5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Happy While You’re at Work

Choosing the Best Interactive Dog Toys for Mental Stimulation

multipuzzle dog game

Do you feel guilty leaving your furry friend behind when you go to work? It’s true that for most of us, those sad puppy dog eyes can work a guilty conscious on you. However, since most of us can’t take our doggies to work every day, there are a few things you can do to keep your pup happy and occupied. Interactive dog toys are great for keeping your pup busy while you’re away.

One of the most important things is making sure your pup has adequate exercise both mentally and physically. What’s “adequate” is based on the breed, age, and temperament of your dog, so discuss it with your veterinarian.

Next, tell your pup you’ll be back later (oh wait, is that just me?) and leave him with a treat-dispensing interactive dog toy for a little fun.

5 Treat Dispensing Interactive Puzzle Toys for Dogs

If you have a dog who’s a chewer, then you’ll want to tempt him with suitable chew toys rather than leaving it to chance. If you have ever come home to find your couch cushion stuffing scattered around the living room, or your leather shoes dented with teeth marks, you know what I mean.

Bored dogs will find themselves something to do and it’s rarely something you’d want them to do. Instead, tire them out with a little morning exercise and leave them with fun options like these interactive dog toys to keep them mentally stimulated. This way they’ll focus on getting the tasty rewards in the form of dog treats rather than your new shoes they’ve shredded.

1. Dog Brick by Nina Ottosson

small brown and white dog playing with red, white, and blue puzzle toy

Give your smart dog a fun challenge with this puzzle. Hide treats, dog food, or peanut butter in the compartments and let your dog paw them, nuzzle them, and otherwise figure out how to access the goodies. The game changes every time your dog plays with it for the ultimate brain tease.

2. Outward Hound Hide-a-Squirrel

best interactive dog toys for puppies

Does your dog love chasing squirrels? Then bring the squirrels inside for playtime with this squeaky plush dog toy. Tuck the squeaker-filled squirrels into the tree trunks and let your pooch figure out how to pull them out one by one. Maybe you can even train your dog to put them back into the holes. It’s like hide and seek! Some dogs even like to use the trunk as a tug toy for games of tug-of-war.

3. Carrot Stuffer by Petstages

dog with carrot stuffer

Fill with baby carrots or your dog’s favorite treats or peanut butter and let your busy buddy work to get them out. The carrot’s texture also massages your dog’s gums while they to release the treats. Why is gum massage a good thing? It stimulates blood flow to increase the nutrients and boosts the immune system. This is basically two toys in one! A chew toy AND a dog puzzle toy.

4. Dogwood Chew by Petstages

corgi with a dog chew toy

Is your dog an aggressive chewer when it comes to sticks? Chewy sticks can splinter and damage your dog’s mouth, but this stick-like chew won’t. It’s made from a polypropylene blend that does include a little wood for your four-legged friend but is designed to flake off gently.

With a variety of scents like the smell of real wood or Mesquite BBQ, this alternative dog chew toy is a treat for letting your dog work out their destructive chewing or for pups dealing with teething pains. Dogwood alternative wood chew sticks are also great for outdoor play, game of fetch, and can even float in water!

5. Snoop by Planet Dog Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

best interactive dog toys

Fill this interactive treat dispenser with kibble or dog treats and watch your pup nudge it, push it to make it wobble, and have tons of fun releasing the goodies with this award-winning dog toy. This interactive dog puzzle toy is great for bored pups who need a rewarding brain teaser or to encourage slower eating habits in fast eaters.

Large dogs and small dogs love this toy. It’s translucent and squishy with a deep crevice that conceals the treats. And if your dog likes chasing tennis balls from a ball launcher, they’ll love chasing the treat-filled Snoop.

Choosing the Right Boredom-Busting Dog Toys

Finding the right type of toy for your dog will depend on your dog’s breed, temperament, or just plain personal preference. One dog might respond to a treat ball more than the other. Another could prefer a kong, slow feeder, or snuffle mat.

The smarter the dog, the greater the challenge of keeping them interested. One creative way to keep your pup interested is to rotate toys every few days. Some dog owners need to do a trial and error process with new pups before they know their taste in toys. If you have a puppy, do some research into what some of the best puppy toys are.

It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as an indestructible dog toy. When it comes to choosing a dog puzzle for interactive play, make sure your dog isn’t going to try and eat it. We want to keep our pets safe!

Which toys do you think your dog will like best?