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Top 10 Interactive Dog Puzzle Toys

Let the games begin...

by Marisa Meltzer
May 25, 2021
Dog looking for treats in an interactive dog puzzle toy
Lenti Hill / Adobe Stock

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For anyone who has been working from home for the past year and dealing with trying to concentrate on the computer while your pup wants your attention all the time, dog puzzle toys and brain games are an answer. “Most dogs are are under-stimulated and under-exercised...or pretty bored. They don’t have phones or watch TV,” says Stacy Alldredge, certified dog trainer, behaviorist, and founder of Who’s Walking Who. “Interactive toys are a great way to give your dog something to do. They’re also a way for kids to do something with a dog that doesn’t make them mouthy and jumpy.”

Not all toys are the same, and not all dogs will respond to the same toys. If your dog needs activity, try a treat game that slowly dispenses treats or kibble while they chase it around the house (preferably away from where you’re working). “Some dogs are will eat out of a puzzle toy but not out of a bowl,” says Alldredge. If your dog does not have that problem, but rather, is such a fast eater they make themself sick, try a snuffle mat that replicates foraging behavior and slows mealtime down. If your dog needs confidence building, try a simple puzzle game and gradually work them up to more difficult ones.

“A few years ago, I bought one of every dog puzzle game on the market,” says Alldredge. “And wow — some of them, like the Nina Ottosson ones, were so hard to figure out!” Puzzle toys aren’t just for puppies, either. “The biggest mistake people make is forgetting that adult dogs need entertainment too.” Below, the top 10 dog puzzle toys. Let the games begin!

Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)

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Marisa Meltzer

Marisa Meltzer has contributed to The New York Times, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and is the author of This Is Big: How the Women Who Founded Weight Watchers Changed the World (and Me). She lives in New York City with her dog Joan.