5 Mentally Stimulating Dog Puzzle Toys 2022

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Dog Playing With a Puzzle Toy

All pet parents want the best for their pets. They do everything possible to give their pets the best quality of life possible. Dogs require both physical and mental stimulation. A daily walk may satisfy the daily physical requirements of some dogs, but it will not satisfy the requirement for mental stimulation. A great way to satisfy your dog’s requirement for mental stimulation is to provide her with mentally stimulating dog puzzle toys.

This article describes 5 highly-rated, mentally stimulating puzzle toys for your dog. Puzzles give your dog the opportunity to solve problems and actually increase their intelligence.

Shop our Favorites – Mentally Stimulating Dog Puzzle Toys

PreviewProductRating
Modern Enrichment Dog Puzzle Toy - Mentally Stimulating Dog Puzzle ToysModern Enrichment Dog Puzzle Toy – The Odineasiest to learn to learn for a dog with no prior puzzle experience
Roundabout Interactive Dog Puzzle Toy - Mentally Stimulating Dog Puzzle ToysDog puzzle – Double ROUNDABOUT – Interactive dog toymost challenging puzzle toy
Handmade Interactive Pizza Spin Toy - Mentally Stimulating Dog Puzzle ToysHandmade wooden interactive dog toy – McPaw’s Pizza Spinbest overall puzzle toy
Snuffle Ball Treat Dispenser - Mentally Stimulating Dog Puzzle ToysSnuffle Ball, Treat Dispenser, Treat Ballmost budget-friendly dog puzzle toy
Wooden Smart Dog Interactive Dog Toy - Mentally Stimulating Dog Puzzle ToysWooden smart dog toy – INTERACTIVE dog toypuzzle toy that provides the most levels of difficulty within one toy

Product Information and Reviews


Modern Enrichment Dog Puzzle Toy – The Odin

This dog puzzle toy dispense treats as your dog moves it around. Place some dog treats or kibble into the top and bottom flaps and encourage your dog to roll the toy around so the treats will fall out. Attach 2 or more of “The Odin” toys together to change the way your dog interacts with them.

The Odin is made of a rubber-like material which makes it gentle on your floors and furniture as your dog moves it around to dispense treats.

When your dog starts playing with the Odin, start with small treats, so they will come out more easily. The dog will play more with the toy, as she sees that the treats reward her.

As your dog becomes more used to the toy and gets better at it, increase the level of difficulty by increasing the size of the treats you put into the toy.

NOTE: This is not a chew toy. Your dog should always be supervised when playing with this toy.

If your dog starts chewing or ripping at the toy, take it away from her and re-introduce it to her showing her how to play with it correctly by rolling around it to get the treats to come out.

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Modern Enrichment Dog Puzzle Toy
Image Courtesy of Etsy. Featured Shop: UpdogtoysStore

Pros

  • Causes no damage to floors or furniture as a dog plays with it
  • Allows for increased levels of difficulty
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • The flaps where the treats are put in tend to wear out

Dog puzzle – Double ROUNDABOUT – Interactive dog toy

The double roundabout interactive dog toy presents your dog with quite a challenge. It is more difficult to solve than it looks.

The rotating yellow ring covers a lot of pockets that treats can be hidden in. The perforated ring makes it easy for your dog to smell the treats, but not so easy to get to the treats. The blue disc in the middle of the toy is the easiest part and keeps your dog interested in the puzzle.

To challenge your dog, even more, the puzzle toy has two light blue covers that cover the treat pockets. For a Puzzle bonus, there is a small pocket in the corner that slides out. The yellow drawer attaches with a rubber band that keeps the drawer closed. This is usually the most challenging part of this puzzle and occupies your dog the longest.

They are currently offering 6 different interactive dog toys, referred to as Pawesome Puzzles, that are made to mentally challenge your dog. Each of the Pawesome puzzles has a different level of difficulty. The color is specially modified for a dog’s sight.  The puzzles are suitable for dogs of all sizes.

Each interactive toy is custom-made with a 3D printing technique out of special bio-plastic material based on sugar cane or corn starch depending on which color it is. It is environmentally friendly and completely safe for your dogs.

However, we must WARN you NOT to leave your dog unattended while playing with these toys.

If the toy should come apart while your dog is chewing it up choking can become a high risk for your dog. Please take the toy away from your dog if it becomes damaged in any way.

The toys have been extensively tested for durability with Border Collies. The toys were tested with at least 5 different dogs and they all held up and did not come apart. That said, it is still critical for your dog’s safety that you do not leave her unattended when she is playing with this toy. Also, take the toy away from your dog if it becomes damaged or destroyed.

These toys are easily cleaned with dishwashing soap and warm water. However, they are not dishwasher safe so do not attempt to clean them in a dishwasher.

The toys are made in the EU in Slovenia using recycled paper, packaging, and boxes and using alternative means of transport where it is possible.

(Paid Link)

Roundabout Interactive Dog Puzzle Toy
Image Courtesy of Etsy. Featured Shop: PawesomePuzzleStore

Pros

  • Durability tested with Border Collies
  • Offers 6 different puzzles each with a different level of difficulty
  • Made in a completely environmentally friendly manner

Cons

  • A reviewer complained that the toy was a bit small for larger dogs

Handmade wooden interactive dog toy – McPaw’s Pizza Spin

This beautiful hand-made interactive dog toy will provide you and your best pal with hours and hours of entertainment and mental stimulation for your dog. Simply place treats or kibble in the holes and let your dog go at it.

This puzzle has a difficulty level of easy. This is a great place to start if your dog has no experience with puzzle toys. Also, the ‘Easy’ level of difficulty means that you can serve your dog’s meals to her using this puzzle.

Eating her meals in this way will slow her eating considerably. This is particularly beneficial if your dog gulps down her meals, as this can lead to a potentially fatal condition commonly referred to as bloat, but actually means GDV or Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus.

The toy has 17 holes of various shapes and dimensions. Also, the toy is able to fit several average pieces of kibble into each hole.

The dimensions of this toy are 34 x 34 cm (13.5 x 13.5 in), which means that it is large enough for all sizes of dogs. The Pizza spin wooden interactive dog toy is covered with edible oils.

Be aware NOT to leave your dog with the toy unattended. It is made of natural wood and can be chewed.

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Dog Playing With Interactive Wooden Pizza Toy
Image Courtesy of Etsy. Featured Shop: Labanoris

Pros

  • Easy level of difficulty so meals can be served using this toy
  • Plenty large at 13.5 X 13.5 inches so dogs of all sizes can play with this toy
  • Many reviewers commented on how well it is made

Cons

  • A reviewer complained about the high price

Snuffle Ball, Treat Dispenser, Treat Ball

Snuffle balls are great canine enrichment toys. Very easy to use, simply place treats or kibble in the toy, show your dog how the treats are dispensed, and let her try it. This is a fun, simple, and inexpensive way to start getting your dog used to treat dispensing puzzle toys.

Two sizes are available small, 4 inches, and large, 7 inches. Great for any size dog. Easy to clean by machine washing and air drying.

If your item arrives a little flattened from travel roll it in a circle between your hands to fluff it back up. Add treats or food and give it to your dog.

NOTE: This item is NOT intended to be a chew toy and is recommended to be used with supervision.

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Dog Playing with Snuffle Ball Toy
Image Courtesy of Etsy. Featured Shop: Schmoogetandthings

Pros

  • Dogs seem to really love this toy
  • Available in small and large sizes
  • keeps dogs occupied

Cons

  • Not recommended for aggressive chewers

Wooden smart dog toy – INTERACTIVE dog toy

This very fun toy has 3 different ways for your dog to access the hidden treat. On the top, there is a rotating cover that slides to cover the pockets with hidden treats. In the middle of the baseplate, there is a guide that covers the pockets with small rollers within the guide.

In the corner of the baseplate is a small rotating container that hides under the perforated cover. On top of all, there is a series of differently shaped rollers that cover up extra pockets and increase the level of difficulty of the toy.

This is the first one of the pawesome puzzles and is known as the Triple Sniffer. It is a hybrid toy made of wood and biodegradable plastic. It has a base plate size of 20 x 20 cm and is made of solid glued wood.

Guides, covers, and other accessories are made of biodegradable and food-grade plastic. The wood is protected with BIO olive oil, which gives the wood a dark color and moistened feeling. NO COLORING OR VARNISHING IS DONE ON THIS TOY!

This is one of 6 different interactive dog toys, known as the Pawesome Puzzles, and made to mentally challenge your dog. Each of the 6 toys has a different level of difficulty. The color is specially modified for dogs’ sight. The puzzles are suitable for dogs of all sizes.

Each of the toys is custom made with a 3D printing technique out of special bio-plastic material based on sugar cane or corn starch depending upon the color. The toys are all environmentally friendly and safe for your dog.

Also, this toy was durability tested extensively with Border Collies using at least 5 different dogs. The toys never came apart during this extensive testing.

However, we must WARN you NOT to leave your dog unattended while playing with these toys.

If the toy should come apart while your dog is chewing it up choking can become a high risk for your dog. Please take the toy away from your dog if it becomes damaged in any way.

Each interactive toy is custom-made with the 3D printing technique out of special bio-plastic material based on sugar cane or corn starch depending on color. It’s environmentally friendly and safe for your dogs.


Also, the toys are easily washable with dish soap and warm water. However, they are not dishwasher safe so DO NOT wash them in dishwashers.

The toys are made in the EU in Slovenia using recycled paper, packaging, and boxes, and alternative transport where possible.

(Paid Link)

Wooden Smart Dog Interactive Toy
Image Courtesy of Etsy. Featured Shop: PawesomePuzzleStore

Pros

  • Durability tested with Border Collies
  • Made in an environmentally friendly way
  • One of 6 puzzles each offering a different level of difficulty

Cons

  • A bit small for larger dogs

My Selections for Best Mentally Stimulating Dog Puzzle Toy

First of all, none of these puzzle toys is a bad choice. Verified purchasers all highly rate them. Each of the toys has its own strengths, depending on what you are looking for. Puzzle toys are not chew toys. Therefore, it’s important to remember not to allow your dog to chew the puzzle toy for any length of time.

The toys are not designed to handle aggressive chewing. Dogs are meant to solve where the treats are located and eat them. The first time your dog encounters a puzzle toy, she may not know how to interact with it. This is where you come in and show her how to play with it.

Part of your training on how to use these puzzles should include demonstrating to your dog how to access the treats, and not allowing her to chew on the toy. If she starts chewing on the toy, take it away from her and show her again the correct way to use the toy to access the treats.

My Selections for Different Categories

My selection for the most challenging puzzle toy is the Double Roundabout Interactive Dog Toy. This toy seems like it would offer the biggest challenge, as it comes without any modifications.

My selection for the puzzle toy that provides the most levels of difficulty within one toy is the Wooden Smart Interactive Dog Toy (Triple Sniffer). This puzzle has pieces that can be added and removed for increased or decreased levels of difficulty.

The toy I selected for the easiest to learn to learn for a dog with no prior puzzle experience is Modern Enrichment Dog Puzzle Toy – The Odin. Once the toy is loaded with treats, the dog simply has to push it around to get the treats out. It also gets a recommendation for the way it protects floors and furniture as your dog plays with it.

For the most budget-friendly dog puzzle toy, my selection is the Snuffle Ball, Treat Dispenser, Treat Ball. This puzzle toy got great reviews, seems well made, and the dogs seem to love it. Also, the price is very reasonable.

My pick for the best overall puzzle toy is the Handmade wooden interactive dog toy – McPaw’s Pizza Spin. This beautiful, handmade toy serves as both a puzzle toy and a feeder for your dog. It’s rated an easy puzzle, which can also serve meals to your dog.

By serving meals using the pizza puzzle, your dog’s eating is slowed considerably. This feature could be a life saver, as dogs that eat too fast are more likely to develop bloat. Bloat, or GVD, can be fatal, so it is best to prevent this from even a chance of occurring.


Buyer’s Guide for Puzzle Toys

When selecting a puzzle toy for your dog there are several things you need to consider. One consideration is the size of your dog vs the size of the puzzle. You don’t want to buy a tiny puzzle for a huge dog as that just increases the difficulty of the puzzle unnecessarily.

What to Look for in a Puzzle Toy

Dog playing with puzzle toy

You also need to consider how durable the puzzle is.  How long will it hold up under normal usage? Some puzzle toys are not meant to be chewed on, while others, such as Kong toys, can be chewed and will hold up just fine. However, it will be best for your dog to give her a variety of experiences with puzzle toys and provide her with several different types.

The puzzle toys that are not meant to be chewed on are also not recommended that you leave your dog unsupervised when playing with this type of puzzle. Many of them have a lot of small pieces that your dog could chew up and damage, or worse yet, injure herself.

Also, if your dog has not yet experienced a puzzle toy, you will need to get her started. Always set her up for success so she will continue to want to play with the toy. If it is too difficult for her, she may just get frustrated and give up and not want to play with puzzle toys anymore. This would be bad for her as puzzle toys provide a lot of mental stimulation and get dogs to use other parts of their brains for problem solving.

Level of Difficulty

Another consideration is the level of difficulty of the puzzle. Some puzzle toys are marked with a level of difficulty on the puzzle while others are not.  Also, some puzzles allow for more than 1 level of difficulty by how you choose to set it up. This is a great feature to have in a puzzle toy. When your dog becomes proficient at one level, it is beneficial to be able to use the same puzzle toy with a different setup to give her a new difficulty level.

Kong toys can be made to have an increased level of difficulty just by stuffing more treats in them, so they are harder to get out. You can also use smaller treats so you can get more stuffed into the toy.

Use Treats Your Dog Will Love

Be sure to use some special treats when you are just starting out as you want your pup to really be interested in the toy. Her regular mealtime kibble may not hold her interest long enough to keep her engaged in the puzzle toy. Use some highly flavorful treats that she will love, such as cheese, or pieces of meat, something that will hold her interest long enough for her to play with the puzzle toy and be able to solve it.

This will set her up for success and make her want to play more with these toys.  This is what you want as it is so good for her! Mental stimulation is just as important as her physical exercise. In fact, you will find that your dog gets just as tired if not more so after 15 to 30 minutes playing with and solving a puzzle toy.

The Benefits of Puzzle Toys

Dog playing with puzzle toy

Your dog will benefit from playing 15 to 30 minutes per day with an interactive puzzle toy.  Your dog will be mentally and physically stimulated and provide her a better night’s sleep as well. 

Food puzzles can also be used to slow down your dog’s eating. If she is a gulper of food, she is in danger of getting bloat. This can be a fatal condition if not treated in time. Feeding her at least some of her dinner using a puzzle toy will give her mental stimulation while she is eating her dinner much more slowly.

Puzzle toys promote better behavior as most destructive behavior occur when your dog gets bored. The puzzles will prevent her from getting bored, so she is much less likely to engage in destructive behaviors.

Puzzle toys are also a great way to entertain an injured pet that is only allowed limited activity. Injured dogs may re-injure themselves or increase the amount of injury if they get too bored. Keeping your dog entertained with a puzzle will entertain her and make her feel as if she has had a workout.

Final Thoughts

I hope this review of puzzle toys for dogs has helped you see the importance of mental stimulation for dogs. Puzzle toys for dogs are an excellent means of providing mental stimulation for your dog. They help to keep your dog from getting bored and frustrated and engaging in undesirable behaviors.

One important thing to keep in mind when giving your dog treats with a puzzle toy is to not lose track of how much food she is taking in.  Try to give her healthy treats that are low in calories. This will allow her to play more with her puzzle toys and free you from worry about added calories.

Please feel free to comment on your experiences with puzzle toys for dogs. Also, please say what puzzle toy you found to be the best for your dog.

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