The 6 Best Dog Puzzle Toys for Mental Stimulation

best dog puzzles puppy smart

Treat your dog to the mental stimulation they need for a happy and healthy lifestyle. Dog puzzle games provide mental and physical exercise, decrease anxiety and boredom, increase problem-solving skills, and release pent-up energy.

Use high-value, limited ingredient treats to your dog’s gameplay and add increased supplemental nutrition to that list!

Luckily at Outward Hound, we’ve got a variety of doggy games with a range of difficulty levels to choose from that combine playtime with brain time. Working your dog’s brain with a puzzle will tire them out faster than a game of tug-of-war!

Interactive dog toys and puzzles are excellent for creating a positive outlet for your dog’s natural chewing, digging, and hunting instincts.

Bonus! You can use the puzzles as slow feeders at mealtime to improve your dog’s digestion. Combine nutritious and high-value treats or dog food with interactive puzzle games to get started with enrichment your dogs (and cats!) will love.

We’ll cover the difficulty levels and features of the following interactive dog toys:

Before we get into the best dog toys for enrichment, don’t forget to play it safe! Especially if your pup is an aggressive chewer. No bowl, dog chew toy, tennis ball, squeaky toy, or puzzle is indestructible. Dog owners should not leave their pets unsupervised.


wobble bowl and dog

Like a snuffle mat, the Level 1 Wobble Bowl can be used as a treat puzzle or a slow feeder for full meals. This is a great beginner puzzle for both large and small dogs new to dog games and food dispensing dog toys.

Fill it with your dog’s kibble or favorite treats by removing the plug on the top of the lid and pouring the food in. Place the plug back in the lid, and show your dog how to rock and wobble the bowl to get the goodies out. The clear lid makes it easy for your pooch to see the treats inside. It’s also washable and easy to clean!


Great for large dogs, small dogs, and pups of any shape and size, the Dog Smart Interactive Puzzle is another great beginner food puzzle for bored dogs. This level 1 interactive dog puzzle toy is an entertaining dog treat dispenser that will challenge your dog’s brain and keep them engaged! There are nine removable treat-dispensing compartments that your dog can remove to reveal the hidden treats. It’s like hide and seek, but with treats!



Dog trainers love doing what they call “nose work” with dogs who need an outlet for all that energy! Doing nosework in dog training is an excellent dog enrichment activity. The popular Level 2 Nina Ottosson Dog Brick is one of the best dog puzzles for sniffers and has three different treat feeding features.

The red treat compartments have lids that flip up to reveal treats. Slide the blocks on the flip board to reveal even more hidden treat compartments. Add the removable bone covers to the center if your pup needs even more of a challenge. This way, your dog will have to remove the bones before they can move the sliding red blocks.

In addition to treats, you can fill the compartments with your dog’s food, chewy snacks, or drool-worthy peanut butter!


The Outward Hound Level 2 Puppy Tornado is a spinning dog treat dispenser game. It features three tiers with 12 compartments for snacks or kibble. Encourage your pup to spin the layers to reveal the rewards. Up the challenge!

Make this mental exercise even tougher with the three bone-shaped covers — your dog will have to really work their brain to figure out how to remove the bones in order for the Tornado to spin.


Best Dog Puzzle Toys for Mental Stimulation

The Level 3 Nina Ottosson Challenge Slider is already a fan favorite among puzzle dog toy lovers. 23 moveable tiles slide around to reveal 24 treat slots. Dogs move each piece left, right, forward, and backward to get to the rewards.

With 24 compartments, it must take forever to set up, right? Not at all! Slide open the tray underneath to load treats into each slot and slide it back in — you’re all set! Place the game in front of your dog and let the brain games begin.


Best Dog Puzzle Toys for Mental Stimulation

We created a whole new level for all you puzzle masters! Level 4 is for Experts. The Multipuzzle’s tiles move back and forth on the outside of the board. The center requires your dog to align each of the round orange pieces precisely with the spinner, requiring strong problem-solving skills. It’s a tiring and rewarding dog activity.


small dog playing with interactive dog toy

If your dog isn’t into treat toys, the Outward Hound Hide a Squirrel is a plush toy puzzle that is perfect for your best friend. Plush enrichment toys are also a great body and brain workout. Your dog has to sniff out the toys hidden inside, then you can toss the squeaky toys for a game of fetch! This puzzle game plush dog toy is available in multiple characters with squeakers.

Want to know which high-value treats are best for your furry friend’s puzzle toy? Check out:

High-Value Treats & Their Benefits

You can find Nina Ottosson and Outward Hound stimulating toys and treat-dispensing toys for dogs on our website, Amazon, Chewy, and more!

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