The Best 20 Interactive Dog Toys to Keep them Busy (Review)

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    Vicki Smirnova
    Vicki Smirnova

    Author: Vicki Smirnova

    Vicki Smirnova is a professional writer and editor who adores animals and helps readers get along well with their pets. She has been working in digital media for more than 5 years and has great experience writing content about lifestyle, including pets. Vicki specializes in dog health and nutrition, cat feeding, dog training. She is an aquarium lover and is passionate to write about fish care at home. Also, Vicki headed several websites and worked as a news editor.

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    Dr. Linda Simon is a veterinary surgeon working with seven years of experience. She is a fellow of the British Veterinary Association and specializing in animal medicine. Also, she has been the Woman magazine resident vet for the past two years and writes a regular column for them, focusing on pets and their health.

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  • Updated on: 02/16/2021

Most of our pets’ lives are spent playing and having a good time, so we need to ensure the activities they undertake are fun and safe.

The best interactive toys are a way to have fun and an essential tool when it comes to training puppies and younger dogs. Besides, toys can help to cope with certain situations — for example, they can play a role in those who suffer with stress or anxiety or who are going through a period of change or have been adopted by new owners.

best interactive dog toysPhoto by @sevenpixx Pixabay

Dog Toys for Mental Stimulation Reviews

For your dog to be truly happy and well-behaved, remember that games must be present in their daily routine.

1. Trixie Activity Gambling Tower Dog Toy

trixie activity gambling tower dog toy
Our TOP Pick

This product is made of durable plastic that can withstand dog bites. It is an ideal choice for smart dogs. It has a solid foundation that allows it to stay upright even during the game. During the game, the pet uses its sense of smell to detect food in the toy, then begins to think and decides how to get it. To get a reward, the dog must pull the ropes. There are three holes for treats at the base of the toy, which are closed with plastic cones with a hole. The kit includes a training booklet with tips and recommendations.

Key benefits:

  • To get the treats the dog has to pull out the drawers in the right order.
  • Creates mental stimulation.
  • Rubber feet to prevent sliding
  • Instruction booklet included for tips.



  • Any food can be used.
  • Durable.
  • Unique challenge every time.
  • Not found.

2. Kong Puppy Toy

kong puppy dog toy
The Best Budget

This product is a good choice to prevent boredom. It is an original toy that successfully launched the Kong Puppy product line, created using a unique formula of teething rubber. It is recommended to fill this product with treats.

The toy’s movements during rolling are unpredictable, allowing for hours of fun. A hole on the side allows you to place treats inside the toy, and as your pet rolls it around on the floor, it eventually gets a treat.

Your pet can interact with this dispenser to play and get treats in several ways. Toss it in the air, run it around the floor, or nudge it forward with its nose or mouth. The product is so well-liked by dogs that many will just carry it around and chew it.

Key benefits:

  • Unpredictable bounce is great for energetic puppies.
  • It helps establish appropriate chewing and playing behaviors.
  • Made from globally sourced materials.



  • Made in the USA.
  • Specially designed for soothing teething puppies’ gums.
  • Relied upon by veterinarians.
  • Some dogs were capable of tearing the Wobbler apart.

3. Trixie Activity Turn Around Dog Toy

trixie activity turn around dog toy
The Best for Large Breeds

The product to stimulate mental activity. To get a treat, they will have to turn the revolving elements. The kit includes a training booklet with tips and recommendations.

Your pet will be asked to turn the containers upside down and hold them in the balance until the treat falls out. It comes with several lids with holes of different sizes to increase or decrease the difficulty and is probably the best suited for a dog familiar with puzzle toys.

Key benefits:

  • There are numerous ways to interact.
  • Dog must move the turning elements to release treats.
  • It will stimulate curiosity and problem-solving skills.



  • Rubber feet to prevent sliding.
  • Instruction booklet included.
  • The colorful design.
  • May not be challenging enough, especially for intelligent breeds.

4. Hyper Pet Raccoon Critter Skinz Dog Toy

hyper pet raccoon
The Best for Small Breeds

These are stuffed animal toys with squeakers. Squeakers inside the animal’s head are a real plus and help to capture attention. During an entertaining game, they also help to clean the teeth.

When you turn on the toy, it will wiggle and move for about 10 seconds before stopping. As soon as you or your dog shake it again, it will come back to life and move to better attract the attention.

It requires power from three AAA batteries (not included). Since the toy automatically turns off when your pet stops playing with it, the batteries should last for a long time.

It is only available in one standard size, but it should work well for medium to large breeds. There are also spare covers in case your dog breaks the cover while playing.

Key benefits:

  • This plush toy squeaks, wiggles, vibrates and barks.
  • Motion-activated toy turns on whenever someone shakes.
  • On/Off button on this product is located on the top of the plastic ball.



  • Entice to run, chase, play.
  • Batteries should last for a while.
  • Perfect for hyper pets to play for hours.
  • Some stonger dogs destroyed the toy in a matter of minutes.

5. iFetch Too Automatic Ball Launcher Dog Toy

ifetch too automatic ball launcher dog toy
The Best Outdoor

This product designed specifically for medium and large breeds, throws balls automatically instead of you having to do so. It will allow your pet to independently engage in physical activity and exercise without you. All you have to do is turn on the toy, select the launch distance, and then put a tennis ball in the toy. Soon your pet will learn to throw it on its own, which stimulates its mind and allows it to play completely independently.

Powered by a built-in battery that can be recharged and thus giving you the ability to use it anywhere.

Key benefits:

  • You can still interact with your pet while using the machine.
  • Sturdy — three pounds, so it is not easy for your pet to lift.
  • Automatic ball launcher is designed specifically for small to medium-sized breeds.



  • Good form of exercise.
  • You can store tennis balls in the base.
  • Two sizes — for small and large breeds.
  • Requires training.

6. Wickedbone

The Best #1 Electronic Toy

Wicked one is the best way to stimulate mind, as well as provide the exciting exercises they need.

You can directly control this bone-shaped device from your mobile phone and play together with your pet both indoors and outdoors. The product in the form of a bone can ride and move under the user’s control and a smartphone. Powered by a battery that can be recharged. Replacement tires are included.

Key benefits:

  • Responds differently to moods and reactions.
  • Good for Indoor & Outdoor Activities.
  • Safe & Scratch-Resistant Materials.



  • 100% Automatic.
  • USB Rechargeable.
  • Controlled via the App.
  • Tire noise is loud.

7. Wicked Ball

wicked ball
The Best #2 Electronic Toy

Wicked Ball is a moving toy. Designed with interactive moving features that will stimulate your pet’s hunting instincts and spark their enthusiasm and curiosity. This amazing moving toy will give your pet a chance to have fun even when you are not around. The ball surfaces are easy to change, and the battery is recharged in 1 hour for 8 hours of play.

Key benefits:

  • 100% Automatic Moving.
  • 3 Interaction Modes To Match Different Activity Levels.
  • 1-Hour Charge for 8-Hour play.



  • USB Rechargeable.
  • Hands-Free.
  • Avoidance Sensor.
  • No App Required.

8. PetSafe Ricochet Interactive Sound Game Dog Toy

petsafe ricochet interactive sound game dog toy
The Best #3 Electronic Toy

These round toys in the form of a large pill may seem strange at first, but do not judge the toy by its appearance. This product from Petsafe is a fun set that will make your dog play and search for it in different places. As soon as your puppy pushes one toy, the other makes a distinctive squeak.

Then, when your buddy turns to explore the second toy, the sound reverts to the first toy. The pet will love trying to catch the sound. And from up to 30 feet (9.14 m) away, you can see your dog running from one side of the house to the other. You can make the game even more interesting by hiding one toy and sending your pet on a hunt for a mysterious sound throughout the house or apartment.

Key benefits:

  • See your pooch run back and forth as he tries to ‘catch’ the squeak.
  • Ricochet is mentally stimulating and challenging.
  • The Ricochet should offer about a month of daily play before it’s time for more juice.



  • Encourages moving and supports mental stimulation.
  • When one toy is moved, the other squeaks—from up to 30 feet (9.14 m) away.
  • Provide with lots of daily exercise with minimal effort.
  • Expensive.

9. Brick Interactive Puzzle Dog Toy

brick interactive puzzle dog toy
The Best #1 Interactive Puzzle

An interactive brick puzzle toy with 3 different edible reward features for dogs that has easy-to-open / close folding compartments where you can hide edible treats. Separate removable compartments of the puzzle come in the shape of a bone — an exciting task for finding and eating treats.

Your dog can quickly move each cell to reveal even more hidden treats. Your family friend will have a great time solving this tricky food puzzle. Great for restless dogs and helps entertain bored pets by helping prevent aggressive or destructive behavior. To clean it, remove all the treats and wash with warm soapy water, rinse and dry. When playing with toys, it is necessary to look after pets, as no toy is completely indestructible.

Key benefits:

  • This treat training dog game occupies anxious minds.
  • It entertains dogs when they become bored.
  • Helps prevent destructive behaviors.



  • A great way to engage your pet.
  • Simple cleaning.
  • The colorful design.
  • Sometimes it is difficult to understand the game.

10. ZippyPaws Zippy Burrow Hedgehog Den Hide and Seek Puzzle Dog Toy

zippypaws zippy burrow hedgehog den hide and seek puzzle dog toy
The Best #2 Interactive Puzzle

This chic puzzle game is simple: you stuff adorable plush little squeaky hedgehogs into a very soft tree trunk and watch your pet pull them out one by one. The dog sticks its muzzle in and prowls around, looking for a soft squeaky hedgehog to get for you. Then shove them back, and the dog will repeat the process. This product is exciting and easy to use. Great for pet on a diet as the game does not use treats.

Key benefits:

  • Comes with 1 burrow and 3 squeaky hedgehogs.
  • Designed for small and medium breeds.
  • Available in multiple sizes.



  • Wholesale prices sitewide.
  • 100% Guaranteed Savings.
  • It keeps pets busy and engaged.
  • Small parts may be lost.

11. Outward Hound Hide N Slide Puzzle for Dogs

outward hound hide n slide puzzle for dogs
The Best #3 Interactive Puzzle

It will bring a lot of fun to your puppy. Simply hide the treats in the structure’s compartments and watch as your dog learns to pull out the treats hidden inside.

Key benefits:

  • Games present your pet with more interesting ways to problem solve.
  • This dog game has built in play pieces that don’t come out when your pet plays with it.
  • It helps to keep this product intact.



  • Made to look like real wood.
  • Durable.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Sometimes it is difficult to understand the game.

12. Tcd Toy Ringer Horseshoe

tcd toy ringer horseshoe
The Best #1 Interactive Treat Dispensing Toy

This durable nylon toy is excellent for your pet’s dental hygiene. This product will withstand the onslaught of even the strongest chewers. You can combine it with treats.

Key benefits:

  • Free of latex, vinyl, and phthalates.
  • Any food can be used.
  • Can also fit sideways between the outer wall and inner loop.



  • Encourages non-destructive chewing.
  • Provides your pal with interactive treat time to keep his mind stimulated.
  • Made from globally sourced materials.
  • Some dogs were capable of tearing it apart.

13. JW Twist-In Treats Dog Toy

jw twist-in treats dog toy
The Best #2 Interactive Treat Dispensing Toy

It will develop mental abilities and richly fill its time; just place a treat inside to keep your pet entertained.

This product is made of durable, non-toxic rubber that can withstand even the most severe bites. The treats that come with the toy are made in the United States from high-quality ingredients with a delicious taste that all dogs like. There are three sizes available: small, medium, and large.

Key benefits:

  • Stands up to rough play and easy to grip.
  • Non-toxic rubber.
  • Helps to make treat time last longer.



  • Durable.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Treats made in the USA.
  • Heavy for small breeds.

14. West Paw Zogoflex Qwizl Dog Puzzle Treat Toy

west paw zogoflex qwizl dog puzzle treat toy
The Best #3 Interactive Treat Dispensing Toy

It is designed to stimulate mental abilities. Just put your dog’s favorite treat inside and let him have fun. The product is available in different colors: Tangerine, Aqua Blue, and Granny Smith as well as in small and large sizes.

Key benefits:

  • Long-lasting chew toy.
  • Challenging puzzle for even the smartest dogs.
  • Completely safe.



  • Durable chew.
  • Recyclable.
  • BPA and phthalate-free.
  • Some kibble falls out too easily.

15. Patchwork Pet Lenny Greybar

lenny greybar
The Best #1 Soft Toy

It is for active dogs who like to grab everything with their teeth. The product contains a strong rope that your puppy can pull in different directions. Made of soft, durable fabric.

Key benefits:

  • Made with a reinforced lining for long-lasting games.
  • Made of soft fabrics.
  • This product is for tugging.



  • Orders are shipped within 2 business days.
  • Durable chew toy.
  • Recyclable.
  • Some dogs were capable of tearing it apart.

16. Kong Floppy Knots Dog Toy

kong floppy knots dog toy
The Best #2 Soft Toy

It will help your pet spend its seemingly limitless energy reserves. It is great for fun. The product will satisfy chewing instinct 100%. A variety of textures and squeakers will make playing with your dog even more fun.

Key benefits:

  • Made with knotted rope and squeaker.
  • Entices your furry friend to play with varied textures.
  • To satisfy the natural instincts to chew and the need for noise stimulation.



  • It is for tugging.
  • Made of soft fabrics.
  • Includes squeakers.
  • Squeakers can make a lot of noise.

17. Patchwork Pet Lobster

The Best #3 Soft Toy

It contains squeakers and a soft canvas rope that will satisfy chewing instinct. The outer material is very strong and resistant to jerks. Perfect for those who like to cuddle with toys.

Key benefits:

  • Minimal stuffing means less mess.
  • Entices your furry friend to play with varied textures.
  • Features internal knotted rope with a realistic feel.



  • Orders are shipped within 2 business days.
  • Durable chew toy.
  • Recyclable.
  • Some dogs were capable of tearing it apart.

18. iFetch Frenzy Interactive Brain Game Uses Tennis Balls

ifetch frenzy interactive brain game uses tennis balls
The Best #1 Ball Launcher

Entertain your pet with the smart game iFetch Frenzy. Your puppy has the opportunity to become independent with this product. Just train to throw the ball at the top of Frenzy, and it will soon be playing on its own.

Key benefits:

  • The best for small to medium-sized breeds.
  • Great for clever pets who bore easily.
  • Great for anxious dogs or those with an aversion to noise.



  • Non-electronic.
  • Comes with 3 mini tennis balls.
  • Whisper quiet.
  • A few particularly clever canines learned to anticipate the ball flying out of the device.

19. Chuckit! Classic Launcher Dog Toy

chuckit! classic launcher dog toy
The Best #2 Ball Launcher

Classic Ball Launcher for active dogs will help you throw the ball far away without much effort. You no longer have to bend over and touch the slobbery ball. Just grab the convenient handle, push the ball and let it fly. Ideal for parks and large open spaces.

Key benefits:

  • Includes one ball for hours of fun with your pup.
  • Features an ergonomic handle for ultimate comfort and control.
  • Hands- free pickup so you don’t have to touch any more puppy drool.



  • Exercise your buddy while saving your arm.
  • Durable.
  • Made of lightweight flexible plastic.
  • Non-automatic.

20. iDogmate Smart Automatic Dog Ball Launcher Toy

idogmate smart automatic dog ball launcher toy
The Best #3 Ball Launcher

This device will be able to entertain your pet on its own while you are going about your daily life. Also, it is available in three sizes. This launcher is powered by an AC adapter (included) or a lithium-ion battery (included), which can last up to a whopping 250 launches when fully charged.

Key benefits:

  • Great for anxious dogs or those with an aversion to noise.
  • Great for clever pets who bore easily.
  • Light up settings on the Ball Launcher.



  • Good form of exercise.
  • You can still interact with your pet while using the machine.
  • For indoor and outdoor use.
  • Dogs could over-exercise or injure themselves with the machine.

*Ratings are formed by the author and editor of the article based on their own research and combined with customer reviews.

Our Final Verdict

The best choice of the products we reviewed is considered an Interactive Wickedbone Toy with App Support. This electronic device will independently entertain your dog while you are doing important things. However, if you want to participate in the game, you can connect to the system and control the toy remotely. It is durable and safe and can easily hold your dog’s attention for hours.

Benefits of Interactive Dog Toys

As well as providing hours of fun, interactive toys can help develop intelligence, hone skills, and serve as a tool for reducing anxiety. Certain chew toys will help satisfy a dog’s hunting needs and naturally reduce stress. Balls and other chase toys help satisfy a dog’s hunting drive and provide exercise. These dogs also serve to strengthen bonds with the owner. [1]

For a dog’s life to be full and well-rounded, there are many needs which must be met: olfactory, visual, gustatory, tactile, and mental stimulation must all be provided and it is important not to neglect any of these areas. This is necessary for all dogs, regardless of age, breed, and size.

The provision of both mental and physical activity along with positive interaction with the owner, ensure a puppy will develop correctly, and the behavior of an adult dog will be pleasant and predictable. We aim to avoid a situation whereby a dog will start looking for new experiences; running away on a walk, picking up edible and inedible items on the street, or even destroying the house.

Responsible breeders of dogs always work with puppies as soon as they begin to take an interest in the world around them, gradually introducing new smells, objects, and surfaces into their lives. This helps the animal adapt faster and feel more confident, which will positively affect how they respond to and interact with the outside world.

Since the dog is a very smart and quick-witted animal, it needs to be provided with lots of interaction, ensuring its physical and psychological needs will be fully met. For this purpose, back in 1993, the famous Swedish breeder Nina Ottoson came up with a new entertainment for her pets — interactive toys that are now widely used worldwide. With their help, dogs become more active and mobile. They can develop their concentration and resourcefulness. You need to choose the most appropriate toys for your dog, taking into account the characteristics and interests of the pet. To begin with, it is better to buy a more straightforward toy at first, gradually offering your pet more complex ones as they learn how to use them effectively. This avoids frustration and toys being completely ignored.

The advantages of such toys include:

  • Providing mental stimulation;
  • A safe diversion (no sharp corners or small parts);
  • The ability to capture an attention and, as a result, to break bad habits (for example, chewing everything).
  • An opportunity to save the environment! Many interactive toys are now made from eco-friendly materials (rubber, latex, wood and others);

Besides, such the best stimulating toys can really captivate the pet, and instead of ruining the house’s furniture in the absence of the owners, the dog will calmly play and peacefully while away their time. Interactive toys also help to burn off excess energy: after a long day of playing with interactive toys, dogs should sleep soundly.[3]

Tips to Choose the Right Interactive Dog Toy

  • When choosing, it is important to consider the characteristics of your pet: its age, size, and style of play. Try to remember: does your dog prefer to carry various objects, chew them, sniff them out, or bury them?
  • When choosing a toy for a puppy, first and foremost, pay attention to its safety. Buy only those toys designed for pups. Soft toys for children may contain foam, plastic, and small parts that can injure their esophagus or cause poisoning when ingested. So if you have children, try not to let the puppy play with their toys.
  • Toys must be made of safe, non-toxic materials that do not have an unpleasant smell. It is the best to buy products made of latex, rubber, wood, or vinyl. Check their integrity regularly: if you find that your puppy’s toy is damaged, be sure to replace it. Importantly, you should not allow the dog to swallow the chewed off parts — this can lead to gastrointestinal tract problems and even life-threatening obstruction.
  • As your pup grows up growing, their interests and toys will inevitably change. For puppies who are teething, you need to buy a few strong rubber bones. They will ease the associated discomfort and, perhaps, save a pair of favorite sneakers. Older dogs will benefit from more complex toys that engage their brain and pose a challenge.

READ MORE: Why is my Dog acting like a Puppy again?

Types of Interactive Dog Toys

A logical toy is often a ball or cube with holes in which you can put a treat. Food puzzles can be solved by the dog pressing a button, pulling a string, or sliding the lid with their paw to get to the delicious “prize.” More complex food toys can include ropes for tug-of-war and pyramids with holes in which the treat is located. There are also more advanced toys with the opening of certain components, in which the pet must put the bar itself.

You need to choose the best one that will fit your pet. It should not fit entirely into the mouth to prevent it from being swallowed or choked on. It is also necessary to make sure that the dog does not eat pieces of material, as this may cause an intestinal blockage.[2]

The market is quite large and is divided into several main categories:

  • For gnawing (various rubber toys and with squeakers)
  • For gums and teeth (bones, sticks, balls of various textures)
  • For training (balls, dumbbells, rings, ropes)
  • Interactive puzzles
  • Electric — which incorporate some of the best choices to keep them busy
  • Soft

READ MORE: Best Food for Large Breed Dogs

how to choose the right interactive toy for my dogPhoto by Mathew Coulton from Pexels

A dog’s Personality and their Perfect Interactive Toy

It is essential to choose an interactive toy that meshes well with unique character. Fortunately for pet owners, many interactive toys are currently available. You can easily find the one that is perfect for your pet.

In addition to these general recommendations, there are a few other things you should keep in mind when choosing the best one.

When buying a toy, the owner must take into account the size of the animal. The primary rule here is that it should fit the mouth’s size, but not fit inside completely.

For Small and Medium Breeds

  • For small breeds, you should choose small balls on a rope or rubber with spikes, strong mini-ropes, as well as medium-hard dumbbells, mini pullers, puzzles, and various soft toys.
  • Before a new toy falls into their furry paws, make sure that there are no hazards that could harm your pet.
  • Be aware that there are potential dangers posed by certain toy parts such as ribbons, bows, toy noses and eyes, loosely closed batteries, etc. — these items are easy to swallow, and they can get stuck in the throat.

For Large Breeds

  • Such dogs are distinguished by impressive physical strength and strong grip, so preference should be given to durable toys that will not crumble from the jaws’ powerful pressure. These are various silicone and rubber balls, dumbbells, and rings.
  • Soft toys are suitable for calm, older pets who are not inclined to tear products apart and pull out the filler from them.
  • For active dogs, ropes, Frisbees, and chew toys are suitable. If your pet is quite passive, try to interest them in toys with treats that have been created for the food aficionados out there.

All puppies are differed in temperament, so try to take into account a character. Some pups may be afraid of moving or noisy toys. If your dog has chewed more than one pair of shoes and eaten a table leg, do not scold it, but rather buy strong rubber toys that it can chew. If the dog is very energetic and will never give up a fun game, choose balls, Frisbees, or floating toys. [1]

READ MORE: Am I Ready for Dog?

best interactive toys for dogsPhoto by Yuki Dog on Unsplash


🐾 How do I make my Dog mentally stimulated?

Interactive toys are ideal for stimulating themental abilities. During the games, dogs learn to interact with objects and the world around them. Besides, interactive toys are a great way to keep your family friend occupied and entertained while you have other things to do.

🐶 How do I keep my Dog from getting bored?

Dogs are naturally inclined to desire an active lifestyle, and for hundreds of years dogs were bred so that they could move a lot (that is, work with people and hunt). In the modern world, most dogs lead a sedentary lifestyle. Interactive toys help the dog move more and prevent destructive behavior that manifests itself due to boredom. Besides, pets as well as people, are subject to stress and need to relieve it constructively. Games are very conducive to this and provide a safe and constant stress relief option.

🐕 Should I leave my Dog’s toys out?

If your pet is left alone for a long time, leave a few toys at home. Keep different types of toys available. Having a ‘toy box’ from which your dog can ‘pick’ a couple of toys each day is a nice idea to prevent them getting bored with the same toys that are left out all the time.

🐶 How do I entertain my Dog when I’m not home?

Buy your pet a toy that will be fun to play with, even when alone. Interactive games can be found in pet stores in various sizes and styles, both for small breed puppies and for large adults, from Chihuahuas to Great Danes! To keep their pets busy, many pet owners stuff these toys with delicious treats. Choose a product that is the right size and shape, and matches character and play preferences.

Article Sources:

  1. “Dog Toys and How to Use Them — Dumb Friends League.” Dumb Friends League,
  2. Negron, Vladimir. Can Dogs Eat Bones? Raw & Cooked Bones for Dogs. 8 Mar. 2011,
  3. “Fitness Buddies: Exercising With Your Dog Slideshow.” Pets WebMD, 22 Oct. 2018,

ThePets is an informational website that features articles written by qualified veterinarians and professional writers. You can learn more about our editorial process. When selecting food for your pet, use Pet Food Finder, and search for the clinic to treat your pet using Vet Clinics Locator.

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