Furtropolis by Outward Hound

5 Types of Interactive Dog Toys to Occupy, Entertain, and Exercise Your Dog Inside

Have a lot of work to do, but get interrupted by a certain four-legged someone who keeps bringing you their tennis ball to throw? Does that certain someone keep barking in the middle of your Zoom meetings too?

We can’t be our dog’s personal ball launcher all the time.

Your dog needs exercise and stimulation. While we wish we could ignore our responsibilities and give our pets the attention they crave, we have to strike a balance. Help your pup stay occupied, active, and out of your way with some of the best interactive dog toys, games and dog chew toys.

Just because it’s too cold outside or because you have to work all day, doesn’t mean your dog can’t have fun without you!

Check our picks for the best indoor dog toys, dog chews, and dog treat puzzle games for mental stimulation to help your dog stay happy, active, and engaged indoors.

1. Best Squeaky Interactive Dog Toy: Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel

best interactive dog toys for puppies

The Hide A Squirrel was designed specifically to eliminate boredom, encourage interactive play, and feed your dog’s natural hunting instincts.

These sneaky and squeaky squirrels hide inside the tough, plush toy trunk for the ultimate doggie hide and seek game. When they finally get the squirrels out of the holes, some dogs even use the trunk as a tug toy!

This plush dog toy comes in a variety of sizes so both small dogs and large dogs can enjoy the fun.

Tip: Did your dog find and destroy all of the squirrels inside the trunk? Fill with extra Squeakin’ Animals to reset the game!

2. Best Indoor Dog Toy for Aggressive Chewers: Stick-Mimicking Chew Toys

dog with a chew toy

Some dog owners have to practically put a muzzle on their dogs every time they go outside in order to keep them from eating sticks! Swap the tree branch for a chew toy that looks and smells like one, but is much safer for your dog!

A natural bestseller, the Petstages Dogwood Chew Toy mimics everything your dog loves about sticks including the smell and taste but will last longer than flimsy twigs found in your backyard.

Just remember that there is no such thing as an indestructible dog toy and to always supervise your pet.

3. Best Multipurpose Indoor Dog Toy: Treat Dispensing Chew Toy

treat dispensing dog toy

Great for dogs that like to chew, the Orbee-Tuff dog bone is a durable interactive dog toy that doubles as a treat dispenser. Stuff it with your dog’s favorite treats or peanut butter to keep your busy buddy satisfied and engaged during chew time.

This interactive treat bone is also buoyant! This means you can bring it along for a game of fetch when your dog is having fun in the water. It truly is a versatile treat dispensing dog toy that can be used anywhere.

4. Best for Playing Tug: Squeaker Matz

dog with squeaky toy

A plush dog toy with multiple rows of squeakers like the Squeaker Matz characters is an excellent indoor playtime choice for your pooch.

The flat and floppy body is great for interactive indoor games of tug of war and chasing whether you have one dog or more.

Plus, minimal stuffing is used to prevent major clean-ups after the games are over so you can spend less time on stuffing pick-up duty. It may become your new favorite toy.

5. Indoor Interactive Dog Puzzle Toy

nina ottosson dog smart interactive dog puzzle

The Nina Ottosson Dog Smart dog puzzle toy is an entry-level dog game. It challenges your dog with nose work to uncover treats while helping them develop new learning techniques. Scent work is a fun game for them and is like playing hide and seek, but with food!

Interactive dog toys like puzzle games help to keep your dog occupied while exercising their mind! Place on the ground and watch your dog use his noggin as they paw and nudge the pegs over to uncover the hidden rewards!

Pet parents can even make a game out of mealtime by putting dog food into a slow feeder or treat ball that wobbles around. Simply pour your dog’s kibble into the maze and they will eat at a slower pace.

TIP: 15 minutes of mental stimulation from puzzle games is equivalent to 30 minutes of physical exercise! Remember: Dogs have four legs and one brain — all five need exercise!

6. Indoor Agility

indoor dog activities

Did you know dog agility can be an indoor activity, too? Teach your dog new tricks on hot or rainy days with Outward Hound’s Indoor Agility Kit right in your living room. This dog-friendly obstacle course features 3 fun obstacles that give your dog both mental enrichment and physical exercise at home!

Ideal for beginners to agility courses and dog tricks, it includes 1 square collapsible tunnel, 4 weave poles, and an adjustable jump that can be taken apart and used as 2 more individual weave poles. Pair it with the Tail Teaser flirt pole for interactive fun, or add to the Zip & Zoom Outdoor Agility kit for a larger and more challenging course!

A lot of these indoor dog activities can be used to practice basic commands and dog training in a fun way. Don’t let bad weather get you down! Try one of these fun indoor activities when it’s too hot or cold out for the dog park.

Treat your pup to a new toy. All of the interactive dog toys and puppy toys mentioned in this post and more can be found on our website, Chewy, Amazon, or your local pet shop!

Editor’s note: This post has been updated as of April 2021 to reflect the most pup-to-date information.