7 Best Dog Puzzle Toys for Keeping Your Dog Busy

dog puzzle busy

You don’t want to bore your furry friend to death when you are busy or away! So how to keep them entertained for hours?

A puzzle toy might be the answer to your dog’s boredom. Dogs love to play, and it is a healthy activity for their mental and physical health. It keeps them entertained and helps an active pup burn out and sleep peacefully.

There are so many options available in the market, and there are two types of puzzle toys. Many dog puzzles revolve around finding a treat. It stimulates a dog’s brain and strengthens its sense of smell. Other are for the heavy chewers, so they are more durable and robust than other toys.



Top Best Design

Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado

  • Size: Level 2 (Intermediate)
  • Pet Toy Type: Puzzle

Best For Heavy Chewers

KONG – Classic Dog Toy

  • Size: Large
  • Pet Toy Type: Chew Toy

Best For Treats

Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle

  • Size: Level 2 (Intermediate)
  • Pet Toy Type: Puzzle

Best For Puppies

Trixie Mad Scientist Dog Toy

  • Size: Level 2 (Intermediate)
  • Pet Toy Type: Treat Dispenser Toy

Most Budget Friendly

Outward Hound Interactive Puzzle Toy

  • Size: Medium
  • Pet Toy Type: Plush

Best For Small Dogs

Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball

  • Size: Small
  • Pet Toy Type: Puzzle

Durable Dog Toy

WEST PAW Zogoflex Toppl Puzzle Toy

  • Size: Large
  • Pet Toy Type: Puzzle

Our Top 7 Picks for Best Dog Puzzle Toys

With so many options to choose from, we researched and tested to find out the best dog puzzle toys. Our tester team of dogs loves these 7 dog puzzle toys and gave them a pawfect paw rating.

Let’s see what is so special about these interactive dog toys.

1. Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado

dog puzzle toys

Our top pick is this unique and challenging puzzle toy from Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound. This interactive dog toy is an excellent choice for mental stimulation at dinner time.

Outward Hound’s dog tornado puzzle toy is very challenging. First, a dog must learn to align all the levels to get to his treats inside as it has hidden treat compartments. In addition, there are 12 hidden boxes with 3 dog bone covers that you can shuffle to keep your dog excited and satisfied.

This toy works best with small treats or kibble, and it is fun with food for all breeds, sizes, and ages. Moreover, it is easy to clean with soap and water.

dog puzzle toys


  • Many reviews suggest that this indestructible dog toy fights boredom and reduces the destructive behavior of most dogs.
  • Owners love that it is BPA, PVA, and phthalate-free, beneficial for a dog’s health.
  • Many dog trainers approve of this dog toy and say that it helps train a dog with basic commands like sitting, staying, and standing.
  • The hidden treats act as a reward making the dogs feel excited about playing.


  • The only drawback is that it is not very durable if you have an aggressive heavy chewer dog.
Testers Verdict

Our tester pups find this toy by Outward Hound very interactive. They play with it for hours and find it very challenging. Pet owners find this toy entertaining. They can leave their pups to play with it unsupervised, which is excellent for busy owners. However, many testers suggested that it is unsuitable for first-time puzzle toy players, only for dogs with big brains and energy.

We highly recommend this puzzle dog toy if you have an overly excited dog. You want to provide mental stimulation and keep your pup busy with interactive play.

Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado

The price of “Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado” varies, so check the latest price at

2. KONG – Classic Dog Toy

puzzle toys for dogs

The runnerup is the Kong Classic dog toy if you have an aggressive chewer. This chew toy is great for large dogs. However, this treat dispenser provides a more significant challenge when stuffed with your dog’s favorite treats or kibble. First, they have to figure out how the treats fall out.

Moreover, this is an excellent beginner’s toy. It can be used to play in many different ways, and You can play with it as a fetch toy, food puzzle, and chew toy. It is fun to play with and provides mental and physical stimulation keeping your dog active and healthy.

Additionally, It helps with problematic behavior like excessive barking and digging. It is also great for weight management and teething.

puzzle toys for dogs


  • Dog owners love that you can use the dog puzzle toy in multiple ways to keep your pup entertained.
  • Vets and dog trainers highly recommend it for its durability and the ability to convert aggression into a bigger challenge and fulfilling a dog’s emotional and mental needs.
  • Our canine friends love to chew on this toy because of the natural rubber. Also, my huskies loved playing for the hidden treats out of this toy.


  • Many owners say that it is simple and not mentally stimulating.
Testers Verdict

Our testers with senior dogs and puppies love this Kong classic dog toy. They suggested that it is an excellent choice for beginners, and it polishes a dog’s natural problem-solving skills. In addition, it keeps a dog entertained. You can play multiple games with it.

In short, this is one of the best dog toys, and we recommend it highly.

KONG – Classic Dog Toy

The price of “KONG – Classic Dog Toy” varies, so check the latest price at

3. Nina Ottosson by Outward Dog Treat Puzzle

treat puzzles for dogs

Outward Hound is a leading company when it comes to dog puzzles. We have another fantastic option from Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound.

This brick-style treat puzzle box is a fun challenge that reveals treats when a dog pushes, flips, and slides the boxes on the tray. It encourages positive play habits in dogs.

It comes with 3 different treat hiding compartments for increasing difficulty levels. This rewarding toy reduces anxiety in pups, making them busy and mentally occupied for longer. It is like hiding and seeking.

best puzzle toys for dogs


  • Pet owners appreciate that the toy by Nina Ottosson is made without any BPA, PVA, & or phthalate.
  • This interactive puzzle toy for dogs is easy to clean. Just hand wash it with simple soap and water.
  • Many dog owners witness improvement in their dog’s undesired behavior after using this Outward hound hide and seek toy.
  • My little dog likes this dog toy and finds it challenging because of the adjustable difficulty level.


  • It is not very durable, and if your dog is aggressive, you can not leave it unsupervised.
Testers Verdict

Our team finds Outward Hound hide-and-slide treat dispensing dog puzzle toy fun to play with. While approving, the team mentioned that it kept the dog focused for a long time. It is a great mind stimulator. In addition, they love the large treat compartments.

Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle

The price of “Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle” varies, so check the latest price at

4. Trixie Mad Scientist Dog Toy

dog puzzles

The Trixie  Mad  Scientist turn-around strategy game puzzle toy is made for puppies. It has non-slip rubber feet, so it won’t skid when the dog is playing with this.

It helps sharpen the cognition and motor skills of your new puppy. It has 3 turning elements, the treats or kibble fall into the tray when the pup turns it. It has adjustable difficulty levels. It is made with durable plastic.

puzzles for dogs


  • The pet owners love how the dog has to figure out this dog puzzle toy to reveal treats.
  • It is an excellent investment for smaller bored dogs.
  • Buyers love that this dog puzzle toy is dishwasher safe.
  • Dogs love to play with this lightweight and durable treat puzzle toy.


  • It is not suitable for large dogs.
Testers Verdict

Our testers admire this product and find it a tremendous challenge for keeping their pup busy. They love that it has non-slip rubber feet. However, they said it doesn’t have removable parts for easy storage. But, overall, it is one of the best puzzle toys for small-sized dogs.

Trixie Mad Scientist Dog Toy

The price of “Trixie Mad Scientist Dog Toy” varies, so check the latest price at

5. Outward Hound Interactive Puzzle Toy

active toys for dogs

Another amazing plush toy by Outward Hound is this Hound Hide-A-Squirrel. It has cute fluffy plush squirrels. The squeaky squirrels make an interactive puzzle to keep the dogs busy for hours. Let’s see how it works:

It comes with 3 squirrels, and you have to stuff them into the plush tree bark and throw the bark. When the toy hits the ground, it squeaks, hence sharpening your dog’s hearing senses. It’s excellent for canine mental stimulation. You can also use the plush squirrels to play a fetching game.

active toys for dogs


  • Dog trainers who drill pups for hunting rave about this dog toy as it polishes the dog’s natural skill for hunting.
  • Many pet owners said that it is a positive source of energy outlet.
  • My dog likes the cuddly squeaky squirrels. She loves to chew on it.


  • Many buyers complain that it is not treat based toy like most dog puzzle toys for dogs.
Testers Verdict

Our testers and their pups love to play with Outward  Hound Hide-A-Squirrel. Toy. They love that the squirrel come in multiple sizes, and the tree park is compatible with other stuff squeaky toys making it more fun.

Outward Hound Interactive Puzzle Toy

The price of “Outward Hound Interactive Puzzle Toy” varies, so check the latest price at

6. Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball

mental stimulation toys for dogs

The IQ treat ball is an excellent choice for smaller dogs. You can adjust the desired difficulty level according to your dog’s needs and mental stimulation. It keeps them physically and mentally active.

You can fill the box with a dog’s favorite treats to keep them busy for a long time. Then, they learn to roll the ball to get a reward for their hard work. It helps to form a good bonding between dog owners and their furball.

best dog puzzle toys


  • Many owners noticed a positive change in their pup’s unwanted behavior after using this dog toy.
  • Many reviews suggest that the ball is durable and their furry friends enjoy playing with this dog food ball.
  • Buyers love that you can convert this simple ball into medium and advanced puzzles game.


  • It is difficult to roll on hard floors and not for aggressive chewers.
Testers Verdict

Our testing team recommends this IQ treat ball for dinner time for overweight dogs. This treat dispensing dog toy dispenses a single treat with physical activity that is great for obese dogs. 

Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball

The price of “Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball” varies, so check the latest price at

7. WEST PAW Zogoflex Toppl Puzzle Toy

west paw

This chew toy by West paw is an excellent choice for keeping a pup busy. This is suitable for moderate chewers.

You can use West paw as a treat trainer to play fetch and catch games, which is excellent for keeping their brains and paws busy. In addition, the toy is non-toxic, recyclable, dishwasher safe, and brightly colored.

mental stimulation toys for dogs


  • Buyers like that this puzzle toy is brightly colored as it catches their dog’s attention and keeps them busy.
  • Customers say that you can use the treat compartment for every kind of treat. You can even freeze broth in it for aggressive chewers.


  • It is costly for its value.
Testers Verdict

Our team loves that it is BPA, phthalate-free, and dishwasher safe. This rubber toy bounces and can float on water, providing the dogs with hours of work. However, some complain that it is not very pocket friendly.

WEST PAW Zogoflex Toppl Puzzle Toy

The price of “WEST PAW Zogoflex Toppl Puzzle Toy” varies, so check the latest price at

Things to Consider When You Buy the Best Dog Puzzle Toy

You need to keep in mind some essential points when looking for the best dog puzzles.

Size and Durability

Some toys are made for the big boys, and some are best for small dog breeds. So, choose a toy that has suitable size for your dog’s paw.

Some toys come with instructions to be used under the owner’s supervision. Some toys are durable and robust and made for aggressive chewers. So the quality matters a lot.

Interactivity and Difficulty level

A puzzle game should be very interactive as it is used to kill boredom. If it fails to grasp your pup’s attention, what is the point of purchasing?

Whatever toy you get should have multiple difficulty levels for mental stimulation because intelligent dogs figure them out soon and lose their interest level.

Safety and Cleanup

The puzzle should be made from dog-safe materials, and it shouldn’t have any sharp corners or anything that could hurt or harm the pup.

The toy should be easy to clean. So, there won’t be any build-up that collects dirt or germs and can cause any disease or infection


What Puzzles Are Most Challenging for Intelligent Dogs?

Trixie pet products make the most challenging puzzles for dogs. Do you know that 15 minutes of mental exercise equals 30 minutes of physical exercise for pups! They are fun-loving and intelligent canine companions who enjoy playing with them for prolonged periods

What Can You Put in a Puzzle Toy?

If it is a food-based puzzle, you can put their favorite food, kibble, snacks, or treats. In addition, some toys come with removable parts like plush animals to put in them for playing fetch and catch.


A dog puzzle toy is an excellent choice for training a fido for various things. It helps with brain stimulation and keeps them physically active. In addition, an excellent food-based puzzle can help in a pup’s weight management.

Moreover, puzzle toys keep the pups busy. We recommend buying puzzles with various difficulty levels so your dogs don’t get bored and find them entertaining and engaging.

Do you have more questions about dog toys? What is your favorite puzzle toy for your pup? Let us know in the comments.

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Noah Tess
Noah Tess is a mother to a baby girl, two adorable huskies, and a toy poodle. When she's not busy taking care of her family, she's blogging about the newest pet trends and products. She's a member of the team here at dog cafe, a blog devoted to giving pet parents the best information on keeping their fur babies happy and healthy. When Noah's daughter was born, her world became infinitely more precious. Her baby was saved by the rescue huskies, she knew she owed them everything. That's why she does so much research into finding the best diets for her toy poodle "toffee" and her huskies, Jack and Snowball. Noah has a unique perspective on life that comes from being a mom - it's amazing!

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