Top Dog Puzzle Toys That Keep Your Dog Active and Happy

Top Dog Puzzle Toys That Keep Your Dog Active and Happy - Calming Dog

Getting your doggy the proper amount of daily activity is not just about taking them on walks and playing fetch. They need mental stimulation, too! Even if your pup is already quite the smartie tail, every dog can increase their mental capacity. One of the best ways to get them working their minds and burning mental (and physical) energy is through interactive puzzles. 

Today we’re going to take a look at some of the best dog puzzle toys on the market. We’re confident that any of these products will be a great way to keep your pup occupied during playtime.

What Are Dog Puzzles?

Dog puzzles are not like human puzzles (i.e., jigsaws). They are simple little hollowed-out toys where owners can stuff treats, which their doggy will then have to retrieve somehow. That’s where the puzzle part comes in! Sounds simple enough, right? It is, but the amount of mental stimulation and enrichment your dog gets using these toys is pretty impressive and quite valuable for any dog owner who wants their pup to stay occupied while they head off to work. 

What Are the Benefits of Dog Puzzles?   

Many people like to do puzzles for all kinds of reasons. They can be satisfying to complete, mentally stimulating, and distracting when the day gets a little dull. Well, your dog’s brain works in very much the same way. They can almost always use a bit of distraction and mental stimulation, and they absolutely love to be rewarded with treats.

More and more dog owners and some dog trainers are using interactive puzzles as a means of exercising their pups’ minds, teaching them tricks, and providing them a healthy outlet for all that pent-up energy they so often have. Puzzle toys are great for large dogs and small dogs alike, and they can serve as a great bonding experience with your pet. A puzzle-solving pooch also makes for a great video to share with friends and family or on your pup’s social media account if they have one.

best comforting dog bed

The Classic Kong Dog Toy

This incredibly popular dog treat puzzle might be the best one of them all, if only for how simple it is. The Kong is a snowman-shaped hollow rubber toy that you can stuff with whatever sort of treats you’d like. That said, most people use peanut butter as their go-to filling. Just load it up with your favorite brand of peanut butter (or better yet, dog-special peanut butter!) and give it to your pup at playtime. They’ll be in heaven, and so will you.

With its long history as a beloved treat puzzle, you simply can’t go wrong with this classic toy. Kong toys are dishwasher safe, and they come in a wide variety of sizes and rubber types to accommodate all types of chewers. Oh, and if you want to keep your pup extra distracted, freeze the Kong with the peanut butter inside before you give it to them! 

Where Can You Find This Puzzle Toy for the Cheapest Price?

You’ll find Kong toys pretty much wherever dog toys are sold. If you’re shopping around for the best price, then Amazon is probably your best bet. They have a wide variety of classic Kong treat puzzles, from puppy versions to extra small dog versions to senior dog versions. Prices range from $7.49 to $12.99.

Nina Ottosson’s Dog Tornado Toy

While the Kong resembles a standard dog toy, Nina Ottosson’s Dog Tornado treat dispenser toy from Outward Hound is much more similar to the sort of puzzle games you might give a child, only it’s stuffed with dog treats. This toy contains a three-tiered stack of twelve compartments that move around and open up when your dog plays with them. You simply stuff those compartments with hidden treats or even dog food and let your pup go to work figuring out how to get them out. 

Dog trainers will likely tell you that kibble is perhaps the better option with seek-a-treat toys like these because dog treats can be a little too high calorie for the amount that your pup will wind up eating in one playtime. They are nonetheless a ton of fun for both you and your pet.

Where Can You Find This Puzzle Toy for the Cheapest Price?

When shopping for Nina Ottosson Dog puzzles, you’ll find that they actually come with different difficulty levels. Sometimes, those difficulty levels come at different prices. However, if you’re looking at places like Amazon, Chewy, or Outward Hound, you’ll find that they’re all quite affordable. The cost of the Dog Tornado ranges from $15.99 to $24.99.

Kong Stuff-a-Ball Dog Toy

The classic Kong is only the tip of the ball dog toy iceberg with this awesome company. They have a wide variety of chewers, treat-dispensing toys, fetch toys, and much more. The Stuff-a-Ball works much like the classic toy: you fill it with your pup’s favorite treats, toss it to them at playtime, and let them go. 

They’ll spend a lot of time and a lot of energy trying to find their way to those snacks while you relax. And the best part is that it’s a teeth-cleaning toy, too, so all that work to get those treats will leave your pup with fresher breath and a brighter smile!

Where Can You Find This Puzzle Toy for the Cheapest Price?

The Kong Stuff-a-Ball comes in a few different sizes, which will affect the price but not by too much. Your best bet for keeping the cost low is by shopping for one on Chewy or Amazon, where you’ll find them ranging anywhere from $10.99 to $14.99.

Nina Ottosson’s Dog Smart Blue Interactive Treat Puzzle

If you like Nina Ottosson’s Dog Tornado, you’ll love her Smart Blue interactive dog toy. This simple flip board puzzle game may not have the highest difficulty levels, but it provides tons of mental stimulation and enrichment that your dog needs. 

All you need to do is fill the bone-shaped compartments with treats or pieces of kibble and allow your pup to figure out just how to get to them. Once they’ve mastered this one, there are higher difficulty levels you can try out, too.

Where Can You Find This Puzzle Toy for the Cheapest Price?

None of the Nina Ottosson dog puzzle toys by Outward Hound cost too much, so shopping for them shouldn’t be too much of a headache. If you’re looking for the best price available for this toy, check out Amazon, Chewy, or Outward Hound, where you’ll find it for about $12.99.

The TRIXIE Activity Board

TRIXIE makes a wide variety of activity board puzzle games that will stimulate your dog’s brain. You simply fill the compartments of the activity board with treats or kibble and allow your doggy to try and solve the puzzle so they can reap the rewards. 

TRIXIE activity boards come in various difficulty levels, so your pup can start from the beginner level and work their way up. That’s why we consider them one of the best dog puzzle toys around. Oh, and they’re totally washable, so don’t worry about all that excited drool.

Where Can You Find This Puzzle Toy for the Cheapest Price?

You can buy TRIXIE activity boards in various styles and difficulty levels, and they also range in price. If you’re shopping for the cheapest one you can find, you’ll most likely find it on Amazon or Chewy, where they can cost anywhere from $13.76 to $22.99.

Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl

Outward Hound makes some really cool dog puzzle toys, which is why they’ve found their way onto this list more than once already. The Fun Feeder Slo Bowl is a seek-a-treat slow feeder toy that will have your pup mentally stimulated and totally preoccupied while you take a moment to sit back and relax. Just fill it with training treats or dog food and let them go to work. This treat dispenser is a tricky one, though, so your dog will be burning plenty of energy finding their way to those hidden treats.

The best part about the Fun Feeder Slo Bowl is just how affordable it is. The amount of entertainment your dog gets (and free time you get) from this puzzle toy is worth a lot more than the price tag says. And you won’t have to worry about your pup getting overfed, because like we said, this puzzle can be a tricky one. In fact, if your dog is an overeater, we recommend using one of these dog puzzle toys to slow them down once in a while.

Where Can You Find This Puzzle Toy for the Cheapest Price

Outward Hound has a few different Fun Feeder toys, and they vary in size and style. However, they are super affordable across the board. These won’t cost you much at all, no matter where you decide to go shopping for them. However, you can find the lowest prices on Amazon. These dog puzzle toys will cost you anywhere from $8.50 to $12.49.

The Snuffle Mat

The Snuffle Mat is quite an outside-the-box take on the hide-and-seek toy. Instead of a plastic puzzle, you have a fabric mat, often made with interesting colors and designs, with all sorts of hidden places for you to stuff your pup’s favorite treats. As they hunt for the hidden treats, they will satisfy their instinct to forage. That way, both your dog’s brain and nose will receive the stimulation that it needs. These mats are made with a durable, non-toxic material that’s safe for your pup and perfect for recreating the hunting experience.

Where Can You Find This Puzzle Toy for the Cheapest Price?

If you go shopping for a Snuffle Mat, you may be overwhelmed with all the different options available to you. That’s because they’re not made by one single company. There are a ton of different options for this toy, and their costs vary widely. If you’re looking for the lowest price, your best bet is Chewy or Amazon, where they will cost you anywhere from $16.59 to $39.50.

The Treat Pod

If your pup is the kind that really enjoys fetching or tug-of-war, the Treat Pod is a great way to add in some extra mental stimulation to those games. It’s a seek-a-treat-style dog puzzle made of multiple compartments joined on a length of rope or a chew toy. You stick the goodies inside the sections and either play some fetch or just hand it over to your dog and let them start deciphering. JW makes the original Treat Pod, but PetSafe makes some really great seek-a-treat toys, as well. They’re a great way to exercise your dog’s mind while satisfying their chewing instinct. 

Where Can You Find This Puzzle Toy for the Cheapest Price?

One of the best things about Treats Pods is that they won’t cost you very much, and they tend to be reasonably durable. The original JW Treat Pod is only $6.48, and there is a wide variety of PetSafe treat pods of all different shapes, sizes, and levels of durability ranging in price from $10.99 to $14.97. If you’re shopping for the lowest price you can find, we recommend you take a look at Chewy’s website.

The Flip ‘N Slide Treat Dispenser for Dogs

The Flip ‘N Slide flip board treat dispenser is one of the most popular dog puzzle toys for dogs. It’s a plastic board with movable compartments that you can stuff with dog treats that your pup will then have to figure out to get their paws on. The aroma of their favorite snacks hidden within this treat puzzle will drive your pooch to flip, slide, nudge, and knock the board all around until they’ve recovered every last one. This treat-dispensing dog toy is a great way to give your pet the enrichment they need and the snacks they want.

Where Can You Find This Puzzle Toy for the Cheapest Price?

The Flip ‘N Slide puzzle is made by a company called Spot. You can find this popular toy all over the Internet at a moderately low cost. While Amazon and Chewy always offer competitive prices, you may want to look elsewhere if you’re shopping around for the cheapest Flip ‘N Slide you can find. Several places have it for cheap, but the absolute lowest price we could find was at National Pet Warehouse, where it costs $12.61.  

Hide-a-Squirrel Squeaky Puzzle

Some dogs just can’t get enough of that squeaky toy sound. If your pup is one of them, then the Hide-a-Squirrel Squeaky puzzle is probably the toy for them. It’s a plush toy shaped like a stump with tiny holes inside that are occupied by adorable squirrel squeaky toys. 

Your dog will have a blast doing their best to get their paws on these stuffed squirrels, which vary in texture and in the sounds their squeakers make. It’s a perfect toy for aggressive chewers, as it’s relatively durable, and the multiple chew toys help spread out the damage.

Where Can I Find This Puzzle Toy for the Cheapest Price?

Many iterations of this toy style are incredibly cute, but our favorite is the original, which Outward Hound makes. These dog puzzle toys do cost a bit more than most others on this list, but they still won’t break the bank.

 If you’re shopping for the lowest price, then we suggest checking out the selection on Amazon or Chewy. They cost anywhere from $10.39 to $19.99, depending on the size of the toy you choose.


There you have it. Enough dog puzzle toys to keep your best friend’s mind stimulated and enriched for many playtimes to come. 

We think you’ll find that one of the best things about these types of toys is that they’re pretty affordable. That being the case, even if your pup chews theirs to bits relatively quickly, it won’t be all that painful to go out and pick up a new one. That is, of course, if you find that dog puzzle toys are worthwhile for your pet. 

They may not be every doggy’s cup of tea, but for the pooches that do love dog puzzle toys (and some really, really love them), they’re easily some of the best playthings on the market. Take your pick and enjoy!  

Helpful Links


Back to Training