Dog Puzzle Toys – Why they are important and our top picks

Welcome to Best Pet Trackers 🙂 Today we are looking at the best dog puzzle toys, the different types available, why they are important for your dog? As well as our top picks. We hope to help you make the right choice for you and your dog.

dog puzzle toy

Don’t you just love it when your enthusiastic companion does not leave you idle for even a minute throughout the day? Well, you are not the only one. Every dog owners experience the constant jumping and attention seeking plays of their pooches because dogs are ever excited. This feels good until you have work and they end up messing around the house to keep them engaged, ruining your favourite curtains, sofas and even walls.

While you might wonder if the dog is getting even on you for not playing with it, the actual reason behind their endless antics is their energetic nature. Dogs seldom get bored doing one thing for a long time and need new activities and attention every now and then, which can be really exhausting at times. To ease your struggle with your high energy munchkins, there are puzzle toys that work their best to efficiently keep your dogs entertained and alleviate boredom.

Puzzle toys provide brain stimulation by challenging a dog (which is a delight to them) and activating their brain pleasure centre. Not only do these toys entertain them on a daily basis, but some of them also involve fun food hunt ameliorating their separation anxiety. They vary from breed to breed and personality to personality, so you can eventually get the most successful puzzle game for your dog.

Dog owners who switched to puzzle toys for their dogs share their immense pleasure in watching their little one playing on their own. These puzzle toys have become their dogs’ favourite pastime with the chewy treat rewards and self-amusement squeaky styles.

Puzzle toys can be a reward to both you and your dog as:

  1. They keep the dogs self-amused for long periods. The puzzle challenges and food rewards never let them get bored or lose interest by proving the mental enrichment they need.
  2. They release happy hormones (dopamine) into your dog’s brain. The constant engagement and good hunt give them a feeling of relaxation and content. Further, scent-based puzzle toys are a plus point as they are extra good at making the dogs feel good.
  3. Helping the pet to engage into puzzles and use their energy in solving them instead of running around the house chewing on things and barking allows them to keep calm. This prevents their behavior from turning into destructive and anxious.
  4. For fast eating dogs or dogs who love puzzle food snubbing, there are various puzzle toys with food bowl designs. You can put your dog’s favourite kibble into the toy and let them earn their dinner in a fun playtime way.

best puzzle toys for your dog available in the market

Here, we are bringing you some of the best interactive puzzle toys (in no particular order) for your dogs never to get bored again. Note: Most of them can be left with your dog unattended, but you might need to participate or supervise your Fido while it plays with some of them.

Nina ottosson interactive puzzle toy for dogs

dog puzzle toy

A great puzzle toy for your dog, to begin with, Nina Ottosson is built in a brick style puzzle where you can stuff dog food under the bricks so that your dogs have an interactive playtime sniffing out and sliding away hunting for a treat. It is available in wood as an eco-friendly puzzle toy and plastic as a durable, easy to clean and non-toxic toy game. With a wide range of fun games categorized as easy, medium and advanced difficulty levels, you can choose this puzzle for your dog (or even small pups) and relax watching it engaging and playing with it.

trixie dog activity chess puzzle


Another dog puzzle toy with multiple difficulty levels, Trixie’s Dog Activity Chess is an all in one game made in a way that your dog uses its mouth, paws and nose to shift pieces aside and get their treats. The non-slip rubber feet enable pushing and nudging without the toppling or sliding hassle to give your dog a great interactive time. It is completely machine washable for your ease, but you may need to train your dog in the beginning as accessing the treats is a trick or treat.

kong classic dog toy


Kong is the leading dog toy manufacturer, and you can never go wrong with its ubiquitous Classic Kong Puzzle Toy. With ultra durable material that is chew resistant, the two sizes (small and big) make it not only great for the puppies that are in their teething stages but also for the big boys who are difficult to be interested with simple puzzles. The simple ball shape makes the toy bounce and roll unpredictably and proves to be an interactive engagement for hours. You can fill the toy with your dog’s favourite kibbles in the hole and even clean it with ease by twisting it to the other side.

outward hound hide a squirrel and puzzle plush squeaky toy


For dogs who just love squeaky plush toys or chasing small squirrels and rats, Outward Hound has introduced its popular toy Hide A Squirrel and Puzzle Plush Squeaky Toy that works using a durable yet soft made combination of textures, shapes and sounds to give your pups the best playtime. It has four game styles— bee, bird, squirrel and hedgehog, and with four different size options— junior, large, jumbo and ginormous, so that no pup, adult or senior dog is left behind. The only feature this effective puzzle lacks is that it does not provide food treat reward option, but the promise to never let your dog sit bored is always up to the point.

final thoughts

All the above-mentioned dog puzzle toys are most reviewed and loved by the customers over Amazon. If you are a beginner, you might want to start with a simple treat-based puzzle ball and see how your dog reacts to it. Though it does not matter which dog puzzle toy you chose to try as you simply need to be present during your dog’s playtime to make any puzzle toy an immediate rewarding interaction to your dog and you.

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