Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks clearly hasn’t read the news lately.
No matter your dog’s age, you can certainly teach your pup to do trust falls and “play dead.” And these days, you can even teach your pup new words with modern dog toy technology.
It’s possible (and important) to keep your dog stimulated and challenged with new toys that keep them active. When your dog gets bored, they might look for shoes and furniture to chew on. Or they might get into the trash, whine, or pick up other bad behaviors — especially if they have separation anxiety when you’re not home.
Keeping your dog mentally and physically stimulated throughout the day keeps them from getting bored and getting into things they shouldn’t while you’re away (or working from home).
To keep your dog engaged and entertained, we’ve rounded up the 7 best interactive dog toys for your furry friend to play with independently and with their favorite owner (that’s you).
Bonus: these make great gifts for active pups for the holidays!
1. The Snuffle Mat
Dogs enjoy a good challenge just like we do. If you have to leave your dog at home for a few hours (or if you want to keep them preoccupied while you’re on that Zoom call), try a Snuffle Mat!
These intriguing mats come in all shapes and sizes, with fabric sticking out for your dog to nuzzle through to find hidden treats.
Studies show dogs prefer working for their treats, and they’ll build confidence when they find each treat hidden in the mat. The act of sniffing around in the mat even lowers your dog’s pulse and keeps them calm.
You can find Snuffle Mats online, or you can get crafty and make your own out of fleece and a rubber sink mat.
Spill a few treats from your Crumple Travel Bowl on this interactive doggy mat! >
2. Electronic Dog Toys
This award-winning puzzle toy for dogs lets them independently play for hours on end. The PetSafe Ricochet includes 2 mess-free toys that change sounds when they play with them.
The squeaking sounds between both toys keep your dog guessing and occupied while the toys tumble around. No stuffing or fabric to clean up after, just chasing and mental stimulation.
They just require some AAA batteries (not included), and your dog is in for non-stop fun!
Try this automatic and challenging toy for dogs >
3. High Tech Dog Games
We all think our dog’s the smartest in the dog park — but this cool dog toy gives even the sharpest dogs a good challenge!
Put your dog to the test with the world’s first game console for dogs. CleverPet harnesses your dog’s energy (and smarts) with a challenging dog puzzle that includes lights and buttons.
Designed by cognitive scientists, this interactive dog toy harnesses your pup’s brain to learn new sequences and push buttons to release a treat in the stainless steel bowl.
Just watch out — after mastering this toy your dog might take up Sudoku puzzles next.
Shop this challenging and interactive dog toy today >
4. Hyper Pet Doggie Tail
Nothing against tug-of-war, but this is the best interactive dog toy for dogs big and small (that’ll keep your shoulder intact).
Push the on button and watch this squeaky dog toy vibrate, wiggle, and even bark at your dog. No more doggy boredom for your pup!
Be sure to get some video of your dog playing with this funny dog toy >
5. The Wicked Bone
This is no ordinary bone. This interactive dog toy lets you control the bone’s movements from an app on your phone. It’s the perfect answer to those days when your schedule is packed with meetings and you can’t be as attentive to your dog.
Simply download the app, connect it to the bone, and choose from endless play options!
Drive the bone down the hallway, make it do a flip off the couch, and your pup will have endless fun. It’s also durable and easy to clean, which we can’t say for other bones!
Charge up this bone that’s built for active dogs when you’re away >
6. iFetch Mini Dog Ball Launcher
Every good boy and girl loves a game of fetch. But if you’ve got a particularly energetic breed, you can only go so many rounds until you need a break!
Save your energy and let this clever device do the tossing for you: the iFetch Mini Dog Ball Launcher.
Choose the distance, place the miniature tennis balls in the funnel, and wait for them to lift off. Your dog can even operate it by putting the balls in the funnel themselves.
This interactive dog toy is great for outdoor and indoor use. Just be mindful when you’re inside — your dog might get a little wild chasing the ball, and could knock things over in tight spaces!
Shop this award-winning automatic dog ball launcher for endless play >
7. OllyDog Flyer Disk
We’re a little biased, but this dog toy is pup-approved by energetic dogs everywhere.
The OllyDog Flyer Disk is the best way get outside and get active with your dog. The ultra-lightweight fabric makes it easy to throw, while being non-toxic and soft on your dog’s teeth and gums.
Pick one in your favorite color, and watch your dog chase it in dog parks, backyards, and more. It’s water-compatible and can float, so you’ll never have to worry about losing it in a creek or snow bank.