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The 10 Best Dog Toys For Smart Dogs

Most dog owners are aware of the need of physical exercise, but did you realize that mental stimulation is equally essential for growing a healthy dog? Puzzles are some of the greatest dog toys for intelligent dogs, but it may be difficult to find ones that are worth your (and your dog's) time.

Instead of sifting through innumerable puzzle toys in search of one that your dog appreciates, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has assembled reviews of this year's best puzzle toys. There are the best dog toys for smart dogs to select from, so you're bound to discover one that's ideal for your best buddy.


Outward Hound Brick Puzzle Dog Toy

The Outward Hound Ottosson Puzzle Brick Dog Toy blends the appeal of meals with the mental stimulation of a puzzle. This puzzle toy offers three opportunities for your dog to exercise his or her mind, including lifting, sliding, and unlocking different compartments to obtain their favorite goodies. This toy can also be filled with kibble, transforming breakfast, lunch, and supper into a delightful problem-solving adventure.

This puzzle toy is crafted from plastic that is simple to clean and is classed as a level 2 task, making it ideal for dogs that breeze through easier problems. On rainy days or when your four-legged buddy needs something to keep them engaged, a puzzle is a fantastic option.

This dog toy has several little detachable pieces, therefore it must be used under continual supervision. Also, the pieces are not very resistant to chewing.


  • Includes three puzzle types in a single toy
  • Fill with premium snacks and kibble
  • Easy-to-clean
  • Level 2 difficulty is ideal for intelligent canines
  • Ideal for little breeds


  • Large dogs are at risk of choking on small pieces.
  • Plastic is not particularly resilient


PLAYAY IQ Treat Ball Toy

The PLAYAY IQ Treat Toy Ball provides a novel puzzle experience for dogs who like chasing, fetching, and consuming goodies. This toy is one of the greatest value toys for intelligent dogs and can be used with or without the puzzle component to provide hours of entertainment. Each ball is manufactured from soft, non-toxic plastic and has several slots for your dog’s preferred treats or kibble.

This puzzle treat ball is ideal for small and medium dog breeds. Larger breeds are permitted to play with this toy, but only under close supervision. Unfortunately, the soft plastic composition of this toy renders it ineffective against moderate or vigorous chewers.


  • Flexible dog toy with or without treats
  • Containing non-toxic ingredients
  • Excellent for tiny and medium-sized dogs
  • Soft plastic is effective for cleaning around teeth and gums.


  • Plastic is quite simple to chew.
  • Too diminutive for bigger breeds.
  • Contains only a single type of puzzle


SNiFFiz Snuffle Puzzle Toy Mat

The SNIFFiz SmellyMatty Snuffle Puzzle Toy Mat may not resemble a traditional puzzle, but it is one of the most stimulating brain games you can offer your dog. Not only does the mat provide ample hiding spots for your dog’s favorite treats, but it also forces them to rely on one of their strongest senses: smell.

This toy has a huge snuffle pad and five different sorts of puzzles that conceal treats. Additionally, it features an anti-tip base for large dogs and can be adjusted to your dog’s desired level of difficulty.

Unless your dog enjoys nosework, this snuffle mat is probably not the greatest puzzle available. Additionally, many canines find the soft fabric ideal for shredding.


  • Promotes nosework
  • Customizable degree of difficulty
  • Includes five distinct puzzle types
  • Anti-tip design


  • The fabric is not very durable.
  • Not all dogs like nosework


Tarvos Dog Food Puzzle Toy

When fed food in a conventional dish, many dogs consume it too quickly. The Tarvos Dog Food Puzzle Toy combines a slow feeder with an interactive puzzle element for healthier mealtimes and mental stimulation. The feeder consists of a regular slow-feeding dish plus a raised wheel that your dog may turn to release kibble or high-value goodies.

Each puzzle is made from eco-friendly, non-toxic, and long-lasting plastic. The non-slip bottom of this toy prevents it from slipping and sliding as your dog eats. However, the tiny size makes this feeder unsuitable for most dogs other than toy and small types.


  • Compatible with dog food and treats
  • Reduces mealtime speed for improved digestion
  • Non-hazardous and simple-to-clean construction
  • Non-slip base


  • Small design
  • Inconvenient to refill
  • Lightweight and simple to tip for dogs


TRIXIE Pet Supplies Trixie Exercise

The TRIXIE 4591 Pet Products Another fantastic product that combines a slow feeder and a puzzle is Trixie Activity. Every toy includes a stand, three beakers, and two sets of beaker lids. Your canine may gather treats or kibble from the slow-feeding base or by inverting the exposed beakers. You may also add lids to the beakers to increase the difficulty.

Depending on the size of your dog’s treats or kibble, the openings may become clogged. Additionally, this puzzle toy is top-heavy and prone to tipping over. This puzzle is ideal for toy and small dog breeds, as well as cats, but not for medium or big dog breeds.


  • Slows eating for improved digestion
  • Multiple puzzles in one design
  • Interchangeable difficulty levels


  • Too diminutive for many breeds.
  • Easily topples
  • Treats often get caught inside


LC-dolida Smart Dog Puzzle Toy

This is the LC-dolida If your tiny dog or puppy is just starting to solve puzzles, the Smart Dog Puzzle Toy is an excellent option. This brilliantly colored dog puzzle toy contains many sliding puzzles that are ideal for concealing kibble or high-value treats. If your dog loves to devour food quickly, this toy may also be used as a slow feeder.

This puzzle is constructed from a sturdy, non-toxic, and eco-friendly PVC plastic that is very simple to clean with soap and water. However, the lightweight construction of this puzzle makes it unsuitable for dogs who play roughly with their toys. The greatest disadvantages of this toy are its modest size and its inability to increase in complexity over time.


  • Colorful, beautiful design
  • Sized just right for pups and tiny breeds.
  • Simple to clean


  • Very basic puzzle
  • Simple to move or pick up
  • Not appropriate for medium or big dogs
  • No means to enhance the challenge


Nina Ottosson Dog Smart Puzzle Toy

The Nina Ottosson 67331 Dog Smart Beginner Puzzle Toy is an innovative spin on the market’s most popular sliding toys. Instead of sliding individual pieces to get the concealed reward, your dog must pick up or flip out the pieces to get to the treats. This puzzle toy may be modified over time to offer your dog with the ideal amount of difficulty.

This level 1 puzzle is ideal for young dogs and those who have never solved a puzzle toy before but is too simple for problem-solvers with more experience. Nonetheless, it may also be used as a slow feeder to aid digestion.


  • Unique puzzle element
  • Adjustable level of difficulty
  • Dual use as a slow feeder


  • The puzzle of level 1 is too simple for many canines.
  • Contains only a single type of puzzle
  • Could be too tiny for certain canines.
  • Parts that are removable may offer a choking danger.
  • Only hand washing


Dog Toy SPOT Seek-a-Treat Flip ‘N Slide

If your dog craves continual stimulation, the SPOT 5779 Seek-a-Treat Flip ‘N Slide Dog Toy is a great alternative to more conventional puzzles.

The unusual compatibility of this puzzle toy with other Connector Puzzles allows you to tailor your dog’s problem-solving experience to his or her own requirements. Each puzzle is constructed from sturdy, easy-to-clean plastic and includes a range of sliding and flipping problems.

Unfortunately, this puzzle toy is only appropriate for very tiny dog breeds due to its miniature size. In addition, intelligent dogs will likely tire of this toy after only a few sessions. This is an excellent problem for puppies, although the difficulty will not last long.


  • Designed for dogs’ particular color spectrum
  • Enduring and simple to maintain
  • Connects to other puzzles.


  • Extremely tiny design
  • Treats may get trapped in apertures
  • Simple puzzle difficulty
  • Compartment lids do not remain closed.
  • Poor value relative to cost


Out of all the puzzle dog toys covered in this article, the Outward Hound 67333 Ottosson Puzzle Brick Dog Toy is our top pick. This classic puzzle toy features many pieces that will keep your dog occupied and hone its problem-solving skills.

The PLAYAY IQ Treat Toy Ball is our top pick if you’re seeking the greatest value among puzzle dog toys. This puzzle toy is the most versatile for the money since your dog will enjoy playing with it regardless of whether or not it contains rewards.

Regardless of the problem, you select for your own four-legged friend, there is an abundance of fresh and intriguing puzzles on the market for your dog to complete. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hope that our evaluations have helped you select the best dog toys for smart dogs, but don’t forget to purchase new puzzles periodically to keep their minds busy.

Does your dog enjoy solving difficult puzzles? Or do they typically become bored when unable to figure things out? Please let us know in the comments!

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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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