15 Best Interactive Dog Toys for 2020

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Looking for the best interactive dog toys to keep your big dog busy while you’re away from home?

Maybe you work a lot and feel guilty about how much time your dog spends home alone.

That’s the biggest conundrum for many dog owners. How can you prevent your dog from being bored all day while you’re working?

Luckily, there are a variety of different interactive dog toys (or puzzle toys) to keep dogs busy and help keep your pup mentally and physically stimulated while you’re gone.

Using puzzle dog toys will help protect your home and their gut from whatever your dog might ordinarily decide to get into when left home alone.

However, it can be difficult to pick the best interactive dog toy to keep your dog busy, especially when you have a large dog who can easily chew up many toys within minutes.

Luckily, we’ve done the research to find the best toys for bored dogs that are safe for the average large dog to be left home alone with.

best interactive dog toys

Best Interactive Dog Toys Reviews for Large Dogs

Keep in mind that you should always observe your dog with a puzzle toy before leaving them alone with it.

There are never any guarantees that your furry friend won’t manage to swallow dangerous pieces when left alone with any toy.

#1 – West Paw Zogoflex  iInteractive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy


This multipurpose interactive dog toy can be stuffed with treats, used as a chew toy, or used as a retrieving toy. It even floats! It’s ideal for holding a bully stick so your dog can’t swallow the last few inches whole. It’s a simple-looking toy compared to interactive toys on this list, but it works for a variety of purposes. 

Price: $$

Color Options: Tangerine, Granny Smith, Aqua Blue

Sizing Options: Small, Large

Pluses:

  • Made in the USA
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Recyclable
  • Multipurpose
  • Difficult for dogs to chew up and destroy

Negatives:

  • Not indestructible
  • Hard to find appropriately-sized treats to fit inside

Bottom Line:

As long as you don’t have a hardcore toy destroyer, the Qwizl is a great interactive dog toy to keep dogs busy during the day. Your dog can spend hours trying to get treats out, or you can use it to protect the ends of a bully stick, so your dog doesn’t swallow the last piece. 

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#2 – StarMark Large Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toys


Unlike traditional treat balls that need to be rolled to release treats, these interactive dog toys need to be wobbled a certain way to tip the treats out. It’s an unusual shape for dogs to chew on, which makes it sturdier than some other dog toys.

Price: $$$

Color Options: no options

Sizing Options: Large

Pluses:

  • 2-pack so you have a spare
  • The adjustable hole lets you control how many treats or kibble come out at once
  • Keeps dogs busy
  • The shape doesn’t encourage harmful chewing on the toy

Negatives:

  • Hard plastic could be dangerous if a dog did chew on it
  • Opening to put treats in isn’t very large

Bottom Line:

If your dog tends to gulp their food, this wobble toy will help slow down their eating and keep them entertained as they paw at it to get treats or kibble out.

The size and shape of this interactive dog toy prevent most dogs from chewing on it, so it may be safe to leave with pets that like to destroy toys (but always supervise your dog with any new toy before leaving them alone with it).

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#3 – KONG – Wobbler – Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy


Your dog has to work harder than most other dog toys to tip the treats out of this wobble interactive dog toy. The hole is higher up than many other toys, meaning it’s more challenging than other treat dispensing dog toys.

Price: $$$

Color Options: red

Sizing Options: Small, Large

Pluses:

  • Made in the USA
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to fill

Negatives:

  • Made of hard plastic instead of the traditional KONG rubber
  • Treat dispensing hole is large and not adjustable
  • Some dogs don’t understand how it works

Bottom Line:

The hard plastic of this toy can sound obnoxious on hardwood floors, but this is generally a solid treat dispensing dog toy that most dogs love. The size of the hole is not adjustable, but a piece of tape on the inside can help remedy that problem if you use kibble or small treats.

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#4 – PAW5 Rock ‘N Bowl Puzzle Feeder Dog Bowl


Bloat is a big concern for many owners of large breed dogs. This puzzle feeder bowl allows you to give your dog several cups of food before you leave for work, while your dog must figure out how to tip the kibble out a few pieces at a time.

Price: $$

Color Options: Blue, Orange

Sizing Options: one size only

Pluses:

  • Made in the USA using FDA-Compliant BPA and phthalate-free plastic
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Holds up to 4 cups of food

Negatives:

  • Holes are very large
  • The top can be removed by smart dogs

Bottom Line:

This dog puzzle toy is a great way to introduce your dog to feeder toys. It isn’t too complicated for the dogs to get the treats out, but it will slow down your dog’s eating and keep him busy for a while getting all the kibble or treats out.

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#5 – KONG Extreme Dog Toy, Black

Kong Extreme Dog ToyIt’s hard to beat the classic interactive dog toy from KONG, and the black extreme version holds up to all but the most intense chewing. Fill it with peanut butter or something similar and stick it in your freezer to give your dog a tasty treat before you leave and give him something to keep him busy while you’re gone.

Price: $$$

Color Options: Black

Sizing Options: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large

Pluses:

  • Durable
  • Ideal for stuffing with peanut butter or moist food and freezing

Negatives:

  • Strong odor
  • Not indestructible

Bottom Line:

The KONG is the ultimate “freeze and feed” dog toy, and the Extreme version is more durable than the standard line of KONG products. This interactive dog toy may come with a strong smell, and some dogs may destroy the toy, but it’s still one of the best ways to give your dog a frozen treat that will keep them busy for quite a while.

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#6 – Swenter Interactive Food Dispensing Ball


This interactive dog toy combines the technique needed for dogs to tip treats out of a wobbling toy with the added effect of having a food puzzle inside the treat ball to make it more difficult for dogs to swat treats out of them. This can keep them busy for much longer than other treat-dispensing toys.

Price: $

Color Options: Yellow

Sizing Options: one size only

Pluses:

  • Easy to clean
  • Adjustable hole

Negatives:

  • Treat ball breaks easily
  • Small enough to get stuck under furniture

Bottom Line:

This interactive treat ball dispenses food or treats more slowly than some other treat-dispensing interactive dog toys, making this a great option to help keep pets busy. The primary downside is that dogs can nudge the slider that adjusts the opening and accidentally close or opens the hole all the way.

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#7 – Nina Ottoson Dog Brick Treat Puzzle Dog Toy by Outward Hound


If you have a really smart, patient dog, they will enjoy figuring out how to get food and treats out of this dog puzzle toy. There are a variety of compartments to hide treats, and you can customize the difficulty depending on where you put the treats. Even after your dog figures out how to access all the food, it’s a great way to slow down canines who like to gulp their food. 

Price: $$

Color Options: no options

Sizing Options: one size only

Pluses:

  • Lots of compartments to hide treats
  • Makes dogs think
  • Adjustable difficulty level

Negatives:

  • Small pieces can be easily chewed up
  • Some dogs flip the toy over to dump all the treats out, defeating the purpose
  • Some dogs aren’t smart enough to figure it out

Bottom Line:

If you have a really smart dog who isn’t much of a chewer, this dog toy puzzle from Outward Hound is the best dog puzzle toy to engage their brain as they have to figure out how to reach the treats or kibble in each compartment. There are a lot of small pieces that are easy to chew, however, so it’s not good for dogs who like to chew.

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#8 – Interactive Dog Ball by FurryFido


This interactive treat ball inside a ball requires two holes to line up for the treats to fall out, meaning it releases treats more slowly than other treat balls, keeping your dog interested for longer.

Price: $$ 

Color Options: Blue

Sizing Options: one size only

Pluses:

  • Soft rubber on the outside rather than hard plastic
  • Durable

Negatives:

  • Hard to find perfect-sized treats
  • Treats may come out too fast or too slow

Bottom Line:

If you hate the sound of plastic treat-dispensing interactive dog toys sliding along your hardwood floors, this might be the perfect treat ball for you. The inner treat ball is plastic, while the outer ball is soft rubber. While it can be hard to find the best size of treats or kibble, most dogs enjoy this toy.

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#9 – RUFFWEAR – Gnawt-a-Rock Durable Dog Toy


The unusual shape of this treat-dispensing dog toy will keep your dog fascinated as they try to figure out how to get the treats out without being able to smoothly roll it across the ground. This treat ball also has an erratic bounce for dogs who love to fetch.

Price: $$

Color Options: Dandelion Yellow, Metolius Blue, Sockeye Red

Sizing Options: one size only

Pluses:

  • Soft rubber is quieter and safer than hard plastic
  • Durable
  • The squeezable slot makes loading it with treats or kibble easy

Negatives:

  • Not for intense chewers
  • Kibble may come out easily

Bottom Line:

This toy’s unique shape keeps dogs interested and makes them have to work harder to get toys or treats out. It also has an interesting bounce if you have a dog who likes to fetch. The soft rubber is gentle on floors but sturdy with most chewers.

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#10 – Arf Pets Dog Treat Dispenser


Teach your dog to push a button and get rewarded with treats! Once your dog learns that pushing the button releases treats, you can put the button in another room of the house and keep your dog running between rooms as he dispenses kibble or treats for himself.

Price: $$$$$

Color Options: Yellow

Sizing Options: One size only

Pluses:

  • Great training tool
  • Can control how many treats are dispensed at once
  • Scoop included for filling it with treats

Negatives:

  • Some training required – some dogs may not understand how it works
  • Could be chewed up by impatient pups
  • Expensive

Bottom Line:

If you have a smart dog and you love to train them, this dog treat dispenser is a great way to teach your dog to push a button and get treats. Once your dog understands how it works, you could hide the button in a different room every day, making your dog have to find it, push the button, then run to another room for the reward.

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10 More Top-Rated Interactive Toys for Dogs

#11 – Interactive Dog Food Puzzle Toy – Treat Dispensing Slow Feeder

This interactive dog toy requires your dog to figure out how to tip over various sizes of tubes to empty the treats or food inside. The height of the tubes off the ground is adjustable, and there are two different sizes of tubes for varying levels of difficulty.

Price: $$$

Color Options: Beige, Brown

Sizing Options: Large

Pluses:

  • Adjustable for dogs of different sizes and skill levels
  • Harder for pups to figure out than other puzzle toys
  • Wood looks more natural than brightly colored plastic

Negatives:

  • Only good for dogs larger than 25 pounds
  • Requires a lot of training for your dog to understand how to use it
  • Not chew-proof

Bottom Line:

You HAVE to supervise your dog with this puzzle toy because it isn’t chew-proof. You may also need to spend a lot of time teaching your dog how to use it. However, most dogs eventually get the hang of it, and this toy keeps them busy than most other puzzle toys.

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#12 – VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot

Want to keep your dog physically and mentally active while you’re at work all day? This pet robot encourages your dog to play and tosses treats for up to 4 hours. It comes with an app that gives you the ultimate control over how much the robot plays with your dog so you can monitor how much exercise they’re getting.

Price: $$$$$

Color Options: white

Sizing Options: one size

Pluses:

  • Programmable
  • Keeps dogs busy
  • Sturdy

Negatives:

  • Battery life isn’t great
  • Unsupervised large dogs could chew it up
  • Some small dogs are afraid of it

Bottom Line:

All in all, this is an amazing robot toy to keep your dog active. The battery life isn’t great, and it tends to get stuck in corners. However, most pets love this toy, get more exercise, and have reduced separation anxiety. Most customers say it’s worth the cost.

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#13 – Wickedbone Smart Bone Automatic and Interactive Dog Toys

This “smart bone” engages and interacts with your dog, keeping them active and excited. You can set it to run automatically and respond to your dog, or you can control it manually.

Price: $$$$$

Color Options: White, Blue, Green

Sizing Options: one size

Pluses:

  • Safe, soft, and strong
  • Can be controlled manually or automatically
  • Keeps dogs busy

Negatives:

  • Not good for aggressive chewers
  • Does not dispense treats
  • Poor battery life

Bottom Line: If your dog gets excited by things that move and doesn’t need treats to get interested in something new, this could be a great way to help keep your dog active during the day. It isn’t indestructible, and it doesn’t dispense treats, but it’s still a good toy for most pets.

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#14 – iFetch Interactive Ball Launchers for Dogs

If your dog can’t get enough of playing fetch, why not give them a toy that can help them play fetch when you’re at work, running errands, tired, or sick? The iFetch tosses balls automatically after your dog drops it inside for endless hours of fetch to poop out your dog.

Price: $$$$$

Color Options: White

Sizing Options: Small, Large

Pluses:

  • Adjustable toss lengths from 10 to 40 feet
  • Most dogs love it
  • Comes with 3 balls

Negatives:

  • Battery sometimes doesn’t work well
  • Balls are expensive to replace
  • Balls (especially on the small size) can be a choking or obstruction hazard if a dog eats them

Bottom Line:

There’s always the risk you’ll get a defective unit, but if you get one that works, your dog will probably love it. Many dogs learn how to drop the ball in pretty quickly, but some don’t. This is generally a good buy for anybody with a ball-obsessed dog.

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#15 – Chuckit! Max Glow Pro Launchers

If you have a dog that loves to fetch, a ChuckIt! is a must-have item. The ChuckIt! ball launcher allows you to throw your dog’s tennis ball farther and faster while keeping your hands away from the drooly, dirty, nasty ball. Now, you can get a ChuckIt! that glows in the dark to extend playtime with your pup!

Price: $$

Color Options: Green, Orange, Blue, shipped at random (you can’t pick the color)

Sizing Options: 18”, 25”

Pluses:

  • Can play fetch at night
  • Keep your hands clean
  • Glowing ball also “whistles” when thrown to help dogs follow it at night

Negatives:

  • Some dogs don’t like the rubber glow-in-the-dark ball
  • Throwing stick may not be able to pick up regular tennis balls
  • Ball needs lots of “recharging” with a flashlight to keep glowing

Bottom Line:

Anybody with a ball-crazy dog should get one of these. The glow-in-the-dark whistling ball is easier for your pet to find when it’s dark out, and the ball launcher lets you throw farther while keeping your hands clean.  

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Why Does My Dog Need Interactive Toys?

Your dog probably spends a lot of time sleeping when you aren’t able to play with them. Interactive toys can help keep your dog busy, active and provide mental stimulation.

This is important because:

  • Most dogs don’t get enough exercise
  • Lack of exercise can cause obesity and health problems
  • Dogs left home alone all day tend to become bored and destructive
  • Staying active can help relieve anxiety or stress
  • Some toys help slow down fast eaters to help prevent deadly bloat

Interactive dog toys help your dog use their minds and bodies more. That leads to more health and happiness for your fur child.

What to Look for in the Best Interactive Dog Toys

There are a few things you should keep in mind while you look for the best toys to keep dogs busy. You should think about:

  • Size – Interactive toys made for small dogs can be a choking hazard for large dogs, while small dogs may struggle to enjoy puzzle toys designed for larger dogs.
  • Safety – Is it easy for your dog to chew it up and swallow dangerous pieces? Is it made in China with potentially hazardous materials?
  • Durability – How long will the toy last, especially if your dog chews on it? Will you need to replace it after one or two uses, or will it last long enough to be worth the cost?
  • Fun – Every dog has a different idea of “fun.” A ball launcher isn’t fun for a dog who hates to fetch, for example. Think about your dog’s favorite things to do and keep those in mind while you shop for interactive toys.

Types of Interactive Dog Toys

Many different types of dog toys could be considered “interactive.” These are some of the most common types of interactive dog toys:

  • Treat-dispensing toys – What better way to keep your dog’s interest than to bribe them with food or their favorite treats? Treat balls are the answer!
  • Ball launchers – Fetch-obsessed canines love automatic ball launchers that let them play fetch until they get tired, even when there isn’t a person around to throw the ball.
  • Tension toys – These toys commonly attach to your floor with a suction cup and allow your dog to tug to their heart’s delight.
  • Mobile toys – Dogs that enjoy hunting will love toys that they can chase. If it moves without your help, your dog can hunt and chase all day.
  • Electronic toys – Nowadays, electronics can take dog toys to the next level. You can even find robot toys that use artificial intelligence to interact with your dog.
  • Hide-and-seek toys – These toys often involve stuffing small toys into a larger one and encouraging your dog to pull the smaller ones out.

best puzzle toys for dogs

Summing Up Reviews of the Best Interactive Dog Toys 

As you can see, all pes should have several interactive toys to keep them busy and provide mental stimulation when left alone.

There are many types of interactive dog toys on the market to choose from. Hopefully, you can find several on our reviews that will thrill your dog. 

What’s your favorite puzzle toy or treat ball to keep your dog busy when you’re away? Did we miss something your dog just loves?

Share your dog’s favorite interactive dog toys below so other dog owners can help keep their dog busy when they’re home alone!

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