It's usually love at first sight for many dogs and a tennis ball, and that's that. Meanwhile, some dogs like a challenge. Dog owners need a longer distraction which is where interactive dog toys and puzzles come into play.
These interactive toys keep your dog stimulated. As they figure out the tricky features to discover a dog treat or chew away, they will be occupied for hours.
Most importantly, if you're heading out of the house or have extra important meetings in your home office, these toys will come in handy. Above all, these toys will spare your socks from being chewed up for the time being.
Do dogs need toys to play with?
For dogs and other pets, toys are not a luxury, but a necessity. Toys are important to your dog's well-being.
Often, it's boredom that can lead to destructive and disobedient behaviour. To clarify, this is because dogs need to be mentally stimulated, much like we do. Therefore, toys play a big part in their learning. Plus, playtime is a great opportunity to bond with your furry friend.
Top dog trainer Graeme Hall says: "Dogs are actually just like children, they pick up on tension and stress in their owners just as children do in their parents."
"The traditional mantra is dogs are animals and humans are humans but actually we're not that different, there are loads of similarities. "
Best interactive dog toys and puzzles
Here at Take A Break Pets, we've picked a selection of the best interactive dog toys and puzzles, which are perfect for mental stimulation. These toys could be perfect for your pooch, whether big, small or in-between. With their new toys, they'll love to push, flip and paw their way to a treat!
Pet Food Dispensing Ball
The best interactive toys always come with a place to put treats! Not only can your dog smell the treats they can see them too through the clear plastic, and when they knock it to try and access the treats they make a noise. It's an all-around interactive toy that mentally stimulates your pooch as they figure out how to work it. Some users have reported it may be a little easy so perhaps better for younger dogs still learning.
Trixie Dog Activity Flip Board
It's all about strategy in this interactive dog toy. An activity board filled with things your dog needs to flip, switch or lift up to unveil their treats. You may need to guide your dog the first go but after that, the simple board game will keep them distracted for a brief while until all the treats disappear.
HETOO Dog Indestructible Chew Toys
If you don't mind a squeaky toy, then this indestructible rubber chew toy with a built-in squeaker may just be the distraction you're looking for. Not only does it have a milk flavour, but the tough ridges and bristles also help to clean your dog's teeth and promote better breath. Definitely a toy for aggressive chewers and older dogs, and it also works well as a tug and pulls for you to play with your pooch.
Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel Plush Dog Toy Puzzle, Small
Fingers crossed your pooch doesn't get too overexcited with this soft toy and destroy it within minutes. Best for smaller dogs and puppies this plush toy features three mini squirrels that you can hide and your dog needs to pull out. Or turn it into a game of fetch if you're not busy and throw the squirrels for your pooch to bring back.
AWOOF Dog Puzzle Toys, Pet Snuffle Feeding Mat
Dogs love to sniff out any crumbs or dropped scraps of food you've perhaps left behind, so this snuffle mat is a great way to distract them from following you around the kitchen if they've got their own hidden snacks just waiting to be discovered. Their senses will go wild as they try to find every last one and keep them occupied if you're heading out for a while.
Starmark Bob-a-Lot Interactive Dog Toy
The Bob-a-lot is another food dispenser style toy that wobbles and bobbles dropping treats as it goes. It has adjustable openings to make it a little bit harder for the treats to emerge providing a good interactive challenge. Thanks to its round design it's safe for clever puppies and smart older dogs too who can figure out it's a bob to get the reward!
Hound Dog Tornado Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy
Looking for something more intermediate? Then pick up the Outward Hound Dog Tornado toy by Nina Ottosson. It has 12 different compartments, perfect for hiding your dog's favourite wet or dry treats inside. This also doubles up as a great interactive toy that will slow down your dog when it comes to dinner time as they figure out how to turn and slide open the compartments.
Trixie Dog Activity Strategy Tower Toy
Certainly one of the more advanced interactive toys on our list and a puzzler for your dog. A plastic tower with three trays holds the prize, but your pooch must figure out how to pull the mini ropes to get the treats to drop to the bottom of the tower. There are three cones on the exterior board that will get them started before things get tricky!
Nina Ottosson Casino Hide and Seek Dog Toy
Another clever design by Nina Ottosson on our list is the Casino Treat Dog Toy. This will challenge your pooch to learn how to twist the bones to unlock the drawers which are full of treats. This level 3 dog game is especially recommended for more challenging play but can be used with dogs of all play levels.