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You often hear that tired dogs are happy dogs. That doesn’t only refer to physical activity like going for a walk, though.
One important yet often overlooked aspect of having dogs is helping them keep up their cognitive activity with stimulating dog toys.
Puzzle toys for bored dogs are a great way to keep them entertained while working their brain, which tires them out mentally and physically.
They are all intended to be used under supervision, which helps build your bond. Read on to see the best dog puzzle games we love!
10 Best Dog Puzzles To Keep Your Dog Busy
- Seek-A-Treat Shuffle Bone
- Dog Smart Treat Dispensing Dog Toy
- Trixie Gambling Tower
- StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy
- Outward Hound Star Spinner
- Outward Hound Paw Flapper
- Dog Twister Treat Dispensing Dog Toy
- Outward Hound Lucky Dog Slot
- Trixie Flip Board
- Trixie Mover Toy
Why Are Dog Puzzles Great For Dogs?
Puzzles are a great way to keep your dog’s brain and instincts engaged, and puzzles can also be perfect for teaching your dog some new tricks.
There is a wide variety of dog puzzles that you can purchase for your pet, so you’ll definitely find one that suits you, as well as the needs of your pup.
There are many ways to use puzzles with training. You can hide treats under puzzle pieces to train them on scent detection. You can also try hiding their food inside the puzzle pieces and see if they figure it out for themselves!
Dog enrichment toys are wonderful for giving your dog a fun activity that’s also very beneficial to their brain. The more active you keep their mind, the calmer and more relaxed they’ll be overall.
Dog puzzles keep your dog entertained and helps prevent them from causing mass destruction in the house, too. Spare your shoes and treat your dog to a fun puzzle!
It’s also a great way to entertain them during events that are normally a bit scary.
If your dog is afraid of the noise from fireworks, pull out their favorite puzzle to help them concentrate on something besides scary noises outside.
If your dog afraid of fireworks, here’s a helpful article on how to ease your dog’s anxiety during fireworks!
What Can I Put in Dog Puzzles?
You can fill your dog’s puzzles with all kinds of treats, depending on the puzzle! Some are easy to clean, so messier treats like apple or carrot bits work well.
Others are best used as dog feeding puzzles where you pour their meal inside and help them work for it.
You can also try these tiny training treats for many of the interactive dog toys below. They’re bite-size and packed with flavor.
They’re perfect for dogs learning how to use the puzzles as the smell helps them use their nose more to figure things out.
Just make sure you keep an eye on the amount of food/treats you’re giving your dog and adjust their meals accordingly!
How To Choose The Best Dog Puzzles For Your Dog
Choosing the best dog puzzles for your pup just got easier. We have collected a list of our favorite dog puzzles that are available in the market today. With these puzzles, you can have fun bonding with your pup and also have them stay mentally stimulated.
To ensure that your dog is enjoying their puzzle toy, make sure you choose high-quality puzzles that are durable and easy to clean. After all, even if you buy a high-quality toy, it will get dirty over time. So, it is best to look for ones that are easy to clean and maintain.
A puzzle is a fun way for your dog to spend a few hours. Some puzzles are more challenging than others, so you want to start with easier ones (often labeled as Level 1) and build up from there. This avoids your dog getting frustrated with more challenging puzzles and giving up entirely.
Our Roxy is generally pretty food-motivated but doesn’t really enjoy using her brain too much, so we keep it simple for her. Rico enjoys more complicated puzzles, so we change them up more frequently for him.
The right puzzle will keep your pooch entertained and happy!
Spot Ethical Pet Seek-A-Treat Shuffle Bone Toy Puzzle
The Shuffle Bone is a wonderful starter puzzle to get your dog used to interacting with and solving puzzles. It’s made of wood and is very sturdy.
You simply put small bites of treats or kibble inside, and your dog pushes the slider to get to the treat.
We’ve had the Shuffle Bone for over four years now and they still have fun playing with it! I especially love that it’s easy to wipe down to clean.
Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound – Interactive Puzzle Game
The Dog Smart by Nina Ottosson is a level 1 interactive dog puzzle toy that will prepare your pup for more challenging games with simple one-step actions.
Outward Hound Dog Smart Treat Dispensing Dog Puzzle
The Dog Smart Treat Dispenser is a Level One (entry level) treat and food dispenser. You can adjust the difficulty by switching the direction of the bones. It holds up to one cup of food, so you could feed an entire dinner in it to stretch out meal time!
Trixie Gambling Tower
The Trixie Gambling Tower has three shelves to place treats on, and your dog learns to gently pull on the attached loop to send the treat down and tumbling out.
It also has cones to hide treats under that must be lifted straight up to access. This dog puzzle is a Level One, but for some reason Rico could NOT get the hang of lifting the green cones!
He loves pulling the shelves out, though, which is still a great mental workout.
StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy
The Bob-A-Lot is a perfect potential meal time dog food puzzle! You pour their food in, then set it on the ground. As your dog pushes it around, bits will fall out to keep them engaged while they eat.
Outward Hound Star Spinner
The Star Spinner is one of the cutest toys, and is a Level One puzzle that is simply adorable! It has ten chambers to fill with treats or food. By pawing and nuzzling at the Star Spinner, your dog learns to retrieve the hidden treats!
Outward Hound Paw Flapper
The Paw Flapper is a two-part treat puzzle that encourages dogs to use their noses. Pups must learn how to lift treat doors, as well as to rotate the toy to retrieve treats.
Outward Hound Paw Flapper
The Paw Flapper encourages your dog to use their nose to lift the flaps to solve this puzzle. It’s rated as a Level Three, however, Roxy was able to complete this one with only a little bit of help. She’s not a fan of using her brain, so it was a big achievement for her!
Stuck at home while social distancing? Here are fun ways to entertain your dog while you’re all safe at home!
Dog Twister Treat Dispensing Dog Toy
This level 3 Dog Twister puzzle dog toy is designed for advanced levels of problem-solving play that challenge your dog with learning sequential steps.
Dog Twister Treat Dispensing Dog Toy
Dog Twister dog treat puzzles are a Level Three puzzle for those genius dogs! You start by filling the compartments and they lift the lid to get to it.
Outward Hound Lucky Dog Slots
Trixie Flip Board
The Trixie Flip Board is a fun dog brain puzzle with lots of different techniques on the same board. The rubber rim on the bottom keeps it from sliding around.
Trixie Mini-Mover Toy
The Trixie Mover Toy is a Level 3 puzzle that has four styles of play. It’s one of the more difficult brain toys for dogs, and definitely geared to more advanced puzzle solvers!
It has cones and sliders to reveal hidden treats. For extra fun, there are drawers for your pup to open using the rope pull. All types of puzzle-solving strategies can be utilized in this board!