This post may contain affiliate links. This means we may receive a small commission if you click on a link and make a purchase; however, all opinions are our own. Clicking these links won't cost you anything extra, but it helps keep our site running. Welcome to our guide to the best interactive dog toys where we’ll review 10 of the top toys for keeping your large dog busy while home alone.
In a perfect world, we would be able to take our dogs with us everywhere. Unfortunately, it isn’t a perfect world, and it’s sometimes necessary to leave our dogs home alone. Dogs can become bored or anxious when left alone for long periods, and that can lead to them destroying your home.
Luckily, there are a variety of different interactive dog toys on the market to help keep your pup mentally and physically stimulated while you’re gone, saving your home and their gut from whatever they might ordinarily decide to get into when they’re left home alone.
It can be difficult to pick the best toys to keep your dog busy, especially when you have a large dog who can easily chew up many toys within minutes. We’ve done the research to find the
best interactive dog toys (also referred to as puzzle toys) that are safe for the average large dog to be left alone with.
Keep in mind that you should always observe your dog with a toy before leaving them alone with it, and there are never any guarantees that your dog won’t manage to swallow dangerous pieces when left alone with any toy.
What to Look For in Interactive Dog Toys
There are two main factors you should consider when buying interactive dog toys:
Will it keep my dog’s interest? A toy that doesn’t interest your dog is pointless. Is it safe? Many toys won’t stand up to the jaws of a large dog, and chewed up pieces can damage your dog’s intestinal tract. Best Interactive Dog Toys for Large Dogs This multipurpose 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. Price: $$ Color Options: Tangerine, Granny Smith, Aqua Blue Sizing Options: Small, Large Pluses: Made in the USA Dishwasher safe Recyclable Multipurpose Difficult for dogs to chew up and destroy Negatives: Not indestructible Hard to find appropriately-sized treats to fit inside Bottom Line:
As long as you don’t have a hardcore toy destroyer, the Qwizl is a great toy to keep dogs busy during the day. Dogs can spend hours trying to get treats out, or you can use it to protect the ends of a bully stick, so your dog doesn’t swallow the last piece.
Where to Buy: here at Amazon Unlike traditional treat balls that need to be rolled to release treats, these toys need to be wobbled a certain way to tip the treats out. It’s an unusual shape for dogs to chew on, which makes it sturdier than some other dog toys. Price: $$$ Color Options: no options Sizing Options: Large Pluses: 2-pack so you have a spare Adjustable hole lets you control how many treats or kibble come out at once Keeps dogs busy 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 prevent most dogs from chewing on it, so it may be safe to leave with dogs that like to destroy toys (but always supervise your dog with any new toy before leaving them alone with it).
Where to Buy: here at Amazon Your dog has to work harder than most other toys to tip the treats out of this wobble toy. The hole is higher up than many other toys, meaning it’s more challenging than other treat dispensing dog toys. Price: $$$ Color Options: red Sizing Options: Small, Large Pluses: Made in the USA Durable Easy to clean Easy to fill Negatives: Made of hard plastic instead of the traditional KONG rubber Treat dispensing hole is large and not adjustable Some dogs don’t understand how it works Bottom Line:
The hard plastic of this toy can sound obnoxious on hardwood floors, but this is generally a solid treat dispensing toy that most dogs love. The size of the hole is not adjustable, but a piece of tape on the inside can help remedy that problem.
Where to Buy: here at Amazon Bloat is a big concern for many owners of large breed dogs. This puzzle feeder bowl allows you to give your dog several cups of food before you leave for work, while your dog must figure out how to tip the kibble out a few pieces at a time. Price: $$ 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 Top can be removed by smart dogs Bottom Line:
This 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.
Where to Buy: here at Amazon It’s hard to beat the classic 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: $$$ Color Options: Black Sizing Options: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large Pluses: Durable Ideal for stuffing with peanut butter or moist food and freezing Negatives: Strong odor Not indestructible Bottom Line:
The KONG is the ultimate “
freeze and feed” dog toy, and the Extreme version is more durable than the standard line of KONG products. This toy may come with a strong smell, and some dogs may destroy the toy, but it’s still one of the best ways to give your dog a frozen treat that will keep them busy for quite a while. Where to Buy: here at Amazon This toy combines the technique needed for dogs to tip treats out of a wobbling toy with the added effect of having a food puzzle inside the toy to make it more difficult for dogs to swat treats out of them. This can keep them busy for much longer than other treat dispensing toys. Price: $ Color Options: Yellow Sizing Options: one size only Pluses: Easy to clean Adjustable hole Negatives: Breaks easily Small enough to get stuck under furniture Bottom Line:
This interactive toy dispenses food or treats more slowly than some other treat-dispensing toys, making this a great option to help keep dogs busy. The primary downside is that dogs can nudge the slider that adjusts the opening and accidentally close or open the hole all the way.
Where to Buy: here at Amazon If you have a really smart, patient dog, they will enjoy figuring out how to get food and treats out of this dog puzzle toy. There are a variety of compartments to hide treats, and you can customize the difficulty depending on where you put the treats. Price: $$ Color Options: no options Sizing Options: one size only Pluses: Lots of compartments to hide treats Makes dogs think Negatives: Small pieces can be easily chewed up Some dogs flip the toy over to dump all the treats out, defeating the purpose Bottom Line:
If you have a really smart dog who isn’t much of a chewer, this 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.
Where to buy: here at Amazon This interactive dog ball inside a ball requires two holes to line up for the treats to fall out, meaning the releases treats more slowly than other treat balls, keeping your dog interested for longer. Price: $$ Color Options: Blue Sizing Options: one size only Pluses: Soft rubber on the outside rather than hard plastic Durable Negatives: Hard to find perfect-sized treats Treats may come out too fast or too slow Bottom Line:
If you hate the sound of a plastic treat-dispensing toy sliding along your hardwood floors, this might be the perfect treat ball for you. The inner ball is plastic, while the outer ball is soft rubber. While it can be hard to find the best size of treats or kibble, most dogs enjoy this toy.
Where to Buy: here at Amazon The unusual shape of this treat dispensing toy will keep your dog fascinated as they try to figure out how to get the treats out without being able to smoothly roll it across the ground. It also has an erratic bounce for dogs who love to fetch. Price: $$ Color Options: Dandelion Yellow, Metolius Blue, Sockeye Red Sizing Options: one size only Pluses: Soft rubber is quieter and safer than hard plastic Durable 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.
Where to Buy: here at Amazon Teach your dog to push a button and get rewarded with treats! Once your dog learns that pushing the button releases treats, you can but 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 dogs Expensive Bottom Line:
If you have a smart dog and you love to train them, this 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.
Where to Buy: here at Amazon Final Word
What’s your favorite toy to keep your dog busy when you’re gone? Did we miss something your dog just loves? Share your dog’s favorite interactive dog toys below so other large dog owners can help keep their dog busy when they’re home alone!
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