Tips & Tricks

Best Kong Alternatives For Dogs to Keep Them Mentally Stimulated

dog kong toys

Are you looking for a change from the usual Kong toys for your dog? You’re in the right place! In our new blog post, we’re excited to share some great alternatives that are just as fun and even more stimulating for your dog’s mind. 

In this blog post, we’re thrilled to introduce some innovative and engaging alternatives—–treat-dispensing toys, feeding puzzles, and licking mats that promise not only to captivate your dog but also to enhance their cognitive skills. 

Let’s dive in!

Treat-Dispensing Toys: More Than Just a Snack Break

Treat-dispensing toys offer a delightful combination of mealtime enrichment and physical exercise, keeping your dog’s body and mind actively engaged. These interactive toys require your furry friend to use their problem-solving skills to access the tasty rewards hidden inside, making playtime both rewarding and mentally stimulating.

1. Rolling Drum Treat Dispenser

If you’re new to the world of puzzle toys or have a pup that may need a confidence boost, the Loobani Rolling Drum Treat Dispenser is an excellent starting point. 

This puzzle toy combines a simple yet engaging challenge with the thrill of treat dispensing. To retrieve the treats inside, your dog needs to nudge the drum with their nose or push it with their paws until the goodies tumble out.


For an added twist, you can set the toy in a bamboo stand, introducing a fresh challenge for your dog as they figure out how to maneuver it to release the treats. This toy comes equipped with adjustable silicone plugs, allowing you to customize the difficulty level to perfectly suit your dog’s cognitive abilities and dietary requirements, keeping them engaged and satisfied.

2. Spinning Bottles Treat Dispenser

If you’re seeking a fun and whimsical addition to your dog’s playtime, look no further than the Loobani Spinning Bottles Treat Dispenser. 

Imagine a mini slot machine for your pup, filled with their favorite snacks! Simply fill the three solid plastic bottles with a mix of treats, and watch as your furry friend learns to spin, push, and maneuver the bottles to snag the hidden treasures inside.

One game-changing feature of this toy is the adjustable height setting, ensuring dogs of all sizes, especially those with larger chests, can dive into the fun without any awkward bending. 


Additionally, this robust toy provides endless mental and physical stimulation, designed to keep your active dog entertained and happily occupied with hours of problem-solving play, all without a hint of frustration.

Dog Feeding Puzzle Toys: Challenging Minds and Satisfying Appetites

Dog-feeding puzzle toys offer a fresh and exciting alternative to the classic Kong toy, bringing a new dimension to your pet’s playtime. These innovative puzzles put your dog’s cognitive abilities to the test, requiring them to engage in some problem-solving to access their treats.

Unlike the more passive treat-dispensing toys, these interactive puzzles encourage your dog to think, interact, and solve their way to a delicious reward. This active engagement not only keeps them entertained for longer periods but also promotes mental growth and development.

dog paws

Moreover, the adaptability of these puzzle toys in terms of difficulty adds an extra layer of interest. You can start beginner level and gradually increase the challenge as your dog becomes more skilled at solving them. This means the fun never has to stop; as your pup grows smarter, the puzzles grow harder, keeping playtime both stimulating and rewarding.

1. Twirl-n-Treat Rotating Treat Puzzle Toy

The Loobani Twirl n’ Treat is a flat puzzle with five food-hiding compartments that are partially covered with a twisting panel. What sets this toy apart is its clever design. Your dog has to figure out how to twist the top panel around to uncover the treats hidden underneath.


To get your dog into the game, start off easy by not hiding treats in every compartment. This way, your smart pup will get the hang of checking each spot. Before you know it, they’ll be totally engrossed in solving these puzzles and getting their tasty rewards!

2. Hide-n-Slide Brain Dog Toys

Rated as an advanced difficulty level, this interactive bamboo puzzle toy features a frame with 8 hidden compartments covered by 4 sliding wood panels. Your dog must slide the panels side-to-side to uncover the treat-stuffed spaces.


Once your pup has mastered the sliding action, add an extra challenge by cutting clean strips of cloth, placing food in the compartments, and watching them figure it out. These puzzles stimulate your dog’s brain and fulfill their natural scavenging instincts, keeping them mentally engaged and satisfied.

Dog Licking Mats: A Multifunctional Treat

Dog licking mats are a creative and useful twist on the traditional Kong toy. Designed with a variety of textures and grooves, these mats invite your dog to lick and explore, offering a mix of physical and mental exercise. They’re especially great for doling out soft treats like peanut butter, yogurt, or mashed-up fruits.

dog lick mat


These mats encourage your dog to eat more slowly, making snack time last longer but can also improve digestion and even help freshen their breath. Plus, licking is known to soothe and calm dogs, making these mats a fantastic choice for reducing anxiety. With all these benefits, dog-licking mats stand out as a versatile and engaging alternative to the Kong toy.

Choosing the Perfect Kong Alternative: What to Consider

When seeking a Kong alternative to entertain your dog, it is essential to carefully consider which features are best suited to their unique needs and preferences. In this section, we’ll discuss some important points to keep in mind when picking an alternative toy or replacement for the original.

close up woman cute dog

1. Durability: Built to Last

Durability is a crucial factor, especially if your dog is an enthusiastic chewer. Make sure that the material of your chosen toy can withstand their intensity and mouthing habits. 

Ditch those flimsy plastic toys and opt for durable, eco-friendly options like bamboo. Bamboo fibers create tough toys without contributing to microplastic pollution – a win-win for both your pup and the environment.

dog lying down on floor

2. Mental Stimulation: Keeping Their Minds Sharp

It’s equally crucial not to overlook mental stimulation when choosing toys for your dog.

Interactive games, brainteasers, or treat-dispensing alternatives are excellent solutions for keeping them engaged while having fun at the same time. It may be wise to start with simpler designs initially, as some pets can easily become bored by tasks that are too easy, while others may require greater challenges.

3. Treat Dispensing: Rewarding Good Behavior

Reward-dispensing toys should also be taken into account, as they provide amusement while reinforcing positive behavior from our four-legged friends. You can tailor these options depending on the desired difficulty level to capture and maintain your dog’s interest levels, ensuring contentment throughout each playing session.

beautiful border collie dog stealing shoe

Why Your Dog Will Like These Kong Alternatives

While the Kong has become a staple for many dogs around the world, there are several alternatives that provide an even better experience for your dog, as well as for you as the pet parent. Here are a few key benefits of the Kong alternatives we’ve discussed.

goldendoodles dog eating

1. Provide Mental Stimulation

Kong alternatives like puzzle feeders and licking mats aren’t just toys; they’re brain boosters for your dog. These toys typically involve some problem-solving for your dog to get to the treats. This kind of mental workout is just as important as physical activity in keeping your dog’s lifestyle well-rounded and healthy.

Just like humans, pups can get bored, too. Toys that spark mental engagement can help fend off that boredom. The extra mental stimulation these toys provide supports intellectual development and can even help older dogs stay mentally sharp, ensuring they remain alert and active throughout their years.

2. Keep Your Dogs Occupied

Another big plus of these Kong toy alternatives is how they can keep your dog busy for a long while. This comes in super handy for pet parents who have to leave their dogs at home by themselves or need to keep their pups distracted during stressful times, like thunderstorms or fireworks.

cute little dog

Toys like treat dispensers, puzzle feeders, or licking mats really draw dogs in because they have to put in extra effort to get those treats. This kind of ongoing activity can cut down on the chances of your dog picking up bad habits from boredom or feeling anxious when they’re alone, giving them a fun and rewarding way to spend their time.

3. Provide More Flavor Adventure for Your Pup

While the classic Kong is great for stuffing with various treats, there are awesome Kong alternatives out there that can introduce your dog to new and exciting taste adventures. Take dog-licking mats, for example. You can spread them with all kinds of delicious and healthy options, from peanut butter to mashed-up fruits. Puzzle feeders are another cool option. You can fill them with your pup’s favorite kibble, treats, or even some healthy carrot cubes, allowing you to play with different flavors.

view adorable chihuahua dog getting some treats home

These toys offer a taste experience that lasts way longer than what traditional toys can provide. Your dog has to really work to lap up or dig out every last morsel of flavor. This not only ramps up their enjoyment but also turns meal or snack time into a fun and satisfying challenge.

Final Words

Jumping into the search for the perfect Kong alternatives? Remember, every dog is an individual with their own likes and dislikes. Finding the toys that truly engage them and challenge their skills might take a little bit of trial and error. 

woman sitting home sofa with her dog

But, by introducing your furry friend to these mentally stimulating and physically active toys, you’re doing more than just keeping them busy. You’re boosting their happiness and health, and even more, you’re strengthening that irreplaceable bond you share with your beloved pet.

So, let’s unlock your dog’s playtime adventure and see where the fun takes us!


About Zelda D.Nelson

As a lifelong dog lover and proud mom to two energetic rescue pups, I know firsthand how important puzzle toys are for providing dogs with much-needed mental and physical stimulation. After over a decade of experience raising well-adjusted, happy dogs, I joined the Loobani Pet team to help other pet parents discover the joy and benefits of dog puzzles. Through my work at Loobani Pet, I've become an expert on the ins and outs of various interactive dog 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. Whether you need a toy to challenge your brainy breed, keep your power chewer occupied, or simply provide some rainy day fun, I've got you covered.