5 Best Puzzle Toys for Dogs (Reviews Updated 2019)

This post has been updated for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas 2019

The best puzzle toys have enormous benefits for your dog. They provide your dog with much needed mental stimulation. This not only makes your dog happy and healthy, but also tires them out (which makes you happy and healthy!)

But how do you choose the right puzzle toys for your dog? There are so many to choose from. They need to be able to exercise your dog’s brain for not just hours, but weeks on end, while being durable and affordable.

We have you covered. All of our picks are excellent puzzle toys that your dog will definitely love for a very long itme.

Let’s take a look at five of the best puzzle toys:

Best Puzzle Toys for Dogs

 

1. PetSafe Busy Buddy Kibble Nibble Meal Dispensing Dog Toy

Petsafe Busy Buddy Kibble Nibble Meal Dispensing Dog Toy Product ImageThe PetSafe Busy Buddy toy is unique, egg-shaped ball that you fill up with your dog’s food to make mealtimes fun.

Features

You can adjust the difficulty level to make it very easy, very hard, or somewhere in between.

The more your dog plays with the device, nosing around and batting it with their paws, the more food is going to come out of it.

Both the small and large versions of this puzzle toys are extremely easy to use and work great on all floors. If you have non-carpet flooring, I do recommend using this on a rug. The noise can get annoying after a while.

Cleaning is a breeze – just through it in your dishwasher.

Why you should buy

Your dog will love solving this rolling puzzle toy. It will provide endless amounts of stimulation – well, that is until the food runs out!

Check Price on Amazon

 

2. Milk-Bone Active, Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

Milk Bone Active, Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy Product ImageFrom Milk-Bone, one of the most recognizable names in dog brands, comes this interactive dog toy that is specifically designed to work with Milk-Bone biscuits. This actually even comes with a few biscuits to get you started.

It was designed by Milk-Bone, so their treats work best, but you can use any similar sized treat in it just fine.

Features

The ingenious design makes the biscuit inside of the ball while your dog is rolling it around on the floor. Eventually, your dog will rattle the biscuit loose and it’ll come out of the ball.

The ball works great on all flooring: carpet, wood, vinyl, and tile. However, as with the Busy Buddy, the noise of it rolling around can get really annoying after a while.

There are two sizes to choose from, large and small, that will work for any dog breed.

Why you should buy

This puzzle ball will keep your dog busy for hours on end.

Check Price on Amazon

 

3. OurPets IQ Treat Ball Interactive Food Dispensing Dog Toy

Ourpets Iq Treat Ball Interactive Food Dispensing Dog Toy Product ImageLike the previous two puzzle toys, the OurPets IQ is a ball that dispenses dog food.

The design of this ball is both an advantage and a disadvantage.

Dog food comes out pretty easily, which is different than our first two picks.

But this isn’t intended as a challenging puzzle. Instead, it is simply intended as a way to stimulate our dog while they eat.

Features

The design of this device is relatively simple. It twists apart for you to be able to insert the dog food easily. You can raise the difficulty level a little if you want, but the food still comes out easily.

You can fill it up with enough food to make a full meal even for larger dogs.

If you want to clean the puzzle ball, you can simply put it in your dishwasher.

Why you should buy

This is a simple puzzle toy that your dog will easily figure out how to use. It’s great for adding a bit of stimulation to feeding time.

Check Price on Amazon

 

4. KONG Wobbler Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

Kong Wobbler Treat Dispensing Dog Toy Product ImageThe KONG Wobbler is a much more challenging puzzle toy than our previous reviewed picks.

This is a bottom-heavy puzzle toy that cannot sit still. It stands back up whenever your dog lets go of it. This causes your dog to have to continually stay engaged or they won’t get a treat.

Features

What is great about this device is that whenever your dog bats it around or throws it across the room with their mouth, it dispenses a treat.

You can set the difficulty level, making this a perfect dispenser for both dog treats and dog food.

Why you should buy

If you want your dog to get lots of activity while you are feeding, then this is definitely the way to go. They have to work pretty hard to get their dog food out of the KONG Wobbler.

Check Price on Amazon

 

5. Spot Ethical Pet Interactive Seek-A-Treat Shuffle Bone Toy Puzzle

Spot Ethical Pet Interactive Seek A Treat Shuffle Bone Toy Puzzle Product ImageThe Spot Ethical Seek-A-Treat puzzle toy doesn’t have to be pushed around or grabbed with your dog’s teeth. They can sploot or sit and play with this puzzle toy until they have uncovered a treat.

Features

The way it works is by having compartments that are covered with different sliding doors. Each of the compartments is set up in a row, and the doors only cover one or two of the three compartments at a time.

You can put treats into the Seek-A-Treat, close the doors, and then watch your dog try to push the doors aside.

Why you should buy

It’s a great stationary puzzle toy that will keep your dog endlessly stimulated.

Check Price on Amazon

 

Puzzle Toys for Dogs Buying Guide

5 Best Puzzle Toys For Dogs Reviews We have come up with some of the things that you want to remember when it comes to getting a puzzle toy for your dog, including factoring in things like the size of your dog and the level of difficulty that you want to give them.

Benefits

Puzzle toys for dogs offer intellectual stimulation. Your dog is able to exercise their brain.

Most of the puzzle toys on the market also require that your dog exercises. This gives your dog a workout at the same time that they are stimulating their brain. Your dog will likely have to paw at, nose or attempt to grab with their teeth, whatever puzzle toy you get for them. These types of toys are very good at getting your dog to continue to exercise, especially if it rewards them with food or treats.

Puzzle toys for dogs are simply terrific things that have, promoting physical activity, mental stimulation and a whole lot more. Plus, they keep your dog from getting bored, having anxiety and tearing up things around your house.

Different Types

There are four different types:

Treat-Dispensing: The most common type of puzzle toys is one that dispenses a treat or food. This is probably the most effective type of puzzle toy. It will keep your dog playing with it until it is completely empty.

Self-Moving: Toys that move by themselves can be effective as well. You have probably seen these toys in a limited fashion with your dog or even with your cat. Wind up mice that move across the room are popular cat toys, but balls that propel themselves forward to get your dog to play with them are also popular.

Noisemaking:  Some of these make humanlike sounds or even have speech programmed into them, and they can add a great deal of interactivity to the toy. However, the disadvantage of sound-based puzzle toys is that they are going to be annoying while you are trying to relax.

Light-up:  Light up toys can be engaging, although they are not as effective as other types of puzzle toys.

Materials

There are three main types of materials that puzzle toys are made from.

Plastic: Plastic is rugged, durable and very easy to clean. Many of these plastic toys you can simply put in the top rack of your dishwasher and wash.

Plush: Plush toys are inexpensive and dogs love playing with them. The disadvantage of going with a plush toy is that they are not indestructible and will not stand up to heavy use by your dog nearly as well as plastic will.

Rubber: Rubber has some advantages over the other materials listed here. For one thing, rubber can bounce. That means that if your dog plays with it on a non-carpeted surface, it will bounce around and give them more exercise. Rubber also stands up really well to chewing. Rubber toys often outlast other types of toys because of their increased durability.

Size

Size is only important if it affects the way that your dog interacts with the device or plays with it. For example, you can have a one-size-fits-all puzzle toy. As long as your dog is able to bite it or bat it, they can play with it.

If the device dispenses treats, and you have an extremely large dog, then you definitely want to keep size in mind. A very small puzzle toy will only dispense a few treats. It’s not going to be of as much interest to your larger dog because they will be longing for more treats after they’re finished.

Difficulty Level

Difficulty level determines how easy or tough it is for your dog to get the reward.

Easy: Toys that are easy are made for dogs that are just being introduced to puzzle toys. These level one toys are usually pretty simple, and have a terrific reward as a result of completing the puzzle.

Intermediate: Medium-difficulty toys are a little more complex than easier toys. Intermediate toys usually have a two-step process that is required to get the treat or trigger the reward.

Advanced:  If you want a toy that is complex and really challenges your dog than you want an advanced puzzle toys for dogs. Advanced toys require several steps in order to get the treat.

Adjustable Difficulty Level:  There are also toys that have adjustable difficulty levels too. These toys will allow you to set whatever difficulty level you want.

Durability: Although most of the puzzle toys on the market are extraordinarily inexpensive, you still don’t want to be replacing them every week. Getting a puzzle toy that is going to last is preferred.

Safety: Safety is always a consideration when it comes to buying accessories for your dog. You want your toy to be safe for them.

The Bottom Line

Go with our top recommendation. Your dog won’t be disappointed.

Recommended Reading:

Sources:

AKC

Times Colonist

The Dog Bakery

Editor's note: we may receive a percentage of revenue from items ordered via our links at no cost to you.