Have you heard of the saying ‘a tired dog is a good dog’ before? Giving our dogs lots of physical exercises is important for their well-being, but did you know that it’s equally important to provide them with mental stimulation activities?
Dogs love to use their brains just like we do, and there are many stimulating dog toys that we can use to exercise our dogs’ brain.
I personally like puzzle feeders, and I have many different ones at home because each of them requires a different problem-solving strategy to keep my dog’s mind in peak health.
To help you get started, I put together this list of my 5 best stimulating dog toys.
1. Nina Ottosson Dog Puzzle
Nina Ottosson is a Swedish designer and developer of dog activity games and this puzzle was the first I ever bought for my dog. I really like it because there are plenty of different ways to use this puzzle, thanks to the three levels of spinning compartments.
I paid almost $50 for it when I bought it, but it looks like you can now get it on Amazon for just $18 – click here to check for the latest price.
2. Dog Snuffle Mat
Dog Snuffle Mats are a type of puzzle feeder too, and I like to use them in different sizes and variations. You might have seen the video of my dog using this one ($18.99 on Amazon when I wrote the article, click here to check for the latest price).
I like this stimulating dog toy because of it’s small design, versatility, and because it’s easy to set aside when not in use.
The way I often like to use it (because it’s so simple to set up), is to tell my dog to ‘sit and wait’ in a different room, while I hide the snuffle mat and fill it with treats in another room. I then tell my dog to ‘go find’, which sends him off to a pre-treasure hunt before sniffing for the treats in the snuffle mat. Learn more about snuffle mats here.
Check out this snuffle mat if you have a big dog:
If I have more time, I like using bigger snuffle mats with lots of different compartments as a stimulating dog toy. When using a big snuffle mat, I like to hide different value treats in the different sections of the mat.
This one was just $36.99 at the time of writing this article, click here to check for the current price.
3. West Paw Zogoflex Qwizl
All the stimulating dog toys I’ve mentioned so far often require a certain level of supervision while your dog plays with them.
If you want to keep your dog busy for a little longer without that same level of supervision, you can try the West Paw Zogoflex Qwizl.
They’re made in USA and dishwasher safe. At the time of writing this article, you could get them for $18 on Amazon, click here for the latest price.
4. Ito Rocky Interactive Dog Food Puzzle
Last but not least, another great stimulating dog toy I like to use for enrichment is this dispensing slow feeder. The way it works is that you fill it with kibble, and then your dog gets the food from the holes by turning the slow feeder.
The best thing is that the kibble drops down into a slow feeder section to add another slow feeding element which is great. You could get them for $27.99 at the time of writing this article, click here to check for the latest price.
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I enjoy coming up with creative enrichment ideas for my dogs. DIY & Crafting has always been a big part of my life since I was a child.