Furtropolis by Outward Hound

How to Pick the Best Interactive Dog Toys For Your Pup

What Are Interactive Dog Toys?

Looking to challenge your dog’s problem-solving skills and enhance mental stimulation through play? Interactive dog toys like Outward Hound’s Nina Ottosson puzzles and games are designed to keep dogs’ minds engaged and your energetic pup occupied and having fun!

Not enough time to tire your pup out on a long walk? While nothing can quite replace daily exercise, these fun puzzles can tire out a dog mentally if physical exercise isn’t an option.

A busy dog who’s engaged in play is less likely to have destructive behaviors. Dog puzzles focus your pup’s excess energy on something positive, playful, and rewarding. Plus, they’re a safer alternative to chew toys that can damage dog teeth.

Puzzle toys are also great for older dogs and dogs recovering from injury or surgery. If you have a dog with limited physical abilities, interactive dog toys provide healthy mental enrichment that requires minimal maneuvering.

dog playing with dog puzzle

Dogs benefit from both mental and physical exercise

Did you know? Fifteen minutes of mental exercise is the equivalent of 30 minutes of physical exercise.

Amazing, right? Interactive dog toys burn off your dog’s pent-up energy.

If your dogs are chewers, for example, an interactive puzzle toy is a great way to redirect destructive chewing. Plus, if your dog has already mastered their first puzzle, they can level up with more challenging dog puzzle toys.

Picking the Best Interactive Dog Toys: Plush Dog Toys

Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel Toy

Our soft dog toy doubles as an interactive game that you can play with your dog. Stuff the Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel trunk with squirrels and place it on the floor for your dog to sniff and scrounge.

Hunting for the squeaky squirrels hidden inside the plush truck gives dogs extra mental exercise beyond regular plush toys.

The fun doesn’t stop after puzzling out the squirrels from the stump. The little squeaky squirrels are perfect for toss and fetch. Your dog might even be interested in using the trunk for a game of tug-of-war!

This fun interactive squeaker dog toy comes in four sizes so dogs of every size can enjoy the fun.

If your dog’s not so into squirrels, this toy is also available with different characters like Hide A Raccoon, Hide A Taco Truck, Hide a Surf Van, Hide A Bee, Hide A Hedgie, and Hide A Rainbow.

Hide A Hedgie

interactive plush toys

Does your smarty-pants pup need more of a challenge? Similar to Hide A Squirrel, our Hide A Hedgie has two squeakin’ hedgiez stuffed inside a super-plush tree trunk for endless games of hide-and-seek.

An attached top to the trunk challenges your doggie to discover new ways to remove these Squeakin’ Hedgiez from their home. Watch as your playful pup learns to nuzzle their way in and play with the squeaky fun hidden inside.

Is Your Dog Bonkers For Balls? You’ll Want to Know About the Puzzle Cube

puzzle dog toys

Hide and seek meets squeaking tennis ball fun with the Puzzle Cube! Curious canines can retrieve the tennis balls from the durable synthetic rubber cube for a fun and interactive game indoors and out.

Not only does the Outward Hound Puzzle Cube challenge your dog to release tennis balls, after the balls have been found, these squeaking tennis balls are also fun to chew and fetch!

The uniquely shaped holes and passage points keep playful pups interested and engaged until they free the balls. Once the balls are free, play a game of fetch or pop them back inside the cube for another round of puzzling!

Is Your Dog Motivated By Food? Try Treat-Dispensing Games

dog enrichment

Interactive treat dispensing games and slow feeders can make great playtime toys.

Add kibble, your dog’s favorite treat, peanut butter, or wet dog food for irresistible incentives. Hide them within a treat dispensing dog toy to spark interest and keep pups engaged in play as they work to free the tasty treats.

Treat dispenser toys like treat balls can also be used during mealtime to slow down speedy eaters.

Level up


Nina Ottosson dog games come in four levels of difficulty. There are even puppy toy versions available! Starting at Level 1 can help pups engage and build confidence.

Continue your pup’s learning and fun by challenging them with more difficult Level 2 and Level 3 games as they outsmart introduction puzzles. Expert pups can test their true brain power with Level 4.

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as an indestructible dog toy or puzzle. Keep your pet safe. Dog owners should always supervise them with new toys, especially if your pooch is an aggressive chewer.

All of our pets from large dogs to small dogs can benefit from interactive play. Interested in a treat-dispensing toy for your pup? Find out more about selecting the right one here: A Guide To Nina Ottosson Dog Treat Games.

These interactive dog toys and more can be found on our website, Chewy, Amazon, and your local pet store.

Have questions about our interactive dog toys & games? We’re happy to lend a paw! 

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