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The 10 Best Dog Toys For Boredom

You've probably come home to find your carpet ripped to shreds or your favorite shoes turned into a dog toy at some point in your life.

These are the scenarios you want to avoid, regardless of your pet's age. It's difficult to keep your dog entertained while you're away.

Some breeds require a higher level of mental stimulation than others. Furthermore, some toys are preferred by dogs over others.

With hundreds of options available, finding a good dog toy can be difficult. You must select a dog toy that you know your dog will enjoy. Otherwise, you are wasting your money, which no one wants!

To assist you, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has compiled a list of the best dog toys for boredom based on reviews and experience.

We hope this list relieves your pup's boredom and provides you with peace of mind whenever you leave the house.


Best Overall: The Kong

  • Durability: Extremely strong
  • Material: Rubber
  • Lifestages: puppy and adult
  • Thick rubber, bouncy toy that hides food

The Kong is a well-known toy for bored dogs. It’s durable and long-lasting, making it an excellent choice for heavy chewers and food-driven pups. The Kong is made of rubber and also functions as a bouncy toy. It’s also reasonably priced, with a wide range of shapes and sizes to choose from. Is it any surprise that Kong wins best overall?

The Kong’s disadvantage is that cleaning it is difficult. If you use peanut butter as the treat stimulator, for example, much of the peanut butter will get stuck in the center, wasting food that you will have to clean out later.


  • Extremely long-lasting
  • Bouncy
  • Different sizes and shapes
  • Affordable


  • It is difficult to remove food from the center.


Premium Choice: Wooly Snuffle Mat by Paw 5

  • Durability: Durable
  • Material: Rubber
  • Lifestages: puppy and adult
  • Toy Function: Foraging

Instead of being over in 30 seconds, the Paw 5 Wooly Snuffle Mat helps turn dinner time into an interactive play session. This is our favorite premium option for several reasons. Many dog toys are designed solely for chewing, but this dog toy engages the nose and stimulates the natural hunting instinct.

You scatter some kibble throughout the mat, and your dog must sniff it out to find the food. The act of sniffing while searching for food is calming for dogs. Sniffing for 15 minutes is said to burn as many calories as walking for an hour!

This snuffle mat can accommodate two dogs. To avoid food aggression, simply keep an eye on them. Because the shag can come off if your dog chews on it, we don’t recommend this product for puppies or heavy chewers. If you only have bare floors, you may need to use tape to keep the mat in place.


  • Natural stimulation for hunting
  • Calming
  • engages the nose


  • Pricey
  • Mat is unable to remain seated.
  • There is no option for large or extra-large dogs.
  • Heavy chewers and puppies are not recommended.


Dog Toy Outward Hound Hide N’ Slide Puzzle Game

  • Durability: Extremely durable
  • Material: polypropylene and wood
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Toy Function: Food Puzzle

Outward Hound’s Hide N’ Slide Puzzle Game is the fifth option on our list. This game is popular among dog owners because it turns dinner time into an interactive game. You put the food pieces in the compartments, and your dog opens them with its snout. It’s a great way to give your dog some mental stimulation while also rewarding him for completing the puzzle. This game may benefit dogs who like to eat their food quickly.

This puzzle is made of polypropylene, a type of plastic that has been mixed with wood. It is free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates. The biggest disadvantage of this puzzle is that some dogs figure out how to solve it quickly, making it no longer challenging. This game is also expensive. If your dog solves the puzzle right away, it might not be worth the money.


  • There are four levels of play.
  • Can be used with both dry and hydrated food.
  • Excellent for both long- and short-nosed dogs.


  • Pricey
  • Some dogs may be frightened by clicks and levers.
  • The levers may become looser over time.
  • Some dogs do not find it difficult.


Outward Hound Hide A Squeaky Squirrel Puzzle

  • Durability: Ineffective.
  • Material: Polyester
  • Lifestages: puppy and adult
  • Squeaker, hide and seek, and other toy features

Outward Hound’s Hide A Squirrel Squeaky Puzzle ranks seventh on our list. Despite the fact that it doesn’t offer much more than some cute squeaky squirrels, this toy is a favorite among many dog owners. The idea behind this puzzle is simple: you hide the squirrels in their log, and your dog must figure out how to get them out. There are two to three holes on each side, as well as one large opening on top.

To be honest, this isn’t a difficult puzzle for dogs to solve, but it is a lot of fun. Dogs with long snouts will probably figure it out, but they can still enjoy a fun squeaker toy. You can also hide treats in the log to add to the fun. This toy won’t last long with heavy chewers, so put it away after they’ve finished squirrel hunting.


  • Squeaker
  • Add treats to make hunting more enjoyable.
  • The dog can interact with the squirrels and the house.


  • Not long-lasting


Wishbone Nylabone Power Chew

  • Durability: Semi-durable
  • Material: Nylon
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Toy Function: Dental Cleaning

Another great toy for your dog is the Nylabone Power Chew Wishbone. It is made of nylon and cleans your dog’s teeth while also tasting delicious due to the flavoring. Unfortunately, the flavoring is artificial and not suitable for your pet.

There are two sizes to choose from. Because it isn’t resistant to heavy chewers, you may need to be extra cautious when selecting a size for your dog. You should also be cautious if the bone breaks because it is not edible.


  • Aids in tooth cleaning
  • Flavored
  • There are two sizes.
  • Arched to aid in chewing


  • Flavoring artificial
  • It is not edible.
  • Heavy chewers will not be satisfied.

How to Identify the Best Dog Toys for Boredom

How Interactive Toys Benefit Dogs

We want our pets to be happy and not bored all of the time. Unfortunately, keeping an animal in a house all day leads to boredom. It is our responsibility as pet owners to provide entertainment for our animals until we are able to get up and interact with them.

  • Toys are obviously entertaining for dogs. Toys can satisfy dogs’ natural desire to play, chew, and eat things. However, there are underlying reasons why interactive toys are so effective for dogs.
  • Mental stimulation: Because dogs are natural hunters, they enjoy exploring and solving problems. This is frequently the source of destructive behavior. These instincts are satisfied by interactive toys, which improve memory, mental speed, and visual-spatial reasoning. You can even aid in the prevention of future neurologic disorders in your dog as he ages. A happy dog is one who is mentally stimulated.
  • Physical activity: Unfortunately, obesity in domestic animals is on the rise. Interactive toys can help by getting your dog moving and burning calories. If your dog’s toy necessitates treats, you can always reduce kibble intake to balance caloric intake.
  • Stress relief: Dogs, like humans, can become stressed and anxious. By focusing their energy on toys that stimulate their natural instincts, interactive toys help distract them. If they are stressed or anxious, having something to chew on can help.
  • Slow down eating time: While some toys do not encourage your dog to move, they do limit the amount of food your dog eats at one time. A few of the toys on our list above are great for teaching your dog to slow down and enjoy the process of finding/retrieving food.

Things to Think About When Choosing a Dog Toy

When looking for a new dog toy, you don’t want to just pick any toy. You must consider your dog’s preferences, among other things.

  • Consider how curious your dog is and how far it is willing to go for something. For example, not every dog enjoys chewing, so bones may not be ideal. Some dogs enjoy fetching, while others enjoy being chased. What breed of dog is yours?
  • Size: If your dog is a heavy chewer, you’ll need a toy that can withstand the amount of damage he’ll cause. If your dog is small, you’ll need a toy that is large enough to fit in its mouth.
  • Breed: Different breeds feed into different instincts. Scent stimulation is essential if you have a hound dog. Shepherds and hunting retrievers both enjoy bringing items to their owners. Toys may not be able to satisfy all of these instincts, but they should be considered when purchasing a toy.

The Various Types of Interactive Dog Toys

The first step in purchasing a toy is to understand your dog’s preferences, personality, and instincts. When you’re ready to buy one, the market’s options may overwhelm you. It’s useful to understand the different types of interactive toys and their purposes. Some toys only meet one need, whereas others can meet several.

  1. Toys that solve puzzles
    A puzzle toy’s purpose is to stimulate your dog’s problem-solving abilities. Great puzzle toys are stimulating for your dog and should be difficult to solve. Puzzle toys come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The length of a puzzle is entirely up to you and your dog’s preferences.
  2. Toys for Chewing
    Chew toys satisfy a dog’s desire to chew. Based on your dog’s chewing habits, these toys should be long-lasting. Some dogs don’t chew as much as others, and that’s fine. If this is your dog, you can choose a softer chew toy. It’s always a good idea to give your dog something to chew on while you’re gone.
  3. Toys for Children
    Dogs enjoy treat toys. Many interactive toys also serve as treat toys, which is convenient given that many dogs are motivated by food. When a dog completes the task, the toy releases treats. To avoid weight gain, limit the number of treats your dog receives, but this is an excellent option for dogs who enjoy eating.
  4. Toys for Hide-and-Seek
    Puzzle toys are similar to hide-and-seek toys. These toys are designed to appeal to dogs’ natural prey drive. Many hide-and-seek toys are stuffed animals, such as squirrels, that have squeakers inside. The goal is for your dog to find the object and remove it from its hiding place.
  5. Sound Designers
    Squeakers, for example, are examples of sound makers. These toys imitate the animalistic sounds made by prey in the wild. You should be aware that these toys will not encourage your dog to attack small animals. As gruesome as it may sound, dogs enjoy tearing things apart that make noise, which is usually due to their prey drive.

Safety Guidelines for Interactive Dog Toys

Remember that no dog toy is truly indestructible, so keep an eye on your dog for any safety issues. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when shopping for a dog toy.

  • Take apart small pieces of a toy that your dog has destroyed.
  • Select a toy made of non-toxic materials.
  • If your dog is a heavy chewer, avoid toys that he can eat.
  • To make toys last longer, rotate them out.
  • To avoid choking and blockage, select toys that are the proper size for your dog.
  • Before giving your dog a toy, inspect it for damage.


The classic Kong is our best overall option if you have a heavy chewer on your hands. It’s tough, bouncy, and gives out treats.

You can also experiment with different shapes and sizes.

If you’re looking for a low-cost option that ticks all the boxes, consider the Ethical Pet Sensory Ball. This toy can stimulate your dog in a variety of ways without costing a fortune.

Finally, the Paw 5 Wooly Snuffle Mat is the way to go if you want to spend some extra cash on your pup.

These are our best dog toys for boredom. They are popular among reviewers, and BestForPets (bestforpets.org) agree! Give them a shot and let us know what you think.

Author Image

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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