We love puzzle toys, and your dog will too. Often recommended by dog behaviorists, these toys are designed to help keep your dog busy while you’re away.
Move over, hide and seek. There’s a new game in town, and it’s called hide and squeak. This plush puzzle game is simple, really— you stuff the adorable little squeaky squirrels into the oh-so-soft tree trunk, and watch your dog pull them out one by one. Then stuff ’em back in, and do it again. It’s simple, and slightly less cardio-heavy than the normal chasing of squirrels, but it keeps dogs entertained even when they’re just, well, chewing on the squirrels. $7.99.
The KONG Classic has been a favorite of furry friends everywhere for more than 30 years. The bouncy rubber toy isn’t only a dog favorite because it’s bouncy and rubber (did someone say fetch?), but because you can stuff it with treats, like peanut butter. Whether your dog is pawing it around the house or spending hours licking out every last goody, it’s bound to keep him entertained all day long. $7 and up.
Watch out! You let your dog spend too much time with this thing and he’ll soon outsmart you. The bone shaped wooden puzzle has 10 holes for hiding treats and six disks that, when slid back and forth the right way, reveal the treats. It’s a great exercise in mental stimulation that keeps your dog curious — and super excited about the prospect of a reward. $11.
You know those blow-up bop bags you’d punch as a kid? This toy is kind of like that, only way, way smaller, and filled with delicious treats. Fill the toy with your dog’s favorite treat, or even his entire dinner, then customize the opening to determine just how much of a treat your dog’ll get. As he works for it, the toy bobs and tilts on an anti-slip, weighted base. It’s like dinner and a show. $17.
Like the Bob-a-Lot, the IQ Treat Ball can be filled with treats, then an opening is determined based on the desired difficulty. Want to entertain your canine all day long? Tighten that opening. Make it easy? Open it up. $10.
It’s like fast food for dogs. The Tug-A-Jug, which holds up to an entire meal worth of kibble, won’t only satisfy your dog’s hunger, but keep him occupied for quite some time, too. The unique design features a textured rubber wrap, which cleans teeth, a rope to tug on, and a jug filled with snacks. Best suited for larger breeds, it’s basically a dog’s dream. $14.95.
Available in three sizes, the Tricky Treat Ball is as simple as it sounds— a ball, with tricky-to-find treats. No gimmicks here, simply load it up, and watch as your dog pushes it around the house, focused and trying to get out his favorite snack. Dogs like it because it’s basically their favorite game: fetch. $6 and up.
Designed especially for small dogs, this little puzzle is legitimately difficult. Each knob, flap and cone must be operated in some way (tongues, paws, whatever) to get the treat. Remember: dogs don’t have opposable thumbs. With a non-slip rubber rim, this game stays in place as long as it takes. $12.
We’ve all played the human Twister, but how about DogTwister? This game features a wheel of compartments to be filled with hidden treats that are only revealed after the dog moves one block after another in a circle. You can even lock some of the blocks with a bone shaped peg for added difficulty. When they finally understand how the game works, more blocks can be locked, upping the difficulty level. $52.
This nerdy little game asks dogs to flip over the three “beakers” to release tasty treats. The weighted base can of course be set on the floor, but the puzzle can also be suspended in the air should your dog be the kind of cheater who would just tip the whole thing over $20.
Does your dog have a favorite puzzle toy? Share in the comments.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you decide to buy something when you click one, we may receive a small commission. We only offer recommendations that we believe in. Click here to learn more.