chews. Meaning that the toy also maintains your dog’s dental health.
- Every part of the toy is pet friendly and safe to chew on.
- Multiple forms of entertainment are guaranteed to keep your pet happy.
- Made for dogs above 40 pounds, meaning that the toy may be too hard for smaller dogs.
Mad Scientist For Dogs
- Consists of three pivoting containers on an elevated stand, this toy is a pure puzzle toy.
- The containers hold treats and dispense them when tipped over. Your dog can learn to tip them to get treats.
- The toy has a sturdy and heavy base that will keep it from being toppled over.
- The containers have multiple lid options for varying difficulty.
- The whole toy is well-built and does not use any harmful chemicals.
- It won’t appeal to every dog since the toy is stationary and has only one function.
- Another variant of a plushie and holes toy design. Comes with hedgehog plushies and a place to hide them in.
- Uses pet safe materials.
- Is soft, cute, and can be used for fetching games as well.
- Should not be given to your dog without supervision since plushies can torn.
These are some of the best interactive toys in the market. Hopefully you were able to find something that your dog will like. Or at the very least, you now know exactly what to look for when heading out to buy a toy for your pet.