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
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!
Hide A Toy Plush Puzzle Toy
Outward Hound’s Hide A line of hide and seek plush dog puzzles was designed specifically to eliminate boredom, encourage positive play, and feed your dog’s natural hunting instincts. 2-in-1 interactive play means double the fun with options to play fetch or hide and seek to keep your dog mentally-stimulated. For dogs who can’t get enough of these plushy animals, check out our replacement 3-packs! Bound to…
2. Best Indoor Dog Toy for Aggressive Chewers: Stick-Mimicking Chew Toys
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.
Dogwood Wood Alternative Dog Chew Toy, Original
A safe and long lasting alternative to chewing real wood sticks, Petstages Dogwood product line has all the taste and texture of a natural tree branch, but will last much longer and won’t splinter and cause potential harm to your beloved pup. Made in the U.S.A. to ensure quality and care, Dogwood combines real wood with lead-free and phthalate-free synthetic strength, making it a chew toy favorite…
3. Best Multipurpose Indoor Dog Toy: Treat Dispensing Chew 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.
Orbee-Tuff Bone Dog Chew Toy
The Orbee-Tuff Bones are a canine favorite for fetching, chasing, and chewing! Made in the USA from BPA, lead, and phthalate-free TPE material, these Orbee-Tuff dog chew toys are durable. The treat spot located in the center of these dog toys is great for stuffing with treats to max out the fun of interactive or solo play. Orbee-Tuff dog bone toys also bounce and float making them perfect for water and…
4. Best for Playing Tug: Squeaker Matz
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.
Squeaker Matz Plush Toy, Hippo
Squeaker Matz dog toys from Outward Hound are the perfect mate for your furry friend! These soft plush dog toys are made with multiple rows of squeakers that mimic bubble wrap to keep your pup engaged for hours! The flat and floppy body is great for interactive games of tug of war and chasing whether you have one dog or more. Squeaker Matz come in a variety of animal and holiday characters that you can…
5. Indoor Interactive Dog Puzzle Toy
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!
Dog Smart Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy, Orange
The Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Smart interactive dog puzzle is a fun way to get your dog excited about problem solving games! This level 1 dog puzzle toy features nine treat hiding compartments that can be filled with your pup’s favorite treats and covered with nine dog bones that release the tasty scent of treats through the top hole. Place on the ground and watch your dog use his noggin as he…
6. Indoor Agility
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!
Zip & Zoom Indoor Dog Agility Training Kit for Dogs, Multi
The Outward Hound Zip & Zoom Indoor Agility Kit is an interactive way to keep your dog both mentally and physically active while indoors! Great for use in teaching your dog new tricks and commands as well as just for pure fun. The kit features a training booklet, one square collapsible tunnel, four weave poles, and an adjustable jump that can be taken apart and used as two more individual weave poles…
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.