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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 toys we love!
Top 10 Dog Puzzles
Why Are Puzzles Great For Dogs?
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.
Is 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!
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.
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 ToyThe 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 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!
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.
Once they get used to finding the treats inside, you can increase the difficulty by using the white locking handles that they must pull out before lifting the lid.
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.
To begin, place your dog’s favorite treats in any or all of the compartments. By correctly sliding the covers or lifting the flaps and cones, the treats are revealed!
Trixie 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!