Toys to Mentally Stimulate Dogs

Did you know that 15 minutes of mental stimulation is akin to 30 minutes of physical workouts? Like humans, mental stimulation not only helps in boosting your dog’s happiness and health, but it bolsters their confidence and encourages them to engage in their natural behaviors. Additionally, it reduces anxiety, boredom, and frustration; which is why we recommend using interactive dog toys to your advantage, as they are a great way to let your dog have some fun and be active when you can’t make it out to the park.

Dog running through grass with blue bone toy in its mouth facing the camera

While interactive dog toys can be great for mental stimulation, nothing can replace the power and value of engaging physically in interactive play with your furry friend. But if you’re occupied or unavailable, interactive toys are an excellent supplement. So, if you’re looking for the best toys to mentally stimulate dogs, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few of our top picks:

Mentally Stimulating Dog Toys

Kong Classic

The Kong Classic is one of the most popular toy selections for dogs. It’s durable, interactive, and straightforward, so it’s ideal for any dog. Just place some of your dog’s treats in the toy or spread the butter around the interior. This helps your dog stay engaged and is very encouraging since your dog gets rewarded with a treat anytime they play. 

It’s also a good option if your dog requires a food-based incentive to play. If this is your first time buying an interactive toy, the Kong Classic is a great toy to start with. It’s fun, and will also help you determine if your furry friend is interested in interactive toys or something more engaging, like puzzle toys.

AFP Interactive Food Maze Dog Toy

Unlike the other toys listed in this guide, this is not a ball or something to chew on. Similar to a doggy puzzle, this food maze is quite interactive and ideal if you want to teach your furry friend to eat slower. Plus, dogs really enjoy spending their time wiggling, biting, and licking treats out from food mazes. The major benefit of the AFP Interactive Food Maze Dog Toy is that it prevents your dog from scattering food around the house or outside. So, if you don’t want to keep cleaning after their mess, this might be your solution.

Nina Ottosson Hide N Slide Puzzle

A step up from a normal slow feeder maze, this puzzle tasks your dog with moving a series of levers and obstacles to find their hidden treats. Your dog will use their nose to sniff out what pockets still have treats as they work to uncover them all. Moving certain levers one way will block the others from moving, so this toy will definitely get your dog thinking.

Aussie Dog Home Alone

Is your dog usually left at home alone for an extended period? If so, this could be the perfect toy for your dog. The Aussie Dog Home Alone has an awesome design that allows you to tie it to a tree or pillar and leave it for your dog to play with. Just fill the ball with dog treats or dry food so it makes a rattling sound when moved. The more your dog plays with the toy; the more treats are rewarded. As an extra perk, the design can replicate a tug-of-war situation, so the dog never feels bored when home alone. 

Bob-A-Lot Treat Dispenser

This treat dispensing toy will keep your dog busy for a long time. Adjustable openings at the top and bottom of the Bob-A-Lot from Starmark let owners insert different types of food or treats, while also controlling the difficulty level for your dog. With its weighted ant-slip bottom, the Bob-A-Lot will wobble around your floor as your dog pushes it around trying to make treats fall out.

There’s enough room to do your dog’s whole meal at different intervals or it can be used for just a fun snack.

Keep Your Dog Happy & Healthy

All these toys have significant and multiple benefits for dogs, but some differ, so you need to understand your dog’s preference. It’s also important to leave them loads of drinking water if you’ll be filling their toys with treats. As one last tip, when you return home to your furry friend, don’t forget to praise them for being good while you were away and take them for a walk. Remember that your day might have been busy, but their day was spent thinking and waiting for you to return. 

At Sit Now Stay, we offer expert advice and training sessions, so feel free to contact us anytime to learn more about properly stimulating your dog’s mental health and managing its behavior and other health habits. With the right toys and proper training, your dog should be just fine and back to its normal behavior. Call us today to learn more about our training programs!