When it comes to dog toys, you will find a vast range of options in the market. There are balls, pull toys, chew toys and so on. However, not all of them can engage your dog’s intelligence for hours. Just contemplate it from your dog’s viewpoint.
How long can you play with a simple ball or a pull toy? Won’t you get bored of just running after a ball or continuously chewing it? However, no obstacle in this world is devoid of a way out. And in this context, your way out is purchasing some exciting interactive toys for your dog.
Fortunately, the market has an extensive range of interactive dog toys which can be found in different shapes, sizes and styles. However, the most commonly found interactive dog toys include:
- Puzzle toys
- Electronic interactive dog toys
- Interactive food dispensing toys
This article will review all of these interactive dog toys with some other exciting ones. So, read ahead and choose any of them as per your requirements.
Why is it essential to purchase interactive dog toys?
According to some latest studies on animal intelligence, Labrador Retrievers tend to have the highest intelligence quotient (I.Q) among all the breeds in the canine world. In fact, they are so intelligent that they can give a tough competition to your two-year-old kid in terms of maths, language, elementary emotional intelligence and social skills.
Such an exciting fact, no?
However, because your pooch is so intuitive and smart, there is a high chance that you won’t be able to satisfy its mind and body with a mere ball. You have to continuously stimulate its cognitive functioning so that your pup doesn’t get bored. And that is possible only with some mind arousing interactive toys.
Fortunately, the market is responsive enough to satisfy your pup’s demand for some great interactive toys.
Relation between intelligent dogs and interactive toys
The Labrador Retriever has been reigning the popularity charts of US, UK and other parts of the world since the 1990s.
This popularity of the Labrador Retrievers can be explained by the fact that they are not merely prefered by people seeking for a loyal, intelligent and outgoing family dog. Even the military uses them for specialised activities like search and rescue.
Besides that, they are used for sporting activities like hunting and retrieving. Furthermore, they serve as the perfect guide and therapy dogs.
Engagement in such a vast range of activities is possible only when their inherent qualities like intelligence and tolerance levels are heightened. And this is precisely the reason behind interactive toys being considered so important.
According to one study conducted on dogs working in the military, regular enrichment sessions comprising of exercise and interaction with other humans and animals reduces stress levels in dogs and enhances their general well-being.
Importance of Interactive Toys For Dogs of Various Ages
Your dog can be a puppy, an adult or an old one. Age hardly matters when it comes to playing with interactive toys. The speciality about interactive toys is that they entail the use of mind more than the body.
Therefore, if your dog is a puppy, its body may lack strength and coordination. But that does not indicate that its mind is equally weak and uncoordinated. In fact, playing with interactive toys is essential for the development of your dog’s cognitive skills.
Similarly, your old dog may suffer from various physical limitations. But that does not imply that its cognitive skills have also become restricted. Your dog may still want to indulge in some mind stimulating games. So, as you can infer, when it comes to dogs, the importance of interactive toys and games never really diminishes.
Features you should look for while selecting a suitable Interactive Dog Toy
The suitability of an interactive toy will primarily depend on your dog’s age, interests, habits and overall temperament. Therefore, you must look for the features mentioned below to purchase a suitable toy for your dog.
This is the first thing you must keep in mind when you look for an interactive toy for your pup. Dogs tend to do a majority of their activities with their mouth. In fact, it is via their nose and mouth that they tend to explore the whole world.
Therefore, you must look for a toy that is safe and manufactured with non-toxic materials.
What makes interactive toys so special is that they tend to challenge your dog’s sensory organs, including mouth and nose. However, not all toys are fit for these organs of your dog. Some may prove to be too big and therefore, may intimidate your small pup. In contrast, others may prove to be too small and thus fail to gain your pooch’s interest.
Consequently, you must look for a toy that is available in a variety of sizes so that you can pick up the right size for your dog.
It is an obvious fact that not all pooches are gifted with the same intelligence quotient. Therefore, when it comes to interactive toys, a one-fits-all approach is definitely not going to work.
If a toy proves to be too challenging for your dog, it won’t take an interest in the toy at all. Conversely, if an interactive toy proves to be too easy, there is a high chance that your pup will lose interest very quickly.
Consequently, we will advise you to look for a toy that is available with a feature for adjusting difficulty levels. It will help you to increase and reduce the challenge as per the status of your dog’s cognitive development.
Some interactive toys dispense food and treat to motivate dogs to play with them. If you decide to purchase one of such interactive toys, we will advise you to verify whether they can be cleaned effortlessly or not.
Otherwise, some of your dog’s food may get stuck in its toy, and you may end up giving your pup some stale treat. And you unquestionably don’t wish to see your dog getting sick.
Best Interactive Ball Toys for Dogs
A variety of advanced interactive dog toys may be introduced in the market. But none of those toys can come near the demand for ball toys. Balls were, are and will continue to be the most preferred interactive toys among canines.
The fact that dogs of all breeds, ages and I.Q levels can play with it further adds to the popularity of these toys. And the most satisfying part is that the ball toys are now being sold with some innovative interactive features. Consequently, your dog will keep playing with it for hours.
Here are some highly-rated interactive ball dog toys that will not only stimulate your pup’s mind but also help in developing a strong bond of trust and love between you and your dog.
This thick and unique ball has explicitly been designed with natural and biodegradable rubber for aggressive chewers. The holes have been made open to hold an ample amount of your dog’s favourite treat and allow your pup to breath when it puts its muzzle inside the gaps.
Besides that, it is very bouncy. Consequently, your puppy will have a gala time playing a game of fetch with it.
Wobble Wag Giggle Ball, Interactive Dog Toy, Fun Giggle Sounds When Rolled or Shaken, Pets Know Best, As Seen On TV
This adorable ball makes a cheerful ‘play with me’ sound to gain your pup’s interest and trigger its curiosity. The material used for this ball is vinyl with no trace of phthalate. The ball gleams in the dark, and therefore, you and your dog can enjoy an interactive play both during day and night.
It is effortless to clean as you only need to wash and rinse it in warm water.
Best Interactive Dog Toys from the Kong Company
Kong is a company you can trust with your eyes closed if you wish to purchase some interactive toys made with toxins-free and durable materials. Besides that, they are specifically remarkable for their food dispensing toys.
Here are some of the most esteemed interactive dog toys from the Kong company.
This durable and toxins-free toy from Kong has been specifically created to take care of your dog’s teeth and gums. There are grooves where you can put your pup’s favourite treat or breath paste. As your dog sinks its mouth in these grooves and chews into the toy, its teeth and gums will be automatically taken care of.
Because the material is enduring, your puppy will feel a lot of relief if it is teething. The toy is available in three sizes – large, medium and small.
You can take it as the signature toy of Kong. Made with durable and toxins-free plastic polymer, this toy makes a funny wobbling movement when your pup tries to extract its treat from the toy. You can quickly fill it with two cups of kibbles or one cup of food treat by opening the twisting dispenser.
It can also be utilised for an interactive game of ‘fetch.’
This is another popular toy from Kong with rave reviews. It bounces, makes a squeaking sound and dispenses food. Besides that, it has a handle to enable your dog to lift it easily and shake it for treats.
Best Interactive Food Dispensing Toys
We all know that treats serve as a motivation for dogs. You can make your pup do almost anything by luring it with the reward of treats. Whether it is about learning new commands or solving puzzle toys or sitting still during regular check-ups, treats form an essential part of your dog’s daily learning process.
Keeping in mind all these factors, a vast range of food dispensing toys have been introduced in the market in the last decade. These treat-dispensing toys are meant to engage your dog’s mind and body by making it work for the food it loves.
Besides that, they are designed with durable and chew-resistant materials so that your teething puppy cannot destroy it so quickly and the ache in its gums are released.
Moreover, they contain groves to clean your pup’s teeth gums as it uses its mouth to take out its treat.
Here are some highly-rated food dispensing toys that you can gift your dog.
Made up of chew-resistant, safe rubber material, Nerf feeding tires are perfect for both meals and treats. There are ridges to enable your pup to have a firm grip on the toy. Besides that, the wavy tire track outer texture will help you to hold the toy firmly for an interactive fetch game.
This unique puzzle cum food dispensing toy has the potential to keep your pup occupied for hours.
The holes are small. Therefore, your dog won’t be able to finish its treat too soon.
Besides that, its tech gizmo appearance won’t gain your guests’ attention if you have some at your home.
Best Interactive Toys For Puppies
The more you read and try to understand canine intelligence, the more you know how to work on your puppy’s overall cognitive development.
Accordingly, studies say that presenting your pup with interactive toys from an early age sharpens their understanding and problem-solving skills.
Consequently, they are less likely to become anxious about unexpected situations.
Given below are some interactive puppy toys with rave reviews. Hopefully, your pup will have a lot of fun playing with them.
This teething toy can be used for both solo and interactive play.
Playing with this toy becomes interactive when you intend to teach your dog chewing behaviour or play a simple ‘fetch’ game.
The tire is made up of durable and toxins-free rubber material. Consequently, your pup can chew it as much as it wants to relieve the ache in its teeth and gums.
You can purchase this gambling toy for dogs of all ages. However, it is explicitly considered ideal for puppies who generally tend to have a short attention span.
Your pup has to patiently pull the ropes of the compartments to take out the kibbles as the treats won’t come out if they roll or tumble the tower.
Besides that, it comprises of cones that your pup must lift from above to get its reward.
With this unique toy, your puppy is bound to remain busy for hours. But do not leave your pup alone with this toy.
This gambling toy needs supervision and that is why it is being termed as interactive.
Best Interactive Plush Toys
One of the most adorable toys you can gift your dog is a plush toy.
Your pup can cuddle them, chase them, play ‘hide and seek’ with them and sleep with them.
Whatever your dog may do with its plush toy, the view will never fail to elicit an ‘Aww!’ from your mouth.
Besides that, these toys are also meant for interactive play. Given below are some highly-rated plush toys for you.
Your dog will have a gala time retrieving these three adorable unicorns from their holes.
They will become even more delighted when they hear these unicorns making squeaking sounds.
However, if your pup is in the teething stage, we will advise you to not go for this toy.
You can use this toy for playing both ‘hide and seek’ and ‘fetch’.
Just hide the squirrels in the holes and your pup will be delighted to take them out, mostly when they will listen to the squeaking sound.
You can also throw the squirrels away to let your dog retrieve them.
The material is gentle on your pup’s teeth, and you can purchase the spare parts separately.
Best Interactive Puzzle Toys for Dogs
The market has many interactive puzzle toys that will not only challenge your pooch but also your children, and sometimes, you.
Some of these toys are meant to stimulate your pup’s mind as you indulge in some critical business.
In contrast, others are intended to build a bond of trust and friendship between you and your pooch as they require the involvement of both of you to solve them.
Gone are the days when frisbees and balls were the only games to promote interaction between you and your dog.
In the last decade, puzzle toys have made their own unique place in the pet toy markets.
Here are some highly-rated interactive puzzle toys that will enhance your dog’s mental acuity regardless of their age.
If you want some great puzzle toys, you must look for products from Nina Ottosson.
This one is a 3rd level twister puzzle toy. There are nine compartments where you have to put the treats and lock them by pushing the attached white plastic tabs.
Your dog has to pull these white tabs one by one to get its reward.
It is an excellent toy to stimulate your pup’s mind and make it learn the basic commands.
PAW5: Wooly Snuffle Mat – Feeding Mat for Dogs (12″ x 18″) – Encourages Natural Foraging Skills – Easy to Fill – Fun to Use Design – Durable and Machine Washable – Perfect for Any Breed
If you want to encourage your dog’s inherent foraging skills, this toy is precisely what you need.
You can hide your pup’s treats inside this mat and let your pooch use its sense of smell and other foraging instincts to find them.
It is made up of toxins-free recycled material and can be washed effortlessly.
Best Interactive Dog Feeders
Earlier, when dogs used to live in the wild, an entire day was required to forage and eat food.
Now that they are domesticated, dogs don’t need to work for food and can finish their meals in minutes with the rest of the day spending in utter boredom.
However, you can solve this problem of your dog by extending their mealtime. Dog feeders will help you in coming out of this dilemma.
The following are some great interactive dog feeders made up of toxins-free materials and are effortless to clean.
The most prevalent problem with dogs is that they want to gulp down their food in seconds without any care for their digesting abilities.
Consequently, they often end up suffering for indigestion and even worse ‘bloat’.
This food dispensing toy won’t allow your pup to finish its meal too quickly. In fact, it will prolong your dog’s feeding time by five times.
The material used for making this toy is heavy food-grade melamine. Consequently, it won’t move an inch when your pup puts its muzzle inside it to extract its food
It is another interactive slow feeder that intends to prolong your dog’s feeding time by 10 times.
The base is made up of non-slip material, and it is available in three different sizes and 5 different styles.
Consequently, your dog will be able to have three different types of diets-wet, dry and raw.
Best Interactive Electronic Dog Toys
The speciality of electronic dog toys is that they appeal to your dog’s multiple senses simultaneously with the movements they do and the noises they make.
However, they have one major drawback. That is, they cannot withstand a lot of chewing.
Therefore, you have to supervise your pup when it plays with its favourite electronic toy.
But this very limitation of this kind of toys seems to enhance the interaction between you and your dog.
Petbobi Upgrade Dog Toys Interactive Monster Plush Giggle Ball Shake Squeak Crazy Bouncer Toys Exercise Electronic Toy for Puppy Motorized Entertainment for Pets
This electronic plush toy is adorable yet hilarious. It contains a ball that you need to take out, press the switch on and reinsert it inside the plush toy.
Now, whenever you or your dog shake this toy, it will start jumping and squeaking and will continue to do that for almost twelve seconds.
Following this, the toy will bark, jump and move around whenever your dog tries to grab it.
NEILDEN Interactive Dog Toys Plush Giggle Ball Toys Puppy Motorized Entertainment for Pets Automatic Electronic Shake Crazy Exercise Boredom Bouncer Toys for Small to Medium Dogs
It is similar to the previous electronic plush toy. However, you or your dog don’t have to shake it repeatedly to see it jump.
It bounces, barks and moves around automatically.
Consequently, your pup has to move a lot to chase this toy.
Conclusion: Selecting the best interactive toy for your pup
Hopefully, this article was enlightening enough for you to select that one right interactive toy for your dog. If you find the options overwhelming, don’t be stressed. You can start your toy shopping by selecting one toy from each category we have mentioned in this article.
Besides that, keep in mind the features we have asked you to look for when searching for an interactive dog toy. If your dog is in the puppy stage and is teething, we will advise you to go for those toys that will enable your pup to release the ache in its teeth and gums. All these points will make the selection process far easier for you.
However, you must remember that your dog won’t get attracted to its new toy simply because of its physical features.
On the contrary, the onus is upon you to make your dog’s toy appealing.
Use your happy and cheerful voice when you introduce a new interactive toy to your pup. It will further help if you start playing with the toy yourself. So, why wait? Pick up your smartphone and start scrolling for some exceptional interactive toys for your pooch.