Have you ever heard an interesting saying, ‘A tired dog is a good dog’? It’s true! The right puzzle toys can keep your canine’s mind sharp and their energy channeled in a positive way. It’s a great way to enrich their lives.

But, let’s face it: with a sea of interactive puzzles out there – varying in shape, size, complexity, and material – picking the right one can be daunting. When I first started looking into puzzles for my own dogs, I’ll admit I felt totally lost.

That’s why I decided to share this buying guide. Over two months, I chatted with over 300 fellow dog owners to uncover honest pros and cons and helpful tips for Loobani’s entire catalog of interactive toys. My goal is to simplify the selection process so you can easily pinpoint the perfect puzzles to match your pup’s needs and lifestyle.

Let’s jump right in.

Our Customer’s Top Picks

Loobani offers a wide variety of fascinating dog puzzle toys. After surveying and interviewing 300 customers, I’ve compiled a list of the most popular dog puzzle toys that dogs absolutely love.

You have the freedom to decide if a particular dog toy catches your eye, and I will provide you with detailed information about its difficulty level, durability, and ability to keep your dog engaged.

Best For Enrichment

treat dispenser toys for dogs

Dog “Slot Machine” Toys

Dog “Slot Machine” Toys

AgePuppy; Adult; Senior
SizeSmall; Medium; Large; Giant Dogs
Difficulty LevelLevel 2
Specification

This puzzle toy can help slow down mealtime and reduce stress — not to mention, it’s tons of fun for pups.

Sean Zucker- The Wildest

Pros

3 adjustable height settings

Great mental stimulation for dogs

Appropriate for small, medium, and large dogs

Non-slip rubber feet keep it in place while your dog paws at it

Cons

Not suitable for wet or raw food

Some dogs might chew the caps off to access treats

This interactive “Slot Machine” features three bottles that need to be flipped 180 degrees for your dog to access the treats inside. While it may pose a challenge for puzzle toy beginners, there are two ways you can help them navigate this fun game.

First, start by filling the toy almost to the top with a combination of high-value treats and their regular food. This can allow your dog to become familiar with and learn how to operate the toy.

Second, remove the bottle lids and encourage your dog to flip the bottles. This step will help them understand the mechanics of the toy. Once your dog masters pushing the toy, you can put the lids back on, making it easier for them to retrieve the treats.

Key Features:

  • Large Capacity 8+ Cups of Dog Food
  • Heavy-duty tipless base design
  • Toy rack made of 100% durable bamboo
  • 3 bottles made from non-toxic, BPA-free plastic approved for food use

Best For Overall

treat dispensing dog toys

2-in-1 Canine Spinning Puzzle Toy

2-in-1 Canine Spinning Puzzle Toy

AgePuppy; Adult; Senior
SizeSmall; Medium; Large; Giant Dogs
Difficulty LevelLevel 1
Specification

Pros

Easy for most dogs to figure out.

Can be made easier or harder for your dog.

Appropriate for small, medium, and large dogs.

The container has a larger capacity than many puzzle toys.

Cons

Not preinstalled

Not suitable for wet or raw food

This dog puzzle toy has been designed with two different ways to play. In the first mode, as your dog pushes the container around on the floor, a small portion of food is dispensed from inside. This ensures that the toy provides long-lasting entertainment for your furry friend.

In the second mode, you can place the container into a bamboo stand and encourage your dog to roll it to access the food. To make things more challenging or easier, silicone plugs are included to adjust the difficulty level by blocking the hole in the bottle.

Key Features:

  • One Toy, Two Ways to Play
  • Large 11+ cup food capacity
  • 3 adjustable height settings
  • Heavy-duty no-tip base design

Best for Eco-Friendly Pet Parents 

slide and treat puzzle feeder

“Hide-and-Seek” Dog Brick Toy

“Hide-and-Seek” Dog Brick Toy

AgePuppy; Adults; Senior
SizeSmall; Medium; Large Dogs
Difficulty LevelLevel 3
Specification

Pros

Well-designed and durable

100% made of sustainable bamboo

Don’t need to assemble

No removable pieces to worry about

Cons

Works best with small treats or kibble

Limited capacity might be too small for some dogs’ full meals

If your clever canine has mastered basic puzzles. It’s time to level up! Our sliding panel toy provides an advanced mental challenge that is perfect for dogs with some puzzle experience. As your dog slides the bamboo panels to uncover the 8 hidden treats, their problem-solving skills are tested in new ways.

Each compartment unlocked brings them a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. More than just chow time, this multi-step puzzle promotes mindful, slower eating as your dog works for their food. Mealtime becomes quality playtime that strengthens their cognition.

Key Features:

  • Durable and safe construction.
  • 100% made of sustainable bamboo
  • With 4 panels and 8 hidden treat compartments.

Best for Multi-Pet Family

2 Spin Bottles Dog Puzzle Toys
2 Spin Bottles Dog Puzzle Toys

Multi-Dog Puzzle Playset

Multi-Dog Puzzle Playset

AgePuppy; Adult; Senior
SizeSmall; Medium; Large; Giant Dogs
Difficulty LevelLevel 1
Specification

Pros

Adjustable difficulty level

Easy to assemble; No tools required

Keeps dogs entertained for a long time

Both containers have the largest capacity out of all the other puzzles.

Cons

Can only be used with dry treats

Has a larger footprint than other puzzle toys.

This is a rare creation in the market, a puzzle toy designed specifically for two dogs to play together. With dual puzzle compartments, furry friends can now enjoy playing side-by-side without any competition or waiting for turns!

This mental stimulation toy provides ample engagement for both pups, offering twice the tail wags with its combination of mental and physical stimulation.

Key Features:

  • Two Toys in One
  • Large 11+ cup food capacity per bottle
  • Various holes and rubber stoppers
  • Adjustable height to fit small and large dogs
  • Non-slip rubber feet keep it in place while your dog paws at it

Best Intermediate Puzzle to Beat Boredom

Durable Enrichment Toys For Dogs

Twirl-n-Treat Eco-Friendly Dog Toys

Twirl-n-Treat Eco-Friendly Dog Toys

AgePuppy; Adult; Senior
SizeSmall; Medium; Large Dogs
Difficulty LevelLevel 2
Specification

Pros

Easy to clean

Dogs can use both paws and nose.

Easy for pet owners to prepare this toy for play

Slows your dog’s eating down without frustrating them

Cons

Only one size

Less attractive to dogs without a treat inside

The innovative design of this unique toy requires your dog to rotate the top panel to find hidden treats and kibbles. Start easy by leaving some spots treat-free so your clever canine learns to check each compartment. Trust me, they’ll be hooked on these brain-stimulating challenges in a heartbeat!

Key Features:

  • Eco-friendly bamboo construction.
  • Rotating the top panel for added challenge.
  • Four heart-shaped hidden treat compartments.

Best Advanced Puzzle to Keep Your Pup Entertained

Interactive Dog Treat Puzzle Toys
Interactive Dog Treat Puzzle Toys

Double-Layer Dog Activity Board

Double-Layer Dog Activity Board

AgePuppy;Adult;Senior
SizeSmall; Medium; Large Dogs
Difficulty LevelLevel 4
Specification

Pros

Slows down fast eaters

Suitable for indoor and outdoor play

Takes a little while for dogs to get all the treats

Comes apart for easy cleaning and filling

Cons

A little heavy

Might be too difficult for some puzzle toy beginners.

Elevate Your dog’s mental workout with enhanced engagement and rewarding challenges! This innovative double-layer design takes puzzle toys to the next level, providing an abundance of compartments specifically crafted for hiding treats and kibble.

With a staggering total of 9 hidden treat compartments thoughtfully spread across two layers, this exceptional toy is guaranteed to keep your pup entertained for hours.

Key Features:

  • 9 hidden treat compartments
  • Made of durable bamboo material.
  • Double-layer design for added challenge.
  • An eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic dog toys

Best Beginner Puzzle Toys For Heavy Chewers

dog house treat puzzle

Product Name

Hidden Treat House Puzzle

AgePuppy; Adult; Senior
Size Small; Medium; Large; Giant Dogs
Difficulty LevelLevel 1
Specification

Pros

Can slow down a fast eater.

Satisfies your dog’s hunting instinct.

A great choice for your puppy or as a first puzzle.

Appropriate for puppies, small and medium dogs.

Cons

Not especially challenging. Some reviewers found it too simple for their dog.

Concerned about your anxious pup being overwhelmed by a challenging toy? Don’t worry! This puzzle toy is perfect for beginners and serves as a fantastic introduction to the world of puzzles for your dogs.

All your dog needs to do is gently bite down on the handle and pull out the toy to discover hidden treats inside. While there isn’t much to solve with this puzzle, it will keep your dogs occupied and amused.

Key Features:

  • Cute house-shaped design
  • Made of recyclable bamboo.
  • 6 components for hiding treats and kibble
  • An eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic dog toys
play with dog

Top 8 Tips and Tricks to Get a Dog Interested in Treat Puzzle Games

Dog puzzle toys provide mental stimulation and enrichment for our canine companions. However, some dogs may be hesitant at first when introduced to these interactive toys.  

After training over 1000 dogs to play with dog puzzle toys and collecting insights from customers, I have compiled 8 essential tips and tricks. With a bit of patience and the right techniques, you can get your dog to love their new puzzle toy in no time.

1. Start Slow

The key to preventing frustration is to start slow when introducing puzzle toys. Don’t overwhelm your dog by replacing most of their toys with complex puzzles all at once. Begin with just one or two basic puzzle feeders used sparingly for short sessions a few times a week. This allows your dog to ease into the concept without getting stressed. 

2. Make It Easy at First

If the puzzle toy seems too challenging for your dog at first, make it easier for them to build their confidence. For toys with sliding covers or panels, leave some compartments open so treats are more accessible.

Additionally, if the toy has any removable stoppers or barriers, it may be beneficial to remove them initially to make it more accessible for your dog. As your dog gradually becomes familiar with the toy, you can start closing additional compartments and re-installing the stoppers to increase the difficulty level.

3. Demonstrate How the Toy Works

Don’t just hand your dog the puzzle toy and expect them to intuitively know what to do. Show them how it works! Place a treat in the compartment and slowly demonstrate how your actions make the treats fall out.

Let your dog watch you manipulate the toy a few times, then offer it to them to try. Lifting their paws and showing them how to slide or pivot the toy can give them that lightbulb moment.

4. Stop Destructive Behaviors

It’s important to keep a close eye on your dog any time they are playing with a puzzle toy. If you notice them aggressively chewing, tearing, or trying to destroy the toy instead of properly interacting with it, step in immediately to stop the behavior. Use a firm “No” or other marker words they know signal unwanted behavior.

Then, you can praise them once they disengage from the destructive behavior. If the aggression or destruction persists, that particular puzzle may be too frustrating for them currently, so try an easier toy instead and supervise all their puzzle play. 

5. Use High-Value Treats

What better way to get your dog engaged with a puzzle toy than stuffing it with irresistible treats? Use chopped chicken, hot dogs, or other high-value rewards. Once your dog realizes that solving the puzzle leads to yummy treats, they’ll be motivated to keep playing.

Start with allowing your dog to eat treats out of an empty toy, then gradually increase the difficulty by putting treats in compartments.

6. Try Different Treats and Toys

Every dog has different tastes and preferences. If your dog doesn’t seem motivated by the treats you first try, experiment with different options and observe their reactions. You may find that changing up the treats, switching to a different puzzle toy, or both gets them more excited. Offering variety keeps things interesting for our pups!

7. Add Encouragement

Give your pups lots of encouragement and praise when they interact with their puzzle toy. Let them know when they are on the right track with an excited “Good boy!” or “You’ve almost got it!”. Some puzzle toys can be frustrating, so keep sessions positive. Even if your dog doesn’t completely master the puzzle, praise all their efforts and small successes along the way.

8. Patience is Key

Some dogs will eagerly tackle a new puzzle, while some timid dogs might take longer to figure out the toy. Have patience if your dog seems unsure about the toy at first. Stay positive, praise small steps in the right direction, and be willing to go at your dog’s pace. If they lose interest, try again in 30-60 minutes. Don’t reprimand them or force them to interact with the toy.

5 Key Features to Look for the Best Dog Puzzle Toys

When you’re on the hunt for the ideal interactive puzzle toy to brighten up your dog’s day, there are a handful of important factors to consider. Keep these 5 essential features in mind while you’re checking out different options. Doing so will help you find the perfect stimulating toy that’s just right for your pup’s unique needs and characteristics.

Size

When choosing an interactive dog feeder, make sure it’s properly sized for your dog. The toy should be too large for them to swallow – you don’t want your pup choking on pieces or accidentally gobbling it down! The openings should be big enough that your dog can easily get treats out, but small enough that kibble doesn’t spill freely without any effort.

Check the size of treat compartments against the size of treats you’ll use. Any detachable parts and the base of the feeder also need to be oversized so your dog can’t swallow them. Getting the proportions right keeps your dog safe while they puzzle out their snuffle mat, food maze, or wobble toy to attack those yummy rewards inside!

Capacity

When choosing a puzzle feeder, also consider whether you want it for dispensing snacks and treats only or for entire meals. Check the capacity of each toy and how many cups of food it can hold. Some toys have just small compartments for treats, while others have larger chambers able to contain a full meal.

Think about your purposes for using a food puzzle and how much volume it needs to have. If you use it for whole meals, get a sizeable toy that can adequately hold your dog’s whole dietary portion in one releasing play session. For just treats or topping kibble, a smaller compartment box or ball should do. Pick the puzzle capacity that best fits your needs!

Durability

You want a sturdy puzzle that will hold up against your dog’s pawing, nudging, and chewing. Examine the construction to ensure seam strength and stability. Avoid toys with parts that seem like they could easily break off. Also, check product reviews to see if other buyers mention issues with durability.

Material

Seeking out puzzle toys made from non-toxic, eco-friendly materials can provide the safest options for our furry friends while doing good for the Earth, too.

We recommend choosing puzzle toys made from renewable bamboo material, which is naturally antimicrobial. Bamboo is extremely durable yet lightweight. It’s also stain-resistant, easy to clean, and biodegradable at the end of the toy’s lifespan. Bamboo puzzle toys provide chemical-free chewing and treat dispensing fun.

train the dog

Difficulty Level

Interactive or puzzle toys differ greatly from other dog toys as they’re not designed for chewing, chasing, or fetching. Their primary purpose is to promote learning and concentration.

Considering this, it is essential to choose a puzzle toy that matches your dog’s appropriate challenge level. If the puzzle is too complex, it may lead to frustration. On the other hand, if it is too easy, your dog may quickly snuffle up any treats provided without receiving the desired mental enrichment. That’s why Loobani puzzle toys have 4 different difficulty settings. 

Level 1 – Beginner

Beginner food dispensing toys are great for introducing puppies or dogs new to interactive toys to problem-solving. They feature simple one-step actions like spinning the roller drum to uncover the food. This builds their confidence with easy victories, motivating them to try more challenging puzzles.

Level 2 – Intermediate

Intermediate treat dispensing toys add more obstacles that require dogs to combine actions like flipping multiple tubes or discs to find treats hidden underneath. This teaches them to try new solutions and not give up if the food doesn’t appear immediately.

Level 3 – Advanced

Advanced puzzle toys challenge dogs to learn sequential steps using more complex mechanisms like spinning rollers, moveable platforms, or puzzle boxes. Solving these puzzles builds their logic, memory, and critical thinking skills.

Level 4 – Expert

Expert-level enrichment toys require dogs to complete a series of steps in the correct order to earn their food reward. These mimic advanced hunting behaviors like lifting handles, pushing buttons, and sliding levers in a precise sequence. This keeps even clever dogs engaged in working for their meal.

FAQ

1. Are interactive puzzle toys good for dogs?

Yes, interactive puzzle toys provide exceptional mental enrichment and stimulation for dogs. They tap into natural canine instincts to forage, hunt, and problem-solve. Working puzzles enhances cognitive function, reduces boredom and anxiety, and tires out your dog’s mind for a good night’s sleep.

2. How often should my dog do puzzles?

Puzzle toys provide both mental stimulation and physical exercise for dogs as they twist, turn, roll, and move the toy in different ways to get treats out. Just 15 minutes of daily mental enrichment with a puzzle can tire out your dog as much as a 30-minute walk!

Since mental exercise is very tiring for pups, puzzles don’t need to be done for long periods to get benefits. Aim for two or three 15-minute puzzle play and training sessions spaced throughout the day to prevent boredom and keep your dog sharp. The short duration but high engagement works their brain and body in a positively challenging way.

3. How long does a dog learn a dog puzzle toy take?

It depends on the individual dog, but most dogs will grasp the concept of a simple interactive puzzle toy within a few short 10-15-minute training sessions. More complex puzzles with multiple steps or moving parts can take a few weeks for a dog to really master. The key is going at your dog’s pace, not moving too fast too soon with difficulty level, keeping training sessions positive, and using high-value treats to motivate continued interest as their skill builds.

Setting your dog up for success by following the introduction tips outlined in this article will help them pick up on puzzles more quickly. Their sense of accomplishment keeps them coming back for more enrichment. Be patient and let the mental stimulation grow their abilities naturally.

Final Words

And there you have it – everything you need to know to pick the perfect enrichment toy for your precious pup! I hope this guide gave you some great ideas on interactive feeders to keep your dog’s mind nimble and happy. Remember, the right toys, coupled with lots of praise and patience, will have them mastering even complex challenges in no time.

So what are you waiting for? Let the puzzle games begin! Your dog will thank you.