Importance of Good Dog Toy
You absolutely need to provide the best dog puzzle toys for your pet. Your dog needs to engage their natural instincts to chew, chase, sniff, bite, and more. Thankfully, many different puzzle toy options exist that work your dog’s brain and keep them mentally stimulated.
Unfortunately, toys made using poor quality materials can actually pose a serious danger to your pet. If your dog chews heavily or is prone to destroying toys, poorly-made products can put them in danger.
The best dog puzzle toys utilize durable materials. We have assessed a wide variety of different puzzle toys and categorized them to help you find the best fit for you and your pet.
Five Best Dog Puzzle Toys
As a certified dog trainer, I have tested a wide range of different toys with my own pets and my clients. I’ve used this experience to provide you with an all-inclusive list of the best dog puzzle toys available.
Each of these toys has a certain scenario or feature that makes it shine: durability, all-around use, value, etc. It is difficult to provide an all-encompassing choice of which dog toy is best, but we have ranked them in terms of quality, price, versatility, and more.
Here is our unbiased review of the top 5 best dog puzzle toys available!
All-Around Best Dog Puzzle Toy
“… the Kong hasn’t disappointed. My big pupper loves this… It’s very strong and durable … Great product, overall. My pup and I are both super satisfied!! …”
“… This KONG is STRONG and BIG so my [dog] … has NOT Chewed thru it… GREAT PRODUCT for Chewy Dogs. He can get thru it all. Not this Kong …”
“… When we first gave this to him filled with peanut butter he absolutely loved it and would not let it go until he licked it completely clean. I am happy I found this Kong ball… My dog loves his Kong ball! …”
You simply cannot beat this classic toy. However, you shouldn’t choose the classic style, as KONG Extreme lasts much longer! If it becomes dirty or slimy, just throw it in the dishwasher for fast and easy cleaning. You won’t find a dog that doesn’t “get” this one.
- Constructed using durable rubber material.
- Easy to fill with soft materials, safe to freeze.
- Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
I find that many clients use this product incorrectly. The best way to use a KONG isn’t to stuff dog food or dry treats in it, but to fill it with soft, mushy things. My favorite use is filling the KONG with a mixture of plain canned pumpkin and peanut butter, then freezing it.
For best results, you can glob a little extra on the opening, or add some fresh peanut butter at the opening to entice dogs who find themselves bored easily. The best part is, you can leave your dog with this one, and if they give up on it they’ll go back later to finish it off. Recommended for: German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Pitbulls, Pugs, and more.
Best Toy for Beginners
“… Best dog toy I have ever bought!!!! My dog will chase this toy around for hours. He has even started bringing it to me when it is empty for a refill …”
“… Right away my dog was excited about this- and when she figured out there was treats inside, she loved it even more. Is holding up good so far, and treats don’t fall out too easily so she has to work for it which keeps her busy and that’s the point …”
“… I can’t say enough good things about this treat ball. [My dog] is obsessed with this treat ball… this is a great choice …”
This toy is a great choice for beginners because you can “graduate” your dog to higher difficulties as they become more adept at removing the treats. You can remove the puzzle inside so your dog can easily roll the ball and remove the treats, and add it back in later to increase the difficulty.
- Comes in two different sizes for different breeds.
- You can adjust the difficulty level.
- Easy to open and add treats.
This toy is a great choice for most pets, but I would not recommend it to power chewers. Make sure you choose the larger size for larger dogs, so they cannot chew the hard plastic. You should also monitor your pet during use to ensure they do not bite or gnaw on the ball.
For most pets, this treat ball provides a great puzzle toy for beginners and allows you to increase the difficulty as your dog improves. Recommended for: Labrador Retrievers, Pitbulls, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Golden Doodles, and more.
Best Toy for Everyday Use
“… [My dog is] working for his food and getting mental and physical stimulus… I’m satisfied that it is tuff and sturdy enough for my dogs …”
“… This toy is genius. Basically, you fill it with food/treats, and your dog bats it around until the food/treats fall out from a little hole in the toy. It keeps them busy and intrigued for a while, which keeps them out of trouble …”
“… [My dog] loves eating her dinner out of it every day. He is blind and deaf but has it figured out. I am so happy I got this …”
I cannot say enough about puzzle toys you can easily use on a daily basis. My favorite use for this toy is feeding your dog’s daily meal(s) with it. It slows your dog’s eating and increases their mental stimulation with barely any effort on your part.
- Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
- Easy to fill using the screw on top.
- Size small fits 1/2 cup of food and size Large fits 1 cup.
This puzzle toy is absolutely genius. The premise is incredibly simple, it works like a giant weeble-wobble that your dog must knock over to get food out of. My favorite aspect is that you can simply fill it with your dog’s food on a daily basis. It’s easy to remember, your dog won’t fill up on treats, and you make sure they get their mental stimulation in.
Even if your dog has a little difficulty, it doesn’t take much to help them learn. You can simply show them, or dab a little peanut butter on the opening. Even dogs who don’t care for their kibble tend to love this. Recommended for: Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, German Shepherds, and more.
Best Puzzle Toy for Extended Use
“… This toy is great for our dogs when they are left in a pen during the day. It not only gives them treats but is interactive. They hear the beep and run to it and push it all over to get the treats …”
“… My dog likes it. Works as advertised. Keeps my dog busy for a while when she chooses to play with it …”
“… Great toy. This is my dog’s favorite toy. Very durable …”
This one might not have a ton of reviews, but I have personally used it and it works wonders for your pet. Many owners must leave their dog alone for long periods of time. If this is the case, a timer-release puzzle toy can be a godsend.
- Six chambers for hours of treat-dispensing fun.
- Choose between four different timer intervals.
- Keeps your dog entertained throughout the entire day.
The premise of this toy is absolutely genius. The main pitfall of most puzzle toys is that dogs finish them within a relatively short period of time. This is all fine and dandy when you can refill the toy or give them another option, but not practical when you leave for long periods.
With this puzzle toy, you set a timer and each chamber opens and chimes a bell after a set period of time. So, for example, you can set the chamber to open every 60 minutes, and your dog gets entertainment throughout a six-hour period. Recommended for: Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Shetland Sheepdogs, Border Collies, and more.
Best Challenging Dog Puzzle Toys
“… Bought this for my two cats and they love it! The smart one figured it out quickly but the dumb one just eats the treats mister smartie pants breaks free …”
“… I have over a dozen food puzzles. I really like this one because once you get the food out of the bin, it falls into another puzzle. Two puzzles in one! It’s a great addition to our collection …”
“… Seriously, what a great invention! Quality construction and super easy to set up. Everything is included, even some extra hardware. Its a must for any pet owner. Highly recommended by us both …”
This puzzle provides a great challenge because it is two puzzles in one. Your dog must roll the chamber on top, and then remove the treat or dog food from the puzzle below as well. It provides a great challenge for intelligent pets.
- Made with high-quality, non-toxic materials that are safe for your pet.
- Provides hours of fun and mental stimulation.
- Helps slow your dog down while eating.
This puzzle has a simple premise, but challenging execution. If your dog burns through their puzzle toys and you need a challenge, this toy is the pick for you. Add treats to the chamber on top, and your dog must turn the chamber to knock the treats out.
Even after your dog removes the treats, they must also get the food out of the puzzle feeder below. This dual-action helps increase mental stimulation. However, some pets might simply toss the toy around rather than leave it upright as intended. Recommended for: Border Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, German Shepherds, Spaniels, and more.