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Best Dog Puzzle Toys for Bored Dogs

Dismiss the boredom from your dog’s life with these clever puzzle toys. As a result, your dog will be mentally stimulated, physically active and much less likely to destroy your house.

Best Dog Puzzle Toys for Bored Dogs

Best dog puzzle toys. Are you wondering why you should buy some puzzle toys for your dog? Not sure which might or might not be suitable for your friend? Don’t worry; we at Frenchie Breed have selected the 23 best dog puzzle toys for bored dogs.

Here are some reasons you should buy the best puzzle toys for your dog.

There are many reasons why you should buy puzzle games for your dog. Here are a few of the most important ones:

  • Puzzle games can help keep your dog mentally stimulated. Dogs are intelligent creatures that need mental stimulation just as much as physical exercise. Puzzle games can provide that stimulation by challenging your dog to figure out how to get the treats or food out of the toy.
  • Puzzle games can help reduce boredom and destructive behaviour. A bored dog is likelier to get into trouble, such as chewing on furniture or other belongings. Puzzle games can help keep your dog occupied and prevent boredom-related destructive behaviour.
  • Puzzle games can help improve your dog’s problem-solving skills. Like humans, dogs can learn new skills and enhance their cognitive abilities through practice. In addition, puzzle games can help your dog develop problem-solving skills that can be used in other areas of their life, such as training or agility.
  • Puzzle games can help strengthen the bond between you and your dog. When you play puzzle games with your dog, you give them one-on-one attention and positive reinforcement. This can help strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend.

Why are puzzle toys so suitable for dogs?

Just like humans, dogs get bored, and when this happens, they act out by destroying your slippers, sofa and other things around your house that are not theirs. This is where puzzle toys for dogs come in. These mentally stimulating toys banish boredom while your puppy tries to figure out how to get a reward, usually a treat.

While all dogs need a healthy dose of play and engagement, these clever little products benefit dogs living in a flat without a yard or not getting to play much.

However, not all puzzle toys are suitable for all dogs. Your pet’s breed and age will play a role in determining what is best. For example, herding breeds like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds have more energy and need the most stimulating toys.

Also, if you have a particularly aggressive chewer on your hands, like a French Bulldog, we recommend choosing an indestructible dog toy instead of a plush one, which could end up with the stuffing torn out in seconds.

Suppose you want to stimulate your dog mentally, reduce boredom and destructive behaviour, improve their problem-solving skills, and strengthen your bond. In that case, a puzzle game is a great option.

Many types of puzzle games are available so that you can find one appropriate for your dog’s age, size, and breed. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that puzzle games are becoming increasingly popular among dog owners.

If you’re looking for a way to keep your dog mentally stimulated, reduce boredom and destructive behaviour, improve his problem-solving skills and strengthen your bond, you’ve come to the right place. So sit back and read the article in full to get a clear idea of the best puzzle game for your dog.

How we chose our 20 favourite dog puzzles

Although these toys qualify as things your dog wants from you, he can’t tell you which ones he would prefer.

So we drew our recommendations from the next best thing: pet experts, including a vet and an animal behaviourist, and pet parents who raved about these products in online reviews.

In this list, you’ll find options for beginners to advanced puppies with excellent skills, plus everything from toys that dispense treats to squeaky toys based on the strategy dogs run on. Have fun watching your puppy’s mind at work and some quiet time for yourself, too!

1. Pet sniffer mat AWOOF

AWOOF Pet Snuffle Feeding Mat.
This unique dog training mat allows your dog to find snacks or small toys hidden in the mat.

The hunt is on! This interactive feed game, which has more than 18,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, challenges dogs to find treats or small toys hidden in the grass-like pieces of a mat. Dogs love it because it keeps them busy, but it also encourages their natural foraging and sniffing skills and can help relieve stress.

Even better? It is machine washable and environmentally friendly and stays put thanks to its non-slip bottom. You can create a similar toy puzzle by tying a durable fleece to a rubber grid.

2. Paws Interactives Fetch n Treat Dog Toy

Paws Interactives Fetch n Treat Dog Toy.

Does your dog love to play fetch and loves treats? Well, then, look no further! “Fetch n Treat is the answer.” Your dog will always be able to play his favourite game and be rewarded with treats—a brilliant toy for the dog who loves to throw games to play alone. But, of course, the tennis ball is included in the price.

3. StarMark Bob-a-Lot interactive dog toy

StarMark Bob-a-Lot interactive dog toy.
Food/treats are inserted at the top, then the bob-a-lot wobbles and bobbles dropping treats as it goes.

StarMark’s Bob-a-Lot interactive toy exercises and feeds your dog simultaneously. The large lower chamber can hold up to three cups of food, providing a full meal (although it is also offered in a smaller size).

And it’s not too difficult to use, providing the perfect balance between engagement and reward and wondering how it wobbles without falling over. In addition, its weighted, non-slip bottom allows this puzzle toy to wobble erratically, which motivates your dog to play.

4. Outward Hound’s Dog Tornado

Dog Tornado Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy.
Exercise your dog’s mind with the interactive level 2 Dog Tornado puzzle toy.

Your little force of nature will have to work for its snacks if you buy Outward Hound’s Dog Tornado. The three layers rotate around each other, allowing your dog to slowly discover the treats hidden in the 12 different compartments and wonder if they work. Thousands of pet parents with some of the most intelligent breeds vouch for this dog puzzle toy.

Verified Amazon reviewer ‘The reviewer’ writes: “Great Toy!” The Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Smart Orange Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy is an excellent choice for pet owners who want to engage their dogs in fun and interactivity. This puzzle toy is designed to challenge your dog’s problem-solving skills and entertain them for hours.

5. HETOO Interactive IQ Treat Ball

HETOO Interactive IQ Treat Ball.
This toy ball can train the dog’s brain to develop intelligence.

This out-of-this-world UFO-shaped QI toy is made of 100% natural rubber, ideal for medium-sized dogs that like to chase. It is also great for both leisure play and training exercises.

The treats will fall as the dog rolls the ball, rewarding him for being active. The only problem is that this toy may be difficult to clean thoroughly. On the plus side, it is pretty durable.

6. Trixie Chess Game

Dog Activity Chess Game Dog Puzzle Toy.
Four levels of play require practice and concentration. Vary the number and placement of treats and cones to increase the difficulty level.

Dogs are much more intelligent than you think, and some breeds will keep you on your toes. This Trixie Level 3 toy has four levels of play that require different levels of concentration from your dog and is ideal for more advanced dogs as they have to draw cones and slide the plates to get at the food.

Stack the different levels of cones and sliders to increase the difficulty. Bonus: it has non-slip rubber feet that will keep this dog puzzle in place when your pup gets too excited about the treats inside.

7. Outward Fun Feeder Slo Bowl

Outward, Slow Feeder Dog Bowl.
Common issues in fast-eating dogs include bloating, regurgitation, and canine obesity.

This affordable fan favourite has an impressive 2,500 five-star rave reviews, with happy pet parents raving that it ‘totally lives up to the hype’. So what does it do? Exactly what it says: it slows down fast eaters, helping them eat up to 10 times slower.

This helps digestion, prevents bloating and averts obesity. Plus, it’s fun to play with food! Your puppy will tap into his animal instincts by searching for kibble through the fun patterns and mazes inside the bowl and wondering if your dog needs it.

8. Hound Hide-a-Squirrel squeaky toy outwards

A Squirrel Plush Dog Toy Puzzle.
Keep boredom at bay and your curious canine mentally stimulated while feeding their instincts to hunt with plush, squeaky squirrels they won’t resist.

Squirrel! This got your attention and will also get your dog’s attention. This interactive puzzle focuses on sniffing, hunting and retrieving, and the reward is a stuffed squeaky toy, not food, suitable for overweight dogs.

While this probably isn’t the best choice for super intense chewers, it is perfect for dogs who don’t destroy their toys instantly. More than 50,000 Amazon reviewers sing its praises, saying their dogs are obsessed and entertained for hours.

9. Classic Kong

KONG - Classic Dog Toy
The KONG Classic red rubber toy helps satisfy dogs’ instinctual needs and provides mental stimulation.

Most dog owners already have a Kong for their pups to chase and nibble on, but did you know you can also turn it into a puzzle toy? If you add treats inside, they will be challenged to figure out how to get them out of the little hole.

Bonus: if you put a treat inside and freeze it, it will entertain them even longer. A dog staple for over 40 years, it is available in six different sizes, making it ideal for small, medium and large dogs.

10. Ito Rocky slow feeder with treat dispenser

Ito Rocky Interactive Dog and Cat Food Puzzle.
Dogs get food from the leakage holes by turning the slow feeder.

This puzzle toy keeps dogs busy and slows down the speed at which they eat. (Do you see a theme developing here?) They must first extract the food from the top by turning the wheel. Then, to have even more fun and stimulate the brain, they have to pick it up from a maze-like puzzle at the bottom. Reviewers say it is also an excellent toy for cats.

11. Starmark Pickle Pocket

Treat Dispensing Pickle Pocket for Dogs
It helps prevent destructive boredom behaviours for dogs of all sizes.

Your dog will be a little hard at work getting treats from Starmark’s puzzle toy that, yes, looks like a pickle. Made of latex, it is dishwasher-safe and free of potentially harmful phthalates. For maximum furry fun, change the treats you stuff in the pocket. Ensure you use treats small enough for your dog to get out without too much frustration.

12. Two-Tier Interactive Puzzle Dog Toy

Two Tier Interactive Puzzle Dog Toy.
Mentally stimulating toys offer an entertaining way to promote your pup’s cognitive ability and reduce boredom.

Do you want to improve your dog’s decision-making skills? This is the training tool for you. The flower tray offers a hidden food cup design that won’t give your dog time to worry or get bored. Quiet and durable, this toy suits your sanity and your dog’s.

Like most puzzle dog toys, this one will reduce destructive behaviour but is also particularly good for engaging your dog’s natural hunting and digging instincts.

13. Volacopets balls (pack of 5)

Five Different Functions Interactive Dog Toy.
Please give it a giggle ball dog toy and a treat dispensing toy, which are dog toys for boredom.

This well-rated ball pack from Volaco Pets is a great buy, especially if you have several dogs. Choose from a giggling ball, a squeaky ball, a rubber ball, a rope ball, and a teeth cleaning ball; these are great for keeping your dog’s teeth fresh and pearly white.

We like the variety here (some are puzzle toys, some are not); we suggest rotating the toys instead of leaving them all lying around for the whole day. While some toys can improve oral hygiene, don’t also forget to read: ‘Dental care for dogs – A vet’s diary. Put something in the teeth.”

14. Hound Dog Casino out

Dog Casino Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy.
It provides mental stimulation to help keep your dog’s mind alert.

Think of this puzzle as blackjack for your dog. This Dog Casino, which has over 35,000 five-star Amazon reviews, distributes treats sequentially for a more challenging game. There are six pull-out compartments, along with six moving pieces.

It’s not easy, but it’s perfect for your furry Einstein. So skip the dishwasher for this one and wash it by hand instead. And remember: no matter how much fun your dog is, there is a limit to how long you should leave him alone; also, read about how to teach your dog to be alone in the house.

15. SUNNEKO Dog Puzzle teething toys

Interactive Dog Balls for Boredom.
A high-elastic dog ball toy that rolls and bounces erratically, making it difficult for the dog to tell where the ball will end.

This two-pack of dog puzzle balls from SUNNEKO has excellent bouncing power while remaining lightweight and is made of non-toxic puncture-resistant rubber.

Designed to prevent accidental ingestion, they ensure playing with your furry friend is safe. The bottom line is to get to know your dog and see what works best.

16. Outward Dog Brick Interactive Treat Puzzle

Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Level two.
The Nina Ottosson Dog Brick has three types of treat hiding compartments to test your furry’ friends’ skills!

Let the games begin! With over 33,000 five-star reviews, this Outward Hound puzzle toy uses flip-open compartments and removable bone puzzle pieces with three different treat-feeding functions. This Level 2 product is a more challenging puzzle toy that a beginner dog can transition to over time. This is how your dog manipulates you to his heart’s content.

17. Omega Paw Treat Ball

Paw Tricky Treat Ball.
Not just for treats. We put our dog food, including cooked chicken, regular food, freeze-dried liver, etc., in the ball.

Although this Omega Paw toy is simple, it can keep your dog busy. It is designed with a small hole on the side of the ball where you can put your dog’s favourite treats or kibble. Your dog must then roll the ball with his nose and paws until the food emerges. It is available in small, medium and large sizes and is an excellent retrieving toy.

18. Outward Dog Smart Interactive Treat Puzzle

Nina Ottosson Dog Smart Orange Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog.
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.

If your dog is more used to getting his treats on a plate, this Level 1 Outward Hound toy is the perfect beginner’s puzzle because it’s easy to understand. Your dog has to push the nine removable treat dispensing compartments (the bones) to reveal the prizes.

This fan favourite helps redirect destructive dogs and slow down their devouring. Pet parents say that even after their dogs learn to get treats quickly, they still enjoy playing.

19. Kong Stuff-a-Ball dog toy

KONG. Stuff A Ball Durable Rubber.
Its durable design is made from non-toxic rubber for average chewers.

It’s Kong to the rescue… again! Shaped differently from the brand’s signature product, this Kong features a unique shape and patented Denta-Ridges, which also act as tooth cleaners. (There is no natural substitute for a good dog toothbrush). Fill the centre and ridges around the side with something sticky, like peanut butter, and your dog will have a lot of fun licking it.

One satisfied customer says this durable toy has lasted almost five years in her home and is a real treat. “My dog hates it when I’m on the computer or doing crafts/art/anything that doesn’t involve sitting with him and giving him undivided attention,” she says.

So sometimes I have to find things for him to occupy his little brain and time so I can get things done. This is great! I put treats right on those steps, and he works on them!

20. Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball

Pet Zone IQ Dog Treat Ball.
Engage your pooch in mental and physical activities during playtime.

The challenge is learning to roll the ball correctly to make the treats fall. Grigg says the difficulty level can be adjusted via the toy’s internal disc, making it suitable for beginners and more advanced dogs.

Available in two sizes, it is excellent for small and large dogs for ‘hours of fun’, according to reviewers, particularly if you have ‘intelligent, high-energy breeds’. However, if your puppy is ready for another challenge, try teaching him these simple dog tricks: seven ways to keep your dog busy around the house.

21. Strategy game Trixie Poker Box

Dog Activity Poker Box 2 Strategy Game.
An interactive dog toy requires your dog to use patience and concentration to get to the treats you hide inside.

This dog puzzle toy is a level 2, which puts it at an intermediate skill level. You can use the four boxes in different ways, individually or by placing them all together on the base. Ideal for more intelligent dogs, it requires other techniques to handle lids, flaps, knobs, ropes and drawers. And here are some bonuses for you: the rubber feet help keep the base in place, and the pieces are dishwasher-safe.

22. Strategy game Trixie Flower Tower

Trixie Dog Activity Flip Board.
A challenging and stimulating outlet for energetic, curious dogs.

It’s all about strategy with this Trixie toy, which helps fast eaters slow down. You can set it up with varying degrees of difficulty by adding or removing cones, but don’t let your furry friend see where you hide the treats!

This also includes a booklet with simple training tips, perfect for puppies or older dogs that may need some revision.

23. Frisco Retro Waffle Box Hide and Seek Plush Puzzle

Waffle Box Puzzle Squeaky Dog Toy.
Features a squeaker in each plushie toy to keep your dog interested in solving the puzzle.

Lightweight and fluffy, the Hide and Seek Plush Waffle Box dog puzzle from Frisco will keep your dog occupied. This way, you can enjoy your waffles on Saturday mornings! This set comes with a soft waffle base, three waffles and three strawberries, and each item includes a squeaker inside.

A word of warning: if your dog is a heavy chewer, this is not the best option… for more of a fun play session, anyway. Now that your pup is entirely out of these brain games, please find the best dog bed for him to relax in comfort and style.

Thank you for reading the article to the end. Your reading contribution was significant to us.

Affiliate Disclosure: The Frenchie Breed website may receive a small commission from the proceeds of any product(s) sold through affiliate and direct partner links at no cost to you.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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