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The 10 Best Dog Puzzle Toys

A puzzle toy is an excellent way to keep your dog amused while you're away or to buy you a few blissful minutes of respite from a boisterous canine.

There are toys to suit all ages, intelligence levels, and toy preferences, ranging from the basic treat dispensing ball, which dispenses a piece of kibble or other treat when your dog rolls it, to more complex lift and slide puzzles with a number of treat-dispensing opportunities and different difficulty levels.

Below are evaluations of some of the best dog puzzle toys to keep you and your dog entertained. At the bottom of the page, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has also included a brief guide about purchasing this sort of product for your dog.


Best Overall: Sushi Treat Dispensing Puzzle Dog & Cat Toy by OurPets.

  • Type of toy: puzzle
  • Polypropylene and thermoplastic rubber
  • Age: Adult

The OurPets Sushi Reward Dispensing Puzzle Dog & Cat Toy may be used as a treat dispenser to encourage your dog to use his brain in return for some food, or it can be used to slow down speedy eaters who might otherwise swallow a handful of treats too soon.

The toy is composed of polypropylene plastic and thermoplastic rubber, and it features nine treat portions, each with a sliding cover.

Slide the lids away from the holes, insert a treat, and then replace the covers. When your dog discovers out how to push the sliders away from the food compartments, it is rewarded with a little treat.

The toy is comprised of safe materials, including BPA-free polypropylene. It is also reasonably priced and provides enough of a cerebral challenge that most dogs will need some time to figure out.

Even if your dog has already worked it out, the motion of sliding the lids away keeps its worth by providing you with a manner of more slowly dispensing rewards to your canine.

Some paws may find the reward openings too tiny, and treats may become trapped in the lid track. Otherwise, the low price and moderate complexity place this as our top overall dog puzzle toy.


  • It’s challenging without being overly difficult.
  • BPA-free plastic and thermoplastic rubber
  • Strong and well-built


  • Food might become entangled in the track.
  • The treatment holes are relatively tiny.


Best Value: Dura Brite Treat Dispenser Ball Dog Toy by Ethical Pet

  • Type of toy: ball
  • Material: Rubber
  • Age: Adult

The treat distributing ball is the most basic of all puzzle toys. Your dog will naturally roll the ball about the floor, and goodies will be distributed from within the ball via holes in the ball. The Ethical Pet Dura Brite Treat Dispenser Ball Dog Toy is distinguished by the presence of an inside labyrinth.

This does not raise the difficulty for your dog, but it does need the goodies within to roll around more before they are handed to your dog, which slows down the entire process and makes this a helpful diversion for dogs with separation anxiety or who do not enjoy being left alone when bored.

The ball is inexpensive, composed of rubber that promotes oral health while withstanding repeated usage and gnawing, and while simple, it is nonetheless an excellent design that will delight most dogs. It is our pick for the greatest dog puzzle toy money can buy.

However, because the Ethical Pet Dura Brite is tiny, it is only ideal for small dog breeds. Although the rubber material might be durable with a tiny dog, it would be rapidly destroyed by strong chewers.


  • Cheap
  • Rubber ball has a reasonable lifespan.
  • Treats are dispensed more slowly than with standard ball dispensers.


  • Large breeds are not recommended.


Premium Choice: Ottosson, Nina Tornado Puzzle Game Dog Toy by Outward Hound

  • Type of toy: puzzle
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Age: Adult

The Nina Ottosson By Outward Hound Tornado Puzzle Game Dog Toy is a little more complicated than treat distributing balls, which can dispense goodies by mistake. This toy is made of BPA-free polypropylene and includes four layers of revolving discs.

This design not only gives the toy its name, but it also allows you to add food in three levels. Your dog must next twist the layers in various directions to get access to the chamber within.

There are bone-shaped coverings that may be used to keep the rewards contained, so your dog must twist the layers and then raise the covers.

The Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound collection contains a variety of toys ranging in complexity from easy level 1 to multi-step and extremely tough level 4 toys. The Tornado Puzzle Toy is a level 2 toy, which means your dog must go through several steps to acquire the reward inside.

The toy is more tough than a ball and is constructed of BPA-free plastic. However, it is not as tough as the intermediate difficulty indicates, it is fairly expensive, and cleaning the little and restricted treat parts is difficult.


  • Plastic that is BPA-free
  • Pose a bit of a difficulty
  • Remove the dog bone coverings to make the challenge less difficult.


  • A little expensive
  • Cleaning is difficult.


Best for Puppies: Toy for Outward Hound Puppy Smart Dog

  • Type of toy: puzzle
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Age: Puppy

Puppy puzzle toys should not only be easier to figure out, but they should also be devoid of components that are easily chewed off. Because puppies are more prone to gnawing, the toy should be as well.

The Outward Hound Puppy Smart Dog Toy is a level 1 toy, which means pups may easily uncover the goodies, preventing your young dog from becoming frustrated.

The toy is very simple to use; there are nine sections that can be filled with kibble or treats, and bone-shaped coverings that can be placed on top of the treats.

To get to the food below, your dog must find out how to remove the covers. Although this is a simple problem, it is an excellent beginning to puzzle toys for puppies and will prepare them for more challenging tasks in the future.

It is a little toy that is simple to solve, but you must observe your dog when using it as they may chew and swallow the small food covers.


  • Puppies find it simple to understand
  • Plastic that is BPA-free
  • An excellent introduction to dog toys


  • Supervision is essential to avoid cover chewing.
  • Simple to exercise


Ottoson, Nina Dog Toy Brick Puzzle Game by Outward Hound

  • Type of toy: puzzle
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Age: Adult

The Brick Puzzle Game Dog Toy is a sliding puzzle toy that rewards your dog for working out the sliding mechanism and revealing the treats underneath. You may place kibble or goodies under the sliders as well as the plastic dog bone shaped coverings between the sliders.

Your dog only needs to move the slider at first, but as the difficulty increases, it will need to raise and remove the bone before moving the slider.

The toy is constructed of polypropylene, which is a BPA-free and safe plastic, but you must observe your dog at all times because the bones are easily eaten and can be ingested.

The toy is appropriate for well-behaved dogs who are not obsessive chewers, but while the bones make the item more challenging for dogs who use it as intended, it is far too easy for dogs to just chew the covers off to get to the treats below.


  • Depending on your dog, increase or reduce the challenge.
  • Plastic that is BPA-free


  • Simple to understand
  • It is easily eaten and damaged.


Dog Toy Busy Buddy Twist n’ Treat Treat Dispenser

  • Type of toy: ball
  • Material: Rubber
  • Age: Adult

Buddy Who Is Always Busy Twist n’ Treat Treat Dispenser Dog Toy is a form of treat dispensing ball. Twist the ball’s two parts apart, then add snacks and twist the pieces back together.

This twisting motion is intended to make it simpler to get the goodies in and allows you to make it easier or more difficult to get the food inside by enlarging or contracting the space.

This also enables for the inclusion of new treat varieties. The parts may also be totally detached, and the natural rubber is top-rack dishwasher safe, making it simple to clean.

The Twist n’ Treat, on the other hand, is pricey for what is essentially a treat ball. The rubber is also readily chewed through, and it has a strong rubber odor when it comes, which is difficult to remove even after running it in the dishwasher.


  • The level of difficulty can be increased or lowered.
  • Dishwasher friendly


  • Rubber may be readily eaten.
  • It has a distinct rubber odor.
  • Pricey for a treat ball


Flip N Slide Puzzle Dog Toy Ethical Pet Seek-A-Treat

  • Type of toy: puzzle
  • Material: Plastic
  • Age: Adult

A basic puzzle toy, the Ethical Pet Seek-A-Treat Flip N Slide Puzzle Dog Toy. Although the toy has some covers that must be flipped and others that must be slid, they do not combine, which means that if your dog finds out a single mechanism, it will be able to get half of the goodies you’ve placed within.

It’s a pricey toy, and while it’s made of BPA-free plastic, the plastic is thin and easily eaten off. The sliding and flipping mechanics may assist stall a wolfing hound, but it doesn’t take long to solve the puzzle or tear the covers off and get to the sweets below.


  • Plastic that is BPA-free
  • Slows down fast eaters


  • The puzzle is simple to solve.
  • Plastic is lightweight and readily eaten.
  • It’s rather pricey.

Buyer's Manual Choosing the Best Dog Puzzle Toy

Dogs are easily bored, and a bored dog is more prone to become destructive and develop other undesirable behaviors. Unfortunately, most individuals do not have the leisure to spend hours upon hours every day playing with their dog. Giving your dog a variety of balls and other toys can keep them occupied for a while, but they will rapidly become monotonous, putting you in the same position. Puzzle and interactive toys are one answer, and they provide additional benefits in addition to keeping your dog calm for a few hours.

The Advantages of Puzzle Toys

1. They have the ability to slow down fast eaters.

Some dogs eat their supper quietly, taking a decent portion at a time and only getting more after they have eaten and swallowed each mouthful. Other dogs will try to consume all of their food in a single swallow. Fast eating can lead to indigestion and even choking.

To enhance your dog’s eating habits, employ puzzle games that dispense treats or dry kibble. Choose one with adequate space for a reasonable amount of kibble and watch as your dog must solve each level or piece of the puzzle to reach the food below. Even when your dog has worked out the puzzle portion of the toy design, certain puzzle toys may slow him down. It takes longer to slide a cover and get to the food than it does to just eat it.

2. They Can Provide Exercise

Some food dispensing toys are intended to reward your dog for activities such as continually flipping them over or rolling them around. While it isn’t vigorous exercise, it does get your dog up and moving to obtain something to eat. If you have a dog who is reluctant to move yet enjoys food, this might be an excellent starting point for more regular and vigorous exercise.

3. They take your dog’s mind off his or her anxiety.

Dogs, like people, may experience anxiety, and some breeds are more prone to separation anxiety. Giving a dog something to do while you’re gone might help distract them from the fact that you’re gone. They’ll be too preoccupied figuring out the puzzle to obtain the sweets inside to realize you’ve been gone for so long. Similarly, this type of toy may be used to distract a dog that becomes nervous when people come around or when fireworks go off outdoors.

4. They Can Aid with Weight Control

An interactive puzzle toy can help your dog lose the ounces since the feeder slows your dog’s eating and promotes a little movement before it gets to the rewards you choose to provide. If this is your primary goal, use low-calorie goodies in the reward dispenser and adjust your dog’s daily food consumption appropriately.

5. They’re a lot of fun to play with.

Some dogs like running, while others require cerebral stimulation. If your dog is a thinker, a puzzle toy will keep him occupied as he attempts to obtain the prize below.

6. They’re Fun to Watch

It’s not just enjoyable for your dog to find out how to defeat a puzzle toy; it’s also exciting to watch with pride when he realizes he needs to slide the hatch back and then remove the bone-shaped cover to get to the food below. Plus, it’s always entertaining to see their reactions when they eventually figure out the trick.

Type of Toy

There are many different sorts of puzzle toys available, and there is no single greatest dog toy that will fit all canine preferences. The following are the most popular puzzle toys:

  • Toys with sliding or lifting gears that conceal food are classified as puzzle toys. To access to the food underneath, the dog must be able to move or remove the cover. Difficulty levels vary from toy to toy, but some feature numerous levels of difficulty, making it more difficult for your dog to get to the rewards as they progress through each level.
  • Treat distributing balls are widespread in the homes of many dog owners. Although there isn’t much of a problem to solve, your dog must push and move the ball around in order for the goodies to be distributed. These can be extremely helpful at getting a dog to move. The puzzle is simple to complete, so your dog won’t lose interest too fast, and certain reward balls may be tightened or loosened to adjust the difficulty level.
  • Hide and Seek – Hide and seek toys consist of a foundation and at least one little toy. Usually, there is a hole or a cover. The toy is inserted through the hole or behind the cover, and your dog must sniff it out. To make the toys more enticing, they frequently feature a squeaker inside.

Do Dog Puzzles Improve Your Dog’s Intelligence?

Dogs learn, and the more problems they solve, the better they get at them. Even a basic treat-dispensing ball toy might help your dog learn new tricks. They will first knock treats out by mistake, but the incentive of food means that they will want to recreate the procedure, and most dogs will push the ball around to receive more food.

Once your dog has mastered the ball toy, you may graduate to a puzzle toy and work your way through the many levels of difficulty that they provide. Dog puzzle toys are more than simply gimmicks or sources of amusement; they may really improve your dog’s brain and senses.

Are Interactive Dog Toys Safe?

As long as there is some method for your dog to succeed, you are not setting them up for failure. Interactive toys provide mental stimulation and can help with training and intelligence. They are usually regarded as safe for dogs, however you must ensure that the puzzle is not too tough to induce frustration and that it is well-constructed enough to prevent your dog from chewing the plastic and maybe choking on the little bits.

Do Dogs Get Tired of Puzzle Toys?

Dogs require cerebral stimulation as well as physical exercise, and requiring your dog to utilize its head while playing with the toy will rapidly wear them out. This is another another reason why this sort of toy might help a dog that suffers from separation anxiety. They will be distracted from the fact that you are gone while solving the problem, and will most likely fall asleep as a result.

How Can I Keep My Dog Amused While I’m at Work?

Boredom can cause a dog to become destructive or anxious. While puzzle toys might help take a dog’s mind off the fact that you’re not at home, there are other effective methods to keep a dog engaged while you’re not around.

  • Turn on the television.
  • Allow them to gaze out the window.
  • Make use of a reward dispenser cone or ball.
  • For worried dogs, use dog pheromones.
  • Get a canine sibling or sister.
  • Hire a dog walker.



Dog puzzle toys keep your dog occupied, reward clever behavior, and might even help your dog get some exercise and shed some pounds. However, you must verify that it is neither too tough nor too easy and that it is built of safe and sturdy materials. Hopefully, the

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) evaluations above assisted you in selecting the best dog puzzle toys. The OurPets Sushi Treat Dispensing Puzzle Dog & Cat Toy was determined to be adequately challenging and reasonably priced, making it one of the top puzzle dog toys on the market. The Ethical Pet Dura Brite Treat Dispenser Ball Dog Toy is economically priced and simple to use.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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