The Best Puzzle Toys for Dogs
There are numerous sorts of dog puzzle toys. Purchasing one might be challenging, but obtaining the correct one for your pet is critical. Puzzle toys help keep pets mentally stimulated, slow their eating, and prevent them from getting bored when their owners are away. Figuring out why you need a puzzle toy will help you choose the right one. In this article, we’ll discuss the best types of dog puzzles, so if you’re looking for a new toy for your pet, keep reading.
The 10 Best Dog Puzzle Toys
1. Trixie Pet Products Mini Mover
The Mini Mover from Trixie Pet Products is the most excellent dog puzzle toy overall. It has four games of Level 3 difficulty in a single package. Your pet will manipulate cones, sliders, knobs, and doors to gain access to their favorite foods. The brand is dishwasher safe and uses non-slip rubber feet to help keep it in place while your pet is playing. It’s lightweight and highly durable.
This dog puzzle is different than other brands because it includes an instruction book. Our only issue with this puzzle was that our larger pets would pick it up and shake it to receive the treats.
2. Outward Hound Interactive Puzzle Toy
The Outward Hound Interactive Puzzle Toy is the most cost-effective option. It means that we think these are the best dog puzzle toys when you consider the price. They are made from a durable but soft material, and there are six plush squirrels inside that your dog has to find and pull out.
The biggest problem with this puzzle was that the squirrels would get lost, and one of our dogs finally chew it up without much trouble.
3. PAW5 Wooly Puzzle Mat
The PAW5 Wooly Snuffle Puzzle Mat is an excellent dog puzzle toy. This toy is a cross between a mat and a mop. You place the mat on the ground, place treats on top, and fluff the mat to conceal the food. Your pet’s ability to detect and retrieve the prizes will enhance its foraging abilities. The mat is made from a cotton-polyester blend and can be machine washed.
The disadvantage of this treat-hiding mat is that it takes a long time and effort to fill with treats. Each kibble must be worked into the textile fingers on the mat. When you wash it, the water gets stuck in the fingers, making it hard to wring out.
4. SPOT Shuffle Bone Toy Puzzle
The SPOT Shuffle Bone Toy Puzzle is eco-friendly and safe for the environment. This puzzle features sliding doors your pet must move to access the rewards below, enhancing their cognitive ability.
This puzzle is environmentally friendly and uses safe materials. However, the wood is made from compressed particleboard which can easily chip and flake off. It also absorbs slobber, other spills, and humidity in the air. As it absorbs more water, it begins to bulge, bend, and splinter. Considerable of the edges were extremely sharp out of the box and required some sanding to prevent our dog from being injured.
5. Pet Zone Dog Puzzle Toy
The Pet Zone Dog Puzzle Toy brand does puzzles in two sizes for dogs of different sizes. The puzzles also have different levels of difficulty, which you can adjust as your dog learns how to solve it. This puzzle toy can help slow down over-aggressive eaters and is easy to clean in the sink or dishwasher.
This puzzle has a hard plastic exterior that produces great noise when your pet attempts to extract the rewards. Small holes might trap your dog’s claws and teeth if he insists on picking them up. We also found that the treats become top-heavy and don’t roll correctly, making it extremely difficult for the dog to retrieve treats.
6. Outward Hound Puzzle Brick Dog Toy
The Outward Hound Puzzle Brick Dog Toy is a challenging toy for your pet. There are three levels of difficulty, and your pet needs to overcome each challenge to get to the treats. The puzzle pieces slide, open and close, and fall out to complete it. This brand is dishwasher-safe and simple to clean.
7. Nina Ottosson Dog Puzzle Toy
The Nina Ottosson Dog Puzzle Toy is an easy-to-use Level 1 puzzle toy. The toy has nine removable plastic bones that cover hidden treats. This puzzle is not very challenging, but it is fun for many dogs and will slow their eating. It is simple to clean with soap and water.
The trouble with this brand of bones is that the white bones are thin and can be chewed and destroyed by your dog. Another issue with the white bones is that they are easily misplaced.
8. West Paw Design Puzzle Treat Toy
Premium quality BPA-free rubber is used to create the West Paw Design Puzzle Treat Toy. This puzzle toy bounces and floats, providing your pet with hours of fun and mental stimulation. It is simple to clean. Use the dishwasher to clean it, or wash it by hand with soap and water.
The toy is quite durable and can withstand a lot of use before it wears down. However, it is expensive, so be careful how you use it. It can also be hard to find treats that fit in the toy and stay in without falling out.
9. LC-dolida Dog Puzzle Toys
The LC-dolida Dog Puzzle Toys brand is colorful and attractive. It is manufactured from BPA-free, non-toxic PVC plastic that is easily cleaned with cold water. It is a Level 2 model problem. Which should give your pet some mental stimulation but not be too hard to figure out.
This puzzle is small and not much bigger than a standard Frisbee. It is made of two thin pieces of plastic that are very flimsy. It is also lightweight and scoots across the floor or lifts while your pet solves the puzzle.
10. Tarvos Dog Treat Puzzle Toy
The Tarvos Interactive Dog Treat Puzzle Toy is the final item on our list of dog puzzle toys. This brand has a tube with treats inside that falls over a maze. When your pet rolls the tube, the treats fall into the maze, and your dog must dig them out. This puzzle toy helps slow down feeding and catches crumbs and slobber, so there is less mess.
Some people didn’t like this puzzle because it was hard to refill. The tiny opening could only fit small treats, and you had to put them in one at a time. The treat holes were also small, so this puzzle wouldn’t be good for bigger dogs. When the roll was full of treats, the puzzle could fall over, sliding around a lot when your dog was trying to get the goodies. There were also a lot of tight spots where food and dirt could collect, which made it difficult to clean.
When choosing a dog puzzle toy, remember a few things. These toys can help your dog’s health and happiness. Some dogs eat too fast, and others spend a lot of time alone, which could lead to trouble. Some dogs are intelligent, and a puzzle is a fun method to demonstrate their intelligence.
Dog puzzles come in different levels of difficulty, from one to three.
Difficulty Level 1
One is the easiest difficulty. These puzzles are usually just holders your pet needs to knock around a little to get a reward. It can be an excellent way to slow your pets’ eating but is usually more of an interactive toy. An example of this toy is a plastic bone stuffed with peanut butter.
Difficulty Level 2
Level two difficulty toys are a bit harder than level one. You have to take pieces out to get to the treats below. It is good for slowing down your pet’s eating. But be careful because the pieces can often get lost, or your dog might chew them. Supervision is needed with these puzzles.
Difficulty Level 3
Puzzles with a difficulty level of three have sliding and opening doors and removable parts. These puzzles can be harder for your pet to figure out. They are good for showing off your dog’s intelligence. Suppose your dog is the type that will stick with it. In that case, these puzzles can also be suitable remedies for boredom and loneliness. However, these puzzles are not ideal for dogs that eat too quickly when hungry. These canines may become frustrated and chew or flip the puzzle to access the goodies.
It is essential to keep your pet safe when playing with puzzles. Ensure that the building material is non-toxic and free of BPA. Avoid puzzles with detachable pieces if your dog is a chewer, and supervise their play to prevent ruin.
Sharp edges are an additional consideration for safety. Be careful that the puzzle edges are not sharp or pointy, which could injure your pet if they get too rough.
Another thing to consider before purchasing is the puzzle’s durability. Puzzles of all difficulty levels contain components that can degrade or be consumed. We advise examining each brand before making a purchase. If it seems flimsy to you, it will likely not last long for your pet.
There are some things that all puzzles have in common. One of these is that they will need to be cleaned. We advise avoiding puzzles with numerous small spaces where food and dirt can become trapped and those with difficult-to-clean compartments.
Best Dog Puzzle Toys
Are you looking for ways to keep your dog entertained? A good-quality dog puzzle toy could be the answer. Some dog toys are mentally stimulating and can help prevent boredom in dogs. They can also promote your dog’s personality and help reduce canine stress levels and anxiety.
Puzzles and other toys to keep your dog entertained can help keep their brain active. They can learn new things from these toys, which can also be tiring for dogs. That’s why it’s a good idea to have some of these types of toys around.
The Best Puzzle Toys for Dogs
Here are some of the best dog puzzle toys to keep your pup entertained! They are all high-quality materials designed to help your puppy learn new skills.
1. KONG Gyro
The Gyro dog toy is a simple but well-designed treat dispenser from the renowned canine company KONG. It is a great way to start training your dog with puzzle toys. It doesn’t require too much strategy, and the dog gets rewarded immediately.
The blue central sphere has a hole to release treats as your dog touches and spins it.
The smaller the treats, the easier it is to leave a tasty trail as your dog nudges it around the kitchen floor. You can make the Gyro more of a challenge for your dog by adding chunkier treats. The dispensing hole is about 2 cm in diameter (slightly smaller than a £1 coin).
The red outer ring on the dispenser slows it down and keeps it from spinning out of control. The inner blue ball is transparent, so you can see when it’s empty. You can unscrew the inner blue ball to clean it easily.
The KONG Gyro is a simple, durable toy that we love. It is flexible and can be used by inexperienced puppies and more experienced dogs. Like the Bob-a-Lot toy, the KONG Gyro can also be used as a slow feeder or to entice fussy eaters if your dog shows some anxiety eating from a more traditional dog bowl. We’ve found that the sheer movement element of the GYRO grabs your dog’s attention and appears to make the food more interesting. The toy is available in two sizes.
2. Dog Snuffle Mat
Feeding your dog can provide excellent physical and mental stimulation. Snuffle mats are a relatively new phenomenon and use strips of fabric to encourage your dog’s natural foraging skills.
Simply hiding their kibble or dry treats in a snuffle mat provides an ideal opportunity for your pup to use their brain during mealtime.
There are several different types of snuffle mats on the market. They all have additional features, but they usually let your pup use their sense of smell, keep them occupied and slow down their eating. Moreover, they come with straps to attach to a chair or stool, so they don’t move around on the kitchen floor. Other mats we’ve looked at don’t have any way to secure them in one place.
As you can see, Freddie loves his snuffle mat. It is a good idea to wash it now and then to keep it clean. Make sure to take the mat apart once all the treats have been found, so it doesn’t get chewed up.
3. Lick Mats for Dogs
Dog lick mats are a simple, cheap way to keep your dog entertained. They are made of rubber and have patterns on them. You put your dog’s favorite treat or food on them, and they will lick it up.
Lick mats are a fun game for your dog that helps keep them calm. Vets in Australia designed these mats to help keep dogs calm during stressful times.
There are many brands of dog mats on the market, but we recommend the first and original Lickimats. They were designed by vets and come in tough styles for chewers, dishwasher-proof versions, and soothers for anxious dogs.
4. Bob-A-Lot Dog Puzzle
The Bob-A-Lot toy is surprisingly heavy and sturdy. It wobbles around on its weighted base, and as your dog nudges it with its nose and paws, it releases treats. It is an excellent toy for chewers because it is very durable. However, we have one reservation: the Bob-A-Lot does not come apart for cleaning, so we recommend using hard, crunchy style treats that won’t leave crumbs inside the toy.
It is a good product if you have a dog that eats too fast. It makes to eat more slowly; you don’t eat as much at once. It only works with kibble diets and is available in two sizes for different-sized dogs.
5. Hide a Squirrel Dog Puzzle
Dogs love to chase squirrels. They may not know what to do if they catch one, but it is still fun to watch them try! This toy lets your dog do just that. The squirrels are inside a tree trunk tube, and your dog needs to nuzzle into each hole and pull their prized stuffed squirrel out. It is challenging, so your dog can have fun while learning too.
This soft enrichment toy is well-designed and well-made. It’s available in four different sizes to suit a range of dogs. It isn’t easy to find good-looking dog toys that also make your dog happy, but this toy is perfect. The hide-a-squirrel toy provides the proper engagement without losing your dog’s interest, as long as you interact with it occasionally.
6. Nina Ottosson Dog
The Dog Smart is an entry-level ‘Hide & Seek’ style dog challenge that is popular and well-constructed. It helps introduce your dog to the puzzle toy concept without them becoming frustrated. The treat covers are now more durable.
You can train your dog to release treats from under a cover by hiding the treats and having your dog paw and nuzzle the cover.
The Nina Ottosson toy is a good option if your dog is picky and doesn’t like to eat dry kibble. This toy can hold wet food or kibble, which makes it a perfect choice for those dogs that are difficult to please. However, the only downside is that it includes loose parts which can get chewed or lost. So you’ll need to be on hand to watch your pup during playtime.
7. K9 Connectables
K9 Connectables is an Irish company that makes innovative dog toys. These toys help dogs explore and use their instincts. They’re patented and award-winning.
The elements of this toy can be combined in different ways to create different experiences for your dog. There are two ranges of elements to choose from – the original Gentle range and the newer Pro range (made for more enthusiastic chewers), which are interchangeable.
Dogs can get bored if you are busy and cannot be with you. Bored dogs can act out. Giving your dog a thing to do when you can’t be with it is essential—some dogs like toys, some dogs like playing fetch, and some dogs like taking a walk.
You can also put dog-friendly peanut butter or yogurt inside the puzzle to make it more attractive for your dog to play with. We love these puzzles because you can make them as difficult or easy as you want, so they are perfect for puppies and experienced dogs.
K9 Connectables can help keep your dog mentally stimulated and enriched. If you want more information, read our deep-dive test of K9 Connectables.
8. Nina Ottosson Dog Twister
This game, called Dog Twister, is for more challenging play. The idea is for your dog to slide the top covers to access the hidden treats. If your dog is good at solving puzzles, you can further challenge them by pushing in the white handles to lock some bricks on top. The Dog Twister is made from tough plastic, so not only can you use it for wet or even frozen treats, it’s dishwasher proof too.
9. Treat & Train Remote Reward
It is an excellent device for training your dog. You can use it to reward your dog for repeating the behavior you are trying to teach them. The PetSafe Treat and Train lets you release a snack remotely as a reward.
The Treat and Train is an excellent tool for more advanced commands if you are training on your own. It can also add some fun to more short training sessions. The pack includes a helpful DVD, handheld remote, target wand, and training guide to help you master using the Treat and Train.
There are great reviews and ratings from dog owners. You can also watch a video to see how the concept works.
Do Dogs Like Puzzle Toys?
Most dog puzzle toys are great for stimulating your dog’s thinking skills. But they also have other benefits. Some help dogs lose weight by making them search for food or solve puzzles. Then they get a small treat as a reward.
There are many different types of dog toys. Some are just for playing, but others can help your dog stay mentally active. It is good because it can keep them busy and help them solve problems. Puzzle toys are perfect; they can keep your dog entertained for hours. Plus, tired dogs usually sleep better at night.
Bully sticks are a healthy treat for dogs. Bully sticks are easy to digest, unlike some other dog treats. For example, some dogs find beef hide in rawhide difficult to digest.
Dog puzzle games can provide mental and physical exercise, decrease anxiety and boredom, increase problem-solving skills, and release pent-up energy. Use high-value and limited ingredient treat for your dog’s gameplay when using the game. It will also add improved supplemental nutrition to that list!
Ensure your dog gets at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity daily. It might help them relax when you have to leave them alone. Try playing fetch or tug-of-war with your dog to keep them entertained.
Brain dog toys challenge her to use her mind and nose differently. These interactive dog toys stimulate your dog’s mind and boost his confidence. In addition to enhancing problem-solving skills, they can stimulate the mind.