Just as humans enjoy games and mental stimulation, so do dogs do as well. Interactive pet toys are designed to stimulate dog’s minds, keep their attention, and be a rewarding game for them to enjoy.
Without mental stimulation, dogs can become bored. When a dog is bored, it is more likely to be destructive and do things like chew the rug. This can be especially true when a dog is left alone and separation anxieties kick in.
More recently, the search for “how to entertain my dog while I am working from home” has increased, and pet parents are searching for answers to entertain their dog when they cannot. A barking puppy or dog on your keyboard during a Zoom call can be a struggle for remote working pet parents. A good solution for dog boredom is to provide them with interactive toys.
Here are the top interactive pet toys to keep dogs busy
The KONG is a well-known pet toy that is often the first thing that is vet recommended for dog boredom. The KONG is a rubber toy that comes in a range of sizes for your pet. You want to choose the right size so that your dog can actually pick it up, check on it, and lick inside. The KONG Classis has a hollow part in the middle for you to pack with dry or wet food, peanut butter, or even healthy snacks like vegetables that your dog likes. KONG also makes some stuffing options as well. You can also pre-pack them, and place them in the refrigerator to grab before your next Zoom meeting.
Bully Sticks are very popular among dog owners because dogs go insane over them, and it usually takes them a while to chew them down. They keep your pet engaged and focused. What is great about the Barkworthies brand, in particular, is that they are designed to be odor free. Some bully sticks get an unfavorable odor after being chewed down, but these do not. They clean your dog’s teeth, and can keep aggressive chewers entertained for hours. They are also grain-free, raw-hide free, and chicken-free, making them great for dogs who suffer from food intolerances.
This plush toy can be a good game for pets who are on a diet or not stimulated by food or snacks like the KONG above. The Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel is a toy with mini squeaky squirrels that you can hide in the tree. Then your dog can have fun pulling them each out. If your dog loves squeaky toys, then this is a toy they will enjoy. If your dog likes to rip toys apart, this may not last long as this is made from a soft plush material. If your dog does destroy the squirrels, you can even buy replacements. It comes in various sizes for your pet and can be restuffed over and over.
The Bullymake Box is a subscription service that sends you new toys for your dog on a monthly basis. Bullymake focuses on toys that will withstand and entertain even the toughest chewers. Their toys are guaranteed to be durable, tough, and of course safe. Each box comes with 2-3 durable toys to fit your dog’s play style, along with 3 healthy treats. If you want to try one box, you can cancel your subscription at any time and free of charge. The idea with Bullymake is to send your pet new durable toys to keep them constantly entertained.
This IQ Treat Dispenser Ball can entertain food-motivated dogs for hours. You can place food or treats inside the ball and set the level. Your dog will then move the ball around and get treats out. This ball is also great for dogs who eat too fast by making them slow down and work for their food. It dispenses a few bites at a time and can keep your dog engaged for hours. The only downside is if your dog is not treat motivated, they may lose interest. The IQ Ball is often recommended as a great starter toy for interactive toys, and you can even start with a high-value reward such as turkey to train them on how to use it.
A snuffle mat can be used as a game or even to feed your pet its regular food. If your dog needs to slow down eating, using a snuffle mat can help. You hide the food in the mat, and your dog must sniff and forage the food or treats from the mat’s pockets. This will be a fun game for your dog to use their sniffer skills to get rewarded with food or treats.
Overall, no matter what toy you choose for your pooch, some training may be required. If your dog is not used to a puzzle toy, it may not understand at first. You can start with using a high-value reward and eventually use their own kibbles. It depends on your dog’s food motivation level and what they like.