In order to live happy, fulfilling lives, dogs need to be constantly stimulated, especially when it comes to their mental and cognitive development. It’s even more important if your dog spends long hours on its own while you’re at work.
Regular dog toys like bones and ropes won’t keep the pooch entertained for too long, and buying a novelty toy every time you’re going out may be very damaging for your budget. The answer to this problem is one of the many mind-stimulating toys for dogs available in the market today. Check out our top 12 picks for interactive dog toys!
Wickedbone Smart Bone
How about an interactive toy for your furry friend that looks like the good old dog bone but is actually filled with numerous state-of-the-art features? Wickedbone’s Smart Bone is one of the most popular additions to the interactive toy market of the year. Here is what you will get with your Wickedbone toy:
VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot
If you often need to leave your dog on its own in the house and are worried it’s not getting —enough entertainment and exercise, here is a toy that is designed to solve this problem once and for all. The VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot rocks a futuristic design and offers a number of important features:
Trixie Mad Scientist For Dogs
Some of the most popular interactive dog toys are treat-toys for dogs, which combine the entertaining qualities of classic interactive devices with the thrill of discovering the favorite treat inside the toy. If you are looking for toys for smart dogs that will also serve as a treat dispenser, here is what the Trixie device can offer you:
IFetch Interactive Dog Ball Launcher
Most dogs and their owners are big fans of dog entertainment toys that train both the dog’s physique and cognitive abilities. Plus, throwing The iFetch interactive ball launcher is one of the best interactive dog toys available today for a number of reasons:
FurryFido Interactive Dog Ball
Not all interactive puzzle dog toys look like hi-tech devices. Sometimes they come in a shape of an ordinary dog ball, but are packed with useful features:
PAW5 Wooly Snuffle Mat
While dogs enjoy being fed, they enjoy hunting and searching for their food even more. Giving your doggie an opportunity to forage in a city setting may be challenging, and that is exactly where the PAW5 mat comes in:
West Paw Zogoflex Quizl Interactive Dog Toy
Dogs are known for their love of treats, but giving treats to your pooch directly will soon raise your dog treat bill through the roof. An easy solution for this problem is the West Paw Zogoflex toy, which has several important benefits:
Our Pet IQ Treat Ball
The treat dispensing balls are the most popular variety of interactive dog toys for a reason: they give the pup lots of joy and work great for building a bond between the dog and its owner. The treat ball from Our Pet has several benefits:
KONG Wobbler Interactive Dog Toy
KONG is a renowned manufacturer of smart dog toys, and the Wobbler is one of their bestsellers. It looks fairly simple, but it’s actually very functional:
Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Dog Toy
This toy is nothing like the interactive dog toys you’ve seen earlier on our list. There is no rubber or moving parts, but the Outward Hound toy can give every member of your household as much joy as a typical dog toy:
Chuckit Max Glow Pro Launcher
Since it probably isn’t your first time looking for a practical and fun interactive dog toy, you are probably familiar with the highly popular Chuckit launcher, which makes playing ball with your dog both easy and satisfying. This is the next best thing from Chuckit — the same great functionality with a glow in the dark design:
EE Toys IQ Treat Ball
The best interactive dog toys have more than one important feature, like this IQ treat ball from EE Toys. In addition to being a cute and fun dog toy, this ball has the following benefits:
Why Does Your Dog Need Interactive Dog Toys?
If an interactive dog toy does not seem like the most essential purchase to you, here are 5 reasons why you and your furry friend are guaranteed to benefit from an interactive toy:
- It promotes exercise
These days, most dogs don’t have as much opportunity for movement as they did at the beginning of times. The majority of dogs only get about an hour of activity after their human comes home from work. An interactive dog toy will provide your dog with plenty of exercise.
- It stimulates the mind
As much as dogs need physical activity, they also cannot remain happy and healthy without healthy mental stimulation. Most interactive dog toys require the dog to solve a puzzle and apply his problem solving abilities, and the result is equally gratifying for the dog and the owner.
- It keeps the dog entertained while you are away
Perhaps, every dog owner is familiar with a sense of guilt over leaving the pup home alone with only dog toys for a company. This is another problem that can be solved by an interactive dog toy. This device will keep your pup busy and entertained during several long sessions, so your dog will feel better while being alone.
- It promotes a healthy weight
If your dog does not get enough movement during the day, he may be prone to being overweight. Overweight dogs are at risk of numerous health problems, but they can be easily prevented by purchasing a novelty interactive toy that will require the pup to move around a lot.
- It prevents unwanted behavior
Most dogs resort to negative behavior when left without entertainment for a long time such as chewing the footwear or destroying the furniture. Turn your dog’s attention to a fascinating interactive toy and control unwanted behavior more efficiently.
Types of Interactive Dog Toys
The majority of interactive dog toys function on the same principle: in order to give the desired response, they first need your dog to interact with them. These are the most popular types of interactive dog toys you can buy today:
- Treat dispensing toys
The name of these toys speaks for itself: at the end of the interaction, your dog will receive a small treat.
- Electronic toys
Electronic toys stimulate your dog’s attention and activity by using various sound effects and lighting effects.
- Ball launchers
With an interactive dog launcher, your dog will be able to enjoy playing fetch for as long as he wants without involving the owner.
- Hide-and-seek toys
A hide-and-seek toy is one of the most advanced types of interactive dog toys that requires your dog to display intelligence and problem solving abilities.
- Tension toys
If your dog cannot live without long and frequent sessions of tug-of-war, an interactive tension toy will eliminate your need to participate and give your dog hours of fun.
- Mobile toys
In case your dog’s natural instinct is to hunt for prey, you can use an interactive mobile toy to simulate a safe and satisfying process of hunting.
Features to Consider
Shopping for the perfect interactive dog toy for your furry companion is a very responsible task. If you want to make sure that your new purchase fits your dog’s personality and gives her unlimited joy, here are the features you need to consider:
- The right size
Always check the recommended size of the dog when thinking about buying an interactive dog toy: small toys for large dogs pose a threat of choking, and small dogs simply won’t be able to fully enjoy a toy designed for larger breeds.
You don’t want your new interactive dog toy, which can be rather expensive to fall apart in less than a week of use. Always consider your pup’s chewing habits and the material of the toy.
If your dog is prone to allergies, always inspect the toy to see which materials were used in it. Moreover, try to avoid toys where your dog can bite off a piece — it can have serious consequences for the pup’s health.
Most importantly, the interactive toy you pick for your dog should be fun. It should match your dog’s personality and tastes. A dog who is not likely to enjoy a fetching session will likely feel rather indifferent towards an interactive fetch toy. Make sure you are choosing a toy that your dog will find interesting.
Some dog owners may consider interactive puppy toys to be too excessive, but when a single toy can give your pup endless fun and stimulate its development, you should definitely consider interactive dog toys to be a great investment.
Vanessa Vilchek is one of our favorite authors. She is a real dog person, she was introduced to her first puppy at the age of 3 and since then she would rescue every pooch she met. Today all care and entertainment issues are a piece of cake for her, and we are really proud of having her on board. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in comments below or on her facebook page.